MLB: 1 Month Power Rankings
By: Jack Kennedy
*Note* Due to server issues this was not released on time, all standings and statistics are as of April 28th
1.Houston Astros (16-11)
With the best record in their division and one of the best overall, it’s hard to not put Houston at the top. Altuve is playing an MVP again and the rest of the offense is clicking like they were in 2017. Brantley is looking like an amazing pick-up, so far slashing .315/.373/.533 in 92 AB. Even more impressive as his OPS (.905) is only 5th on the team as Bregman (.971), Reddick (.970), Springer (.936), and Altuve (.915) are all ahead of him. Their team AVG (.281) tops the majors and their team OBP (.356) is second. And that is to say nothing about the pitching staff. Verlander is looking to continue his success after his extension, starting the season with a 2.61 ERA. While Cole’s 5.22 ERA may cause some concern, his 2.70 FIP indicates that he should return to his all-star 2018 campaign form. Their bullpen also looks strong with a 2.96 ERA.
2.Tampa Bay Rays (18-9)
Tampa comes in tops in the MLB. The look ready to compete this year and with Boston struggling should have no problem winning a wildcard spot, maybe even their division if they keep up this level of play. Leading the offensive charge is just centerfielder Austin Meadows. So far this year his .351 batting average is 4th in the American league and has 6 homeruns, showing some pop in his bat. On the mound we see two separate pieces that are the reason this team has been as dominant as it is. Blake Snell is continuing to pitch well after his 2018 Cy Young campaign, and should have another successful season. We likely will not see another 1.89 ERA like we did last year but I would expect him to come in around 2.7-2.8 this year, even if it were higher as his FIP suggests, he’s not even the best on the roster. Tyler Glasnow has turned into an absolute lawnmower and the players are the blades of grass. He so far posts a 1.53 ERA and a 2.64 FIP. Expect there to be 2 Cy Young candidates coming out of Tampa. Their team 3.07 ERA is also tops the majors.
3. New York Yankees (17-11)
I didn’t want to do it. I wanted to put them lower but with the year they are having you have to give the Bronx bombers credit. While the offseason may seem to be disappointing to fans, not landing Machado or Harper, they drastically improved their rotation and bullpen. Additions of Ottavino and keeping Britton help improve an already strong relief core and signing Happ and getting The Big Maple help fix the ERA problem the Bronx Bombers had last year, and when Severino returns you can expect this rotation to become one of the top 10 in baseball. Their ability to have a 17-11 record despite only having half of their starting lineup during a stretch this month earns them this spot on this list. While I can’t yet put them above other AL powerhouses, it will be interesting to see what getting the likes of Judge and Stanton back do for this squad.
4. LA Dodgers (19-11)
While it’s hard to put them above the Cardinals (due to being swept by them in a four-game series) I would argue that the dodgers show more sustainable success. Bellinger is playing like an MVP, bouncing back from a somewhat disappointing sophomore year and is returning to his rookie days of homering on command and has the highest batting average in the majors at .426, over 40 points higher than second place Tim Anderson. As of right now, Bellinger leads the majors in home runs, on base percentage, slugging, runs, RBIs, and average. Easily the MVP of April. The rest of the offense is impressing as well, Joc Pederson sitting comfortably at 10 homeruns on the year and a .380 OBP. Seager looks to come back strong and Kiki Hernandez is looking like a versatile utility player. The reason I place them higher than the Cardinals comes with the rotation. The rotation to say the least has struggled. Other than Stripling who is so far posting an impressive 2.65 ERA, their starting staff does not look as sharp as it has in the past. Buehler specifically is hurting, posting a 5.25 ERA. His FIP suggests this should come down to high to mid 3s but with his impressive velocity and spin rate on his fastball I wouldn’t be surprised if he finished this year like his rookie one and post a sub 3 ERA. Kershaw also has only had 2 starts but has a 2.77 ERA in them, and while this number is lucky as he got knocked around a bit, he was able to come up clutch and prevent runs from going across the plate. He may no longer be the best pitcher in baseball but he likely will have another “down year” by posting a high 2s ERA. As of now the Dodgers are my pick to lose to an AL team in the World Series.
5. St. Louis Cardinals (17-10)
Obviously adding Paul Goldschmidt to the lineup was a big piece, and he will likely end up the best bat of the team, but their hottest hitter right now comes in the outfielder Marcel Ozuna. Ozuna leads his team in OPS at 1.010 (if he keeps this up Miami might have lost another MVP). He is only one piece of a very impressive lineup, DeJong and Kolton Wong are also turning into strong offensive threat. Their starting rotation is cause for concern, with Flaherty and Mikolas both posting and ERA over 5 so far. Their FIP does little to help their case, Flaherty and Mikolas posting a 5.01 and 6.04 respectively. On the bright side, their bullpen is a top 10 in the majors with a 3.84 collective ERA, and Jordan Hicks seems to be on the verge into turning into the next Chapman with his 104-mph heater.
6. Philadelphia Phillies (16-12)
Philadelphia is looking like the competitors they were hoping to be. Harper isn’t exactly putting up super star numbers but is fitting in perfectly with this Phillies offense. His .400 on base percentage should be around where he sits all year and helps put runners on for the Phillies perennial MVP candidate for years to come, Rhys Hoskins. Hoskins lead the majors in pitches seen per at bat, and continues to do so. His plate discipline combined with strong power and ability to put the ball in play make him a lethal player for the Phills and will likely be the make or break for their season. McCutchen and Segura are turning into strong offseason pickups, the latter being especially impressive. Segura comes in leading the Phillies in AVG at .324 and not only gets hits, but seems to always be over the score sheet with 13 R and 10 RBI in only 75 PA. The Phillies starting rotation is an interesting case, with arguably their two worst starters in the rotation are leading the team in ERA: Vince Velasquez and Jared Eickhoff. Eickhoff had an impressive rookie season way back in 2016, but since then has struggled with injuries and was looking doubtful if he would ever have success in the majors. His 2.77 ERA and 2.13 FIP indicate that he may be a strong candidate for comeback player of the year. Velasquez is currently an unsustainable ERA of 2.08, his FIP indicating that should increase sits at 4.19. Nola seemed to be a sign of concern, last years Cy Young candidate is currently posting a 5.68 ERA but seemed to have found his groove a few games ago after working out of a bases loaded jam in Colorado. If Nola can return to form and Eickhoff can complete the comeback this team will make some noise in October.
7. Cleveland Indians (15-11)
While the Indians sit second in their division, I have no doubt they will overtake the Twins. Their rotations thus far is posting a 3.55 ERA, and expect that only to improve when Clevinger returns. Trever Baur looks to continue to chase a Cy Young this year, so far having an ERA of 1.99. At first glance Corrasco’s 6 ERA would raise concern but his 2.70 FIP suggests he should return to his typical dominant self. The offense is suspect, with Carlos Santana being their strongest hitter so far. Their stars Lindor and Ramirez are struggles so far, but are coming off of injuries earlier might be affecting this. If the Indians want to compete this year their offense is going to need to supply come run support to this fantastic rotation.
8. Minnesota Twins (16-9)
The Twins are shocking everyone right now, and stand with the second-best record in the MLB. Jorge Polanco is swinging away and hitting everything he goes for, batting .337. Eddie Rosario is showing off the power he’s always had the potential to have, finishing this month with 11 home runs, topping the AL. The addition of Nelson Cruz has also added a potent power bat to the lineup. Their rotation is currently lead by Berrios, who has a 2.97 ERA. This rotation is the biggest cause for concern and the reason the Twins are not higher on this list, the rest of their starters all have ERAs over 4. Taylor Rodgers looks good in the pen but if they want to be serious competitors down the stretch we’re going to have to see more from their arms, starters and relievers
9. Milwaukee Brewers (15-14)
To be clear, the only thing putting the Brewers this high as of now is Christian Yelich. Yelich’s league tied 14 home runs, .353 AVG, and .460 OBP numbers are incredible. If Bellinger wasn’t making history of his own this would be the best April an NL player has had in recent memory. The Brew Crew does not have a set in stone rotation and I can see why, their team 5.19 ERA is 6th worst in the majors and are definitely a cause for concern. Even Josh Hader is showing some cracks in his normal unhittable self. Yelich will inevitable cool down, and when this happens the rest of the team needs to step up to support him for the team will just be watching in October.
10. New York Mets (14-13)
This second in the NL East squad is looking to come back after struggling recently this week. Going into the season they were expected to be a team carried by their rotation, but up until now it has been the bats winning games for them. Steve Matz is currently their best starter, thus far posting a 3.68 ERA. Syndergaard being the worst of them with a 6.35 ERA. The former sub 2 and Cy-Young winner Jacob DeGrom Is having difficulty as well with a 4.85. On the bright side, advanced statistics says that these pitchers are just getting very unlucky but none of them look like they are going to compete for the Cy Young this year. The bats are carrying this team, especially rookie of the year candidate Pete Alonso. Alonso was given the call up based off of availability and wasn’t expected to be a top prospect but is thundering his was into the majors. His team leading 9 home runs, .306 AVG, and .398 OBP secured a scary first baseman for the Mets that pitchers will fear in the middle of their lineup. Robinson Cano is struggling so car, only posting a .324 OBP but hopefully this improve and him and Alonso can create a dangerous righty lefty combo. Diaz, their other large acquisition, is looking as dominant as ever. The only pitcher I’ve seen have an ERA tie his WIP, Edwin Diaz has both at a .84. Unfortunately for the Mets he is being used only as strictly a closer, but should still provide a lights-out 9th inning on the road when up by 1 for the Mets.
- 11. Seattle Mariners (18-13)
- 12. San Diego Padres (16-12)
- 13. Arizona Diamondbacks (16-12)
- 14. Chicago Cubs (13-12)
- 15. Boston Red Sox (11-17)
- 16. Texas Rangers (14-13)
- 17. Atlanta Braves (13-14)
- 18. Toronto Blue Jays (14-14)
- 19. Washington Nationals (12-14)
- 20. Pittsburgh Pirates (12-14)
- 21. Oakland Athletics (14-16)
- 22. Colorado Rockies (13-15)
- 23. Detroit Tigers (12-14)
- 24. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (12-17)
- 25. Chicago White Sox (11-14)
- 26. Cincinnati Reds (11-16)
- 27. San Francisco Giants (11-17)
- 28. Baltimore Oriels (10-19)
- 29. Kansas City Royals (9-19)
- 30 .Miami Marlins (8-20)