The Week 3 MLB Power Rankings are out, and as we enter Week 4 of the 2017 MLB season, it is safe to say that the first month hasn’t gone to plan for several teams, including the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs.
The Cubs are in first place in the NL Central division, which surprises no one. However, the number of runs they have been giving up lately, added to the fact that they have struggled at home so far in the early part of the 2017 MLB season, does have fans and analysts alike wondering if the Chicago Cubs are suffering from a bit of a World Series hangover.
With the completion of the first 40 games still a few weeks away, it is far too early to push the panic button in Wrigleyville. While time is still left on every team’s side in April, don’t tell that to teams like the Houston Astros and Arizona Diamondbacks, who are hoping their good start will result in a great season.
FOX Sports indicates that the Houston Astros will start a big three-game series tonight against the defending AL champion Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio. Sure, it’s only April, but a series win vs. the Indians could go a long way for Houston.
Houston is red hot right now!
The Astros are 9-2 in their last 11 games and have one of the best pitchers going to the hill tonight in Dallas Keuchel.
The former Cy Young Award seems to have that Cy Young look once again in the early part of the 2017 MLB season as he is off to another great start. Keuchel is 3-0 and has an MLB league-leading ridiculous ERA of 0.96.
In his first four starts, it is hard to argue that anyone in baseball has been better that Keuchel. In all of his MLB starts this season, Keuchel has gone at least seven innings or more and allowed just one or fewer runs in each of those games. The only other Houston pitcher to have accomplished an incredible start to a season with that much domination of MLB batters was Roger Clemens in 2005.
Houston Manager A.J. Hinch knows that Keuchel is the key for the Astros this season. If he is back on his game, this team has a shot at the postseason. Hinch attributes Keuchel’s early season success to being able to keep hitters off balance.
“A lot of it is his breaking ball,” Houston manager A.J. Hinch told MLB.com. “He can back-door his breaking ball, he can front-foot it. He can do anything he wants with his breaking ball when his fastball command is right, and that tandem is very, very good. When he mixes in the change up, he is a complete pitcher that we’ve come to expect.”
With the Houston Astros tearing it up in the American League, who is the hottest team in the National League?
The surprising Colorado Rockies, that’s who!
The Colorado Rockies are 14-6 through the first 20 games and have once again been strong at home. The Rockies are riding a four-game winning streak into Week 4 action and are 8-2 in their last 10 games overall.
Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado have been a two-man wrecking crew for Colorado, leading the team in most offensive categories. Blackmon leads Colorado in home runs (6) and RBI (18) while Arenado has a team-best slugging percentage with 0.676.
Right now, the Rockies are flying high in that thin Colorado air!
Here is a look at the current version of the MLB Power Rankings heading into Week 4 of play.
Week 4 MLB Power Rankings
- Houston Astros
- Baltimore Orioles
- Colorado Rockies
- Washington Nationals
- New York Yankees
- Chicago Cubs
- Boston Red Sox
- New York Mets
- Cleveland Indians
- Arizona Diamondbacks
- Cincinnati Reds
- Detroit Tigers
- Los Angeles Dodgers
- Kansas City Royals
- Texas Rangers
- Miami Marlins
- Minnesota Twins
- Oakland Athletics
- Philadelphia Phillies
- Los Angeles Angles
- Milwaukee Brewers
- St. Louis Cardinals
- Tampa Bay Rays
- Atlanta Braves
- San Francisco Giants
- Seattle Mariners
- Chicago White Sox
- Pittsburgh Pirates
- San Diego Padres
- Toronto Blue Jays
[Featured Image by Bob Levey/Getty Images]