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MLB Power Rankings 2016: Week 4 – April

One is the #1 club in the whole MLB right now, and the other was the biggest mover and shaker of the week for week 3 of MLB action.

One is the #1 club in the whole MLB right now, and the other was the biggest mover and shaker of the week for week 3 of MLB action.  Both are leading the Central Divisions in their respective leagues behind awesome starting pitching and timely power.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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Disclaimer:  We based these rankings on best strength to win the World Series.  Therefore some teams that have an easier division to play in, with the least path of resistance to the postseason overall may be ranked a lot higher than a club who is equally talented, yet may play in a juggernaut of a division.

Game Records were before the results of the ESPN Sunday Night Game was played.

After a crazy week in which we saw our 1st no hitter, and massive long 16 inning game in Washington, we have for you the MLB Power Rankings.

There was no movement from the top 3 clubs.  The NL West saw the Dodgers take a decent lead on the Giants – and that is major critical, as that is the team most likely to give them trouble in their quest for a 4th straight Division crown.

Bryce Harper has pulverized the Phillies, Marlins, Braves and Twins thus far.  His late inning heroics are taking him to the next level.

The biggest mover and shaker this week was the White Sox, who climbed up 7 slots.  The Giants dropping 8 positions was the biggest decline.

Bad weeks were had by the Tigers, Red Sox, Yankees and Astros.  All clubs in the AL who are supposed to contend for a playoff slot.

The Mariners won their 3rd straight road series against the Angels (after beating the Yankees and Tribe 1s), and sit just a half game back in the AL West.

Oakland had started 7 – 0 on the road, before yielding 15 runs over the last 2 losses to the Blue Jays.  They are tied with the Rangers for the lead in the Division, but it is just a matter of time before they are bounced out in my opinion.

Cleveland had a nice week of 4 – 2 to jump up 5 spots in the rankings. and are that much closer to bringing back Michael Brantley.

Gaining only one spot but having an awesome week were the New York Mets.  All the boys are hitting now, and they are 8 – 2 in their last 10 contests.

Slow start can be attributed highly to and underachieving 1 - 8 lineup. You can expect better results, and for this club to jump back into contention. They dropped 9 slots in the rankings with a brutal 2 - 5 week.

Slow start can be attributed highly to and underachieving 1 – 8 lineup. You can expect better results, and for this club to jump back into contention. They dropped 8 slots in the rankings with a brutal 2 – 5 week.

Rank – Team Record (Last week rank) (Up down) (W – L Record Last week)

(1) Chicago Cubs 14 – 5 (1) (-) (5 – 2):  Jake Arrieta is sick right now.  His dominant stretch hasn’t been seen by a Right Hander since the some of the wicked rolls that Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling and Roy Halladay went on in the last generation.  Except none of those guys were authoring a mid zero ERA.

Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant aren’t really hitting for Average despite going off for games with power this week.

Is there any doubt that re-signing Dexter Fowler to a low contract offer will turn out to be the bargain of the year?  You can say they haven’t really even played well and they have still outscored their opponents by 68 runs in 19 games.  That is frightening.

(2) Washington Nationals 14 – 4 (2) (-) (5 – 2): Bryce Harper with 9 HRs and 23 RBI through 18 games.  I haven’t seen anyone in this kind of zone hitting since Barry Bonds in the 2001 – 2004 seasons.  Is he really only 23?  More HRs than Strikeouts – and meaningful hits in big spots.

Daniel Murphy is providing the perfect protection behind Harper.  Shame that Stephen Strasburg suffered a bad 8th inning Sunday because he was throwing great baseball before that.

Gio Gonzalez, Joe Ross and Tanner Roark have pitched well too.  Max Scherzer will come around.  Bigger opponents coming up, and all will be needed.

(3) KC Royals 12 – 6 (3) (-) (4 – 2): KC is just boring and get it done.  They just completed their 3rd straight winning week.  Look for this all season. I think the competition is still going to test them at times, but so far they are passing.

If a team emerges in the AL East or AL West that takes a nice lead on the Division. than KC could drop fast in the rankings.  The White Sox, Indians and Tigers are all better than the 2015 versions of themselves.

(4) LA Dodgers 11 – 8 (5) (+1) (3 – 3): Kenta Maeda may be the 2nd coming of Hideo Nomo, and is really bridging the gap behind Kershaw here.  The Dodgers are becoming healthy real quick.  If Corey Seager and Joc Pederson start to really emerge, look the hell out.

The Relief Core has rallied pretty good (say for Coors Field series that shouldn’t be held against them).

(5) NY Mets 10 – 7 (6) (+1) (5 – 1):  Noah Syndergaard may be the guy right behind Clayton Kershaw and Jake Arrieta as most feared Starter in the game.  Neil Walker -is making up for the fact Daniel Murphy leads the NL in batting – with his power.

Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto went off this week.  Yoenis Cespedes is still pretty good.  8 – 2 in their last 10 games, and Miami, Atlanta and Philadelphia to beat up all year.

(6) Chicago White Sox 13 – 6  (13) (+7) (5 – 2):  The most encouraging thought is they are doing this with a horrible start by Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia.  That Todd Frazier hasn’t really hit for Batting Average yet either.

Chris Sale and Mat Latos (who would have thought?) are dominating right now at a combined 8 – 0, and an ERA just over 1.  Melky Cabrera has been a force in year 2 of his deal, like he was for the Jays.

(8) Texas Rangers 10 – 9 (12) (+4) (3 – 3):  A couple of their Bullpen arms have ERA’s that would look good as primetime TV ratings in the Millions right now.  Prince Fielder has slacked so far.  Good thing Nomar Mazara and Adrian Beltre have maintained the top of the lineup.

Cole Hamels just wins in Texas.

(9) St. Louis Cardinals 10 – 8 (9) (-) (3 – 3):  St. Louis is holding steady and have certainly have been the beneficiary of slow beginnings for the Giants, D’Backs and Pirates for their ranking here.   Adam Wainwright holds the key to whether they will even be within distance of the Cubs in a few months.

(10) Baltimore Orioles 11 – 6 (12) (+2) (3 – 3):  The O’s are at least fighting on the road this year at 4 – 5.  Manny Machado is right behind Mike Trout and Bryce Harper for best all around young superstar.

(11) Cleveland Indians 9 – 7 (16 (+5) (4 – 2):  They are crossing off games played without their offensive leader.  Yan Gomes is a really underrated Catcher.  Big statement in sweeping a series vs the Tigers in Comerica Park.  They could move up the standings and rankings quick if they continue solid play.

(12) SF Giants 9 – 11 (4) (-8) (2 – 5):  None of the lineup 1 – 8 are performing well right now – and this should change.  This team is too good to be on the mat for that long.  At least they are all healthy.

(13) Detroit Tigers 8 – 9 (7) (-6) (1 – 5):  Where is the power from Miguel Cabrera, J.D. Martinez and Justin Upton, who are being out homered collectively by Jarrod Saltalamacchia?  Good news is Jordan Zimmermann has not allowed a run. and Justin Verlander has turned it around in his last few starts.

I have to think that Cabrera and Upton will carry this club in stretches really soon.

(14) Boston Red Sox 8 – 9 (8) (-6) (2 – 4):  Hanley Ramirez has slowed down after quick start.  Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia have heated up.  David Price and Clay Buchholz have not helped the starting staff much.

(15) Pittsburgh Pirates 10 – 9 (14) (-1) (3 – 3):  Lets hope this is not the year long bad Francisco Liriano (as he did from year to year with the Twins sometimes).  Jeff Locke is a tire fire – and many of the lineup pieces are hitting well so it is a shame.

Jordy Mercer, Starling Marte, David Freese, John Jaso, Josh Harrison, Francisco Cervelli, Gregory Polanco and Sean Rodriguez all over the .300 clip.  Absent from this list is Andrew McCutchen.  Really the rotation has set them back.

(16) Seattle Mariners 9 – 9 (18) (+2) (4 – 2):  3 straight series wins on the road versus the Yankees, Indians and Angels bodes well for this club.  Seattle just needs to play better at home.

A better bench has been pivotal in winning games of late.  Adam Lind and Seth Smith have heated up – and are producing as part of their platoons with Leonys Martin and Dae-Ho Lee.

(17) Arizona Diamondbacks 10 – 10 (22) (+5) (5 – 2) :  After taking care of business with the Giants – and Zack Greinke looking a little better in the last week, the Snakes are finally looking like contenders this season.

Shelby Miller withstanding, this club has weathered a ton of early failure to resurrect their season.  Welington Castillo is proving that power in 2015 will not slow down in 2016.  Jean Segura playing like he did in his rookie year with the Brewers.

(18) NY Yankees 7 – 10 (17) (-1) (2 – 4):  It looks like the prediction of Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran failing to matching their 2015 production will come true, however Beltran has done great.

Michael Pineda with a horrible start.  Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances have yet to surrender a run – but they can’t throw every inning.  Where are you Chase Headley?

(19) Houston Astros 6 – 12 (15) (-4) (1 – 4):  Starting Pitching and Bullpen woes are thwarting nice numbers by Jose Altuve and Colby Rasmus (Houston is lucky he accepted his QO now).  Perhaps the toughest schedule to begin the year though.

Good news is that they are just a few games behind the division leaders

(20) Oakland A’s 10 – 9 (20) (-) (4 – 2):  Jed Lowrie hit .409 this week.  Ryan Madson with 7 Saves already.  Good to see they finally are leaving Billy Burns in the lineup everyday.  Chris Coghlan as a super utility guy is a good move.  Veterans playing well enough to be traded later if need be.

(21) Colorado Rockies 9 – 9 (21) (-) (2 – 4):  The Rox always seem to start quick and then fade.  By June all of the pitchers seemed bagged every year. Maybe they should fly in the pitchers only on the day of games.

(22) Tampa Bay Rays 8 – 10 (23) (+1) (3 – 3):  You have to be pleased by the recent starts of Matt Moore and Drew Smyly.  The team should just leave Blake Snell up, but they wont.  Brad Miller and Logan Morrison killing the lineup vibe. with hitting around .100.

Chris Archer with a horrible start otherwise the team may be near the lead in the AL East.

(23) LA Angels 8 – 11 (19) (-3) (2 – 4):  Albert Pujols is not hitting for average at all despite decent power numbers.  Back end of the rotation is hurting their chances to win.  Need a surprise or 2 to emerge.

(24) Philadelphia Phillies 9 – 10 (29) (+5) (3 – 3):  This team has seen it future fortunes look a hell of a lot better.  Decent pitchers in the system.

(25) Cincinnati Reds 9 – 10 (23) (-2) (3 – 4):  Are now 4 – 10 since the quick 5 – 0 start.  This is about right.  No hit and Shutout to bookend a series with the Cubs this weekend.  Ouch.

(26) San Diego Padres 7 – 12 (27) (+1) (3 – 4):  Offense is subpar, although you have to give Melvin Upton Jr. credit for somewhat salvaging his MLB career as of right now.

(27) Milwaukee Brewers 8 – 11 (26) (-1) (3 – 4):  Chris Carter has 9 doubles, 5 HRs and 15 RBI and an OPS of 1.050 already – and may provide a great trade chip.

(28) Miami Marlins 6 – 11 (25) (-3) (3 – 4):  The offense his not carrying its weight.  Jose Fernandez with just 1 good start this year.  How soon before Jeffrey Loria starts speaking out publicly?

(29) Minnesota Twins 5 – 14 (26) (-3) (2 – 5):  Nice that Miguel Sano has a pulse offensively.  Injuries and slow starts for prospects are dampening this club’s outlook.

(30) Atlanta Braves 4 – 14 (30) (-) (1 – 5): The Tomahawk Choppers are going to be in the basement all year.

Arizona has weathered a bad start and some even worse uniforms - to maintain around ,500 after the 1st weeks, on the heels of a nice 5 - 2 week. Arizona will need to play better at home to win. Still absent from any decent performance is Shelby Miller.

Arizona has weathered a bad start and some even worse uniforms – to maintain around ,500 after the 1st weeks, on the heels of a nice 5 – 2 week. Arizona will need to play better at home to win. Still absent from any decent performance is Shelby Miller.  Zack Greinke has pitched well in his 2 starts away from Chase Field, which is cause for optimism.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their other partners.***

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A big thanks goes out to our ‘Chief Writer/Part Owner’ Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s featured post.

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About hunterstokes21

I Played NCAA Baseball at Liberty University in the 90's with Sid Bream's kid Sheldon. Once Hit a Home Run by hitting a hot air balloon that was coming over 2nd base (It was agreed that if a balloon was hit before game by the umpires and coaches - even though they were setting up in LF/CF Bleachers). I believe in the "Church Of Baseball". Come in for worship anytime.

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