MLB Power Ratings
Anybody who told you they learned all they need to know in the first week of 2021 Major League Baseball doesn’t have an imagination. One week of games tells me little to nothing. However, I am that guy that has all but ignored the 60-game sprint of 2020. Following the opening series’ of the 2021 season, WagerTalk handicapper Tony Finn offers his Week 2 MLB Power Ratings.
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What we learned and what we observed is a cavernous divide. My top three observations are as follows:
- The Yankees are the best team in the AL East by a wide margin.
- The Dodgers are unlikely to be an underdog more than five times this season if the current pitching staff stays upright.
- What Tony LaRussa thinks he knows and what he actually does is best compared to and represented by the body of water between the United States and Europe.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (5-2)
Fans in Stands? Yes
Between 13,000 and 14,000 (just short of 25% capacity)
The Dodgers remain atop the Finn Factor MLB Power Poll. Some franchises fared better in terms of wins and losses, but the Dodgers did all of their work on the road. Furthermore, Tommy Lasagna said it once, and I damn well believed that he believed “in this country if you don’t pull for the Dodgers, there’s a good chance you may not get into heaven!”
Opening Day for the Blue Crew is Friday, April 9th, when the Dodgers welcome the Washingon Nationals for a 3-game weekend series.
Luckenbach Texas: The Dodgers have played a visitor’s role the first week of the 2021 campaign. While Waylon, Willie, and the boys can’t wait to get on the road again, Bleeding Dodger Blue is bottom-line better in the confines of the Chavez Ravine home team locker room. It’s just April, but before we know it, Monsoon Season will be here in the Mohave, making our Blue Eyes Cryin in the June-to-September Rain. As I wrote in the Opening Day Power Rankings, “there is no one, no singular negative that prohibits keeping the Dodgers at the top of the Finn Factor MLB Power Poll. Not unless you believe having too much pitching and hitting disqualifies one from such.
2. Houston Astros (5-1)
Andrew Gleinser spun a tale for Fansided on Opening Day that suggested the sign-stealing scandal was a nothing burger. Gleinser wrote, “The Houston Astros have been the most hated franchise in professional sports since news of the sign-stealing scandal broke in January 2020. The players have been called cheaters”… “and the legitimacy of 2017 World Series title has been tainted in the eyes of many fans.”
At the risk of losing his/her 2013, Armand de Brignac endless editor and Chief of the Los Angeles Times would lose his/her 2013 Armand de Brignac privileges at the Lexus Dugout Club the media mogul first reported in February 2020 that the data suggested the Astros sign-stealing scheme, in which someone in the dugout would bang on a trash can to signal what pitch was coming, didn’t help the hitters.
Falsifiable: The Astros are at it again. The latest rumor out of Houston is that the players will prove both Gleinser and the LA Times are wrong. Houston enters the second week of the 2021 campaign with a near-perfect 5-1 mark, and by all measure, the age-old adage that “a hypothesis can’t be right unless it can be proven wrong” might well be correct.
3. New York Yankees (3-2)
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is all the rage in Brooklyn. It has been rumored that the Yankees are ending Costanza’s run as the Yankees’ assistant to the traveling secretary and that Cuomo is being offered the gig.
Mr. Cuomo, however, has adamantly denied all written and spoken innuendo that he will resign his post. Cuomo argued he was elected by the people and would remain in the governers palace until he was tied, bound, and drug away by Richard Herd himself.
Despite two of the Bronx Bombers victories coming against the Orioles and another vs. the Blue Jays, the rotational trio of Cole, Kluber, and Taillon will not start their law practice until the work at New Yankee Stadium is done.
When this MLB Power Ranking went to press, there was no one Yankee player, position or pitcher, that owned a Top-Five spot in the April 7th MLB State Leaders 2021, according to the World Wide Leader in Sports Coverage, ESPN.
The Yankees are 3-2 (with the sixth game in progress and pending) on the season. The Bomber aims to stretch their record to 4-2 without the accolades of flooding the league’s statistical leaders’ chart. A victory over Baltimore tonight, Wednesday, April 7th, would give the Bronx Boys a 12-plus run differential with just one missed game by Aaron Judge.
4. Cincinnati Reds (5-1)
Despite losing on Opening Day with their ace, Luis Castillo surrendering six runs in the first inning in an 11-6 loss to the St Louis Cardinals, the Reds are tied for the best record in baseball with the most significant run differential in the league at +31.
A promise made is a debt unpaid: Nick Castellanos and Tyler Naquin leads the league in home runs with four long balls in the first six games. If either one of these two current Reds’ sluggers is in the Top-5 of entire homes runs hit this season… I … I will promise to partake in a seance in search of Marge Schott so I can tell her the news about her beloved Reds and the team’s 2021 Fall Classic Championship.
How do you know if you are in limbo when you die? You are issued the locker at Riverfront Stadium next to Marge Schotts. I think she is the single worst person I’ve ever known. Spiteful, mean-spirited, and evil.”
— Cincinnati Reds employee, 1996
5. San Diego Padres: The Padres earned a winning record in Week 1 of the 2021 season despite receiving a big fat zero from their star Fernando Tatis. The Padres shortstop was put on the 10-day injured list with a shoulder injury. Tatis won’t, however, need surgery.
A Billion MLB Pundits can’t be wrong: Baseball Prospectus’ proprietary PECOTA system projects the Padres will win 95 games, second-most in the National League behind the defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers, who are projected to win 104.
FanGraphs says the Padres have a 92.3% chance of qualifying for the playoffs, a 30.2% chance of winning the National League West, and an 11% chance of winning the World Series, the fourth-highest in MLB behind the Dodgers (22.2%), New York Yankees (17.6%), and New York Mets (11.2%).
6. White Sox
11. Blue Jays
19. Red Sox
MLB First Pitch
Now that the dust has settled from last year’s abbreviated baseball schedule with limited travel, how will teams handle the grind of the 2021 MLB season? WagerTalk’s team of professional baseball handicappers break down each division as they prepare for the upcoming season. Who will emerge from each league? Who is poised to go over their regular season win totals? Get MLB picks, predictions, and odds every Monday-Friday on WagerTalk TV during First Pitch, hosted by Drew Martin.
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