MLB Power Rankings: Athletics storm to No. 1, Mariners plummet
The third week of Power Rankings brings yet another new team to the top, as the Oakland Athletics grabbed the No. 1 spot away from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Oakland earned four of this week's six first-place votes, with Milwaukee getting the other two. Atlanta's strong week helped the Braves leapfrog into second place ahead of the third-place Brewers. The Dodgers and Giants round out the top-five.
They're No. 1: Athletics. At 13-5, the A's have matched their 1990 start as the franchise's best since 1981. With Jarrod Parker out for the year and A.J. Griffin on the shelf as well, Jesse Chavez has come up big, with a staff-best 1.38 ERA and 28/5 K/BB ratio through four starts -- not too shabby for a guy who had previously started only two major games from among 191 appearances.
Cellar Dweller: Diamondbacks. For the second straight week, Arizona occupies the basement of our rankings. The Diamondbacks' 5-16 record is the worst in baseball, and Arizona is already eight games back in the NL West. Mark Trumbo's NL-best six hom runs mask what has otherwise been a slow start to his first season in the desert. He is hitting just .208 with a .265 OBP and a 20-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Last week, he picked up just two hits, both singles, in 17 at-bats.
Biggest Riser: Royals. Kansas City jumps up 15 spots by virtue of going 5-1 over the last week, sweeping the Astros and taking two of three from the Twins. The Royals' competition wasn't all that impressive, and they still have a negative run differential on the season, but they did avenge a sweep by Minnesota heading into last week's rankings and are now 9-6 since dropping two to the Tigers to start the season.
Biggest Faller: Mariners. Seattle tumbled 18 spots this week after going 1-6 and bringing a six-game losing streak into this week's action. The M's haven't won consecutive games since sweeping the Angels to open the season and are now 4-11 since the end of that series. They've allowed just one more run than they've scored this year, but take out that opening series in Anaheim and they have a -19 differential in just 15 games, with their flat-lining offense, Robinson Cano included, as the primary culprit.
A few words about the . . .
• Yankees: New York ripped off a five-game winning streak last week before dropping two of three to Tampa Bay, but remains the AL East's top team in our rankings. After starting the season 1-for-16, Alfonso Soriano has keyed the Yankees' offense, going 9-for-24 last week with a homer, a double and three RBIs.
• Pirates: Pittsburgh also took a big drop in the rankings after a 2-5 week, with series losses to Cincinnati and Milwaukee. The Brewers have been a big thorn in Pittsburgh's side already, handing the Pirates six of their 11 losses.
• Rockies: A 4-3 week pushed Colorado to .500 overall, and the Rockies can thank their offense for that. Colorado scored 36 runs in its seven games, including a 12-run outburst against the Phillies on Friday, and is fourth in baseball in runs per game at 5.3. The Rockies' .297 team batting average and .459 slugging percentage are the best marks in baseball, and their .349 OBP is second only to the Twins.