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MLB Power Rankings: Who Are The Biggest Risers and Fallers In The First Week Of The Season?

How much can really change in a week of a 162 game? MLB season?

Exactly one week since the excitement of the opening day, fans of, well, nearly Any MLB team that has positive thoughts about the possibilities for 2021 offers our first regular season rankings of the young season for some a kind of reality check and hope that this could be the year for others.

Does your favorite team have a quick start that may or may not last, or do you want your team to pick them up after they get out of the gate?

In both cases, our panel of eight voters has joined forces on an initial order based on a combination of what we’ve seen so far and what we already knew when we went into the 162-game marathon which was a full Baseball season is. We also asked ESPN MLB experts David Schoenfield, Bradford Doolittle, Joon Lee, Jesse Rogers, and Alden Gonzalez to weigh up with an early observation for all 30 teams.

Check out our first opening day leaderboards, predictions for each team


Recording: 5-2
Previous ranking: 1

Corey Seager stays red hot and Mookie Betts, Max Muncy, Justin Turner and Will Smith swing it well. But the big difference was so far Gavin Luxthat looks much more comfortable both defensively and offensively. He is 23 years old, is making a name for himself as a star and could theoretically be just as big as Trevor Bauer. – Gonzalez


Recording: 3-3
Previous ranking: 2

The pitching team entered the season as a bigger question mark than the offense, but the bullpen particularly made an appearance in the opening streak with the Blue Jays. The Bronx Bombers pen allowed only one run in 15⅔ innings against Toronto. – Lee


Recording: 4-3
Previous ranking: 3

Padre’s fans could breathe out late Tuesday when General Manager A.J. Preller reported that his star shortstop, Fernando Tatis Jr.., received relatively positive MRI results on his tender left shoulder and hopes to return to the line-up soon after his IL stint is over. But that shoulder, which has appeared intermittently throughout Tatis’ professional career, will be worth monitoring all summer. Another subluxation could result in surgery, which could result in longer playing time for Ha-seong Kim, who has struggled to adjust to the Major League pace so far in his debut season. – Gonzalez


Recording: 4-2
Previous ranking: 6th

So far, so good: the twins completed an average of more than six runs per game. Best of all, as of Tuesday only 39% of their runs had been on the long ball, compared to 49% last season and 51% the previous season. With Byron Buxton Break out and contact thugs Luis Arraez, Willian’s Astudillo and Andrelton Simmons All in all, this is a more balanced Twins attack. Oh and Nelson Cruz just doesn’t age. This shouldn’t be possible, but his bat looks as fast as ever. Upper 90s, up in the zone? No problem. Cruz has 3,500 OPS so far. He is almost 41 years old! – Doolittle


Recording: 5-1
Previous ranking: 9

The Astros lineup goes down seven times with elite hits and rolls so far, though we need to figure out how much of that is Houston down and how much of that was the absolute stupor that the stumbling Oakland A’s were in to kick off the season . So far, Dusty Baker has really divided up the work with his pitching staff while he was renting out Zack Greinke Work deep and give most bullpen a break on their starting day. It was a great inaugural road trip for the Astros against two division opponents whose fans seemed excited to welcome them to town. – Doolittle


Recording: 1-2
Previous ranking: 5

In typical Mets fashion, they blew someone else Jacob deGrom lead in their first game and the bullpen was shaky in their second game too, leaving Mets fans already thinking dark thoughts. DeGrom was great though, throwing 24 fastballs in a row. The Mets now have 30 saves in deGrom’s career (most of the starting pitchers since joining the league). Here’s another point: DeGrom has a Career ERA of 2.24 in his 63 non-decisions. – Schönfield


Recording: 2-4
Previous ranking: 4th

They scored just eight runs after losing their first four games when the offensive – second best in the majors last season behind the Dodgers at 5.80 runs per game – got off to a sluggish start before beating the Nats on Wednesday broke out. The Atlanta crime was an obvious candidate for regression given the big seasons Marcell Ozuna (1,067 OPS) and Travis d’Arnaud (.919 OPS) in 2020 and even Freddie Freeman will have a hard time getting to its 2020 numbers. – Schönfield


Recording: 2-4
Previous ranking: 8th

Tyler Glasnow looked exactly like an ace at the top of the rotation in his first two starts (15K in 12 innings and an ERA of 0.75). With the losses of Blake Snell and Charlie MortonWhether this team is likely to repeat their American League flagship run will focus on the success of the rear end of their rotation. – Lee


Recording: 3-3
Previous ranking: 10

The Blue Jays are this year’s take on the 2020 White Sox, a young team with immense potential that might surprise some people by making a strong run in the playoffs. Two out of three games against the Yankees in the first series of the season certainly set a strong tone. – Lee


play

0:25

Mike Trout sends a home run over the left field wall and scores two runs in the first run.

Recording: 4-2
Previous ranking: 15th

Shohei Ohtani It looks like he’s finally going to be a breakout two-way player this season and that could change everything for the Angels. They have solid lineups and defense, a collection of starters who can take innings, and an intriguing bullpen as the 22 year old right handed shows up Chris Rodriguez. If Ohtani can stay healthy enough to have 140 innings as a starter and 450 record appearances ahead of him, for example Mike TroutThe angels could only have one shot at this division. – Gonzalez


Recording: 5-1
Previous ranking: 16

Best early sign: the bullpen was solid, save for one terrible excursion Vince Velasquez. The pen was historically awful in 2020 (6/7 ERA) so there’s no other way to go but up, but Dave Dombrowski added some power weapons. If they throw strikes, it could be a solid group. Zack Wheeler was dominant on his debut with seven one-hit innings, and it’s no overreaction to claim he’s a Cy Young sleeper contestant. – Schonfield


Recording: 3-4
Previous ranking: 7th

The White Sox start with a western swing and hold their own despite some problems with the late inning through the bullpen and a few too many defensive rounds. The avatar for the week is likely Luis Robertwho loved both the long ball and some crazy strokes on the bases, but also misplayed a pop fly that eventually dumped him on the noggin. The best news was the early performance of Zack Collins. When Collins has a breakout season he can go a long way in filling the production void that it creates Eloy JimenezInjury. – Doolittle


Recording: 4-2
Previous ranking: 14th

In the beginning, the cardinals did nothing to distinguish themselves. They were average on the plate and average on the hill, but there are some individual signs that bode well. Dylan Carlson showed some early power while newbie Nolan Arenado had eight hits in his first 20 bats. Both players could benefit from quick starts with everyone trying to identify with the Cardinals. Finally got it Carlos Martinez It would be a huge success for St. Louis, but after a good spring it had a difficult first start to the season. – Rogers


Recording: 3-3
Previous ranking: 17th

The Cubs may be unlucky, but once again the offense is spotty. The newcomers on the hill were impressive too Jake Arrieta, Zach Davies and Trevor Williams leads the team to their first three wins. An important ray of hope is closer Craig Kimbrelwhich has been fantastic so far. – Rogers


Recording: 1-2
Previous ranking: 11

The Nats will be relying on organizational depth here for the first week as the COVID-19 outbreak resulted in 10 players joining the IL, including the starters Patrick Corbin and Jon Lester, new rackets Josh Bell and Kyle Schwarberand closer Brad hand. Also of concern: Max Scherzer allowed four home runs in his opener, the third time he allowed four home runs in a game – but the first time since 2011. – Schönfield


Recording: 3-3
Previous ranking: 13th

Milwaukee has a lot of pitching, but an ups and downs. Nevertheless Devin Williams had a surprisingly rough first foray out of the bullpen. The brewers are going to need him and every good arm they can find because their team OPS is so far at the bottom of the majors. – Rogers


Recording: 2-3
Previous ranking: 18th

Cleveland looks like a club that will struggle to score points all season. We somehow knew this and found that any chance of argument depended on setting up an elite pitching baton. While overall running prevention has been fine so far, an MLB worst hearing rate has undermined the efforts of a team that doesn’t have much margin for error. Terry Francona should better hope the free tickets are just a by-product of the cool early weather. – Doolittle


Recording: 1-6
Previous ranking: 12th

The A’s have so many questions that affect whether they can legitimately fight for a playoff spot. Can Elvis Andrus replace appropriately Marcus Semien? Can you find a pitcher as a consistent ace at the top of the rotation? Maybe the greatest will be whether both Matt Olson and Matt Chapman may have a relaxing season in 2020 after declining years. – Lee


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0:46

Tyler Naquin, Nick Castellanos, Tyler Stephenson and Aristides Aquino all scored solo home runs in the Reds’ win over the Pirates.

Recording: 5-1
Previous ranking: 20th

The Reds could be the biggest early surprise in all of baseball. They looked terrible in spring training, but their offense came alive this month. It’s a year later than many predicted as they are led by a few newer players in the right field Nick Castellanos (second year with the team) and left field player Tyler Naquin (first year). Naquin has already achieved his 2020 home run overall victory, scoring four goals in the team’s first six games. The Reds may not have endurance on the hill, but right now they are the cream of the NL Central. – Rogers


Recording: 3-2
Previous ranking: 22nd

The Kansas City batsmen and helpers got the team off to a quick start. Whit Merrifield looks better on the plate than ever but retains the versatility that allowed him to switch from the outfield back to the bullpen in late spring. Michael A. Taylor played on both sides of the ball in his first few games with the Royals. The Kansas City rotation didn’t keep up, but it did after that Danny Duffy Putting a gem up in Cleveland on Monday, maybe this group is ready to join the party. – Doolittle


Recording: 3-3
Previous ranking: 19th

The opening series of the Orioles caused a slight panic in the Boston fan base. The team looked similar to their horrific 2020 season, hitting .160 and just five runs in their three losses. The team will take a ton of dominoes to find their way if they hope to seriously damage the playoff picture this season. – Lee


Recording: 1-5
Previous ranking: 21

Sandy Alcantara looks great from the start, with only three runs (two earned), six hits, and 17 strokes in 12 innings. Alcantara’s swing and miss rate of 36.6% is well above its career average of 24.3%. It could be an early sign that he’s taking his game to the next level. Unfortunately he is 0-1 because he did not make a decision on the opening day in a 0-1 defeat. – Schonfield


Recording: 3-3
Previous ranking: 23

Evan Longoria homered three times and had an OPS of 1.345 through the first four games which was fun at least. This is an odd list made up of veterans far enough from different levels of notoriety – Longoria, Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Johnny Cueto – and not at all the type you would imagine being part of a remodel. You won’t find much hope for the future with this group, but it could occasionally bring back memories of past greatness that could be satisfying in other ways. – Gonzalez


Recording: 3-3
Previous ranking: 25th

Just 24 pitches after returning to Seattle, James Paxton left with elbow discomfort, a big blow if missed a lot of time. The Mariners counted on Paxton for two reasons: (1) If they wanted to be a surprise candidate, he would need a healthy, big season; (2) Even if they are out of the running at the close of trading, if Paxton does well, he could bring something back into a trade. – Schönfield


Recording: 2-4
Previous ranking: 24

The bad news: Nick Ahmed, a two-time Gold Glove Award winner at Shortstop, is on the IL with a balky knee. The fun news: Geraldo PerdomoThe 21-year-old, ranked the 31st best prospect by ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel, is on the rise. It’s a surprisingly early call, an indication of the lack of depth of the D-backs on shortstop. Perdomo will take his lumps, but he’s a disciplined batsman for his age. – Gonzalez


Recording: 4-2
Previous ranking: 29

John Means looked sharp during his opening day start against Boston, allowing only one hit and no walks in seven innings, and kept Boston’s line-up off balance by playing off a nasty change. Cedric Mullins also provided a ray of hope and hit .588 / .611 / .765 on his first 18 record appearances. – Lee


Recording: 3-3
Previous ranking: 27

Not to say that this has anything to do with it Akil BaddooBut the only players to win Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same season are Fred Lynn and Ichiro Suzuki. Jim Brown did it in the NFL while Wilt Chamberlain and Wes Unseld did it in the NBA. Again, I’m not saying any of this has anything to do with Akil Baddoo (pronounced ah-KEEL bah-DOO; you should remember that), even though everything he’s done has been spectacular and he’s already a cult hero in Detroit. These are just random facts that I spit out. Baddoo was the Tigers’ best player who, despite some ugly early pitching metrics, got a little overachieved. – Doolittle


Recording: 3-3
Previous ranking: 26

Texas doesn’t have much to offer, as evidenced by the whopping 38 runs in the first five games of the season. The Rangers were a little better on the plate, but they’re not good enough to outsmart teams – that’s what they have to do to win games. – Rogers


Recording: 2-4
Previous ranking: 28

The Rockies’ faint hopes of competing in a top heavy NL West without competing Nolan Arenado was based on the promise of a solid starting rotation. Then Kyle Freeland strained his left shoulder before the season opener and German marquez only lasted four innings in his debut, and Austin Gomber – an important part of the Arenado deal – issued seven walks in three innings. They faced the Dodgers, but still. – Gonzalez


Recording: 1-5
Previous ranking: 30th

With Ke’Bryan Hayes In the line-up, Pittsburgh was able to play spoilers at times. But after their best young batsman sustained a hand injury, the pirates look a lot worse. On the hill, only two teams had a higher ERA in the first five games of the season. It will take some time to rebuild. – Rogers

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