mlb_rankings_945
Rank   Team Record   Change   Comment
1 Washington Nationals Washington Nationals 14-4
Our first repeater at the top of the list, the Nats have played a relatively easy schedule. However, the key when playing weaker teams is to beat them, and Washington is doing just that. A tough road trip through St. Louis, Kansas City, and Chicago starts later this week, and the Nats will be tested.
2 Chicago Cubs Chicago Cubs 14-5
The Cubbies keep rolling along, with five wins on the road last week. With a plus-68 run differential already, Chicago gets to feast on Milwaukee and Atlanta at Wrigley this week. Strangely, the team has played just two one-run games so far this season, posting a 1-1 mark in those close contests.
3 Chicago White Sox Chicago White Sox 13-6
▲ 1
While most predicted north side success in the Windy City this season, almost no one predicted south side success. But here are the White Sox nonetheless, with a different winning method. Only plus-14 in the run column, Chicago is living on the edge right now with a seven-game road trip through Toronto and Baltimore on the docket this week.
4 Kansas City Royals Kansas City Royals 12-6
▲ 2
The wins should keep piling up for the defending champions as they tour the West Coast this week, facing the Angels and the Mariners. Ian Kennedy, Yordano Ventura, and Edison Volquez are a combined 7-1, while Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera have yet to give up a run in 19 total appearances this season.
5 Baltimore Orioles Baltimore Orioles 11-6
▼ 2
Holding their own last week against the Blue Jays and the Royals has to give the Orioles some confidence, and with a 2.5-game lead in the American League East, Baltimore is surprising everyone. However, like the White Sox, the margin for error is thin with this group. The Orioles may be reviving their 2012 mojo that led to a postseason berth.
6 Los Angeles Dodgers Los Angeles Dodgers 12-7
▲ 1
They have a 2.5-game lead in the National League West already, and Kenta Maeda survived his first start at Coors Field without giving up a run. In 25 innings now, the 28-year-old righty has given up just one run. With Miami and San Diego on the schedule this week, look for L.A. to move up next week.
7 New York Mets New York Mets 10-7
▲ 9
Dropping just one game last week—in extra innings, no less—moved the Mets into our Top 10. Now, the club has a nine-game homestand ahead to really find its groove. Jacob deGrom is back, too, as he showed in beating the Braves on the road Sunday.
8 Cleveland Indians Cleveland Indians 9-7
▲ 3
The Tribe just finished a three-game sweep of the Tigers in Detroit, outscoring the host team, 18-5, in the process. It doesn’t get much better than that for Cleveland. Corey Kluber won his first game on Saturday, too, and now he has 29 Ks in 27 IP.
9 St. Louis Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals 10-8
It was a tough week for the Cards as they lost a showdown series with the Cubs, but playing the Padres after that helped soothe the pain. SS Aledmys Diaz is hitting .480 with three home runs and 11 RBI in 16 games. Is he for real? Where does St. Louis find these guys?
10 Oakland Athletics Oakland Athletics 10-9
▲ 9
After losing two straight in Toronto over the weekend, the A’s now have been outscored by four runs this season. Oakland is 7-2 on the road this season, and after a three-game set this week in Detroit, the A’s will have to learn to win at home if they want to stay atop the AL West.
11 Pittsburgh Pirates Pittsburgh Pirates 10-9
▲ 3
The 4.57 team ERA is keeping the Pirates from achieving more this April, and the offensive inconsistency is frustrating for the Pittsburgh club. Twice last week, the Pirates scored in double digits, and twice they were held to two runs or less. That spells danger when you’re heading to Coors Field for four games starting today.
12 Texas Rangers Texas Rangers 10-9
The Rangers are hosting the struggling Angels and Yankees this week, which means they have a chance to move up in our rankings next week. Texas is posting some odd home/road splits this year: 6-3 at home and a minus-4 run differential, 4-6 away with a plus-5 run differential.
13 Seattle Mariners Seattle Mariners 9-9
▲ 8
Two extra-inning wins on the road last week fueled a nice finish to a nine-game road trip. With six games at home this week combined against Houston and Kansas City, the Mariners could be facing a make-or-break stretch here in late April. Seattle still has six regulars hitting .233 or worse.
14 Boston Red Sox Boston Red Sox 9-9
▼ 4
The Red Sox are just 4-6 at Fenway, and they host a rivalry series at home against the Yankees later in the week. Four games against the Braves before that should get Boston warmed up nicely for New York. With 90 runs scored and 90 runs allowed, this team is the very definition of average right now.
15 Colorado Rockies Colorado Rockies 9-9
▼ 7
The Rox struggled last week, dropping two games against both Cincinnati and Los Angeles. They start a 10-game road trip on Friday, and Colorado is a better road team this season so far. However, Sunday’s loss to the Dodgers will sting for awhile: After scoring five runs in the bottom of the eighth to take a 10-7 lead, the Rockies gave up five in the top of the ninth to lose 12-10. Only at Coors Field...
16 Detroit Tigers Detroit Tigers 8-9
▼ 11
A one-win week hurts any team, and the Tigers have a four-game losing streak now as they prepare to host the A’s for four games. Detroit has scored just eight runs in the last five games, and the Tigers have a better lineup than that. Miguel Cabrera is hitting just .206 right now: Watch out, Oakland.
17 Arizona Diamondbacks Arizona Diamondbacks 10-10
▲ 10
A four-game sweep of the Giants at AT&T Park made this a stellar week for the D’backs. Dropping Sunday’s home game to the Pirates after multiple comebacks in late innings had to hurt, however. Arizona has seven more games this week at Chase Field, though.
18 Toronto Blue Jays Toronto Blue Jays 10-10
After dropping the series opener to the A’s on Friday night at home, the Blue Jays recovered nicely to win the last two games, scoring 15 runs in the process. That’s the Toronto offense we expect to see all the time. Is that unrealistic? Hardly. With 10 of the next 13 games at the Rogers Centre, look for the Blue Jays to make a move in the AL East standings.
19 Philadelphia Phillies Philadelphia Phillies 9-10
▲ 1
With a minus-26 run differential, it’s stunning the Phils are this close to .500 on the season. Philadelphia just isn’t scoring runs, although with 25 runs in the last four games, maybe the Phillies lineup is waking up. We doubt it, though.
20 Tampa Bay Rays Tampa Bay Rays 8-10
▲ 4
The Rays play a very low-scoring type of baseball, as Tampa Bay is averaging 3.6 runs per game and giving up 3.7 runs per game. If you like pitchers’ duels, this is your team. The Rays play their next eight games at home against the Orioles, the Blue Jays, and the Dodgers. Things could get interesting at Tropicana Field.
21 New York Yankees New York Yankees 7-10
▼ 4
The Bronx Bombers got swept at home by Oakland for the first time since 2006, scoring just seven runs in three games. Luckily, a series win against Tampa Bay salvaged the week, somewhat. It’s odd to say this early in the season, but the upcoming nine-game road trip through Texas, Boston, and Baltimore could be very important to the Yanks’ 2016 chances.
22 Cincinnati Reds Cincinnati Reds 9-10
▼ 7
Losing homestands stink, and that’s what dropped the Reds in our rankings this week. Cincy is currently posting a minus-40 run differential, so clearly, there’s work to be done here on every facet of the diamond. Losing 16-0 at home when the opponent’s starter tosses a no-hit game hurts a lot, too.
23 Los Angeles Angels Los Angeles Angels 8-11
▼ 1
The Angels are just cruising along, playing mediocre baseball. For a team with the sixth-highest payroll in the game, that isn’t going to cut it in Los Angeles. How long before the team trades Mike Trout for a haul of prospects? We don’t see it happening, of course, but maybe it should.
24 Miami Marlins Miami Marlins 6-11
▲ 1
Three wins against the Nationals and the Giants combined last week made it a good week for the lowly Marlins. Jose Fernandez has 32 Ks in just 22 2/3 IP, but 11 walks are hurting him (4.37 ERA). Giancarlo Stanton needs to pick it up (.230 average, 24 Ks) for Miami to do any real damage to other teams on a regular basis.
25 San Francisco Giants San Francisco Giants 9-11
▼ 12
A big fall this week for the Giants after going just 2-5 in seven games at AT&T Park. San Francisco has just three wins in its last 12 games, and the slump is real. The rotation has a 4.56 ERA, and there isn’t a lot of help in sight there. Buster Posey’s current .724 OPS isn’t helping, either.
26 Milwaukee Brewers Milwaukee Brewers 8-11
▼ 3
The Brewers are just “there” this season, with nothing really interesting to watch when they play. Former NL MVP Ryan Braun seems to have remembered how to hit (1.069 OPS), his highest mark since that stellar 2012 season. The rotation, however, is entirely forgettable.
27 San Diego Padres San Diego Padres 7-12
▲ 1
With six road games coming up this week in Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Padres will help division rivals pad their stats. Then again, San Diego just held its own against Pittsburgh and St. Louis last week. How did they do that? The Padres pitching staff has coughed up 31 runs in the last four games.
28 Houston Astros Houston Astros 6-13
▼ 2
Easily the winner for the most disappointing team of the season so far, the Astros are lucky the AL West is so average. They’re only four games back right now, but one-time closer Ken Giles is killing the team (0-2, 8.31 ERA). Six games on the road against division rivals Seattle and Oakland this week give Houston an opportunity to recover.
29 Atlanta Braves Atlanta Braves 4-14
How is this for streaky? L9, W4, L5. That’s the Braves’ season in a nutshell, right there. Team RBI leader Nick Markakis has twice as many RBI as the next guy on the roster—and then some. The rotation is painful to observe after so many seasons of brilliance in Atlanta. The 2017 season can’t come soon enough for this organization.
30 Minnesota Twins Minnesota Twins 5-14
A 16-inning loss on Sunday could hurt the Twins going into this week’s slate against Cleveland and Detroit at Target Field. The lineup isn’t scoring runs, as seven regulars are hitting under .240 in April. The Twins owe Joe Mauer $69 million over this season and next, and while he’s posting a .900 OPS right now, he has just one HR. Minnesota should try to trade him, as much as it would hurt.

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