1. Los Angeles Dodgers
Offensive standouts: UTL Enrique Hernandez (.367 AVG, .474 OBP, and 3 HRs in 38 PAs), C/UTL Russell Martin (.417 AVG, .556 OBP, and 1 HR in 18 PAs), and 1B/OF Cody Bellinger (.455 AVG, .489 OBP, and 7 HRs in 47 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Hyun-Jin Ryu (9 K/9, 0 BB/9, and 2.08 ERA in 13 IP), RP Kenley Jansen (10.13 K/9, 1.69 BB/9, and 0.00 ERA in 5.1 IP), and SP Julio Urias (9.35 K/9, 4.15 BB/9, and 3.12 ERA in 8.2 IP)
The Dodgers offense has proven to be unstoppable. They are hitting tons and tons of HRs and their offense is so deep. If Kershaw can come back healthy, there’s no stopping this Dodgers team.
2. Houston Astros
Offensive standouts: OF George Springer (.300 AVG, .356 OBP, and 3 HRs in 45 PAs) and 3B Alex Bregman (.343 AVG, .415 OBP, and 1 HR in 41 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Gerrit Cole (14.25 K/9, 2.25 BB/9, and 3.00 ERA in 12 IP), SP Collin McHugh (10.64 K/9, 3.27 BB/9, and 2.45 ERA in 11 IP), and SP Wade Miley (6.17 K/9, 1.54 BB/9, and 2.31 ERA in 11.2 IP)
The Astros are on a three game win streak, having picked up a must needed sweep against the A’s. The offense, who has struggled thus far, is in the midst of waking up (scored fifteen runs in last two games after scoring only 18 in the seven games prior). Ultimately, this a team who should contend for a World Series, as their strong in virtually every facet of the game (especially the rotation).
3. New York Yankees
Offensive standouts: 3B/2B DJ LeMahieu (.429 AVG, .500 OBP, and 7 runs in 32 PAs) and SS Gleyber Torres (.371 AVG, .436 OBP, and 3 HRs in 39 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Domingo German (8.18 K/9, 5.73 BB/9, and 1.64 ERA in 11 IP) and SP Masahiro Tanaka (8.76 K/9, 0 BB/9, and 1.46 ERA in 12.1 IP)
After losing back to back series to the lowly Orioles and Tigers, the Yankees rebounded with a resounding series sweep of the O’s in Baltimore. As injuries continue to pile up, it becomes more and more essential that youngsters Clint Frazier, Domingo German, etc. hold the fort down to allow key veterans to fully recuperate.
4. Washington Nationals
Offensive standouts: 3B Anthony Rendon (.433 AVG, .528 OBP, 4 HR, 8 XBH, and 36 PAs), SS Trea Turner (.357 AVG, .400 OBP, and 2 HRs in 15 PAs), and OF Victor Robles (.269 AVG, .387 OBP, and 2 HRs in 31 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Stephen Strasburg (12.08 K/9, 2.13 BB/9, and 2.84 ERA in 12.2 IP) and SP Max Scherzer (13.26 K/9, 1.89 BB/9, and 3.32 ERA in 19 IP)
The Nationals are a very well rounded team (strong rotation and powerful offense), and they are coming off of a huge weekend series win against the NY Mets. Losing Trea Turner to the IL hurts, but their lineup is still very dangerous (Rendon, Soto, Robles, etc.).
5. Philadelphia Phillies
Offensive standouts: OF Bryce Harper (.385 AVG, .556 OBP, and 3 HRs in 36 PAs), 3B Maikel Franco (.320 AVG, .500 OBP, and 3 HRs in 34 PAs), and 1B Rhys Hoskins (.346 AVG, .514 OBP, and 3 HRs in 35 PAs)
Pitching standout: SP Zach Eflin (10.50 K/9, 0.75 BB/9, and 0.75 ERA in 12 IP)
The Phillies, led by their dynamite offense, have won two of their first three series (swept Braves, split with Nationals, and took two of three from the Twins) and have launched themselves into 1st place in the NL East division despite poor showing from the bullpen.
6. Milwaukee Brewers
Offensive standouts: OF Christian Yelich (.361 AVG, .489 OBP, and 5 HRs in 47 PAs) and OF Lorenzo Cain (.368 AVG, .432 OBP, and 5 XBH in 44 PAs)
Pitching standouts: RP Josh Hader (15.26 K/9, 1.17 BB/9, and 0.00 ERA in 7.2 IP) and SP Freddy Peralta (11.45 K/9, 2.45 BB/9, and 3.27 ERA in 11 IP)
The Brew Crew are on a tear and are emerging as the favorites to win the NL Central. Although their pitching has been lackluster to some degree, the offense has carried the team, and the bullpen has been strong.
7. Boston Red Sox
Offensive standouts: C/UTL Blake Swihart (.375 AVG, .444 OBP, and 1 HR in 18 PAs) and OF/DH J.D. Martinez (.333 AVG, .404 OBP, and 3 HRs in 47 PAs)
Pitching standouts: RP Brandon Workman (12.6 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, and 0.00 ERA in 5 IP)
The Red Sox west coast trip couldn’t have played out any worse. Their pitching has been terrible (ERA in the 6s) and the offense hasn’t been as strong as it was last season. In all likelihood, the reigning World Series champs will bounce back and compete for a division title with the Yankees and Rays, but you never know.
8. Tampa Rays
Offensive standouts: 3B/UTL Yandy Diaz (.303 AVG, .395 OBP, and 3 HRs in 33 PAs) and 1B/DH Ji-Man Choi (.370 AVG and .433 OBP in 30 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Charlie Morton (11.45 K/9, 3.27 BB/9, and 1.64 ERA in 11 IP), SP Tyler Glasnow (8.18 K/9, 1.64 BB/9, and 0.82 ERA in 11 IP), and RP Jose Alvarado (15 K/9, 4.5 BB/9, and 0.00 ERA in 6 IP)
The first week of regular season play is through, and the Rays are currently first place in the AL East. Their pitching has been instrumental to their success; their team ERA is hovering around 2.00. What could potentially hold them back is their offense though.
9. New York Mets
Offensive standouts: 1B Peter Alonso (.382 AVG, .432 OBP, 3 HRs, and 9 XBH in 37 PAs), UTL Jeff McNeil (.409 AVG, .519 OBP, and 3 XBH in 27 PAs), and C Wilson Ramos (.400 AVG and .419 OBP in 31 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Jacob deGrom (16.62 K/9, 1.38 BB/9, and 0.00 ERA in 13 IP), SP Steven Matz (9.58 K/9, 3.48 BB/9, and 0.87 ERA in 10.1 IP), and RP Edwin Diaz (12.27 K/9, 2.45 BB/9, and 0.00 ERA in 3.2 IP)
The Mets are off to a solid start this season. Their offense and pitching have both been above average. They beat up on the Marlins (swept them) and split their 6 games against the Washington Nationals, a fellow division rival.
10. Cleveland Indians
Offensive standout: 1B Carlos Santana (.419 AVG, .486 OBP, and 1 HR in 35 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Mike Clevinger (16.5 K/9, 3 BB/9, and 0.00 ERA in 12 IP) and SP Trevor Bauer (10.93 K/9, 4.5 BB/9, and 0.64 ERA in 14 IP)
The Indians are coming off of a four game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays. They’ve received very good pitching, as usual, but their offense remains quiet. The bullpen has been decent as well.
11. St. Louis Cardinals
Offensive standout: 2B Kolten Wong (.433 AVG, .486 OBP, and 3 HRs in 35 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Jack Flaherty (9.64 K/9, 2.89 BB/9, and 3.86 ERA in 9.1 IP) and RP John Brebbia (9.95 K/9, 2.84 BB/9, and 0.00 ERA in 6.1 IP)
The Cardinals offense and pitching has been just average so far this season. Three of their best hitters — Paul Goldschmidt, Harrison Bader, and Matt Carpenter — have all struggled. If they can put it all together, the Cardinals suddenly resemble a playoff caliber team.
12. Atlanta Braves
Offensive standouts: 1B Freddie Freeman (.419 AVG, .561 OBP, and 1 HR in 41 PAs), 2B Ozzie Albies (.400 AVG, .475 OBP, and 1 HR in 40 PAs), and SS Dansby Swanson (.346 AVG, .471 OBP, and 3 HRs in 34 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Julio Teheran (12.6 K/9, 4.5 BB/9, and 3.60 ERA in 10 IP) and SP Kevin Gausman (9 K/9, 2.57 BB/9, and 0.00 ERA in 7 IP)
The Braves were blown away by the Phillies in their opening series. It seems to have served as a wakeup call, as Atlanta is victorious in five of their last six games. The offense has been formidable, but the pitching has been just okay.
13. Seattle Mariners
Offensive standouts: SS Tim Beckham (.400 AVG, .489 OBP, and 4 HRs in 47 PAs), OF Domingo Santana (.311 AVG, .415 OBP, and 4 HRs in 54 PAs), and 1B Daniel Vogelbach (.467 AVG, .579 OBP, and 4 HRs in 19 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Marco Gonzales (5.03 K/9, 1.37 K/9, and 3.20 ERA in 19.2 IP), SP Mike Leake (9.49 K/9, 1.46 BB/9, and 2.92 ERA in 12.1 IP), and RP Brandon Brennan (9.45 K/9, 1.35 BB/9, and 0.00 ERA in 6.2 IP)
The Mariners are off and running in 2019. Run scoring is coming so easy to them right now (7.7 runs per nine innings pitched). Additionally, their pitching has been serviceable. Watch out for the Mariners, as they are already surpassing a lot of people’s expectations in 2019.
14. Oakland Athletics
Offensive standout: SS Marcus Semien (.298 AVG, .389 OBP, and 1 HR in 54 PAs)
Pitching standouts: RP Lou Trivino (11.25 K/9, 1.13 BB/9, and 2.25 ERA in 8 IP) and RP J.B. Wendelken (11.32 K/9, 0 BB/9, and 1.74 ERA in 10.1 IP)
The Athletics sit one game below .500 despite above average showings from both their pitching staff and offense. They’re lost three consecutive games (all three of which were against the Houston Astros). Expect the A’s to contend for a WC spot once again this year.
15. Minnesota Twins
Offensive standouts: SS Jorge Polanco (.387 AVG, .429 OBP, and 6 XBH in 35 PAs), C/UTL Willians Astudillo (.500 AVG, .529 OBP, 4 XBH, and 0 Ks in 17 PAs), and OF Max Kepler (.265 AVG, .324 OBP, and 2 HRs in 37 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Jose Berrios (8.59 K/9, 0.61 BB/9, and 1.84 ERA in 14.2 IP), SP Michael Pineda (10 K/9, 2 BB/9, and 2.00 ERA in 9 IP), and RP Trevor Hildenberger (15 K/9, 3 BB/9, and 0.00 ERA in 3 IP)
After winning four of their first five games (all of which were against division foes — three games against CLE and two games against KC), they lost two out of three to the red-hot Philadelphia Phillies. Overall, the pitching has been solid (ERA in the mid-to-low 3s), but the offense has been just mediocre (7 HRs).
16. Chicago Cubs
Offensive standouts: C Willson Contreras (.364 AVG, .517 OBP, and 3 HRs in 29 PAs), OF Jason Heyward (.333 AVG, .400 OBP, and 3 HRs in 35 PAs), and UTL Daniel Descalso (.348 AVG, .423 OBP, and 1 HR in 26 PAs)
No pitching standouts
The Cubs have had a really tough road trip despite strong performances from a variety of position players. Perhaps even more problematic than their bullpen issues, the starting rotation has been terrible. Entering play on Sunday, the Cubs team ERA ranked dead last in the majors (7.87). They come home on Monday and open against the Pirates. This six game home-stand (also play Angels) will be very telling.
17. Pittsburgh Pirates
Offensive standouts: OF Melky Cabrera (.391 AVG and .417 OBP in 24 PAs) and UTL Adam Frazier (.333 AVG, .429 OBP, and 1 HR in 35 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP/RP Joe Musgrove (9 K/9, 1 BB/9, and 0.00 ERA in 9 IP), SP Trevor Williams (6.75 K/9, 0.75 BB/9, and 2.25 ERA in 12 IP), and RP Felipe Vazquez (15.75 K/9, 2.25 BB/9, and 0.00 ERA in 4 IP)
The Pirates are coming off of a four-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds. Their team ERA is in the mid-2s, which has kept them in games. Watch for this trend to continue as the Pirates offense is seemingly below average.
18. San Diego Padres
Offensive standouts: OF Hunter Renfroe (.364 AVG, .440 OBP, and 3 HRs in 25 PAs) and 3B Manny Machado (.286 AVG, .405 OBP, and 2 HRs in 42 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Joey Lucchesi (11.32 K/9, 2.61 BB/9, and 0.00 ERA in 10.1 IP), SP Chris Paddack (11.42 K/9, 5.19 BB/9, and 1.04 ERA in 8.2 IP), and RP Kirby Yates (13.5 K/9, 1.5 BB/9, and 1.50 ERA in 6 IP)
The Padres are off to a strong start to the season, having won two of their first three series. The pitching has been solid all-around and the offense has scored just enough runs. Their success long term will be dependent on the longevity/stamina of their young starters.
19. Los Angeles Angels
Offensive standout: OF Mike Trout (.393 AVG, .581 OBP, and 5 HRs in 43 PAs)
Pitching standout: RP Ty Buttrey (15.43 K/9, 0 BB/9, and 0.00 ERA in 4.2 IP)
Aside from Mike Trout (also known as the best hitter in baseball), the Angels offense has been nonexistent. The pitching staff has been alright, but their overall roster depth is lacking. Their rotation holds plenty of question marks as well.
20. Arizona Diamondbacks
Offensive standouts: OF Adam Jones (.364 AVG, .378 OBP, and 4 HRs in 46 PAs), C Alex Avila (.333 AVG, .524 OBP, and 2 HRs in 21 PAs), and OF David Peralta (.413 AVG, .413 OBP, 1 HR, and 9 XBH in 46 PAs)
Pitching standouts: RP Greg Holland (12 K/9, 0 BB/9, and 0.00 ERA in 3 IP) and SP Merrill Kelly (7.71 K/9, 1.29 BB/9, and 2.57 ERA in 14 IP)
All in all, the Diamondbacks pitching has been disappointing, but the offense has stepped up to the plate, scoring runs at a remarkable rate (6.1 runs per nine innings — top 5 in the majors). The question is, can they sustain it?
21. Colorado Rockies
Offensive standout: OF David Dahl (.343 AVG, .385 OBP, and 2 HRs in 39 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Kyle Freeland (11.57 K/9, 3.86 BB/9, and 2.31 ERA in 11.2 IP) and SP German Marquez (9.69 K/9, 4.15 BB/9, and 0.69 ERA in 13 IP)
The Rockies have really struggled in the early going of the 2019 campaign. The pitching staff has not performed, aside from Freeland and Marquez. The offense is in a slump right now and to add insult to injury, the Rockies best hitter right now, David Dahl, had to leave Sunday’s game due to injury.
22. Detroit Tigers
Offensive standout: RF Nicholas Castellanos (.289 AVG, .386 OBP, and 5 XBH in 44 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Matt Boyd (18.26 K/9, 3.18 BB/9, and 3.18 ERA in 11.1 IP), SP Jordan Zimmermann (6.59 K/9, 0.66 B/9, and 0.66 ERA in 13.2 IP), and SP Matt Moore (8.1 K/9, 0.9 BB/9, and 0.00 ERA in 10 IP)
The Tigers are on a roll, having won five consecutive games (coming off a series sweep of Kansas City), and their pitching has been incredible, overshadowing their nonexistent offense. Not a single Tiger hitter has a batting AVG of at least .300.
23. Toronto Blue Jays
Offensive standout: SS Freddy Galvis (.324 AVG, .378 OBP, and 3 HRs in 37 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Matt Shoemaker (9.64 K/9, 1.93 BB/9, and 0.00 ERA in 14 IP), SP Marcus Stroman (8.68 K/9, 2.89 BB/9, and 2.41 ERA in 18.2 IP), and SP Trent Thornton (12.66 K/9, 1.69 BB/9, and 1.69 ERA in 10.2 IP)
After splitting their opening series against the Tigers, the Blue Jays have gone on to lose six of their previous seven games (they just got swept by Cleveland). The offense (only scored twenty-nine runs) has completely let down the pitching staff, who has put up a sub-three ERA. Unless the offense wakes up, you’re looking at a 90+ loss team.
24. Texas Rangers
Offensive standouts: 3B/OF Joey Gallo (.250 AVG, .447 OBP, and 4 HRs in 38 PAs) and SS Elvis Andrus (.366 AVG, .381 OBP, and 1 HR in 42 PAs)
No pitching standouts
The Rangers have produced offensively but have pitched poorly. Their pitching staff leaves a whole lot to be desired, and it has the potential to completely disintegrate. This team will only go as far as the rotation takes them.
25. Cincinnati Reds
No offensive standouts
Pitching standouts: SP Luis Castillo (12.08 K/9, 4.97 BB/9, and 1.42 ERA in 12.2 IP), SP Taylor Mahle (7.5 K/9, 0 BB/9, 0.00 ERA in 6 IP), and RP Amir Garrett (12.46 K/9, 2.08 BB/9, and 0.00 ERA in 4.1 IP)
The Reds are playing awful right now. Their pitching has been decent, but their offense has been the worst in the major leagues (they have scored twenty-one runs and are averaging just over two runs per game). I simply don’t see them climbing out of the hole they’ve dug for themselves.
26. San Francisco Giants
No offensive standouts
Pitching standouts: SP Madison Bumgarner (9 K/9, 2.08 BB/9, and 1.38 ERA in 13 IP)
The Giants pitching has been surprisingly decent, led by ace starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner, but the offense has not been able to carry its load. The Giants are in a tough division, and I have hard time seeing them finish ahead of the Dodgers or Padres (or the Rockies or D-Backs for that matter).
27. Miami Marlins
Offensive standouts: C Jorge Alfaro (.280 AVG, .333 OBP, and 3 HRs in 27 PAs) and 3B Martin Prado (.476 AVG and .522 OBP in 23 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Sandy Alcantara (4.5 K/9, 3.75 BB/9, and 1.50 ERA in 12 IP), SP Caleb Smith (12.27 K/9, 2.45 BB/9, and 4.09 ERA in 11 IP), and RP Nick Anderson (20.77 K/9, 2.08 BB/9, and 2.08 ERA in 4.1 IP)
The Miami Marlins young rotation flashes excellent potential, but Pablo Lopez and Jose Urena have disappointed early on. The offense has been stagnant most of the time. As a team, they’re trending downwards, having lost five of their previous six games.
28. Chicago White Sox
Offensive standouts: SS Tim Anderson (.560 AVG, .577 OBP, and 2 HRs in 26 PAs) and 2B Yoan Moncada (.353 AVG, .405 OBP, and 2 HRs in 37 PAs)
Pitching standout: SP Carlos Rodon (11.91 K/9, 1.59 BB/9, and 1.59 ERA in 11.1 IP)
The White Sox pitching, quite frankly, has been atrocious. Their offense has been okay. On a positive note, Yoan Moncada and Tim Anderson have both performed exceptionally well early on this season.
29. Baltimore Orioles
Offensive standout: 1B/OF Trey Mancini (.333 AVG, .359 OBP, and 4 HRs in 39 PAs)
Pitching standout: SP/RP David Hess (8.1 K/9, 3.38 BB/9, and 2.70 ERA in 13.1 IP)
The Orioles couldn’t have started the year off any better in taking back to back series from the Yankees and Blue Jays, but they have collapsed ever since, losing four consecutive games (three of which to the Yankees at home). With a team ERA north of five and a middling offense, expect things to go south.
30. Kansas Royals
Offensive standout: 2B Whit Merrifield (.324 AVG, .361 OBP, and 4 XBH in 36 PAs)
No pitching standouts
The Royals were undefeated two games into the season. Now, they stand four games below .500, having spiraled downwards (losing six consecutive games) big time. Their most notable weakness is their bullpen, which has blown multiple games.