I do, however, hate the other 29 teams with the passion of a thousand suns.
Let's scratch the big introduction this week and get right to the important stuff.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
Last Week: 1
As the overall MLB team leaders in batting average, on-base percentage, and OPS, the Dodgers get top billing in these rankings for the second straight week. If there are early concerns for the reigning National League champions: Joe Kelly, who was signed to a three-year, $21 million free agent contract over the winter, has allowed nine earned runs through six innings of relief, taking two losses and three blown saves. He struggled again Monday night against the Cardinals, in the latter part of a 4-3 defeat that saw starter Hyun-Jin Ryu reaggravate the left groin injury that cost him three months last year.
2. Philadelphia Phillies
Last Week: 3
Rhys Hoskins continued the early-season slugfest with a pair of solo home runs in Monday night's 4-3 victory over the Nationals. Hoskins is up to five home runs and 15 RBI through nine games this season, and he's sporting a delectable .367/.513/.933 batting line across 39 plate appearances. The 26-year-old currently boasts a career .911 OPS with 57 home runs in his first 212 major league games. He was a fourth-round pick in the average Yahoo draft this spring and seems fully capable of providing second or even first-round production hitting behind the likes of Andrew McCutchen, Jean Segura, and Bryce Harper.
3. Houston Astros
Last Week: 2
The Astros got off to a relatively sluggish start this season, but they swept a three-game weekend series against the Athletics and rallied for a 4-3 comeback victory in Monday's series-opener against the Yankees. That's four wins in a row for the defending American League West champions, and they'll try to make it five in a row behind Gerrit Cole on Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park. Alex Bregman, who was signed a five-year, $100 million contract extension in the final week of spring training, has the led the way offensively with a .351 batting average and .931 OPS through his first 45 plate appearances.
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4. Milwaukee Brewers
Last Week: 5
The Brewers took two of three from the division-rival Cubs over the weekend before falling 5-2 in Monday night's series opener against the Angels. Christian Yelich, the reigning National League MVP, had a homer robbed by Mike Trout in that one. Yelich still finished 2-for-4 in the loss and is currently batting .375/.490/.850 with five home runs, 13 RBI, two stolen bases, and four runs scored through 11 games this season. Milwaukee currently ranks seventh in the majors in team OPS (.807). And baseball's ultimate relief weapon, Josh Hader, has struck out 13 batters while yielding only one hit over 7 2/3 scoreless frames.
5. Tampa Bay Rays
Last Week: 12
Rays fans were clamoring for more love in the Rotoworld MLB Power Rankings last week, so here it is. Tampa Bay pitchers on the whole have allowed just 20 earned runs in 100 innings this season for a combined ERA of 1.80 -- tops among all major league teams by a fairly comfortable margin. Blake Snell struggled in his Opening Day start against the Astros and Justin Verlander back on March 28, but in his two turns since, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner has struck out 24 batters and surrendered just one run over 13 innings. And did you see this wicked pitch from closer Jose Alvarado last week?
6. Cleveland Indians
Last Week: 9
Cleveland beat up on the visiting Blue Jays over the weekend, sweeping a four-game series at Progressive Field by a combined score of 17-6. Indians hitters have delivered a brutal .182/.262/.273 slash line through 275 total at-bats this season, but Jose Ramirez got it going in the final two games against Toronto and Francisco Lindor (calf, ankle) will hopefully be ready for major league games before the end of April. Trevor Bauer is sporting a 0.64 ERA with 17 strikeouts through 14 innings, and Mike Clevinger has done him one better with a 0.00 ERA and 22 strikeouts over 12 frames.
7. New York Mets
Last Week: 7
The Mets dropped two of three to the division-rival Nationals over the weekend and will now try to bounce back in a two-game interleague series against the Twins, with Jacob deGrom taking the hill in Tuesday night’s opener at Citi Field. The 30-year-old right-hander has picked up right where he left off in 2018, with a 2-0 record, 0.00 ERA, and 24/2 K/BB ratio through 13 innings this season. If he logs a quality start Tuesday versus Minnesota, deGrom will pass Bob Gibson and claim the MLB record for most consecutive quality starts (27). Gibson and deGrom are currently tied on that all-time leaderboard with 26.
8. Atlanta Braves
Last Week: 13
The defending National League East champions were swept by the division-rival Phillies in a three-game season-opening series, but they've won six of their last seven, including an 8-6 defeat of the Rockies on Monday night in which Ronald Acuna belted a two-run homer and crossed the plate three times. The 21-year-old outfielder has three home runs, six RBI, one stolen base, and nine runs scored through 10 games this season. And the Braves have to be overjoyed with the early offensive output from shortstop Dansby Swanson, who's slashing .333/.436/.733 with three home runs and 12 RBI.
9. New York Yankees
Last Week: 6
New York got another bad dose of injury news on Monday, as rehabbing starter Luis Severino experienced renewed discomfort in his throwing shoulder while playing long toss in Tampa. He's off to get an MRI, the results of which should be made available sometime Tuesday or Wednesday. Even if it's only a minor setback, Severino can probably be ruled out at least another four weeks. He opened the season on the injured list after being diagnosed with rotator cuff inflammation in early March. Yankees starters have actually held their own for the most part in Severino's absence, working to a combined 2.91 ERA.
10. Boston Red Sox
Last Week: 4
The defending World Series champions nearly got swept by the rebuilding Diamondbacks over the weekend before managing to salvage a 1-0 victory in Sunday’s series finale, with relievers Hector Velazquez, Brandon Workman, Marcus Walden, Matt Barnes, and Ryan Brasier combining for a three-hit shutout of the host Snakes. The narrative in Boston before the season began was that the bullpen might hold this team back, but it’s the rotation that has proven problematic. Red Sox starters hold a combined 8.57 ERA, and that includes Velazquez’s three scoreless frames as the opener on Sunday.
11. San Diego Padres
Last Week: 15
The Padres spoiled the Cardinals' home opener last Thursday and ultimately took two of three in that series before rallying to beat the Giants and Madison Bumgarner in Monday night's series-opener at Oracle Park in San Francisco. San Diego has won four of its last five to stay within striking distance of the scorching-hot Dodgers for the top spot in the National League West standings. Fernando Tatis Jr. has an .867 OPS with three home runs and two doubles through his first 11 major league games. A reminder that the surprise addition to the Opening Day roster will play this entire season at age 20.
12. St. Louis Cardinals
Last Week: 10
Adam Wainwright turned back the clock to right the ship for the Cardinals in Sunday's series finale against the Padres, striking out nine batters over six innings of one-run ball in a 3-1 sweep-avoiding victory. Flame-throwing youngster Jordan Hicks earned his first save of the season in that one and then tallied his second save in as many days Monday as the Cardinals beat the Dodgers in the first game of a four-game set. Hicks seems to have better control of his nasty raw arsenal this year than he did as a rookie in 2018, and he can run away with the team's ninth-inning gig with Andrew Miller continuing to struggle.
13. Washington Nationals
Last Week: 8
Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Patrick Corbin have all pitched well out of the gate this season, as one would expect, but Washington's bullpen looks absolutely atrocious. Nationals relievers have been charged with 29 earned runs in 25 2/3 combined innings for an overall bullpen ERA of 10.17. Trevor Rosenthal, signed to a one-year, $7 million free agent deal this winter, has faced nine batters and retired none of them. With a long rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery sandwiched in between, the 28-year-old right-hander last recorded an out at the major league level back on August 12, 2017.
14. Minnesota Twins
Last Week: 14
Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco hit for the cycle last Friday as part of a 5-for-5 night, becoming just the second player in the 119-year history of the franchise to record five hits and a cycle in the same game. The other: Joe Cronin, September 2, 1929, when the team was called the Washington Senators. Polanco is batting .375/.429/.688 through 35 plate appearances for a Minnesota team that currently sits one game back of first place in the AL Central standings. It didn't get the publicity of some other high-profile extensions, but Polanco's five-year, $25.75 million agreement from February is already looking extremely team-friendly.
15. Chicago Cubs
Last Week: 11
The Cubs kicked off the 2019 regular season with a tumultuous and largely unsuccessful nine-game road trip, but they dominated the Pirates by a score of 10-0 in Monday's home opener at Wrigley Field and will now try to begin chasing down the red-hot Brewers for the top spot in the National League Central standings. There's a 4 1/2-game gap between the two clubs as of April 9. A negative from that big win Monday: Jon Lester was lifted in the top of the third inning after tweaking something in his left hamstring while rounding the bases in the Cubs' six-run bottom of the second. The veteran starter has been sent for an MRI.
16. Seattle Mariners
Last Week: 21
The Mariners won their third straight game on Monday night in Kansas City, cranking five home runs in a 13-5 rout. Edwin Encarnacion delivered two of those five homers on a pair of sixth-inning swings, becoming the first Seattle player to homer twice in the same inning since 2002. This team has 32 home runs through 12 games, the most home runs through 12 games for any team since the 2000 Cardinals, who won 95 games and slugged .455 as a group -- led by Mark McGwire, Jim Edmonds, and Ray Lankford. ZiPS projected only one 2019 Mariners player (Mitch Haniger) to slug better than .450 this season.
17. Los Angeles Angels
Last Week: 18
The Halos have won four straight games, including a 5-2 victory over a dangerous Brewers team in Monday night's series-opener at Angel Stadium. Mike Trout did not homer in that one -- for the first time in five games -- but he did draw two walks and score a run, and he also robbed reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich of a home run in the top of the third inning. Trout has a ridiculous .367/.574/.933 batting line through 47 plate appearances this season. And here's a tip of the cap to Albert Pujols, who currently holds a .357 on-base percentage. That would be his highest OBP since 2011, his final year in St. Louis.
18. Colorado Rockies
Last Week: 16
The Rockies picked up two straight wins in Miami to open the 2019 regular season, but they've since gone 1-8 and are currently in the midst of a four-game losing streak, with all four of those losses coming at home in Coors Field. Kyle Freeland, who managed to excel in Denver's thin air last year, was hammered for seven earned runs on seven hits and four walks over five innings Monday in a loss to the visiting Braves. David Dahl suffered a core injury in Sunday night's loss to the Dodgers, and offseason addition Daniel Murphy is out for at least a month with an avulsion fracture of his left index finger.
19. Oakland Athletics
Last Week: 17
The Athletics got on a nice roll after returning from Japan, but they've suddenly lost four straight games and five of their last six. Oakland closer Blake Treinen, who was nearly untouchable last year en route to a 0.78 ERA, walked four batters and gave up two hits in his last appearance Sunday against the Astros. The A's got swept in that three-game series at Houston's Minute Maid Park and then fell 12-4 to the lowly Orioles on Monday night as Marco Estrada was lit up for six earned runs on nine hits and a walk over just four innings of work. Opening Day starter Mike Fiers is sporting a 5.94 ERA.
20. Pittsburgh Pirates
Last Week: 20
Pittsburgh made easy work of the Reds while sweeping a four-game weekend series at PNC Park before getting trounced 10-0 by the Cubs on Monday afternoon at Wrigley Field. Jameson Taillon started that game in Chicago and lasted only two innings, as his defense let him down in a major way. Utility infielder Kevin Newman committed three errors at shortstop in the same inning. The Pirates have the starting pitching to compete in the National League Central -- their rotation ERA is 1.98 -- but poor fielding and hitting will likely continue to be the roadblocks to actual season-long success.
21. Arizona Diamondbacks
Last Week: 22
Jake Lamb suffered a Grade 2 strain of his left quad last week and is expected to be sidelined through at least mid-May. It's another big bat gone from the Diamondbacks lineup, but the injury will open up a real opportunity for Christian Walker, who has been forever buried on organizational depth charts despite intriguing offensive numbers in the upper minor leagues. Walker boasts a 1.012 OPS with three home runs through 31 plate appearances this season in Arizona. The 28-year-old first baseman is worth a look in mixed fantasy leagues now that he appears to be locked into an everyday role.
22. Cincinnati Reds
Last Week: 19
The Reds beat the Pirates on Opening Day, but they've since lost eight straight games and were involved in a nasty brawl with the Bucs on Sunday -- though Chris Archer probably deserves most of the blame for inciting that fight after his obvious intentional pitch at the backside of Derek Dietrich. Yasiel Puig, who did some aggressive pushing and shoving as things got heated Sunday in Pittsburgh, was handed a two-game suspension on Tuesday morning. Puig has been a big disappointment at the plate, too, with a .133/.188/.167 slash line through nine games. Despite a retooled roster, Cincinnati might already be toast.
23. Detroit Tigers
Last Week: 28
Tigers hitters are slashing a combined .181/.285/.284 in 320 at-bats this season, but the club has managed to squeeze out a number of close victories, as evidenced by closer Shane Greene's league-leading seven saves. The Tigers just finished up a three-game weekend sweep of the Royals, after taking two of three from the Yankees last week in the Bronx. Then again, this hot start from Greene probably just increases the probability that he will be traded, and the team's current leader in total bases, Nicholas Castellanos, will probably be dealt away at some point too. The arrow up feels very temporary.
24. Texas Rangers
Last Week: 25
The Rangers won three straight games last week against the Astros and Angels, but it feels like that might be their last three-game winning streak for a while. They dropped the final three games of their four-game set in Anaheim, scoring just four total runs across those three defeats. The patchwork Opening Day rotation of Mike Minor, Edinson Volquez, Lance Lynn, Drew Smyly, and Shelby Miller has already lost one member, as Volquez hit the injured list last Friday with a right elbow sprain and told reporters that he will retire if the diagnosis leads to a third career Tommy John surgery.
25. Toronto Blue Jays
Last Week: 23
Toronto just got swept by the Indians in a four-game series in Cleveland and the club currently ranks 28th among all major league teams in runs scored, with the offense generating a putrid .183/.261/.318 combined batting line through 388 plate appearances. The starting pitching has surprised -- shoutout to 25-year-old rookie Trent Thornton -- but Toronto's lineup will probably continue to sputter along until Vladimir Guerrero Jr. arrives. The 20-year-old uber-prospect began playing in rehab games at High-A Dunedin late last week after missing much of spring training with a left oblique strain.
26. San Francisco Giants
Last Week: 24
April 2 trade acquisition Kevin Pillar hit a grand slam on Monday night against the Padres, but it wasn't enough to overcome a rough outing by Madison Bumgarner as the Giants ultimately fell 6-5. They've lost five of their last six games and rank 27th among all major league teams in runs scored, despite Pillar's four-run shot from Monday. Buster Posey is batting .207/.281/.310 through 32 plate appearances this season, and Evan Longoria is in even worse shape at .175/.195/.275. Those two veterans are still owed around $140 million combined. New club president Farhan Zaidi certainly has his hands full.
27. Kansas City Royals
Last Week: 26
The Royals won their first two games of the season against the White Sox, but they've since lost seven straight and there's no real light at the end of the tunnel in Kansas City. Brad Boxberger and Wily Peralta, the co-closers by default, have combined to allow nine earned runs on seven hits and seven walks in 7 1/3 innings, and the Royals' bullpen as a whole has generated a garish 8.89 ERA. At least Whit Merrifield and Adalberto Mondesi, the two highest-drafted fantasy players on this roster, have provided good production in the early going. Merrifield is sporting a .901 OPS. Mondesi's is .842.
28. Chicago White Sox
Last Week: 27
White Sox pitchers have combined for a 6.35 ERA in 78 innings this season, which ranks second-to-the-bottom among all major league clubs. The offense is more middle-of-the-pack, thanks in part to a hot start from former top prospect Yoan Moncada. The 23-year-old infielder is batting .316/.366/.579 with two homers and four doubles through 41 plate appearances this season, despite an 0-for-4 showing in Monday's matinee loss to the Rays. He has cut down the strikeouts and may be trending toward a big breakout campaign. Moncada's average draft position in Yahoo leagues this spring was 162.5.
29. Miami Marlins
Last Week: 29
Reality has already set in for the Marlins, who split a four-game season-opening series against the Rockies but have since lost five of their last six. Sandy Alcantara was terrific in his first turn through the rotation back on March 31, striking out six batters over eight scoreless innings in a 3-0 shutout win versus Colorado, but the 23-year-old right-hander issued five walks over four innings in his second outing this past Saturday in Atlanta. Miami's high-upside rotation was supposed to be a bright spot, but the club's starters have combined for a 4.67 ERA, ranking 21st among all major league teams.
30. Baltimore Orioles
Last Week: 30
Chris Davis went 0-for-5 on Monday night against the Athletics and is now 0-for-49 dating back to last September, a new record for consecutive at-bats without a hit. Eugenio Velez, a former infielder with the Giants and Dodgers, previously held the mark at 0-for-46 -- set between the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Davis is now one fruitless plate appearance away from tying the record for most plate appearances without a hit, currently held by Tony Bernazard, who went 57 plate appearances without a hit as a member of the Indians in 1984. The Orioles still owe Davis nearly $90 million on a contract that runs through 2022.