The Orioles got off to a surprisingly positive start. After two straight 100-loss seasons, it was pretty much assumed that 2020 would not be drastically different. A 2-1 start against a deeply flawed Boston Red Sox team is hardly cause for celebration, but without the club’s two best offensive performers from a year ago — Jonathan Villar (now a member of the Miami Marlins) and Trey Mancini (on the IL coming back from his colon cancer surgery) — it was nice to see the club show some teeth, albeit against some very un-Red Sox like starting pitching.
I made two bold placement predictions in my season-opening power rankings last week, listing the Chicago Cubs at No. 21 and the Red Sox at No. 22. After four days of play, I have adjusted the Cubs mightily and have them at No. 11, which is an early admission of a miscalculation. But after watching the Red Sox for a weekend, I have doubled down on where they belong and have them at No. 24, just one spot above the Orioles.
Sure, they still have a couple pieces, but the collective gestalt of the Red Sox is a far cry from what they were a couple years ago. Especially troublesome is a 2020 starting rotation which is without Chris Sale, without the traded and opted out David Price and with Eduardo Rodriguez, a 19-game winner a year ago, on the sidelines after being struck down by the coronavirus which has now morphed into a inflammation of the heart muscle known as myocarditis.
The Red Sox also let former Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello go, which leaves them keeping their fingers crossed that Nathan Eovaldi can stay healthy for 10-12 starts as they fill out the rest of the rotation with names such as Martin Perez, Ryan Weber and Brian Johnson.
Here are my MLB power rankings based on the short Week 1. I’ll have my usual comments on the top teams and accompanying video next week.
1. New York Yankees (2-1, No. 1 last week)
2. Los Angeles Dodgers (2-2, No. 3)
3. Oakland Athletics (2-1, No. 2)
4. Minnesota Twins (2-1, No. 4)
5. Tampa Bay Rays (2-1, No. 5)
6. Atlanta Braves (2-1, No. 10)
7. Cleveland Indians (2-1, No. 9)
8. St. Louis Cardinals (2-1, No. 6)
9. Washington Nationals (1-2, No. 7)
10. New York Mets (1-2, No. 12)
11. Chicago Cubs (2-1, No. 21)
12. Houston Astros (2-1, No. 8)
13. San Diego Padres (2-1, No. 15)
14. Milwaukee Brewers (1-2, No. 16)
15. Cincinnati Reds (1-2, No. 13)
16. Philadelphia Phillies (1-2, No. 11)
17. Chicago White Sox (1-2, No. 14)
18. Los Angeles Angels (1-2, No. 18)
19. Arizona Diamondbacks (1-2, No. 17)
20. Texas Rangers (1-2, No. 19)
21. Colorado Rockies (2-1, No. 20)
22. Toronto Blue Jays (1-2, No. 23)
23. Miami Marlins (2-1, No. 24)
24. Boston Red Sox (1-2, No. 22)
25. Baltimore Orioles (2-1, No. 27)
26. Detroit Tigers (2-1, No. 30)
27. Kansas City Royals (1-2, No. 25)
28. Seattle Mariners (1-2, No. 26)
29. Pittsburgh Pirates (1-2, No. 29)
30. San Francisco Giants (2-2, No. 28)