By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)
MLB Week 1 Power Rankings
It is 2013 and baseball is officially back, and with a long season ahead some teams are showing that they are ready to live up to off-season expectations, and some teams didn’t get off to the hot starts that they would have liked to.
1.) Cincinnati Reds (4-2) - The Reds have grabbed the first spot in the opening week for baseball, as they had impressive series wins over two likely playoff teams in the Los Angeles Angels, and then the Washington Nationals. Todd Frazier is the man doing the most damage for the Reds, as he has three homeruns and nine RBIs in the first week.
2.) Atlanta Braves (5-1) - The Braves are off to a hot start, as they took the first series of the season against the Philadelphia Phillies, and then swept the Chicago Cubs. Newly acquired Justin Upton has made an impact early with five homeruns in six games.
3.) Washington Nationals (4-2) - The Nationals started out the week good with a sweep over the Marlins, but their trip to Cincinnati didn’t go as planned, as they lost two out of three, and were beaten 15-0 on Friday night. Bryce Harper is off to a hot start though, as he is batting .360 with three homeruns already.
4.) Texas Rangers (4-2)- The Rangers first week of the season with somewhat of a new look team without Josh Hamilton went well, as they won their first series against the Astros, with Yu Darvish almost throwing a perfect game, and then won two out of three against Hamilton and the Angels.
5.) Oakland Athletics (5-2)- After two losses to start the season against the Mariners the Athletics bounced back to split the four game series against Seattle, and then proceeded to sweep the Astros, as the Athletics finished the first week of the season on a five game winning streak.
6. Los Angeles Dodgers (4-2)- The new big spenders out west got off to a disappointing start losing to their rival the Giants two out of three times, but they finished the week strong with a sweep of the Pirates. Clayton Kershaw has had two great starts, as he is (2-0), and didn’t allow a run in either start.
7. Boston Red Sox (4-2) - The Red Sox are off to a hot start after a disappointing 2012 season, as they won two series on the road against the rival Yankees, and the Blue Jays. The young Will Middlebrooks has four homeruns already, and Jon Lester has won both of his starts, and looks like the Lester of old that was a CY Young candidate.
8. Colorado Rockies (5-1) - The Rockies have gotten off to a surprisingly good start, as after losing on Opening Day to the Brewers they haven’t lost. The five game winning streak for the Rockies has had a lot to do with good pitching, in the five straight wins they haven’t given up more than four runs in a game.
9. Arizona Diamondbacks (5-1) - The Diamondbacks are also playing good baseball in the NL West, as they won four straight games to finish the week, two of which were extra innings wins. Paul Goldschmidt is off to a hot start batting .370, with two homeruns, and seven RBIs.
10. Chicago White Sox (4-2) - White Sox got off to a nice start winning their first two series against the Royals and Mariners, as Alex Rios is carrying the offense, with Chris Sale having two good starts in the first week.
11. Minnesota Twins (4-2) - The Twins might be baseballs biggest surprise to start the season, as they took their two first series against playoff teams from last year in the Tigers and Orioles.
12. New York Mets (4-2) - The Mets are off to a good start, as they won four games out of six at home to start the season. The pitching staff has been great for the Mets, as Jon Niese and Matt Harvey looked poised to have great years for the Mets.
13. Detroit Tigers (3-3) - The Tigers had a disappointing opening series against the Twins, but bounced back taking two out of three against the Yankees, but the Tigers bullpen is going to be a big question mark for them, as they have no proven closer right now.
14. Baltimore Orioles (3-3) - The Orioles had a nice road series win over the Rays, but lost the series at home to the Twins. Chris Davis has had a monster start to the season, as in the first week Davis has four homeruns, and 17 RBIs.
15. San Francisco Giants (3-3) - The Giants had a good start to the season, by winning the first series of the season against the Dodgers, but at home they lost two out of three to the Cardinals. Scoring runs will be a problem for the Giants, as in the first week they only scored more than three runs once.
16. Tampa Bay Rays (3-3) - The Rays bounced back nicely winning two out of three against the Indians after losing the first series of the season to the Orioles, but Ace David Price got rocked on Sunday in what ended up being a 13-0 loss to Cleveland.
17. St Louis Cardinals (3-3) - The Cardinals faired pretty well in the first week, as they had six games on the road out west. The lineup hasn’t hit very well for the Cardinals yet, so going .500 is a pretty good start for St Louis.
18. Cleveland Indians (3-3) - The Indians spent some money in the off-season getting Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher, and it seems to be paying off as they have established one of the better lineups in the American League.
19. Kansas City Royals (3-3) - The Royals are one of the teams people think might have a good season finally with their young talent, and starting the season going .500 in six road games isn’t a bad way to start the season.
20. Seattle Mariners (3-4) - The Mariners started the week strong with two straight wins, but since then they have lost four of their last five games. Mike Morse is carrying the offense, which has struggled for years, as he has five homeruns in the first week of the season.
21. Los Angeles Angels (2-4) - The Angels haven’t gotten off to the best of starts, as they lost both series against the Reds and Rangers, and newly acquired Josh Hamilton is really struggling to start this season, as he is batting .160 and has struck out 10 times already.
22. New York Yankees (2-4) - As expected the Yankees with all their injury aren’t off to the best of starts losing both series to the Red Sox and Tigers, but a bright spot for New York has to be the great play from Kevin Youkilis.
23. Toronto Blue Jays (2-4) - The off-season champions didn’t get off to the start that they would’ve like, as R.A. Dickey is (0-2) already with an over eight ERA, and Jose Bautista has missed time with a sprained ankle.
24. Chicago Cubs (2-4) - The Cubs don’t have much expectations this season, but their starting pitching was pretty good in the first week of the season, but Carlos Marmol has been shelled in his four appearances, which has lead him to lose his closer role.
25. Philadelphia Phillies (2-4) - The Phillies first week of the season didn’t go very well, as their Ace Cole Hamels is (0-2), with an ERA over 10, and the bullpen was a disaster. Bright spot for the Phillies is that Chase Utley is healthy, and hitting the ball well to start the season.
26. Pittsburgh Pirates (1-5) - The Pirates offense had one of the worst weeks of any team in the majors only scoring eight runs in their first six games, but the pitching has been good for the Pirates, as they only gave up 16 runs.
27. Milwaukee Brewers (1-5) - The Brewers first week of the season didn’t go very well, as Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez were both hurt, and their closer John Axford allowed four homeruns in his first three games.
28. San Diego Padres (1-5) - The Padres season didn’t start well as expected with Chase Headley out they are having problems scoring runs, and the pitching hasn’t been very good in the first week either, as the Padres have the worst run differential in baseball.
29. Miami Marlins (1-5) - The Marlins got swept to start the season, but were able to pick up a win against the Mets, and on Sunday saw a good start from rookie Jose Fernandez only to see the bullpen blow the game in the ninth inning.
30. Houston Astros (1-5) - The Astros started the season with a win over the Rangers, and then proceeded to lose five straight to finish the week, as 100+ losses seems very likely for the Astros this season.