MLB Power Rankings: Astros rising, Red Sox evening out in early stages
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Welcome to the third edition of theScore's MLB Power Rankings for the 2019 season. Rankings will be published every second Monday throughout the regular season with the next installment coming April 29.

1. Houston Astros

Record Last 10 Previous rank (change)
11-5 9-1 2 (+1)

The Astros are hotter than everyone after stumbling out of the gate, sweeping the Yankees, Athletics, and Mariners en route to a nine-game winning streak. A resurgent Jose Altuve has proven any premature doubts about his abilities wrong by homering in five straight contests prior to the streak ending Sunday. He's hitting .328 with seven big flies and is looking every bit the MVP that he was in 2017.

2. Tampa Bay Rays

Tom Szczerbowski / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Record Last 10 Previous rank (change)
12-4 7-3 13 (+11)

How good is that Chris Archer trade looking now? The two biggest pieces acquired in that deal - Austin Meadows (1.170 OPS, six homers) and Tyler Glasnow (0.53 ERA, 11.1 K/9) - have keyed the Rays' incredible start, making that trade with Pittsburgh look more and more like an all-time swindling. This Rays team is young, loaded with talent, and probably not going away any time soon.

3. Milwaukee Brewers

Record Last 10 Previous rank (change)
10-6 5-5 9 (+6)

Josh Hader and Christian Yelich are putting up incredible numbers for a Brewers team that's looking to prove it's not a one-hit wonder. Hader (0.00 ERA, 0.56 WHIP, 15 K/9) looks like the best reliever in baseball while Yelich (five home runs, 1.064 OPS) appears primed to have an even better season than his NL MVP-winning 2018.

4. Philadelphia Phillies

Record Last 10 Previous rank (change)
9-5 5-5 4 (-)

Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen are off to tremendous starts with their new team, but one former MVP is going about it much more quietly than the other. McCutchen's .945 OPS ranks third on the Phils behind Harper and Rhys Hoskins, and is one of four starters on the team with a plus-.400 OBP. The Phillies' All-Star lineup is more than living up to its billing.

5. Seattle Mariners

Record Last 10 Previous rank (change)
13-5 6-4 20 (+15)

The early-season shockers have maintained their power surge, leading the league in home runs with a whopping 39. The rising Astros provided a rude awakening by sweeping the teams' weekend series, but the Mariners still enter the week as AL West leaders thanks to a balanced offense. Domingo Santana, Tim Beckham, Edwin Encarnacion, Mitch Haniger, and Daniel Vogelbach have each hit at least four homers, Jay Bruce leads the club with seven, and nine different players have scored at least 10 runs so far.

6. New York Mets

Record Last 10 Previous rank (change)
9-6 6-4 10 (+4)

Jacob deGrom, though pitching fine, has not looked like his dominant self from 2018. Through four starts he is 2-2 with a 3.68 ERA and has already allowed five home runs in 22 innings after serving up 10 total across 217 frames last year. Red-hot starts from Michael Conforto and rookie Pete Alonso, plus stellar starting pitching from Noah Syndergaard, have kept the Mets near the top of the NL East early on, however. Despite poor pitching from Jason Vargas and a slow start from Robinson Cano, the Mets have to be pleased with where they're at.

7. Washington Nationals

Mitchell Layton / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Record Last 10 Previous rank (change)
7-7 6-4 5 (-2)

As expected, the NL East is proving to be a dogfight. The Nationals are in fourth place but trail the division-leading Phillies by only two games, while also holding the division's second-best run differential (+11). Anthony Rendon has been the hottest hitter in the NL not named Cody Bellinger, slashing .400/.460/.873 with six home runs, 17 RBIs, and 18 runs scored in 14 games.

8. St. Louis Cardinals

Record Last 10 Previous rank (change)
9-6 7-3 6 (-2)

The Cardinals have played well despite not getting much from some key pieces. Right-hander Miles Mikolas is getting hit hard, highly-touted rookie Alex Reyes is back in the minors, Andrew Miller has walked almost as many batters as he's struck out, and Matt Carpenter isn't doing anything. Yet, St. Louis is above .500.

9. Los Angeles Dodgers

Record Last 10 Previous rank (change)
9-8 4-6 7 (-2)

Los Angeles slumped a bit over the past seven days, but Bellinger didn't let up. The former Rookie of the Year now has an NL-best nine homers and a 1.409 OPS. With Bellinger and the offense humming along, all eyes are on the team's pitching, as Clayton Kershaw gets set for his season debut Monday.

10. New York Yankees

Record Last 10 Previous rank (change)
6-9 4-6 3 (-7)

The Yankees have more stars on the injured list than on the field. The ailing Bronx Bombers have struggled thanks to an onslaught of injuries that seem to be mounting by the day. Gleyber Torres, Clint Frazier, DJ LeMahieu, and - until he got hurt - Gary Sanchez have been carrying the team offensively. Masahiro Tanaka has also been sharp early - Sunday's start being the exception - as the de facto ace with Luis Severino sidelined. A favorable schedule to open the season has softened the blow.

11. Boston Red Sox

Record Last 10 Previous rank (change)
6-10 5-5 1 (-10)

Boston has gone 3-2 while scoring 27 runs since returning from a 3-8 season-opening road trip. Even the starting pitching's begun to turn it around, with David Price's seven shutout innings Sunday standing out. Perhaps a little home cooking was all the defending world champions needed to right the ship.

12. San Diego Padres

Record Last 10 Previous rank (change)
11-6 7-3 18 (+6)

The fun, young, and exciting Padres have played some solid baseball thus far and are turning heads around the league. Manny Machado has come as advertised while Chris Paddack and Fernando Tatis Jr. look like they belong. San Diego will only grow as the season unfolds and there's still plenty of talent in the minors waiting to help out or be dealt for proven MLB players.

13. Atlanta Braves

Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty
Record Last 10 Previous rank (change)
9-6 7-3 12 (-1)

No.1 starter Mike Foltynewicz is on the verge of rejoining the Braves' rotation after dealing with an elbow issue, which will be a nice boost for the majors' 13th-ranked pitching staff in terms of ERA. Dansby Swanson and Ronald Acuna Jr. have carried the load offensively as the team waits for Josh Donaldson to heat up, which appears to be happening. The former AL MVP is hitting .264/.400/.472, and he's riding a seven-game hit streak and has homered in back-to-back contests.

14. Cleveland Indians

Record Last 10 Previous rank (change)
8-7 6-4 14 (-)

How much of a difference will Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor really bring to Cleveland's flailing offense? Collectively, the team's lineup has hit 11 long balls - one fewer than Khris Davis - and Jose Ramirez has been M.I.A. since Day 1. It'd be a shame if Cleveland wastes Carlos Santana's excellent start (.508 OBP), especially as the Twins are knocking at the door.

15. Minnesota Twins

Record Last 10 Previous rank (change)
8-4 7-3 15 (-)

Jose Berrios - who's shown flashes of sheer dominance - could be in the mix for the AL Cy Young by season's end, posting a 2.30 ERA and .073 WHIP over four starts. Nelson Cruz has hit the ball well but has just one home run in 21 at-bats. Minnesota could get a big boost when Miguel Sano comes back from an Achilles injury sometime in May - if he can find his 2017 All-Star form.

16. Oakland Athletics

Record Last 10 Previous rank (change)
10-9 5-5 16 (-)

Matt Chapman, Marcus Semien, and Khris Davis - the first player to 10 homers this season - have stepped up in a big way with Matt Olson on the IL. Starting pitching's been a bit of an issue, however; Mike Fiers owns a 7.06 ERA and Marco Estrada's fly-ball rate has spiked considerably in the early going. The A's will need more from both right-handers going forward. But in spite of it all, they have 10 wins, and they have to be feeling good about that.

17. Chicago Cubs

Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Record Last 10 Previous rank (change)
5-9 4-6 8 (-9)

Jason Heyward, Willson Contreras, and Javy Baez - who's building off his MVP-caliber 2018 - have led a potent Cubs offense, but the team's pitching staff has been dicey. Cubs hurlers have a 5.43 ERA and an MLB-worst 5.05 BB/9, although Jose Quintana's 11-strikeout performance Saturday against the Pirates and Cole Hamels' overall effectiveness have provided a silver lining. If supposed ace Yu Darvish and the shambolic bullpen can recover, so can the team.

18. Los Angeles Angels

Record Last 10 Previous rank (change)
8-7 7-3 17 (-1)

Mike Trout is hitting .406/.592/.938 and has five of the team's 15 home runs, but the Angels' offense remains one of the majors' worst overall, slashing .215/.302/.348 as a unit. The good news? The Angels have showcased a top-five bullpen so far, posting a 2.08 ERA (3.32 FIP). Ty Buttrey has led the relief corps and hasn't allowed a run or walked a batter in six innings while also striking out nine.

19. Pittsburgh Pirates

Record Last 10 Previous rank (change)
8-6 7-3 21 (+2)

Led by Chris Archer, the Pirates' starting pitching has been superb, ranking second in the majors behind Tampa Bay with a 1.98 ERA. The offense has been an entirely different story. Pittsburgh ranks 26th in runs scored and home runs. Only Josh Bell and Colin Moran have gone deep more than once.

20. Cincinnati Reds

Record Last 10 Previous rank (change)
5-9 4-6 19 (-1)

Right-hander Luis Castillo appears to be bouncing back from his off year in 2018. He owns a minuscule 0.92 ERA with 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings and zero home runs allowed over three starts to begin this season. Starting pitching has lifted the Reds through the early part of this year, as Sonny Gray (2.03 ERA, 13 Ks) and Tyler Mahle (0.82, 1.00 WHIP) have also looked stellar.

21. Colorado Rockies

Record Last 10 Previous rank (change)
4-12 2-8 11 (-10)

It's been a nearly apocalyptically bad start for a Rockies team that opened the season with legitimate playoff aspirations. Scoring only 46 runs while seeing little production from the likes of Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon isn't a recipe for success. Fortunately, ace German Marquez showed why the team gave him his recent extension by tossing a one-hit shutout against the Giants for baseball's first complete game of the year.

22. Arizona Diamondbacks

Record Last 10 Previous rank (change)
7-9 4-6 22 (-)

Adam Jones had to wait until March before he found a one-year deal with the Diamondbacks, and they're better off because of him. The five-time All-Star is slashing .333/.391/.603 with a team-high four homers.

23. Detroit Tigers

Duane Burleson / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Record Last 10 Previous rank (change)
8-7 6-4 29 (+6)

No team has had a harder time scraping together runs than the Tigers. After plating two on Sunday, Detroit has scored a total of 40 through 15 games. Despite that, the Tigers have a winning record thanks to a surprisingly effective pitching staff led by southpaw Matthew Boyd, who owns a 2.60 ERA (1.01 FIP) through three starts. His 15.06 K/9 leads all qualified starters.

24. San Francisco Giants

Record Last 10 Previous rank (change)
7-10 5-5 23 (-1)

San Francisco is getting mostly positive results from starters Jeff Samardzija and Madison Bumgarner after each suffered through injury-laden seasons in 2018. Samardzija has a 1.62 ERA through three starts while MadBum is sitting at a respectable 3.12. The offense has been invisible, however. Kevin Pillar leads the club with four home runs since his trade from Toronto, while Brandon Belt is the only other Giant with more than one long ball.

25. Toronto Blue Jays

Record Last 10 Previous rank (change)
5-11 3-7 24 (-1)

With service time no longer an issue, the countdown to the Vlad Jr. era is officially on. It can't come sooner, as the Blue Jays' offense looks like it could be no-hit on any given day. The starting pitching has been a bright spot, fashioning a 2.72 ERA through 16 starts - the third-best mark in the majors.

26. Texas Rangers

Record Last 10 Previous rank (change)
7-7 5-5 26 (-)

Rumors of Elvis Andrus' demise were greatly exaggerated. After being derailed by injuries in 2018, Andrus has come back strong, batting .414/.433/.655 with three homers and four stolen bases in 14 games. That should make it easier to forget Rougned Odor's injury for the time being.

27. Chicago White Sox

Record Last 10 Previous rank (change)
5-9 4-6 25 (-2)

So far, Eloy Jimenez is living up to expectations. The much-hyped prospect launched his first two big-league homers at Yankee Stadium on Friday and is now hitting .288/.351/.423. His emergence has been one of the few bright spots so far for an otherwise dreadful White Sox club.

28. Kansas City Royals

Record Last 10 Previous rank (change)
5-10 3-7 27 (-1)

Whit Merrifield broke George Brett's team-record hitting streak, but that's not the only bright spot early on in the season for Kansas City. Alex Gordon is turning back the clock, hitting .360/.452/.640 with three home runs in 13 games. Right-hander Brad Keller looks like the real deal as he continues to build on an impressive rookie campaign, but his 13 walks in 25 2/3 innings might be a cause for concern.

29. Baltimore Orioles

G Fiume / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Record Last 10 Previous rank (change)
6-10 2-8 30 (+1)

No matter what happens for the rest of the season, the Orioles will always have that moment when Chris Davis ended his MLB-record 0-for-54 hitless streak against the Red Sox. Baltimore hasn't been as bad as expected thanks in large part to Trey Mancini, who ranks fifth in the majors in home runs (6) and fourth in the AL in OPS (1.110) after a down sophomore season.

30. Miami Marlins

Record Last 10 Previous rank (change)
4-12 2-8 28 (-2)

Trevor Richards and Caleb Smith have looked like aces atop the Marlins' rotation. Unfortunately for manager Don Mattingly, there are 23 other players on his roster, and very few of them have performed well. It's going to be a long season in Miami.

MLB Power Rankings: Astros rising, Red Sox evening out in early stages
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