Heading into the second full week of the regular season, it’s still probably too early to draw any real conclusions about how things will shake out this summer, but some teams have certainly have not played to our expectations – for better or worse.
Don’t even try acting like you thought the Mariners – seemingly starting a rebuild this winter – would have the best record in baseball at this point.
Through Sunday, Seattle (9-2) was leading the majors in home runs and the crafty rotation was averaging less than a walk per start.
The key player in the lineup has been Domingo Santana, who hit 30 home runs and stole 15 bases in 2017 for the Brewers, but was the casualty of the team’s outfield acquisitions last season. The 26-year-old had 15 RBI in the first 11 games of the year, while veterans Jay Bruce (5 HR), Tim Beckham (4) and Edwin Encarnacion (2) have provided even more fireworks.
The Astros are still the favorites in the AL West, but it’s worth keeping an eye on this group of Mariners.
RED SOX: Too early to panic in Boston?
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Here’s how our nine-person power rankings panel voted this week:
RANK (movement from preseason)
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (+3)
- Cody Bellinger with 6 HR, 17 RBI in first nine games.
2. Milwaukee Brewers (+8)
- MVP Christian Yelich picking up right where he left off.
3. Philadelphia Phillies (+2)
- Offense has been as good as advertised.
4. Tampa Bay Rays (+8)
- Charlie Morton’s first two starts: 11 IP, 2 ER, 14 Ks.
5. New York Yankees (-4)
- Six homers in eight games to start the year for Gary Sanchez.
6. Houston Astros (-2)
- Wade Miley (3 ER in 11 ⅔ IP) looking like a bargain.
7. Cleveland Indians (-1)
- Carlos Santana has been terrific in return to Indians.
8. New York Mets (+7)
- Rookie first baseman Pete Alonso looking like a genuine slugger.
9. Seattle Mariners (+13)
- Nobody saw this hot start coming.
10. Boston Red Sox (-7)
- Started the season on an 11-game road trip with no off days.
11. Minnesota Twins (+5)
- Michael Pineda was sharp in first two post-Tommy John starts.
12. Oakland Athletics (+2)
- Ramon Laureano has been electrifying in center field.
13. Atlanta Braves (-4)
- If Dansby Swanson keeps hitting, this is a scary lineup.
14. Washington Nationals (-8)
- Trevor Rosenthal’s first four games: 9 batters faced, 7 ER, 0 outs.
15. San Diego Padres (+4)
- We’ve seen some flashes through the first 10 games.
16. St. Louis Cardinals (-8)
- Paul Goldschmidt hit 5 HRs in his first 8 games with Cardinals.
17. Chicago Cubs (-6)
- The last thing Joe Maddon needed was a 2-7 start.
18. Detroit Tigers (+9)
- Closer Shane Greene starts 7-for-7 on save opportunities.
19. Pittsburgh Pirates (-2)
- Depleted outfield gets Gregory Polanco back soon.
20. Arizona Diamondbacks (+1)
- A lot of teams are kicking themselves for passing on Adam Jones.
21. Colorado Rockies (-8)
- Finally healthy, David Dahl is absolutely raking.
22. Los Angeles Angels (-4)
- First nine games: Team batting average – .201. Mike Trout’s average – .385.
23. Texas Rangers (+3)
- Pitching depth will be tested by Edinson Volquez injury.
24. Chicago White Sox (+1)
- Yoan Moncada, still only 23, may finally be coming into his own.
25. Toronto Blue Jays (-2)
- No walks, 9 Ks in Ken Giles’ first five outings.
26. San Francisco Giants (-2)
- Kevin Pillar will be fun to watch in San Francisco’s vast center field.
27. Baltimore Orioles (+3)
- Chris Davis’ 0-for-44 stretch dating back to last season approaches ugly record.
28. Miami Marlins (+1)
- Average attendance of 9,577 through seven home games.
29. Cincinnati Reds (-9)
- Derek Dietrich proving to be a shrewd addition.
30. Kansas City Royals (-2)
- Adalberto Mondesí making sure we know last year was no fluke.