MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand After Opening Weekend

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistApril 6, 2021

MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand After Opening Weekend

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    Tony Avelar/Associated Press

    This is officially my 10th year authoring our weekly MLB power rankings here at Bleacher Report, and it's still difficult to handle the first update of the season.

    If I don't shuffle teams around enough, readers rightfully complain that the rankings are too subjective and don't properly reflect what's happening on the field. If I shuffle teams around too much, readers rightfully call it an overreaction to an extremely small sample size.

    So here's what we're going to do this year. Teams can move no more than 10 spots in either direction for this first update, relative to where they were in our Opening Day rankings. The undefeated Philadelphia Phillies don't suddenly jump to the top, and the 0-3 Atlanta Braves don't fall to the bottom, but we're still mixing things up.

    Sound good?

    Let's roll.

           

    Note: All statistics and analysis in this article reflect MLB action through Sunday's games. Records have been updated to include Monday's results.

Nos. 30-26

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    Ketel Marte
    Ketel MarteDenis Poroy/Associated Press

    30. Pittsburgh Pirates (1-3)

    Previous Rank: 30

    The Pirates won a game! Ke'Bryan Hayes hit his first home run of the season on Opening Day, and both Colin Moran and Bryan Reynolds are off to solid starts at the plate. Pitching is going to be an adventure all season long, and any time they can avoid a sweep, it will be a pleasant surprise.

        

    29. Colorado Rockies (1-3)

    Previous Rank: 29

    The Rockies drew the unenviable task of opening the season against the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers. Jon Gray (5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER) threw the ball well in his first start of a contract year, and the offense slugged six home runs in four games, but they still dropped three of four to begin the year.

       

    28. Texas Rangers (1-3)

    Previous Rank: 26 (-2 spots)

    Joey Gallo has carried his hot spring training performance over into the regular season, going 5-for-10 with a home run and more walks (five) than strikeouts (two) in his first three games. Jordan Lyles (5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER) and Kohei Arihara (5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER) both turned in strong starts, but the bullpen was shelled in a series loss to the Kansas City Royals.

        

    27. Arizona Diamondbacks (1-3)

    Previous Rank: 25 (-2 spots)

    The D-backs received impressive individual performances from Ketel Marte (9-for-16, 2 2B, 2 HR) and rookie right-hander Taylor Widener (6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER), but it was an ugly first week for the roster as a whole. The starting rotation could be a major issue if Madison Bumgarner can't right the ship and Zac Gallen misses significant time.

         

    26. San Francisco Giants (2-2)

    Previous Rank: 22 (-4 spots)

    Veterans Buster Posey and Evan Longoria each slugged two home runs over the weekend, but it wasn't enough for the Giants to avoid a series loss to the Seattle Mariners. Donovan Solano is off to a nice start once again with seven hits in 14 at-bats after hitting .328 over the past two seasons.

Nos. 25-21

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    Tarik Skubal
    Tarik SkubalCarlos Osorio/Associated Press

    25. Boston Red Sox (1-3)

    Previous Rank: 19 (-6 spots)

    The Red Sox hit .160 as a team and scored just five runs in three games as they were swept by the Baltimore Orioles to open the year. J.D. Martinez did the bulk of the offensive damage, going 6-for-12 with three doubles, one home run and three RBI, while the pitching staff threw the ball fairly well aside from a disastrous Boston debut for Garrett Richards (2.0 IP, 7 H, 6 ER).

        

    24. Miami Marlins (1-3)

    Previous Rank: 20 (-4 spots)

    The Marlins lost their first two games despite stellar starts from Sandy Alcantara (6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER) and Pablo Lopez (5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER), then pulled out a victory on Sunday when Elieser Hernandez didn't even make it out of the third inning of his start. Baseball...you gotta love it.

         

    23. Milwaukee Brewers (1-3)

    Previous Rank: 18 (-5 spots)

    Corbin Burnes struck out 11 of the 21 batters he faced while allowing just one hit in 6.1 inningsa solo home run to Byron Buxtonbut he took the loss pitching opposite six no-hit innings from Jose Berrios. The offense will need to wake up after tallying just 17 hits (14 singles) and eight runs in three games.

         

    22. Cleveland (1-3)

    Previous Rank: 16 (-6 spots)

    Shane Bieber, Zach Plesac and Aaron Civale all recorded quality starts to begin the year, but Cleveland walked away with just one win against the Detroit Tigers. Someone is going to have to step forward in the middle of the lineup alongside Jose Ramirez and Eddie Rosario.

         

    21. Detroit Tigers (2-2)

    Previous Rank: 27 (+6 spots)

    Things went as well as the Tigers could have hoped as far as the starting pitching trio of Matthew Boyd (5.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER), Julio Teheran (5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER) and Tarik Skubal (5.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER) is concerned. This team quietly kicked off the 2020 season with a 9-5 record, and they're off to a nice start once again.

Nos. 20-16

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    Cedric Mullins
    Cedric MullinsSteven Senne/Associated Press

    20. Oakland Athletics (0-5)

    Previous Rank: 10 (-10 spots)

    The 10-spot movement rule keeps the Athletics from sliding any further down the rankings for now, but yikes. They hit .171 as a team, posted an 8.25 ERA as a staff and were outscored 35-9 in a four-game sweep at the hands of the Houston Astros.

       

    19. St. Louis Cardinals (2-2)

    Previous Rank: 11 (-8 spots)

    The Cardinals pitching staff posted an unsightly 9.72 ERA in three games against the Cincinnati Reds, with Jack Flaherty and Adam Wainwright allowing a combined 12 earned runs in seven innings. On a positive note, Paul Goldschmidt (5-for-13, 2 2B) and Nolan Arenado (5-for-13, 2B, HR) look awfully good hitting next to each other in the lineup.

        

    18. Baltimore Orioles (3-1)

    Previous Rank: 28 (+10 spots)

    Outfielder Cedric Mullins abandoned switch-hitting this spring, and it seems to be paying early dividends after he went 9-for-13 with three doubles in Baltimore's series sweep of the Red Sox. Bruce Zimmermann and the piggyback of Matt Harvey and Adam Plutko got the job done behind John Means in the rotation, and they currently boast a 1.67 team ERA.

        

    17. Seattle Mariners (2-2)

    Previous Rank: 23 (+7 spots)

    A series win over the Giants jumps the Mariners up to the middle of the pack, and it's entirely possible that they're here to stay as a dark-horse contender in 2021. Yusei Kikuchi (6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 10 K) and Chris Flexen (5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER) both provided some early reason for optimism that the starting staff will be more effective this year.

         

    16. Kansas City Royals (3-1)

    Previous Rank: 17 (+7 spots)

    The Royals wrapped up the opening weekend hitting an MLB-best .330 as a team and averaging 9.3 runs per game. They scored 25 runs in their first two games before losing on Sunday, but it was still a loud way to start the season for a young team on the rise. Look out for this Royals lineup.

Nos. 15-11

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    Michael King
    Michael KingKathy Willens/Associated Press

    15. Cincinnati Reds (3-1)

    Previous Rank: 21 (+6 spots)

    After the Cincinnati offense went quiet last October, a strong opening series at the plate was a welcome sign. They hit .291 as a team and scored 27 runs in three games, with Nick Castellanos (6-for-11, 2B, 3B, 2 HR) leading the charge. Luis Castillo (3.1 IP, 8 H, 8 ER) will need to rebound from an ugly Opening Day start, especially with Trevor Bauer gone and Sonny Gray on the injured list.

        

    14. Atlanta Braves (0-3)

    Previous Rank: 4 (-10 spots)

    After posting an MLB-worst .128 batting average while getting swept by the Philadelphia Phillies to start the year, Atlanta slides the maximum 10 spots down the rankings to No. 14 overall. The pitching staff looked sharp, and it's highly unlikely they are going to struggle to score runs for any extended period of time, so no reason to be alarmed.

         

    13. Chicago White Sox (2-3)

    Previous Rank: 13 (-8 spots)

    The White Sox opened with a thud, losing three of four to the Los Angeles Angels on the road. That said, journeyman minor leaguer Yermin Mercedes was one of the biggest stories of the weekend, going 8-for-8 in his first two games and 9-for-14 with two doubles and a home run overall in his first MLB action as a 28-year-old rookie. For now, he's the answer to the team's DH question.

         

    12. New York Yankees (2-2)

    Previous Rank: 3 (-9 spots)

    Led by six innings of one-hit ball from Michael King in relief of Domingo German, the Yankees bullpen allowed just one earned run in 15.2 innings against the Toronto Blue Jays. The offense didn't show up, scoring just eight runs in three games, but pitching is a far bigger question mark going forward, and their staff has looked strong so far.

         

    11. Washington Nationals (0-0)

    Previous Rank: 9 (-2 spots)

    A positive COVID-19 test and subsequent contact tracing has kept the Nationals out of action to begin the year. With no new positive tests over the weekend, they are scheduled to begin their 2021 season on Tuesday against Atlanta.

Nos. 10-6

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    Jared Walsh's walk-off
    Jared Walsh's walk-offAshley Landis/Associated Press

    10. Los Angeles Angels (4-1)

    Previous Rank: 15 (+5 spots)

    Between Shohei Ohtani grabbing headlines with his two-way skills, Jared Walsh slugging a walk-off home run on Sunday, and solid six-inning, three-run starts from Dylan Bundy and Alex Cobb, it was a successful first week for the Angels. Expectations are high, and a series win over the White Sox is a great way to start.

          

    9. Chicago Cubs (3-1)

    Previous Rank: 14 (+5 spots)

    After suffering a 5-3 loss on Opening Day, the Cubs rebounded to take two of three from the Pirates, and with so many top teams suffering slow starts, that's enough for them to temporarily climb into the top 10 in these rankings. Did Jake Arrieta (6.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER) and Craig Kimbrel (2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 5 K) find the fountain of youth?

          

    8. Toronto Blue Jays (3-1)

    Previous Rank: 12 (+4 spots)

    The Blue Jays are going to see plenty of the Yankees this year, so taking two of three from them early is a nice way to set the tone. After Kirby Yates was lost for the season, the closer job appeared to be a crapshoot, but Julian Merryweather nailed down a pair of saves while striking out five in two perfect innings to stake an early claim to the role.

        

    7. Philadelphia Phillies (4-0)

    Previous Rank: 17 (+10 spots)

    The Phillies face a stiff battle keeping pace in an ultra-competitive NL East, and a three-game sweep of the defending division champs was a great way to start. They used just seven pitchers to get through the series thanks to all three starters pitching into the seventh inning and closer Hector Neris working three straight games. That group combined for a 0.96 ERA against one of the best lineups in baseball.

        

    6. New York Mets (0-1)

    Previous Rank: 6

    The innocent bystanders of the Nationals' positive COVID-19 test, the Mets had their opening series canceled.

Nos. 5-1

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    Jose Berrios
    Jose BerriosCharles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    5. Tampa Bay Rays (2-2)

    Previous Rank: 7 (+2 spots)

    Tyler Glasnow and Ryan Yarbrough are going to have to do a lot of heavy lifting for a Tampa Bay starting rotation that lost Blake Snell and Charlie Morton, so their 11.2 scoreless innings combined is a promising start. The offense pulled its weight with 14 runs in three games, and they came away with a series win over the Marlins.

         

    4. Minnesota Twins (3-1)

    Previous Rank: 8 (+4 spots)

    The Twins' minuscule 0.67 ERA is a bit deceiving, as they allowed six unearned runs in three games against the Brewers. That said, Jose Berrios threw six no-hit innings, Michael Pineda tossed five strong frames, and the bullpen foursome of Tyler Duffey, Hansel Robles, Taylor Rogers and Alex Colome looks like it's going to be a major weapon. Is this the year Byron Buxton finally puts it all together?

            

    3. Houston Astros (4-1)

    Previous Rank: 13 (+10 spots)

    This was as high as the Astros could climb under the 10-spot rule, but they were as impressive as any team in baseball during the opening weekend with a dominant four-game sweep of the Athletics. Zack Greinke tossed six scoreless innings on Opening Day, and the rest of the staff did more than enough in support of an offense that piled up 35 runs.

          

    2. San Diego Padres (3-2)

    Previous Rank: 2

    The Padres took three of four from the D-backs to keep pace with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West, and those two juggernauts will be doing battle all year. Eric Hosmer (7-for-11, 2 2B, 2 HR) is off to a red-hot start at the plate, while Blake Snell and Joe Musgrove both made it through their Padres debuts unscathed.

             

    1. Los Angeles Dodgers (4-1)

    Previous Rank: 1

    The Dodgers hit .329 as a team during their opening series, led by Corey Seager (8-for-12, 2 2B) and Gavin Lux (6-for-16, 2 3B), while Walker Buehler (6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER) and Trevor Bauer (6.1 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 10 K) led the way on the mound. The bullpen was far from perfect, and they hit just two home runs in four games, but taking three of four was more than enough to keep them in the No. 1 spot.

Complete Rankings

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    Denis Poroy/Associated Press

    Complete Rankings

    1. Los Angeles Dodgers
    2. San Diego Padres
    3. Houston Astros
    4. Minnesota Twins
    5. Tampa Bay Rays
    6. New York Mets
    7. Philadelphia Phillies
    8. Toronto Blue Jays
    9. Chicago Cubs
    10. Los Angeles Angels
    11. Washington Nationals
    12. New York Yankees
    13. Chicago White Sox
    14. Atlanta Braves
    15. Cincinnati Reds
    16. Kansas City Royals
    17. Seattle Mariners
    18. Baltimore Orioles
    19. St. Louis Cardinals
    20. Oakland Athletics
    21. Detroit Tigers
    22. Cleveland
    23. Milwaukee Brewers
    24. Miami Marlins
    25. Boston Red Sox
    26. San Francisco Giants
    27. Arizona Diamondbacks
    28. Texas Rangers
    29. Colorado Rockies
    30. Pittsburgh Pirates

Highlight of the Week: Trey Mancini Returns

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    Sometimes, it's bigger than baseball.

    Trey Mancini was one of the breakout stars of 2019, posting a 136 OPS+ with 35 home runs and 97 RBI in a 3.9-WAR season for the rebuilding Baltimore Orioles.

    Expected to continue developing into a building block last year, he was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer and sidelined while he underwent chemotherapy. It was fair to wonder if he would ever take the field again.

    In November, he announced he was cancer-free, and he worked his way back to earn a spot on the Baltimore roster.

    He shared a nice moment at first base with Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts on Opening Day, and he picked up his first hit of the year in the top of the eighth inning when he singled through the left side of the infield.

    Here's to a great season for Mancini.

Team of the Week

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    Yermin Mercedes
    Yermin MercedesAshley Landis/Associated Press

    C Gary Sanchez, NYY
    (3-for-11, 2 HR, 3 RBI)

    1B Eric Hosmer, SD
    (7-for-11, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI)

    2B Whit Merrifield, KC
    (6-for-13, 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI)

    3B Alex Bregman, HOU
    (6-for-12, 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI)

    SS Corey Seager, LAD
    (8-for-12, 2 2B, 3 RBI)

    OF Michael A. Taylor, KC
    (6-for-13, 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI)

    OF Cedric Mullins, BAL
    (9-for-13, 3 2B, 4 R)

    OF Ketel Marte, ARI
    (9-for-16, 2 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI)

    DH Yermin Mercedes, CWS
    (9-for-14, 2 2B, HR, 6 RBI)

    SP Zack Wheeler, PHI
    (1 GS, W, 7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K)

    SP Jose Berrios, MIN
    (1 GS, W, 6.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 12 K)

    SP John Means, BAL
    (1 GS, W, 7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K)

    SP Tyler Glasnow, TB
    (1 GS, ND, 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K)

    RP Michael King, NYY
    (1 G, 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K)

    RP Julian Merryweather, TOR
    (2 G, 2/2 SV, 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K)

Award Rankings

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    Corey Seager
    Corey SeagerDavid Zalubowski/Associated Press

    AL MVP

    1. Alex Bregman, HOU
    2. Cedric Mullins, BAL
    3. Whit Merrifield, KC

    NL MVP

    1. Corey Seager, LAD
    2. Eric Hosmer, SD
    3. Ketel Marte, ARI

          

    AL Cy Young

    1. Jose Berrios, MIN
    2. John Means, BAL
    3. Tyler Glasnow, TB

    NL Cy Young

    1. Zack Wheeler, PHI
    2. Joe Musgrove, SD
    3. Sandy Alcantara, MIA

             

    AL Rookie of the Year

    1. Yermin Mercedes, CWS
    2. Kyle Isbel, KC
    3. Bruce Zimmermann, BAL

    NL Rookie of the Year

    1. Taylor Widener, ARI
    2. Jonathan India, CIN
    3. Ian Anderson, ATL

            

    Stats courtesy of MLB.com and Baseball Reference unless otherwise noted.