MLB Power Rankings: Teams Off to Hot Startsby Danny Podolsky August 2, 2020 0 comments
MLB power rankings are here. In the first edition of this shortened 2020 season, we’ll look at one player on each team who is off to a hot start.
Note: the Philadelphia Phillies and Miami Marlins were not included on this list as both teams have missed several games due to COVID-19. These rankings are as of Saturday evening.
- New York Yankees
Hot Start: Giancarlo Stanton
To nobody’s surprise, the Yankees are off to a hot start, having won five of their first six games. After an injury-plagued season in 2019, Giancarlo Stanton looks fresh and has an OPS of 1.384 through six games.
- Minnesota Twins
Hot Start: Randy Dobnak
Baseball fans, it’s time to give the Minnesota Twins the credit they deserve. You may not have heard of Randy Dobnak until now. The 25-year-old is off to a great start, having allowed only one run in his first two starts.
- Los Angeles Dodgers
Hot Start: Corey Seager
Despite being third in the NL West, the Dodgers are still a force to be reckoned with. Early on in the season, Corey Seager looks excellent. Through eight games, he’s hit three home runs while posting an OPS of 1.104.
- Houston Astros
Hot Start: Michael Brantley
The Astros may be hated, but they are still at the top level of MLB. Michael Brantley has been their best player so far, as he’s currently hitting .407 through 27 at-bats, including four extra-base hits.
- Atlanta Braves
Hot Start: Dansby Swanson
Despite the struggles of Ronald Acuna Jr., the Braves have gotten off to a solid start. This is a massively important season for Dansby Swanson, and so far, he has proven to the Braves that he deserves to be an everyday player. Through eight games, he has an OPS of 1.084.
- San Diego Padres
Hot Start: Fernando Tatis Jr.
Fernando Tatis Jr. is a beast. Eight games into this season, he’s already established himself as an MVP candidate as the Padres have jumped out to a hot start. Not to mention, Tatis is still only 21 years old.
- Chicago Cubs
Hot Start: Nico Hoerner
Despite lots of questions coming into the season, the Cubs have gotten off to a hot start. Nico Hoerner has proven why he deserves to be the Cubs’ everyday second baseman as he’s currently seven-for-18 at the plate on the season.
- Tampa Bay Rays
Hot Start: Ryan Yarbrough
While he doesn’t strike many hitters out, Ryan Yarbrough has had a great start to this season. In 11.2 innings pitched, he’s only allowed two runs while recording a WHIP of 0.86.
- Cleveland Indians
Hot Start: Shane Bieber
Shane Bieber has gotten off to an incredible start. Through two starts, he’s yet to allow a run in 14 innings, while striking out a whopping 27 batters. If he keeps it up, he’ll have a chance at winning the Cy Young award.
- Milwaukee Brewers
Hot Start: David Phelps
Despite a one-for-27 start from Christian Yelich, the Brewers have gotten off to a 3-3 start to the season. That’s due in large part to their bullpen. David Phelps has been their best reliever, only allowing one baserunner in 3.2 innings of work.
- St.Louis Cardinals
Hot Start: Paul Goldschmidt
The Cardinals have only played five games due to COVID-19 and lost their last three. Paul Goldschmidt got off to a solid start at the plate, recording an OPS of .855 through 21 plate appearances.
- Washington Nationals
Hot Start: Ryne Harper
Losing Juan Soto hurt as the Nationals have gotten out to a bit of a slow start. Reliever Ryne Harper has been a nice boost to the their bullpen as he’s yet to allow an earned run in five innings of work.
- Colorado Rockies
Hot Start: Trevor Story
Despite low expectations coming in, the Rockies have gotten out to a 4-2 start. Their hot start is due in large part to Trevor Story. Through six games, Story has recorded an OPS of 1.203, including three home runs.
- Oakland Athletics
Hot Start: Ramon Laureano
A sleeper pick to be a World Series contender, the Athletics are off to a mediocre start. Center fielder Ramon Laureano has easily been their best player. Through seven games, he’s recorded an OPS of .999 while also playing elite defense.
- Detroit Tigers
Hot Start: JaCoby Jones
Most did not expect the Tigers to compete for a playoff spot. However, aided by the resurgence of Miguel Cabrera, the team has started the season 5-3. JaCoby Jones is having a breakout campaign, recording an OPS of 1.349 through eight games.
- Toronto Blue Jays
Hot Start: Teoscar Hernandez
The Blue Jays have a lot of young talent and, with expanded playoffs, could contend for a playoff spot this season. Teoscar Hernandez has jumped out to a hot start, posting an OPS of 1.176 through seven games.
- New York Mets
Hot Start: Jacob deGrom
While the Mets have a lot of talent, their bullpen is a major issue as they’ve already choked two eight- or ninth-inning leads. To nobody’s surprise, Jacob deGrom is off to a great start, having only allowed two runs and six baserunners in his first two starts.
- Boston Red Sox
Hot Start: Christian Vazquez
Christian Vazquez is one of the best catchers in baseball. Despite the Red Sox’ weak pitching, their offense has been off to a hot start and Vazquez is at the forefront of that effort as he is tied for the MLB lead with four home runs.
- Cincinnati Reds
Hot Start: Nicholas Castellanos
Despite several offseason acquisitions, the Reds are off to a slow start. Nicholas Castellanos has started his tenure with the Reds on the right track. Through seven games, he’s recorded an OPS of 1.214.
- Chicago White Sox
Hot Start: Ross Detwiler
A sleeper team coming into the season, the Chicago White Sox have been underwhelming out of the gate. Reliever Ross Detwiler has provided a spark for the White Sox as he has yet to allow a baserunner in five innings out of the bullpen.
- Seattle Mariners
Hot Start: Kyle Lewis
The Mariners have gotten out to a surprising 4-4 start to the season. That’s due in large part to rookie Kyle Lewis. Through eight games, Lewis has been on a tear with an average of .455 and OPS of 1.136.
- San Francisco Giants
Like the Mariners, the Giants have started their season better than expected. Mike Yastrzemski and Donovan Solano have each gotten off to blazing hot starts. It will be interesting to see if this team can keep it up and sneak into the playoffs.
- Texas Rangers
Hot Start: Lance Lynn
With Corey Kluber going down, there’s a ton of pressure on Lance Lynn to perform well. He’s done just that as he’s yet to allow a run through 12 innings of work, along with 17 strikeouts.
- Baltimore Orioles
Hot Start: Hanser Alberto
Coming into the season with low expectations, the Orioles haven’t been terrible, winning three of their first six games. Hanser Alberto has gotten off to a hot start at the plate with 11 hits in 25 at-bats, including two home runs.
- Arizona Diamondbacks
Hot Start: Merrill Kelly
The Diamondbacks have struggled to get anything going offensively; they’ve scored just 25 runs in their first eight games. Merrill Kelly looked great in his first start of the year, pitching into the eighth inning while only allowing one run.
- Kansas City Royals
Hot Start: Greg Holland
Another young team, the Royals haven’t looked great, losing five of their first eight games. Veteran reliever Greg Holland has been a bright spot, though, as he’s yet to allow a run in five innings of work out of the bullpen.
- Los Angeles Angels
Hot Start: David Fletcher
With Mike Trout out due to paternity leave, the Angels have gotten off to a terrible start. David Fletcher, however, has been their lone bright spot. Through eight games, he’s hitting .400 with three extra-base hits.
- Pittsburgh Pirates
Hot Start: Colin Moran
Most fans may not have even realized that Colin Moran is tied for the league lead in home runs. However, the former first-round pick has been great through seven games, hitting four balls out of the park while recording an OPS of 1.260.