2016 Week 2 MLB Power Rankings: How high can Nationals climb?

After two weeks, the top two teams in our rankings remain the same. The Washington Nationals, off to a franchise-best start, jumped all the way up to No. 3, continuing their march up the rankings. Could another hot week move them all the way to the top?

The Baltimore Orioles (No. 6), Detroit Tigers (No. 7) and Chicago White Sox (No. 8) all make their first appearances inside the top 10.

Moving in the other direction, the Pittsburgh Pirates dropped from No. 4 down to No. 13. The Arizona Diamondbacks, who were No. 14 in our preseason rankings, have fallen to No. 25 after a slow start.

This week's voters are Jim Bowden of ESPN Insider, Eric Karabell of ESPN Fantasy, Tim Kurkjian of ESPN, David Schoenfield of the SweetSpot Blog Network/ESPN.com and Jayson Stark of ESPN.com. Most of the team comments come courtesy of the bloggers on the SweetSpot Blog Network.

Week 1 rankings

1. Chicago Cubs

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

A big key to the early success has been the Cubs' ability to draw walks and make the opposing pitchers work deep into the count. The Cubs have drawn an MLB-best 63 walks so far. -- Joe Aiello (@VFTB), View from the Bleachers

2. Kansas City Royals

Record: 8-4
Week 1 ranking: No. 2

Off to a strong start even though they're just 10th in the AL at 3.58 runs per game. It will be interesting to see if Ned Yost sticks with Alcides Escobar as his leadoff guy all season if Escobar continues to bat .255/.268/.327 -- not far from his totals in 2015. Yost says the Royals win when Escobar hits leadoff, but correlation doesn't always mean causation. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot

3. Washington Nationals

Record: 9-2
Week 1 ranking: No. 8

OK, they've only played the Braves, Marlins and Phillies and Bryce Harper crushed those teams last year as well. Still, he has six home runs in 11 games while batting .359/.458/.897 with just four strikeouts. Scary stuff. The Nationals' soft early schedule continues with the Marlins and Twins this week. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot

4. San Francisco Giants

Record: 7-6
Week 1 ranking: No. 4

Madison Bumgarner has combined for 11 innings pitched, 15 K's and only two walks in his past two outings, but has a no decision and a loss to show for it. The loss was notable as he faced Clayton Kershaw on Friday night, only to allow four earned runs and come up empty against the Dodgers. -- Jeff Wiser (@OutfieldGrass24), Inside the 'Zona

5. Los Angeles Dodgers

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

Hyun-Jin Ryu, already dealing with post-surgery shoulder rehab, saw a minor setback with a groin strain. After Enrique Hernandez's two-homer, one-double night on Friday, his career average against lefties was .395, best among current players with a minimum of 100 at-bats. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit

6. Baltimore Orioles

Record: 8-3
Week 1 ranking: No. 11

After taking a jump forward offensively last season, when he hit a career-high 35 home runs and nearly doubled his walk rate, Manny Machado could end up performing even better this season. Already arguably the best defensive third baseman in the game, Machado should again be an MVP candidate this year and is establishing himself as one of the best players in baseball. -- Matt Kremnitzer (@mattkremnitzer), Camden Depot

7. Detroit Tigers

Record: 7-4
Week 1 ranking: No. 10

It's still very early, but fueled in part by strong outings from Jordan Zimmermann, a rejuvenated offense and solid bullpen work, the Tigers look much more balanced than they did last year. They are currently tied for the American League lead in run differential when last year, they were dead last. -- Richard Bergstrom (@RockiesZingers), Rockies Zingers

8. Chicago White Sox

Record: 8-4
Week 1 ranking: No. 16

First in the AL in ERA at 2.49, White Sox pitching has been dominant to start the season. With Carlos Rodon and offseason pickup Mat Latos joining Chris Sale and Jose Quintana for a dominant front four, patience may soon wear thin for John Danks, who has yielded 10 earned runs in two starts. -- Jeff Wiser (@OutfieldGrass24), Inside the 'Zona

9. St. Louis Cardinals

Record: 7-5
Week 1 ranking: No. 15

Adam Wainwright says he has felt like he has made more mistakes in three starts than he has in entire seasons. He has allowed 15 runs in 16⅓ innings and, alarmingly, has more walks than strikeouts. On the bright side, Aledmys Diaz (.406, eight extra-base hits) and Jeremy Hazelbaker (.394, 7 XBH) continue to rake. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot

10. Texas Rangers

Record: 7-6
Week 1 ranking: No. 14

The Rangers and third baseman Adrian Beltre agreed Friday on a two-year, $36 million extension that runs through the 2018 season, and why not? At age 37, Beltre is still one of the most valuable players in baseball. -- Brandon Land (@onestrikeaway), One Strike Away

11. Boston Red Sox

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

With the offense rolling (until Sunday) and Red Sox pitching inconsistent, the team optioned Blake Swihart to Pawtucket in favor of framer extraordinaire Christian Vazquez. With Vazquez behind the dish, David Price and Rick Porcello combined for 17 strikeouts and one walk in 13 1/3 innings over the weekend. -- Ryan P. Morrison (@ryanpmorrison), Inside the 'Zona

12. Toronto Blue Jays

Record: 6-7
Week 1 ranking: No. 12

Troy Tulowitzki has made all the plays in the field, but the bat hasn't awoken yet, with 14 strikeouts and only five hits in his first 42 at-bats. Collectively the team was hitting only .214 through Saturday. On Thursday, the Jays will finish a season-opening 17-game stretch against AL East opponents. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit

13. Pittsburgh Pirates

Record: 7-6
Week 1 ranking: No. 4

With an excellent .369 OBP against right-handed pitchers over his career, John Jaso was installed as a leadoff man by the Pirates against them. By batting Jaso first against righties, the team has successfully limited his appearances against southpaws, reaping a .400 OBP as a reward in the early going. -- Ryan P. Morrison (@ryanpmorrison), Inside the 'Zona

14. Cleveland Indians

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

The Indians won a series against the Rays in Tampa and lost a series against the Mets at home. Given how poorly this team has played in April the past few seasons, hanging steady at .500 is actually an improvement. -- Susan Petrone, It's Pronounced Lajaway

15. New York Mets

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

Curtis Granderson's 12 leadoff home runs since 2014 lead MLB and place him second to Jose Reyes in Mets team history. Granderson has 36 career leadoff homers, the third most among active players behind Ichiro Suzuki (37) and Jimmy Rollins (46). -- Joe Janish (@metstoday), Mets Today

16. Houston Astros

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

After walking 10 in his first two starts, Dallas Keuchel had a more typical Keuchel outing with eight scoreless innings against the Tigers with just one walk. The rest of the rotation has struggled, however, and Houston has a 4.94 rotation ERA. How would Vince Velasquez look right now? -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot

17. Colorado Rockies

Record: 7-5
Week 1 ranking: No. 24

It took awhile for Carlos Gonzalez to recover from injuries and inactivity, but halfway through 2015, he got the timing back in his swing and has been on fire since then. Historically, April was his worst month and even though his hitting streak ended Sunday, he's still hitting .367 with four home runs. -- Richard Bergstrom (@RockiesZingers), Rockies Zingers

18. Seattle Mariners

Record: 5-7
Week 1 ranking: No. 18

Felix Hernandez made two starts last week -- one dazzling (7 IP, 10 K, 0 R) and one a little less so (5 IP, 6 BB, 1 ER) -- en route to tying Randy Johnson for the most strikeouts in franchise history with 2,162. He'll go for the outright record Friday against the Angels. -- Jeff Wiser (@OutfieldGrass24), Inside the 'Zona

19. Los Angeles Angels

Record: 5-7
Week 1 ranking: No. 23

Mike Trout is off to a slow start at .233 and just one home run through 12 games. C.J. Cron is hitting .100 without a homer or RBI. Albert Pujols is batting .196. Andrelton Simmons is hitting .234 without a walk. Trout will pick up but the concerns about the offense appear legit. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot

20. Cincinnati Reds

Record: 6-6
Week 1 ranking: No. 19

After a quick start, the Reds lost five of six in the second week. Most of the damage was done by a struggling bullpen and a mostly inexperienced starting staff. Cincinnati hurlers have allowed more runs than all but two teams in baseball, and only Texas has surrendered more home runs. -- Chad Dotson (@dotsonc), Redleg Nation

21. New York Yankees

Record: 5-6
Week 1 ranking: No. 13

After losing two out of three in Toronto, the Yankees returned home to face Seattle and were an appallingly atrocious 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position on both Friday and Saturday. If guys such as Alex Rodriguez (who homered Sunday) and Chase Headley don't start hitting the ball, if the starting rotation continues to average under six innings per start, and if the awful numbers with runners in scoring position continue, the Yankees will have a lot of trouble winning ballgames this season. -- Stacey Gotsulias (@StaceGots), It's About the Money

22. Oakland Athletics

Record: 6-7
Week 1 ranking: No. 26

So far, so good for Marcus Semien: Not only has he hit four home runs, he has committed just one error in 13 games, continuing on his improvement from the final two months last year. The metrics suggest he has the range to stay at shortstop. It looks as though the A's made the right call to keep him there. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot

23. Tampa Bay Rays

Record: 5-7
Week 1 ranking: No. 20

The offense continues to struggle out of the gate, but matchups against Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar, Chris Sale and Jose Quintana last week certainly didn't help. While Chris Archer looks for his command, Jake Odorizzi, Drew Smyly, Erasmo Ramirez, and especially Matt Moore have looked good. -- Jason Collette (@jasoncollette), The Process Report

24. Philadelphia Phillies

Record: 6-7
Week 1 ranking: No. 30

From top to bottom, the Phillies pitching staff is completely different from April of last year but the new faces are announcing their presence with authority. Each starter has at least as many strikeouts as innings pitched and the Phillies as a team lead the National League in strikeouts. -- Richard Bergstrom (@RockiesZingers), Rockies Zingers

25. Arizona Diamondbacks

Record: 5-8
Week 1 ranking: No. 21

While Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller have struggled to find consistent success, Patrick Corbin and Robbie Ray have pitched well. This week the lefty pair combined for 12⅓ IP and only three earned runs, but both took tough no-decisions as Arizona's bullpen has struggled in key spots. -- Ryan P. Morrison (@ryanpmorrison), Inside the 'Zona

26. Milwaukee Brewers

Record: 5-7
Week 1 ranking: No. 25

Despite being throttled by the Cardinals' offense for 10 extra-base hits in a game and Jaime Garcia one-hitting them in another, the Brewers still held a .500 record through 10 games. Development of young talent still remains at the forefront of hopes and expectations for this team, but Brewers fans will gladly accept any wins they can get. -- Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3), Disciples of Uecker

27. Miami Marlins

Record: 3-7
Week 1 ranking: No. 22

After playing .500 ball at home last year, Miami lost their first four home games in 2016, including giving the 0-9 Braves their first wins of the season. Friday night, Wei-Yin Chen was charged with two runs on four hits in 6⅓ innings in his return from an elbow contusion. The Marlins have not had a pitcher turn in a complete game since Henderson Alvarez on June 3, 2014, against Tampa Bay. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit

28. San Diego Padres

Record: 4-9
Week 1 ranking: No. 27

San Diego set a record by getting shut out five times in its first 10 games (per Baseball Reference). If you exclude the games at Coors Field, the Padres had scored a total of five runs in their first seven games. Tyson Ross won't be back on Wednesday, which was when the Padres had originally hoped he'd return from the disabled list. However, he has yet to resume throwing.-- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit

29. Minnesota Twins

Record: 3-9
Week 1 ranking: No. 28

The Twins mercifully rebounded from their 0-9 opening stretch to sweep the Angels over the weekend. Joe Mauer factored in heavily, and he has generally been immune to the slump that has ravaged Minnesota's lineup. His .327 average ranks third in the AL. -- Nick Nelson (@NickNelsonMN), Twins Daily

30. Atlanta Braves

Record: 3-9
Week 1 ranking: No. 29

The Braves got their first win out of the way, and put the nine-game losing streak to start the season behind them. What may not be behind them is the clamoring for Fredi Gonzalez to be the first manager fired this season. The team comes home this week, but will have their work cut out for them as they face the Dodgers and Mets, in what continues to be the toughest April schedule for any team. -- Martin Gandy (@gondeee), Chop County