RealSport MLB Power Rankings, April 20
The season is a few weeks old. How do the teams rank out early on?
The 2018 MLB season is still young, and nobody could have expected this. The Red Sox are on a tear, the Yankees are slumping, and the National League is looking like it could be anyone’s game! There’s still a lot of baseball left to be played, but early results have many fans scratching their heads and wondering what the rest of the season will bring.
That said, where do our favorite teams rank in mid-late April?
1. Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox are the best team in baseball through the first few weeks of the season, topping a division that has shown a fair amount of firepower. Is this team living up to its payroll thus far? It sure is.
2. New York Mets
The New York Mets’ winning run has come to an end, but not before being good enough to catapult them into second in the power rankings. With the bats firing and the starting rotation performing well, this has been the Mets team we’ve been promised since 2015.
3. Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Angels fans would’ve been happy enough with this start to the season, but to have it alongside the blistering pace set by Shohei Ohtani would’ve been Disneyland. The biggest problem this team is going to face now is disappointment.
4. Pittsburgh Pirates
I don’t think anyone expects the Pittsburgh Pirates to hold this pace in what looks like a salivating division, but baseball is crazy enough for it to happen. For now, they’ve most certainly earned this position in the power rankings.
5. Arizona Diamondbacks
Another team unlikely to be at the top of their division when the season ends, the Arizona Diamondbacks are still showing positive signs that there is some postseason hope in the Valley of the Sun.
6. Toronto Blue Jays
No one was quite sure where the good Toronto Blue Jays went after the 2015 season, but they seem to have returned, and with some help from the middle of the road players on the team like Yangervis Solarte and Kevin Pillar. That’s an archetype for success.
7. Philadelphia Phillies
Speaking of archetypes for success, is this much production from youth a good one of those? Rhys Hoskins is ridiculous, but now also Scott Kingery is just greedy. Combined with some of the older heads in this clubhouse, could this be sustainable?
8. Minnesota Twins
People seem to be surprised by the Minnesota Twins’ early-season success, but there was plenty of talent on this team from last year that was effectively added to over the offseason. Let’s wait and see how Paul Molitor handles it.
9. Houston Astros
The Houston Astros have not come flying out of the blocks, nor do they need to. All the right players are hitting all the right notes thus far, meaning this team should be back at the top come season’s end.
10. Seattle Mariners
The Seattle Mariners and their unconventional team have been a pleasant surprise to begin 2018, catching a nice bout of hot bats. It will all be about how they react when those bats get a little colder that will define their season.
11. Cleveland Indians
Much like Houston, the Cleveland Indians will likely sing from the same hymnbook at the right time of year. Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez seem to be rolling on from last year, supplanting some baseless preseason concerns.
12. Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves are getting some nice production from their talent early in the season, as Brian Snitker embarks on the second year in a row of marked improvement from his team, which at just 73 wins, looks well within the scope.
13. St. Louis Cardinals
In the typical St. Louis Cardinals fashion, they seem to be propelling their early-season success off the back of players such as Harrison Bader and Greg Garcia. If these kinds of names continue to emerge in the hits column later in the year, watch out.
14. Colorado Rockies
Despite struggling with injury, the Colorado Rockies have been impressive so far this season, although questions remain about the pitchers—especially those of the starting variety. I promise I did not copy-paste this stanza from a previous year.
15. New York Yankees
I’m sure Joe Girardi is not sitting at home laughing, but I’d not be surprised if he’s continuing to wonder why he was not brought back this season. You won’t be able to keep this team down for long but for now, they sit middle of the pack.
16. Milwaukee Brewers
Milwaukee’s additions have not rocketed them up the NL Central like everyone predicted they would, meaning this season is going to have to be a slower burn for the Brewers. They won’t want to drop too many more games to the Cincinnati Reds though.
17. Chicago Cubs
Another season, another lackluster start from the Chicago Cubs which likely fashions itself into a World Series run. Tell me I’m wrong.
18. Washington Nationals
Pitchers, catchers, and hitters are yet to report for the Washington Nationals, which is odd, barring Bryce Harper, who with every home run he hits in each lost game will go to sleep at night dreaming of pinstripes.
19. San Diego Padres
Admit it. This is a fine effort from San Diego, especially with players initially expected to stand up not doing so, such as Chase Headley and Bryan Mitchell. If they do, they may have a shot at finishing higher than fifth in the National League West.
20. San Francisco Giants
Despite one or two sparks, San Francisco’s double down on experience has not worked out. Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen have not performed as hoped, nor has the team at large. Years of pain ahead might be a stretch, but watch this space.
21. Oakland Athletics
This is looking like a pretty stock standard Oakland Athletics team so far. There are several young players impressing, the team is slightly overachieving, and they’re still second to last in the American League West.
22. Los Angeles Dodgers
This is not how the season was meant to begin for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but let’s all remember, this team went through a far worse slump last year. They still figure as favorites for the NL.
23. Texas Rangers
The most notable occurrence for the Texas Rangers thus far has been 44-year-old Bartolo Colon going perfect through 7.2 innings against the Astros. I’ll leave it at that.
24. Chicago White Sox
Like the San Diego Padres, this is a little win for the Chicago White Sox as this stage of the season. Several hitters, such as Matt Davidson, appear to have taken a step forward, but the pitching? Not quite.
25. Baltimore Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles’ defense has clearly declined, but then again, so has the rest of the team and its ceiling. Why do I feel like Manny Machado is hanging over this team like B&O Warehouse hangs over Camden Yards?
26. Detroit Tigers
Jeimer Candelario and JaCoby Jones look like highlights on offense for the Detroit Tigers, who are not quite as bad as everyone thought they would be. They’re still bad though.
27. Miami Marlins
The Miami Marlins’ ability to get hammered 20-1 by the Phillies and 12-1 by the Yankees is expected, but their aptitude to eke out 2-1 and 7-2 wins over the Cubs and Pirates is impressive also and speaks to how this offseason has galvanized the team.
28. Kansas City Royals
Kansas City looks exactly like what they are—a former World Series winner that has lost some important pieces and is generally not going in the direction teams want to be. Something needs to happen, and it’s probably going to at the trade deadline.
29. Tampa Bay Rays
Kevin Kiermaier will miss 12 weeks after surgery on a thumb injury, which is very bad news for the Tampa Bay Rays if they were either hoping to win games in 2018, or stay 29th or higher in the power rankings.
30. Cincinnati Reds
The 1931 Cincinnati Reds started 2-17, and this season’s iteration will do their best to match them. Either way, there needs to be at least one of these teams each year in MLB, and this year, it’s the team from southwest Ohio. Hopefully, the dismissal of manager Bryan Price brings some positive change.