August 4, 2020

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MLB Eastern Division Power Rankings-7/29/2020

By Drew Modjeski 

The East divisions power rankings are going to look a lot different than the preseason rankings. A lot of the teams in this division are playing either high above expected or are having a disappointing start to the season. 

10. Boston Red Sox 

The Red Sox suck. Outside of Opening Day where they crushed the Orioles 13-2, the Red Sox have easily been the worst team in the East. The pitching sucks, the offense is not putting up enough runs and it seems like things are only going to get worse for the Red Sox before they get better. Neither Devers, Bogaerts and Benintendi are hitting over .200 and Bogaerts is the only one out of those three with a homerun. The worst part was they were playing the Orioles for two of their four losses and they still sucked. It is going to be a long season for Boston. 

9. Baltimore Orioles 

Don’t get greedy Orioles fans. Just because you destroyed the Red Sox doesn’t mean you’re going to shoot up these rankings. Unfortunately for the Orioles, their momentum got cut short as their last two games were postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak within the Miami Marlins locker room. Now they get to face the big bad Yankees to see how good the Orioles actually are. 

8. Philadelphia Phillies 

Similar to the Orioles, the Phillies have been off the past few days because they faced the Marlins this past weekend. Unlike the Orioles, having a few days off was a welcome sight to think about what went wrong this weekend. No one thought the Phillies would drop their opening series at home against the Marlins. 

The biggest problem for the Phillies has been their bullpen. Their only win this season came when Zack Wheeler threw seven innings. Anytime the Phillies have to rely on their bullpen for extended innings, they’re screwed. 

7. Miami Marlins 

Oh Marlins, how you almost ruined the entire season. The Marlins have been shut down through at least the week after they had double-digit positive cases of Covid-19 between players and staff. 

When they do actually play baseball, the Marlins two wins have come in two completely different ways. Their win on opening day came after a solid outing from starter Sandy Alcantara, and in the game that got them the series win the bats exploded for 11 runs. Since we have not seen either the Phillies or Marlins play since this series, it is tough to tell if it was more of the Marlins being good, or if the Phillies just suck. 

6. Washington Nationals 

It was not the start to the season the defending champs were hoping for. They bounced back nicely from the Opening Day loss as they destroyed James Paxton and the Yankees by a score of 9-2. However, since then they have lost three straight all due to lack of offensive production. The Nationals have gone two games in a row only scoring one run, and the game before that wasn’t much better as they scored two runs. They are really missing Juan Soto, and he may be back soon as he was just cleared by the MLB to return, but is waiting for clearance from D.C. officials. 

5. Toronto Blue Jays 

I would love it if this Blue Jays team was good. To see all these young players get a shot at the postseason so soon into their careers would be amazing for the sport and the Blue Jays. 

However, the biggest reason the Blue Jays have had a good start to their season isn’t the hitting, but to everyone’s surprise it is the pitching. Matt Shoemaker went six innings in his first start, Tanner Roark went five innings only letting up one run and the bullpen has been keeping the opposing hitters at bay. If the pitching can stay like this, and the hitting improves to what it is capable of being, then the Blue Jays are going to be a dangerous team in the American League. 

4. Atlanta Braves

Nick Markakis coming back to the Braves is going to be huge for this team. The veteran missed almost 50 games last season, but was still productive for the Braves, and his 2018 when he played a full season, he was just seven RBI’s short of hitting 100. Having a veteran presence like him on the team will do wonders. 

Even without him the Braves haven’t been terrible. They got lucky that the Mets still for some reason throw Edwin Diaz out there to try and save games, but they also destroyed the Mets on national television Sunday night by a score of 14-1. They’re coming off two straight bad games against the Rays, but I still believe this team will turn it around. Ronald Acuna Jr. is not going to hit this poorly forever, and when he does turn it around, the Braves will put a lot more runs on the board. 

3. New York Mets 

The Mets are a Edwin Diaz blown save away from starting the season 4-1. The Mets won’t stay high on these power rankings for long if they do not get the bullpen situation figured out. The starting pitching has been good, and the hitting has improved in the Red Sox series compared to the Braves series, but if the bullpen doesn’t get figured out it is not going to matter then. 

2. Tampa Bay Rays 

The Rays came real close to being in the top spot on this list as they have had an outstanding start to the season. After losing Opening Day, the Rays have rattled off four wins in a row, and have kept some powerful batters at bay in the process. Even with their one loss, it was mainly because of a rough outing by Charlie Morton. That is not going to keep happening as Morton will find his stuff the more starts he gets. Oh and they are also going to get their best hitter back when Austin Meadows returns from recovering from Covid-19. Once they get his production back into the lineup, this Rays team is going to be very hard to beat. 

1. New York Yankees 

The last team on this list to be affected by the Marlins outbreak, the Yankees still have some room for improvement. James Paxton was awful in his first start, and now his next start got pushed back all the way to Sunday. The Yankees will need him to be better for their rotation to work. 

However, the Yankees are still the Yankees and are the most talented team in the AL East. If Giancarlo Stanton is starting off the season this hot, just wait to see what he will be doing once we get to game 30.