MLB Power Rankings: The Wild West
Are the Seattle Mariners and the Oakland Athletics better than we thought?
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 strictly 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.
In doing this, I arrived at one major conclusion. It’s too early to discern the real contenders from the pretenders. So, proceed with caution. Some of the teams listed may not be around for long.
Now, before we unveil the list, there are a few things that will stand out. First, the early part of the season is being dominated by the West, especially in the National League. In fact, six of the 10 teams on the list are located in the West. Four of the six can be found in the NL.
Next, teams that made the postseason in 2021 are not performing well. Six playoff teams did not crack the top 10, including the World Series champion Atlanta Braves, who are ranked 21 out of 30 teams.
Replacing those teams on the top 10 are some real surprises, including the Seattle Mariners and the Oakland Athletics. The Mariners haven’t made the postseason in more than two decades. The A’s traded away several of their top players before the season, including Matt Olson, Matt Chapman and Sean Manaea.
With that, let’s take a look at the top 10 teams in baseball two weeks into the season.
2022 MLB Power Rankings
10. Seattle Mariners (6-5)
Entering the season, the Mariners bolstered their rotation by adding the 2021 American League Cy Young Robbie Ray. To start, the rotation has pitched to a 3.03 earned run average, the sixth-best ERA in MLB.
9. Chicago Cubs (6-5)
When the Cubs traded three centerpiece players – Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, and Javy Báez – last season, many thought a rebuild was in order. The addition of Seiya Suzuki has thrown all of that in the wind. Suzuki leads MLB with a .414 batting average, .581 on-base percentage, and a .897 slugging.
8. Cleveland Guardians (4-5)
The Guardians are the only sub-500 team on this list. Their superb pitching and run differential helped to catapult them to this spot in the ranking.
7. San Diego Padres (8-5)
Last season, the Padres were a disappointment. Entering the season, it looked to be more of the same with Fernando Tatis Jr. landing on the 60-day injured list. Fortunately, the team has performed well across the board and looks to be a real contender in 2022.
6. Oakland Athletics (7-5)
It’s really no surprise that the A’s are on this list. It seems like any time we write this team off, they find a way to stay in the mix. I don’t anticipate them staying here for long. I also say that with little confidence.
The Top Five
5. Colorado Rockies (8-3)
Over the last two seasons, the Rockies lost two centerpieces in Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story. But then, the team added Kris Bryant in free agency. So far, it’s paid off as they tie with three other teams for the fewest losses in the league.
4. St. Louis Cardinals (6-3)
The Cardinals made a lot of people happy this season by bringing back Albert Pujols. Nine games into the season, the move has paid off. “The Machine” is hitting .389 with a stellar 1.254 OPS. He is also just 15 home runs shy of Alex Rodriguez who has 696 career home runs.
3. San Francisco Giants (7-4)
Last season, the Giants shocked the world by posting the best record in MLB. Many people thought that it was an aberration. Well, so far this season has proven that 2021 was no fluke. They continue to challenge the behemoth Dodgers.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers (8-3)
Speaking of Los Angeles, the Dodgers are living up to the hype. With a lineup that includes Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Trea Turner, they better.
1. New York Mets (9-3)
This offseason, the Mets decided they needed an identity shift. They addressed it by adding manager Buck Showalter and ace pitcher Max Scherzer, two no-nonsense character guys who refuse to lose. So far, it seems to be paying off.
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