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Major League Baseball – Power Rankings – April 17th, 2016

1).Washington Nationals 9-2: A new team at the top of the power rankings. Ironically, it is welcoming after a complete meltdown from the bullpen. After a bomb from the best offensive player in baseball, the Nationals allowed 2 runs from the Phillies to lose a chance at a sweep. Overall, Washington doesn’t seem to have glaring weaknesses.       2).Baltimore Orioles – 8-3: The Orioles fell from the top spot, after losing three out of their last four this previous weekend. Baltimore won the middle game of the series against Texas, but was rained out of Sunday. The Orioles have loved their new addition of Mark Trumbo, with 11 runs batted in to start the season.                                       3).Chicago Cubs – 9-3: The World Series favorites have won 9 out of their first 12 games, and lost their first series of the season at home to Colorado. The best news for the Cubs is Jake Arrieta is back to being unhittable as the staff ace for the Cubs. Chicago’s theme will be inconsistency on offense, as they have scored a total of 4 runs in their 3 losses.                                                                                                           4).Kansas City Royals – 8-4: There is nothing flashy about Ned Yost’s Kansas City Royals, but they keep finding ways to win. The Royals did lose their first series of the season, as the Athletics beat them 2 out of 3. Kansas City has 5 quality starts on the season, and a team earned run average under 3.00.                                      5).Chicago White Sox – 8-4: Chris Sale is leading the starting rotation that has been one of the best in the league through the first two weeks. The Sox are in the middle of their first two game losing streak to end the week. The White Sox earned run average is 2.51, which is best in the league. Chicago also is allowing opponents to hit.       6).Detroit Tigers – 7-4: Ian Kinsler has anchored a loaded offense to start the season. The second baseman has belted four home runs on the season. Detroit also has seen their new catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia drive in 11 runs in the early going. Jordan Zimmerman has yet to allow an earned run this season.                                                     7).Pittsburgh Pirates – 7-6: The Pirates hope the back to back days of home runs from Andrew McCutchen is a sign their best player gets hot. The Pirates have the best on base percentage in all of baseball. Pittsburgh after losing four straight games, won the final two games against the Brewers.                                                                                 8).St. Louis Cardinals – 7-5: After a slow start, Mike Matheny has got to be pleased with the play of his team. It’s the same ole, same ole for the Cardinals; getting their offensive production from unknown sources. Before St. Louis thinks they can contend for a title, they need the old Adam Wainwright back.                                            9).Toronto Blue Jays – 6-7: The team that was projected to be the best offense in all of Major League Baseball is batting just .214  to start the season. The home runs have started coming, as Joe Bautista blasted his third of the season on Sunday. The Blue Jays are led by Josh Donaldson, with .321 batting average and 5 homeruns.               10).Boston Red Sox – 6-5: The Red Sox are happy to see what they have been getting out of starting pitcher Steven Wright. Wright has eased the pain of losing Eduardo Rodriguez to the disabled list. Boston’s offense has seen David Ortiz knock three over the boards in the first two weeks of the season.                                                         11).Los Angeles Dodgers – 8-5: Enrique Hernandez and Joc Pederson have started well for the Dodgers, and of course Yaisel Puig could be huge as the season progresses. The Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw, but can the rest of the staff keep them in contention at the top of the West?                                                                                       12).San Francisco Giants – 7-6: What are we going to see from Johnny Cueto all season? He is off to a 3-0 start for his new team. The Giants have already seen Buster Posey get a little banged up. That is a serious injury San Francisco cannot withstand. The pitching has been great, but Posey is a must for the Giants.                                 13).New York Yankees – 5-6: The Yankees snapped their four game losing streak, and also avoided a sweep with a 4-3 win over Seattle. The Yankees continue to see a resurgence from their veteran Carlos Beltran, who is batting .341 with 3 homeruns. Starlin Castro has also drove in 9 for the Yankees.                                             14).Texas Rangers – 7-6: A postseason team or not once OCtober arrives, the Rangers know they can swing the bat. Texas has one of the top scoring offenses in all of Major League Baseball. The Rangers are led by Elvis Andrus, and his .351 batting average, as well as Adrian Beltre with 2 bombs and 11 runs driven in.                          15).Colorado Rockies – 7-5: A little bit of a pleasant surprise have been the Rockies. But, just two weeks into the season, the question screams – can this last? What an outing on Sunday by Tyler Chatwood shutting down a red hot Cubs offense. Nolan Arenado is still an absolute monster for the Rockies, leading the team with 7 homeruns.              16).New York Mets – 5-6:  If the New York Mets do not hit any better than they have started, it’s not going to be easy to get back to the World Series. The Mets are hitting just .218 on the season. Even the starting pitching has not been up to par, as the team is allowing foes to hit nearly .275 against them.                                                17).Tampa Bay Rays – 5-7:  Matt Moore was filthy on Sunday for his first win of the season. It was nice for Tampa Bay to avoid a three game sweep at home from the White Sox. Tampa Bay likes what they have seen from Steven Souza Jr with a .294 batting average and 3 home runs.                                                                     18).Cincinnati Reds – 6-6: A .500 start after two weeks for the Cincinnati Reds may be considered a victory. But, following their hot start, the Reds have dropped five of their last six games. The Reds pitching needs help. Cincinnati’s team ERA is just shy of 5.00 on the season.                                                                                                 19).Cleveland Indians – 5-5:  The Indians would like to have their first inning back from Sunday’s game against the Mets. After Corey Kluber allowed 6 early runs, the offense went missing. The Indians are hitting .255 as a team, with Jason Kipnis leading the way at .295.                                                                                             20).Los Angeles Angels – 5-7: Just when we thought we were ready to trust the Los Angeles Angels, they got swept by the Twins. The Angels did get a pleasant sign in the loss on Sunday as veteran Albert Pujols went deep for the second time this season. Pujols is hitting just .196 on the season.                                                             21).Oakland Athletics – 6-7: How the Oakland Athletics are winning baseball games, we are not sure anyone really knows. The Athletics picked up the final two games of the season at home against the Royals. Oakland is fifth in Major League Baseball with a 2.97 earned run average.                                                                                   22).Seattle Mariners – 5-7: The Mariners would like to have Sunday’s game back, as they had an opportunity to sweep the Yankees. Robinson Cano seems to be comfortable at the plate for Seattle, and that’s a good sign. The Mariners starting pitching has 5 quality starts in 2016.                                                                                                       23).Houston Astros – 5-8: One of the top homerun hitting teams in all of Major League Baseball. The problem for the Astros has been their pitching. The Astros are allowing teams to score nearly 5 runs per game. Tyler White has been a great offensive story for the Astros, with 4 early home runs.                                                                   24).Arizona Diamondbacks – 5-8: If Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller do not pitch better for the Diamondbacks, they have no chance at .500, let alone contending for the National League West. Arizona has enjoyed the start from Jean Segura, leading the way with a .333 batting average.                                                                         25).Milwaukee Brewers – 5-7: The Brewers are 5-7 on the season, but in the end, do not have a lot of hope to compete. Ryan Braun is still a player, but pitching around him will likely be the way to go. In the last five losses for the Brewers, they are allowing teams to score 7+ on average.                                                                               26).Philadelphia Phillies – 5-6: The young pitching has the Phillies looking a little better than most imagined. In the Phillies last four wins, they have allowed just four runs. The offense is going to be an issue all season, but RYan Howard is off to a good start with four bombs in the first two weeks.                                                                           27).Miami Marlins – 3-7: The Marlins need a little re-evaluation after their complete meltdown of a week. Many are expecting the Marlins to hit better than they have been. Miami needs more out of Giancarlo Stanton, batting just over .200 on the season. 28).San Diego Padres – 4-9: It’s going to be very difficult for the San Diego Padres to compete if they cannot find consistent offense. The Padres have lost 9 games this season, and scored 9 runs in those games. San Diego’s bright spot has been their 6 quality starts to begin the season.                                                                                 29).Minnesota Twins – 3-9: The Twins needed this past weekend. After a couple come from behind wins; the Twins have momentum. Minnesota still ranks as the worst offensive team in all of Major League Baseball. The Twins do not want to get too far behind in the American League Central, to make sure they are competing through the summer.           30).Atlanta Braves – 3-9: Of course, after a 9-0 start, the Braves turn around and sweep the Marlins. Signs of life is a good thing for a few of the young players for the Braves. Atlanta is one of the worst hitting teams in the league; batting just .209 on the season.

 

Written by: Rodney Knuppel