Welcome to the last version of the Official MLB Power Rankings for April of 2021.
Yes, we had April baseball again after missing it last year and it has been glorious. It's also been crazy. Just look at the standings right now. The Mariners are in playoff position. So are the Giants. The Yankees and Braves are three games below .500. The Twins are a whopping six games under. The Royals have the best record in the American League!
Perhaps the craziest division of all has been the NL East, though, home to what very well could be the most competitive playoff race in all of baseball. At present, the Mets sit at the top, but they are only one game over .500. The last-place Nationals are only two games out. It's been quite a ride already.
- The Mets had eight postponements before they played their ninth game. They have generally looked like one of the better teams in the National League, but they also went to Wrigley Field this past week and got their teeth kicked in. In a three-game series, they were swept and outscored 23-8 by the Cubs.
- The Phillies won their first four games and were sitting 5-1 exactly one week into the season. They've gone 5-10 since and just lost a series to the lowly Rockies. Sunday, they only managed two runs in Coors Field and those were both Bryce Harper solo home runs.
- The Marlins have been the streakiest team in baseball. They started the season 1-6. Then they won six of their next seven games and had evened things up at 7-7. They've since lost five of seven.
- The Braves started by losing their first four games. Then they won four in a row and looked back on track. Then they lost four more in a row. Then they won five of seven and looked back on track. Then they embarrassed themselves on Sunday by losing both ends of a doubleheader and nearly getting no-hit for the day. They got one hit in Game 1 and zero in Game 2.
- The Nationals had a delayed start to the season, like the Mets, and won in dramatic fashion on their opening day. They then lost five straight. They gone 7-6 since and might have settled in as a .500ish true talent team? They might be worse than that, as injuries and poor performance have ravaged the pitching staff and the lineup is pretty unimpressive, especially with Juan Soto on the injured list.
I think right now you have to say the Mets are the best team, but do they inspire a ton of confidence in being a reliable spot for consistent, winning baseball? Ask Mets fans that question.
The Braves are the biggest head-scratcher. They have far too much talent to keep playing this poorly. Then again, do you remember the 2018 Red Sox? One of the best teams we've seen this millennium, right? They won 108 regular-season games and never faced elimination in the playoffs. They also lost six of eight in the middle of August. Had they started 2-6, would everyone have freaked out? Probably! It's just a nice reminder how long our season is.
|Through Friday night, the Dodgers had lost four of five and I actually thought to myself, 'if they lose the next two to the Padres, I might have to crown a new No. 1.' By the skin of their teeth, they avoided the sweep and retain the top spot, but we've got five or six teams with a legitimate argument now. That wasn't the case a week ago.||--||59-39|
|Their loss Sunday was their first since April 8. What a fun streak.||4||56-42|
|They are absolutely humming along, having gone 12-5 since a bad start. They've done most of it without Christian Yelich, too.||5||57-41|
|Through two series with the Dodgers, they have stood toe-to-toe with the champs and possibly have even looked better. There's a swagger there, too. Can they work on being more successful against other teams now, though? They have only gone 9-8 against non-Dodgers teams and I had to bump them down for getting swept at home by the Brewers.||2||58-42|
|Michael Kopech was one of the most promising prospects in baseball, but then had to have Tommy John surgery and went through some off-field stuff. He hadn't thrown a big-league pitch since 2018 until this year. Sunday, he struck out 10 in five strong innings and now has 27 strikeouts against four walks in 15 2/3 innings this year. Keep an eye on this one.||4||58-39|
|J.D. Martinez did not drive in a run on Sunday, meaning his games played (21) has caught up with his RBI total.||2||60-38|
|They'll be adding Carlos Carrasco to the rotation in a few weeks and Noah Syndergaard not much longer thereafter. The offense needs to wake up, though.||4||51-43|
|Buster Posey only hit seven homers in 405 at-bats in 2019. He's hit four homers in 47 at-bats this season. Oh, and fun small-sample oddity: He has four RBI. Yes, with four home runs.||4||61-35|
|While we're all (rightfully) losing our minds over Jacob deGrom, Danny Duffy is sitting over in K.C. with a 0.39 ERA through four starts.||2||40-55|
|Last week I said the upcoming stretch on the schedule would tell us a lot about whether or not the Mariners had staying power in contention. They just split with the Dodgers and at the Red Sox. Good start!||4||51-46|
|They already have Ross Stripling and Nate Pearson on the injured list and Hyun-Jin Ryu left his start early on Sunday with a butt injury (yep). Someone get them some rotation luck!||7||48-45|
|Prospect Luis Patino (who came over in the Blake Snell trade) debuted with 2 2/3 hitless and scoreless innings on Sunday.||7||59-39|
|OK, so they still don't really look confidence-inspiring or anything, but a 4-2 week is a step in the right direction. The offense could sure use one of those games where they score like 10 runs on 14 hits. It seems like it would make everyone breathe a sigh of relief and they could stop pressing.||7||50-46|
|The 6-1 start evaporated with the Astros then losing nine of 10. They're back on track now after taking three of four from the Angels. Some of that losing was at least partially due to some players shut down on the COVID list.||1||59-39|
|Sure, they've been banged up, but the Angels had lost seven of their last nine before pulling out Sunday's win, completely erasing that excellent start.||10||47-49|
|Rough start to the season for high-upside youngster Zach Plesac. He allowing a .299 average and .494 slugging through four outings.||6||48-47|
|There's only so much Ronald Acuna can do. Freddie Freeman, Marcell Ozuna and Ozzie Albies, at the very least, need to get things together on offense.||1||47-49|
|Is the "Bryce Harper is overrated" noise finally subsiding? I feel like I don't see it nearly as often as I used to. Anyway, he's hitting .338/.471/.662. right now. That'll play.||5||48-48|
|Looking at their rotation without Stephen Strasburg and lineup without Juan Soto makes you realize just how thin they are after their superstars.||2||45-51|
|After a 5-2 start, the Cardinals had lost eight of 10. Are they finally settled in now after sweeping the Reds, or was it just a matter of the Reds being bad?||2||49-49|
|For a brief glimpse, we saw the talent these Cubs' bats have. They won five of six and three times scored at least 13 runs. And then they showed us on Saturday and Sunday why they've been ranked so low.||3||48-50|
|The D-Backs have now won six of seven and just had a special pitching display from Zac Gallen and Madison Bumgarner, allowing just one hit in 14 scoreless doubleheader innings. I have no idea what to make of this team just yet, but they aren't nearly as bad as they looked at 5-10.||7||30-69|
|No, I'm not buying them at all and I'm pretty certain they finish in last place, but the Pirates have won 10 of their last 15 games and sit at .500! They've taken series from the Cubs, Brewers and Twins while splitting with the Padres.||4||36-60|
|That's seven straight losses and we seem to have stopped hearing from the players about how special their clubhouse atmosphere is this year. Weird how that happens.||17||50-47|
|Jazz Chisholm is very quickly rocketing up the fun rankings (not, I don't actually rank them, but if I did he would be making quite the move).||2||41-57|
|They've had COVID issues. It's only a 20-game sample and there are 142 to go. But man, the positives have been so few and far between. They have looked straight-up bad for most of the season.||9||42-56|
|After another multi-hit game on Sunday, Cedric Mullins is now hitting .346 on the season.||2||32-64|
|After I put the Red Sox 30th, they won nine straight. After I put the Tigers last, they swept the Astros. Last week I put the Rockies last and they won four of five. In addition to being very entertaining and smart, my power rankings are clearly also a strong motivation tool. Who knew?||2||42-54|
|Adolis Garcia has only 49 at-bats so far this year. He has five homers and 13 RBI. Quite the fun start for the 28-year-old rookie who previously had zero home runs and one RBI in 23 at-bats.||3||35-63|
|Remember that sweep in Houston? Yeah, the Tigers are 4-15 this season if we exclude those three outlier games. And they started the season 2-0.||2||47-52|