MLB power rankings: Brewin’ up a fast start

Milwaukee reliever Francisco Rodriguez reacts after closing out the Pirates over the weekend.

Benny Sieu/Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Rays’ depth will be tested early as they’re down two starting pitchers after Matt Moore and Alex Cobb were both placed on the disabled list within a week of each other.

Max Scherzer won his first 13 decisions last season, but the reigning AL Cy Young award winner is winless in his first three starts of this season after taking a loss Sunday in San Diego.

Clayton Kershaw is still working his way back from the DL, but Zack Greinke is doing well to fill the reigning NL Cy Young award winner’s shoes with a 3-0 record and a 2.76 ERA after Saturday’s win in Arizona.

Jim Johnson is out as the A’s closer with Bob Melvin choosing to go with a closer-by-committee approach. Despite Johnson’s issues, Oakland is rolling two weeks into the season.

Justin Upton is proving to be a difficult out for opposing pitchers. The outfielder’s recent hot streak was the biggest key in the Braves’ sweep of the Nationals over the weekend.

The offense as a whole has started slow, but Yadier Molina is off to a hot start leading the Cardinals in most offensive categories hitting .340/.367/.596 after Sunday’s action.

While the pitching has underwhelmed, the Giants’ offense is to thank for the team’s strong start. The team is getting contributions from top to bottom in the lineup.

Entering the week, the Brewers are in possession of the MLB’s best record. Not many thought Milwaukee would be in this spot, now it is time to see if it can keep the momentum going all season.

Early season divisional matchups are important, and the Nationals have already dug themselves a hole after winning just one out of six games against the Braves.

The Yankees are fighting through some injuries, but Jacoby Ellsbury seems to be feeling at home in the Bronx after adjusting quickly to hitting third in the lineup.

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After being swept by the Brewers over the weekend, the Pirates now face the fact that they have more competition than just the Reds and Cardinals in the NL Central.

Shane Victorino and Will Middlebrooks’ trips to the DL have already created a hole in the lineup; now Dustin Pedroia is in danger of missing time with a wrist injury.

The injury bug bites again for the Rangers with Adrian Beltre going to the DL. Texas will get some starting pitching help at least with Colby Lewis returning to the rotation, but coming off hip surgery, will he be much help?

John Axford was 4 for 4 in save opportunities with his new team until running into Alexei Ramirez on Sunday, when he gave up a walk-off two-run homer.

If the Mariners truly want to make the jump to being a playoff contender this season, they are going to have to find a way to win a series against the A’s and produce more on offense.

Pitching hasn’t been a problem, but the offense has yet to muster much run support –€“ the exception being Sunday’s 12-4 win over the Rays — resulting in a slow start for new manager Bryan Price.

On paper, the Royals appear to have the keys to score runs, but 11 games into the season and the team is last in the majors with just 32 runs.

Josh Hamilton was hitting .444 prior to succumbing to injury. Will he be able to continue hitting at a high level when he returns from the DL and thumb surgery in an estimated six to eight weeks?

Alexei Ramirez is the White Sox’s hottest hitter, picking up a hit in every game he has played in this season including smashing a two-run walk-off home run against the Indians on Sunday.

Toronto’s lineup is built for power, and Sunday, the bats finally came alive collecting 17 hits in an 11-3 blowout win against he Orioles.

The Orioles’ $50-million arm in Ubaldo Jimenez isn’t off to a good start after falling to 0-3 on the season and getting slammed by the Blue Jays on Sunday, dropping his ERA to 7.31.

Chase Utley is off to a great start, hitting .500/.565/.875 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 11 games, including his game-winning homer Sunday to cap the Phillies’ sweep over Miami.

The Rockies’ offense is firing on all cylinders, climbing towards the top of most hitting categories in the majors; too bad the same thing can’t be said about the pitching staff.

After being suspended for the final 50 games last season, Everth Cabrera has been a bright spot for the Padres, raising his batting average to .347 as of Sunday, when he extended his hit streak to six games.

Jason Kubel appears to feel back at home in Minnesota hitting with a .385 average and 1.057 OPS through his first 11 games.

So much for the Marlins’ strong start to the season through the first week of play. In the season’s second week, the Fish didn’t win a game and are in a seven-game losing streak after Sunday’s loss to the Phillies.

Both David Wright and Curtis Granderson have stumbled out of the gates. Without the two stars hitting well, there’s little to fear from the Mets’ lineup.

Through Sunday, the Astros team batting average was a meager .189, good for last in the majors. Good news for Houston though, Scott Feldman is off to a great start with a 0.44 ERA through his first three starts.

The Cubs didn’t necessarily have good week but did take away one win from each the Pirates and Cardinals to avoid being swept, not to mention there is a team playing worse baseball right now. See below.

First team to hit double digits in losses this season is Arizona. Not good for a club that was expected to at least compete in the NL West.