Here's the deal: I vote in our weekly Power Rankings. It's a fun little task and it's an unpleasant little task. It's especially unpleasant early in the season. Do we just rank teams by win-loss record? Do we still stick with our preseason projections? How much do you factor in Rich Hill's blister or Zach Britton's sore forearm or who is on a winning streak?
There's no right answer. I mean, do I think the Blue Jays and Cardinals are the two worst teams in baseball right now? They've played poorly, no doubt, but do I think the Padres or Phillies are better? No, I do not. Am I worried about the Indians and their MLB-worst ERA? Not really, as they have a high strikeout rate and a low walk rate (but a terrible strand rate). Am I buying the Reds or Rockies? Not yet. Although if that Rockies bullpen holds together
Anyway, I voted the Houston Astros No. 1 this week. I liked them at the start of the season and they've played well enough so far, with an 8-4 record. The main reason I like what I've seen is that Dallas Keuchel has looked really good, reminding of Cy Young Keuchel. He's getting great movement on his sinker, pounding the bottom of the zone and getting an insane rate of ground balls (84 percent). He looks like the ace everyone said the Astros lacked.
I also love Chris Devenski. This guy is a multi-inning relief weapon, possesses a deceptive delivery and a lethal changeup that needs a nickname. Wait Google search article from 2015, before he pitched in the majors, said teammates called the pitch The Circle of Death. Maybe. What do you think? I love the versatility in the outfield and the power in the lineup, and that's with Carlos Correa still sitting on one home run and Jose Altuve on zero.
This doesn't mean the Cubs aren't really still the best team. They haven't really done anything to suggest they're not, but, hey, it's hard to be excited about what they've done so far -- 6-6 and a series sweep at the hands of the Pirates. The bullpen has four of those six losses and they've hit just nine home runs in 12 games. If you liked them on April 1, you should still like them now, but it seems fair to anoint a new No. 1 until the temporary blindness from all the diamonds on those World Series rings goes away.