It’s a very small sample size, but perhaps it’s not too early in the 2021 Major League Baseball season to start reading into everything.
While the Dodgers and Padres burst out of the gates as expected, other presumed contenders such as the Yankees, Rays and Mets have stumbled. Meanwhile, the Angels and Reds have vastly outperformed preseason predictions and the Astros are cementing themselves as a team to fear in the American League.
The first in-season power rankings of the year always provides some oddities, so take a look at how USA TODAY Sports’ seven-person panel voted:
Rank (movement from preseason rankings):
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (–)
- Looks like Dodgers have finally taken training wheels off Julio Urias (2-0, 12.2 IP).
2. San Diego Padres (–)
3. Houston Astros (+6)
- Carlos Correa (12-for-36) begins his contract year in a big way.
4. Atlanta Braves (–)
- Mike Soroka, rehabbing from Achilles injury, now dealing with a shoulder issue.
5. Minnesota Twins (–)
- New shortstop Andrelton Simmons (10-for-27) off to a great start.
6. New York Yankees (-3)
- Corey Kluber trying to shake off the rust: 6.1 IP with five BB, 10 H, four ER in first two starts.
7. Tampa Bay Rays (-1)
- Randy Arozarena starts 2021 with an eight-game hitting streak.
8. Cincinnati Reds (+10)
- Jonathan India, who had never played above AA, turning heads: .379 BA, 11 RBI in eight games.
9. Chicago White Sox (-2)
- Yermin Mercedes (15-for-28) has become the everyday DH.
10. Los Angeles Angels (+9)
- All Jared Walsh does is hit: .385 BA, 3 HR, 9 RBI in 8 games
11. St. Louis Cardinals (-3)
- Dylan Carlson homered three times in his first six games of 2021.
12. New York Mets (-2)
- Jacob deGrom gave up one run in 14 innings and the Mets lost his first two starts.
13. Cleveland (+4)
- This club has itself a future closer in Emmanuel Clase.
14. Milwaukee Brewers (–)
- Manager Craig Counsell trying hard to get at-bats for all the outfielders.
15. Philadelphia Phillies (+1)
- Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler are one of baseball’s best 1-2 punches.
16. Boston Red Sox (+6)
- J.D. Martinez becomes fifth player with 3-HR games for three different teams.
17. Toronto Blue Jays (-6)
- George Springer was nearing return from oblique issue, and now has a quad strain.
18. Washington Nationals (-5)
- Team’s chances are going to hinge on Stephen Strasburg’s ability to stay healthy.
19. Oakland Athletics (-7)
- Trevor Rosenthal will miss a substantial period of time after undergoing surgery.
20. Chicago Cubs (-5)
- Through nine games, had a major-league worst .167 batting average.
21. San Francisco Giants (–)
- Couple of strong starts from Johnny Cueto: 2.51 ERA, 14 K in 14.1 IP.
22. Miami Marlins (-2)
- Jazz Chisholm’s first MLB homer comes off deGrom.
23. Kansas City Royals (+1)
- Whit Merrifield (11-for-28, 10 RBI in first 7 games) isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
24. Arizona Diamondbacks (-1)
- Through 10 games: 17-for-95 (.179) with runners in scoring position.
25. Seattle Mariners (–)
- Mitch Haniger off to a strong start after missing nearly two full years.
26. Baltimore Orioles (+3)
- John Means starts the season with two stellar outings.
27. Colorado Rockies (-1)
- Ryan McMahon proving he’s an everyday player: 12-for-37, 5 HR in 10 games.
28. Detroit Tigers (-1)
- Miguel Cabrera – 12 homers from 500 – heads to the IL with biceps strain.
29. Texas Rangers (-1)
- First baseman Nate Lowe had 14 RBI in the season’s first five games and none in the next four.
30. Pittsburgh Pirates (-)
- J.T. Brubaker only gave up two runs in his first two starts.