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MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand After Week 1

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistApril 7, 2014

MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand After Week 1

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    Jae C. Hong

    The first week of the 2014 MLB season is in the books, which means we finally have some legitimate data to base this week's MLB power rankings on.

    While my Opening Day rankings were largely subjective on my part, the rankings will now take on a more objective approach based on a handful of different factors.

    When putting together these rankings on a weekly basis, the following factors are considered:

    • Last week's record
    • Quality of opponent
    • Key injuries/trades
    • Recent performance beyond the last week

    How a team performed in the previous week is obviously the biggest determining factor in whether a team moves up or down, but that's not all I look at.

    For example, a 3-3 week against two of the best teams in baseball is not necessarily worse than a 5-1 week against a pair of cellar-dwellers as far as how a team is currently performing is concerned, and that is what these rankings are trying to reflect.

    Another factor in teams sliding up or down is any key injuries or trades, whether it is a team moving down because someone is hurt or traded or moving up because someone returns from injury or is acquired.

    Finally, I take into account recent performance beyond the last week as well. If a team goes 2-4 after a 10-2 stretch, it is not likely to fall as far as a team that goes 2-4 after a 5-7 stretch. It's all about momentum and who's hot.

    Now, with all of that said, it's important to realize that for the sake of this week's rankings, we are only one week into the season, and these still largely reflect where I had teams ranked to kick off the year.

    So while the Miami Marlins had a great week at 5-2 and moved up as a result, they are not going to be a top-10 team after one week of baseball. It's a fluid process throughout the course of the year, and if teams keep winning, they will keep moving up.

    With explanations out of the way, here is an updated look at where all 30 MLB teams currently stand. Be sure to check back here every Monday morning for the most recent addition of our MLB power rankings.

     

    *Note: All stats courtesy of MLB.com, unless otherwise noted. Injury information courtesy of MLBDepthCharts.com team pages.

30. Chicago Cubs (2-4, Previous: 29)

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    Emilio Bonifacio
    Emilio BonifacioAssociated Press

    Last Weeks Results: 2-4

    at Pittsburgh Pirates (1-2)
    vs. Philadelphia Phillies (1-2)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (3)
    at St. Louis Cardinals (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week: UT Emilio Bonifacio (13-for-24, 2 2B, 3 R, 4 SB)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week: SP Jeff Samardzija (2 GS, 0-1, 14 IP, 11 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 11 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    As far as the worst ways to start a new season are concerned, losing the first two games of the year on walk-off hits in extra innings is about as tough as it gets for a fanbase. That's exactly how the Chicago Cubs kicked off 2014, dropping their first two in Pittsburgh.

    The good thing is that their pitching has been solid, as their 2.54 team ERA ranks sixth in the MLB, and their 1.93 starter ERA is good for fourth. However, they are hitting just .216 as a team, with people not named Emilio Bonifacio batting just .175.

29. Houston Astros (3-3, Previous: 30)

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    Scott Feldman
    Scott FeldmanAssociated Press

    Last Weeks Results: 3-3

    vs. New York Yankees (2-1)
    vs. Los Angeles Angels (1-2)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Los Angeles Angels (1)
    at Toronto Blue Jays (3)
    at Texas Rangers (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week: CF Dexter Fowler (6-for-12, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week: SP Scott Feldman (2 GS, 2-0, 13.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    If you'll recall, last season began well for the Houston Astros as well, as they knocked off the Texas Rangers on Opening Night. They went on to drop seven straight from there, though, so the 2014 version of the team is already off to a better start.

    Scott Feldman has given the team the veteran ace it needed to front a young rotation, and the reworked bullpen has converted both of its save chances despite a 5.82 ERA. Offense is the biggest issue right now, with the team hitting a collective .200 and managing just 20 runs through its first six games.

28. Minnesota Twins (3-3, Previous: 28)

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    Jason Miller/Getty Images

    Last Weeks Results: 3-3

    at Chicago White Sox (1-2)
    at Cleveland Indians (2-1)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Oakland Athletics (3)
    vs. Kansas City Royals (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week: 1B Chris Colabello (9-for-23, 4 2B, 1 HR, 11 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week: SP Kyle Gibson (1 GS, 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 3 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    For a team that made pitching the focus of its offseason, finishing the first week of the year in dead last with a 6.20 team ERA is not a promising way to kick off the season. The Minnesota Twins have received just one quality start so far, and All-Star closer Glen Perkins has already blown his first save.

    Offensively, they've been solid, with four regulars hitting .390 or higher, and a six-RBI game against the Chicago White Sox has left Chris Colabello with some of the better numbers of anyone around the league through Week 1. If the pitching does get on track quickly, though, it will be another long year.

27. Philadelphia Phillies (3-3, Previous: 27)

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    Chase Utley
    Chase UtleyAssociated Press

    Last Weeks Results: 3-3

    at Texas Rangers (1-2)
    at Chicago Cubs (2-1)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Milwaukee Brewers (3)
    vs. Miami Marlins (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week: 2B Chase Utley (11-for-24, 3 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week: SP Kyle Kendrick (1 GS, 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    Nothing says it's going to be an interesting season like a 14-10 victory on Opening Day as the Philadelphia Phillies and their aging core look to prove they have one last postseason push in them.

    Their pitching has been shaky at best so far, with ace Cliff Lee (12 IP, 21 H, 8 ER) in particular getting hit hard, but the offense has been solid. They are hitting .276 as a team, with 31 runs scored through six games, and they will look to build off of a 2-1 series victory over the Chicago Cubs this coming week.

26. San Diego Padres (2-4, Previous: 24)

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    Denis Poroy/Getty Images

    Last Weeks Results: 2-4

    vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (1-2)
    at Miami Marlins (1-2)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Cleveland Indians (3)
    vs. Detroit Tigers (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week: LF Seth Smith (4-for-16, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week: SP Andrew Cashner (2 GS, 0-1, 12 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 11 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    The San Diego Padres plated an MLB-low 12 runs during the first week of action, as they hit just .189 as a team and managed all of seven extra-base hits. The catching tandem of Nick Hundley (3-for-6) and Yasmani Grandal (3-for-9) are the only two players on the roster hitting over .300.

    Aside from Eric Stults (4 IP, 7 H, 5 ER), the starting pitching was decent, and closer Huston Street has thrown two perfect innings to convert his first two save chances of the year. The Padres will look to get things on track this coming week when they take on a pair of American League Central teams in the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers.

25. Chicago White Sox (3-3, Previous: 26)

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    Chris Sale
    Chris SaleAssociated Press

    Last Weeks Results: 3-3

    vs. Minnesota Twins (2-1)
    at Kansas City Royals (1-2)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Colorado Rockies (3)
    vs. Cleveland Indians (4)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week: SS Alexei Ramirez (10-for-22, 2 2B, 4 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week: SP Chris Sale (2 GS, 2-0, 15.1 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 14 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    Despite the fact that they have four regulars hitting under .220, the Chicago White Sox have been one of the better offenses in the American League as a whole, with a .278 team average and 34 runs scored through six games.

    Outside of Erik Johnson (4.2 IP, 10 H, 7 ER), the starting rotation threw the ball very well the first time through, and ace Chris Sale looks to have picked up right where he left off last season. Getting right fielder Avisail Garcia (3-for-20) on track looks like the biggest goal for Week 2.

24. New York Mets (2-4, Previous: 22)

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    Juan Lagares
    Juan LagaresAssociated Press

    Last Weeks Results: 2-4

    vs. Washington Nationals (0-3)
    vs. Cincinnati Reds (2-1)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Atlanta Braves (3)
    at Los Angeles Angels (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week: CF Juan Lagares (7-for-20, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week: SP Jenrry Mejia (1 GS, 1-0, 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 8 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    After getting swept at home by the Washington Nationals to start the season, the New York Mets rebounded nicely to take two out of three from the Cincinnati Reds. Offense has been the issue in the early going, though the Mets have not exactly thrown the ball great either.

    Through the first week of play, they find themselves dead last in the MLB with a .178 batting average, and starting catcher Travis d'Arnaud (0-for-15, 6 K) is still looking for his first hit of the new campaign. The bullpen is already a mess, with Bobby Parnell lost for the season to Tommy John surgery and the late-inning duties now falling to the veteran duo of Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth. 

23. Arizona Diamondbacks (2-7, Previous: 19)

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    Mark Trumbo
    Mark TrumboAssociated Press

    Last Weeks Results: 2-5

    vs. San Francisco Giants (1-3)
    at Colorado Rockies (1-2)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at San Francisco Giants (3)
    vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week: LF Mark Trumbo (9-for-26, 1 2B, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 6 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week: SP Wade Miley (2 GS, 2-0, 15 IP, 13 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 7 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    The Arizona Diamondbacks have hit the ball enough to win some games here in the early going, with sluggers Paul Goldschmidt and Mark Trumbo both off to nice starts, but their pitching has been nothing short of terrible, as their 6.15 team ERA is worst in the NL.

    They square off against a pair of division rivals in the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers this coming week, the two teams currently atop the NL West standings, and nothing would right the ship faster than a pair of big series wins against those teams.

22. Colorado Rockies (3-4, Previous: 21)

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    Charlie Blackmon
    Charlie BlackmonAssociated Press

    Last Weeks Results: 3-4

    at Miami Marlins (1-3)
    vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (2-1)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Chicago White Sox (3)
    at San Francisco Giants (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week: LF Charlie Blackmon (13-for-24, 3 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week: SP Juan Nicasio (1 GS, 1-0, 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    The Colorado Rockies offense has been firing on all cylinders to open the season, as the Rockies are hitting .308/.357/.479 as a team. There are six regulars hitting over .330, with left fielder Charlie Blackmon currently leading all qualifiers with a .542 average.

    The pitching has been hit and miss, though, and with a 5.10 team ERA, there have been more misses than hits. It's the same story in Colorado as it's always been—this team will consistently hit enough to win, but it will be up to the pitching staff to determine if it has a real shot to contend.

21. Toronto Blue Jays (3-4, Previous: 20)

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    Mark Buehrle
    Mark BuehrleAssociated Press

    Last Weeks Results: 3-4

    at Tampa Bay Rays (2-2)
    vs. New York Yankees (1-2)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Houston Astros (3)
    at Baltimore Orioles (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week: LF Melky Cabrera (10-for-31, 3 HR, 3 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week: SP Mark Buehrle (1 GS, 1-0, 8.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 11 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    The Toronto Blue Jays got a fantastic first start of the year from veteran Mark Buehrle, but the rest of the starting rotation has gone a combined 2-4 with a 6.43 ERA to open the season. For a team that opted against adding a starter in free agency and instead banked on a handful of arms returning from injury, this is not a promising start.

    The offense has not fared much better, as four regulars are hitting under .210 and shortstop Jose Reyes has already landed on the disabled list with a hamstring injury. To be completely honest, the fact that they were able to escape Week 1 with a 3-4 record is impressive.

20. Los Angeles Angels (2-4, Previous: 17)

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    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    Last Weeks Results: 2-4

    vs. Seattle Mariners (0-3)
    at Houston Astros (2-1)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Houston Astros (1)
    at Seattle Mariners (2)
    vs. New York Mets (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week: RF Josh Hamilton (11-for-22, 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week: SP Tyler Skaggs (1 GS, 1-0, 8 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    Despite their 2-4 record, there were some positives to take away from Week 1 for the Los Angeles Angels. Chief among them was the play of Josh Hamilton, who is off to a terrific start and looks to be healthy after being slowed by a calf strain this spring.

    The pitching is still an issue, though, as their 5.60 team ERA currently puts them at 28th in the league. Tyler Skaggs was pointed to as the X-factor for the rotation by many, and he looked great in his first start, but the rest of the staff did not throw the ball well.

19. Miami Marlins (5-2, Previous: 25)

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    Jose Fernandez
    Jose FernandezAssociated Press

    Last Weeks Results: 5-2

    vs. Colorado Rockies (3-1)
    vs. San Diego Padres (2-1)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Washington Nationals (3)
    at Philadelphia Phillies (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week: RF Giancarlo Stanton (10-for-29, 3 2B, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 7 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week: SP Jose Fernandez (2 GS, 2-0, 12.2 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 17 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    When you find yourself ranked in the top five in team batting average (.294, second), runs scored (42, first) and team ERA (2.43, fifth), it's been a solid start to the season, and that's exactly where the Miami Marlins stand.

    That makes them the biggest climbers in this week's rankings, though a pair of series wins against teams ranked in the bottom 10 is not enough to climb them any higher than No. 19 at this point. Still, with an improved lineup and a good, young rotation, this is a team that could continue to climb in the weeks ahead.

18. Seattle Mariners (4-2, Previous: 23)

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Last Weeks Results: 4-2

    at Los Angeles Angels (3-0)
    at Oakland Athletics (1-2)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Los Angeles Angels (2)
    vs. Oakland Athletics (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week: 1B Justin Smoak (7-for-24, 2 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week: SP James Paxton (1 GS, 1-0, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    No one got off to a hotter start than the Seattle Mariners did in their dismantling of the Los Angeles Angels on the road for a sweep to kick off the year. They came back to earth a bit to drop two out of three against the Oakland A's, but now they head home looking to build off of a solid start.

    Robinson Cano (.391 BA) is off to a hot start, but it's the play of incumbent hitters like Justin Smoak, Brad Miller, Dustin Ackley and Mike Zunino that remains the X-factor for the offense. The Mariners have also done the most of a bad situation on the pitching side of things, posting a 2.62 ERA despite being without Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker.

17. Baltimore Orioles (2-4, Previous: 15)

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    Chris Tillman
    Chris TillmanAssociated Press

    Last Weeks Results: 2-4

    vs. Boston Red Sox (1-2)
    at Detroit Tigers (1-2)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at New York Yankees (3)
    vs. Toronto Blue Jays (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week: C Matt Wieters (7-for-19, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week: SP Chris Tillman (2 GS, 1-0, 13.1 IP, 12 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    A strong case can be made that no one had a tougher opening week draw than the Baltimore Orioles, as they took on last year's ALCS representatives in the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers. They don't drop too far in the rankings as a result, but they will need to bounce back with a strong week this week.

    Opening Day starter Chris Tillman has looked sharp in two starts, but the other four starters all have an ERA of at least 6.00 after their first outing. The offense is off to a slow start as well, but it's too talented to keep struggling. It's the pitching that will need to figure things out if the Orioles hope to contend.

16. Cleveland Indians (3-3, Previous: 16)

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    Michael Brantley
    Michael BrantleyAssociated Press

    Last Weeks Results: 3-3

    at Oakland Athletics (2-1)
    vs. Minnesota Twins (1-2)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. San Diego Padres (3)
    at Chicago White Sox (4)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week: LF Michael Brantley (9-for-24, 2 2B, 6 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week: RP Cody Allen (3 G, 2-0, 2.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    With a 5.83 ERA and 1.84 WHIP out of their starting rotation to kick off the season, the Cleveland Indians are lucky to have walked away from Week 1 with a 3-3 record. The bullpen is largely to thank, as it recorded three wins and allowed just 14 hits and seven earned runs in 23.2 innings of work.

    The Indians have a relatively easy draw this coming week when they take on the San Diego Padres and Chicago White Sox as they look to build some momentum early on.

15. Kansas City Royals (2-3, Previous: 13)

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    Salvador Perez
    Salvador PerezAssociated Press

    Last Weeks Results: 2-3

    at Detroit Tigers (0-2)
    vs. Chicago White Sox (2-1)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Tampa Bay Rays (3)
    at Minnesota Twins (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week: C Salvador Perez (7-for-16, 4 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week: SP Jason Vargas (1 G, 0-0, 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    The Kansas City Royals have not necessarily struggled offensively so far, but they have yet to homer through their first give games. The left side of their infield has done nothing at the plate, though, as Alcides Escobar (1-for-17) and Mike Moustakas (0-for-15) need to pick it up.

    Rain postponed their matchup with the Tigers on Thursday, and the team opted to skip rookie Yordano Ventura his first time through the rotation as a result. He'll make his season debut Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Rays.

14. Milwaukee Brewers (4-2, Previous: 18)

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    Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

    Last Weeks Results: 4-2

    vs. Atlanta Braves (1-2)
    at Boston Red Sox (3-0)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Philadelphia Phillies (3)
    vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week: C Jonathan Lucroy (8-for-22, 3 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week: SP Yovani Gallardo (2 GS, 2-0, 12.2 IP, 11 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    Obviously it's been a small sample size, but the Milwaukee Brewers have been the best pitching team in baseball so far nonetheless, as they posted a 1.45 ERA through their first six games. Opening Day starter Yovani Gallardo has led the way, kicking off a contract year in impressive fashion.

    The offense has done enough to back the terrific pitching, despite a slow start for Ryan Braun (3-for-20), who is battling a nerve issue in his thumb, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. I'm not ready to jump them ahead of the Reds just yet, but another strong week will keep the Brewers moving up the rankings.

13. Cincinnati Reds (2-4, Previous: 8)

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    Tony Cingrani
    Tony CingraniAssociated Press

    Last Weeks Results: 2-4

    vs. St. Louis Cardinals (1-2)
    at New York Mets (1-2)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at St. Louis Cardinals (3)
    vs. Tampa Bay Rays (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week: 3B Todd Frazier (8-for-21, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week: SP Tony Cingrani (1 GS, 0-0, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    The Reds are off to a slow start, and things won't get any easier this coming week when they square off against two of the best teams in baseball in the St. Louis Cardinals and Tampa Bay Rays. A .500 week would be solid, and a pair of series wins would shoot them right back into the top 10.

    The offense has been the issue early, as the Reds are hitting just .210 as a team and have scored just 15 runs through their first six games. Highly touted rookie Billy Hamilton (0-for-12, 6 K) and shortstop Zack Cozart (0-for-19, 5 K) are both still hitless at this point.

12. San Francisco Giants (5-2, Previous: 14)

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    Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

    Last Weeks Results: 5-2

    at Arizona Diamondbacks (3-1)
    at Los Angeles Dodgers (2-1)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (3)
    vs. Colorado Rockies (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week: 1B Brandon Belt (10-for-31, 4 HR, 7 RBI, 7 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week: SP Tim Hudson (1 GS, 1-0, 7.2 IP, 3 H, 0 BB, 7 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    After a terribly disappointing season last year, the Giants are looking to bounce back and give the Dodgers a run for their money in the NL West this year. Things are off to a good start so far, as they went 5-2 on a short road trip against the Diamondbacks and the rival Dodgers and will now head home looking to keep it going.

    The starting rotation that caused so many headaches last year is not off to the best start outside of Tim Hudson and Madison Bumgarner (2 GS, 1-0, 1.74 ERA), but the offense has picked up the slack with 40 runs scored in seven games and an MLB-high 11 home runs.

11. Texas Rangers (3-3, Previous: 11)

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    Yu Darvish
    Yu DarvishAssociated Press

    Last Weeks Results: 3-3

    vs. Philadelphia Phillies (2-1)
    at Tampa Bay Rays (1-2)

     

    This Week's Opponents

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

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week: RF Alex Rios (8-for-23, 2 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week: SP Yu Darvish (1 GS, 1-0, 7 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    The start of the season has gone as many expected it would for the Texas Rangers, as the pieced-together starting rotation has been hit and miss and the new-look offense has been slow to come together so far. Still, they managed to walk away from the first week of the season with a 3-3 record and are that much closer to being fully healthy as a group.

    Prince Fielder (4-for-24) is off to a poor start, and he was called out by manager Ron Washington for his costly base-running gaffe Friday. The team has managed just two home runs to this point, and getting what should eventually be a high-scoring offense going would be a big help to the rotation.

10. Oakland Athletics (3-3, Previous: 9)

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    Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    Last Weeks Results: 3-3

    vs. Cleveland Indians (1-2)
    vs. Seattle Mariners (2-1)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Minnesota Twins (3)
    at Seattle Mariners (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week: 1B Brandon Moss (7-for-21, 2 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week: SP Sonny Gray (2 GS, 1-0, 12 IP, 11 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 10 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    Considering the injuries they had to deal with this spring, the Oakland A's have to be thrilled to have a 1.75 ERA out of their starting rotation at this point. Sonny Gray has seized the role of staff ace, while Jesse Chavez and Josh Lindblom both pitched well in their spots as rotation replacements.

    A number of key hitters are off to slow starts, with Yoenis Cespedes (.217 BA), Josh Donaldson (.115 BA) and Josh Reddick (.100 BA) all stumbling out of the gates. Closer Jim Johnson is also off to an inauspicious start, taking the loss in his first outing and then blowing a save in his second.

9. New York Yankees (3-3, Previous: 7)

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    Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

    Last Weeks Results: 3-3

    at Houston Astros (1-2)
    at Toronto Blue Jays (2-1)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Baltimore Orioles (3)
    vs. Boston Red Sox (4)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week: 2B Yangervis Solarte (8-for-17, 4 2B, 5 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week: SP Masahiro Tanaka (1 GS, 1-0, 7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    Losing a series to the Astros and an early DL trip for Mark Teixeira drops the New York Yankees down a few spots despite a .500 start to the season. They have seven games against division foes this coming week, and it will be interesting to see where this team stands next Monday.

    Sluggers Alfonso Soriano (.053 BA) and Carlos Beltran (.158 BA) have scuffled, while Yangervis Solarte (.471 BA) continues to be the out-of-nowhere story of 2014. On the pitching side of things, CC Sabathia (7.50 ERA) looked a little better in his second start to pick up the win, but he's still far from the pitcher he once was.

8. Atlanta Braves (4-2, Previous: 12)

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    Freddie Freeman
    Freddie FreemanAssociated Press

    Last Weeks Results: 4-2

    at Milwaukee Brewers (2-1)
    at Washington Nationals (2-1)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. New York Mets (3)
    vs. Washington Nationals (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week: 1B Freddie Freeman (8-for-19, 1 2B, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week: SP Aaron Harang (1 GS, 1-0, 6.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    For all that was made about the injuries to their starting rotation this spring, and I was admittedly among those who thought it would be a serious issue, the Atlanta Braves finished the first week of the season with the best starting pitching ERA in baseball at 1.63.

    The offense has not held up its end of the bargain so far, though, as the Braves are hitting .221 as a team and have managed just 15 runs through their first six games. They currently have five regulars hitting under .220. They have to do a better job backing the pitching staff.

7. Boston Red Sox (2-4, Previous: 4)

25 of 31

    Xander Bogaerts
    Xander BogaertsAssociated Press

    Last Weeks Results: 2-4

    at Baltimore Orioles (2-1)
    vs. Milwaukee Brewers (0-3)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Texas Rangers (3)
    at New York Yankees (4)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week: SS Xander Bogaerts (8-for-21, 2 2B, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week: SP Jon Lester (2 GS, 0-2, 14.1 IP, 13 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 14 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    A sweep at the hands of the Brewers over the weekend drops the defending champs down a few slots in this week's rankings. But with games against the No. 11 and No. 9 teams this coming week, the Boston Red Sox will have a chance to climb back up if they can come away with a winning record.

    They are hitting at a decent .254 clip as a team, but they have managed just 19 runs scored through their first six games. Third baseman Will Middlebrooks (strained calf) and right fielder Shane Victorino (strained hamstring) are both currently on the DL, as the offense is not yet firing on all cylinders.

6. Pittsburgh Pirates (4-2, Previous: 10)

26 of 31

    Starling Marte
    Starling MarteAssociated Press

    Last Weeks Results: 4-2

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

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Chicago Cubs (3)
    at Milwaukee Brewers (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week: LF Starling Marte (8-for-26, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week: SP Edinson Volquez (2 G, 1 GS, 0-0, 7.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    The Pittsburgh Pirates kicked off their season with a pair of walk-off wins, as Neil Walker homered in the 10th on Opening Day and backup catcher Tony Sanchez delivered an RBI single in the 16th the following game.

    They followed that up by taking two of three from the St. Louis Cardinals, Perhaps the most promising takeaway from that series was a strong outing from No. 5 starter Edinson Volquez. He allowed just three hits and one run in 5.2 innings of work on the heels of a 9.64 spring ERA. If he can lock down that final rotation spot, it would go a long way in helping ease the loss of A.J. Burnett.

5. Washington Nationals (4-2, Previous: 5)

27 of 31

    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Last Weeks Results: 4-2

    at New York Mets (3-0)
    vs. Atlanta Braves (1-2)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Miami Marlins (3)
    at Atlanta Braves (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week: 2B Anthony Rendon (9-for-23, 2 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week: SP Gio Gonzalez (1 GS, 1-0, 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    After dominating the Mets in a series sweep to open the season, the Nationals dropped two of their next three to the Atlanta Braves at home to keep them from moving up these rankings at all.

    They will see the Braves again this coming week for a three-game series in Atlanta, and the two teams won't meet again until the middle of June. Superstars Bryce Harper (3-for-21, 10 K) and Stephen Strasburg (6.10 ERA, 1.74 WHIP) need to get things going quickly, as they are obviously keys to the team's success.

4. Los Angeles Dodgers (5-3, Previous: 2)

28 of 31

    Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

    Last Weeks Results: 3-3

    at San Diego Padres (2-1)
    vs. San Francisco Giants (1-2)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Detroit Tigers (2)
    at Arizona Diamondbacks (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week: SS Hanley Ramirez (7-for-19, 3 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week: SP Dan Haren (1 GS, 1-0, 6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    More so than their 3-3 record, it is trips to the DL for Clayton Kershaw (back) and Brian Wilson (elbow) that drop the Dodgers down a few spots in this week's rankings. That said, a strong return for Matt Kemp (3-for-11, 1 2B, 2 HR) is a huge boost for the lineup, and this still looks like one of the best teams in baseball.

    Getting Kershaw healthy is obviously the top priority right now, as he likely won't return until May. Strong starts from Dan Haren and Zack Greinke have helped offset his absence for now, and the impending return of Josh Beckett could help as well.

3. Detroit Tigers (4-1, Previous: 6)

29 of 31

    Max Scherzer
    Max ScherzerGregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Last Weeks Results: 4-1

    vs. Kansas City Royals (2-0)
    vs. Baltimore Orioles (2-1)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Los Angeles Dodgers (2)
    at San Diego Padres (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week: RF Torii Hunter (6-for-20, 1 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week: SP Max Scherzer (1 GS, 0-0, 8 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    In one of the better early season interleague matchups, the Tigers take on the Dodgers for a quick two-game series in L.A. this coming week. The pitching matchup for Game 1 will be a good one, as both Max Scherzer and Dan Haren are coming off of terrific first starts.

    The starting pitching has been dominant as expected in the early going for the Tigers, as they have a 1.93 ERA as a group. The new-look offense has been solid as well, as the Tigers' .288 team average is good for third in the MLB. If Torii Hunter keeps hitting like he has, it may be worth considering a move to the cleanup spot behind Miguel Cabrera for him.

2. Tampa Bay Rays (4-3, Previous: 3)

30 of 31

    Matt Joyce
    Matt JoyceAssociated Press

    Last Weeks Results: 4-3

    vs. Toronto Blue Jays (2-2)
    vs. Texas Rangers (2-1)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Kansas City Royals (3)
    at Cincinnati Reds (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week: LF Matt Joyce (7-for-17, 2 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week: SP Jake Odorizzi (1 GS, 1-0, 6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    With a team ERA of 2.57 (seventh in MLB) and a team OPS of .773 (fourth in MLB), the Rays have already shown the kind of balance that makes them the top AL team to open the season, and it's enough for them to take the No. 2 spot this week.

    The big news last week was the six-year, $25.5 million extension given to right-hander Chris Archer, as the small-market Rays continued their approach of locking up their young talent early. A strong start from rookie Jake Odorizzi has the rotation looking strong once again, as it was Archer who stepped up as a rookie last season.

1. St. Louis Cardinals (3-3, Previous: 1)

31 of 31

    Gene J. Puskar

    Last Weeks Results: 3-3

    at Cincinnati Reds (2-1)
    at Pittsburgh Pirates (1-2)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Cincinnati Reds (3)
    vs. Chicago Cubs (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week: 1B Matt Adams (7-for-22, 3 2B, 1 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week: SP Adam Wainwright (2 GS, 1-1, 14 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 6 BB, 16 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    Despite dropping a series to the Pirates to close out the week, the St. Louis Cardinals hold onto the top spot in these rankings for another week at least. They now head to St. Louis for their home opener against the Reds on Monday before welcoming the rival Cubs to town.

    Considering that they are hitting .186 as a team, they have nowhere to go put up offensively at this point. Luckily, the pitching has been solid for the most part, though Shelby Miller and Lance Lynn will both need to rebound from subpar starts. Considering how poor the statistics are overall, the fact that the Cardinals are 3-3 speaks to their ability to win close games.

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