John Means

John Means

Height: 6-3
Weight: 235 lbs
Age: 29
College: West Virginia
Baltimore Orioles

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The ScoreMLB Power Rankings: Astros surging, Jays hit skids

Welcome to the fourth edition of theScore's MLB Power Rankings for the 2022 season.1. New York Yankees Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 25-9 7-3 +69 3 (+2) The Yankees continue to fire on all cylinders. New York owns the best record in baseball, thanks to an offense ranking first in wRC+. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton are becoming the Empire State's version of the Bash Brothers, while Anthony Rizzo continues to look like a bargain re-sign. The pitching has also been stellar, with New York's starters owning an AL-best 2.93 ERA and the bullpen also leading the Junior Circuit by WAR, according to FanGraphs.2. New York Mets Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 23-13 5-5 +35 2 (-) There hasn't been much movement with the Mets in the last two weeks. However, Pete Alonso's bat came alive. The star slugger has recorded five multi-hit games this month with four homers and 12 RBIs to go along with a 1.025 OPS. On the flip side, Francisco Lindor has come back down to Earth slightly. He's registered just eight hits in the same period with a pair of long balls. New York will need both guys at their best to reach its full potential.3. Los Angeles Dodgers Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 21-12 5-5 +70 1 (-2) It wasn't a pretty week in Tinseltown for the Dodgers as they dropped series to the Pirates and Phillies. Despite the losses, the bigger concern is Clayton Kershaw's injury. The 34-year-old is optimistic he'll spend the minimum 15 days on the injured list. But it's hard not to worry about his absence extending beyond two weeks with his recent injury history. With Andrew Heaney also on the shelf, Los Angeles is suddenly looking very thin in the rotation and will need its vaunted lineup to carry the club to victories after recently dropping two of three to the lowly Pirates and only winning a pair of games in the last seven.4. Los Angeles Angels Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 24-13 7-3 +57 7 (+3) The big question entering the season was whether the Angels had enough pitching to contend in the AL West. The early returns are very promising as Los Angeles ranks inside MLB's top five in ERA (3.17). Shohei Ohtani is leading the pack atop the rotation. But strong contributions from free-agent signings Noah Syndergaard and Michael Lorenzen combined with positive results from young arms Patrick Sandoval and Reid Detmers should have Angels fans feeling good about the team's prospects moving forward.5. Houston Astros Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 23-12 9-1 +40 13 (+8) The Astros took a big jump thanks to an 11-game winning streak. Yordan Alvarez and Justin Verlander played significant roles in the surge. Alvarez went deep five times with a 1.071 OPS during the stretch. Meanwhile, Verlander looks like he hasn't missed a beat after coming back from Tommy John surgery, giving up just two earned runs over 14 2/3 innings during his team's hot stretch. He owns a 1.55 ERA in six starts this season.6. Milwaukee Brewers Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 22-13 5-5 +28 6 (-) It's been quite a week for the Brew Crew. Josh Hader broke another saves record, and Christian Yelich hit for his third career cycle. After two down years, the former NL MVP is showing glimpses of his 2018-19 dominance. Yelich either leads or ranks second among qualified Milwaukee players in average, OBP, wRC+, and WAR, while Hader looks untouchable yet again with zero runs allowed and a 0.57 WHIP over 13 consecutive saves to start the year.7. San Francisco Giants Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 20-14 6-4 +33 5 (-2) The Giants are quietly taking care of business in a similar fashion to last season. It'll never be particularly flashy, but San Francisco has built an extremely well-balanced roster that consistently applies tremendous pressure on opponents. LaMonte Wade Jr.'s return has been a welcome one for the Giants. The 28-year-old is giving the club a jolt, registering a 136 wRC+ through his first eight games of the campaign.8. San Diego Padres Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 22-13 6-4 +16 8 (-) Manny Machado is an early-season NL MVP favorite thanks to a blazing start. The five-time All-Star leads the majors in batting average (.359), OBP (.443), WAR (2.8), and is second in OPS (1.029). It'll also be interesting to see if Robinson Cano has anything left in the tank as a bench player/designated hitter.9. Tampa Bay Rays Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 21-14 6-4 -1 10 (+1) The Rays closed the gap on the Yankees and leaped past the Blue Jays in the standings after winning three of their four series in May. With upcoming sets against the Tigers, Marlins, and Rangers, things should only get easier for them. A four-game showdown with the Yankees near the end of the month should be a true test of how good this club is. Still, Tampa Bay's annual process of winning without stars continues to be successful.10. Minnesota Twins Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 20-15 5-5 +12 9 (-1) The Twins are scuffling a little bit as injuries mount to their core roster. Minnesota is without Carlos Correa, Miguel Sano, and Chris Paddack, and it's managing the workload of Byron Buxton, who is hampered by a knee issue. Still, the Twins sit atop the AL Central thanks to recent contributions from Royce Lewis and Jorge Polanco. A soft upcoming schedule should help keep a gap between them and the White Sox while their stars heal.11. Toronto Blue Jays Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 18-17 3-7 -15 4 (-7) It's been a rough stretch for the Blue Jays, who ended a five-game skid in Tampa over the weekend. They still haven't won a series in May on top of losing nine of 12. This month has been ugly for the Blue Jays' bullpen, with their conglomerate posting an 8.0 strikeout-minus-walk ratio (which ranks third-last) and negative-1.19 win probability added. Toronto's offense has also struggled the entire season, ranking dead last with a .562 OPS and dismal .185 AVG.12. St. Louis Cardinals Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 19-15 5-5 +37 12 (-) The Cardinals need more from Steven Matz. St. Louis handed the lefty a four-year, $44-million deal in free agency, but the 30-year-old has struggled to a 6.40 ERA through seven starts. On the offensive side of the ball, outfielder Juan Yepez looks like a keeper. The 24-year-old slugger is off to a torrid start in his rookie campaign, posting a 193 wRC+ with a pair of home runs in his first 11 games.13. Chicago White Sox Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 16-17 6-4 -30 18 (+5) The White Sox are getting healthier, and the wins are coming too. The South Siders won seven of nine before running into the buzzsaw Yankees. Luis Robert has been in fine form since returning from a groin strain, and Tim Anderson is making an early push for another batting title. Losing Lucas Giolito to COVID-19 came at a bad time, but playing 10 of their next 14 games against sub-.500 teams should help supplement losing their ace.14. Philadelphia Phillies Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 17-18 6-4 +18 15 (+1) Despite being unable to play the outfield due to a small tear in his right elbow, Bryce Harper continues to mash out of the DH spot for the Phillies. The lineup is one of the toughest in baseball, ranking fifth in home runs (44), third in runs scored (172), and sixth in wRC+ (112). If the pitching can be even league average, the Phillies should soon be able to apply pressure on the Mets in the NL East.15. Atlanta Braves Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 16-19 5-5 -14 14 (-1) The defending champions haven't found their footing yet. Atlanta sits 17th in offensive rating, according to FanGraphs, while the pitchers have posted a weak 4.15 ERA despite strong peripherals. The club has also played most of the season without Ronald Acuna Jr., who's currently sidelined again with a groin injury. The best is yet to come for the Braves.16. Seattle Mariners Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 16-19 4-6 -8 11 (-5) The Mariners lost nine of 13 games and have dropped in the rankings as a result. Compounding matters, they've demoted former top prospect Jarred Kelenic after he slashed .140/.219/.291 in 30 contests to start the season. Right-hander Logan Gilbert also returned to Earth, giving up seven earned runs over his last two starts after surrendering two in his first five games combined.17. Arizona Diamondbacks Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 18-17 6-4 -15 26 (+9) The D-Backs appear to have a real formidable duo atop the rotation in right-handers Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly. Both hurlers have already amassed 1.2 WAR with sub-2.00 ERAs. Offensively, Daulton Varsho looks like an extremely valuable piece as he can play catcher and outfield while possessing an intriguing blend of power and speed.18. Cleveland Guardians Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 16-17 6-4 +5 22 (+4) The Guardians entered 2022 with low expectations, but they're playing better than advertised due to contributions from the always-stellar Jose Ramirez and a bunch of surprises. Steven Kwan and Owen Miller got off to torrid starts to begin the year, but it's been Josh Naylor and Andres Gimenez stepping up lately. The pair have combined for five homers, 12 runs, 24 RBIs, and 1.4 WAR in 78 plate appearances this month. Franmil Reyes has also woken up, posting a .333 batting average and 154 wRC+ over his past 11 games.19. Colorado Rockies Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 17-17 3-7 -28 19 (-) Colorado's early-season success was quickly exposed at the hands of a three-game sweep by the Giants. It shouldn't surprise that the Rockies rank in the top 15 in MLB in homers and runs scored since they play half of their games at Coors Field. Consequently, the pitching has been taxed yet again. Rockies hurlers rank 29th in ERA (4.91) and dead last in strikeout rate (17.9%).20. Miami Marlins Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 15-19 3-7 +10 17 (-3) It's been a lackluster stretch for the Marlins, who have lost 11 of 14, including five of six to the D-Backs. After signing him to a four-year deal in the offseason, Miami is getting absolutely nothing from Avisail Garcia (.211/.244/.289). Jorge Soler, another big-ticket addition by the Marlins, is producing a .188 batting average and 0.2 WAR. To make things worse, Jesus Luzardo, who finally seemed to be breaking out, went on the IL with a forearm strain, which is always a red-flag injury for a pitcher.21. Boston Red Sox Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 13-21 3-7 -12 16 (-5) Things have been so woeful at Fenway Park that manager Alex Cora shaved his beard in hopes of sparking something in his team. Boston has since won four of six, but it still sits last in the AL East behind the Orioles. If things don't turn around, Xander Bogaerts could be gone by midseason. Trade rumors involving the three-time All-Star are starting to surface.22. Baltimore Orioles Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 14-21 5-5 -31 25 (+3) The Orioles have a 7-7 record this month thanks to some pretty good baseball. Bruce Zimmermann leads the way for the pitchers, allowing just six earned runs over 17 innings during the stretch. The left-hander owns a 2.72 ERA with a 1.21 WHIP this season and is emerging as the club's No. 1 starter with John Means out for the rest of the campaign.23. Texas Rangers Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 14-19 5-5 -13 24 (+1) It's been a winning month for the Rangers so far, and their victories haven't been cakewalks either. Texas took two games from the Phillies before playing well against the Yankees in New York. Brad Miller's and Eli White's recent performances have helped, but the Rangers' biggest surprise might be Martin Perez. The southpaw was terrific Sunday in a win against the Red Sox, lowering his ERA to 2.01 - sixth-best in the AL among qualified starters.24. Oakland Athletics Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 15-22 5-5 -19 23 (-1) With Ramon Laureano's return from suspension, the Athletics may now possess one of the most athletic outfield duos in the league in Laureano and Cristian Pache. Those two could save the team a handful of runs throughout the rest of the season. However, there are some real concerns about Oakland's ability to score runs. The A's rank 27th in home runs (22), 25th in runs scored (122), and dead last in wRC+ (77).25. Chicago Cubs Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 13-20 4-6 -11 20 (-5) It shouldn't be a reason to panic, but Seiya Suzuki has hit the skids of late following a torrid start to his rookie campaign. The talented Japanese outfielder is hitting a paltry .170/.228/.283 with zero homers and three RBIs over his past 15 games. Perhaps more discouraging is the 19-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio during that stretch. Pitchers were always going to adjust; can Suzuki minimize those weaknesses?26. Detroit Tigers Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 12-23 4-6 -33 21 (-5) The Tigers lost 10 of 12 games before winning a series against the Orioles. Detroit's biggest issue this season has been a toothless offense. The club's hitters own the second-worst slugging percentage in the majors while going deep an MLB-worst 16 times with their home games at cavernous Comerica. The struggles have caused 2021 breakout Akil Baddoo to get sent down already, and Spencer Torkelson might be next if he can't lift his 68 wRC+. The team isn't this bad, but a horrible start might be the difference at the end of the year for a group with playoff aspirations.27. Kansas City Royals Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 12-20 4-6 -43 27 (-) Despite finally connecting on his first homer of the season, Whit Merrifield continues to rank as one of the worst hitters in baseball in 2022. The two-time All-Star owns a 32 wRC+, better than only two other qualified hitters. Zack Greinke is also still among baseball's most interesting players to watch, but for increasingly odd reasons. The 38-year-old somehow finds himself pitching to an impressive 3.52 ERA despite a laughably low and league-worst 8.9% strikeout rate.28. Washington Nationals Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 12-24 3-7 -36 28 (-) When will Juan Soto get some help? Seven of his eight homers this season have come with nobody on base. The 2021 NL MVP runner-up isn't getting much from Nelson Cruz. The 41-year-old slugger finally looks like he's at the end of his road, slashing .194/.279/.298 through 33 games.29. Pittsburgh Pirates Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 15-19 5-5 -56 29 (-) The Pirates have a winning record in May thanks to the offensive prowess of Ben Gamel and Daniel Vogelbach. Seven multi-hit games this month, including two three-hit contests, have pushed Gamel to an .816 OPS. Vogelbach has gone deep three times this month to add to his team-leading total of six. File 'taking two of three over the Dodgers in May' as Pyrrhic victories this team can look back on when they hit the century mark in losses.30. Cincinnati Reds Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 9-26 6-4 -65 30 (-) The Reds went 6-4 following a dreadful 3-22 start to their season. Brandon Drury has come out of nowhere to pick up the offense with Joey Votto and Jonathan India sidelined. The veteran has seven round-trippers with an .854 OPS. Meanwhile, Connor Overton has been a spark for a struggling rotation. The right-hander posted a 1.59 ERA with 1.05 WHIP across three starts.Copyright © 2022 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Source: The Score
Monday, May 16, 2022

The ScoreMLB Power Rankings: Yankees on fire, White Sox in free fall

Welcome to the third edition of theScore's MLB Power Rankings for the 2022 season.1. Los Angeles Dodgers Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 14-7 6-4 +47 1 (-) Los Angeles has the best run differential thanks to arguably the most talented roster in baseball. The team is winning despite limited production from Mookie Betts, Trea Turner, and Max Muncy, which is a scary thought. Clayton Kershaw, the club's new all-time strikeout king, and Walker Buehler have dominated early. The duo allowed a combined 13 earned runs over 52 2/3 innings (2.22 ERA) with 56 strikeouts.2. New York Mets Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 16-7 7-3 +37 2 (-) Jacob deGrom who? The Mets' starters lead almost all major pitching categories, including wins (11), ERA (2.44), and fWAR (2.9) despite missing the two-time Cy Young winner. Max Scherzer leads the pack with a 2.61 ERA and 42 strikeouts over 31 innings. Tylor Megill has also been sensational, surrendered just six earned runs over 28 innings.3. New York Yankees Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 16-6 9-1 +41 10 (+7) The Yankees are the hottest team in baseball, but we might have to take their success with a grain of salt. They haven't squared off against a playoff-caliber opponent lately, racking up wins against the likes of the Orioles, Tigers, Guardians, and Royals. Despite the soft schedule, the Yankees are receiving big contributions from Anthony Rizzo and Nestor Cortes, which could pay big dividends as the season rolls on. Aaron Judge is off to a torrid start with eight homers. Vaughn Ridley / Getty Images Sport / Getty4. Toronto Blue Jays Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 15-8 7-3 +1 4 (-) Teoscar Hernandez is, in many ways, the unsung hero of this team. Without him in the lineup, other hitters' shortcomings come to light. Over the past two weeks, the lineup posted a wRC+ that's below league average (96), buoyed by eight combined homers off the bats of George Springer, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and Santiago Espinal. Other than that, though, it's been tough sledding, with everyone else - including Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette - combining for another eight dingers. Still, Toronto continues to win games during what will be its toughest part of the schedule this season.5. San Francisco Giants Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 14-8 6-4 +34 5 (-) While suffering blowout losses to the lowly Nationals in two out of three games isn't ideal, San Francisco has put up wins without any legit stars. Joc Pederson was off to a monster start, going deep six times with a 1.127 OPS before he got injured. Carlos Rodon is also showing his 2021 wasn't a fluke. The All-Star left-hander has 38 strikeouts over 23 innings - a team record for a pitcher in their first four starts.6. Milwaukee Brewers Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 15-8 7-3 +19 12 (+6) The big question surrounding the Brewers heading into the season was whether the lineup would score enough to support one of the best pitching staffs in the league. Over the past two weeks, Milwaukee ranks inside the top four in runs scored and home runs. The rotation continues to be rock solid with Eric Lauer looking like a real presence behind the sterling trio of Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, and Freddy Peralta. The Brewers are one of two teams with a pitching staff boasting a K/9 above 10 over the last two weeks.7. Los Angeles Angels Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 15-8 7-3 +21 15 (+8) The biggest reason to be excited about the Angels is the return to health of Mike Trout, who's already been worth 1.8 WAR. Shohei Ohtani has yet to find his offensive form, but the Angels haven't suffered too much with Taylor Ward and Brandon Marsh both picking up the slack. The acquisitions of Michael Lorenzen and Noah Syndergaard to bolster the rotation have worked out splendidly.8. San Diego Padres Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 15-8 7-3 +20 14 (+6) After some early season adversity, the Padres are rolling. They possess the best offense by fWAR over the past two weeks - a direct result of Manny Machado playing like an MVP candidate while Eric Hosmer and Ha-Seong Kim perform almost at the same level. The trio combined for nine homers, 26 runs scored, and 29 RBIs over the final 12 games in April. For context, the entire White Sox roster has 10 homers, 29 runs, and 25 RBIs over the same span.9. Minnesota Twins Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 13-9 9-1 +23 16 (+7) It feels like 2021 was the outlier for the Twins. Opening Day starter Joe Ryan hasn't allowed a single run over his last 17 innings, racking up 18 strikeouts and two walks since a solo homer from Alex Verdugo on April 15. Chris Paddack, Dylan Bundy, and Bailey Ober - prior to landing on the injured list - all seem to have found something, while Byron Buxton and Max Kepler play like MVP-caliber players. Mike Carlson / Getty Images Sport / Getty10. Tampa Bay Rays Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 12-10 6-4 -3 6 (-4) The Rays falling down the table a little bit here is less an indictment on them and more an endorsement of the other clubs. Their offense has been exceptional, posting a 117 wRC+ over the past two weeks. Their pitchers have been predictably great, authoring an impressive 3.48 FIP. Drew Rasmussen and J.P. Feyereisen - who both came over in the Willy Adames trade - have stood out over that span. Over 16 innings, the pair of righties allowed two runs on six hits and four walks while striking out 20.11. Seattle Mariners Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 12-10 5-5 +20 13 (+2) Shockingly, the Mariners have the best offense over the past two weeks, according to wRC+. And that's despite star prospect Julio Rodriguez continually getting inexplicably called out on strikes from pitches outside the zone. There have been almost no weak spots up and down the lineup, but the club could certainly start seeing more contributions from Jarred Kelenic, who's hitting .141/.211/.297 with two homers and three steals.12. St. Louis Cardinals Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 12-9 5-5 +19 11 (-1) It's hard not to be excited about Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado's start. The nine-time Gold Glove winner is in the 94th percentile in Baseball Savant's defensive outs above average and is raking offensively. St. Louis is missing right-hander Jack Flaherty's presence in the rotation, but Miles Mikolas is doing a tremendous job in his stead, boasting a sparkling 1.52 ERA through his first five turns in the rotation.13. Houston Astros Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 11-11 5-5 -4 8 (-5) It's an understatement to say the opening month has been disappointing. The Astros have a negative run differential and are in a dead heat with the Athletics and Mariners in their own division - two teams they should easily be better than. The run scoring has, for the most part, been there, with Jeremy Pena, Alex Bregman, and Yordan Alvarez leading the way. The run prevention has been an issue, though. Jake Odorizzi continues to get kicked around with a 6.00 ERA and might begin losing starts to Cristian Javier. Luis Garcia is also having a sophomore slump (4.15 ERA and 5.13 FIP) while Jose Urquidy is getting shelled too.14. Atlanta Braves Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 10-13 4-6 -14 7 (-7) Now we can really get a good sense of who the Braves are. The defending champions received quite a shot in the arm with Ronald Acuna Jr.'s ahead-of-schedule return. The dynamic star is still easing his way back into the fold, but his presence alongside the likes of Ozzie Albies, Matt Olson, Marcell Ozuna, and Austin Riley should have the Braves tearing the cover off the ball. On the pitching side, the Kyle Wright breakout appears to be real and spectacular. The right-hander is off to a torrid start with a 1.13 ERA and 12.75 K/9 through his first four starts.15. Philadelphia Phillies Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 11-12 6-4 +8 17 (+2) Philadelphia has been treading water, with Bryce Harper and Zack Wheeler clearly failing to fire on all cylinders. The reigning NL MVP owns an .810 OPS over 23 contests due to an elbow injury, while the latter allowed 12 earned runs over 18 2/3 innings after logging an MLB-high 213 1/3 innings in 2021. Patrick Smith / Getty Images Sport / Getty16. Boston Red Sox Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 9-14 3-7 -9 9 (-7) It's been "Love on the Rocks" for the Red Sox through the first month, and it's going to take a hot streak before Boston can say "Hello Again" to the other top contenders in the AL East. Sure, the Red Sox played well enough to make the postseason last year, but that's "Yesterday's Songs." They recently added Franchy Cordero, who's likely saying "Play Me" in an effort to turn around the team's fortunes. Rich Hill stuck around for one more year in hopes of winning a ring but, if this keeps up, he'll leave midseason to spend "Forever In Blue Jeans," "If You Know What I Mean."17. Miami Marlins Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 12-9 8-2 +6 22 (+5) The Marlins won seven of their last eight and are one of seven teams ranked in the top 12 in both position player and pitcher fWAR. Jazz Chisholm Jr. has been incredible and is one of two players with at least four homers and four steals. Pablo Lopez leads the Senior Circuit with a sterling 0.39 ERA and has yet to allow a homer over 23 1/3 innings. Miami needs more long-term consistency to move up our rankings, but it's an encouraging start.18. Chicago White Sox Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 8-13 2-8 -24 3 (-15) To say it's been a rocky start on the South Side of Chicago would be an understatement. A number of key players have missed time to injury, while the ones in the lineup are struggling to produce. The defending AL Central champion's bullpen needs to find its form, as it ranks in the bottom third in the league in ERA over the last two weeks. Despite the sluggish start, it's far too early to break into a panic.19. Colorado Rockies Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 13-9 5-5 -6 20 (+1) Colorado has been a lot better than expected in an ultra-competitive division. C.J. Cron quietly leads the Senior Circuit with eight homers, while Randal Grichuk possesses a .912 OPS after coming over in an offseason deal with the Blue Jays. However, Kris Bryant's start is somewhat concerning. He's on the IL with a back injury and doesn't have a home run in 15 games. Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty20. Chicago Cubs Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 9-13 3-7 0 18 (-2) Lost amid the hype surrounding Seiya Suzuki's start to the season is outfielder Ian Happ's strong performance. The switch hitter is producing from both sides of the plate while cutting his strikeout rate (19.5%) and increasing his walk percentage (15.6%). After a slow start, right-hander Marcus Stroman twirled a gem Sunday against the Brewers. The Cubs need him to be consistent and give them a chance to win every time he takes the ball.21. Detroit Tigers Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 7-14 3-7 -20 21 (-) After a great offseason, many expected a lot more from the Tigers. The club's offense has hit an MLB-low 10 homers and is close to the bottom in almost all significant hitting categories. At least fans got to enjoy Miguel Cabrera's 3,000th career hit.22. Cleveland Guardians Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 10-12 3-7 +7 19 (-3) Cleveland swept Oakland over the weekend to recover from a seven-game losing streak. The club scored just 14 runs in the losses after a torrid start offensively. While Jose Ramirez has been a monster - accruing seven homers with 28 RBIs and a 1.128 OPS - Franmil Reyes is struggling mightily. The slugger has struck out a whopping 38 times over 79 at-bats (48%).23. Oakland Athletics Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 10-12 3-7 -3 23 (-) The A's hover around .500 thanks to solid starting pitching. The trio of Paul Blackburn, Cole Irvin, and Daulton Jefferies allowed a combined 19 earned runs over 67 innings to start the campaign. Things could go south quick, though, as 16 of Oakland's next 20 games are against clubs with winning records.24. Texas Rangers Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 8-14 5-5 -6 24 (-) It isn't time to fully panic, but it's easy to be concerned about Marcus Semien's frigid start. After hitting 45 homers with the Blue Jays in 2021, he's yet to hit a long ball to start his career in Texas. The Rangers invested in Semien and Corey Seager to lead their team back to contention, but it appears there's much more work needed to make the club competitive again. The starting pitching remains weak, ranking 26th with a 5.03 ERA. Jayne Kamin-Oncea / Getty Images Sport / Getty25. Baltimore Orioles Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 8-14 4-6 -22 27 (+2) Despite losing John Means, the Orioles' pitching staff has actually been quite decent, led by breakout starter Bruce Zimmermann. The lefty owns a sterling 0.93 ERA and allowed earned runs in only one of his four starts. It's not as though those have come against pushover teams, either - two were versus the Yankees, against whom he pitched 9 1/3 shutout frames with 11 strikeouts. He's not working especially deep, but he's throwing competitive innings.26. Arizona Diamondbacks Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 10-13 5-5 -19 28 (+2) The D-Backs have been a pesky opponent thanks in large part to the improved performance of their starting rotation. The addition of pitching coach Brent Strom appears to be paying dividends. Arizona's starters rank third in ERA, fourth in opponent batting average, and sixth in WHIP. Unfortunately, the offense sits 25th in runs, 29th in OPS, and 30th in hits.27. Kansas City Royals Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 7-13 2-8 -34 25 (-2) Bobby Witt Jr. appears to be snapping out of an early-season funk with a nine-game hitting streak before missing Sunday's game with a sore wrist. Andrew Benintendi is quietly producing as one of the best hitters in the American League. The 27-year-old, who registered a five-WAR season for the Red Sox in 2018, leads the team with an .883 OPS, 26 hits, and 10 RBIs.28. Washington Nationals Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 8-16 2-8 -33 26 (-2) Josh Bell is off to a solid start despite all the losing. The slugging first baseman is slashing .351/.457/.506 with two homers and 15 RBIs. Meanwhile, Josiah Gray, one of the key pieces in the Scherzer-Turner trade, amassed a 3.12 ERA with 31 strikeouts over 26 innings. The rest of the rotation, however, has been terrible - Washington's starters rank 29th in ERA.29. Pittsburgh Pirates Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 9-13 4-6 -41 29 (-) Over the past two weeks, no team has been worse both by pitching and offense, according to fWAR. The position players have been especially poor, accruing an almost unfathomably bad minus-1.0 WAR since April 17. Jake Marisnick is on an 0-for-17 skid. Even Kevin Newman - now sidelined with a groin injury - struggled to provide defensive value, costing his team nearly two runs at shortstop. Without Oneil Cruz on the roster, there isn't much to watch.30. Cincinnati Reds Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change) 3-19 1-9 -65 30 (-) "Where are you going to go?": The now immortal words of Reds president Phil Castellini to fans complaining about slashing payroll. Well, probably not to see Cincinnati play. The club is off to its worst start in franchise history, and Joey Votto has just nine hits in 74 at-bats.Copyright © 2022 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Source: The Score
Monday, May 2, 2022


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