The first Power Rankings of the regular season

April 18th, 2022

As is the case at this point of the season every year, our Power Rankings tally was all over the place among our group of voters.

It’s way too early to glean much from less than two weeks of play; win-loss records, more often than not, indicate very little at this point. There are teams off to slow starts (Twins, Phillies, Brewers, for example) who can probably count on things evening out as time goes on, and a few others who might have started a little quicker than expected (though we see you and your positive run differential, Rockies, and we send a hat tip your way).

One item did pick up where it left off in ’21 -- the Dodgers and Giants are neck-and-neck with identical 7-2 records. We’ve seen this before, and it’s anything but unexpected.

On to the rankings:

Biggest jump: The Mets jumped seven spots, from No. 12 to No. 5. The Mets won their first three series of the young season, including two against division rivals -- they took three of four from the Nats to start things off, and followed with two of three over the Phillies.

Biggest drop: The Brewers dropped eight spots, from No. 4 to No. 12. The NL Central is expected to be mostly a two-team race between the Brewers and Cardinals, but so far, most of Milwaukee’s hitters are off to a slow start. After their win over St. Louis on Sunday, the Brewers’ run differential on the season was -13.

1. Dodgers (1 last week)
The season has started exactly as the Dodgers planned: they’ve outscored opponents 40-9 during their six-game winning streak, and their starting pitchers are also keeping up their end of the deal, posting a 0.56 ERA during that stretch.

2. Blue Jays (2)
Including their 4-3 win over the A’s Sunday, the Jays have won 18 of Alek Manoah’s first 22 big league starts, including each of his last nine. Manoah was strong again Sunday, allowed two runs over six innings with two walks and six strikeouts. Entering this game, his ERA (3.06) since his debut last May 27 ranked fourth in the AL among pitchers with 100 innings pitched.

3. White Sox (3)
Even with a 9-3 loss to the Rays on Sunday, White Sox starters have opened the season strong, combining for a 2.68 ERA (12 earned runs in 40 1/3 innings pitched). Michael Kopech is off to a good start -- in two outings, he’s allowed one earned run over nine innings with a 0.78 WHIP.

4. Astros (7)
The Astros dropped two of three over the weekend against the Mariners, the team expected to be their biggest challenge in the AL West race. But Houston’s nine-game road trip to open the season -- its longest trek of the year -- was a success (5-4). Rookie shortstop Jeremy Peña, who replaced Carlos Correa, is off to a hot start, slashing .345/.375/.621 with five extra-base hits through his first eight games.

5. Mets (12)
If the bullpen can catch up to the rest of the team, this should be a good year for the Mets. They opened the season with a 7-3 mark, and their starter ERA is tops in baseball. The rotation has allowed six earned runs in 50 1/3 innings for a 1.07 ERA. The bullpen, however, is struggling: its 4.64 ERA entering Sunday’s game was the third worst in the NL.

The rest of the field of 30:

6. Yankees (6)
7. Giants (9)
8. Rays (5)
9. Padres (10)
10. Cardinals (13)
11. Braves (8)
12. Brewers (4)
13. Red Sox (11)
14. Guardians (20)
15. Mariners (14)
16. Phillies (15)
17. Tigers (17)
18. Angels (18)
19. Twins (16)
20. Rockies (24)
21. Cubs (23)
22. Marlins (19)
23. A’s (27)
24. Nationals (25)
25. Royals (21)
26. Rangers (22)
27. Pirates (29)
28. Reds (26)
29. D-backs (28)
30. Orioles (30)

Voters: Alyson Footer, Anthony Castrovince, Paul Casella, Mark Feinsand, Nathalie Alonso, Mike Petriello, Sarah Langs, Andrew Simon, David Venn, Brett Blueweiss