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SportMLB Power Rankings: Red-hot Astros stay at top; Yankees, Cubs nosedive out of top 10

17:05  15 april  2019
17:05  15 april  2019 Source:

MLB Power Rankings: Astros debut at No. 1; top 10 loaded with greatness

MLB Power Rankings: Astros debut at No. 1; top 10 loaded with greatness Before we get started, a friendly reminder: Small sample sizes, especially in baseball, are bad. So before you continue reading these far-too-early Power Rankings and start spewing mean-spirited tweets at me and tell me to find a new job, also remember: Baseball is a fickle sport where the only thing that's for sure is that nothing is for sure. (Thanks, Sting.) MORE: Watch 'ChangeUp,' a new MLB live whip-around show on DAZN Here's a take: Baseball in 2019 won't be much of a surprise. There will be expectedly good teams, there will be horrifyingly bad teams and there won't be much of a middle-class.

Even the Red Sox haters out there have to admit starting the champions with an 11-game road trip After losing their top two position players in the offseason, the Diamondbacks have navigated admirably through a tough Stay up to date on the latest MLB Power Rankings as we break down all 30 teams.

The Dodgers and Nationals are scuffling, which means there's no room in the top 10 for either. Meanwhile, it's top -heavy in the top three spots.

MLB Power Rankings: Red-hot Astros stay at top; Yankees, Cubs nosedive out of top 10 © Provided by Perform Media Channels Limited

Are you what your record says you are? Not quite.

What an odd start to the 2019 MLB season. The Padres, Mariners, Twins and Rays are all in first place in their respective divisions. The Rockies entered Sunday dead last in the NL in runs scored. The Tigers are over .500. Dogs and cats living together. Mass hysteria.

It's easy to point at MLB standings and records and say, "Well, Team Y has a better record than Team X, so you're wrong, stupid!" Well, let me tell you about the Twinkie.

MORE: Watch 'ChangeUp,' a new MLB live whiparound show on DAZN

Everything in context. Does anyone think the Padres will end the season with a better record than the Dodgers? It's hard to see that. Will PECOTA be right about the Cubs? Much like Doctor Strange peering into the future, there are approximately 14,000,000 ways the baseball season can play out.

Luis Severino injury update: Yankees starter shut down at least 6 more weeks

Luis Severino injury update: Yankees starter shut down at least 6 more weeks The 25-year-old Yankees starter has a Grade 2 lat strain and will be shut down for six more weeks, the team announced Tuesday. Severino was already dealing with shoulder inflammation and has not pitched this season. But, the strain is a new and unrelated injury, according to the team. Luis Severino has a Grade 2 lat strain and will be shut down from throwing for six weeks. The lat strain is separate and different from the shoulder injury.

A 10-0 road trip by the Astros – with sweeps at Texas, Oakland and Kansas City - enabled them to leap the No. 2 Boston Red Sox and The Yankees (46-21) remain in a virtual tie with the Red Sox atop the East. The Angels were the biggest losers, falling three spots out of the top 10 after a cold

For the third consecutive week, the Houston Astros have claimed the top spot in USA TODAY Sports' MLB power rankings . May 22: Phillies catcher Jorge Alfaro leaps out of the way of Braves baserunner Ozzie Albies, who scored on a throwing error during the fifth inning at Citizens Bank Park

It's April. There's plenty of time for teams to right the ship, as baseball often allows.

So here are your absolute, 100-percent correct, irrefutable Power Rankings for the beautiful morning of April 15, 2019. Please do not @ me.

1. Astros

Previous: 1

The Astros are who we thought they were.

No one was fooled by the 2-5 start to the season, especially not Astros hitters. Entering Sunday, Houston had eight guys hitting to an OPS+ of 110 or better. Four of them — Robinson Chirinos, Jake Marisnick, Carlos Correa and José Altuve — had an OPS+ of 152 or better. That's pretty good. Pretty, pretty, pretty good.

It's hard seeing Houston continuing that pace over the course of a 162-game season — especially when looking at Chirinos and Marisnick — but know this: When Houston won it all in 2017, they had seven guys with an OPS+ of 110 or better at the end of the regular season. Could H-Town history be repeating itself?

Alex Bregman injury update: Astros star (hamstring) exits game with 'tweak, strain, whatever'

Alex Bregman injury update: Astros star (hamstring) exits game with 'tweak, strain, whatever' Bregman is considered day-to-day after suffering a right hamstring injury while running the bases Tuesday against the Yankees.

This week's Power Rankings reflect this. Dramatic shifts have changed the look of the top 10 , while several high- ranking mainstays find themselves They looked like they might have worked out of their troubles when they followed a streak of five losses in six games with a series win in Houston, but the

The Yankees shortstop homered in four straight games starting last Sunday, then launched a game-winning blast in the 10 th inning Friday. All right, so Grichuk probably made that catch a lot harder than it needed to be by stumbling into an awkward dive . He essentially fell into the perfect spot on the

2. Rays

Previous: 11

If you're new to the program, you should know that I absolutely love the Rays in 2019 and expect them to make a lot of noise. That's been the case to this point.

The Rays sit atop the somewhat disappointing American League East, but they're clicking on all cylinders. Their starting pitching is throwing to a sub-2.00 ERA, one of two teams in MLB to do it. (No. 2 may shock you! Keep reading.) Tommy Pham, Austin Meadows and Kevin Kiermaier are all off to hot starts and Yandy Diaz looks like a revelation early on.

It's like being excited for Christmas on July 4, but I'm excited for what the Rays will do in October. You read that right: October. Book it.

3. Mariners

Previous: 19

Mitch Haniger homered Sunday, his fifth dinger of the season in 18 games. What's most impressive: That Haniger bomb extended the Mariners' MLB record of consecutive games to start the season with a home run (18).

Scott Sanderson, former MLB All-Star pitcher, dies at 62

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Top Events NBA NFL MLB NHL NCAAF NCAAB Soccer. The Dodgers and Astros headline this edition of our power rankings , but the focus is on the unlikely cluster that is the AL wild-card race. Wildly successful teams like last year’s Cubs and this year’s Dodgers have also shown how vital elite

The Boston Red Sox topped our MLB Power Rankings last week. And they haven’t lost a game since. So you know what that means, don’t you? We’ve seen a lot of shuffling in the top three spots of the Power Rankings lately, but this week was a no-brainer.

Also not to be forgotten is Domingo Santana. Years after toiling without a true role with the Brewers, Santana finds himself among the league leaders in most offensive catagories, including hits, RBIs and total bases.

Are the Mariners for real? Only the rest of the season will tell. But at least Seattle has a defined identity and direction, which is more than the M's have had in recent years.

4. Phillies

Previous: 9

The Bryce Harper effect is a real thing, apparently. But it's also important to note that three of the Phillies' four acquisitions this offseason — Harper, Andrew McCutchen and Jean Segura — have been hitting, as well. None has benefited as much as Rhys Hoskins, however.

Hoskins is sitting pretty offensively early in the year: He's mashing with a 184 OPS+ and has five longballs on the year. He's already matched his 2018 bWAR (0.5), and sticking him back at his natural position will probably help ease him a bit defensively.

The Phillies' biggest question right now is Aaron Nola. Through his first three starts of the season, Nola has posted a 6.46 ERA while giving up 10 runs in his past two starts. Chances are, Nola can right the ship — and the Phillies are going to need him to. It's a bit of a projection, but I think the Phillies could be the best team in the East when it's said and done, but a case could be made for any of the top four teams in the division.

Gary Sanchez injury update: Yankees catcher (calf strain) placed on IL

Gary Sanchez injury update: Yankees catcher (calf strain) placed on IL Sanchez, who is slashing .268/.333/.902, has 11 RBIs, second only to Luke Voit's 12 on the team. He becomes the 11th Yankee on the IL.

Key Moves: Dealing top -of-the-rotation veteran Cole Hamels to the Cubs for reliever Eddie Butler and pitching prospect Rollie Lacy. Where They Go From Here: After a red - hot month pushed it into a playoff race that it had largely been ruled out of from the start, Pittsburgh delivered one of the more

MLB Power Rankings : Astros Take the Top Spot But How About Those Mets? 27. Miami Marlins (3–7): In his first start of the season, Dillon Peters shut out the Cubs over six innings in the Marlins’ 6–0 win. In his second start of the season, Peters surrendered nine earned runs and two grand slams in

5. Dodgers

Previous: 4

The Dodgers are still putting up runs, and they snapped their six-game losing streak against the Brewers on April 14. The offense is still good, and the pitching staff has been a bit off, but it's coming around.

Should Clayton Kershaw return and get back to Kershaw form, the Dodgers will be in good shape. They won't have to worry about the Padres for too much longer. Sorry, San Diego. All good things, and all.

6. Mets

Previous: 12

Robinson Cano is not very good right now, but that's OK because the rest of the Mets offense has been very good, anchored by early frontrunner for Rookie of the Year, Pete Alonso.

I've said this ad nauseum, but here we go again: The Mets' biggest questions have always been depth, bullpen and health. The depth doesn't look too bad, they've stayed healthy (for now), but the bullpen is something of an enigma. Seth Lugo, Robert Gselleman and Jeurys Familia haven't been great, three key cogs to that Metropolitans 'pen.

It feels like the vibe around the Mets has changed early this year, and even though Jacob deGrom has scuffled his past couple of starts, they still have one of the best top three in the NL. Just give them time to gel.

7. Padres

Previous: 21


I don't think anyone expected San Diego to be this good this early. So I'll stick them at No. 7 so Padres Twitter doesn't disown me.

Dellin Betances injury: Yankees reliever (shoulder) will undergo another MRI

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2018 MLB Power Rankings . There are less than four weeks left in the regular season and the It is almost as if the Cubs are wanting the Brewers and Cardinals to stay in the race for the NL Central I'm not dropping the Cubs a spot because of anything they've done wrong. This is a top five team in

The 30: Champs on top but three AL teams in top five as new season, format debuts. The defending world champions are baseball 's best one week in, but the Astros , Red Sox and Indians each look Fair warning: These are not your typical rankings . If you want a simple accounting of wins and losses

But really: Fernando Tatis Jr. is showing why he was one of the best prospects in baseball, as he's ripping the cover off the ball and playing above-average defense. Manny Machado has been very good so far, but he hasn't been Manny Machado just yet, which should scare the rest of the NL West.

You can almost expect young teams to hit the wall at some point (see: 2018 Phillies), but if the Padres can keep the starting pitching rolling and the young hitters keep hitting, they could upset the balance in the NL West.

I wouldn't bet the Padres to finish the season out of the top 10, but it's also hard to deny the team with the best record in the NL a spot in the top 10.

8. Brewers

Previous: 7

The Brewers need more starting pitching help, even with Jimmy Nelson coming back soon. (Dallas Keuchel, anyone?) While Milwaukee's pitching hasn't been too great early in the season — the Brew Crew's rotation ERA ranks near the bottom of the majors while their bullpen ERA is surprisingly middle of the pack — I still think their offense is good enough to mask a fair amount of their pitching deficiencies. It just has yet to get going.

That said, the Brewers are taking advantage of the Cubs' woes right now as they sit atop the NL Central with a big series vs. the Cardinals coming up. The next three-game set between Milwaukee and St. Louis should answer a few questions about both clubs.

9. Indians

Previous: 10

Something smells rotten in the state of Ohio, and it's not the chili. Sorry, Skyline.

The Indians' offense is stinky right now, and that's putting it lightly. They're 14th in the AL in runs, 15th in hits, 15th in average and 14th in OPS. Not great, Bob. I mean, totally good thing Cleveland didn't make the effort to like, sign any good offensive players this offseason to alleviate that, right? I digress.

April 15, 1977: A second team retires Hank Aaron's No. 44 (plus more fun with retired numbers)

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Sure, some hot starts have stayed hot and some cool starts are still ice cold, but for the most part, we have a strong sample size we can overreact to. One Nice Thing: A 5-1 week will get you out of the Power Rankings basement. The Phils won a series against the Mets and then swept the Braves this

The Astros and Yankees are playing exceptional baseball and lead the AL-edition of our bi-weekly power rankings . Gamel was a 10 th-round pick by the Yankees in 2010 who came to Seattle via trade last August. More of an on-base hound than a power guy, Gamel's translated those skills to the

The good news for the Indians is that Francisco Lindor is on his way back, so he could provide a boost to an otherwise anemic offense. And the rotation is still good with Kluber at the top. While the division around them has gotten off to a pretty solid start, it would shock me to see anyone other than Cleveland at the top of the AL Central once the season closes. But make no mistake, the gap between the Indians and everyone else in the division is shortening.

The Indians were just swept by the Royals, but these things happen early in the season. It obviously isn't a stretch to say the Tribe will still be at the top of the AL Central while the Royals figure out what the future holds in 2020 and beyond.

10. Cardinals

Previous: 8

The other NL Central team in the top 10 needs some help to solve its pitching staff issues. But for now, they've been scoring enough runs to mask them. The Cardinals are 7-3 in their past 10 games and have yet to see big-time offensive production from Paul Goldschmidt, Matt Carpenter or Harrison Bader.

Those things can all change in a flash, so don't be surprised to see St. Louis hover around the top 10 — and maybe even higher — in the 2019 season, as long as the Cards can figure out their pitching shortcomings. That's the biggest question facing St. Louis for now.

Middle of the pack

11. Red Sox

Previous: 2

Boston is just on the outside looking in. The Red Sox pitching is worse than the parking situation around Fenway Park, but you can chalk up early season woes to a World Series hangover. I'm not ready to move them down just yet, especially with the offense showing more signs of life over the past few games.

12. Athletics

Previous: 15

Starting pitching is the last ingredient for the Athletics' push for a wild-card spot. With Jesús Luzardo on the mend, reinforcements could come sooner rather than later. In the meantime, enjoy watching Khris Davis and Matt Chapman mash.

MLB Power Rankings: Astros, Dodgers use the Force to stay on top; Red Sox drift closer to Dark Side

MLB Power Rankings: Astros, Dodgers use the Force to stay on top; Red Sox drift closer to Dark Side In honor of May the Fourth coming up Saturday, a "Star Wars"-tinged Power Rankings comes straight to a computer screen near you.

No American League team looks as dominant as the Astros , one of baseball 's most powerful teams that hardly ever strikes out . Note: Rankings are based on a combination of records, run differential, strength of schedule, recent At third base, Chase Headley went from a red - hot start to becoming one of the most punchless hitters in the Trouble is, would-be replacement (and top Yankees prospect)

13. Nationals

Previous: 5

Early on, it kind of looks like we're watching a repeat of the 2018 Nats. With every "statement" win, we'll ask: Is THIS the game the Nationals turn it around? The offense is pretty inconsistent but overall good, the back end of the bullpen is rough, but there's enough healthy talent on Washington's roster to get it right quick, even without Bryce Harper.

14. Braves

Previous: 13

The Braves needed rotation help this offseason, but so far, they're OK: They're just about middle of the pack in rotation ERA. The NL East is going to be tighter than Han Solo and Chewbacca, so they'll need Josh Donaldson, a returning Mike Foltynewicz and more to turn it on to really climb these rankings — something that's very doable.

15. Cubs

Previous: 6

The Cubs have 99 problems, and a pitcher is one. Yu Darvish has not been good for the North Siders, pitching to a 7.50 ERA through three starts this season. If it's just rust, then Chicago shouldn't have to worry. If it's more than that, it might be time to panic, considering what the Cubs are paying Darvish and what they're expecting from him.

Also, their bullpen is terrible. I won't use the hashtag, though.

16. Yankees

Previous: 3

The Yankees must have taken a cue from Chris Jericho when it comes to lists. While injuries are definitely affecting the Bombers, the healthy guys they've relied on this year — James Paxton, J.A. Happ, Zack Britton, Greg Bird/Luke Voit — haven't been great, either. We're still a bit away from finding out what this team will be at full strength, but until that day comes this is what the Yankees are.

Also, no: Aaron Boone is not the problem.

17. Twins

Previous: 16

The Twins decided what they wanted to be offensively this year: sluggers. Minnesota has been putting the bat on ball, but hasn't driven in the runs. The Twins' offense can be good, especially with Byron Buxton and Max Kepler off to good starts. But let's see how the rotation turns out as the season wears on to get a real feel of what Minnesota will be.

18. Pirates

Previous: 18

The Pirates are the second team in MLB to be throwing to a sub-2.00 rotation ERA. Shocking, right? If the Pirates can keep the bats going — and Jameson Taillon pitches like Jameson Taillon — things could get really, really interesting in the NL Central. We're not talking division crown for the Buccos, but a monkeywrench for the rest of the pack.

19. Rockies

Previous: 14

The most surprising thing about the 4-12 Rockies is that the offense has been bad. It's early (a theme for the next few weeks), but between Kyle Freeland's ineffectiveness and those shockingly flat bats, it's gotten ugly quick for Colorado.

The bottom third

20. Tigers

Previous: 27

The Tigers are over .500 — hence why ranking these teams is such an impossibility — but with Michael Fulmer out for the year and no real offensive threats, it's going to get worse before it gets better in Detroit, even with Jordan Zimmermann's seeming resurgence.

21. Angels

Previous: 17

Mike Trout will be back soon enough, but even with him the Angels might not be going anywhere. The rotation isn't good and the offense has been largely underwhelming.

MORE: You want more Mike Trout content, you say?

22. Blue Jays

Previous: 24

Fret not, Jays fans. The future is coming, even if the wins currently are not. Even at 5-11, it seems like Toronto should be better than it is right now between the Jays' offense and pitching.

23. Reds

Previous: 20

Cincinnati is heading in the right direction, especially after a fun offseason. The NL Central is still killer, though, with 2 1/2 really good teams. (Cubs, what are we doing?) The Reds should be better than this right now, even if the record says something different, just given the veteran talent in the lineup.

24. Diamondbacks

Previous: 23

Who are the Diamondbacks? What are the Diamondbacks? When are the Diamondbacks? Their offense has gotten off to a decent enough start in 2019, but I think the baseball world would be shocked if they kept up that reputation moving forward.

25. Rangers

Previous: 28

Well, Elvis Andrus is on fire to start the season, but the rest of the team is ice cold. The Rangers have some offensive highlights, but their rotation is near the bottom of the majors in ERA, unsurprisingly.

26. Orioles

Previous: 30

The Chris Davis Redemption Tour is full bore after his 3-for-5 performance Saturday. (We'll just pretend his oh-fer on Sunday didn't happen — he deserves a break). But the Orioles are still not very good, even with success in the first two weeks of the year.

27. White Sox

Previous: 25

The South Siders just won a three-game series over the Yankees in New York, the first time they've done that since … last season. Eloy Jimenez launched his first two major-league dingers Friday, a small taste of what's to come for Chicago. The Sox need to get Lucas Giolito figured out, however. He's key to their rebuild.

28. Giants

Previous: 22

The Giants' offense is not very good right now. They've scored two runs or fewer in seven of their 16 games this season. In only one of those games have they scored two runs. In a word: Yikes.

29. Royals

Previous: 26

The Royals are finding ways to score runs, which is fun, but it's hard to see how they keep it up over 162 games.

30. Marlins

Previous: 29

It's hard to make the case for Marlins as No. 30. It's probably easier to make a case for them as 31.

MLB Power Rankings: Astros, Dodgers use the Force to stay on top; Red Sox drift closer to Dark Side.
In honor of May the Fourth coming up Saturday, a "Star Wars"-tinged Power Rankings comes straight to a computer screen near you.

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