And we’re back! After an offseason filled with drama of the highest degree and negotiations that would have put Nelson Mandela to sleep, the MLB has returned once again.
While it’s way too early to gauge how good some teams really are, as win-loss records hold as much weight as a McGregor punch right now, it’s still fun to see where these teams rank with one another after two weeks of action.
Get ready for the first edition of The Intermission’s 2022 MLB Power Rankings!
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (7-2)
Two weeks into the new season and the Dodgers already look like the best team in the world. Not really a shocker there. The team ranks first or almost first in nearly every offensive and pitching category. Gavin Lux has enjoyed a great start to the season, boasting a .320/.455/.560 slashing line to start the season. Cody Bellinger also looks like he could have a bounce back season after a couple of putrid campaigns, owning a .250 batting average along with a .726 OPS through nine games. If the Dodgers can get good production from these two to go alongside their insane roster, there won’t be anyone who can stop this freight train.
2. New York Mets (7-3)
Who would’ve thought that the Mets offense would be tied for first in runs scored through the first couple weeks of the season. This is mostly thanks to great production from their three-headed monster in Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil. The trio has combined for seven home runs, 25 RBIs and a .920 OPS through their first ten games.
3. Toronto Blue Jays (6-4)
Starting pitching has been a concern for the Blue Jays to start the season. The rotation owns a 5.70 ERA through the team’s first 10 contests. At the forefront is Hyu Jin Ryu, who’s surrendered 11 earned runs through his first two contests. At least Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is still, well, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. The superstar first baseman owns a 1.036 OPS to start the year and is already leading the AL in home runs.
4. San Francisco Giants (7-2)
Many questions surrounded this Giants team heading into this season after losing some key pieces. However, those concerns look like a thing of the past through the team’s first ten games. The pitching staff has been elite, leading the league in runs allowed (2.2) and ERA (2.20). At the centre of this is free agency signing Carlos Rodon, who owns a blistering 21 strikeouts and 1.50 ERA through 12 innings.
5. Chicago White Sox (6-3)
The injury bug is back for round two this season in the South Side. A.J. Pollock, Yoan Moncada, Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito, Yerman Mercedes and Garrett Crochet are all on the 10-Day IL, but this hasn’t stopped the White Sox from storming to the top of the AL Central. Tim Anderson leads the way for Chicago, recording a .393 batting average and 1.021 OPS through seven games.
6. Houston Astros (5-4)
Justin Verlander looks like he hasn’t missed a beat after returning from Tommy John surgery this season. The 39 year-old owns a blistering 0.69 ERA through two starts, highlighted by his eight-inning shutout of the Seattle Mariners. Once the offense, which ranks 22nd in the league right now, rebounds to its usual form, this will be one scary team to look out for.
7. Tampa Bay Rays (5-5)
Despite the Rays struggles to start this season, there’s still much reason to believe that this team will rebound to its usual elite form. Injuries to the starting rotation has been a key part of this, but the bullpen has looked great when called upon and newly-extended shortstop Wander Franco leads the way for this offense, owning a .381 batting average through 10 games with a league-leading 16 hits as he continues to prove himself as a top shortstop in the league.
8. Atlanta Braves (5-6)
Marcell Ozuna is enjoying a nice renaissance to his career after a disappointing season last year. The 31 year-old slugger ranks second in the league with four home runs to go alongside a .313 batting average. Newly-acquired first baseman Matt Olsen has also enjoyed a great start in his new home, boasting a 1.235 OPS through his first 11 games.
9. Boston Red Sox (5-4)
Rafael Devers continues his case as one of the premier sluggers in the league. The Dominican-born product owns a .368 batting average and already has countless clutch hits and home runs for the Red Sox through the team’s first 10 games. However, losing ace Chris Sale to the 60-Day IL to start the season does hurt this Red Sox rotation that relies heavily on him.
10. New York Yankees (5-5)
The Yankees rotation looks like it could be the real deal this season. While Gerrit Cole hasn’t been his usual self to start this season, Luis Severino and Nester Cortez Jr. have enjoyed great starts to the year. However, the offense needs to step it up for the Bronx Bombers. They own the 28th best runs scored per game (3.0) through their first 10 contests.
11. Milwaukee Brewers (5-5)
Same story, different year for the Brewers. The pitching is great, but the offense is seemingly nowhere to be found. Rowdy Tellez has been the best hitter in Milwaukee so far, owning a .886 OPS through 9 games. But for a team who’s postseason dreams were crushed because of subpar bats, this highlights a huge concern that needs to be addressed as this season progresses.
12. St. Louis Cardinals (5-3)
Nolan Arenado has been a man on a mission to start the year. The nine-time Gold Glove winner owns an NL-best .433 batting average to start the year. He seems primed to return to his perennial MVP form that we witnessed for eight seasons in Colorado. Adam Wainwright also continues to defy father-time as he enjoys another good start to the year in his age-40 season.
13. Seattle Mariners (5-5)
Newly acquired pieces Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez haven’t enjoyed pretty starts in their new homes. The two have a combined two home runs and .167 batting average through 10 games. Carrying the load for the offense has been shortstop J.P. Crawford, who owns a .352 average alongside a .952 OPS to start the season.
14. Los Angeles Angels (6-4)
Mike Trout made his presence known to the league again after bashing a 472-foot bomb against the Rangers; the longest home run of the year so far. There are no excuses for the Angels this season. The team boasts the two best players in the league and have revamped their rotation to try and compete for their ticket to the October Dance. Some serious changes need to occur in management if Los Angeles falls short once again.
15. San Diego Padres (6-5)
Fernando Tatis Jr. is out yet again with an injury, this time suffering a fractured wrist that will keep him sidelined at least three months. This is the third time in three 162-game seasons that he has missed time with injuries. In his place, Jurickson Profar has helped to somewhat fill the void of Tatis’ bat so far though, already recording three home runs on the season.
16. Philadelphia Phillies (4-6)
The biggest concern so far for Philadelphia hasn’t been their bullpen; it’s been their starters. While there’s much reason to believe their rotation will rebound, Zach Wheeler and Aaron Nola haven’t enjoyed particularly good starts to the year, owning a putrid 8.07 ERA through their combined first four starts.
17. Cleveland Guardians (4-5)
Jose Ramirez is making his presence known as a premier slugger in this league. The star third baseman owns a blistering .457/.500/.886 slashing line to start the year. But the man who’s stolen the headlines has been rookie Steven Kwan who seemingly came out of nowhere. He owns a .357 average while not swinging and missing at the first 116 pitches thrown at him. That’s just insane.
18. Minnesota Twins (4-6)
Carlos Correa hasn’t enjoyed a great start in his new home. The star shortstop is batting just .133 through eight games. Carrying the load for the offense has been Byron Buxton, who’s already recorded three homers to start the year and is picking up right where he left off last season. Unfortunately for Minnesota though, Buxton is set to miss a week and potentially more time with yet another injury.
19. Chicago Cubs (5-4)
The Chicago Cubs have enjoyed a surprisingly good start to the year, and most of the credit goes to the trio of Seiya Suzuki, Wilson Contreras and Ian Happ. They have a combined 1.112 OPS to start the year. Suzuki, in particular, has been electric. He’s tied for second in the league in home runs with four shots so far.
20. Colorado Rockies (6-3)
C.J. Cron is making his name known as a force to be reckoned with. The first baseman is tied with Guerrero Jr. for the league lead in home runs (5) so far. Kris Bryant has also enjoyed a nice start in his new home, batting .343 alongside a .832 OPS to start the year.
21. Detroit Tigers (4-5)
Austin Meadows has enjoyed a blistering start to the year, batting an insane .417 average through the club’s first nine games. Top prospect Spencer Torkelson has also been impressive, owning a .907 OPS alongside two home runs in his first nine big league games.
22. Miami Marlins (4-5)
Second baseman Jazz Chisholm has enjoyed a great start to his third season He’s recorded a .318/.370/.864 slashing line and seems primed for a breakout season. However, pitcher Taylor Rogers who enjoyed an exceptional rookie season last year has struggled so far, owning a putrid 12.15 ERA and 2.15 WHIP over his first two starts. While we can cut him some slack since it is only the beginning of the year, the sophomore slump seems to be in full swing for Rogers.
23. Texas Rangers (2-7)
Texas made headlines this offseason in acquiring Corey Seager and Marcus Semien for massive hauls to rejuvenate a dead offense. While they’ve helped to bring life back to Texas’ bats, the pitching has truly let the team down. The Rangers rank dead last in nearly every pitching category as they now sit in the basement of the AL.
24. Kansas City Royals (3-5)
Andrew Benintendi has enjoyed a great start to the season so far. The seven-year veteran is batting .357 to start the year while being the centre of a very average KC offense. The Royals will look for star catcher Salvador Perez to start stepping up soon. The veteran slugger has recorded a .188 average to start the year, but does have two home runs to his name so far.
25. Oakland Athletics (5-5)
Sean Murphy has been leading the way for a putrid Oakland offense so far. The Gold Glove winner has already batted in eight runs while putting up a team-leading .866 OPS so far.
26. Washington Nationals (4-7)
Juan Soto continues to be a lone bright spot on a rebuilding Nationals squad. The star slugger has already tallied three home runs while putting up a 1.013 OPS on the year.
27. Pittsburgh Pirates (5-4)
Ke’Bryan Hayes has been leading the way for a surprisingly good start for the Pirates this season. The third baseman, fresh off of his eight-year $70 million extension, has a blistering .400 batting average alongside a .938 OPS, though he’s recorded no home runs so far.
28. Arizona Diamondbacks (3-6)
Arizona may be making their case as the worst offense in the entire MLB. Only two players have a batting average greater than .200 so far (Seth Beer and Ketel Marte) as the team ranks dead last in most offensive categories.
29. Baltimore Orioles (3-6)
Last season’s breakout star Cedric Mullins hasn’t enjoyed an ideal start to the year. He’s fanned on 14 of his 36 at-bats (38.9%). However, he does have two home runs and eight RBIs to his name so far.
30. Cincinnati Reds (2-8)
Hunter Greene may be a big name to look out for this season. The 22 year-old rookie has a cannon arm, throwing 100-plus MPH on his fastballs consistently. He seems to be a bright spot on what already seems like a lost season in Cincinnati.