Can the Rockies keep this up? [MLB Power Rankings]
The Brewers and Reds made big jumps. The Nationals, Tigers, and Dodgers dropped significantly. My beloved Red Sox continue their gradual ascent to (perhaps someday) the top of the rankings. The Rockies continue to impress, despite low preseason expectations.
Without further ado, here are your MLB Power Rankings for week 3:
1. Atlanta Braves (13-5) [Last week: 1] - The Braves had a bit of a rough week, but they're still the best team in baseball. Their lineup is outstanding, they've allowed a league-low 44 runs in their first 18 games, for an average of 2.44 per game.
2. Texas Rangers (12-6) [LW: 2] - Lance Berkman is fitting right into the Texas lineup so far. If David Murphy and Mitch Moreland can step it up a bit, they'll have one of the best offenses in all of baseball.
3. Colorado Rockies (13-5) [LW: 6] - The Rockies are surprising a lot of people, and looking like one of the best teams in baseball. Jhoulys Chacin's lower back injury could hurt them a bit, but their lineup has been great so far.
4. Oakland Athletics (12-7) [LW: 5] - Another surprise team, they've scored the 3rd most runs in baseball so far with a lineup that had relatively low expectations. They're being led by Jed Lowrie and Coco Crisp, which makes you wonder how long it can last.
5. San Francisco Giants (12-7) [LW: 8] - Buster Posey is struggling out of the gate, but their starting pitching looks decent, and they're still winning games, thanks to unknown players like Brandon Crawford, who has a .403 OBP.
6. Boston Red Sox (12-6) [LW: 10] - Their pitching, which has failed them over the past two years, is really coming around with the arrival of John Farrell. Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester look like legitimate aces so far.
7. St. Louis Cardinals (10-8) [LW: 7] - All of their starting pitchers have an ERA of 3.68 or lower. Edward Mujica is looking like a decent closer candidate, since the Mitchell Boggs Experiment was an abject failure.
8. Cincinnati Reds (11-8) [LW: 15] - Their +32 run differential trails only the Braves. Brandon Phillips, Shin-Soo Choo and Todd Frazier are absolutely killing the ball so far this year, while Joey Votto is just starting to heat up.
9. Washington Nationals (10-8) [LW: 3] - As expected, their starting pitching is absolutely awesome... at least Stephen Strasburg, Ross Detwiler, and Jordan Zimmermann have been awesome. Dan Haren... not so much.
10. Kansas City Royals (10-7) [LW: 13] - They just took both games of a doubleheader against the Red Sox, and Ervin Santana is pitching extremely well so far this year. There were several bizarre moments of outfield miscommunication between Alex Gordon and Lorenzo Cain.
11. New York Yankees (10-7) [LW: 14] - The Yankees are finally starting to come around a bit. CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte and Hiroki Kuroda are pitching extremely well, while Travis Hafner and Vernon Wells have been pleasant surprises for the Bronx Bombers.
12. Detroit Tigers (9-9) [LW: 4] - The Tigers have lost 4 straight, hitting a bit of a rough patch. Their starting pitching (outside of Rick Porcello) has been outstanding, with Anibal Sanchez being one of the better pitchers in the AL thus far.
13. Arizona Diamondbacks (10-8) [LW: 11] - 23-year old Patrick Corbin is looking great so far, with a 1.42 ERA after 3 starts. Wade Miley is also looking good so far, while Paul Goldschmidt is one of the few bright spots offensively.
14. Pittsburgh Pirates (10-8) [LW: 19] - The Pirates continue to move up slowly, after an abysmal first week. Starling Marte is hitting very well, and Andrew McCutchen is gradually starting to look like what we expect of him.
15. Baltimore Orioles (10-8) [LW: 17] - Chris Davis and Adam Jones are still on fire at the plate, but their rotation has struggled thus far. They've only gotten 7 quality starts in 18 games total, and none from Jake Arrieta or Chris Tillman.
16. New York Mets (9-8) [LW: 12] - Matt Harvey has been the best pitcher in baseball thus far. David Murphy, David Wright, John Buck and Lucas Duda have all been hitting well, also. That said, they've still lost 4 of their last 6.
17. Milwakee Brewers (9-8) [LW: 28] - The Brewers have racked up 7 wins in a row, allowing them to make a huge jump in the rankings. Ryan Braun is starting to heat up at the plate, which isn't coincidental.
18. Minnesota Twins (8-7) [LW: 20] - The Twins have won 4 in a row, and Joe Mauer is doing his best to carry their lineup. Kevin Correia is looking like a solid starter so far, and Jared Burton has quietly been outstanding out of the bullpen.
19. Los Angeles Dodgers (8-10) [LW: 9] - Despite an offense with several All Star caliber players, they're the second worst offense in MLB, with only 54 runs scored. Their pitching has been good, but not THAT good.
20. Los Angeles Angels (7-10) [LW: 21] - Their starting pitching has been pretty bad overall so far, and the Jered Weaver injury certainly doesn't help that. Their offense is capable, but they can only do so much.
21. Tampa Bay Rays (8-10) [LW: 22] - Matt Moore has been incredible thus far, with a miniscule 1.00 ERA. Alex Cobb is also looking good so far, carrying on the Rays' tradition of solid young starting pitching.
22. Cleveland Indians (7-10) [LW: 23] - What the hell happened to Ubaldo Jimenez? His 2010 season was incredible, but ever since then he has been mediocre at best. This year, he's downright awful.
23. Philadelphia Phillies (8-11) [LW: 18] - Former aces Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels both have ERAs of 6 or worse. If the Phillies want to turn this around, they'll need much better from those two. Cliff Lee can't do it on his own.
24. Chicago White Sox (7-11) [LW: 16] - Alex Rios is hitting the ball extremely well so far, but the White Sox need more consistency from their starting pitching. Chris Sale was amazing last year, but he hasn't been impressive so far this year.
25. Toronto Blue Jays (8-11) [LW: 24] - Their pitching staff needs to step it up big time, since they've allowed an average of more than 5 runs per game. R.A. Dickey has the lowest ERA among all their starters, at a quite mediocre 4.30.
26. Seattle Mariners (7-13) [LW: 24] - At -35, they have the worst run differential in all of baseball. They've lost three in a row now, but count on that to change soon with aces Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma (yes, I called him an ace) going against the Astros in the next two games.
27. Chicago Cubs (5-12) [LW: 26] - Jeff Samardzija is a strikeout machine, but he seems to be cooling off quickly after his great season debut against the Pirates. The offense is struggling, with Wellington Castillo flukishly looking like their best hitter thus far.
28. Houston Astros (5-13) [LW: 27] - Their lineup reads like a good AAA team, and their pitching has given up a league-high 108 runs so far. That's a bad combination. I suspect they'll slide a little lower in these rankings soon.
29. San Diego Padres (5-13) [LW: 29] - They've lost 3 straight, and 7 of their last 10. Their pitching is mediocre, their lineup is awful, and they'll be hovering around the bottom few spots in the rankings all year.
30. Miami Marlins (4-15) [LW: 30] - The Marlins continue to be the worst team in the league, as Giancarlo's struggles continue. On the bright side, he finally got his first RBI. Perhaps he can remember how to hit at some point.
If you love these rankings, you're probably a smart baseball fans. If you hate them, let me know why, in the comments below.