The quarter point of the 2017 MLB season is quickly approaching. While some teams are off to hot starts, others will claim that the season is a marathon rather than a sprint. Here’s my top 15 teams after another exciting and drama filled week.
1. Houston Astros (26-12) – The Astros hit four home runs in the first two innings off of Masahiro Tanaka on Sunday night including two from George Springer and a grand slam courtesy of Alex Bregman. A dangerous lineup and improving rotation are helping Houston live up to the hype.
2. Washington Nationals (24-13) – The bullpen is slowly becoming more of a concern, but the bats of Harper, Murphy and Zimmerman are helping keep the Nationals afloat.
3. New York Yankees (22-13) – Starlin Castro, Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge are all batting over .300 and show no signs of slowing down. But after dropping three of four to the Astros, it is clear that the rotation will need to improve if they don’t want this to be a rebuilding year in the Bronx.
4. Cleveland Indians (19-17) – Jason Kipnis was moved to the leadoff spot Sunday and promptly hit a homerun in his first at-bat. The rest of the offense woke up as well after only scoring one run in the first two games of their series with the Twins. It has not been the start many expected, but the Indians are still a very good ball club in a division that is theirs for the taking.
5. Baltimore Orioles (22-14) – After a six game winning streak the Orioles have now dropped their last four including a sweep to the last place Royals. Upcoming series against the Tigers and Blue Jays could determine if the Orioles, and their pitching, are for real.
6. Colorado Rockies (24-15) – Nice showings against the Cubs and Dodgers have Colorado sitting atop the NL West. Young pitchers Antonio Senzatela and German Marquez picked up wins while Mark Reynolds (.326/12HR/33RBIs) has been a revelation for an already strong offense.
7. Los Angeles Dodgers (22-16) – Justin Turner and his beard continue to smoke the ball, batting .359 on the season while the pitching staff ranks first in ERA (3.14) and second in WHIP (1.18) and BAA (.230). They will look to improve on a 5-2 week against the division rival Giants in San Francisco.
8. Boston Red Sox (19-18) – Chris Sale continues to show that he was well worth the prospects posting a 2.15 ERA and striking out 85 batters. The impending return of David Price could give the Red Sox the boost they need to after suffering series losses to the Brewers and Rays.
9. St. Louis Cardinals (21-15) – A series win against the Cubs has to feel good, especially when Adam Wainwright goes seven scoreless innings and Yadier Molina homers twice. It feels like 2006 all over again!
10. Chicago Cubs (18-19) – Ian Happ had an impressive debut homering in his first game, but the injury bug and a declining Jake Arrieta continue to have Cubs fans thinking it could be another 108 years.
11. Arizona Diamondbacks (21-18) – Zack Greinke flirted with a no-hitter as he continues to look like the pitcher Arizona hoped to get. Brandon Drury, Paul Goldschmidt, Chris Owings and David Peralta are all batting over .300 heading into mid May.
12. Minnesota Twins (19-15) – Before a slip up on Sunday, the Twins had limited the Indians to one run in 18 innings of play as Ervin Santana continued his dominance over the Tribe.
13. Milwaukee Brewers (21-17) – Eric Thames continue to make people oddly suspicious, but Travis Shaw is quietly having a solid season (.283/8HR/31RBIs) for the Brew Crew. A comeback win against the Mets after trailing 7-1 on Sunday capped a 5-1 week for the Brewers.
14. Detroit Tigers (18-18) – A pitching staff ranked 27 in ERA doesn’t mix well with an offense that has not found its groove in 2017.
15. New York Mets (16-20) – Michael Conforto stayed hot finishing a single away from the cycle on Sunday but no Mets fans are paying attention to that due to numerous problems both on and off the field.