The MLB season is underway, and the time for speculation is over. As the first week has closed, it is time for Uncut MLB power rankings. Every day teams have a chance to prove they are elite or watch as their hopes dwindle down the drain. Each week I will look at the state of the MLB and provide updated Uncut MLB power rankings. Please note, these rankings are based on potential, not solely record. With that being said, let’s see who impressed in these opening days of the 2021 MLB Season.
(Records the morning of 4/9/21)
1.) Los Angles Dodgers:
Pre-Season Rank: 1
The Dodgers have met expectations this far in the season as they are rolling through the early part of the year. This top spot in our Uncut MLB power rankings will be the Dodgers to lose throughout the season. This Dodgers team is loaded any many expect them to repeat as champs in 2021. Dustin May and Julio Urias looked great in their starts early on. The Dodgers starts will be untouchable if the back-end starters continue their success, as Trevor Bauer and Clayton Kershaw will bounce back and dominate this year.
2.) New York Yankees:
Pre-Season Rank: 4
The Yankees are sitting at .500 for the moment but won’t be for very long. The Bronx Bombers have looked the part of a powerhouse so far this season. Giancarlo Stanton launched a 471-foot grand slam the other day for his first homer of the year. However, the best news from the early season is Gary Sanchez’s success. Sanchez hit a homer in his first at-bat of the season and is batting .278 through five games thus far. Stanton and Aaron Judge are likely to miss time with injuries this year, and because of that Sanchez will have to pick up the load. If he continues his early success and puts his woes from the previous season in the past, the Yankees could be very dangerous.
3.) San Diego Padres:
Pre-Season Rank: 2
The Padres have looked good so far and I expect them to seriously challenge the Dodgers for the NL West crown this year. The only reason that they moved down to the third spot is because of Fernando Tatis Jr.’s shoulder injury. While the MRI revealed no serious damage, I think there is still room for concern. If this injury has any lingering implications and Tatis can’t perform as expected, that will seriously hurt the Padres. However, the Padres still have an elite rotation with arms like Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, and Chris Paddack. This team will be fine in Tatis’s short absence but should hope this injury doesn’t create serious issues.
4.) Houston Astros:
Pre-Season Rank: 13
Clearly, I underestimated this Astros team when creating my Pre-Season rankings. I thought the loss of outfielder George Springer would seriously hurt the team, but clearly, that’s not the case. The Astros bats have been electric so far, as they are averaging 7.5 runs through six games. If Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Michael Brantley, and others continue to get on base this well, the Houston offense will be a real headache for many teams. I’m not sure this team has the starting pitching to be elite, but time will tell how well this team can sustain.
5.) Minnesota Twins:
Pre-Season Rank: 7
The Twins have done just about as expected so far this season. The reason for their movement up this list is more so due to the disappointment of a few other teams early on. Nelson Cruz and Byron Buxton both have three dingers while hitting .471 and .357, respectively. With big production from the bats and very solid numbers out of their starters so far, Twins fans have a lot to look forward to. I have high hopes for this team because there are putting up sustainable numbers. This start is not a shock to anyone, and they certainly have the talent to keep it up.
6.) Atlanta Braves:
Pre-Season Rank: 3
The Atlanta Braves clearly haven’t lived up to expectations, as they dropped the first three games to division rival Philadelphia Phillies. However, it is super early and a 2-4 record will not discourage me from putting them in the top ten. The Braves offense had been almost non-existent in that Phillies series, which certainly won’t last long. I think this team just needs to relax and get back into the swing of things, and they’ll be back at the top of the NL East. Once Ozzie Albies, Freddie Freeman, and Marcell Ozuna get back on track this team will be in good shape.
7.) New York Mets:
Pre-Season Rank: 6
While they have only played four games so far, the Mets have given me more questions than answers so far this year. Jacob deGrom was pulled after 77 pitchers only for the bullpen to blow the lead which led to an opening game loss. The team seems to be overly analytical in the early season, benching Dominic Smith in the first game, worrying about starters’ pitch counts, which worries me in the long-term. Luis Rojas is not a proven manager, and hopefully, he can change that this year. I still envision the Mets being a very competitive team this season, but bullpen weakness and offensive inconsistency worry me.
8.) Los Angeles Angels:
Pre-Season Rank: 18
The Angels are a team I severely underestimated prior to the season and I’m glad to see them proving me wrong. In my Los Angeles Angels season preview, I realized how much potential this team truly had, and so far they are living up to that reputation. Shohei Ohtani put on a show earlier this week when he started on the mound and hit from the two-hole, launching an electric home run. Of course, Mike Trout is continuing his success this season with five RBIs and a .556 OBP. I believe the Angels are going to stick around at the top for quite some time now with studs like Trout, Anthony Rendon, and Dexter Fowler in the lineup. The key to this team’s success is staying healthy. They have several pieces, and a big injury to throw off momentum is the last thing the Angels need.
9.) Toronto Blue Jays:
Pre-Season Rank: 8
The Blue Jays are almost in the same spot I had them in the Pre-Season. The Jays are a young team loaded with potential, it’s all a matter of when that potential will be realized. Don’t let the 3-4 record fool you, the Jays have been playing phenomenally well so far. They have been competitive in every game thus far, and are putting up great numbers. Tanner Roark and Ross Stripling both got roughed up in their first starts, which lead to two of the team’s losses. The offense will continue to produce, and because of that, this team will succeed.
10.) Philadelphia Phillies:
Pre-Season Rank: 12
Don’t look now, but the Phillies are playing like the best team in the NL East so far. The Phillies certainly deserved a spot on the Uncut MLB power rankings, the only question was where. With an opening series sweep of the Braves and a 2-1 series win versus the Mets, this team looks legit. The NL will likely be the most competitive division in baseball this year, and the Phillies are going to be a part of that. This team clearly has a flair for theatrics, winning almost all of their games in the later innings. This team is hitting well, with big-name players Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto producing early on. Aaron Nola is an elite pitcher, and Zack Wheeler isn’t far from elite. A combination of strong pitching and talented offense leads me to believe this early success is not a fluke.