MLB Power Rankings: Tigers, Royals, Braves take early lead - Metro US

MLB Power Rankings: Tigers, Royals, Braves take early lead

Miguel Cabrera does not seem to be concerned that Max Scherzer is playing in D.C. the
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1. Detroit Tigers (6-0, previous No. 9) – Some wondered how the Tigers would be after losing two of their top pitchers, but they clearly haven’t missed them so far. At the plate, they are led by Miguel Cabrera who is batting .520, and also have the top three batting averages in the American League.

2. Kansas City Royals (6-0, previous No. 8) – Few saw this coming from the defending AL champs.They’re allowing an American League-low 15 runs so far this season and that pace will allow them to win a ton of games in 2015.

3. Atlanta Braves (5-1, previous No. 27) – Nobody, I mean nobody, saw this start coming from the Braves who swept the Marlins in Miami to open the season. Jason Grilli already has a league-leading three saves. If the Braves hitthen they will be able to continue to surprise.

4. Toronto Blue Jays (4-2, previous No. 10) – Toronto is going to hit, as shown by itsoffensive explosion last year. So far in 2015 they are led by Jose Reyes’ .417 average. The biggest thing to watch with the Blue Jays is if they will be able to pitch with the rest of the AL East.

5. Boston Red Sox (4-2, previous No. 12) – The first turn through the rotation went tremendous for the Red Soxbut Clay Buchholzhad the worst outing of his career, allowing 10 runs against the Yankees, in his second start of 2015. The Red Sox are going to hit, but how will their pitching hold up?

6. Cincinnati Reds (4-2, previous No. 25) – Cincinnati was picked to finish at the bottom of the NL Central, but the long-ball has led them to a 4-2 start. They did lose two-of-three to the Cardinals over the weekend, so will they go back to the basement of the division?

7. Colorado Rockies (4-2, previous No. 28) – By now it’s clear the Rockies are going to score a ton of runs – so far an NL-leading 35 – but as has been the case for many years, pitching is an issue. Does Colorado have enough strong arms to keep them in the mix all year?

8. San Diego Padres (4-3, previous No. 13) – All the offseason additions, and a big trade last week would seem to say the Padres are primed for a big year. They swept the Giants over the weekend and have a plus-8 run differential, the second-best in the NL West.

9. Los Angeles Dodgers (3-3, previous No. 3) – Los Angeles didn’t get off to the start ithad hoped for, but there’s no doubt the Dodgerswill rise quickly in the rankings and be there in the end. Clayton Kershaw allowed six runs in a 6-0 loss to the Diamondbacks on Saturday, but Adrian Gonzalez already has five home runs.

10. Seattle Mariners (3-3, previous No. 4) – The Mariners are going to be a fun team to watch this season, as shown this weekend in their series with the Athletics. Fernando Rodney has two saves to open the year and Seattle should be able to go neck-and-neck with the A’s and Angels all season long.

11. Baltimore Orioles (3-3, previous No. 14) – Baltimore’s pitching is going to be the biggest thing to watch all year, as it has allowed 32 runs so far, and no team in the American League has allowed more than 33. Can Ubaldo Jimenez get back to his old form and lead the rotation?

12. Houston Astros (3-3, previous No. 24) – With a few years of developing talent, the Astros may not be a playoff team, but they certainly appear – on paper – to be better than in years past and could surprise some this year.

13. New York Mets (3-3, previous No. 21) – Led by Bartolo Colon, the Mets are 3-3 and sit in second place in the NL East. Colon has won both of his starts thus far, and despite his age he’s proving he can pitch with anyone. With Matt Harvey back, just how good can the Mets be?

14. St. Louis Cardinals (3-2, previous No. 3) – St. Louis’ plus-five run differential is the best mark in the NL Central. With the Cubs and Reds getting off to decent starts to the year, the division is shaping up to be much more competitive than in years past.

15. Chicago Cubs (3-2, previous No. 17) The Cubs went out and made some big moves this offseason, but will it be enough for Theo Epstein to lead a winning organization? Although Chicago might be a long-shot to in the World Series, Cubs fans are itching for just a playoff appearance.

16. Tampa Bay Rays (3-3, previous No. 19) – The Rays survived the first week with some pitching injuries still hanging over them from spring training, but it will be interesting to see how they can handle not having David Price. There isn’t much optimism.

17. Philadelphia Phillies (3-3, previous No. 29) – The Phillies didn’t do much in the first week to give the team much hope. Cole Hamels rebounded over the weekend after a rough Opening Day start, and Jonathan Papelbon continues to voice his displeasure overbeing in a Phillies uniform.

18. San Francisco Giants (3-4, previous No. 6) – The defending World Series champions are struggling to score runs, just 23 through their first seven games. The offense took a hit in the offseason, and it’s hard for one pitcher – Madison Bumgarner – to carry a team on his back during the regular season.

19. Oakland Athletics (3-4, previous No. 11) – Oakland parted ways with a number of its stars this offseason, but the first week showed it will still be an exciting team. The Athletics’plus-17 run differential is best in the AL West, and led by young stud Sonny Gray, Oakland will surely rise inthese rankings as the weeks go by.

20. Texas Rangers (3-4, previous No. 22) – A tough season last year was made even worse this spring when they learned Yu Darvish would be out for the season. Known for being in playoff contention year-in and year-out, it’s hard to imagine October baseball for Texas it this year.

21. Washington Nationals (2-4, previous No. 2) – Washington certainly won’t be this low in the rankings for long. The Natshad a tough opening week, but once they settle in and their pitching gets a few games under their belts, they surely will be one of the best teams in baseball.

22. Arizona Diamondbacks (3-3, previous No. 30) – Going 3-3 was a good week by Diamondbacks standards. How long can they stay at the .500 mark?

23. New York Yankees (2-4, previous No. 18) – The Yankees avoided a sweep by the Red Sox with a 10-run win Sunday night, but the defense has been a major issue as they have allowed at least one unearned run in the first six games of the season.

24. Los Angeles Angels (2-4, previous No. 5) – It’s been a strange start to the season in Los Angeles with drama off the field with Josh Hamilton. Being swept at home by Kansas Citycertainly wasn’t what the Angels hadhoped for either.

25. Pittsburgh Pirates (2-4, previous No. 7) – Picked by some to surprise this season, Pittsburgh hasn’t gottenoff to the best of starts, but it hopes by returning home with a dominant pitching staff itcan turn things around.

26. Cleveland Indians (2-4, previous No. 15) – Things aren’t going so well for the Indians, both on the field and off the field, to open the season. It was learned over the weekend that catcher Yan Gomes is out 6-8 weeks with a knee injury.

27. Chicago White Sox (2-4, previous No. 20) – The White Sox made some noise in the offseason, but through the first week it hasn’t paid off, as their lineup has only managed 13 runs through the first six games.

28. Miami Marlins (1-5, previous No. 16) – The Marlins have struggled out of the gate, owning the fewest wins in the National League. Miami hashigh expectations this year. Can Giancarlo Stanton right the ship?

29. Milwaukee Brewers (1-5, previous No. 23) – Milwaukee seems to be picking upfrom where it left offlast year. The Brewerswere the last team in baseball to get their first win – starting the year 0-4.

30. Minnesota Twins (1-5, previous No. 26) – With1-5 start and some of the otherbasement teams getting off to good starts, Minnesota is no doubt a candidate to be the worst team in MLB.

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