National League Power Rankings 3.0

Brendan "Seven Costanza" Welshoff
Head of MLB/Podcast Host

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Over 20 games have been played and we’re beginning to see how the National League will be shaping up! Each week, we’ll be breaking down the MLB in two installments of Power Rankings. For the American League, click here and make sure to check back every Monday for the BRKDWN’s Power Rankings.

1. Los Angeles Dodgers (-)

Another installment of power rankings and the Dodgers are once again the top team in the senior circuit. There’s almost no flaws with this team. Mookie Betts is back healthy, Corey Seager is looking like the best hitter in the lineup, and the pitching staff as a whole looks unbeatable. Even with Bellinger out with a hairline fracture, there’s no stopping this train. Good baseball is being played in Los Angeles and it’s scary to see how good the Dodgers are playing this early in the season.

2. San Francisco Giants (Previously 6)

Is Gabe Kapler a good manager? I still don’t know about that, but the Giants have certainly been playing way above the low expectations they were faced with. Frisco hasn’t been beating up on only bad teams either. To this point they’ve faced the Mariners, Phillies, Padres, Rockies, Reds, and the Marlins and still have the second best record in the National League. Time will tell for how long this success can last, but as long as they can continue to get solid production from Evan Longoria and a makeshift pitching rotation, the Giants look to be a tough game for anyone they go up against.

3. Milwaukee Brewers (Previously 4)

Aside from getting absolutely torched for 15 runs against the Cubs, the Brewers have looked to be the best team in the central division. Milwaukee’s team is built around defense and pitching, and they are certainly playing to their strengths so far. Keep in mind that Christian Yelich is out with a bad back, and the latest update doesn’t look promising regarding a return to the lineup. An extended trip to the IL will obviously be a big blow to a team that doesn’t score a ton of runs, but even still, Milwaukee looks to be in a good spot so far. 

4. St. Louis Cardinals (Previously 8)

The Cardinals are starting to resemble the team we all thought we would see during the offseason. This team is not flashy, but they find ways to win. Yadier Molina’s hot start certainly helps as well. The cause for concern is still this team’s starting pitching, but as long as they can score runs they should be able to win a decent amount. St. Louis will also need to start seeing some production out of its young core as well as its star acquisition, Nolan Arenado.

5. San Diego Padres (Previously 2)

The Padres are a good team, but that’s not what Padres fans want to hear considering it was shoved in our faces all offseason that this team was supposed to be the best team in all of baseball. The jury is still out as to whether or not they can be great because they are still playing little brother to the Dodgers. Tatis seems healthy, but his defense looks to have taken a backseat – he leads the majors in errors. Aside from some decent starts from their pitchers, the offense as a whole still seems to be finding its groove. I don’t doubt there are better days ahead for this team, but I think it was a bit premature to crown them before April started.

6. New York Mets (Previously 11)

Meet the Mets! Perhaps the most inconsistent team in the league, the Mets sometimes look like the team we were promised back in March, but other times look like the Mets of 2020. This team seems to have no identity and that can be a problem. The only constant on this club is Jacob deGrom’s unreal performance. The offense needs to step up because it’s a shame watching them waste this man’s career. Better days should be ahead soon; so long as Lindor can start looking more like himself.

7. Atlanta Braves (-)

Atlanta has played much better since the first week of the season, but still hasn’t been able to get going the way we all know they can. Losing Max Fried will be a big blow to the team’s chances of separating from the rest of the division, but Ronald Acuna still plays for the Braves so they should be just fine offensively. It’s time for guys like Ian Anderson to step up for this pitching staff and show his 2020 was no fluke; so far he’s been able to do that.

8. Arizona Diamondbacks (Previously 12)

Credit to Arizona for grinding out some wins. The D’Backs are built in a manner similar to the Giants, in that they aren’t particularly great in any one area. The team still has yet to show they can win against the top teams as their wins have come against the Rockies, Reds, and Nationals. In the end though, they are beating the teams they should and so long as they continue to do that they could be a surprise team moving forward in the standings.

9. Chicago Cubs (-)

The Cubs have looked poor all season to this point. Aside from their 15-run outburst against the Brewers, this team is still struggling in every area. Everyone not named Kris Bryant has yet to perform and if it continues, I think it’s safe to assume Chicago will be one of the busier sellers come July.

10. Pittsburgh Pirates (Previously 15)

The Pirates could be a bit higher on this list, but it’s important to remember that they’re still the Pirates. The team has been getting some great production from Bryan Reynolds, Colin Moran, and Adam Frazier which definitely helps mask the fact that its young phenom, Ke’Bryan Hayes is still knocked out of game action due to injury. This team has actually been a pleasant surprise so far due to the aforementioned names, but I’d be crazy to not mention the breakout start of the pitching staff, JT Brubaker who leads the team in ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts through the first month of the season.

11. Philadelphia Phillies (Previously 5)

Philly seemed to have corrected much of what plagued them in the early going, but recently the pitching has seemed to rear its ugly head again. This team needs Wheeler to step up big time behind Eflin and Nola in order to gain some traction in the toughest division in baseball. Until that happens, it looks to be another mediocre season in Philadelphia.

12. Washington Nationals (Previously 14)

Washington is not a big climber in the rankings this time around and it’s for good reason. Strasburg is out which is obviously concerning, but Washington needs to be more concerned with how Patrick Corbin has looked through his first few starts. An ERA over 10 does not even begin to tell the story of how bad Corbin has been so far in the early going. They’ll need him to figure it out quickly if they want to climb out of last place before it’s too late.

13. Miami Marlins (Previously 10)

Jazz Chisholm has looked like a star to begin his season, but the same cannot be said of the rest of this lineup. The pitching has been nothing short of great and considering where this team was a few weeks ago with it’s bullpen, even that has been corrected. The offense needs to wake up though, and guys like Corey Dickerson and Brian Anderson have both played way below expectations. I’m not too high on this team to compete with the Mets and Braves, but if they can find a competent compliment to Chisholm, they could be a sneaky good team.

14. Cincinnati Reds (Previously 3)

By far the biggest fall in the power rankings comes from the Reds. Cincy opened the season looking great in all facets, but since the first week-plus they have gone flat. The bullpen looks atrocious and Amir Garrett, who was supposed to be the lockdown closer, has been awful. It doesn’t matter how the rotation performs if the bullpen continues to blow leads and saves. Until they can get back to protecting leads and closing out games, the Reds may end up competing closer with the Pirates than the Brewers.

15. Colorado Rockies (Previously 13)

The Rockies are just a bad team and it starts at the top with the front office. Trevor Story likely has July 30th marked on his calendar because it doesn’t look like things are getting better in Colorado anytime soon.

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