MLB Power Rankings: The Surging East
The Yankees and Blue Jays enter the Power Rankings
A pair of American League East teams force themselves into this week’s MLB Power Rankings. The New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays join the New York Mets as the only representatives from the East divisions.
The rankings continue to show how difficult the Western divisions will be to defeat. In fact, of the 10 teams on this list, five are from the NL or AL West. Three of those five are prominently featured in the list of Top 5 teams, including the Seattle Mariners, who were 10th last week.
When preparing for the MLB Power Rankings this season, I forced myself to fight the urge of subjectivity. I wanted to create a list of the top 10 teams by relying on numbers.
Utilizing pitcher WAR, batter WAR, team record, and run differential, I created a spreadsheet. Teams with the highest combined score are ranked at the top.
With that, let’s look at the top 10 teams in Week 3 of the 2022 MLB season.
2022 MLB Power Rankings
10. San Diego Padres (-3)
The Padres fell three spaces mostly because of pitching. Currently, the team ranks 23rd with a 4.00 fielding independent pitching (FIP). They are one of just eight teams with a FIP of 4.00 or higher. None of those teams, except the Pads, made this week’s Power Ranking.
9. Toronto Blue Jays (+9)
The Blue Jays made the biggest jump this week, from 18 to nine. Over the last week, the Jays lost just one game and increased their run differential from -4 last week to +8 this week. That’s a 12-run increase. They trail the Yankees for first place in the AL East by just 0.5 games.
8. St. Louis Cardinals (-4)
The Cardinals dropped four spots this week, falling out of the Top 5. This is mostly due to the pitching staff, whose WAR dropped from 1.9 last week to 1.5 this week. Cardinals pitchers posted a 2-4 record with the lowest strikeout rate (6.4 K9) in MLB.
7. Los Angeles Anges (+6)
The Angels are currently in first place in the AL West. With Mike Trout back to form — his 1.4 fWAR leads the American League — and Shohei Ohtani proving he’s the real deal, the Halos look like the team to beat in the AL West. They will have to bolster their pitching staff if they want to stay there.
6. Chicago Cubs (+3)
The Cubs continue to impress. After debuting ninth last week, they jump three spaces to sixth. Their offense has posted a .758 OPS, which is the highest in MLB. Additionally, they have posted one of the lowest ground ball rates (45.7 GB%) in baseball. This has resulted in a +17 run differential, the highest in the NL Central.
The Top Five
5. New York Yankees (+7)
The Yankees jumped to No. 5 after going 5-1 in the last week. They have also improved their run differential from +3 to +18. Only the Mariners (+22) have a better run differential in the American League.
One of the keys to the Yankees’ success has been an increase in power and the resurgence of a Gerrit Cole. They rank third with 23 team home runs, and Anthony Rizzo leads MLB with eight homers. As for Cole, in his last start, he tossed 6 2/3 innings, allowing no runs, while striking out nine.
4. Seattle Mariners (+6)
The Mariners continue to prove that they are the real deal. Not only do they lead the American League with a +21 run differential, but they also trail the first-place Angels by just 0.5 games in the AL West. Second baseman Ty France is playing like a top-five player in baseball. His 1.1 fWAR trails only Wander Franco (1.3), Mike Trout (1.4), Manny Machado (1.5), and Nolan Arenado (1.6)
A Three-Headed Monster
3. New York Mets (-2)
The Mets dropped two spots this week. That’s not saying much about the kind of team they are. It’s clear that this season will be a battle between the Mets, Giants, and Dodgers.
The Mets’ offense is the best in baseball. They lead MLB in weighted runs created (wRC). In the more traditional stats, they consistently post a top-five team batting average (.259) and OPS (.736).
2. San Francisco Giants (+1)
The Giants continue to lead the Dodgers for first place by 0.5 games in the AL West. They have done it by posting an MLB-leading +44 run differential.
The Giants are making it clear that they will not abide by unwritten rules. Manager Gabe Kapler will not allow his team to take their foot off the gas, no matter the circumstance.
“It’s definitely not about running up the score,” he told San Francisco media. “We felt like we’re respecting our opponents, and we’re going to respect our opponents at every turn. This is about using every tool at our disposal to compete.”
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (+1)
The Dodgers are baseball’s iteration of a super team. Superstars are up and down the lineup and pitching staff. As a result, they have sole possession of first place in the AL West, lead MLB in run differential, and continue to lead the odds in Vegas to win the World Series.
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