Welcome back into the second installment of National League Power Rankings. Plenty of shifting in the ranks has occurred over the last few weeks. Lots to get to so let’s hop right in and dig into each team’s strengths and weaknesses. This is NL Power Rankings, enjoy and stay safe out there!
15. Pittsburgh Pirates (4-15)
Just two more victories since the last edition for the Buccos. Unfortunately, it may not get better in the near future. Two of the key arms featured in the rotation, Joe Musgrove (0-3, 6.75 ERA), and Mitch Keller(1-1, 3.52) are currently listed on the 10-day IL The Pirates aren’t blessed with a ton of good arms, it will be interesting how they adapt. All-Star first baseman Josh Bell will need to get better for an underachieving lineup. He is slashing just .203/.243/.304 in 18 games. Adam Frazier, Bryan Reynolds, and Gregory Polanco are all hitting way too close to the “Mendoza” line.
14. San Francisco Giants (8-15)
After a decent start, the Giants have slipped. They are a paltry 3-10 in their last 13. Donovan Solano and Mike Yastrzemski continue to lead the team in hitting. Solano is hitting .403 while Yaz is slashing .305/.430/.634. Starting pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Drew Smyly are both currently on the 10-day IL As a whole, unsurprisingly, Giant pitching has been exploited. They sit 29th in the Bigs with an inflated 5.69 ERA.
13. New York Mets (9-14)
Slight improvements have been made over the course of the last two weeks. Even still a lot of things will have to bounce in their favor for them to sneak into the playoffs. They will play the Fish and the Bronx Bombers in their upcoming series’. Left fielder/first baseman Dominic Smith has given the Mets a nice boost on offense. He leads the team in homers and RBI while slugging over .750. With Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman out of the picture, the pitching staff will have its fair share of challenges. They rank in the bottom half of the league with a 5.12 ERA. 24-year-old starter David Peterson has stepped in nicely and has recorded three wins in four starts.
12. Washington Nationals (8-11)
Overall the defending champs are not where they want to be. They have a tough stretch of games coming up against Atlanta, Miami, and to a lesser extent, the Phillies. The complete pitching roster ranks just 19th with a 4.57 ERA. The offense has had its struggles as well. They have put up 85 runs, 23rd overall, despite hitting a respectable .256. The return of Juan Soto has been much needed. He has been running hot: six homers, 14 RBI while slashing .425/.500/.950 in 11 games.
11. Cincinnati Reds (9-11)
The mediocrity continues with the Cincinnati Reds. Another team that looks great on paper but for some reason falls short of expectations. First baseman Joey Votto is getting on base to the tune of a .375 OBP but is hitting just .233 with three homers in 17 games. Slugging third baseman Eugenio Suarez is nowhere near the level he was at just a season ago. Currently, he is at .123/.278/.246. Starting pitchers Sonny Gray, Luis Castillo, and Trevor Bauer have all been very good or great. The bullpen however will need to improve, they are pitching to a ghastly 6.23 ERA, 26th in the Bigs.
10. Philadelphia Phillies (8-9)
Philadelphia, for all the talent they have, is just hovering around the .500 mark. Pitching is clearly a soar spot as they rank 28th in MLB with a 5.69 ERA. The Phillies bullpen has been a hot mess as they are pitching to a league-worst 9.12 ERA. Conversely, the offense is getting solid contributions from J.T. Realmuto (.696 SLG) and Bryce Harper (.673).
9. St.Louis Cardinals (4-4)
The Cards got back to the field over the weekend taking both games in their double-dip versus the White Sox. The Cardinals are of course attempting to bounce back after the latest bunch of COVID cases decimated the team. In all, 15 games were postponed. They have a tough challenge ahead as they will face the Cubs for five straight.
8. San Diego Padres (11-12)
The Friars gave us a glimpse of their capabilities but have most recently cooled off some. Third baseman Manny Machado has been decent in the power department(5 HR, 13 RBI) but will need to improve on his .212 batting average. Outfielder Tommy Pham will need to be better as well. He is slashing just .207/.316/.293. In terms of pitching the Padres have been less than inspiring. Closing pitcher Kirby Yates has struggled early on, he is currently listed on the 10-day I.L. Fellow reliever Craig Stammen has also struggled, he will need to improve on the 7.27 ERA built up over 8.2 innings of work.
7. Miami Marlins (9-6)
After everything Miami has been through, the Marlins somehow find themselves tied for first place in the NL East. They recently reeled off four straight off of the surprisingly better Baltimore Orioles. The Marlins are slugging .398 as a team, just 24th overall. The underrated pitching staff is carrying them in the early going. Combined Marlin pitchers have a 3.89 ERA seventh-best before Sunday’s games. The Fish will play the New York Mets and the defending Champion Nationals in their next series’.
6. Milwaukee Brewers (10-10)
Milwaukee is getting things done in typical fashion. The bullpen owns a fourth-best ERA of 3.01. As for the offense, left-fielder Christian Yelich is tied for the team-lead in homers with Keston Hiura, they both have five. “Yelly” will need to make more adjustments at the dish as he is hitting just a buck ninety-four. Starting pitchers Brandon Woodruff and Adrian Houser have been solid. They both have ERAs under 3.50. Josh Lindblom has struck out 28 batters in 17.2 innings but will need to improve on his 6.62 ERA.
5. Arizona Diamondbacks (11-11)
Finally ‘Zona is playing up to expectations. They have reeled off seven of their last 11 games. They will be challenged in their next two series’ as they play the Oakland Athletics and the Colorado Rockies. The Diamondbacks will need to improve on limiting runs going forward. As a complete staff, they carry an ERA of 5.64, just 27th overall. Offensively the Martes, Ketel, and Starling, have lit it up. Ketel, in 21 games has driven in nine and leads the team in hits with 28. Starling leads the team in batting average (.356) and is slugging an impressive .521.
4. Atlanta Braves (13-10)
The Braves will be in the process of moving forward without starting pitcher Mike Soroka. Max Fried has stepped up huge so far(3-0, 1.24 ERA). Better performances from Touki Toussaint, Kyle Wright, Sean Newcomb, and others will be needed to complement a very strong relief core that ranks fifth in baseball with a 3.17 ERA. In terms of offense, Braves hitters are hitting .243 (14th) with a .430 SLG (10th).
3. Colorado Rockies (13-8)
Colorado has cooled off a bit but is still running strong. Chuck Nasty, Charlie Blackmon, and Trevor Story are leading the way as they each carry an OPS over .1000. Other mainstays in the lineup, Nolan Arenado, and David Dahl will need to work through some early-season struggles. Dahl is hitting just .194 with a .250 SLG. Arenado is hitting .244 with a .295 OBP. The difference in the overall turn around from last year is the great pitching the Rockies have been getting. The entire staff has pitched to a 3.99 ERA, 8th best.
2. Chicago Cubs (13-6)
Although they have cooled off some recently, the Cubbies are still playing some great baseball. The starting pitching for Chicago has been lights out. Jon Lester, Yu Darvish, Alec Mills, and Kyle Hendricks all have ERAs under 3.10 heading to Monday’s action. Jeremy Jeffress has looked great out of the pen. he has allowed but just a single earned run in nine innings pitched. At the plate, the Cubs have actually been so-so. Better performances are likely around the corner for Kris Bryant (.182/.286/.345) and Javier Baez (.203/.241/.365).
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (16-7)
Dodger Blue is making its mark over the landscape yet again. As of this writing, they own a major-league best 2.49 ERA. Budding superstar in the making, Dustin May has been very good. He has walked just five batters while striking out 19 in 24 innings of work. Although not at their peak yet, the Dodgers are slugging a fourth-best .458. Once Cody Bellinger (.187/.245/.341), Max Muncy (.179/.293/.381), and Joc Pederson (.153/.265/.305) get going this team will take off.
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