MLB Power Rankings - Memorial Day 2016 Edition
Cubs take over top spot in rankings
1. Chicago Cubs - With Kyle Hendricks' recent complete game, the Cubs have shown the rotation depth to earn the top spot in the Power Rankings. Arrieta and Lester solidify the top of their rotation, that is supported by one of the best offenses in the National League this season. Despite not getting many save opportunities, Hector Rondon has been brilliant for a Cubs bullpen that has been a strength so far this season.
2. San Francisco Giants - The Giants are in an even year, and with their offseason moves, they appear to be once again in contention for a World Series. Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija have been fantastic additions to their pitching staff, and their newfound offensive depth has them among the top teams in baseball. The Giants could push the Cubs for the top spot in the Power Rankings in the coming months.
3. Texas Rangers - Cole Hamels suffered his first loss in his last 13 starts, but the Rangers fans had reason for hope the very next day when Yu Darvish put more brilliance on display in his return from Tommy John surgery. Prince Fielder has struggled mightily as the Rangers designated hitter, but great contributions from Nomar Mazzara and Adrian Beltre have helped to pace a high powered Texas offense. Having two aces at the top of the rotation, should allow Texas to claim their spot at the top of the American League.
4. Seattle Mariners - The early trend this season, is that the Mariners are going to finally meet their potential. With one of the best aces in the game, great young pitching talent, and a large portion of the budget invested in offense, this resurgence has been a long time coming for the Mariners. Strong offensive performances from Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager has paced a strong offensive attack that is likely to get the Mariners back to the postseason.
5. New York Mets - Struggles by opening day starter Matt Harvey have been noteworthy early on this season, but he seemed to find his way in his Memorial Day start. Noah Syndergaard is ascending into the league's elite, and the Mets starting staff will likely reach expectations over the course of the regular season. The stardom of Cespedes has led the Mets offense, with noteworthy contributions from Neil Walker and youngster Michael Conforto.
6. Washington Nationals - Despite the recent struggles for Max Scherzer, Washington remains as one of the top pitching in baseball, led by Stephen Strasburg and Joe Ross. Bryce Harper's power, and great hitting by Daniel Murphy, have led the Nationals out to the lead in the National League East early on this season, but without more offensive consistency, they will not be able to continue to hold off the Mets.
7. Boston Red Sox - The Red Sox pitching staff has experienced their fair share of struggles early on this season, but one of the top offenses in the game has Boston among the top ten teams. This is the last MLB season for David Ortiz, but he is going out in style as a big producer in the middle of the Boston order. David Price and Clay Buchholz should combine to provide the Red Sox with a formidable duo at the top of their rotation throughout the rest of the 2016 regular season.
8. Pittsburgh Pirates - A prolific offensive attack has the Pirates in the top ten of these rankings, but Gerrit Cole is the only pitcher in the starting rotation who has done enough to keep his job moving forward this season. Having top triple-A prospects, Jameson Taillon, Tyler Glasnow, Chad Kuhl and Trevor Williams, gives the Pirates the pitching depth they need to stay in the top 10. The offense for Pittsburgh has been led by budding superstar, Gregory Polanco.
9. Kansas City Royals - The Royals are the new Cardinals, as far as teams that just find a way to get it done. Only two players are producing at a significant rate offensively for the Royals, and Danny Duffy has been the team's ace starter so far. Still they are finding a way to win ballgames, and the defending champs have earned some respect unless they fall below the .500 mark.
10. Cleveland Indians - The Indians could be poised to win the American League Central, as their offensive performances have been better as of late. With a pitching staff loaded with impact talent, Cleveland does not need to average five runs per game in order to go on extended runs of good baseball. A breakout offensive showing by Jose Ramirez, has helped Cleveland to weather the storm in the absence of star outfielder Michael Brantley.
11. Toronto Blue Jays - Marcus Stroman and JA Happ have been solid for Toronto this season, but without much pitching support behind them, they have fallen on hard times with a feast or famine offensive showing. Trading for Jason Grilli, may be just what Toronto needs to help protect leads late in ballgames, but it will be up to their offensive attack to find consistency heading into the summer months.
12. Baltimore Orioles - The Orioles have played solid baseball in the first two months of the season, led by a barrage of homeruns. Manny Machado continues to show that he is one of the best players in the game today, but the Orioles lack of top of the rotation talent will likely prevent them from making a postseason appearance.
13. Chicago White Sox - The White Sox are one of the middle of the pack teams in baseball, that has enough impact talent to join the group of contending teams. Chris Sale and Jose Quintana have been dynamite at the top of the Chicago rotation, but slow starts by Jose Abreu and Todd Frazier, have held back their offense. The White Sox have enough quality hitters on their team to produce at an above average rate offensively, but they will need to start playing to their potential to get out of their recent slump.
14. Los Angeles Dodgers - Clayton Kershaw continues to show that he is the best pitcher in the game, but lack of impact performance from the position players, has the Dodgers a step behind most of their division rivals in offensive categories. Kenta Maeda has been the best complement to Kershaw on the Dodgers' starting staff, on what otherwise has been an underwhelming group so far this season. Without top tier pitching and without top tier offense, the Dodgers will likely finish as a middling team in 2016.
15. St. Louis Cardinals - The Cardinals have compiled the majority of their wins against teams below them on this list, but they still remain in the conversation for a National League playoff berth. With the pitching staff giving up a run in just about every other inning they pitch, and a very streaky offense, the Cardinals continue to flounder around .500. Their pitching staff has underachieved so far, but their offense has overachieved. The Cardinals likely will continue the pace they have played at so far, throughout the rest of 2016.
16. Detroit Tigers - The Detroit Tigers answered some of their relief pitching questions by adding Francisco Rodriguez, but now the 8th inning has been their downfall. Jordan Zimmermann has earned his money in the early going this season, while some of the Tigers' hitters have put together strong performances. Youngsters Nick Castellanos and Michael Fulmer, give Tigers' fans some reason for hope in this team's future.
17. New York Yankees - Age has hit the Yankees hard this season, as both Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira have struggled mightily. CC Sabathia has regained his form, along with Masahiro Tanaka, to form a formidable duo at the top of the Yankee pitching staff. Carlos Beltran and Starlin Castro have led the offense, but without many great at bats in the lineup, the Yankees' offensive efforts have been streaky.
18. Tampa Bay Rays - The Rays have shown surprising power in the early going this season, but with Chris Archer and other members of their pitching staff suffering inconsistency, the wins have not come easy. Tampa Bay has the talent to make a midsummer run, but that is largely dependent on their pitching staff meeting their potential the rest of the way.
19. Miami Marlins - The Miami Marlins are off to a decent start this season behind a great offensive showing from Marcell Ozuna. Beyond ace Jose Fernandez, the Marlins pitching staff is very underwhelming from top to bottom. Giancarlo Stanton has not done much to complement the efforts of Marcell Ozuna so far this season.
20. Philadelphia Phillies - The early surprise in baseball this season, has started to fade recently due to lack of offense. Aaron Nola and Vincent Velasquez have shown plenty of promise for the Phillies, but other than Odubel Herrera and Maikel Franco, the Phillies have not gotten many strong offensive contributions. Darin Ruf and Tommy Joseph could be the remedy to the Phillies offensive woes at first base and corner outfield.
21. Houston Astros - The Astros are the team on this list that are most likely to make a second half run. With plenty of impact talent on their roster, the Astros have shown flashes of returning to last year's form. Underachieving players on the Astros pitching staff, have largely been responsible for where they are currently in the standings. Houston will likely have multiple representatives in the All Star game this summer.
22. Los Angeles Angels - With Garrett Richards out for the season, the Angels may become a seller at the trade deadline, with every team out there making inquiries about the availability of star centerfielder Mike Trout. The early results this season have been a huge disappointment for the Angels, who came into the season believing that they could compete for an American League West division title.
23. Colorado Rockies - Trevor Story was the early season star for the Rockies, but the real story here is the legitimate superstar that Nolan Arenado has become. Carlos Gonzales is off to a good start this season, but he is being outshined by his young teammate at third base. Chad Bettis has been the team's best starter, on a pitching staff that was off to a decent start to the season for the first time in quite some time.
24. Milwaukee Brewers - Live young arms and surprising power has the Brewers ahead of the Reds in the standings so far this season. Ryan Braun has led the way offensively for the Brewers, despite being in the middle of swirling trade rumors almost from the very beginning of the season.
25. Arizona Diamondbacks - The Diamondbacks might be the biggest disappointment in baseball so far this season, after losing A.J. Pollock in spring training. Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller have not pitched like the top of the rotation starters that Arizona was expecting them to be, and Paul Goldschmidt has yet to meet the expectations created by his career norms.
26. Oakland Athletics - Sonny Gray is off to a disappointing start to this season, but the Oakland Athletics have gotten surprising offensive efforts from a few different sources. Khris Davis, Danny Valencia and Jed Lowrie have all been pleasant surprises for Oakland so far this season, but they are still headed toward being sellers at this year's trade deadline.
27. San Diego Padres - The Padres entered the season with some noteworthy names on their roster, but even with that being the case, this team was not surrounded by any significant expectations. James Shields, Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross and Matt Kemp could all be on the trade block following the All Star break. For now, the Padres continue to flounder as their big name pitchers underachieve and their offense continues to sputter.
28. Cincinnati Reds - Injuries on the pitching staff and lack of depth have this year's Reds in last place. With Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce still on the team, the Reds had enough offensive firepower to make some noise to start the season. This team has since lost their will, after falling behind in ballgames on a regular basis due to deficiency on their pitching staff.
29. Minnesota Twins - Young power has generated a ton of strikeouts for the Twins' offense this season, and nobody on their pitching staff has taken a step forward toward becoming an Ace. The Twins probably have more talent on their roster than their record would suggest, but inability to convert potential into production, has completely stalled the momentum they created last season.
30. Atlanta Braves - As expected, the Braves are the worst team in baseball this season. Two impact players was not going to change that, when surrounded by a team full of average to below average players. Mallex Smith has shown flashes of brilliance in centerfield for the Braves, but their season has not included many highlights so far.