MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand After Week 2

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistApril 18, 2016

MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand After Week 2

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    Hunter Martin/Getty Images

    Two weeks are now in the books here in the 2016 MLB season, and already there has been no shortage of excitement and intrigue around the league.

    That being said, we are dealing with an incredibly small sample size at this point, so it's important not to put too much stock in the early returns—both good and bad.

    That's especially true with our weekly power rankings, as this exercise is not meant to simply be a mirror of the current standings.

    Instead it's 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.

    This early in the season, preseason expectations and long-term outlook still play a role in where a team falls, though the more games we get into the season, the less of a factor that becomes.

    So two weeks into the 2016 season, here is a look at where all 30 MLB teams stand.

30. San Diego Padres (4-9, Previous: 27)

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    Melvin Upton Jr.
    Melvin Upton Jr.Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-5

    On Thursday, the San Diego Padres became the first team in baseball history to be shut out five times in the first 10 games of the season.

    That unfortunate accomplishment, along with the fact that they dropped series to the Philadelphia Phillies and Arizona Diamondbacks last week, sends them to the bottom of these rankings.

    If things don't improve, this is a team that holds some interesting trade chips. Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune ranked the most likely players to be traded in a recent chat with fans:

    "Ranked in order of likeliest to be traded: (Derek) Norris, (Andrew) Cashner, Tyson Ross, (James) Shields, (Matt) Kemp."

    This should make for an interesting summer in San Diego, as the Padres look to restock the farm after a failed push at contention last year.

    Hitter of the Week

    • LF Melvin Upton Jr. (8-for-26, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Colin Rea (L, 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K)

29. Atlanta Braves (3-9, Previous: 30)

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    Jhoulys Chacin
    Jhoulys ChacinStacy Revere/Getty Images

    Last Week: 3-4

    After beginning the season 0-9, the Atlanta Braves closed out the week with a three-game sweep of the Miami Marlins, which is enough to pull them out of the No. 30 spot in these rankings.

    Jhoulys Chacin was the surprise of the week, as he was added to the roster as the team's No. 5 starter and threw six shutout innings in his Braves debut. He followed that up by allowing three runs in 5.1 innings on Sunday against the Marlins, but whatever innings the team can squeeze out of him will be a bonus.

    The other big story last week was an unfortunate one, as left fielder Hector Olivera was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault and battery following a domestic dispute. He's been placed on administrative leave and will likely be facing a lengthy suspension.

    Far from what the Braves envisioned for the Cuban star when they acquired him at the trade deadline last year.

    Hitter of the Week

    • RF Nick Markakis (9-for-25, 5 2B, 8 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Jhoulys Chacin (2 ND, 11.1 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 14 K)

28. Milwaukee Brewers (5-7, Previous: 25)

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    Ryan Braun
    Ryan BraunJustin Berl/Getty Images

    Last Week: 2-4

    It will likely be rough sailing for the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central this season, and last week was the perfect example, as they dropped two of three to both the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates on the road.

    The bright spots have been few and far between to this point, but new closer Jeremy Jeffress has done a nice job slamming the door when the team has carried a lead into the late innings. He's converted all four of his save chances and worked 5.2 scoreless innings on the year.

    After an 0-for-16 start that included 11 strikeouts, the team decided to send speedy outfielder Keon Broxton down to Triple-A last week. He had started six of the team's first 10 games in center field, after being acquired from the Pirates in the offseason.

    The corresponding move was to promote Zach Davies to make a spot start, and he was promptly shelled to the tune of eight hits and six runs (five earned) in 2.1 innings of work on Sunday.

    Hitter of the Week

    • LF Ryan Braun (6-for-20, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Chase Anderson (ND, 6.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K)

27. Minnesota Twins (3-9, Previous: 24)

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    Kevin Jepsen
    Kevin JepsenJesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-3

    Just like the Atlanta Braves, the Minnesota Twins began the year 0-9 before authoring a three-game sweep over the weekend, besting the Los Angeles Angels at home.

    Already off to a tough start, it appears the team will be without All-Star closer Glen Perkins for an extended period of time. He's been diagnosed with a shoulder strain and also has some fraying of the labrum, according to La Velle E. Neal III of the Minnesota Star Tribune.

    The other major issue has been the performance of the team's young hitters, namely Byron Buxton (28 PA, .154 BA, .416 OPS), Miguel Sano (46 PA, .179 BA, .535 OPS) and Eddie Rosario (45 PA, .146 BA, .400 OPS).

    The lack of a veteran leader in the clubhouse, or more specifically the retirement of Torii Hunter, could be playing a role, as one scout told John Perrotto of Today's Knuckleball:

    That’s where they miss Torii. He has that great personality where he keeps everything loose but he also had such a great track record that he could talk to those kids, calm them down, and they knew that he knew what he was talking about. Sometimes you need to hear things from a fellow teammate rather than a manager or coach. It just carries more clout.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 3B Trevor Plouffe (10-for-23, 4 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • RP Kevin Jepsen (2-for-2 SV, 3.0 IP, 0 H, 2 BB, 3 K)

26. Miami Marlins (3-7, Previous: 23)

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    Adam Conley
    Adam ConleyBrad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-4

    A series win against the New York Mets to kick off last week was largely offset by a three-game sweep at the hands of the previously winless Atlanta Braves, so the Miami Marlins slide down a few spots in the rankings this week.

    Adam Conley delivering a strong outing in his first non-rain-shortened start of the season was a promising sign, though.

    One has to think Jose Fernandez and Wei-Yin Chen will round into form at some point, but the back of the rotation is a huge question mark, and Conley stepping up as that third reliable starter would be huge. He certainly has the potential after pitching well as a 25-year-old rookie a year ago.

    Things won't get any easier this coming week, as they host a red-hot Washington Nationals team for four games before heading to San Francisco for a three-game set with the Giants.

    Hitter of the Week

    • LF Christian Yelich (8-for-23, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Adam Conley (ND, 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K)

25. Cincinnati Reds (6-6, Previous: 20)

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    Brandon Finnegan
    Brandon FinneganDavid Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 1-5

    After a surprising 5-1 performance the first week of the season, the Cincinnati Reds came crashing back to earth last week. They were swept by the Chicago Cubs before dropping two of three to the St. Louis Cardinals.

    Brandon Finnegan did provide some excitement on Monday when he gave up just one hit to the Cubs through 6.2 innings, but the bullpen wound up giving that one away.

    So far, the relief corps has converted just one of three save chances and currently ranks 28th in the league with a 5.36 ERA, while their 45.1 innings of work are fourth-most in the majors. An overworked and underperforming bullpen is never a good combination.

    Meanwhile, trade candidate Jay Bruce continues to hit; he's now batting .304 with three home runs and 12 RBI in his first 12 games.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 1B Joey Votto (6-for-21, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Brandon Finnegan (W, ND, 11.2 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 2 ER, 9 BB, 7 K)

24. Oakland Athletics (6-7, Previous: 18)

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    Kendall Graveman
    Kendall GravemanKelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-4

    Getting swept by the Los Angeles Angels earlier in the week really takes away from a nice weekend series win against the Kansas City Royals. The Oakland Athletics continue to search for some consistency out of the pitching staff.

    Rich Hill and Eric Surkamp both failed to make it out of the fifth inning in their starts, while closer Sean Doolittle allowed runs in back-to-back outings and suffered his first loss and blown save of the year on Tuesday.

    On the plus side, the trio of Sonny Gray (3 GS, 2-1, 2.33 ERA), Chris Bassitt (3 GS, 0-0, 2.79 ERA) and Kendall Graveman (2 GS, 0-1, 2.38 ERA) have all thrown the ball well, and new reliever Ryan Madson is a perfect 4-for-4 on save chances when he's taken the ball in the ninth.

    The offense hasn't exactly helped much either, as they're hitting .216 as a team and averaging 2.85 runs per game.

    Hitter of the Week

    • SS Marcus Semien (5-for-18, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Kendall Graveman (ND, 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K)

23. Philadelphia Phillies (6-7, Previous: 29)

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    Vincent Velasquez
    Vincent VelasquezJustin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Last Week: 4-3

    This may not necessarily be a good Philadelphia Phillies team here in 2016, but it's going to be an entertaining one that has a chance to surprise some people.

    The latest exciting young player to step to the forefront was right-hander Vincent Velasquez, who twirled a three-hit shutout and struck out an impressive 16 batters against the San Diego Padres on Thursday.

    One of the pitchers acquired in the Ken Giles trade, Velasquez has now worked 15 scoreless innings over his first two starts, allowing just six hits and three walks while striking out 25.

    "The Phillies acquired Velasquez knowing his elbow could once again give him trouble. Yet it’s seeming like that’s the only way they don’t come out the winner of the Giles trade," wrote Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs. "To me, there are two options. One, Velasquez gets hurt. And two, Velasquez is a legitimate power starter...as long as Velasquez can take the mound, there’s no clear ceiling on his potential."

    Hitter of the Week

    • CF Odubel Herrera (6-for-19, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 2 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Vincent Velasquez (W, 9.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 16 K)

22. Los Angeles Angels (5-7, Previous: 26)

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    Matt Shoemaker
    Matt ShoemakerBrad Mangin/Getty Images

    Last Week: 3-3

    A three-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics and a three-game sweep at the hands of the Minnesota Twins: not exactly the way to build momentum if you're the Los Angeles Angels, or really any team for that matter.

    While giving the Twins their first wins of the season was unfortunate, the team did show some life offensively last week. The Angels scored 24 runs in their last six games after plating just 12 during their first six.

    Third baseman Yunel Escobar has proven to be a very nice addition to the lineup, as he's hitting .327 with six doubles while drawing more walks (seven) than strikeouts (three).

    Matt Shoemaker also bounced back from a terrible first start (3.0 IP, 7 H, 6 ER) to throw six innings of one-hit ball on Wednesday, and that's important because it will still be up to the rotation to shoulder the load if this team is going to have any chance of contending.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 3B Yunel Escobar (10-for-27, 5 2B, 3 RBI, 2 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Matt Shoemaker (W, 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K)

21. Arizona Diamondbacks (5-8, Previous: 21)

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    Yasmany Tomas
    Yasmany TomasJoe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-3

    Already without All-Star center fielder A.J. Pollock, the Arizona Diamondbacks were dealt another blow on Saturday when Shelby Miller had to leave his start with what has to be the strangest injury of the year.

    Miller smacked his hand on the ground following through on a pitch not once, but twice, and it wound up forcing him out of the game after just 1.2 innings of work. This kicker is the game wound up going 14 innings.

    That meant another long day for a bullpen that has thrown an MLB-high 49.2 innings on the year, and that will have a ripple effect on the roster.

    "We’re just killing [the] pitching staff, our relievers are overused as it is so we’re going to have to make a couple of moves," manager Chip Hale told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. "It’s unfortunate for the guys who have pitched fairly well. It’s just the way the game is and the timing of it."

    Hitter of the Week

    • RF Yasmany Tomas (7-for-19, 2 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 6 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Zack Greinke (ND, 7.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K)

20. Tampa Bay Rays (5-7, Previous: 22)

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    Matt Moore
    Matt MooreButch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-3

    The Tampa Bay Rays split their recent homestand, dropping two of three to the Cleveland Indians but taking two of three against the Chicago White Sox, and now they head on the road against a pair of AL East foes in the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.

    It's still unclear how good we can expect this year's team to be, but a return to form by Matt Moore would give the rotation a serious shot in the arm.

    After struggling to a 5.43 ERA over 12 starts in his return from Tommy John surgery last year, Moore is off to a strong start, striking out 10 in 6.1 innings to pick up his first win of the year on Sunday. Remember, this is the same pitcher who went 17-4 and finished ninth in AL Cy Young voting back in 2013.

    Now the team needs to get ace Chris Archer and his 5.87 ERA through three starts on track, and the rotation will have a chance to be a serious weapon.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 3B Evan Longoria (6-for-23, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Matt Moore (W, ND, 13.1 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 15 K)

19. Seattle Mariners (5-7, Previous: 19)

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    Nelson Cruz
    Nelson CruzJennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-3

    A series loss to the Texas Rangers and a series win against the New York Yankees keeps the Seattle Mariners stationary at the No. 19 spot in these rankings.

    This week's example of why win-loss record is a useless stat in evaluating a pitcher: Felix Hernandez.

    After striking out 10 over seven scoreless innings and taking a no-decision in his previous start, King Felix matched a career high with six walks on Saturday and struggled to make it through five innings but wound up walking away with his first win of the season.

    "He didn’t make it look easy," manager Scott Servais told Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. "That’s not really Felix. He hasn’t had a feel or command of the fastball. It’s something he needs to tighten up, but he kept us in the game with what he had and that’s what we ask our guys to do."

    Hitter of the Week

    • DH Nelson Cruz (7-for-24, 4 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Taijuan Walker (ND, 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K)

18. Houston Astros (5-8, Previous: 14)

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    Jose Altuve
    Jose AltuveBob Levey/Getty Images

    Last Week: 3-4

    After a 3-7 start, the Houston Astros finally picked up their first series win of the season when they took two of three from the Detroit Tigers at home over the weekend.

    That included a terrific start from reigning AL Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel on Friday, as he threw eight shutout innings in his first home start of the year. The left-hander was 15-0 with a 1.46 ERA in 18 starts at Minute Maid Park last year.

    However, the struggles continued for prized offseason acquisition Ken Giles, who's allowed a run in three of his six outings and brings a 7.94 ERA into the week.

    "He's been effective except for one pitch or two pitches in an outing, and it's hard to take him out of his role when it's really one mistake," manager A.J. Hinch told Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. "If it was a colossal struggle for him, it would be a little bit different."

    Hitter of the Week

    • 2B Jose Altuve (11-for-27, 3 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 8 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Dallas Keuchel (W, 8.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K)

17. New York Yankees (5-6, Previous: 12)

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    Carlos Beltran
    Carlos BeltranRick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-4

    Series losses to the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners send the New York Yankees toppling down five spots in the rankings to No. 17, and they will need to get their starting rotation on track to avoid sliding even further.

    So far they have managed just three quality starts in 11 games, and their 5.25 ERA as a staff checks in at 24th in the majors.

    Masahiro Tanaka (3 GS, 1-0, 3.06 ERA) is currently the only starter with an ERA under 5.00 as the rest of the rotation gets set to make their third starts of the season this coming week.

    On the plus side, the one-two punch of Dellin Betances (6 G, 0.00 ERA, 15 K, 6.0 IP) and Andrew Miller (5 G, 0.00 ERA, 12 K, 5.0 IP) has been dominant once again, and it won't be long before they're joined by Aroldis Chapman.

    Hitter of the Week

    • RF Carlos Beltran (9-for-24, 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Masahiro Tanaka (W, ND, 12.0 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 12 K)

16. Colorado Rockies (7-5, Previous: 28)

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    Nolan Arenado
    Nolan ArenadoKamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-2

    Yes, the Colorado Rockies still have the worst ERA in baseball (6.03) and, yes, there's a good chance they'll be back near the bottom of these rankings in the near future, but there's no ignoring their series wins against the Chicago Cubs (No. 1 last week) and San Francisco Giants (No. 3 last week).

    In their series win against the Cubs, it was a pair of terrific starting pitching performances from Chad Bettis (W, 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER) and Tyler Chatwood (W, 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER) that proved to be the difference, and that's promising, to say the least.

    The rest of the rotation has been shellacked, but Bettis (3 GS, 2-0, 2.95 ERA) and Chatwood (3 GS, 2-1, 2.79 ERA) have looked sharp, so that at least gives them something to work around on the pitching side of things.

    Rookie shortstop Trevor Story was the talk of baseball through the first week after he homered seven times in six games, but now the stat that jumps off the page is his 22 strikeouts in 55 plate appearances. He's headed for a significant drop-off if his approach doesn't improve.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 3B Nolan Arenado (9-for-27, 2 2B, 4 HR, 12 RBI, 7 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Chad Bettis (W, 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K)

15. Cleveland Indians (5-5, Previous: 15)

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    Carlos Carrasco
    Carlos CarrascoDavid Richard-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-3

    After a rain-shortened first week, the Cleveland Indians finally played some baseball last week and picked up a series win against the Tampa Bay Rays before dropping two of three to the New York Mets over the weekend.

    A .500 record may not be the start a team with legitimate postseason aspirations envisioned, but reinforcements are on the way, as outfielders Lonnie Chisenhall and Michael Brantley are both on the rehab trail.

    Chisenhall is expected to be activated on Wednesday, while Brantley is "pretty close" as well, according to manager Terry Francona, per Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.

    Once those two return to the lineup, the next step on the road to fulfilling expectations will be getting ace Corey Kluber on track, as he's gone 0-3 with a 6.16 ERA through his first three starts.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 2B Jason Kipnis (7-for-23, 3 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 5 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Carlos Carrasco (W, 8.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K)

14. New York Mets (5-6, Previous: 5)

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    Noah Syndergaard
    Noah SyndergaardAdam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-3

    The New York Mets finally picked up their first series win of the year with a victory in the rubber game of their weekend matchup with the Cleveland Indians, but concerns about their vaunted pitching staff send them down several spots in the rankings.

    Steven Matz lasted just 1.2 innings in his season debut, allowing six hits, two walks and seven earned runs before getting the hook.

    "He looks like a young guy who needs a month in Triple-A to clean up some things," one scout told Kevin Kernan of the New York Post.

    The 24-year-old looked much better on Sunday, striking out nine and allowing just three hits in seven shutout innings. Consistency will be the key for him as he continues to establish himself at the MLB level.

    Meanwhile, Matt Harvey has struggled to a 5.71 ERA through his first three starts, and Jacob deGrom was scratched from his last start with lat tightness.

    There's still no real reason to think this won't be a great rotation long-term, but a rocky start from their arms alongside an inconsistent offense is enough to bump them out of the top 10 for now.

    Hitter of the Week

    • CF Yoenis Cespedes (8-for-22, 2 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Noah Syndergaard (ND, 7.0 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 12 K)

    Note: The health of Jacob deGrom's newborn son has improved, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN, after complications arose following his birth last Monday. That's great news, and we're all pulling for you, Jaxon!

13. Chicago White Sox (8-4, Previous: 16)

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    Chris Sale
    Chris SaleMatt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-2

    The Chicago White Sox are once again struggling to score runs, averaging just 3.25 per game, but thanks to their pitching staff, they are off to an 8-4 start.

    Their 2.49 team ERA is currently good for third in the majors and tops in the American League, and their starting rotation has churned out nine quality starts in 12 games.

    Chris Sale threw his second career shutout Friday to cap a five-game winning streak, and really the only weak link to this point has been John Danks, who is 0-2 with a 7.94 ERA to begin the year.

    Offensively, the team is still waiting for Todd Frazier to pick it up, as he's hitting .163 with a .523 OPS. He does have a team-high six RBI, but he's squandered plenty of chances to add to that total with a 1-for-10 showing with runners in scoring position.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 2B Brett Lawrie (10-for-24, 3 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 4 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Chris Sale (W, 9.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K)

12. Toronto Blue Jays (6-7, Previous: 4)

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    Jose Bautista
    Jose BautistaDan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-3

    The Toronto Blue Jays offense has been somewhat disappointing so far this season, as they're hitting just .227/.297/.384 as a team and averaging 3.71 runs per game.

    The trio of Josh Donaldson (.321 BA, 1.074 OPS), Edwin Encarnacion (.314 BA, .816 OPS) and Jose Bautista (.310 BA, 1.139 OPS) has been terrific once again, but the rest of the lineup simply hasn't shown up on a consistent basis.

    Until the other bats heat up, they are forced to rely more heavily on the starting rotation, and that makes Aaron Sanchez perhaps the biggest early-season X-factor on the roster.

    The starter-turned-reliever-turned-starter has come out firing with a 1.35 ERA and 0.850 WHIP in 20 innings of work over his first three starts, and he has a chance to emerge as a second front-line arm alongside Marcus Stroman.

    Hitter of the Week

    • RF Jose Bautista (7-for-21, 4 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Aaron Sanchez (W, ND, 13.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 7 BB, 12 K)

11. Boston Red Sox (6-5, Previous: 8)

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    Mookie Betts
    Mookie BettsKen Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-3

    Despite the addition of David Price, the Boston Red Sox rotation has once again been a major weakness here in the early going, ranking 29th in the league with a 5.70 starter's ERA.

    So what's the answer?

    Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald offers up the following list of suggestions for how the rotation could improve:

    1. "When Eduardo Rodriguez returns, he must hit the ground running."
    2. "A solid contribution from a minor league starter would go a long way." He specifically mentions Henry Owens and Brian Johnson.
    3. "President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski could redouble his efforts to make a trade for an impact starter."

    It's anyone's guess as to whether any of those potential solutions proves to be the answer to their rotation problems, but some sort of answer will need to be found.

    As it is, they're still playing good baseball after taking a weekend series from the Toronto Blue Jays and sit over .500 heading into the season's third week.

    Hitter of the Week

    • RF Mookie Betts (9-for-27, 2 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Rick Porcello (W, 6.1 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K)

10. Baltimore Orioles (8-3, Previous: 17)

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    Mark Trumbo
    Mark TrumboAdam Glanzman/Getty Images

    Last Week: 3-3

    Many people were nothing short of outraged when the Baltimore Orioles didn't immediately shoot to No. 1 in these rankings after going 5-0 the first week of the season, and perhaps they did deserve to be a bit higher than No. 17.

    However, there's a difference between standings and power rankings, and especially here in the early going, outlook and expectations still play a significant part in where a team ranks.

    A lack of trust in their starting rotation was the biggest reason the Orioles didn't climb any higher after that impressive first week, and those concerns proved to be completely justified.

    Here's how their starters performed last week:

    • Vance Worley: 1 GS, W, 6.0 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K
    • Ubaldo Jimenez: 1 GS, L, 5.0 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 5 K
    • Mike Wright: 1 GS, W, 5.0 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
    • Yovani Gallardo: 2 GS, 2 ND, 11.0 IP, 16 H, 9 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
    • Chris Tillman: 1 GS, L, 5.1 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

    That all adds up to a 7.52 ERA and 1.55 WHIP from the rotation.

    Luckily, the offense piled up 38 runs in six games and still managed to go 3-3, but as the Colorado Rockies have shown year in and year out, the race to 10 runs is not a viable approach for sustained success.

    Their offensive firepower and overall record earn them a spot at No. 10, but it's a precarious one.

    Hitter of the Week

    • RF Mark Trumbo (8-for-25, 1 2B, 5 HR, 11 RBI, 8 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • RP Brad Brach (W, 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K)

9. Pittsburgh Pirates (7-6, Previous: 9)

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    Starling Marte
    Starling MarteRick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-4

    The Pittsburgh Pirates lost three of four to the Detroit Tigers to begin last week, but righted the ship against the Milwaukee Brewers with a series win over the weekend.

    They are currently hitting an MLB-best .295 as a team and averaging 4.38 runs per game, and they could get even better offensively in the near future.

    Jung Ho Kang is set to begin a Triple-A rehab assignment Monday, and it appears he's still on track for a potential late-April return.

    "To get him back out playing in a Triple-A game on April 18 is truly remarkable," general manager Neal Huntington told reporters Sunday, via Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "It’s a testament to him, a testament to our guys and ultimately the trauma surgeon that put him back together."

    Hitter of the Week

    • LF Starling Marte (10-for-25, 4 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Jon Niese (2 W, 13.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 8 K)

8. San Francisco Giants (7-6, Previous: 3)

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    Brandon Belt
    Brandon BeltDavid Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Last Week: 2-4

    It wasn't a great week for the San Francisco Giants, as they lost series to the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers, but after their dominant first week, it's not enough to drop them out of the top 10.

    Buster Posey (1-for-16, 0 RBI) and Matt Duffy (2-for-23, 1 RBI) were both complete non-factors offensively last week, and those two are obviously integral to the success of the offense.

    However, it was the pitching staff that was to blame for the poor showing last week, as Jake Peavy (4.0 IP, 11 H, 6 ER), Matt Cain (4.2 IP, 6 H, 6 ER) and Madison Bumgarner (5.0 IP, 8 H, 4 ER) were all roughed up.

    They get the benefit of the doubt this week after what they showed the first week of the season, but they'll need to take full advantage of their upcoming homestand against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Miami Marlins and San Diego Padres if they hope to stay this high in the rankings.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 1B Brandon Belt (7-for-23, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Johnny Cueto (W, 7.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K)

7. Los Angeles Dodgers (8-5, Previous: 13)

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    Kenta Maeda
    Kenta MaedaAlex Gallardo/Associated Press

    Last Week: 4-2

    After dropping their first series against the rival San Francisco Giants the first week of the season, the Los Angeles Dodgers got some early revenge when they took two of three from them at home over the weekend.

    Kenta Maeda capped off that series win with another strong outing Sunday night, improving to 2-0 with an 0.47 ERA and 0.947 WHIP in his first three starts.

    "You really don't know what to expect from Kenta—when you see video, you wonder how [his performance in Japan] is going to translate here," manager Dave Roberts told Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. "But if you look at him after three starts, yeah, he has exceeded expectations. He's throwing the ball as well as anyone in baseball right now."

    Perhaps more importantly, the bullpenwhich was a complete disaster the first weeklooked much better as it allowed just four earned runs in 17 innings of work.

    The Dodgers enter the week with a plus-24 run differential, fourth-best in the majors.

    Hitter of the Week

    • LF Kike Hernandez (8-for-18, 2 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Kenta Maeda (W, ND, 13.0 IP, 9 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 11 K)

6. Texas Rangers (7-6, Previous: 11)

25 of 30

    Derek Holland
    Derek HollandJoe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-2

    The Texas Rangers took care of business last week with series wins against the Seattle Mariners and Baltimore Orioles, which earns them a place back inside the top 10 after they slid to No. 11 following a rocky first week.

    The relief corps is the big area of concern right now, as their bullpen enters the week with a 2-5 record and an AL-worst 5.77 ERA. The talent is there for them to have one of the best pens in baseball; it's just a matter of guys rounding into form.

    On the offensive side of things, 20-year-old Nomar Mazara continued to look right at home filling in for the injured Shin-Soo Choo in right field.

    He's gone 12-for-27 with one double, one home run and five RBI in his first seven games.

    Meanwhile, Yu Darvish looked sharp in his latest work off the mound Sunday, and he's currently scheduled to begin a rehab assignment on April 26 barring any setbacks, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.

    Hitter of the Week

    • CF Delino DeShields (11-for-22, 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 6 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Derek Holland (W, 6.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K)

5. Detroit Tigers (7-4, Previous: 6)

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    Jordan Zimmermann
    Jordan ZimmermannRick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-3

    Despite the fact that they sit third in the AL Central, a half-game behind the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox, the Detroit Tigers actually have the best run differential in the division at plus-15, which ties them for the AL lead.

    They took three of four from a good Pittsburgh Pirates team but followed that up by dropping two of three to Houston, so for now they climb just one spot up to No. 5.

    Justin Verlander remains perhaps the biggest X-factor for this team, as it really needs him to join Jordan Zimmermann as a front-line arm.

    So far, we've seen two strong starts out of Verlander where he allowed three runs in six innings both times, and one disastrous start where he gave up 10 hits and seven runs in 4.1 innings, so he's one to continue keeping an eye on here in the early going.

    Hitter of the Week

    • RF J.D. Martinez (11-for-27, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 5 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Jordan Zimmermann (W, 6.0 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K)

4. St. Louis Cardinals (7-5, Previous: 10)

27 of 30

    Jaime Garcia
    Jaime GarciaBilly Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-2

    Since scoring just seven total runs in their three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates to start the year, the St. Louis Cardinals have plated a whopping 78 runs in their past nine games, including double digits four different times.

    All of that has given them a plus-35 run differential here, second only to the team they're chasing in the NL Central in the Chicago Cubs.

    Jeremy Hazelbaker remains the most unlikely early-season story, as the 28-year-old rookie has been the driving force behind their offensive surge and continued to rake last week.

    It hasn't been all offense, though, as Jaime Garcia threw a gem on Thursday when he allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out 13 en route to his fourth career shutout.

    The Cardinals kick off this week with a big three-game series against the Cubs in St. Louis.

    Hitter of the Week

    • CF Jeremy Hazelbaker (7-for-18, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Jaime Garcia (W, 9.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 13 K)

3. Kansas City Royals (8-4, Previous: 2)

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    Ian Kennedy
    Ian KennedyThomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-3

    After racing out to an 8-2 start, the Kansas City Royals closed out last week with back-to-back losses to the Oakland Athletics.

    Nonetheless, it's still been a solid start to the year for the defending champions, as they've quickly dispelled any ideas of a potential World Series hangover.

    Heading into the year, it looked like the starting rotation was the biggest question mark, but outside of Chris Young (3 GS, 0-3, 7.90 ERA), the staff has been great and free-agent addition Ian Kennedy (2 GS, 2-0, 0.66 ERA) in particular has been fantastic.

    With Dillon Gee and Chien-Ming Wang both currently pitching out of the bullpen but capable of starting, it will be interesting to see how many more opportunities Young gets to right the ship before a change is made.

    Hitter of the Week

    • 1B Eric Hosmer (11-for-30, 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 5 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Ian Kennedy (W, 7.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K)

2. Washington Nationals (9-2, Previous: 7)

29 of 30

    Bryce Harper
    Bryce HarperBill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 6-1

    With a 6-1 performance last week that included series wins over the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies, the Washington Nationals are off to a stellar 9-2 start in 2016 as they look to put last season's disappointment in the rearview.

    The favorable schedule continues, as their next three series are against the Miami Marlins, Minnesota Twins and Phillies once again, so if they can take care of business against the teams they should, they'll have a chance to cement their place near the top of these rankings.

    Bryce Harper is off to a great start on the heels of his MVP campaign with a 1.356 OPS, six home runs and 15 RBI, while Daniel Murphy leads all of baseball with a .432 average and .523 OBP as he begins his Nationals career.

    On the pitching side of things, they lead all of baseball with a 2.06 ERA, including a 1.87 mark from the starting rotation.

    They're awfully close to catching the Cubs at this point, and we could easily have a new No. 1 team in next week's rankings.

    Hitter of the Week

    • RF Bryce Harper (9-for-26, 1 2B, 4 HR, 12 RBI, 6 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Joe Ross (W, 7.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K)

1. Chicago Cubs (9-3, Previous: 1)

30 of 30

    Addison Russell
    Addison RussellDennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-2

    Despite losing a weekend series to the Colorado Rockies and playing some shaky defense in the process, the Chicago Cubs hold on to the No. 1 spot in the rankings for at least one more week.

    Prior to the series loss to the Rockies—who turned in two terrific starting pitching performances—the Cubs swept a three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds, so they still closed out the week with a winning record, which makes it tough to justify dropping them.

    They also still carry the league's best run differential at plus-40, despite scoring just one run Friday and being shut out Sunday.

    Javier Baez returned to the roster after beginning the season on the disabled list with a thumb injury, and he's gone 3-for-7 with a double while starting at second base and shortstop. His versatility could prove to be a real weapon in the hands of manager Joe Maddon.

    With a big three-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals, followed by a trip to Cincinnati, the Cubs have their work cut out for them if they hope to remain here in the No. 1 slot.

    Hitter of the Week

    • SS Addison Russell (6-for-16, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R)

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Jake Arrieta (W, 8.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K)

    All standard and advanced stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted. Hitter and pitcher of the week stats reflect games played from Monday, April 11, through Sunday, April 17.

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