We are entering the third full week of the MLB season and we are starting to get some readings on each team. It comes with no surprise that the Los Angeles Dodgers top this list. They are the defending World Series Champions and it seems they are unstoppable this season. There are a few other teams that have been dominant early and some teams that needed a few games before they started to get going. While it is still very early in the year, I took a stab at what teams are above the others in what 10 teams are in the top third of the league after week two.
10. Oakland A’s
The A’s are the exact reason why you don’t make conclusions about a team after week one. They started out the season going 1-7 getting swept by the Astros in 4 and dropping 2 of three to the Dodgers. They are now winners of eight in a row and are 9-7 on the year. Jed Lowrie is starting the year hot and the team still has Matt Chapman and Matt Olson. We knew this team was going to be good this year. They won the AL West last season and have made the playoffs the last three years. They just needed to shake off some rust before they got going.
9. Kansas City Royals
These Royals are going to make the AL Central race fun to watch. They are 9-5 this year, and according to Powerrankingsguru.com, they have had the 11th hardest schedule so far this year. Whit Merrifield leads the team in hits with Salvador Perez right behind him. Michael A. Taylor is also enjoying his new home in Kansas City with 12 hits in 14 games. The addition of Carlos Santana looks like it is going to pay off and then there is the emergence of Nicky Lopez and Kyle Isbel. It also helps to have two pitchers with a sub 2.00 ERA. Keep an eye on these Royals they may keep surprising all of us.
8. Chicago White Sox
This White Sox team has been fun to watch this season and they have only played 16 games. They were a hit-by-pitch away from a perfect game. The pitching for the team is phenomenal, with three pitchers having a sub 3.00 ERA. Then there’s the hitting machine of Yermin Mercedes who started this season going 8-for-8. There is a lot to be excited about with this team and they have been a lot better than their 8-8 record indicates. It seems that their early weakness is going to be the bullpen.
7. New York Mets
Another team with great pitching is the New York Mets. Jacob DeGrom is hands down the best pitcher in the game. But you have Marcus Stroman with a 0.90 ERA over 3 starts and Taijuan Walker who has a 2.61 ERA in 2 starts. On the hitting side, there is Brandon Nimmo who leads the team in multiple hitting categories. The Mets are going to need the other bats to start to wake up. Especially Francisco Lindor, who they signed to a $341 million contract before the season started.
6. Los Angeles Angels
The Angels are a team that I am behind fully. They have the best player in the game in Mike Trout and a sensational talent in Shohei Ohtani who gets it done both at the plate and on the mound. The Angels are 8-5 with series wins against the White Sox and the Blue Jays. The hitting for this team is great they just need to have the pitching come together. that is what is really going to make or break this team.
5. Houston Astros
Houston started out the year hot out of the gate winning six of their first seven games. But due to COVID-19 protocols, there were a handful of key players that were sidelined for the past few games. They are 3-7 in their last 10 and have an overall record of 7-8. When healthy, this Astros team is one of the best in the league both hitting and pitching.
4. Cincinnati Reds
The Reds came out guns blazing this season to the tune of a 9-6 record. They are 2nd in the league with a .808 OPS. Nick Castellanos and Joey Votto are leading the way along with Tyler Naquin who seems to be enjoying his new home in Cincy. This team is hitting and they are hitting hard. They are 2nd in the league with 24 home runs. Pitching wise they are getting a lot of help from unlikely candidates. Jeff Hoffman, Tyler Mahle, and Wade Miley all have ERAs below 3.00. Those are their 3,4 and 5 starters. Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray are the top two guys on this rotation. Once they get it going this team is going to be deadly. They are easily the current favorite to win the NL Central.
3. Boston Red Sox
Talk about a shit start. The Red Sox shut up all the haters after starting the year 0-3. After that first series against Baltimore, the Red Sox won 9 in a row and are 10-6 on the year after week 2. Nate Eovaldi is an ace and JD Martinez and Xander Bogaerts are leading the charge in the hitting department, as they should. With the state of the AL East up in the air the Red Sox could find themselves back in the postseason for the first time since 2018.
2. San Diego Padres
It is such a shame that the Padres have to be in the same division as the Dodgers. But since they are, we get to watch these two teams go at it frequently, making for great baseball. The Padres are 10-7 on the year. Their hitting is immaculate with Jake Cronenworth and Eric Hosmer tied for 7th in the league in hits with 21 apiece. Manny Machado is having fun and they have one of the most fun players in Fernando Tatis Jr. Their pitching staff is just as good, with Yu Darvish and Blake Snell. Also, let’s not look past the emergence of Joe Musgrove, who threw the first no-hitter of the year and holds a 0.47 ERA which is the only 2nd in the majors to Jacob DeGrom.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
Where do I even start with this team? They are hands down the best team in the league. Clayton Kershaw, Trevor Bauer, and Walker Buehler is a three-headed monster that makes lineups shiver. Round out the rotation with Dustin May and Julio Urias who could be 2nd or 3rd starters on most rotations in the league and they have arguably the best rotation in the MLB. And at the plate, this team just knows how to get it done. Justin Turner, Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, and Max Muncy are all guys that are fun to watch, and the more you go down the lineup the scarier this team gets. There is a reason the Dodgers are favorites to win the World Series again this year.
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