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

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistApril 11, 2016

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

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    After an offseason of analyzing teams on paper and making predictions based on potential, there are finally some on-field results to influence this week's MLB power rankings.

    However, we are dealing with an incredibly small sample size at this point, so potential and overall outlook will play a significant role in where teams fall.

    This is a fluid process, with teams rising and falling based on where they were ranked the previous week. If a team keeps winning, it will keep climbing—it's as simple as that.

    So while the first week of action influenced teams' climbing and dropping, don't expect these rankings to mirror the current standings.

    Overall, this week's changes were mostly minor shuffling, with more substantial moves to come as teams get some games under their belts.

    One week into the 2016 season, here is a look at where all 30 MLB teams stand.

30. Atlanta Braves (0-5, Previous: 30)

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    Nick Markakis
    Nick MarkakisDale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

    Opening Week Takeaways

    One of two winless teams as the first week of action wraps up, there's no reason for the Atlanta Braves to land anywhere in these rankings but the No. 30 spot where they were on Opening Day.

    An early hamstring strain to Ender Inciarte has led to an early promotion for prospect Mallex Smith, who turned heads with a .346 average and seven extra-base hits this spring.

    A rough start to the year defensively for shortstop Erick Aybar has also led to some talk that the Braves could move him to second base and promote defensive standout Daniel Castro from Triple-A to become the primary shortstop, according to Mark Bowman of

    Castro hit .240 with a .606 OPS in 100 plate appearances last year, and making that move would likely mean Jace Peterson heads to the minors.

    Hitter of the Week

    • RF Nick Markakis (6-for-20, 4 2B, 4 RBI, 4 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Bud Norris (L, 7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K)

29. Philadelphia Phillies (2-4, Previous: 28)

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    Vincent Velasquez
    Vincent VelasquezJulie Jacobson/Associated Press

    Opening Week Takeaways

    The Philadelphia Phillies were swept by the Reds in Cincinnati to open the season, but they bounced back to take two of three from the New York Mets ahead of their home opener with the San Diego Padres on Monday.

    With concerns over the team's outfield depth following a handful of spring injuries, slow starts from Odubel Herrera (22 AB, .182 BA), Peter Bourjos (18 AB, .167 BA), Cedric Hunter (18 AB, .111 BA) and Tyler Goeddel (5 AB, .000 BA) could force the team to make a move of some sort.

    Veterans David Lough and Will Venable both landed in Triple-A, along with the versatile Darnell Sweeney and top prospect Nick Williams.

    A rocky start to the year by the bullpen (0-2, 2 BS, 7.94 ERA) has led to an early change in the closer role with Jeanmar Gomez looking like the guy. It's also undermined a 2.97 ERA from the starting rotation.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 3B Maikel Franco (6-for-18, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Vincent Velasquez (W, 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9 K)

28. Colorado Rockies (3-3, Previous: 27)

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    Trevor Story
    Trevor StoryRon Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

    Opening Week Takeaways

    For a team looking for a reversal of fortune on the pitching side of things, it has not been a promising start to the year for the Colorado Rockies.

    A 7.98 team ERA puts the Rockies dead last in that category one week into the season, and they've already surrendered double-digit runs three times in six games.

    For now at least, the record-setting start from rookie shortstop Trevor Story has overshadowed the pitching struggles, as the 23-year-old is the talk of baseball after homering seven times in his first six MLB games.

    "He uses his lower half well. That's usually where it comes from," manager Walt Weiss told reporters. "The guys that hit from the ground up tend to have more power, and that's what he does very well. He really uses his backside. Yeah, that's where he generates. He's a strong kid."

    Hitter of the Week

    • SS Trevor Story (9-for-27, 7 HR, 12 RBI, 7 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Tyler Chatwood (W, 6.1 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K)

27. San Diego Padres (2-4, Previous: 25)

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    Matt Kemp
    Matt KempDavid Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Opening Week Takeaways

    After being held off the scoreboard for the first 30 innings of the season—an MLB record—the San Diego Padres exploded for 13 runs against the Colorado Rockies on Friday and followed that up with another 16 runs Saturday.

    Matt Kemp has done a lot of that damage, as he ranks second in the majors with 10 RBI on the strength of three home runs.

    Now the bigger question appears to be their pitching staff, specifically a starting rotation that has gone 1-4 with a 7.63 ERA and just one quality start so far.

    Making matters worse, Tyson Ross landed on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation after giving up nine hits and eight runs (seven earned) in 5.1 innings of work during his Opening Day start.

    Hitter of the Week

    • RF Matt Kemp (9-for-25, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 4 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Drew Pomeranz (W, 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 K)

26. Los Angeles Angels (2-4, Previous: 23)

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    Jered Weaver
    Jered WeaverMatt Brown/Getty Images

    Opening Week Takeaways

    A questionable offensive attack was a big reason why the Los Angeles Angels were so low in these rankings to begin the year, and 12 runs scored through their first six games has done little to ease those concerns.

    Yunel Escobar has the team's lone home run so far this year, leaving them last in that category, while popular breakout candidate pick C.J. Cron (2-for-22, 0 BB, 5 K) is off to a dreadful start.

    If there's one positive takeaway from the first week, it was a strong start from veteran Jered Weaver, who struggled to a 7.45 ERA during spring training.

    "The arm slot is coming back," Weaver told Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. "There's no tightness in my shoulder, no tightness in my back, no tightness in my hip. I'm feeling healthy. I can pitch like this for the rest of the season, but I know it's only going to get better."

    Hitter of the Week

    • 3B Yunel Escobar (6-for-22, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 4 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Jered Weaver (W, 6.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K)

25. Milwaukee Brewers (3-3, Previous: 26)

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    Scooter Gennett
    Scooter GennettBenny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

    Opening Week Takeaways

    With a tough schedule to open the season, the Milwaukee Brewers held their own to avoid being swept by a red-hot San Francisco Giants team before taking two of three from the Houston Astros.

    New closer Jeremy Jeffress is off to a nice start with three saves, which is helping ease the loss of Will Smith, who suffered a torn knee ligament toward the end of spring training.

    Opening Day starter Wily Peralta (8.1 IP, 13 H, 10 ER) has struggled, but the rest of the starting rotation has thrown the ball well to this point. The staff still has a chance to be a strength for the rebuilding club this season.

    Offensively, the team is waiting for someone to seize the center field job, as Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Keon Broxton and Ramon Flores have each earned at least one start.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 2B Scooter Gennett (7-for-18, 3 HR, 3 RBI, 5 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • RP Jeremy Jeffress (3/3 SV, 3.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K)

24. Minnesota Twins (0-6, Previous: 19)

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    Ricky Nolasco
    Ricky NolascoJohn Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

    Opening Week Takeaways

    With a .223 team average and 12 runs scored through six games, it's fair to say that a lack of offense has been the biggest issue for the Minnesota Twins so far this season.

    Meanwhile, the much-maligned Ricky Nolasco turned in perhaps his best start in a Twins uniform against the Kansas City Royals on Sunday but was left with a no-decision after Glen Perkins blew the save.

    "We're going home 0-6, and it stares at you right in the face," manager Paul Molitor told Rhett Bollinger of "You're hoping with the way our year went last year, our spring training, the guys we have expectations for and all that, that we'd get off to a better start. But we have to take a step back and gain some perspective. A couple games go your way, and it's a different feeling than 0-6."

    The Twins called up prospect Max Kepler on Sunday to replace the injured Danny Santana, so perhaps he can provide a spark.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 1B Joe Mauer (8-for-20, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Ricky Nolasco (ND, 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K)

23. Miami Marlins (1-3, Previous: 21)

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    Dee Gordon
    Dee GordonKim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Opening Week Takeaways

    The Miami Marlins entered the year with modest expectations after a disappointing 2015 season, but they've gotten off to a slow start against a pair of tough opponents in the Detroit Tigers and Washington Nationals.

    Ace Jose Fernandez suffered his first career loss at Marlins Park on Wednesday, striking out 13 in 5.2 innings but allowing five hits and five earned runs in the process.

    Speedy Dee Gordon has been the offensive standout so far, as he looks to defend his NL batting title and live up to the expectations that come with signing a five-year, $50 million extension in the offseason.

    On the minor league side of things, top prospect Tyler Kolek underwent Tommy John surgery after suffering a complete tear to his UCL, so he'll be on the shelf for the duration of the 2016 season.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 2B Dee Gordon (8-for-19, 2 2B, 2 3B, 1 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Tom Koehler (L, 6.1 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 6 K)

22. Tampa Bay Rays (2-4, Previous: 18)

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    Steven Souza Jr.
    Steven Souza Jr.Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Opening Week Takeaways

    The only team in baseball still looking for its first quality start, the Tampa Bay Rays split a four-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays before dropping two against the Baltimore Orioles in a rain-shortened series.

    Now they head home to face the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox this coming week, as they'll look to get things going on the mound.

    Offensively, Steven Souza Jr. and Corey Dickerson each slugged three home runs in the first week. Some support from those two for Evan Longoria in the middle of the lineup could go a long way.

    On the flip side, newcomers Logan Morrison and Brad Miller are a combined 2-for-35 with 13 strikeouts to begin their times in Tampa after being acquired in an effort to bolster the offense.

    Hitter of the Week

    • RF Steven Souza Jr. (8-for-21, 1 2B, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Jake Odorizzi (ND, L, 11.2 IP, 13 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 14 K)

21. Arizona Diamondbacks (2-5, Previous: 16)

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    Jean Segura
    Jean SeguraChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    Opening Week Takeaways

    This is not the start to the year the Arizona Diamondbacks envisioned after their busy offseason, as the loss of A.J. Pollock was followed by a rough first week in which they dropped series to the Colorado Rockies and Chicago Cubs.

    Prized offseason additions Zack Greinke (2 GS, 0-2, 10.0 IP, 16 H, 11 ER) and Shelby Miller (2 GS, 0-1, 11.0 IP, 15 H, 10 ER) have both been hit hard, and the starting rotation as a whole has put up an MLB-worst 7.96 ERA.

    The team's other notable winter pickup, Jean Segura, is off to a significantly better start in the desert, going 11-for-27 with six extra-base hits as he looks to make the most of his change of scenery after struggling with the Brewers last year.

    It's obviously a small sample size, but Paul Goldschmidt has struck out 10 times in 30 plate appearances after whiffing at a solid 21.7 percent rate last year. Just something to keep an eye on.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 2B Jean Segura (11-for-27, 2 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 6 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Robbie Ray (ND, 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 3 K)

20. Cincinnati Reds (5-1, Previous: 29)

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    Eugenio Suarez
    Eugenio SuarezAssociated Press

    Opening Week Takeaways

    The Cincinnati Reds were one of the biggest surprises of the first week, and they're the biggest climbers in these rankings as a result. They'll need to back it up with another strong week if they hope to keep rising.

    The 2.84 ERA from their starting pitchers was particularly impressive, considering an entire rotation worth of guys (Homer Bailey, Anthony DeSclafani, Michael Lorenzen, John Lamb and Jon Moscot) started the year on the disabled list.

    Top prospect Robert Stephenson held his own in his MLB debut and picked up the win after allowing six hits and three earned runs in five innings before the Reds optioned him back to the minors. Expect him to be back up for good at some point, as he's a big part of the team's future plans.

    Tim Melville also made his debut Sunday, scattering five hits and four walks but allowing just one run in four innings as he looks to prove he belongs in the starting mix.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 3B Eugenio Suarez (10-for-23, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 9 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Brandon Finnegan (ND, 6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K)

19. Seattle Mariners (2-4, Previous: 17)

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    Robinson Cano
    Robinson CanoMatthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

    Opening Week Takeaways

    Last season, Robinson Cano didn't hit his fourth home run until June 26.

    It took him all of three games to reach that total in 2016.

    Meanwhile, the Seattle Mariners' other superstarace Felix Hernandezfollowed up a shaky five-walk performance on Opening Day with a terrific outing Sunday, where he allowed three hits and struck out 10 over seven scoreless innings.

    Those two will lead the way once again, but it's the cast of role players new general manager Jerry Dipoto acquired during the offseason that will ultimately determine just how good this team can be.

    Chris Iannetta (.364 BA, 1 HR), Leonys Martin (.316 BA, 2 2B, 1 HR) and Joaquin Benoit (W, 2.0 IP, 0 H, 3 BB, 3 K) are the early standouts among the 13 newcomers on the roster.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 2B Robinson Cano (6-for-25, 1 2B, 4 HR, 7 RBI, 4 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Felix Hernandez (ND, L, 13.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 7 BB, 16 K)

18. Oakland Athletics (4-3, Previous: 22)

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    Sonny Gray
    Sonny GrayJohn Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

    Opening Week Takeaways

    After dropping three of four to the Chicago White Sox to start the year, the Oakland Athletics rebounded nicely with a weekend sweep of the Seattle Mariners to get back on the right side of .500 heading into the second week of action.

    Food poisoning pushed Sonny Gray out of his Opening Day start, but he was terrific once he was finally able to take the mound. The team will be relying on him more than ever with a largely unproven staff behind him.

    Aside from Liam Hendriks (3.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER), it was a great first week for the new-look bullpen. John Axford, Ryan Dull, Ryan Madson, Fernando Rodriguez and Marc Rzepczynski combined for 19 scoreless innings of work.

    In an interesting move by manager Bob Melvin, designated hitter Billy Butler has found himself on the bench the past four games. The A's could relegate him to platoon work this year after a disappointing 2015 season. He's the team's highest-paid player after inking a three-year, $30 million deal last winter.

    Hitter of the Week

    • RF Josh Reddick (5-for-22, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Sonny Gray (W, 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 5 K)

17. Baltimore Orioles (5-0, Previous: 24)

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    Manny Machado
    Manny MachadoRob Carr/Getty Images

    Opening Week Takeaways

    It's safe to assume that few outside the city of Baltimore would have predicted the Orioles would be the lone undefeated team in baseball after one week.

    That earns them a seven-spot jump in this week's rankings, but let's try to remember it is just one week. This coming week should be a telling one as they go on the road to face two good teams in the Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers.

    Rule 5 pick Joey Rickard has been a nice find so far, going 8-for-18 with a double and a home run and spending the last three games hitting leadoff as a result.

    After all the controversy about whether he would make the team, be demoted or perhaps even be released, Korean outfielder Hyun Soo Kim made his MLB debut Sunday and went 2-for-3 with a run scored.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 3B Manny Machado (9-for-21, 1 2B, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 5 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Ubaldo Jimenez (W, 7.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K)

16. Chicago White Sox (4-2, Previous: 20)

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    Mat Latos
    Mat LatosThearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    Opening Week Takeaways

    The Chicago White Sox opened the year by taking three of four from the Oakland Athletics before splitting two games in a rain-shortened series with the Cleveland Indians.

    The big surprise so far was the terrific start from Mat Latos, as he allowed just one hit and one walk over six scoreless innings to earn the win in his White Sox debut.

    "I just wanna get back to my old self, I wanna put up zeros on the board and I wanna compete with these guys," Latos told Joe Chasan of

    While his debut was a huge success, the same can't be said for the first week of games by fellow newcomers Todd Frazier (24 AB, .167 BA), Brett Lawrie (22 AB, .182 BA), Jimmy Rollins (21 AB, .143 BA) and Dioner Navarro (8 AB, .125 BA).

    Hitter of the Week

    • 1B Jose Abreu (7-for-21, 1 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Mat Latos (W, 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K)

15. Cleveland Indians (2-2, Previous: 14)

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    Carlos Santana
    Carlos SantanaJason Miller/Getty Images

    Opening Week Takeaways

    After having three games postponed last week due to weather and with an off day Monday, the Cleveland Indians are probably just anxious to get on the field and settle into some sort of normal routine.

    The weather has allowed them to skip Josh Tomlin the first time through the rotation, as Corey Kluber will take the ball Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Rays. Kluber was not sharp in his first start when he allowed nine hits and four earned runs in 5.1 innings.

    Tyler Naquin won a roster spot with a strong spring, but it's been Jose Ramirez starting in the outfield alongside Rajai Davis and Marlon Byrd to open the year. Ramirez has gone 5-for-13 with a double, so it's hard to argue with that decision.

    After a three-game trip to Tampa, the Indians head home again for a weekend series with the New York Mets that should feature some fantastic starting pitching.

    Hitter of the Week

    • DH Carlos Santana (4-for-14, 1 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Danny Salazar (W, 5.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 K)

14. Houston Astros (2-4, Previous: 6)

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    Tyler White
    Tyler WhiteBenny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

    Opening Week Takeaways

    The biggest fallers in these rankings, the Houston Astros drop eight spots due in large part to a rough week from their pitching staff, as they rank 29th in the majors with a 7.02 ERA.

    Ace Dallas Keuchel was uncharacteristically wild Sunday with six walks in 5.2 innings, and there's no question he's as important to the success of this team as anyone on the roster.

    Meanwhile, Collin McHugh didn't make it out of the first inning in his first start of the year. He allowed three hits, two walks and six runs (five earned) while recording just one out.

    This is an Astros team that still has a ton of potential and the pieces to contend for the AL West title, but it was a bad first week. It won't get any easier, as Houston now heads home to face the Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 1B Tyler White (10-for-18, 2 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Doug Fister (W, 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K)

13. Los Angeles Dodgers (4-3, Previous: 15)

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    Ross Stripling
    Ross StriplingThearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    Opening Week Takeaways

    It was an eventful first week for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

    After outscoring the San Diego Padres by a 25-0 margin in a three-game sweep to begin the season, the Dodgers dropped three of four to the rival San Francisco Giants.

    That included a 3-2 extra-inning loss Friday that began with 7.1 no-hit innings from Ross Stripling in his MLB debut but quickly went south after L.A. pulled him following pitch No. 100.

    The general consensus seems to be that manager Dave Roberts made the right decision taking the young right-hander out of the game at that point, but reliever Chris Hatcher immediately gave up a game-tying two-run homer to Trevor Brown.

    The Giants won it with a walk-off homer from Brandon Crawford in the 10th.

    The starting rotation threw the ball well after entering the year as what appeared to be the team's big question mark, but the bullpen looks like a mess with two losses, two blown saves and a 5.79 ERA after one week.

    Hitter of the Week

    • RF Yasiel Puig (10-for-26, 2 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 7 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Ross Stripling (ND, 7.1 IP, 0 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 K)

12. New York Yankees (3-2, Previous: 13)

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    Starlin Castro
    Starlin CastroAdam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

    Opening Week Takeaways

    A lot was made of the fact that the New York Yankees didn't spend a dollar in free agency this offseason, but it wasn't a completely dormant winter, as they did add a few significant pieces via trade.

    While we're still waiting on Aroldis Chapman to return from suspension, second baseman Starlin Castro has opened the season on a tear offensively, and outfielder Aaron Hicks turned in one of the best defensive plays of the week.

    However, the big story for this Yankees team will be its starting pitching, and it was shaky at best the first time through the rotation.

    Nathan Eovaldi (5.0 IP, 6 H, 5 ER) and Michael Pineda (5.0 IP, 8 H, 6 ER) were both hit hard, while Luis Severino (5.0 IP, 10 H, 3 ER) had a tough time missing bats as well. It will be tough for this team to climb into the top 10 if that trio doesn't improve.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 2B Starlin Castro (9-for-20, 2 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Masahiro Tanaka (5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K)

11. Texas Rangers (3-4, Previous: 5)

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    Cole Hamels
    Cole HamelsJayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

    Opening Week Takeaways

    Despite getting six quality starts from the rotation in seven games, the Texas Rangers closed out the season's first week with a losing record.

    A rough showing from the bullpen was largely to blame, as the relief corps posted a 6.98 ERA with three losses and a blown save. The offense didn't help much, either, averaging 3.57 runs per game and hitting a combined .203/.291/.317.

    The injury bug also bit hard, as catcher Robinson Chirinos suffered a fractured forearm, and Shin-Soo Choo joined him on the disabled list with a strained calf.

    Top prospect Nomar Mazara replaced Choo in right field, and the 20-year-old went 3-for-4 with a home run in his big league debut Sunday. The catching situation is a bit hazier, though, and the team could turn to the trade market as a result.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 3B Adrian Beltre (8-for-27, 3 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Cole Hamels (2 W, 13.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 6 BB, 12 K)

10. St. Louis Cardinals (3-3, Previous: 8)

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    Jeremy Hazelbaker
    Jeremy HazelbakerMike Zarrilli/Getty Images

    Opening Week Takeaways

    After scoring just seven runs in three games and getting swept by the Pittsburgh Pirates, the St. Louis Cardinals bounced back to do some sweeping of their own on the road against the Atlanta Braves.

    In the process, an unexpected offensive weapon has emerged in the form of 28-year-old outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker. With Randal Grichuk struggling (1-for-15, 8 K), Hazelbaker earned the start in center field for three of the past four games.

    The shortstop position continues to be a fluid situation with both Jhonny Peralta and Ruben Tejada on the disabled list, but Aledmys Diaz (5-for-10, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR) and Greg Garcia (3-for-5, 1 2B, 1 HR) have both made a case for more playing time.

    The Cardinals bullpen has been terrific so far with a 1.66 ERA, but the same can't be said for the starting rotation, as it has managed only two quality starts and pitched to a 6.25 ERA with just one win.

    Hitter of the Week

    • CF Jeremy Hazelbaker (6-for-15, 1 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Carlos Martinez (W, 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K)

9. Pittsburgh Pirates (4-2, Previous: 11)

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    Juan Nicasio
    Juan NicasioCharles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

    Opening Week Takeaways

    The Pittsburgh Pirates climb ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals in the rankings after sweeping them to open the season, but they don't climb any higher following a series loss to the Cincinnati Reds over the weekend.

    The offense went cold in the final two games of the Reds series, as the Pirates scored just two runs despite piling up 19 hits. They're hitting just .180 with runners in scoring position as a team, so that's one area that will need to improve.

    Getting Jung Ho Kang back in the lineup should help, as he hit .283 with runners in scoring position as a rookie. He's on pace for a late April return from the leg injury that abruptly ended his 2015 season.

    We're just one week in, but Neftali Feliz (4 G, 2 HLD, 4.0 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 5 K) and Juan Nicasio (1 GS, W, 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K) both appear to be benefiting greatly from the tutelage of pitching coach Ray Searage.

    Hitter of the Week

    • RF Gregory Polanco (5-for-16, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 4 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Juan Nicasio (W, 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K)

8. Boston Red Sox (3-2, Previous: 12)

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    David Price
    David PriceKen Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

    Opening Week Takeaways

    After splitting a rain-shortened series with the Cleveland Indians, the Boston Red Sox went into Toronto and took two of three from the Blue Jays to make an early statement in the AL East.

    That's enough to earn them four spots in the rankings, but not quite enough to move them ahead of Toronto just yet after the Blue Jays opened the year 10 spots ahead of Boston at No. 2.

    Hanley Ramirez (10-for-22, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR) is off to a great start offensively, and he's played an error-free first base to this point. If he can be the dangerous middle-of-the-order bat the team envisioned when it signed him, it would make an already-solid offense that much better.

    The starting rotation behind new ace David Price still looks like the big question mark, and Joe Kelly (3.0 IP, 7 H, 7 ER), Clay Buchholz (4.0 IP, 6 H, 5 ER) and Rick Porcello (6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER) did little to inspire confidence in their season debuts.

    Hitter of the Week

    • LF Brock Holt (7-for-17, 2 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 4 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP David Price (W, 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 10 K)

7. Washington Nationals (3-1, Previous: 10)

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    Bryce Harper
    Bryce HarperBrad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

    Opening Week Takeaways

    Bryce Harper continued to love Opening Day, and the Washington Nationals went on to wrap up an abridged first week at 3-1 to earn a few spots in the rankings with other teams ahead of them dropping.

    New second baseman Daniel Murphy (6-for-13, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR) joined Harper with a big first week offensively, and a healthy Anthony Rendon (6-for-18, 2 2B) has a chance to be a serious difference-maker in the lineup as well.

    However, the team lost center fielder and leadoff hitter Ben Revere to a strained oblique in the first game of the year, and his replacement, Michael Taylor, has gone 1-for-16 with five strikeouts so far.

    Tanner Roark (4.0 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 3 ER) struggled in his first start of the year. The Nationals may pull the trigger quickly on promoting top prospect Lucas Giolito if Roark turns in a few more subpar outings.

    Hitter of the Week

    • RF Bryce Harper (5-for-13, 2 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 4 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Joe Ross (W, 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K)

6. Detroit Tigers (3-1, Previous: 9)

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    Jordan Zimmermann
    Jordan ZimmermannMark Cunningham/Getty Images

    Opening Week Takeaways

    The Detroit Tigers are trying to put a dreadful 2015 season behind them, and three straight wins to open the 2016 season was a nice first step in that process.

    Jordan Zimmermann looked great in his Tigers debut, scattering two hits and three walks over seven innings to earn the victory. He could wind up being one of the best bargains of the offseason despite signing a five-year, $110 million deal.

    Starting the season facing the Marlins in Miami meant designated hitter Victor Martinez was relegated to pinch-hit duties, and he delivered in that role with a pinch-hit homer in each of the team's first two games. A return to productivity from V-Mart would go a long way after a forgettable 2015 performance.

    A blown save by Francisco Rodriguez was not what Tigers fans wanted to see out of their new closer and what is supposed to be a better bullpen, but the relief corps still looks vastly improved as a whole.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 2B Ian Kinsler (8-for-19, 1 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 5 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Jordan Zimmermann (W, 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 K)

5. New York Mets (2-3, Previous: 4)

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    Noah Syndergaard
    Noah SyndergaardDenny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

    Opening Week Takeaways

    The New York Mets opened the season with a World Series rematch against the Kansas City Royals and split a two-game series in K.C. before dropping two of three to the Philadelphia Phillies over the weekend.

    The vaunted starting rotation pitched fairly well outside of a rocky Opening Day start by Matt Harvey, but the Mets will be without Jacob deGrom, as he's dealing with lat tightness and will have his next start skipped as a precautionary measure. Logan Verrett gets a spot start in his place.

    Big picture, the pitching staff is going to be just fine; it's the offense that could be cause for concern.

    The Mets are hitting a meager .180 as a team with just eight extra-base hits—good for an MLB-worst .529 OPS through five games. No regular is hitting better than .267, as it's been a team-wide struggle to this point. 

    Hitter of the Week

    • LF Michael Conforto (4-for-15, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 1 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Noah Syndergaard (W, 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K)

4. Toronto Blue Jays (3-4, Previous: 2)

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    Josh Donaldson
    Josh DonaldsonKim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Opening Week Takeaways

    After splitting a four-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays and dropping two of three to the Boston Red Sox, the Toronto Blue Jays drop two spots in the rankings.

    Why not further?

    Most viewed the starting rotation as the big weakness for the Blue Jays, but strong starts from Marco Estrada (7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER), Aaron Sanchez (7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER) and J.A. Happ (6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 ER) have it looking more like a potential strength early on.

    The offense was shut out Sunday and has been downright average to this point, but that lineup is too talented to not pile up runs going forward, so that's really not a cause for concern.

    Josh Donaldson is playing through a calf strain that has relegated him to DH duties, but he's still raking. As long as he doesn't further aggravate the injury, that shouldn't be an issue.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 3B Josh Donaldson (9-for-29, 1 2B, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 8 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Marco Estrada (W, 7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K)

3. San Francisco Giants (5-2, Previous: 7)

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    Buster Posey
    Buster PoseyKenny Karst-USA TODAY Sports

    Opening Week Takeaways

    The San Francisco Giants exploded for 12 runs against Wily Peralta and the Milwaukee Brewers on Opening Day, and they've continued to fire on all cylinders since.

    Entering the week, they lead the majors with 43 runs scored and have an .835 team OPS that checks in at third in the NL.

    The starting rotation benefited greatly from the offense's big week, as it did not throw the ball particularly well with a 4.35 ERA as a group but still walked away with a 3-0 record. Matt Cain wound up with a no-decision, but his first start of the year was incredibly promising.

    Aside from their success on the field last week, the Giants locked up first baseman Brandon Belt with a five-year, $72.8 million extension that buys out his final year of arbitration and four years of free agency.

    Hitter of the Week

    • C Buster Posey (9-for-23, 1 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Matt Cain (ND, 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K)

2. Kansas City Royals (4-1, Previous: 3)

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    Ian Kennedy
    Ian KennedyMatt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

    Opening Week Takeaways

    The Kansas City Royals began their efforts to repeat as World Series champions by splitting a two-game series with the New York Mets amid all the pomp and circumstance of raising a banner and receiving their rings.

    Then it was back to business, as they swept the Minnesota Twins to stake an early claim to being the top team in the American League once again.

    The offense has sputtered out of the gates a bit, but the starting rotation that many viewed as a potential weakness has not been one by any means, as it has pitched to an MLB-best 1.91 ERA through five games.

    Now the Royals hit the road to take on the Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics and will get their first taste of what it's like being the defending champs away from home and having that target on your back for an entire season.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 3B Mike Moustakas (5-for-20, 1 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Ian Kennedy (W, 6.2 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K)

1. Chicago Cubs (5-1, Previous: 1)

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    Jake Arrieta
    Jake ArrietaMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Opening Week Takeaways

    Not many teams could lose someone like Kyle Schwarber for the season and not drop in these rankings, but the Chicago Cubs have the depth to overcome that loss and still be the best team in baseball.

    The decision to re-sign Dexter Fowler raised some questions as to how manager Joe Maddon would find enough at-bats for the team's young outfielders, but now it looks like a stroke of genius. It doesn't hurt that Fowler has tallied 10 hits and five walks through six games.

    The offense put up 27 runs in the Cubs' four-game series with the Diamondbacks, and they're still waiting for Addison Russell (22 AB, .136 BA), Jorge Soler (20 AB, .150 BA) and Kris Bryant (26 AB, .231 BA) to pick things up.

    Meanwhile, the pitching staff has looked great outside of a shaky debut by John Lackey (6.0 IP, 8 H, 6 ER) and a poor relief appearance by Trevor Cahill (L, 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER), as the Cubs have a 2.52 ERA as a team.

    The North Siders begin their home schedule against the Cincinnati Reds and Colorado Rockies this week with an opportunity to get off to a great start in the win-loss department.

    Hitter of the Week

    • CF Dexter Fowler (10-for-19, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 7 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Jake Arrieta (2 W, 14.0 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 12 K)

    All standard and advanced stats courtesy of unless otherwise noted. Hitter and pitcher of the week stats reflect games played from Sunday, April 3, through Sunday, April 10.


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