MLB Power Rankings 2016: Week 2 – April

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Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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Disclaimer:  We based these rankings on best strength to win the World Series.  Therefore some teams that have an easier division to play in, with the least path of resistance to the postseason overall may be ranked a lot higher than a club who is equally talented, yet may play in a juggernaut of a division.

The Cubs will top our list for a second straight week despite losing 2 out of 3 games to the Rockies at Wrigley Field this weekend.  The biggest reason is the pitching.

Jake Arrieta is 3 – 0, and has picked up right where we he left off in 2015, and Jon Lester has thrown awesome too.  The Bullpen has also been good.

The bats are too solid not to come around and gel as the season moves along.  They are playing .750 baseball after a 4 – 2 week still.

Bryce Harper is the best player on the planet, and has homered in 6 straight contests at Citizens Bank Ball Park (4 overall in a row for the MLB this year.)

Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg. Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy are their top players – and all performing like it, the rest of the club is following through in their secondary roles.  This team is scary.

I have the Royals as the top American League club.  This squad is 8 – 1 in games that are not started by back end of the rotation man Chris Young.

The reigning 2 time pennant winners have company on the top of the Division to make it interesting, however this team has the better pedigree the last few years.

Some may say with a weekend series win – that the Dodgers should be put in front of the Giants, yet they are still only one game ahead of San Francisco.

With the Giants – there is no real weakness, while with the Los Angeles team, the Bullpen is not giving everyone confidence in the back half of games.

The Dodger Blue is still in the top 5, so I am high on them. Kenta Maeda could be the steal of the winter with how this guy is throwing so far.  Reinforcements are starting to come back.

The Nationals have made the playoffs in 2 of the last 4 years with 2012 and 2014 being sandwiched between poor 2013 and 2015 campaigns of failed expectations. With 2 .300 hitters fleeing the club this past winter, coupled with the loss of Ian Desmond to Free Agency, this club needs Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth and Anthony Rendon healthy and on the field in 2016. If they struggle in production or health, the efforts of reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper will not matter.

The Nationals have made the playoffs in 2 of the last 4 years with 2012 and 2014 being sandwiched between poor 2013 and 2015 campaigns of failed expectations.

Team – Rank (W – L Record) (Last week record than ranking in parenthesis)

(1) Chicago Cubs  (9 – 3)  (4 – 2) (1): The Cubs still had a winning record even with a weekend series loss to the Rockies.

(2) Washington Nationals (9 – 2) (6 – 1)   (4): Top 4 players are just killing it right now.

(3)  KC Royals (8 – 4) ( 4- 3) (2):  Mike Moustakas is leading the offensive charge.  The rest will come around.

(4) SF Giants  (7 – 6) (2 – 4) (3):  Overall lineup will pick it soon.  Starting Pitching rallied this week.

(5) LA Dodgers (8 – 5) (4 – 2) (5):  Howie Kendrick came back this week. This will help.

(6) NY Mets  (5 – 6) (3 – 3) (6):  New York took 2 out of 3 in Cleveland to right their week.  Yoenis Cespedes smacked the ball around the yard, and Curtis Granderson/Michael Conforto joined him in doing so.

I love the urgency Terry Collins displayed in winning a game this week by using Jeurys Familia for a 5 out save – and then expressing it to the media  Matt Harvey is 0 – 3, and he is too good to struggle for long.

(7) Detroit Tigers (7 – 4) (4 – 3) (7): Jordan Zimmermann has not allowed an ER yet, and Justin Verlander had a key start on Saturday.  The everyday lineup is so deep, that if they get adequate pitching, they will make the playoffs this year.

(8) Boston Red Sox (6 – 5) ( 3 – 3) (12): David Price and Craig Kimbrel are proving why their worth in the regular season is so vital.  Travis Shaw is showing why the Pablo Sandoval decision why so crucial.

Rick Porcello with a better start this week has got to putsome of the Beantowners fans at ease for at least a few days.

(9) St. Louis Cardinals (7 – 5) (4 – 2) (10): The Redbirds have reeled off a 7 – 2 record since starting the season 0 – 3.  Adam Wainwright will right the ship.

The Starting Pitching depth is still awesome with Jaime Garcia, Carlos Martinez and Michael Wacha following Wainwright.  Bench is strong, in particular with Brandon Moss, who had a couple of PH HRs this week.

(10) Toronto Blue Jays (6 – 7) ( 3 – 3) (8):  Huge Aaron Sanchez start at Fenway helped preserve the week.  Marcus Stroman looked better in his last start.  Troy Tulowitzki has to get out of his doldrums here.

Russell Martin is going to be a very expensive Backstopper, if he can’t begin to break out of his early season slump. 

These guys will rally.  Toronto is always good for one big winning streak in a year.  That is all it might take.

(11)  Texas Rangers (7 – 6) (4 – 2) (17): Nomar Mazara as season savior thus far.  This kid blew up this week at the plate, and in doing so, helped Texas take over the top of the AL West.

Cole Hamels is pitching like a solid #1.  Bullpen much better this week than in the opening 7 days.

(12)  Baltimore Orioles (8 – 3) (3 – 3) (14): Averaging 2 HRs a game is weathering the Starting Pitchings’ inability to go long in games.

Mark Trumbo may go 30 HRs and 100 RBI, and is looking a lot like circa 2014’s (Nelson Cruz acquisition.)

(13)  Chicago White Sox (8 – 4) ( 4 – 2) (16):  Better overall defense and this club has a fighting chance with its good pitching.  Chris Sale has been filthy.  Adam Eaton is an underrated weapon.

Brett Lawrie has picked up the slack, and now it it is time for Todd Frazier to follow suit.

(14)  Pittsburgh Pirates (7 – 6) (3 – 4) (9):  The John Jaso leadoff experiment is looking great.  No problems with the 1 – 8 lineup here. Now they need Gerrit Cole to turn it around.  Tough division a lot to do with ranking.

(15) Houston Astros ( 5 – 8) (3 – 4) (11):  Huge weekend series win versus the Tigers.

Have played one of the toughest schedules thus far with ending a homestand with 7 games against KC and Detroit, that followed 6 games on the road to begin the campaign.

It doesn’t get easier this week with going to Arlington for 3 games, and then hosting the Red Sox to round out the weekend at Minute Maid Park.  After that, easier competition with Oakland, Minnesota and Seattle.

(16)  Cleveland Indians ( 5 – 5) (3 – 3) (15):  Corey Kluber not looking like his usual self yet.  This team is treading water until Michael Brantley returns. The problem is –  they have fallen behind 3 other clubs in the division already.

(17) NY Yankees (5 – 6) (2- 4) (14):  A good sign that Alex Rodriguez went yard Sunday – on the heels of a 0 – 19 slump, in which he looked finished.

Masahiro Tanaka continues to thwart off the pundits calling for his demise to injury, by winning and performing well.  Kudos to a great early start for Carlos BeltranJacoby Ellsbury needs to rally.

(18) Seattle Mariners  (5 – 7) (3 – 3) (18):  Taking 2 out of 3 versus the Yankees was big this weekend.  They are 4 – 2 on the road, and 1 – 5 at home.  Good teams don’t lose at home fella’s.

(19) Los Angeles Angels ( 5 – 7) ( 3 – 3) (22):  Mike Trout and Albert Pujols will not struggle like this all year.  Jered Weaver throwing better this week had to give the fans a collective sigh. Getting swept by the Twins would have them hyperventilating again.

(20) Oakland A’s (19) ( 6 – 7)  ( 2 – 4) (19):  This is a decent start record wise, in lieu of a poor week just ended.  They are winning Sonny Gray‘s starts.  Sean Doolittle is now the 8th inning guy, and Ryan Madson has taken over closing duties.

(21) Colorado Rockies (25) (7 – 5) (4 – 2) (25):  Trevor Story has slowed down power wise, but Nolan Arenado clubbed 6 HRs this week.  Colorado seems to play well every April.  Don’t think this will last.

(22) Arizona D’Backs  (5 – 8) (3 – 3) (21):  Better start for Zack Greinke, but Shelby Miller has looked horrid thus far.  Need the offense to come from Paul GoldschmidtYasmany Tomas with a 2 HR effort Sunday is cause for optimism.

(23) Tampa Bay Rays (5 – 7) (3 – 2) (23):  The Rays pitching was better this week –  not withstanding Chris Archer.  The 1 – 9 lineup is just not going to cut the mustard.

(23) Cincinnati Reds (6 – 6) (1 – 5) (20): A quick 5 – 0 start has caught up with them.  The Reds fans might have seen the most exciting baseball they are going to this season already.

(25) Miami Marlins (3 – 7) (2 – 4) (24):  This doesn’t bode well to be swept by the 0 – 9 Braves this weekend.  Giancarlo Stanton is AWOL so far this season.

Ichiro Suzuki with a nice bench game Sunday, collecting 2 hits and stealing his 499th Base.  His chase for 3000 hits may be the best part about the season forthcoming.

(26) Minnesota Twins (3 – 9) (3 – 3) (29):  The Twinkies can feel a little bit better after their horrible 0 – 9 start.  Everyone in the division is .500 or better and Minny doesn’t have the horses to battle against them yet.

(27) Milwaukee Brewers (5 – 7) (2 – 4) (26):  Ryan Braun is looking okay to start the season.  He can up his trade value if he continues to play well.

(28) San Diego Padres  (4 – 9) (2 – 5) (27):  Shutout a Major League Record 5 times in their 1st 10 games. 

At least Melvin Upton Jr. and Matt Kemp are hitting.  The two highest paid hitters on the club.

(29) Philadelphia Phillies (6 – 7) (4 – 3) (28): Vincent Velasquez is the real deal.  Signs of a future hold true.

(30)  Atlanta Braves  (3 – 9) (3 – 3) (30):  Just like the Twins, had to sweep the weekend series to not hit 10 losses in their 1st 12 games.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of bbba.work and their other members***

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A big thanks goes out to our featured writer Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s post.

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Posted on April 17, 2016, in MLB Reports and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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