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2020 MLB Power Rankings



By Kyle Glaser

The first week of baseball’s return has been a stark reminder of how tenuous things are in the era of the coronavirus pandemic.

The week began with an outbreak on the Marlins and ended with two Cardinals players reportedly testing positive for COVID-19. A total of 15 games affecting eight different teams have been postponed so far. Major League Baseball is changing the length of games in doubleheaders simply to accommodate all the makeup games that will be required with players still not fully built up.

The 2020 MLB season, like the world at large, is faced with a lot of uncertainty, and hope for a contained spread of the virus among major league teams has largely been replaced by concern that containment is a pipe dream without a “bubble” setup.

Still, games have been played, and certain teams and players have stood out more than others in the early going. As such, here are Baseball America’s power rankings through the first week of the abbreviated season.

Note that we ranked only 28 teams. Ranking the Marlins and Phillies when they’ve played only three games is not only unfair, but frankly secondary to the health concerns surrounding both organizations right now.

All record and statistics are through July 30.

30 Matches
See Full List Expand Collapse All Updated on: 7/31/2020
  1. 1
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    Los Angeles Dodgers

    9-4
    Notes:

    The Dodgers have outscored their opponents by 33 runs, the largest run differential in baseball. The scary part? They’ve done that with OF Cody Bellinger (.170), 1B Max Muncy (.176) and 3B Justin Turner (.235) yet to get going.

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  2. 2
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    New York Yankees

    9-3
    Notes:

    No superlative can adequately describe how hot OF Aaron Judge was last 10 days. So, we’ll let the numbers do the talking: 11-for-31 (.355), 11 R, 1 2B, 7 HR and 16 RBI…in eight games.

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  3. 3
    Last: 4
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    Minnesota Twins

    10-3
    Notes:

    The Twins have the largest run differential in the American League (+29), and not just because their offense is bludgeoning opponents. Relievers Tyler Duffey, Cody Stashak, Matt Wisler, Tyler Clippard, Sergio Romo and Trevor May have combined to allow just two runs in 27.1 innings, a major reason the Twins have the second-lowest ERA (2.97) in the AL.

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  4. 4
    Last: 7
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    Chicago Cubs

    10-3
    Notes:

    Perhaps no player has benefitted from the DH coming to the National League more than OF Ian Happ. Now playing regularly with an extra lineup spot available, Happ has been the Cubs’ most dangerous hitter early with three doubles, three home runs and a 1.031 OPS.

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  5. 5
    Last: 11
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    Oakland Athletics

    9-4
    Notes:

    OF Ramon Laureano’s defense gets most of the attention, but the acrobatic center fielder has quietly become an offensive force. Laureano leads the A’s in runs, hits, extra-base hits and OPS, and now owns a career .288/.348/.512 slash line in just over a season’s worth of games.

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  6. 6
    Last: 8
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    Atlanta Braves

    9-5
    Notes:

    LHP Tyler Matzek’s comeback has been a boon to the Braves. Out of the majors since 2015, Matzek made the team and has delivered six scoreless innings out of the bullpen with five hits allowed, no walks and nine strikeouts.

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  7. 7
    Last: 9
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    Colorado Rockies

    9-3
    Notes:

    Staying under-the-radar may not be possible much longer for RHP German Marquez. Quietly one of baseball’s best starters for years, Marquez has a 1.89 ERA through three starts with 23 strikeouts against five walks in 19 innings. If not for Reds RHP Sonny Gray, he’d be the leader in the NL Cy Young race through the first one-fifth of the season.

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  8. 8
    Last: 3
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    Cleveland Indians

    9-6
    Notes:

    The Indians offense might finally be waking up. They outscored the Reds 19-2 in the final three games of their series in the battle for Ohio, including a 13-0 rout on Thursday.

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  9. 9
    Last: 5
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    San Diego Padres

    5-2
    Notes:

    The Padres acquired Tommy Pham, Trent Grisham and Jurickson Profar in the offseason to fix the franchise’s longstanding problems getting on-base. So far, so good. Pham (.387 OBP), Grisham (.387) and Profar (.360) have given the Padres offense a new dynamic it long lacked, and the Padres lead the majors in runs scored (44) as a direct result.

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  10. 10
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    Houston Astros

    3-3
    Notes:

    The Astros young pitchers have stepped up in a big way early, with rookies Bryan Abreu, Brandon Bailey, Nivaldo Rodriguez, Andre Scrubb and Blake Taylor combining for 16 scoreless innings in relief and righthander Cristian Javier excelling in his first big league start. With Justin Verlander out indefinitely with a forearm strain, they’ll need to keep it up.

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  11. 11
    Last: 20
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    Chicago White Sox

    2-4
    Notes:

    The White Sox young starters did not inspire much confidence in their first starts. Reynaldo Lopez (0.2 IP, 3 H, 4 ER) and Dylan Cease (2.1 IP, 7 H, 4 ER) continue to experience growing pains on the mound, fine for a rebuilding team but less so for a team with dreams of contending.

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  12. 12
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    Washington Nationals

    3-4
    Notes:

    Top prospect Carter Kieboom has reached base in six straight plate appearances in an impressive start to the season, while offseason signee Starlin Castro has come out of the gate hot (.360). Now the Nationals have a five-day break ahead of them, after which they should get Juan Soto back in their lineup.

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  13. 13
    Last: 6
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    Tampa Bay Rays

    4-3
    Notes:

    Fun with early-season numbers: The Rays lead the American League in runs scored despite a team slash line of .219/.322/.388. The Rays are integrating a lot of new faces into their lineup, and the fact they’re winning even with Austin Meadows on the injured list and many of their top hitters scuffling bodes well for when everyone rounds into form.

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    Last: 13
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    Milwaukee Brewers

    3-3
    Notes:

    Brandon Woodruff’s emergence as a burgeoning ace has gone criminally unnoticed. He got a higher percentage of swings and misses on his four-seam fastball than all but 15 starters in the majors last season and now is throwing it nearly a full mile per hour harder. The result? A season line of 11.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 15 K in his first two starts.

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  15. 15
    Last: 14
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    St. Louis Cardinals

    2-3
    Notes:

    Cardinals pitchers have a National League-best 0.93 WHIP and have held opponents to a .197 average, an especially impressive achievement given they’re without Miles Mikolas in the rotation and Jordan Hicks in the bullpen. But right now, their main concern is news that two of their pitchers tested positive for the coronavirus and ensuring everyone else remains healthy.

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    Last: 21
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    Los Angeles Angels

    2-5
    Notes:

    The Angels have gotten more than five innings from their starters only twice in seven games, both starts by Dylan Bundy. The result has been an overtaxed bullpen that doesn’t have the depth for it, as was laid bare by back-to-back implosions against the rebuilding Mariners—a brutal series loss at home.

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  17. 17
    Last: 15
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    Toronto Blue Jays

    3-4
    Notes:

    The Blue Jays 2017 trade for Teoscar Hernandez is looking like a big win for the franchise. After back-to-back 20-home run seasons in 2018-19, Hernandez has taken his power to another level with four home runs in seven games. That includes a pair of home runs Thursday that left the bat at over 110 mph and traveled 408 and 442 feet, respectively.

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  18. 18
    Last: 9
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    Miami Marlins

    2-1
    Notes:

    Anything on the field is completely secondary for the Marlins right now. With the number of positive tests now up to 18 players and two coaches, the most important thing is for everyone to get healthy and make a full recovery for reasons beyond baseball. The club is scheduled to resume play Aug. 4, nine days after their most recent game.

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    Last: 26
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    Philadelphia Phillies

    1-2
    Notes:

    The Phillies, like the Marlins, saw all of their games this week postponed following the Miami’s outbreak at Citizen’s Bank Park. They canceled workouts and postponed their weekend series against Toronto after a coach and visiting clubhouse attendant tested positive, and now will wait until Aug. 4 to resume play.

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    Last: 18
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    Cincinnati Reds

    2-4
    Notes:

    Nick Castellanos and Great American Ball Park were a match made in heaven on paper, and the relationship is off to a great start. Castellanos has hit .381 with two doubles, two home runs and eight RBIs through six games, all at home. He’s also putting in the extra work on defense to be more than just a bat.

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  21. 21
    Last: 19
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    New York Mets

    3-4
    Notes:

    The Mets identified Edwin Diaz’s problems in the offseason and worked aggressively to fix them. It hasn’t worked. The righthander has melted down in two straight outings and is further becoming a cautionary tale against trading top prospects for closers. His ERA with the Mets now stands at 5.67 through 69 appearances

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  22. 22
    Last: 20
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    Boston Red Sox

    3-4
    Notes:

    How bad has the Red Sox’s pitching been? Historically bad, as noted by BA correspondent Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. Most telling is how hittable they have been. Opponents have hit .273 against the Red Sox this year, the second-worst mark in MLB ahead of only the rebuilding Giants (.277)

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  23. 23
    Last: 21
    Dbacks

    Arizona Diamondbacks

    2-5
    Notes:

    The annual good team off to a bad start, the D-backs aren’t hitting (.196, .556) or pitching (5.34 ERA) in the early going. They’ve already called up No. 1 prospect Daulton Varsho to help the offense, but the pitching staff is going to have to straighten itself out with most of Arizona’s top pitching prospects yet to play above the Class A levels.

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    Last: 22
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    Detroit Tigers

    4-3
    Notes:

    Give the Tigers credit. They’ve achieved a winning record and have largely stayed competitive, with five of their seven games decided by two runs or less. The previously light-hitting JaCoby Jones has been one of baseball’s hottest hitters with a .409 average, two doubles, three homers and six RBIs, a promising development for a team looking for long-term position players to count on.

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  25. 25
    Last: 23
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    San Francisco Giants

    3-4
    Notes:

    Tyler Herb for Mike Yastrzemski is increasingly looking like one of the biggest trade heists in years. Yastrzemski has quickly become the Giants most dangerous hitter and the player in their lineup opposing teams fear most. After blasting 21 homers last year, he has five extra-base hits in seven games this season, including a walkoff home run Wednesday and an RBI triple in the eighth inning Thursday to help the Giants erase a five-run deficit for the second straight night.

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