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MLB Power Rankings: Where Your Team Stands After Week 2

Joel ReuterFeatured Columnist IVDecember 16, 2016

MLB Power Rankings: Where Your Team Stands After Week 2

1 of 31

    We're now two weeks into the 2013 MLB season, and there has already been a good deal of surprise and disappointment as far as a team performance goes.

    The Blue Jays and Angels in particular have struggled after entering the season with lofty expectations, while the surprise Rockies have one less win than those two clubs combined.

    As the season progresses, these rankings will be based less on expectation and more on performance. At this point, however, expectation does still play a big factor in where a team is ranked.

    Be sure to check back here each Monday for an updated look at where your favorite team stands.

     

    *Note: All stats via MLB.com unless otherwise noted.

30. Miami Marlins (2-10, Previous: 29)

2 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 1-5

    vs. Atlanta Braves (0-3)
    vs. Philadelphia Phillies (1-2) 

     

    Summary

    With a .204 average and 20 runs scored in 12 games, the Marlins offense has been worse than expected to open the season, and that's saying something.

    Veteran Placido Polanco (.333 BA, .759 OPS) is the only regular hitting over .300 and the lone bright spot in the lineup. Slugger Giancarlo Stanton is battling a sore shoulder, and pre-injury he was hitting .167 and was still without a home run.

    The pitching staff has been a little better, led by 20-year-old rookie Jose Fernandez, who has allowed just five hits and one run while striking out 13 in 11 innings of work. Kevin Slowey (2.04 ERA) has been very good as well, and the starting rotation has a 2.78 ERA.

     

    Next Week's Opponents

    (3) vs. Washington
    (4) @ Cincinnati

29. San Diego Padres (2-10, Previous: 28)

3 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 1-5

    vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (1-2)
    vs. Colorado Rockies (0-3) 

     

    Summary

    Unlike the Marlins, the Padres' struggles have stemmed from their pitching staff, which has an MLB-worst 5.24 ERA.

    Edinson Volquez (0-3, 11.68 ERA) has struggled mightily, and closer Huston Street has allowed runs in two of his three outings for a 9.00 ERA.

    That's not to say the offense has been a real weapon, as it has scored just 39 runs in their 12 games this season. Chase Headley remains on the shelf with a fractured thumb, and veteran Chris Denorfia (.355 BA, .880 OPS) has been the team's top bat.

     

    Next Week's Opponents

    (3) @ Los Angeles Dodgers
    (3) @ San Francisco Giants

28. Houston Astros (4-8, Previous: 30)

4 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 3-3

    @ Seattle Mariners (2-1)
    @ Los Angeles Angels (1-2) 

     

    Summary

    Count me among those who fully expected the Astros to spend the entire season at the No. 30 spot in these rankings, but they've been better than expected out of the gates.

    Opening Day starter Bud Norris has been terrific, going 2-1 with a 1.96 ERA and 1.09 WHIP, and he could be a solid trade chip at the deadline if he can keep it up, if nothing else.

    Jose Altuve (.333 BA, .813 OPS) is once again leading the offense. Newcomer Chris Carter has started to pick things up with four home runs, though he has struck out 19 times in 47 at-bats.

     

    Next Week's Opponents

    (3) @ Oakland Athletics
    (3) vs. Cleveland Indians


27. Minnesota Twins (4-7, Previous: 22)

5 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 0-5

    @ Kansas City Royals (0-3)
    vs. New York Mets (0-2) 

     

    Summary

    The focus of the Twins' offseason was on improving their starting rotation, but so far it's been more of the same as it has posted a 6.32 ERA to rank 29th in MLB.

    Kevin Correia (3.14 ERA) has been the only viable starter to this point, though the bullpen has been great with a 2.55 ERA led by Jared Burton, Ryan Pressly and Josh Roenicke.

    The offense hasn't been much better, hitting .219 as a team with just seven home runs and 40 runs scored through their first 11 games. Josh Willingham has an .889 OPS, and Joe Mauer is leading the way with a .298 average.

     

    Next Week's Opponents

    (3) vs. Los Angeles Angels
    (3) @ Chicago White Sox

26. Chicago Cubs (4-8, Previous: 26)

6 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 2-4

    vs. Milwaukee Brewers (1-1)
    vs. San Francisco Giants (1-3) 

     

    Summary

    There have been a number of bright spots for the Cubs here early on in the season, but as a whole, the team doesn't appear to be much improved from last year's squad, and they continue to be plagued by fundamental mistakes.

    Jeff Samardzija has a 2.75 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 19.2 innings, though he's off to a 1-2 start. Carlos Villanueva (0.64 ERA, 14 IP) and Travis Wood (1.46 ERA, 12.1 IP) have both been terrific as well.

    Offensively, Starlin Castro is tied for the NL lead with 17 hits. Nate Schierholtz (.343 BA) and Welington Castillo (.364 BA) have both been solid in the middle of the order, and backup catcher Dioner Navarro hit a pair of pinch-hit home runs last week.

     

    Next Week's Opponents

    (3) vs. Texas Rangers
    (3) @ Milwaukee Brewers 

25. Milwaukee Brewers (3-8, Previous: 24)

7 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 2-3

    @ Chicago Cubs (1-1)
    @ St. Louis Cardinals (1-2) 

     

    Summary

    The injury-riddled Brewers continue to struggle here in the early going, as they're without two of their best hitters in Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart.

    Rookie shortstop Jean Segura (.417 BA, 1.073 OPS) is off to a great start, but Rickie Weeks, Carlos Gomez and Jonathan Lucroy are all hitting below .230.

    On the mound, the bullpen continues to be a thorn in the team's side with a 4.79 ERA. In the rotation, Kyle Lohse (2.08 ERA) is the only starter with an ERA below 4.50.

     

    Next Week's Opponents

    (3) vs. San Francisco Giants
    (3) vs. Chicago Cubs 

24. Seattle Mariners (6-8, Previous: 25)

8 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 3-4

    vs. Houston Astros (1-2)
    vs. Texas Rangers (2-2) 

     

    Summary

    The Mariners offense has been improved this season, led by the hot start of Michael Morse, but they appear to be a team that is still at least a year from legitimate contention.

    Morse has been one of the season's early stars, with six home runs and a 1.073 OPS, and a healthy Franklin Gutierrez has four home runs, 10 RBI and a .956 OPS.

    Joe Saunders (2.08 ERA), Hisashi Iwakuma (2.18 ERA) and Felix Hernandez (3.05 ERA) have been very good atop the Mariners rotation, but they'll need to find two more reliable starters.

     

    Next Week's Opponents

    (3) vs. Detroit Tigers
    (3) @ Texas Rangers 

23. Pittsburgh Pirates (6-6, Previous: 28)

9 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 5-1

    @ Arizona Diamondbacks (2-1)
    vs. Cincinnati Reds (3-0) 

     

    Summary

    After a horrible 1-5 first week in which their offense sputtered out of the gates, the Pirates did a complete 180 this past week as they won series against two of the better teams in the National League.

    Until I see which Pittsburgh team shows up in Week 3, I'm not quite ready to vault it up the list, and it will have its hands full once again with the Cardinals and Braves.

    Wandy Rodriguez will miss his next start with a strained hamstring, and Jonathan Sanchez (12.96 ERA) has been awful. The hitting has come around a bit, but the pitching staff has emerged as a question mark.

     

    Next Week's Opponents

    (3) vs. St. Louis Cardinals
    (4) vs. Atlanta Braves 

22. Chicago White Sox (5-7, Previous: 15)

10 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 1-5

    @ Washington Nationals (0-3)
    @ Cleveland Indians (1-2) 

     

    Summary

    After a hot start in which they took series against the Royals and Mariners, the White Sox stumbled in Week 2 after being swept by the Nationals and dropping two of three to the division-rival Indians.

    Starting pitching has been perhaps the biggest issue, as Jake Peavy (2-1, 3.93 ERA) is the only starter with an ERA under 4.00. The bullpen, on the other hand, has been terrific, as its 1.96 ERA as a group ranks third in all of baseball.

    Alex Rios (1.093 OPS, 4 HR) has been the biggest offensive standout, and some of their Chicago's big bats in the middle of the order need to pick it up and give the scuffling staff some support.

     

    Next Week's Opponents

    (4) @ Toronto Blue Jays
    (3) vs. Minnesota Twins 

21. Tampa Bay Rays (4-7, Previous: 13)

11 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 1-4

    @ Texas Rangers (1-2)
    @ Boston Red Sox (0-2) 

     

    Summary

    With a .212 average and an AL-low 33 runs scored, the Rays offense has been far from improved in the early going this season.

    Ben Zobrist (.316 BA, 9 RBI) and Evan Longoria (.306 BA) have paced the offense, but the rest of the team's bats have struggled so far.

    In years past, they've relied on their pitching staff, but they've posted a 4.48 ERA as a group so far. Matt Moore (2-0, 0.00 ERA) and Alex Cobb (1-1, 1.93 ERA) have both been great, but the rest of the staff has struggled.

     

    Next Week's Opponents

    (1) @ Boston Red Sox
    (3) @ Baltimore Orioles
    (3) vs. Oakland A's 

20. Cleveland Indians (5-6, Previous: 17)

12 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 2-3

    vs. New York Yankees (0-2)
    vs. Chicago White Sox (2-1)

     

    Summary

    Despite a major overhaul of their lineup this offseason, with the addition of a number of veteran pieces, the Indians are still among the lowest-scoring teams in the AL with just 46 runs in 11 games.

    That said, Carlos Santana (.500/.581/.885) looks like he could finally be in for a breakout year, and he's not the only one putting up numbers. Michael Bourn (.333 BA, .975 OPS) and Mark Reynolds (5 HR, 13 RBI) are also off to nice starts.

    On the mound, Justin Masterson (3-0, 0.41 ERA) has been one of the game's best pitchers in the early going. With a 4.50 team ERA, he's been one of the few bright spots, though.

     

    Next Week's Opponents

    (3) vs. Boston Red Sox 
    (3) @ Houston Astros 


19. Toronto Blue Jays (5-7, Previous: 14)

13 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 3-3

    @ Detroit Tigers (1-2)
    @ Kansas City Royals (2-1)

     

    Summary

    If Blue Jays fans had not already pressed the panic button after the team's slow start, an ankle injury to Jose Reyes that could keep him sidelined until the All-Star break (h/t Sporting News) was likely enough to do it.

    Reyes (.395 BA, .991 OPS) was one of the few players in the Blue Jays lineup that was hitting, and now more than ever, guys like Edwin Encarnacion (.133 BA) and Jose Bautista (.200 BA) need to get it going.

    Pitching has been the bigger issue though, as newcomers R.A. Dickey (1-2, 5.82 ERA), Josh Johnson (0-1, 11.05 ERA) and Mark Buehrle (0-0, 10.24 ERA) have not made a smooth transition north of the border.

     

    Next Week's Opponents

    (4) vs. Chicago White Sox 
    (3) vs. New York Yankees 

18. Los Angeles Angels (4-8, Previous: 12)

14 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 2-4

    vs. Oakland Athletics (0-3)
    vs. Houston Astros (2-1)

     

    Summary

    The Angels snapped a five-game losing streak with a win over the Astros on Saturday, and they won back-to-back games for the first time this year with another victory on Sunday.

    The offense perked up a bit this past week, as Mike Trout (.292 BA, 1 HR, 1 SB) and Josh Hamilton (.318 BA, 2 HR, 6 RBI) both had productive weeks after slow starts. They'll need to continue to pick their game up if the team is going to right the ship.

    Their pitching staff has a 4.90 ERA, and ace Jered Weaver is on the DL with a fractured non-throwing elbow. Someone else needs to step up among the starters, as the rotation has combined for a 5.59 ERA.

     

    Next Week's Opponents

    (3) @ Minnesota Twins
    (3) vs. Detroit Tigers 

17. Colorado Rockies (8-4, Previous: 21)

15 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 3-3

    @ San Francisco Giants (0-3)
    @ San Diego Padres (3-0)

     

    Summary

    Not to take anything away from the Rockies' 8-4 start, but it's hard not to be skeptical when six of those eight wins are against the Padres.

    They've hit an MLB-high 21 home runs as a team, led by Dexter Fowler, who has six after hitting 13 all of last season. Wilin Rosario has added four home runs, while Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer all have three.

    Jhoulys Chacin has filled the role of staff ace, going 2-0 with a 1.96 ERA through his first three starts, but the rest of the staff remains a question mark for the long term. They've played over their heads to this point, and it's hard not to expect some regression in the weeks ahead.

     

    Next Week's Opponents

    (4) vs. New York Mets
    (3) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks 

16. New York Yankees (6-5, Previous: 23)

16 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 4-1

    @ Cleveland Indians (2-0)
    vs. Baltimore Orioles (2-1)

     

    Summary

    Led by a ragtag group of veterans, the Yankees offense has managed to come together and score enough for them to put together some wins here in the early going.

    Vernon Wells (1.053 OPS, 3 HR), Travis Hafner (.986 OPS, 3 HR) and Lyle Overbay (.710 OPS, 1 HR) are all providing far more offense than anyone could have hoped, as they continue to hold it together for the team's injured superstars.

    On the mound, the veteran trio of CC Sabathia (2-1, 2.25 ERA), Hiroki Kuroda (2-1, 2.87 ERA) and Andy Pettitte (2-0, 1.20 ERA) have been great, but the rest of the rotation and bullpen have not.

     

    Next Week's Opponents

    (3) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks 
    (3) @ Toronto Blue Jays 

15. Philadelphia Phillies (6-6, Previous: 19)

17 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 4-2

    vs. New York Mets (2-1)
    @ Miami Marlins (2-1)

     

    Summary

    The Phillies' terrible pitching held them back over the first week of the season, but strong outings from Cole Hamels (6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER) and Roy Halladay (8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER) certainly give reason for optimism.

    Cliff Lee (2-0, 1.08 ERA) has pitched well from the onset, and if the Big Three can once again be the driving force behind the team, they may just have a shot at contention.

    Offensively, they're a shell of the team they once were, and they rank in the middle of the pack in most categories. A healthy Chase Utley (.859 OPS, 2 HR, 10 RBI) is off to a nice start, and Michael Young (.357 BA, .949 OPS) has opened his Phillies career with a bang.

     

    Next Week's Opponents

    (3) @ Cincinnati Reds 
    (4) vs. St. Louis Cardinals 

14. Kansas City Royals (7-5, Previous: 18)

18 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 4-2

    vs. Minnesota Twins (3-0)
    vs. Toronto Blue Jays (1-2) 

     

    Summary

    Statistically, the Royals haven't had a very impressive start to the season, but they continue to win games and should have plenty of room to improve moving forward.

    Ervin Santana (1-1, 2.45 ERA), James Shields (1-2, 3.43 ERA) and Jeremy Guthrie (2-0, 3.55 ERA) have led the new-look pitching staff and done a nice job early on.

    Alex Gordon (.373 BA, .906 OPS) leads the offense from the leadoff spot, while Mike Moustakas (.158 BA, 0 HR, 1 RBI) continues to struggle after many tabbed him as a breakout candidate following a strong spring. 

     

    Next Week's Opponents

    (2) @ Atlanta Braves
    (3) @ Boston Red Sox

13. New York Mets (7-4, Previous: 20)

19 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 3-2

    @ Philadelphia Phillies (1-2)
    @ Minnesota Twins (2-0)

     

    Summary

    With the highest-scoring offense in the NL (69 runs in 11 games) and a vastly improved pitching staff, the Mets are off to a terrific start in 2013.

    Matt Harvey is 3-0 to kick off the season, and he's allowed just six hits over 22 innings of work while striking out 25. The bottom of the rotation is a question mark, but Jon Niese and Harvey have been a dynamic one-two punch.

    Veteran catcher John Buck (6 HR, 19 RBI) is off to a ridiculous start at the plate, while Ike Davis (.128 BA) is off to another slow start hitting in the middle of the order.

     

    Next Week's Opponents

    (4) @ Colorado Rockies
    (3) vs. Washington Nationals

12. Boston Red Sox (7-4, Previous: 16)

20 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 3-2

    vs. Baltimore Orioles (1-2)
    vs. Tampa Bay Rays (2-0)

     

    Summary

    After spending big to fill out their lineup with veterans this offseason, it's been the pitching staff that has led the Red Sox to a 7-4 start in 2013.

    Clay Buchholz (3-0, 0.41 ERA, 23 K, 22 IP) has pitched like an ace, and Jon Lester (2-0, 1.42 ERA) has continued his strong play after a dominant spring.

    No one in particular is having a huge season so far offensively, but the team has scored 53 runs through 11 games to rank fifth in the American League. They should only get better with the return of David Ortiz later this week.

     

    Next Week's Opponents

    (1) @ Tampa Bay Rays
    (3) @ Cleveland Indians
    (3) vs. Kansas City Royals

11. Cincinnati Reds (5-7, Previous: 1)

21 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 1-5

    @ St. Louis Cardinals (1-2)
    @ Pittsburgh Pirates (0-3) 

     

    Summary

    The Reds climbed to the No. 1 spot in these rankings after series wins against the Angels and Nationals to kick off the season, but a 1-5 week knocks them down to No. 11.

    After a 13-run outburst against the Cardinals on Monday, they managed just seven runs over their next four games. With their 10-7 loss on Sunday, they are now riding a five-game losing streak.

    They remain one of the league's most complete teams, and my guess is this is nothing more than an early-season hiccup, but they're dropped a few pegs here nonetheless.

     

    Next Week's Opponents

    (3) vs. Philadelphia Phillies
    (4) vs. Miami Marlins 

10. Baltimore Orioles (6-6, Previous: 11)

22 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 3-3

    @ Boston Red Sox (2-1)
    @ New York Yankees (1-2)

     

    Summary

    Backed by the hot-hitting Chris Davis (6 HR, 19 RBI, .366 BA), the Orioles are off to a decent start despite the struggles of their starting rotation.

    Their starters have gone a combined 3-4 with a 4.76 ERA so far, and Miguel Gonzalez (1-1, 2.92 ERA) is the only rotation member with an ERA under 4.00. Luckily, the bullpen remains among the league's best (2.25 ERA) and has helped offset the rotation.

    Hidden behind the hot start of Davis has been an equally impressive start by Adam Jones, who is currently hitting .412/.423/.569 with 11 RBI, as he's once again knocking on the door of stardom.

     

    Next Week's Opponents

    (3) vs. Tampa Bay Rays
    (3) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers 

9. Los Angeles Dodgers (7-5, Previous: 6)

23 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 3-3

    @ San Diego Padres (2-1)
    @ Arizona Diamondbacks (1-2) 

     

    Summary

    The Dodgers have had some injuries to deal with early on this season, but none as big as the broken collarbone that Zack Greinke suffered when he fought Carlos Quentin last week.

    Luckily they have pitching depth, as Chris Capuano will step into his rotation spot while he's on the shelf. The staff as a whole has been great with a 2.39 ERA, and Clayton Kershaw is off to a hot start at 2-1 with a 1.16 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 23.1 innings.

    Adrian Gonzalez (.409/.490/.614) is off to a great start, and a healthy Carl Crawford (.372/.426/.558) has been a weapon as well.

     

    Next Week's Opponents

    (3) vs. San Diego Padres
    (3) @ Baltimore Orioles 

8. Arizona Diamondbacks (8-4, Previous: 8)

24 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 3-3

    vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (1-2)
    vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (2-1)

     

    Summary

    After their busy offseason, the Diamondbacks have started off the season strong and they have gotten contributions up and down their lineup.

    Paul Goldschmidt leads the team with 10 RBI, including a walk-off single to beat the Dodgers on Sunday to capture the series victory.

    The bullpen has a 2.25 ERA, second-best in the National League, and that is with the four earned runs Heath Bell has allowed in four innings. Brandon McCarthy (7.71 ERA) and Ian Kennedy (5.79 ERA) still have plenty of room to turn things around to make the rotation better.

     

    Next Week's Opponents

    (3) @ New York Yankees
    (3) @ Colorado Rockies 

7. Texas Rangers (8-5, Previous: 10)

25 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    vs. Tampa Bay Rays (2-1)
    @ Seattle Mariners (2-2) 

     

    Summary

    Much was made about how much the Rangers lost in free agency this offseason, and while their offense has been far less potent than last year, their pitching staff has been great.

    Their 2.92 staff ERA ranks fourth in the MLB, and that is with the struggles of Matt Harrison (10.2 IP, 14 H, 10 ER), who is currently on the DL with a back strain.

    Newcomers Lance Berkman (.389 BA, 1.111 OPS) and A.J. Pierzynski (.342 BA, .918 OPS) have carried the team's offense in the early going, but counting on them to keep performing at that level is risky.

     

    Next Week's Opponents

    (3) @ Chicago Cubs
    (3) vs. Seattle Mariners 

6. St. Louis Cardinals (7-5, Previous: 9)

26 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 4-2

    vs. Cincinnati Reds (2-1)
    vs. Milwaukee Brewers (2-1) 

     

    Summary

    With a strong week and a series win against the rival Reds, the Cardinals have moved to the top of the NL Central standings.

    Matt Adams is on fire right now, as he was 5-for-8 with three home runs and six RBI last week. The team is tied for the NL lead with 69 runs scored through its first 12 games.

    The starting rotation has been the driving force behind the team's early success with a combined 1.82 ERA. The bullpen, however, has been the league's worst, as it has a 6.09 ERA and will look forward to welcoming back Jason Motte.

     

    Next Week's Opponents

    (3) @ Pittsburgh Pirates
    (4) @ Philadelphia Phillies 

5. Washington Nationals (7-5, Previous: 3)

27 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 3-3

    vs. Chicago White Sox (3-0)
    vs. Atlanta Braves (0-3)

     

    Summary

    The Nationals have undoubtedly taken a back seat to the Braves in the NL East at this point. Their division rivals swept them to close out the week.

    Bryce Harper (.348 BA, 5 HR, 10 RBI) is off to a hot start, but guys like Ryan Zimmerman (.220 BA, 0 HR), Danny Espinosa (.175 BA) and Adam LaRoche (.147 BA) have struggled early.

    For all the big names on their staff, Ross Detwiler (13 IP, 1 ER, 1.00 WHIP) has been perhaps the team's best pitcher so far. On the flip side, Dan Haren (9 IP, 19 H, 9 ER) has struggled mightily out of the No. 4 spot in the rotation.

     

    Next Week's Opponents

    (3) @ Miami Marlins
    (3) @ New York Mets 

4. Oakland Athletics (9-4, Previous: 7)

28 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 4-2

    @ Los Angeles Angels (3-0)
    vs. Detroit Tigers (1-2) 

     

    Summary

    Despite losing 10-1 to the Tigers on Sunday, the A's are off to a fantastic start this season. They've managed to avoid a letdown to this point following last year's surprise postseason trip.

    They lead all of baseball with 74 runs scored through their first 13 games, and they've hit 19 home runs. Coco Crisp leads the way with four home runs and a 1.095 OPS, while Jed Lowrie has three home runs and eight RBI.

    Jarrod Parker (11.2 IP, 23 H, 14 R) has struggled mightily, but the rest of the pitching staff has been terrific. If they can continue to get the offensive support they have had to this point, they'll continue to be a dangerous team.

     

    Next Week's Opponents

    (3) vs. Houston Astros
    (3) @ Tampa Bay Rays

3. Detroit Tigers (7-5, Previous: 4)

29 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 4-2

    vs. Toronto Blue Jays (2-1)
    @ Oakland Athletics (2-1)

     

    Summary

    The Tigers closed out the week with a pair of wins against a very good Oakland team, and they remain my top-ranked AL team through the first two weeks.

    Prince Fielder (.429 BA, 4 HR, 19 RBI) is putting up MVP-caliber numbers in the early going, and the lineup as a whole leads all of baseball with a .307 average.

    Anibal Sanchez (2-0, 1.42 ERA), Justin Verlander (2-1, 1.96 ERA) and Doug Fister (2-0, 2.77 ERA) have all been great, and the bullpen continues to round into form after struggling early.

     

    Next Week's Opponents

    (3) @ Seattle Mariners
    (3) @ Los Angeles Angels

2. San Francisco Giants (9-4, Previous: 2)

30 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 6-1

    vs. Colorado Rockies (3-0)
    @ Chicago Cubs (3-1) 

     

    Summary

    The reigning champs rank in the middle of the pack in pitching and offense, but they continue to find ways to win with their experienced roster.

    Barry Zito has yet to allow a run in 14 innings of work, and Madison Bumgarner is 3-0 with a 1.77 ERA to kick off the season. Sergio Romo has converted seven of his eight save chances out of the 'pen, but the staff as a whole has plenty of room for improvement.

    Pablo Sandoval (2 HR, 10 RBI) and Hunter Pence (4 HR, 8 RBI) are off to nice starts at the plate, and utility infielder Nick Noonan (6-for-12, 2 RBI) is quickly turning into a cult hero in San Francisco.

     

    Next Week's Opponents

    (3) @ Milwaukee Brewers
    (3) vs. San Diego Padres 

1. Atlanta Braves (11-1, Previous: 5)

31 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 6-0

    @ Miami Marlins (3-0)
    @ Washington Nationals (3-0)

     

    Summary

    The Braves have stormed out of the gates, and they capped off an undefeated week with a sweep of the Nationals in Washington.

    Justin Upton has been a stud to kick off his Atlanta career, hitting .348/.415/.891 with seven home runs and 11 RBI, and Evan Gattis has four home runs and 10 RBI with a .324 average as he continues to impress in place of Brian McCann.

    The pitching staff has been great top to bottom, and if you take away the struggles of Julio Teheran (11 IP, 9 ER), they have a 1.19 ERA as a group.

     

    Next Week's Opponents

    (2) vs. Kansas City Royals
    (4) @ Pittsburgh Pirates 

     

    Joel Reuter is a National MLB Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report.


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