May 1, 2014, 5:44 PM EDT
Here are this week’s MLB Power Rankings featuring thoughts on each team from Mark Zuckerman, Chase Hughes and myself, Steve Roney:
1. Atlanta Braves (LW: 1) – Hughes: After getting shelled by the Marlins on Wednesday, Aaron Harang now sports the worst ERA among Braves starters at 2.97. 2.97!
2. Oakland Athletics (LW: 5) – Zuckerman: Ravaged by injuries, they still have the AL’s best record. Never underestimate these guys.
3. Milwaukee Brewers (LW: 2) – Roney: They’ve been incredible in the early going, but when Mark Reynolds is only third on the team in strikeouts, I don’t take that as a wonderful sign.
4. Detroit Tigers (LW: 9) – Roney: Think the Tigers are happy with their side of the Fielder trade? Kinsler has been great so far.
5. San Francisco Giants (LW: 10) – Zuckerman: Nice to see Morse healthy and productive: 6 HR, 20 RBI, .932 OPS.
6. Washington Nationals (LW: 8) – Hughes: Early season injuries are nothing new for the Nats, but this is getting ridiculous. It was not an easy first month on the job for Matt Williams.
7. New York Yankees (LW: 7) - Hughes: Only in baseball can you just toss together a group of aging free agents and have it click immediately. This Yankees team is good.
8. Los Angeles Dodgers (LW: 6) – Zuckerman: Nice to see Haren healthy and productive: 3-0, 2.03 ERA.
9. New York Mets (LW: 23) – Hughes: The Mets have a top 10 rotation in terms of starters ERA right now. Imagine if they had Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard.
10. Colorado Rockies (LW: 12) – Zuckerman: Tulowitzki (7 HR, 22 RBI, 1.205 OPS) is off to a ridiculously good start.
11. St. Louis Cardinals (LW: 4) – Roney: I don’t agree with demoting Kolten Wong. If he doesn’t begin to mash at AAA soon, this plus his October baserunning gaffe could really mess with his confidence.
12. Kansas City Royals (LW: 13) – Roney: Half of their regulars – including erstwhile mashers Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler – are still without a home run. On May 1.
13. Texas Rangers (LW: 3) – Zuckerman: They’re 14th in the AL in homers. 14th??? Texas???
14. Los Angeles Angels (LW: 11) – Zuckerman: Pujols looks like his old self again. Which is a good thing for the Angels, and for all of baseball.
15. Baltimore Orioles (LW: 17) – Hughes: Matt Wieters is finally becoming the offensive force we all thought he would be. And Nelson Cruz? What a signing that was.
16. Philadelphia Phillies (LW: 24) – Hughes: For as banged up as the Nats have been, the Phillies have been very fortunate in the injury department. Considering all the guys they have over 30, that’s amazing.
17. Minnesota Twins (LW: 25) – Roney: Do you know the name Chris Colabello? Just your average 30 year old sophomore near the AL lead in RBI (2nd, with 27).
18. Boston Red Sox (LW: 16) – Hughes: Xander Bogaerts is starting to prove what all the hype was about.
19. Miami Marlins (LW: 22) – Hughes: Who would have guessed Marlins Park would give such a home field advantage? They’re now 11-4 there after beating the Braves Tuesday and Wednesday night and 2-10 on the road.
20. Chicago White Sox (LW: 20) – Roney: When I heard Jose Abreu described as “the Cuban Miguel Cabrera”, I took that with a whole heap of salt, but he’s been best-case scenario right from the beginning.
21. Cincinnati Reds (LW: 21) – Roney: Billy Hamilton hitting home runs is merely gravy for the Reds – he now has as many (1) as does Phillies slugger Domonic Brown.
22. San Diego Padres (LW: 19) – Zuckerman: Nice pitching staff but offense is last in the NL in runs, homers, batting average, OBP, OPS.
23. Tampa Bay Rays (LW: 14) – Hughes: It was a rough month for Tampa Bay as even David Price (3-2, 4.75) had major troubles.
24. Pittsburgh Pirates (LW: 18) – Roney: Edinson Volquez has a 3/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Pittsburgh will take that for sure.
25. Toronto Blue Jays (LW: 15) – Hughes: With R.A. Dickey continuing to struggle, at what point do the Jays trade for some pitching? Once again they can hit, they just can’t pitch.
26. Seattle Mariners (LW: 27) – Zuckerman: Nice to see Chris Young healthy and productive: 1-0, 3.04 ERA.
27. Cleveland Indians (LW: 26) – Roney: Signs of life from Carlos Santana! Two home runs hopefully mean his bat is warming with the weather.
28. Chicago Cubs (LW: 29) – Roney: The Javier Baez countdown is well under way – with the way Rizzo and Castro are swinging the bat, Baez at second could give them a dirty infield.
29. Houston Astros (LW: 28) – Zuckerman: Help is on the way, but it’s not going to help them much this year.
30. Arizona Diamondbacks (LW: 30) - Zuckerman: What an unexpected train wreck right now in Arizona.
NL EAST STANDINGS
x-Clinched division title
WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Matt Williams quotes Robert Frost in postgame speech (VIDEO)
- VIDEO: Nats celebrate NL East title with loud music, lots of beer
- Nationals players react to winning NL East on Twitter
- PHOTOS: Harper wears custom firefighters helmet to celebrate
- Nationals clinch NL East with victory in Atlanta
- How did Zimmerman fare in first game action in Viera?
- Nationals play for NL East title tonight in Atlanta
- Has Strasburg earned Game 1 start in playoffs?
- Around the NL East: Braves on the verge of elimination
- After nailbiter, Nationals on the cusp of a clinch