MLB power rankings: Week 2


Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

If you would like to read the week 1 power ranking, click here. 

* (+/-) denotes how much each team rose or fell from the week one power rankings.

1.) (+2) Los Angeles Dodgers (9-4): Everything is going according to plan and beyond. Dan Haren and his sub-human 0.75 ERA is making the Dodgers forget about Clayton Kershaw, and Dee Gordon and Juan Uribe are hitting like All-Stars.

2.) (-1) Detroit Tigers (6-4): The “revamped bullpen” continues to be their Achilles’ heel, with the sixth highest bullpen ERA in baseball at 5.18. The offense has been explosive out of the gate even with Miguel Cabrera‘s slow start.

3.) (+4) Oakland Athletics (8-4): The top four starters in their rotation have posted an ERA south of 3.00 to commence the season. Sonny Gray anchors the young, talented rotation with a 2-0 record and 0.95 ERA. 2014 reaffirms the sabermetric philosophy to  never invest big money to a “proven closer” (Jim Johnson).

4.) (+4) Atlanta Braves (8-4): Oh no. Mike Minor, Brandon Beachy, and Kris Medlen are injured and absent from the rotation. Atlanta’s offense must produce if they yearn to compete with the Washington Nationals. That was my thought process March 31st. Well, they are 27th in runs scored and have the third best ERA in baseball. Aaron Harang has compiled a crisp 0.96 ERA in three starts. You can’t predict baseball.

5.) (-1) Washington Nationals (7-5): The Nationals are the best team in baseball……when they are not playing the Atlanta Braves. Washington is 6-0 versus other teams and 1-5 while clashing against Atlanta. Their one win against the NL East foe was a paltry 2-1 victory.

6.) (+9) Milwaukee Brewers (10-2): The Brew Crew have won nine straight and their 10-2 record is tops in Major League Baseball. Carlos Gomez, Jonathan Lucroy, and Aramis Ramirez continue to rake but they have company now as Ryan Braun and Mark Reynolds smoked the ball in week two. Their 1.87 team ERA is paramount in baseball.

7.) (-1) Tampa Bay Rays (7-6): It has not been a good week for Tampa Bay. Two futile pieces in their rotation, Alex Cobb and Matt Moore, both landed on the DL, joining former Rookie of the Year Jeremy Hellickson.

8.)  (-6) St. Louis Cardinals (7-5): Despite their adequate record, St. Louis has been playing very poorly in the young season. Their schedule has been relatively easy, opposing the struggling Cincinnati Reds in two series and the Chicago Cubs (need I say more?). Jhonny Peralta and Allen Craig are not hitting, and Shelby Miller and Lance Lynn have failed to get into a groove on the rubber.

9.) (-4) Boston Red Sox (5-8): Remember in 2013 when the Cardinals hit for an unsustainable average with runners in scoring position? Well, Boston is setting a record with the same number, albeit the opposite way. The chemistry and unity seem lost. It does not help that Koji Uehara and Dustin Pedroia are heading back to Boston with injuries.

10.) (=) San Francisco Giants (8-5): The Giants are the lone team to win a series against the formidable Los Angeles Dodgers. Their solid play persisted into week two and it appears they will be a competitor all year.

11.) (+1) New York Yankees (7-6): The Yankees took three out of four from the defending World Series champions which should count for something. Although I do not know how much longer this will be deemed somewhat impressive.

12.) (+4) Seattle Mariners (6-5): Taijuan Walker, the highly touted pitching prospect, is close to joining the already imposing Mariner pitching rotation. However, good news is followed with the bad. James Paxton, another pitching prospect, was placed on the DL earlier in the week after a hot start. The “Robinson Cano” effect is in full-swing and Seattle does not show signs of slowing down anytime soon.

13.) (+6) Toronto Blue Jays (7-6): The projected cellars of the American League East, Toronto, has played steady baseball thus far. They sit at a solid 7-6 and it has not been a light schedule, either. They have squared off against Tampa, New York, and Baltimore, playing .500 ball against them. The resurrection of Mark Buehrle helps with his 3-0 record and 0.86 ERA.

14.) (=) Baltimore Orioles (5-7): The pressure Chris Davis faced to repeat his 53 HR success in 2013, may have got to him a bit. He had not homered through 11 games, but finally hit his first today. Hopefully, this alleviates any jitters he may have encountered, and now focus on anchoring the talented O’s team to the playoffs.

15.) (+3) Cleveland Indians (6-7): David Murphy and Nyger Morgan were an afterthought for 29 clubs. These guys’ best days were behind them they thought. Terry Francona and Co. did not buy the notion and took a chance with both of them. Well, Nyger Morgan has the highest batting average on the team (minimum 20 at-bats) at .348 and David Murphy has the best OPS at .920. They rank fifth in runs scored.

16.) (-7) Texas Rangers (6-6): The offense, their expected silver linings, has gotten off to a poor start. Prince Fielder can’t hit if his life depended on it and to make matters worse, the staple of the franchise, Adrian Beltre, was just placed on the 15-Day DL. Outscoring the Houston Astros by one run in a three-game series is inexcusable.

17.) (-6) Kansas City Royals (4-7): Just like Texas, K.C. is stocked with valuable offensive commodities, but sit 28th in runs scored and have managed to only hit one team home run. The pitching staff has held up their end of the bargain, now it is time for the offense to step up.

18.) (+2) Chicago White Sox (7-6): Ladies and gentleman, I would like to introduce the best offensive team in Major League Baseball. Yes, they really have been that potent. They rank first in runs scored and on-base percentage. Watching Jose Abreu take batting practice must have made a difference.

19.) (-2) Pittsburgh Pirates (6-6): Even if Edison Volquez is the next Francisco Liriano, the Pirates’ rotation will likely stifle them from achieving the same success in 2013. The good news is Andrew McCutchen has yet to get going, but when he does it should help immensely.

20.) (+3) Colorado Rockies (6-7): When you have three players with an OPS north of 1.000, you know offensive effectiveness is not an issue. Brett Anderson has been the Rockies’ best starter, however, he has just been placed on the 15-Day DL with a broken finger. This will not help their pitching woes.

21.) (+3) Los Angeles Angels (6-6): No surprise — Mike Trout is distorting opposing pitcher’s earned run averages. Trout is commanding an offense that ranks third in runs scored. Albert Pujols seems reinvigorating  and the Angels’ young arms, Tyler Skaggs and Garrett Richards, are pitching splendidly.

22.) (-9) Cincinnati Reds (4-8): The first twelve games have not been kind to the Cincinnati Reds. Their offense is struggling mightily and the absence of a catalyst in the lead-off spot (Shin-Soo Choo) is glaring. They have pitched respectively even with key elements in the rotation and bullpen on the DL.

23.) (+4) Philadelphia Phillies (6-6): Chase Utley is healthy and is the hottest hitter in baseball. In 40 at-bats, the seasoned veteran has smashed an explosive .500/.565/.875 slash line. His torrid bat is a huge reason the Phillies sit at the .500 mark.

24.) (+2) New York Mets (5-7): Juan Lagares is known for tremendous defensive skills, however, through twelve games Lagares has the best OPS on the team (minimum 10 at-bats) at .821. Chris Young is making rehab starts and is expected to join the club shortly. Needless to say, Lagares has beaten out Eric Young Jr. for the third outfield spot.

25.) (-3) San Diego Padres (5-7): Coming into the season, San Diego was lauded for their abundance of young and talented offensive pieces. It has not gone according to plan as S.D. ranks 29th in runs scored. To their credit, they have not had an easy schedule whatsoever.

26.) (-5) Miami Marlins (5-8): The Marlins certainly teased the baseball world reigning victorious in five of their first seven contests. Now, they have dropped six straight to NL East rivals and sit in the cellar of the NL East.

27.) (-2) Arizona Diamondbacks (4-11): Their week one woes persisted into week two as they posted a mediocre 2-4 record. Pitching has remained an extreme instability, ranking 29th in ERA. It does not help 80% of the games they played have been against the top dogs in the NL West, the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers.

28.) (=) Minnesota Twins (6-6): Predicting the Minnesota Twins would be a top three offensive team through two weeks is just as impressive as a perfect bracket. The Twins? Really? Jason Kubel, Trevor Plouffe, Brian Dozier, and Chris Colabello are unexpectedly hitting the ball with force. 

29.) (=) Chicago Cubs (4-8): I was taught that if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all. Anthony Rizzo, Emilio Bonifacio, and Starlin Castro are playing adequately…

30.) (=) Houston Astros (5-8): Scott Feldman is showing everyone he is worth the money invested in him. In three starts, he has posted a dazzling 0.44 ERA.