Power Rankings: Big additions shake things up

Another week into the season, we've seen No. 1 change hands yet again, as the Astros' claim to the top slot ends after only two weeks, with the Dodgers moving back on top after getting three first-place votes. The Astros received one of the other first-place votes, with the injury-wracked yet rising Yankees getting the other. The Yankees weren't the only new team in the top five, as the Cardinals also moved up into the crowded field at the top of the rankings.

Speaking of crowds, with so many teams at or near .500, this was a week where any slip or step forward yielded big gains or big declines among our voters. After getting into the top 10 in Week 3, the Pirates tumbled 10 spots after a rough week, and the Brewers similarly slipped out of the top 10 after taking a few knocks.

In their place the Cubs returned to the top 10 on the strength of some stronger starting pitching, while the Twins finally gained a spot among the higher-ups by continuing to make a case that the AL Central will be a two-team race after all. The Twins' nine-spot climb up the rankings was second only to the Diamondbacks making their own big move, climbing up to No. 11.

For Week 4, our panel of voters was composed of Bradford Doolittle, Christina Kahrl, Eric Karabell, Tim Kurkjian and David Schoenfield.

Previous: Preseason | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3

1. Los Angeles Dodgers

2019 record: 19-11
Week 3 ranking: 3

Cody Bellinger continued his April tear Sunday with his 14th home run, tying Christian Yelich for most in the majors -- which also ties Albert Pujols (2006) and Alex Rodriguez (2007) for most home runs before May 1. Bellinger is hitting an amazing .427/.500/.913 and his 36 RBIs have tied Juan Gonzalez and Mark McGwire (both 1998) for most before May 1. It has been one of the best Aprils we've ever seen. -- David Schoenfield

2. Houston Astros

2019 record: 17-11
Week 3 ranking: 1

Houston ranks 11th or better by bWAR at every position group, including DH and pinch hitters -- with one exception. The Astros' first basemen -- primarily Yuli Gurriel -- have put up below-replacement production so far. It would be scary what this Astros attack would look like with a bona fide, slugging first baseman, the kind of which the market has neglected the past couple of offseasons. -- Bradford Doolittle

3. Tampa Bay Rays

2019 record: 18-9
Week 3 ranking: 2

The Rays have been good at just about everything so far this season, and with their showing over the weekend at Fenway Park they've already shown that getting swept at home last week against the Red Sox was not a sign of imminent collapse. However, with Joey Wendle hitting the IL again, it's time for Willy Adames and Daniel Robertson to join the party. Robertson is hitting half a Mendoza with a .329 OPS against righties this season. -- Doolittle

4. St. Louis Cardinals

2019 record: 17-10
Week 3 ranking: 8

A sweep of the Brewers to begin the week earned the Cardinals a place atop the NL Central standings, with their bats continuing to lead the way. Paul Goldschmidt has been tearing the cover off the ball, batting .343 (12-for-35) with two homers during the team's just-completed nine-game homestand. -- Tristan Cockcroft

5. New York Yankees

2019 record: 17-11
Week 3 ranking: 6

After sweeping the Giants, the makeshift Yankees have won nine of 10 and own the second-best run differential in the majors behind the Rays. Luke Voit continues to get on base (.397 OBP and he has reached base every game this season), and Gary Sanchez came off the IL and homered Sunday -- his eighth in just 15 games. -- Schoenfield

6. Seattle Mariners

2019 record: 18-13
Week 3 ranking: 9

The Mariners beat the Rangers on Thursday and Friday, only to see the Rangers pound them 15-1 and 14-1 on Saturday and Sunday. Marco Gonzales won his start to become the majors' first five-game winner, but the defense continues to be a big issue. Tim Beckham has committed 10 errors at shortstop, the most of any player at any position, and Domingo Santana has been a train wreck in left field. His minus-9 defensive runs saved entering Sunday was the worst in the majors. -- Schoenfield

7. Minnesota Twins

2019 record: 16-9
Week 3 ranking: 16

The Michael Pineda success story has hit a few bumps of late, but he also has been a bit unlucky. A high BABIP has contributed to a 5.63 ERA, but his 4.24 FIP looks much better in comparison. It is not as if the Twins have a top pitching prospect knocking at the door. Pineda, who missed last season, should improve. -- Eric Karabell

8. Cleveland Indians

2019 record: 15-12
Week 3 ranking: 7

Francisco Lindor's return made an instant impact as he ripped three home runs while the Indians scored five of more runs in four of his first six starts. Lindor's presence coincided with revivified offense from Jose Ramirez, who clouted a pair of extra-base hits (a third of his season total), drew five walks and stole three bases. The Tribe's lineup isn't firing on all cylinders yet, but it's getting there. -- Christina Kahrl

9. Philadelphia Phillies

2019 record: 16-12
Week 3 ranking: 5

Getting shortstop Jean Segura and center fielder Odubel Herrera back from the injured list should aid an inconsistent offense that has not performed as expected so far. At least ace Aaron Nola is improving, after a four-start stretch sans a quality start. That 5.68 ERA should keep dropping this week. -- Karabell

10. Chicago Cubs

2019 record: 14-12
Week 3 ranking: 12

Addison Russell could return by the end of the week. Uprooting Javier Baez from shortstop seems dicey, but Russell would upgrade the middle infield overall defensively, since second base has been manned by Daniel Descalso, David Bote and Ben Zobrist. All salient statements about Russell's off-field troubles aside, adding a Gold Glove-caliber fielder can only help what has been an underperforming defensive unit. -- Doolittle

11. Arizona Diamondbacks

2019 record: 16-13
Week 3 ranking: 21

Arizona's hot streak -- a 10-3 run entering Sunday -- has been fueled by its pitching, posting a 2.95 ERA in that span. Diamondbacks relievers had a streak of 24 consecutive innings without giving up an earned run snapped Saturday by the Cubs, while Greg Holland (0.67 WHIP, 14 K's over nine scoreless innings) has been in vintage Royals form. -- Steve Richards

12. Milwaukee Brewers

2019 record: 15-14
Week 3 ranking: 4

Though the Brewers' offense has tasted great at Miller Park, the road output has been less than filling. Christian Yelich's surreal home-road splits exemplify that observation, but it has been a team-wide trait -- Milwaukee hitters rank second in home OPS versus 20th on the road. The pitchers haven't quite reversed that, though they do rank 18th in OPS allowed on the road versus 26th at home. A less homer-happy attack might make the Brew Crew offense a little more portable. -- Doolittle

13. Boston Red Sox

2019 record: 11-17
Week 3 ranking: 15

The upswing from last weekend's sweep of Tampa Bay was negated by a 2-4 week that included a two-game sweep by the Rays at Fenway. On the plus side, the Red Sox have gotten a boost from top prospect Michael Chavis, who has three home runs in 24 at-bats since being called up and filling in at second base. It will be interesting to see if he stays there when Brock Holt, Eduardo Nunez and/or Dustin Pedroia are healthy. -- Richards

14. New York Mets

2019 record: 14-13
Week 3 ranking: 11

The Mets can plug valuable Jeff McNeil into most every position and he keeps hitting. It is a bit surprising McNeil has yet to earn regular leadoff duties. He hits for average and makes contact, and Brandon Nimmo is, well, struggling to do those things. Meanwhile, Pete Alonso keeps hitting. -- Karabell

15. Atlanta Braves

2019 record: 13-14
Week 3 ranking: 14

How much has the bullpen struggled? Braves fans were chanting "We want Kimbrel" on Saturday night as the Rockies scored five runs in the ninth inning. The Braves acquired Jerry Blevins to add another lefty as the bullpen ranks 21st in the majors with a 4.64 ERA, has issued the second-most walks and has the worst strikeout-to-walk ratio. -- Schoenfield

16. San Diego Padres

2019 record: 16-12
Week 3 ranking: 18

Though the Padres' offense reached eight runs in a game for the first time Saturday, the pitching has kept them in games, including a week-opening three-game win streak. Closer Kirby Yates is on pace for a season for the ages, projecting for more than 70 saves and 125 strikeouts with a sub-1.00 ERA. -- Cockcroft

17. Washington Nationals

2019 record: 12-14
Week 3 ranking: 13

A never-before-seen feat Sunday: Juan Soto, Victor Robles and Carter Kieboom each homered, the first time three players 21 and younger homered for the same team in one game. In fact, the last team with three players that young to homer in the same season was the 1993 Expos with Cliff Floyd, Rondell White and Wil Cordero. The Nationals won the game on Matt Adams' walk-off HR, but lost the series to the Padres -- and have lost three series in a row, to the Padres, Rockies and Marlins, teams you have to beat if you want to win the division. -- Schoenfield

18. Colorado Rockies

2019 record: 13-15
Week 3 ranking: 20

Would you believe the pitching staff has had much to do with the Rockies' recent hot spell, with wins in 10 of their past 13 games? It's not just German Marquez's doing, either. Jon Gray, whose 5.12 ERA was highest among regular Rockies starters in 2018, had strung together three straight quality starts before scuffling a bit Saturday against the Braves. -- Cockcroft

19. Oakland Athletics

2019 record: 14-16
Week 3 ranking: 17

The A's rotation ranks last in the league in strikeout rate, but the past week's worth of games saw some significant improvements on that score, with Oakland's starters striking out 36 in 34 IP, with recent addition Chris Bassitt providing much of the boost with 16 K's across 12 innings in his first two starts. That kind of performance could help him stick around. -- Kahrl

20. Pittsburgh Pirates

2019 record: 12-14
Week 3 ranking: 10

Despite the unexpectedly early return of Gregory Polanco from shoulder surgery this past Monday, the Pirates' offense wasn't able to put it together. From April 17-23, the team scored fewer than five runs in all eight games, and usual leadoff man Adam Frazier is in a 6-for-33 slump in his past nine contests. -- Cockcroft

21. Cincinnati Reds

2019 record: 11-16
Week 3 ranking: 25

The Reds picked up a couple of key wins against the Braves at home during the past week, during which time closer Raisel Iglesias looked a lot closer to his 2017-18 self. The right-hander has converted each of his past four save chances and struck out 11 batters in 5⅔ innings in his past five outings. -- Cockcroft

22. Toronto Blue Jays

2019 record: 13-14
Week 3 ranking: 23

The Jays are 3-0 in the Vladimir Guerrero Jr. era, although he hasn't had a ton to do with it (3-for-12; 1 walk; 3 strikeouts; no runs, RBIs or errors). Baby Vlad's arrival did bring some energy to Rogers Centre -- this weekend's three-game series drew 69,499, or about 10,000 more than Toronto's previous weekend series -- and that counts for something. -- Richards

23. Los Angeles Angels

2019 record: 12-17
Week 3 ranking: 22

The Angels probably regret the three-year contract bestowed upon former Reds shortstop Zack Cozart in December 2017. In a year plus a month, Cozart has hit .194 for the Angels and slugged .309 over 81 games, and he is back on the injured list because of a neck injury. Even if he were healthy, the Angels need more offense. -- Karabell

24. Texas Rangers

2019 record: 14-13
Week 3 ranking: 19

Just when it looked as if the Rangers' week was going to be a complete washout, they snapped a five-game losing streak with consecutive wins over Seattle by the scores of 15-1 and 14-1. Everything is bigger with Texas, including run totals. The Rangers have scored in double figures six times and given up at least 10 runs five times, with a pair of 11-10 wins part of the mix. -- Richards

25. Detroit Tigers

2019 record: 12-14
Week 3 ranking: 24

On Friday, Miguel Cabrera ended a homerless streak dating to last season across 161 plate appearances by jacking an opposite-field home run down the line in Chicago. Among 28 regular first basemen or DHs, Miggy's .726 OPS ranks 24th of 29; his .081 isolated slugging ranks last. At 466 home runs and counting on his career, 500 suddenly looks very far away. -- Kahrl

26. San Francisco Giants

2019 record: 11-17
Week 3 ranking: 27

There's something emblematic of the team's fortunes that Buster Posey and (rubs eyes) Pablo Sandoval are among the team's hitting leaders, just like it was 2010 and both were 23-year-old regulars in the lineup together for the first time. Unfortunately, Posey's not hitting nearly as well as he did then, but Sandoval's .909 OPS, mostly in a pinch-hitting role, might be enough to get Bruce Bochy to start thinking about sitting Evan Longoria now and again. -- Kahrl

27. Chicago White Sox

2019 record: 11-14
Week 3 ranking: 26

The crosstown Cubs focused their rebuilding plan around the development of position players. The White Sox have tried to straddle the fence between hitters and starters. This year's rotation features several possible long-term fits, like Reynaldo Lopez, Carlos Rodon and Lucas Giolito -- none of whom are rookies. Thus it is no small thing that the ChiSox rank last in the majors with a 6.31 rotation ERA. That's the key number for this team. -- Doolittle

28. Kansas City Royals

2019 record: 9-19
Week 3 ranking: 28

Royals first baseman Ryan O'Hearn slugged .705 against right-handers as a rookie. Nobody expected a repeat to that level, but fans, and hopefully the team, should be patient here. O'Hearn, who gets platooned versus left-handed pitching for good reason, has been unlucky. He has power and plate discipline. -- Karabell

29. Baltimore Orioles

2019 record: 10-19
Week 3 ranking: 29

The O's haven't been quite as atrocious as last year -- not that that's saying much -- but they have been giving up home runs at an alarming rate. Baltimore pitchers have yielded 71 homers, an amazing 20 more than any other team in baseball. This weekend's foe, the Twins, touched 'em all 12 times, a team record for a three-game series -- and one more than they hit last weekend at Baltimore. -- Richards

30. Miami Marlins

2019 record: 8-20
Week 3 ranking: 30

Want to accentuate the positive? Caleb Smith is second in the NL in strikeout rate for starting pitchers with 11.5 K/9, and the Marlins' bullpen is second in the majors in strikeout rate, notching 10.7 K/9. So that's something. Jorge Alfaro, Starlin Castro and Curtis Granderson all produced OPS marks north of .750 for the week. So, the situation isn't entirely bleak, it's just still not great. -- Kahrl