Early in the 2019 season, it’s the Dodgers doing the steamrolling — with a power-packed offense and a young star on quite the tear. As for the Red Sox, well, umm, you’re going to have to scroll way down this list of Power Rankings to find them.
Am I being too mean to the Red Sox this week? Probably. But in a week where we’ve seen some teams start to look more like what they actually are, the Red Sox continued to lose.
Good news is these rankings are fluid. There’s a new chance next week for the Red Sox to prove they’re more like the Dodgers than the Baltimore Orioles. Perhaps getting to Fenway and playing in front of their home fans is what they need.
Their home opener and ring ceremony are Tuesday. Probably good to focus on last year at this point.
Teams that I know are good
1. Dodgers (8-2; last week: 2) — The Dodgers have hit 24 homers in 10 games, including at least one in each game. By comparison, the rival San Francisco Giants have scored only 25 runs this season. L.A.’s run differential is already +36. The Dodgers’ offense seems unstoppable right now. That goes double for Cody Bellinger, who has hit seven homers with 18 RBIs in 10 games.
2. Phillies (6-2; last week: 1) — Bryce, Bryce, Bryce, but yo holmes, let’s talk about Rhys Hoskins, who has 13 RBIs now that Harper is hitting in front of him. Maikel Franco also has three homers and 10 RBIs. This Phillies lineup is the real deal.
3. Brewers (8-2; last week: 3) — Can a team be ranked No. 3 and still be underrated? If they can, it’s the Brewers. Christian Yelich is on fire to start the season, but perhaps the best sign for Milwaukee is that their hot start has come entirely against teams in their division.
4. Yankees (5-4; last week: 5) — This might be the hottest take in the top 10, but I’ll gladly admit I’m giving the Yankees multiple benefits of multiple doubts. They’re pretty beat up these days with injuries, but they’ve also won three in a row, including a 15-4 romp of the Orioles on Sunday in which Gary Sanchez hit three homers.
Teams I think are good
5. Rays (7-3; last week: 4) — The Rays’ pitching continues to wow and that’s what’s making them look like a legit AL contender early on. Their 2.09 ERA is the best in the big leagues. Even better: Their starters have a 1.80 ERA. Oddly enough, Cy Young winner Blake Snell has the highest ERA of any of their starters and it’s 3.46.
6. Mets (6-3; last week: 8) — I remain bullish on the Mets and there are two solid reasons for it: Their pitching staff and Pete Alonso. The pitching staff, you know about by now. But Alonso, the 24-year-old rookie, has been mashing. We’re talking about three homers, 11 RBIs and a .432 on-base percentage.
Teams I still don’t believe in, but whatever
7. Mariners (9-2; last week: 6) — The Mariners have maintained their offensive mojo for another week. They have the most wins in baseball, the most runs scored and are, somehow, tied for the most homers. When Domingo Santana and Tim Beckham are pacing the offense, you know the Mariners have either struck gold or they’re on a crazy early-season hot streak that can’t keep up. We’ll see which it is.
Teams I’m less worried about than last week
8. Astros (5-5; last week: 9) — The Astros may be finding their groove. They swept the A’s over the weekend. We’ll see what they got as they host the Yankees next.
9. Indians (6-3; last week: 15) — After four straight wins, the Indians’ record looks more like it should. They’re still in the bottom five for runs scored, though.
Teams that might actually be pretty good
10. Twins (5-3; last week: 7) — I was quite high on the Twins after Week 1, and I still like their chances in the AL Central relative to expectations, but they had their hands full this weekend with the Phillies.
11. Padres (6-4; last week: 11) — Lots of optimism for the Padres in these parts. Most surprising: They’re in the top 10 in ERA and WHIP. If they can pitch, they can compete in the NL West.
Teams for whom the jury is still out
12. Braves (5-4; last week: 19) — After starting 0-3, the Braves got away from the Phillies and started beating up on the Cubs and Marlins. That’s a recipe for relief.
13. A’s (6-7; last week: 16) — They lost three straight to the Astros, which doesn’t do a ton to help things here. But the A’s continue to score a lot of runs, including many from the bat of Khris Davis. They can hit and that makes ‘em dangerous.
Teams that are disappointing, but I’ve still got a little hope
14. Angels (4-6; last week: 18) — As long as they’ve got Mike Trout, who was 6-for-11 with five homers over the weekend, there’s hope. But there’s also this factoid from before Sunday’s game:
Mike Trout, OPS this season - 1.476 (2nd in MLB)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 7, 2019
Mario Mendoza (of "Mendoza Line" fame), career OPS - .507
All other Angels, OPS this season - .501 pic.twitter.com/sk8UT5pgyu
15. Cardinals (4-5; last week: 12) — Paul Goldschmidt has delivered the long balls and Kolten Wong has gotten off to a hot start, but there are certainly some issues in St. Louis. Their 4.81 starter’s ERA is on the list.
16. Nationals (4-4; last week: 13) — It might seem like the Nats have gotten things more on track after picking up a few wins against the Phillies and Mets, but have you seen that bullpen ERA? Wowza. It’s 10.12, the worst in baseball. So bad Trevor Rosenthal is already in the history books.
17. Rockies (3-7; last week: 17) — The most surprising part of Colorado’s slow start is the offense. They’ve only scored 31 runs, which is sixth-worst in MLB.
Teams I’m just not buying
18. Pirates (5-3; last week: 26) — Kudos to the Pirates, who have won four in a row. Buuuuut, they came against the Reds.
19. Tigers (7-3; last week: 24) — Kudos to the Tigers, who have won five in a row. Buuuuut, they’ve scored only 27 total runs this season, third-worst in MLB.
20. Rangers (5-5; last week: 22) — Kudos to the Rangers, who started strong by winning series against the Astros and Cubs. Buuuuuut, they’ve lost three in a row to the Angels and Mike Trout.
21. Diamondbacks (5-5; last week: 30) — Kudos to the D-backs for climbing out of our No. 30 spot and taking two of the three against the World Series champs. Buuuuut have you seen the Red Sox these days?!?
Teams that are just happy they’re ahead of the Cubs
22. White Sox (3-5; last week: 27) — The White Sox only really jumped up five spaces because the other bad teams started to play bad and I’m tsk-tsking the Red Sox and Cubs this week. Speaking of ...
Teams that maybe I’m too nice to
23. Cubs (2-7; last week: 14) — I was nice to the Cubs last week, but they were 1-5 afterward and, wow, things are looking rough. They’ve scored a lot of runs (62, third-most in the league) but somehow given up nine more than that. Woof.
Teams I know are bad
24. Blue Jays (3-8; last week: 23) — Four straight losses for the Blue Jays. Can I start the Vlad Jr. countdown yet?
25. Marlins (3-7; last week: 20) —After playing the Rockies strong to start the year, the Marlins only mustered one win against the Mets and Braves. So, more like the Marlins we expected.
26. Giants (3-7; last week: 29) — S.F. has managed one win against each the Dodgers, Rays and Padres, all of whom are pretty good. But they’ve only managed 25 runs in 10 games.
27. Orioles (4-5; last week: 28) — The Orioles are starting to look like the Orioles. After winning some games early, they’ve lost four straight and have a -19 run differential.
28. Royals (2-6; last week: 21) — The Royals have lost six straight, but in my continued quest to find positives for K.C., I’ll point out that Whit Merrifield has a 28-game hitting streak dating back to last year.
29. Reds (1-8; last week: 25) — The Reds won their first game of the season and it’s all been downhill since then. Eight straight losses and the fewest runs scored in all of baseball.
Teams that are the defending World Series champs but OMG
30. Red Sox (3-8; last week: 10) — Is this a bit over-dramatic? Probably. The Red Sox won the World Series last year and they’ll, likely, be fine. But if a team that wasn’t the Red Sox had eight losses, the worst run differential in the league and lost series to the Mariners, A’s and D-backs, I wouldn’t be giving them the benefit of the doubt. Enjoy No. 30, Boston, now get yourself together.
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