2019 MLB Power Rankings: Week 3
We are three weeks into the season, and it’s been one hell of a ride so far, with both surprisingly good and bad performances to discuss. The Astros claim the top spot from the Dodgers, and rightfully so as they appear to be early World Series favorites. The Mariners continue to rake and have moved up to a surprising position in the rankings. The other big movers are the Cardinals up seven spots after a four-game sweep of the Dodgers last week, and the Rockies down ten spots as their offense is still in hibernation.
Houston Astros (11-5, +14) Previously #3 – Up 2 The Astros have won nine straight games and are clearly firing on all cylinders. Jose Altuve homered in five consecutive games during this stretch and while that streak came to an end on Sunday, the Astros are officially scary as hell. Right now, they are the clear team to beat in the American League and should be considered World Series favorites. At BetOnline, the Astros are the betting favorites to win it all at +600.
Tampa Bay Rays (12-4, +38) Previously #4 – Up 2 The Rays currently lead the league in run differential at +38 and it’s mostly due to allowing a league low 40 runs scored. I don’t believe that is a fluke either. Tampa Bay has a shutdown back end of their bullpen, with Jose Alvarado and Diego Castillo commanding 99-100 MPH fastballs with disgusting movement. Tampa Bay continues to find treasure developing other team’s prospects. The Rays seemingly stole Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows from the Pirates last year in exchange for Chris Archer, and their trade of Jake Bauers to Cleveland for Yandy Diaz looks to be working out quite nicely as well.
Seattle Mariners (13-5, +35) Previously #8 – Up 5 It feels almost blasphemous to put the Mariners above the super teams in the league. However, Seattle has earned this spot with their creative roster construction paying off huge dividends. Jay Bruce has seven home runs, Domingo Santana is hitting .338 with a .962 OPS, and Big Dan Vogelbach has six home runs of his own to go along with a ridiculous .424 batting average and 1.615 OPS. Add in Mitch Haniger and Edwin Encarnacion in the middle of the lineup. Then consider the duo of Dee Gordon and Mallex Smith on the base paths and this team can be downright scary on offense. With a home run on Sunday, Mitch Haniger also extended the Mariners’ tater streak to a record 18 games. Pitching will be the ultimate determining factor for this team, but for now, the Mariners deserve our full attention.
Los Angeles Dodgers (9-8, +22) Previously #1 – Down 3 The Dodgers opened the season by bludgeoning Zack Greinke and setting a record with eight home runs on opening day. At that point, they appeared to be running away and hiding in the NL West. However, after traveling to St. Louis the Dodgers were promptly swept in a four-game series before heading back home and dropping the first two games to the Brewers. After an improbable six-game losing streak, the Dodgers finally stopped the bleeding with a win on Sunday afternoon. On Monday, Clayton Kershaw will take the mound for his first start of 2019. We likely just witnessed the Dodgers worst stretch of the year, and they are without a doubt a team to be feared, and likely favorites to represent the NL in the World Series. They currently have the second shortest odds to win it all at +700.
St. Louis Cardinals (9-6, +16) Previously #12 – Up 7 After sweeping the Dodgers in a four-game series, the Cards split a two-game series with the Reds in Mexico. The Cardinals offense has been on point, with expected excellence from Paul Goldschmidt contributing six home runs to start the season. While Goldy has cooled off a bit recently, St. Louis has received an unexpected prolonged hot streak from Kolten Wong with four homers, four steals and a 1.062 OPS through 15 games. Paul DeJong and Marcel Ozuna have also played outstanding, which has helped make up for another slow start from Matt Carpenter. Currently the Cards look like the team to beat in the NL Central and should be one of the top five teams in the National League by the end of the year.
Philadelphia Phillies (9-5, +6) Previously #2 – Down 4 The Phillies have slowed down a bit after their four-game win streak to start the season. They are 5-5 in their last ten and have shown some vulnerability in the starting rotation. Aaron Nola has not been the ace we expect him to be yet, and everyone’s favorite fantasy sleeper Nick Pivetta has been a downright disaster. This team is still nearly complete though, and one that no one should feel comfortable facing.
Minnesota Twins (8-4, +12) Previously #10 – Up 3 The Twins are another team with wholesale changes in the offseason that have been paying off thus far. Minnesota is leaning on a reliable bullpen, and a deep lineup to hold onto first place in the AL Central. Jose Berrios has been a true ace with a 2.30 ERA in 27.1 IP and the Michael Pineda resurrection project could not be going any better, as he currently has a 3.00 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP through 15 IP. The rest of the starting rotation has not been as impressive, but the Twins have the pieces to take the AL Central with very little competition outside of a suddenly impotent Cleveland Indians team.
Oakland Athletics (10-9, +15) Previously #11 – Up 3 Similar to the Tampa Bay Rays, the Oakland A’s always seem to find a way to stay competitive. This team should be better than its current 10-9 record with an impressive +15 run differential. The A’s will likely fall short of the Astros for the AL West division title but are in the driver’s seat for a wild card spot if they continue playing at this level.
Atlanta Braves (9-6, +15) Previously #13 – Up 4 The Braves are currently 8th overall in MLB in runs scored and are 12th in runs allowed. The young phenom combo of Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna is as potent as ever in the early going, and the Braves should be able to keep things rolling with pitching prospects growing on trees down in Atlanta. The NL East will be a difficult division to win, but the Braves should be a favorite for one of the two wild card spots.
Washington Nationals (7-7, +11) Previously #14 – Up 4 As has been the case for seemingly the past decade, the Nationals Achilles heel is once again their bullpen. Perhaps GM Mike Rizzo needs to give Craig Kimbrel’s agent a call, because that could be the final piece that puts this team over the top.
- New York Yankees (6-9, +10) Previously #5 – Down 6
- Boston Red Sox (6-10, -25) Previously #6 – Down 6
- Milwaukee Brewers (10-6, -6) Previously #7 – Down 6
- New York Mets (9-6, +1) Previously #9 – Down 5
- Chicago Cubs (5-9, +3) Previously #16 – Up 1
- Cleveland Indians (8-7, -3) Previously #18 – Up 2
- San Diego Padres (11-6, -3) Previously #15 – Down 2
- Cincinnati Reds (5-9, +6) Previously #21 – Up 3
- Los Angeles Angels (8-7, +2) Previously #22 – Up 3
- Pittsburgh Pirates (8-6, +2) Previously #20 – No Change
- Texas Rangers (7-7, -3) Previously #19 – Down 2
- San Francisco Giants (7-10, -8) Previously #28 – Up 6
- Arizona Diamondbacks (7-9, -7) Previously #24 – Up 1
- Detroit Tigers (8-7, -5) Previously #26 – Up 2
- Kansas City Royals (5-10, -9) Previously #27 – Up 2
- Toronto Blue Jays (5-11, -10) Previously #23 – Down 3
- Colorado Rockies (4-12, -32) Previously #17 – Down 10
- Chicago White Sox (5-9, -25) Previously #25 – Down 3
- Miami Marlins (4-12, -34) Previously #29 – No Change
- Baltimore Orioles (6-10, -34) Previously #30 – No Change