MLB Power Rankings: Mets, Giants making early noise

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Welcome to the second edition of theScore's MLB Power Rankings for the 2022 season.

1. Los Angeles Dodgers

Record RD Previous Rank (Change)
7-2 +27 1 (-)

Gavin Lux looks quite comfortable starting 2022 after struggling to find his footing in his first three seasons. The 24-year-old is hitting .320/.455/.560 with one home run, nine runs scored, and five RBIs in nine contests. Clayton Kershaw looked incredible in his first start, carrying a perfect game through seven innings before being pulled.

2. New York Mets

Record RD Previous Rank (Change)
7-3 +26 6 (+4) ⬆️

The Mets have a winning record thanks to a rejuvenated Francisco Lindor. The star shortstop is hitting .273/.442/.606 with three homers and seven RBIs after struggling to live up to expectations in 2021. On the pitching side, Chris Bassitt, Carlos Carrasco, and Tylor Megill have allowed a combined two earned runs over 33 innings.

3. Chicago White Sox

Record RD Previous Rank (Change)
6-3 +6 4 (+1) ⬆️ 

The injury bug has hit no team quite like the White Sox. Lucas Giolito and AJ Pollock got hurt during the club's first series, joining the likes of Yoan Moncada, Garrett Crochet, and Lance Lynn on the IL. But those losses haven't stopped the South Siders from roaring to the top of the AL Central.

4. Toronto Blue Jays

Record RD Previous Rank (Change)
6-4 -3 2 (-2) ⬇️

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. looks like he hasn't missed a beat. The AL MVP runner-up has gone deep five times with a 1.036 OPS in 10 contests. However, the rotation has struggled with a 5.70 ERA after going into the season advertised as one of the best in the majors. In particular, Hyun Jin Ryu surrendered 11 earned runs over 7 1/3 innings before landing on the IL.

5. San Francisco Giants

Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Record RD Previous Rank (Change)
7-2 +23 11 (+6) ⬆️

Carlos Rodon has arguably been the most impactful free-agent signing during the season's early days. After his first two starts with the Giants, the southpaw leads the majors with 21 strikeouts and a 15.75 K/9 while boasting a sparkling 0.75 WHIP. Rodon and Logan Webb, last year's breakout playoff star, look like a fearsome duo atop the Giants' rotation.

6. Tampa Bay Rays

Record RD Previous Rank (Change)
5-5 0 5 (-1) ⬇️

The Rays lost several important pitchers early on, and that's a big reason they've started slowly. But all the signs of an eventual return to their 100-win form are still there. Wander Franco continues to emerge as an offensive leader with a .934 OPS and just four strikeouts in 44 plate appearances, and Kevin Cash's bullpen has dominated when called upon.

7. Atlanta Braves

Record RD Previous Rank (Change)
5-6 -9 3 (-4) ⬇️

The Braves don't appear to be missing Freddie Freeman too much at first base in the early going. Matt Olson has impressed to the tune of a .421/.551/.684 slash line with two home runs in 11 games. Atlanta is hoping to keep its head above water until Ronald Acuna Jr.'s expected return in early May.

8. Houston Astros

Record RD Previous Rank (Change)
5-4 -1 8 (-)

The early returns for Carlos Correa's replacement at shortstop have been impressive. Jeremy Pena is off to a strong start in his first eight games, hitting .345/.375/.621 with a home run, five runs scored, and two RBIs. Meanwhile, Justin Verlander looks razor-sharp in his comeback from Tommy John surgery, highlighted by an eight-inning scoreless gem against the Mariners.

9. Boston Red Sox

Record RD Previous Rank (Change)
5-4 +7 9 (-)

Alex Verdugo and Rafael Devers have carried the offense with five homers and 15 RBIs between them. Boston's relievers have also been surprisingly good. The bullpen owns an 11.57 K/9, tied for the best mark in baseball. Garrett Whitlock has surrendered just one earned run over 8 2/3 innings with 11 strikeouts.

10. New York Yankees

Dustin Satloff / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Record RD Previous Rank (Change)
5-5 +1 10 (-)

A major X-factor for the Yankees this season will be Luis Severino. The two-time All-Star is regularly throwing in the mid-90s with his fastball, and he's dominated over two starts with 11 strikeouts across eight innings. A healthy Severino would take a lot of pressure off Gerrit Cole, who hasn't been sharp early. Nestor Cortes Jr. also looks like the real deal, striking out 17 over 9 1/3 innings.

11. St. Louis Cardinals

Record RD Previous Rank (Change)
5-3 +14 16 (+5) ⬆️

What a start it's been for Nolan Arenado. The All-Star third baseman's hitting an NL-best .433 through eight games and has struck out only four times. He's why the Cardinals have surged to an early division lead and shaken off some rough pitching performances.

12. Milwaukee Brewers

Record RD Previous Rank (Change)
5-5 -13 7 (-5) ⬇️

Yes, it's early, but it's been the same old story for the Brewers: plenty of pitching with next to no offensive support. Only two Milwaukee hitters - Rowdy Tellez and Victor Caratini - own an OPS above .800 through 10 games. The Brewers are also tied for second-last in home runs as a team. There's plenty of time for the offense to find itself, but the concerns are magnified for a club that was undone by the bats last October.

13. Seattle Mariners

Record RD Previous Rank (Change)
5-5 +4 12 (-1) ⬇️

It's been a rough welcome to the big leagues for rookie outfielder Julio Rodriguez. The 21-year-old is without a home run and has struck out in 50% of his at-bats. On the pitching side, young right-hander Logan Gilbert looks ready for a big season after posting a 0.90 ERA with 11 strikeouts against just one walk in his first two starts of the year.

14. San Diego Padres

Record RD Previous Rank (Change)
6-5 +5 17 (+3) ⬆️

Jurickson Profar is doing his part to fill in for the injured Fernando Tatis Jr. by belting three home runs and driving in nine through 10 contests. The Padres are also dealing with injuries to Blake Snell and Mike Clevinger in the rotation. However, top prospect MacKenzie Gore looked ready to contribute at the major-league level in his first career start.

15. Los Angeles Angels

Ron Jenkins / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Record RD Previous Rank (Change)
6-4 +3 15 (-)

Shohei Ohtani has looked shaky at times, but he still seems primed for another incredible campaign. The reigning AL MVP already has three home runs and a pair of stolen bases to go along with a 15.12 K/9 in his first two starts on the mound. Noah Syndergaard notched a pair of wins to start the season but only racked up 3.97 K/9 as he continues to build back up after missing most of the last two campaigns due to injury.

16. Minnesota Twins

Record RD Previous Rank (Change)
3-6 -11 14 (-2) ⬇️

The Twins dodged a bullet when Byron Buxton's MRI revealed no structural damage to his knee. The often-injured star has three round-trippers with a 1.058 OPS in seven games. It's been a tough adjustment for Correa so far. The marquee acquisition is 4-for-30 with one RBI and 13 strikeouts.

17. Philadelphia Phillies

Record RD Previous Rank (Change)
4-6 -9 13 (-4) ⬇️

The Phillies' minus-9 run differential is indicative of the potential extremes we could see from this team in 2022. Led by prized signing Nick Castellanos, the offense has ripped the cover off the baseball. However, pitching has been iffy. Kyle Gibson's been great through two starts, but he shouldn't be put in the position of carrying the staff throughout the year.

18. Chicago Cubs

Record RD Previous Rank (Change)
5-4 +7 21 (+3) ⬆️

Seiya Suzuki quieted any doubters early on about how he might transition from Japan to MLB. The 27-year-old outfielder is off to a blistering start, posting a 1.503 OPS with four home runs and 11 RBIs in nine games. An injury to Wade Miley pushed left-hander Justin Steele into the starting rotation, and he's making the most of the opportunity with a 1.93 ERA and 8.68 K/9 in two starts.

19. Cleveland Guardians

Record RD Previous Rank (Change)
4-5 +11 22 (+3) ⬆️

Steven Kwan's stunning on-base prowess in his first week in the majors completely overshadowed a couple of other eye-popping starts in Cleveland. Jose Ramirez, fresh off signing his extension, has eight extra-base hits and a 1.386 OPS, while youngster Owen Miller has posted a dizzying .500/.545/.964 slash line over nine games. The Guardians will surely have a role to play in deciding the AL Central if they keep mashing like this.

20. Colorado Rockies

Matthew Stockman / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Record RD Previous Rank (Change)
6-3 +8 24 (+4) ⬆️

The Rockies are among the early-season pleasant surprises. First baseman C.J. Cron is off to a hot start with five home runs, including a pair Saturday against the Cubs that reached the Coors Field concourse. Colorado appears to be in good hands at the end of ball games with the veteran relief duo of Daniel Bard and Alex Colome providing stability at the back end of the bullpen in the early going. The Rockies' relievers own the lowest ERA in the majors.

21. Detroit Tigers

Record RD Previous Rank (Change)
4-5 -12 18 (-3) ⬇️

A thumb injury sent Javier Baez to the IL after just five games and halted the hot start to his Tigers career. Detroit will miss what he brings to the club, but the bats of rookie first baseman Spencer Torkelson and late-spring acquisition Austin Meadows can help offset that loss. Young starter Casey Mize, who also went to the IL with a sprained elbow, will be much harder to replace.

22. Miami Marlins

Record RD Previous Rank (Change)
4-5 +2 20 (-2) ⬇️

A tough season-opening jaunt to California may have been behind Miami's slow start. The Marlins looked much better on both sides of the ball when they got home against Philadelphia last weekend. Maybe they won't win the division, but this edition of the Fish is certainly better than their record might indicate.

23. Oakland Athletics

Record RD Previous Rank (Change)
5-5 +10 28 (+5) ⬆️

The Athletics shockingly lead the majors with 53 runs despite ranking 20th in OPS and 22nd in OBP. Sean Murphy has been a key part, going deep twice with eight RBIs and an .866 OPS. He's the only qualified hitter on the club with an OPS over .800.

24. Texas Rangers

Record RD Previous Rank (Change)
2-7 -10 19 (-5) ⬇️

New star shortstop Corey Seager became just the third player in the last 70 years to draw an intentional walk with the bases loaded, and that's been the highlight of an otherwise dreary start in Texas. Despite spending significant money in the offseason to improve the roster, pitching is still a major issue. The Rangers rank last in ERA (6.19) and home runs allowed (18).

25. Kansas City Royals

Jamie Squire / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Record RD Previous Rank (Change)
3-5 -16 23 (-2) ⬇️

The Royals received some nice individual performances to start the year, but they're also somewhat deceptive. Andrew Benintendi (.357/.438/.464) seems to have rediscovered his stroke, but nine of his 10 hits are singles. Zack Greinke looks comfortable as the rotation's elder statesman with a 2.45 ERA. However, his one strikeout in 11 innings should cause concern. Top prospect Bobby Witt Jr. has struggled at the plate between glimpses of what he should become.

26. Washington Nationals

Record RD Previous Rank (Change)
4-7 -16 26 (-)

Juan Soto continues to be one of the lone bright spots on a rebuilding club. The NL MVP runner-up has three homers with 12 walks. Meanwhile, Patrick Corbin has given up 17 hits with 10 earned runs over 12 innings following the worst campaign of his career. The 32-year-old is making $23 million this season and is under contract through 2024.

27. Baltimore Orioles

Record RD Previous Rank (Change)
3-6 -9 29 (+2) ⬆️

The Orioles pitching staff took a big hit after John Means suffered an elbow strain. However, Baltimore's hurlers have surprisingly accrued a 1.6 fWAR, the second-best total in the AL. The team needs more from Cedric Mullins and Ryan Mountcastle, who have combined for 22 strikeouts.

28. Arizona Diamondbacks

Record RD Previous Rank (Change)
3-6 -20 27 (-1) ⬇️

Ketel Marte has just seven hits and zero homers over 33 at-bats after slashing .318/.377/.532 over 90 contests last season. On a positive note, Merrill Kelly has looked very good. He hasn't surrendered a run while recording 13 strikeouts over two starts.

29. Pittsburgh Pirates

Record RD Previous Rank (Change)
5-4 -1 30 (+1) ⬆️

Ke'Bryan Hayes appears healthy again after inking a big extension. The 25-year-old is slashing .400/.438/.500 but is still looking for his first long ball of the season. The pitching has expectedly been problematic. Mitch Keller and JT Brubaker have given up a combined 16 earned runs.

30. Cincinnati Reds

Record RD Previous Rank (Change)
2-8 -24 25 (-5) ⬇️

After team president Phil Castellini took aim at fans before the home opener, things could go even more sideways. The lone bright spot early on has been Hunter Greene's performance. The flame-throwing right-hander racked up 11.35 K/9 in his first two career starts, which featured an MLB record 39 pitches registered at 100 mph or faster against the Dodgers.

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MLB Power Rankings: Mets, Giants making early noise
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