Power Rankings: Make way for a new No. 1

Orioles' pitching keeps them high in the Power Rankings (1:26)

Eduardo Perez and Tim Kurkjian break down how Baltimore's starting pitching has pushed the team near the top of the Power Rankings. (1:26)

Early-season rankings automatically mean some potential big moves up or down as slumps deepen and hot clubs stay sizzling. Welcome to the reason why our second week invited some big moves up and down the rankings, with five teams making double-digit jumps up -- or down. Count the New York Yankees (up 12) and Cincinnati Reds (up 11) among the teams who made a big impression on the electorate, while everyone is now down on the slumping St. Louis Cardinals (down 11) and Toronto Blue Jays (down 12).

But the biggest surprise? That somebody, anybody, might already unseat the defending world champs just two weeks into their reign. But leave it to diminutive Jose Altuve and the Houston Astros to find a way to leave everyone looking up at them on top.

This week's voters are Jim Bowden, Eric Karabell, Tim Kurkjian, David Schoenfield and Jayson Stark.

Week 1 rankings | Preseason

1. Houston Astros

Record: 8-4
Week 1 ranking: No. 5

Jose Altuve reached base in 11 consecutive plate appearances, including back-to-back 3-for-3, two-walk games, and raised his average from .188 to .319. -- David Schoenfield, ESPN.com

2. Chicago Cubs

Record: 6-6
Week 1 ranking: No. 1

Kris Bryant went homerless in his first 10 games this season but hit a pair on Saturday to get off that schneid. On the flip side, Jake Arrieta has allowed three home runs over his past two starts while struggling to deliver much heat on his fastball; his current average (91.5 mph) would be a career low. -- Paul Hembekides, ESPN Stats & Information

3. Baltimore Orioles

Record: 8-3
Week 1 ranking: No. 4

Zach Britton was placed on the disabled list Sunday with forearm soreness, so the question is whether the O's back end of the bullpen will succeed in his absence. Britton has been the best reliever in baseball since 2014 (minimum 200 IP) and has converted 54 consecutive save opportunities, tied for the second-longest streak in MLB history (saves became official in 1969). -- Sarah Langs, ESPN Stats & Information

4. New York Mets

Record: 7-6
Week 1 ranking: No. 11

Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom have combined for a 1.42 ERA in six starts, but the Mets are 3-3 in those games. A bullpen taxed by a 16-inning game on Thursday couldn't get the outs it needed the next two nights. That should change after closer Jeurys Familia returns this week from his suspension, which will slot Addison Reed back to the eighth inning and allow Fernando Salas to split the seventh with Hansel Robles and Jerry Blevins. -- Mark Simon, ESPN Stats & Information

5. Washington Nationals

Record: 7-5
Week 1 ranking: No. 3

For an offense that is highly potent, six games of scoring three runs or fewer is a little concerning, although Trea Turner's return from the DL should eventually help fix that. This week marks the start of a road trip featuring 10 games in 10 days, with stops to face the Braves, Mets and Rockies. The back end of that trip will be arduous, with a flight to Denver after a Sunday Night Baseball game in New York. -- Mark Simon, ESPN Stats & Information

6. Los Angeles Dodgers

Record: 7-6
Week 1 ranking: No. 7

Rich Hill's leaving another start with a blister is just one concern. Joc Pederson hasn't homered since Opening Day, and Adrian Gonzalez hasn't homered at all and (warning: it's still early!) they've struggled against lefties (.226), which is a red flag only because they had the lowest batting average and wOBA in the majors last year against lefties. -- David Schoenfield, ESPN.com

7. Boston Red Sox

Record: 7-5
Week 1 ranking: No. 6

Fun with win-loss records: Joe Kelly, who got the win in relief on Sunday with 2⅓ scoreless innings, is 14-0 with a 3.82 ERA since Aug. 1, 2015. That matches the second-longest winning streak in Red Sox history with Roger Clemens; Joe Wood won 16 straight in 1912. -- David Schoenfield, ESPN.com

8. Detroit Tigers

Record: 8-4
Week 1 ranking: No. 10

Daniel Norris and Michael Fulmer have been fantastic so far this season, but big-money pitchers Jordan Zimmermann and Justin Verlander have struggled. Miguel Cabrera has shown some signs of life at the plate after smacking his first and second homers of the season on April 13 and 14. If Verlander can get back on track and Miggy continues to hit, the Tigers might get back in the business of contending for the AL Central title. -- Michael Bonzagni, ESPN Stats & Information

9. Arizona Diamondbacks

Record: 8-5
Week 1 ranking: No. 9

Archie Bradley is continuing to look like a multi-inning weapon of the bullpen, tossing 2⅔ scoreless innings in Sunday's 3-1 win over the Dodgers. He has pitched 9⅓ innings over four appearances with no runs and 11 strikeouts and, most important, is limiting his walks allowed to three. I love the idea of keeping him down there in this role. -- David Schoenfield, ESPN.com

10. New York Yankees

Record: 8-4
Week 1 ranking: No. 22

CC Sabathia has a 1.47 ERA through his first three starts, capped by a 7⅓-inning, one-earned-run performance against the Cardinals on Saturday. That's his best through his first three starts since 2011, when he posted a 1.45 ERA and finished up at 3.00, his second-lowest full-season ERA. He finished fourth in AL Cy Young voting that year but hasn't received votes in any season since. -- Sarah Langs, ESPN Stats & Information

11. Cleveland Indians

Record: 5-7
Week 1 ranking: No. 2

The Indians have struggled to get going this year. They were swept by the Diamondbacks and dropped two of three to the White Sox at home. They got to Justin Verlander on Saturday and won 13-6, but plated just one run Sunday. If their offense gets back on track and they start to pitch the way many expected them to, watch out. -- Michael Bonzagni, ESPN Stats & Information

12. Colorado Rockies

Record: 9-5
Week 1 ranking: No. 8

Rookie starter Antonio Senzatela continues to impress with three wins, a 2.37 ERA and just one home run allowed in 19 innings. The bullpen has been terrific with a 2.68 ERA and .207 batting average allowed. When the Rockies have been successful, they've had great bullpens. -- David Schoenfield, ESPN.com

13. Cincinnati Reds

Record: 8-5
Week 1 ranking: No. 24

The Reds unexpectedly rank among the leading teams in runs scored a season after finishing 18th. Billy Hamilton and Jose Peraza have run wild (with five steals apiece), which has helped produce run-scoring opportunities for the middle of the lineup. Amir Garrett has exceeded expectations (2-0, 1.42 ERA in two starts), but will he keep it up on Tuesday against the Orioles? -- Paul Hembekides, ESPN Stats & Information

14. Miami Marlins

Record: 7-5
Week 1 ranking: No. 17

If the Marlins make the postseason, they'll look back on two games they swiped against Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom as noteworthy. And if they do go that far, it might be because outfielder Marcell Ozuna made the jump from good to great after being moved to left field. Ozuna already has more games with at least four RBIs (two) than he did in 2015 and 2016 combined (one). -- Mark Simon, ESPN Stats & Information

15. Minnesota Twins

Record: 7-5
Week 1 ranking: No. 14

The best run differential in the majors right now is plus-23, and two teams are tied with that number: the Dodgers and the Twins. The Twins have reached that mark on the strength of their pitching -- their 30 runs allowed are fewest in the majors. Starters? 2.66 ERA. Relievers? 2.11. For comparison, they finished 2016 with a 5.39 starters ERA and a 4.63 bullpen ERA. -- Sarah Langs, ESPN Stats & Information

16. Tampa Bay Rays

Record: 6-7
Week 1 ranking: No. 18

The Rays started the season 5-2 but have struggled on their road trip. They scored just seven runs in their three-game series in the Bronx, where the Yankees swept them. On the plus side, Chris Archer seems to be back to his normal self, going 2-0 in his first three starts with 18 strikeouts and a 2.21 ERA. -- Michael Bonzagni, ESPN Stats & Information

17. Los Angeles Angels

Record: 6-7
Week 1 ranking: No. 20

Until his streak was snapped on Sunday, Mike Trout had reached base safely in 18 consecutive games dating back to last season but saw his team lose five straight to close the week. Albert Pujols, who hits behind Trout, has yet to get going, which could allow teams to continue to pitch around Trout. The Angels' pitching staff will attempt to hold the fort until No. 1 starter Garrett Richards can return from the DL. -- Paul Hembekides, ESPN Stats & Information

18. Pittsburgh Pirates

Record: 6-6
Week 1 ranking: No. 13

David Freese is Pittsburgh's only regular consistently hitting for power so far this season, but Andrew McCutchen is starting to show signs of life to rebound from a 3-for-20 start to the season. If Josh Bell and Gregory Polanco start driving the ball (no home runs yet this season), the Bucs can score runs. But even if they get some offense, they're going to need their bullpen to step up. -- John Fisher, ESPN Stats & Information

19. Texas Rangers

Record: 4-8
Week 1 ranking: No. 19

The Rangers' slow start is mostly about Sam Dyson's slow start. After a scoreless inning on Saturday, Jeff Banister gave him the ball on Sunday with a one-run lead after Matt Bush had struck out the side in the eighth. Dyson dropped to 0-3 after giving up two runs without giving up a ball out of the infield. That's bad luck, but he also has fanned just two of the 31 batters he has faced. -- David Schoenfield, ESPN.com

20. San Francisco Giants

Record: 5-9
Week 1 ranking: No. 16

Madison Bumgarner has thrown 21 innings this season and has struck out 10.3 batters per nine. He hasn't given up more than three earned runs in any of his three starts. The Giants have scored a combined seven runs in those games, five of them in a blown-save loss on Opening Day. The Giants are 0-3 when Bumgarner pitches; last season, they went 20-14 in his starts. -- Sarah Langs, ESPN Stats & Information

21. Kansas City Royals

Record: 6-6
Week 1 ranking: No. 21

Kansas City started the season 2-6, but it bounced back from that slow start with a sweep of the Angels while allowing just four runs in its past four games. Danny Duffy has been amazing so far, as has Jason Vargas, but the offense needs to get going if K.C. is going to get back into contention in the last season before much of the lineup might depart through free agency. -- Michael Bonzagni, ESPN Stats & Information

22. Milwaukee Brewers

Record: 7-6
Week 1 ranking: No. 28

Eric Thames has been the biggest surprise in baseball this season, pacing one of the best offenses in the league. The Elias Sports Bureau tells us he's the first player in Brewers history with five home runs in his first 10 games with the team. He added another homer in his 11th game -- and fourth straight -- for good measure. The Brewers also have gotten good performances from several of their young bullpen arms. -- John Fisher, ESPN Stats & Information

23. St. Louis Cardinals

Record: 3-9
Week 1 ranking: No. 12

The Cardinals are off to their worst start in 20 years. There is plenty of blame to go around: They're getting almost nothing from their outfield, with the lowest OPS by outfielders in the NL, while also rating as the worst defensive outfield in baseball. The bullpen also has been one of the worst in baseball so far. -- John Fisher, ESPN Stats & Information

24. Seattle Mariners

Record: 5-8
Week 1 ranking: No. 22

The M's finished a big sweep of the Rangers with a ninth-inning comeback Sunday, but the story of the weekend was James Paxton's eight scoreless innings. He has started the season with 21 scoreless innings and has allowed a .113 average as he has been the best pitcher in baseball so far. -- David Schoenfield, ESPN.com

25. Oakland Athletics

Record: 5-7
Week 1 ranking: No. 26

Starting pitching consistently gave this team a chance to win all week, and Jharel Cotton and Andrew Triggs combined for 13 scoreless innings in consecutive starts against the Royals. Triggs has thrown 11⅔ innings without allowing an earned run in his two starts. He had a 23-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in a brief look as a starter last season, but perhaps an early concern is that his ratio is 4-4 in his first two turns in 2017. -- Mark Simon, ESPN Stats & Information

26. Chicago White Sox

Record: 6-5
Week 1 ranking: No. 27

The White Sox enjoyed a three-game winning streak, allowing just six runs over that stretch. Their bullpen has been a pleasant surprise thus far, while Avisail Garcia has carried the club's offense by hitting safely in all but one game this season. -- Paul Hembekides, ESPN Stats & Information

27. Toronto Blue Jays

Record: 2-10
Week 1 ranking: No. 15

Offense continues to be a problem for Toronto, as they've scored just 2.8 runs per game this season, the fewest in the majors. With that kind of scoreboard outage, it's no surprise the team already has had a seven-game losing streak. Last year, Toronto didn't lose more than five games in a row. The last time the Blue Jays lost seven in a row was 2013 (twice); that team's WAR leader was Colby Rasmus (4.8). -- Sarah Langs, ESPN Stats & Information

28. Philadelphia Phillies

Record: 4-8
Preseason ranking: No. 26

Much like last year, the Phillies have gotten decent starting pitching, especially from Jeremy Hellickson and Aaron Nola. But their bullpen has struggled, and they need more offense, especially from the corner infield spots. Take away their 17-run outburst last week and they're averaging only 3.5 runs per game. -- John Fisher, ESPN Stats & Information

29. San Diego Padres

Record: 5-8
Week 1 ranking: No. 30

Ryan Schimpf is turning into the ultimate "three true outcomes" player: He's hitting .152, but three of his five hits are home runs, so he's slugging .424, and he leads the majors with 13 walks, giving him a respectable .375 OBP. It's a unique package of results, and if he keeps walking like this, he's a useful offensive player. -- David Schoenfield, ESPN.com

30. Atlanta Braves

Record: 5-6
Week 1 ranking: No. 29

The Braves are already consistently scoring four and five runs per game but hope to take it up a notch after Matt Kemp's return from the DL. Freddie Freeman has shown no letup from last season's ridiculously hot close to his season (in which he hit .363 with a 1.146 OPS). As his former teammate Chipper Jones said, Freeman could be a top-five MVP candidate ... if the Braves can muster something close to a winning record. -- Mark Simon, ESPN Stats & Information