Well, the first week of the MLB season has ended. There have been some dominant performances, and some of the teams that we expected to perform well have struggled out of the gate. It has been the typical opening week.
Are you a fan of multi-homer games? Non-roster invitee Daniel Nava and pitcher Madison Bumgarner had you covered last week.
Like a team with strong pitching? It’s the Minnesota Twins (2.04) and Cincinnati Reds (3.06) that lead their respective leagues in ERA after both clubs posted an ERA north of 4.90 a year ago.
Prefer a more analytical approach? That same Twins team (plus-17) and the Arizona Diamondbacks (plus-19) are tops in the AL and NL in run differential. They’re also fresh off of 103- and 93-loss seasons, respectively.
There are two lessons here: Always expect the unexpected in baseball, and remember not to put too much stock in a small sample size.
That second point is especially true in the first in-season edition of our weekly MLB power rankings.
A team’s potential and overall outlook will still carry significantly more weight than anything it’s shown over just a handful of games.
It’s a fluid process, with teams rising and falling based on where they were ranked the previous week. If a team keeps winning, it will keep climbing—it’s as simple as that.
1. Cubs (4-2) Last Week: 1. Most of the offense has come in the past two games; they’re pretty scary (not surprisingly) when everything is working.
2. Indians (3-3) LW: 2. Sweep the Rangers, then swept by those sandbagging Diamondbacks!
3. Dodgers (4-3) LW: 3. Injuries already are eating into starting pitching depth, but they’re outscoring opponents 40-22.
4. Nationals (3-3) LW: 4. Get the feeling they’re just setting us up for heartbreak all over again?
5. Mets (3-3) LW: 5. They could use another working bat, or two, but fans might settle for not worrying about the rotation’s health.
6. Astros (4-3) LW: 7. Pitching has the best OPS against so far, and they figure to hit — although Altuve, Correa and Bregman have not, yet.
7. Red Sox (3-2) LW: 8. Burdened by the flu bug, but pitching well and they’re not even close to hitting what they will.
8. Rays (5-2) LW: 14. Tampa Bay always seems to be prepared better than most, even with Joe Maddon gone since 2015.
9. Orioles (4-1) LW: 15. Outscored the Jays and Yankees a combined 20-19; it’s definitely been the pitching so far.
10. Pirates (3-2) LW: 16. Sweeping the Braves — even if they’re one-run games — is what you have to do.
11. Diamondbacks (6-1) LW: 20. How are they doing it? They’ve scored 48 runs so far! They’re 19 total bases ahead of the second-best team in MLB.
12. Angels (5-2) LW: 19. Can you imagine how terrific they must feel after rallying for SEVEN runs to win in the bottom of the ninth Sunday? Gosh, that must have been awesome.
13. Tigers (3-2) LW: 18. They’re hitting well collectively without Miguel Cabrera doing much or J.D. Martinez doing anything yet.
14. Giants (2-5) LW: 6. The bullpen wasn’t supposed to be a problem with Melancon on board, but the group already has blown several leads.
15. Yankees (2-4) LW: 11. Gary Sanchez hit the disabled list with a strained biceps, and Greg Bird is out with a sore foot, BUT: Aaron Judge homered Sunday and Monday.
16. Rangers (2-4) LW: 12. Pitching has been bad — closer Sam Dyson has lost twice, and they lost both of Darvish’s starts. Hitting will come around.
17. Royals (2-4) LW: 13. Bullpen aside from Herrera has been disturbingly bad, but it’s really easy to break trends six games into a season.
18. Cardinals (2-4) LW 17. Matt Adams already has been playing much more left field than expected. It’s just… not a great early sign.
19. Blue Jays (1-5) LW: 10. A few plays from being .500, a few more from having a winning record. It’s why you don’t worry too much about six games.
20. Rockies (5-2) LW: 21. Getting good pitching so far and middle-of-the-road hitting, with Charlie Blackmon, Carlos Gonzalez and Trevor Story yet to spark.
21. Twins 5-1 LW: 22. Swept the Royals and took two of three from the White Sox. Outscoring opponents 30-13. Lowest OPS against in MLB.
22. Phillies (3-3) LW: 26. Offense is second in runs scored and pitching is 22nd in ERA, which seems backward. Near the top in spunk, though!
23. Mariners (1-6) LW: 9. Can you imagine how rotten they must feel after giving up SEVEN runs to lose in the bottom of the ninth Sunday? Gosh that must suck.
24. Marlins (3-3) LW: 23. Couldn’t beat Syndergaard for the sweep, but they’re off to a decent start.
25. Reds (4-2) LW: 29. Bullpen has been a strength. Winning four out of six is great for the Reds, especially considering Joey Votto hasn’t done anything yet.
26. Athletics (3-4) LW: 27. Kendall Graveman looks like he has taken a step forward. Bullpen appears to be a strength. Offense might be better. Too much optimism? Probably.
27. Brewers (2-5) LW: 24. The Cubs offense started to awaken, and Brewers pitching suffered for it, allowing a combined 18 runs over the past two games.
28. White Sox (2-3) LW: 25. The sooner they trade Jose Quintana, to a team with an offense capable of appreciating him, the better for all parties.
29. Padres (3-4) LW: 30. They are 26th in ERA and 25th in OPS, so near what everyone thought.
30. Braves (1-5) LW: 28. Their past four losses have been by a total of eight runs, so it could be worse. And it might get worse.