MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand in Week 3 of 2020 Season
Another wacky week of baseball is complete, and while a few contenders are starting to separate themselves from the rest of the pack, chaos still reigns supreme in the early going of the 2020 season.
As the season progresses, teams will continue to rise and fall in our weekly power rankings relative to their placement the previous week and based on their recent production. In other words, if a team keeps winning, it will keep climbing. If it keeps losing, the slide will continue.
Ahead, you'll find a quick breakdown of each of the 30 teams, along with our highlight of the week, the top individual performers of the week and a look at the leaders for MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year, which will be updated weekly.
Let's get started!
30. Pittsburgh Pirates (3-13)
The Pirates are 1-10 in their last 11 games. The offense ranks 30th in the majors with a .601 OPS, and the pitching staff ranks 28th in the majors with a 5.32 ERA. It could be a while before they move out of the No. 30 spot in these rankings.
29. Seattle Mariners (6-11)
Rookie Kyle Lewis is hitting .355/.420/.516 with three home runs and 10 RBI and third baseman Kyle Seager is tied for third in the AL with 14 RBI. That's about it as far as bright spots for a team that has gone 3-7 in its last 10 games and has an MLB-worst minus-38 run differential.
28. Arizona Diamondbacks (6-10)
Prized offseason signing Madison Bumgarner has struggled to a 9.35 ERA over his first four starts. He left his most recent outing with back spasms and will be evaluated by team doctors. That tells the story for a team that ranks 29th in the majors with a 5.48 ERA and 28th on the offensive side with a .626 OPS.
27. Toronto Blue Jays (5-8)
The Blue Jays dropped a pair of series to the Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox last week as the offense continues to sputter. They are hitting .218 as a team and averaging just 3.0 runs per game, which has undercut a solid showing from the pitching staff, particularly a bullpen that ranks sixth in the majors with a 3.21 ERA.
26. Los Angeles Angels (5-11)
The Angels claimed a series win over the Mariners before getting swept by the Texas Rangers over the weekend, effectively demonstrating where they stand in the AL West pecking order. Top prospect Jo Adell is off to an inauspicious 2-for-15 start with nine strikeouts and a costly defensive blunder, but he could flip the switch at any time.
25. San Francisco Giants (7-10)
Mike Yastrzemski (73 PA, .322/.452/.661, 11 XBH) and Donovan Solano (59 PA, .455/.475/.636, 8 XBH) have been two of the most productive hitters in baseball, and Solano's quest for a .400 average could soon become a national story if he keeps rolling. That said, series losses to the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers still send the Giants sliding.
24. Philadelphia Phillies (4-6)
The Phillies finally returned to action on Wednesday, playing their first game since their season-opening series with the Miami Marlins. They split a four-game series with the New York Yankees before dropping two of three to the Atlanta Braves over the weekend. Despite the layoff, catcher J.T. Realmuto had a stellar week, going 7-for-17 with three home runs.
23. Washington Nationals (4-7)
The Nationals went 1-3 last week, and they were trailing the Baltimore Orioles by a 5-2 score in the sixth inning on Sunday when rain led to the game being suspended. The defending champs have yet to play a game away from Nationals Park, but that's about to change as they embark on a 10-game road trip starting Monday.
22. Kansas City Royals (7-10)
The Royals jump up several spots in the rankings after a weekend series sweep of the Minnesota Twins. The Kansas City bullpen has done a lot of heavy lifting in the early going, pitching an MLB-high 73 innings and posting a stellar 3.33 ERA that ranks eighth in the majors. The offense has also impressed with a .743 OPS that is good for eighth leaguewide.
21. New York Mets (7-9)
After struggling early, the Mets appeared to turn a corner last week, cooling off a red-hot Miami Marlins team with a series win over the weekend. Rick Porcello delivered his best start in a Mets uniform on Wednesday when he allowed just five hits and one earned runs over seven innings. More of the same would go a long way.
20. Texas Rangers (6-8)
The Rangers were swept by the Athletics to begin last week, and then they paid if forward by sweeping the Angels over the weekend. Rafael Montero nailed down a pair of save opportunities with two perfect innings, and he now looks like the guy in the ninth inning with Jose Leclerc on the shelf. The team converted just 2-of-5 save chances prior to Montero stepping into the ninth-inning role.
19. Boston Red Sox (6-9)
Outfielder Alex Verdugo finally came to life at the plate last week, going 5-for-16 with three home runs. The Red Sox leapfrogged the Blue Jays in the rankings thanks to a weekend series win, but questions still abound surrounding the starting rotation.
18. St. Louis Cardinals (2-3)
The Cardinals have not played a game since July 29 while dealing with a coronavirus outbreak, and their series with the Pirates to begin this week has already been postponed.
17. Milwaukee Brewers (6-7)
After an ugly 1-for-27 start to the year, Christian Yelich is finally starting to look like himself, going 6-for-20 with three home runs in his last six games. That didn't stop the Brewers from enduring a 3-4 week that included a series loss to the Cincinnati Reds, but getting Yelich on track is a good first step for an offense hitting .216 and averaging 4.0 runs per game.
16. Baltimore Orioles (7-7)
The Orioles rebounded from a four-game sweep at the hands of the Marlins to win a pair of games against the Nationals, maintaining a .500 record in the process. Slugger Renato Nunez hit three more home runs last week, and he now has a .973 OPS with five home runs and 11 RBI on the year.
15. Cincinnati Reds (7-9)
The Reds managed to salvage a week that began with them dropping three of four to the in-state rival Indians, taking two of three from the Brewers over the weekend. The starting rotation continues to impress with an NL-best 2.58 ERA, and the bullpen continues to be a dumpster fire with an MLB-worst 7.77 ERA and three blown saves.
14. Chicago White Sox (8-8)
After a four-game split with the Brewers and a series loss to the Indians, the White Sox now sit at .500 on the season with a minus-three run differential. Lucas Giolito and Dylan Cease have both pitched well since turning in rocky 2020 debuts and Dallas Keuchel has been terrific, but the other two spots in the rotation have posted a combined 7.72 ERA in six games.
13. Houston Astros (6-9)
A 1-5 week sends the Astros tumbling out of the top 10 in the rankings, but they still have a positive run differential on the year. For all that was made of the uncertainty surrounding the pitching staff, the offense was to blame over the weekend, scoring just five runs in three games as they were swept by the Oakland Athletics.
12. Detroit Tigers (8-5)
The Tigers swept a three-game series from the sputtering Pirates over the weekend after their meeting with the Cardinals was postponed earlier in the week. Jeimer Candelario (6-for-14, 4 RBI) led the way offensively and Spencer Turnbull tossed a gem on Sunday, allowing five hits and one earned run in seven strong innings.
11. Tampa Bay Rays (8-8)
Mired in a five-game losing streak to begin last week, the Rays split two games with the Red Sox before taking three of four in an impressive showing against the Yankees. It looks like the pitching staff will have to shoulder the load once again this year with the offense stumbling out of the gates to a .208 average and .671 OPS.
10. Miami Marlins (7-3)
The Marlins exploded out of their forced hiatus with a decisive four-game sweep of the Orioles, outscoring them 15-8 while tossing a pair of shutouts. Right-hander Pablo Lopez is one to watch in the starting rotation, and the offense has plated a respectable 4.2 runs per game. At the very least, this team looks like it could be a thorn in the side of contenders, but it has a chance to make some legitimate noise.
9. San Diego Padres (7-3)
Fernando Tatis Jr. (10-for-23, 6 HR) caught fire at the plate last week and rookie Jake Cronenworth (6-for-18, 2 HR) announced himself as a potential NL Rookie of the Year candidate in a wide-open field. Pitching prospect Luis Patino was promoted to reinforce the bullpen, and No. 1 prospect MacKenzie Gore may not be far behind.
8. Cleveland Indians (10-7)
The Indians outscored opponents 33-12 in a 5-2 week, picking up series wins over the Reds and White Sox to move within a half-game of the Twins in the AL Central standings. They lead the majors with a 2.04 ERA, and for as good as their starting rotation has been, the bullpen has been even better with a 1.51 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and seven saves in seven opportunities. Shane Bieber (3-0, 1.63 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, 5 BB, 43 K, 27.2 IP) is the best pitcher in baseball right now.
7. Minnesota Twins (10-6)
After a 10-3 start to the year, the Twins showed some warts over the weekend when their potent offense was kept in check and they were swept by the Royals. Rookie Randy Dobnak (15.0 IP, 0.60 ERA) and Kenta Maeda (17.0 IP, 2.65 ERA) have been terrific, but the rest of the rotation has struggled to find any sort of consistency. Can the pitching staff pull its weight all season?
6. New York Yankees (10-6)
With several other top-10 teams putting together strong weeks, a 3-5 showing was enough to knock the Yankees from their No. 1 perch. Losing Giancarlo Stanton (hamstring injury) is a blow, but the ongoing struggles of the starting rotation is a far greater concern. In the nine games not started by Gerrit Cole or Masahiro Tanaka, the team's starters have a 7.76 ERA.
5. Oakland Athletics (12-4)
The Athletics became the first team to 12 wins when they wrapped up a series sweep of the Astros and a 7-0 week with a 7-2 victory on Sunday. Frankie Montas (2 GS, 2-0, 14.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 14 K) and Jesus Luzardo (2 GS, 1-0, 10.2 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 10 K) looked the part of co-aces in two-start weeks. This team has all the pieces to make a legitimate title push if the starting rotation can stay healthy.
4. Colorado Rockies (11-4)
Charlie Blackmon went 14-for-25 with three doubles and two home runs at the plate last week, and the upstart Rockies rotation turned in four quality starts and received four no-hit innings from Ryan Castellani in his MLB debut. I was critical of the front office for not doing enough to improve during the offseason, but they look awfully strong in the early going.
3. Chicago Cubs (10-3)
The Cubs took three of four from the Royals in an abridged week due to the postponement of their series with the rival Cardinals. Alec Mills turned in another strong start (7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER), and he continues to be one of the biggest surprises of the season. The bullpen seemed to find some stability after Craig Kimbrel was officially ousted from the closer's role.
2. Atlanta Braves (11-6)
The Braves entered last week in the No. 4 spot in our rankings, and with the Yankees and Twins both slipping a bit, they move up to No. 2 following series wins over the Blue Jays and Phillies. That said, losing Mike Soroka for the season to a torn Achilles is a huge blow, and someone will need to step up behind early standout Max Fried (3-0, 1.59 ERA, 21 K, 22.2 IP). They are loaded with quality arms and starting pitching depth, but it's still a significant concern.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (11-5)
The Dodgers are 9-3 with a plus-29 run differential since splitting a four-game series with the Giants to start the year. The offense ranks fourth in the majors with a .765 OPS and is scoring 5.4 runs per game, while the pitching staff has an NL-best 2.53 ERA and a .198 opponents' batting average. This was the most complete team in baseball when the season started, and it still looks like the team to beat in 2020.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
2. Atlanta Braves
3. Chicago Cubs
4. Colorado Rockies
5. Oakland Athletics
6. New York Yankees
7. Minnesota Twins
8. Cleveland Indians
9. San Diego Padres
10. Miami Marlins
11. Tampa Bay Rays
12. Detroit Tigers
13. Houston Astros
14. Chicago White Sox
15. Cincinnati Reds
16. Baltimore Orioles
17. Milwaukee Brewers
18. St. Louis Cardinals
19. Boston Red Sox
20. Texas Rangers
21. New York Mets
22. Kansas City Royals
23. Washington Nationals
24. Philadelphia Phillies
25. San Francisco Giants
26. Los Angeles Angels
27. Toronto Blue Jays
28. Arizona Diamondbacks
29. Seattle Mariners
30. Pittsburgh Pirates
Highlight of the Week: Nick Markakis Returns with a Walk-Off
Veteran outfielder Nick Markakis was one of the first players to opt out of the 2020 season, and he had the full support of the organization when he made that decision.
However, watching from home while his teammates played quickly proved harder than expected.
"Sitting at home, watching these guys compete the last couple days and all the risks they're taking going out there, in a way, deep down in the pit of my stomach, I felt like I needed to be out there," Markakis told reporters. "I had the opportunity to be welcomed back and here I am. I'm going to do my best to get back as quick as I can and help these guys out."
He announced on July 29 that he would be rejoining the team, and he made his 2020 debut on Wednesday when he grounded out as a pinch-hitter.
The 36-year-old was the starting right fielder and No. 5 hitter on Thursday, and after an 0-for-3 start to the game, he broke a 3-3 tie with a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth.
"You can pull him off the couch at 50 years old and he's going to be able to hit," Braves manager Brian Snitker told reporters. "What a great way to come back."
The Braves look like the team to beat in the NL East, and Markakis is clearly still capable of making a significant impact.
Team of the Week
C Salvador Perez, KC
(12-for-28, 4 2B, HR, 4 RBI)
1B Todd Frazier, TEX
(10-for-23, 3 2B, HR, 2 RBI)
2B DJ LeMahieu, NYY
(11-for-28, HR, 3 RBI)
3B Erik Gonzalez, PIT
(11-for-24, 3 2B, HR, 8 RBI)
SS Fernando Tatis Jr., SD
(10-for-23, 2B, 6 HR, 9 RBI)
OF Charlie Blackmon, COL
(14-for-25, 3 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI)
OF Ronald Acuna Jr., ATL
(9-for-23, 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 7 BB)
OF Max Kepler, MIN
(7-for-24, 2 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 7 BB)
DH Jesus Aguilar, MIA
(8-for-24, 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI)
SP Frankie Montas, OAK
(2 GS, 2-0, 14.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ERA, 4 BB, 14 K)
SP Max Fried, ATL
(2 GS, 2-0, 11.0 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 9 K)
SP Dinelson Lamet, SD
(2 GS, 1-0, 12.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 13 K)
SP Dylan Bundy, LAA
(1 GS, 1-0, 9.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 K)
SP Alec Mills, CHC
(1 GS, 1-0, 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K)
RP Alex Colome, CWS
(4 G, 3/3 SV, 4.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K)
Updated Award Rankings
1. Aaron Judge, NYY
2. Shane Bieber, CLE
3. Nelson Cruz, MIN
1. Fernando Tatis Jr., SD
2. Charlie Blackmon, COL
3. Nick Castellanos, CIN
AL Cy Young
1. Shane Bieber, CLE
2. Lance Lynn, TEX
3. Dylan Bundy, LAA
NL Cy Young
1. Trevor Bauer, CIN
2. Dinelson Lamet, SD
3. Max Fried, ATL
AL Rookie of the Year
1. Luis Robert, CWS
2. Kyle Lewis, SEA
3. Randy Dobnak, MIN
NL Rookie of the Year
1. Jake Cronenworth, SD
2. Dustin May, LAD
3. David Peterson, NYM