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Top 10 MLB Teams Entering Week 8

Glenn Kaplan
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
77   //    17 May 2018, 00:19 IST

New York Yankees vs Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees vs Boston Red Sox

During the first eight weeks of the MLB season, it is has been very competitive and this is the first time in a while it has been like this.

There are 18 teams that have at least a .500 or better record. At some point that won't be the case, but you never know.

Only 10 of those teams over .500 will be on this week's list. Here are this week's top-10 rankings:


10. Milwaukee Brewers: The Brewers have been pitching well recently. They only gave up two runs in both games on the road against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Milwaukee has split the series so far and the rubber match is on Wednesday Night. The Brewers have a 25-18 record to start the season and they are tied for first in the National League Central with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Freddy Peralta made his MLB debut on Sunday Afternoon on the road against the Colorado Rockies. He took a no-hit into the sixth inning.

Peralta pitched 5.2 innings and gave up one hit. He also walked two batters and struck out 13. Milwaukee won that game 7-3.

Last week's ranking: 9

9. Pittsburgh Pirates: The Pirates continue to find way to surprise people and they are off to an 24-17 start. Pittsburgh is 7-3 in their last 10 games and they don't have a deep outfield.

The Pirates have three other teams in their division that are over .500. They are all separated by one game.

Trevor Williams pitched seven shutout innings and struck out 6, in Pittsburgh's 7-0 win on Tuesday Night at home against the Chicago White Sox.

Josh Bell is one of the Pirates better hitters and his batting average is .337 with three homeruns and 24 RBI's.

Last week's ranking: not ranked

8. Seattle Mariners: The Mariners continue to be one of the most surprising teams in the American League.

Second baseman Robinson Cano received an 80-game suspension without pay by the MLB after he tested positive for a banned substance. It will be tough to replace him in the lineup.

Cano had a .287 batting average with four homeruns and 23 RBI's. Dee Gordon will be moving back to second base with Cano being suspended.

It looks like (SS/2B) Jean Segura is going to have to continue producing. He has a .307 batting average with two homeruns and 27 RBI's, along with seven stolen bases.

Seattle had a game postponed on Friday Night against the Detroit Tigers on the road. The Mariners record so far in 2018 is 24-17.

Last week's ranking: 6

7. Philadelphia Phillies: The Phillies have a different feel about themselves to start the 2018 season. They are one of the biggest surprises in the National League, but I thought they had a chance to be good this season.

Manager Gabe Kapler has them paying attention to detail. Philadelphia has one of the better pitching rotations in all of baseball.

Aaron Nola is the best pitcher in the Phillies rotation. His record is 6-1 with a 1.99 ERA. In 58.2 innings pitched, he has given up 45 hits and 13 runs.

Nola has walked 13 batters and struck out 51. Jake Arrieta has been showing him the ropes. His record is 3-1 with a 2.59 ERA. In 41.2 innings pitched, he has given up 30 hits and 16 runs.

Arrieta has walked 14 batters and struck out 27. Odubel Herrera and Maikel Franco have been leading the Phillies offense so far this season.

Herrera's batting average is .360 with six homeruns and 24 RBI's, along with two stolen bases.

Franco has a .274 batting average with seven homeruns and 28 RBI's. Philadelphia's record to start the 2018 campaign is 23-16.

Last week's ranking: not ranked

6. Los Angeles Angels: The Angels are in the midst of a three-game set at home against the Houston Astros. They have split the series so far and the rubber match is on Wednesday Night.

Andrew Heaney pitched eight strong innings, gave up one run, and struck out 10 in Monday Night's 2-1 win for the Angels. Los Angeles is 25-17 to start the 2018 season.

Last week's ranking: 5

5. Arizona Diamondbacks: The Diamondbacks are going to take a massive hit because outfielder A.J. Pollock could be out 4-8 weeks with an avulsion fracture in his left thumb. He is one of the key players in Arizona's lineup.

His batting average is .293 with 11 homeruns and 33 RBI's, along with nine stolen bases. Paul Goldschmidt and others are going to have step up there game.

The Diamondbacks pitching rotation isn't much of a concern, but the offense could become one now.

Arizona wasn't the same team in 2016 when Pollock was hurt. The Diamondbacks record so far in 2018 is 25-17.

Last week's ranking: 4

4. Atlanta Braves: The Braves are making an excellent case to be one of the best team in the MLB. They have the best record in the NL at the moment at 25-16.

No one expected the Braves to be good this season. Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna Jr. continue to make a name for themselves at the MLB level. Atlanta also has a very underrated pitching staff.

Last week's ranking: 7

3. Boston Red Sox: Boston is just 5-5 in their last 10 games despite having an 28-14 record. They are just one game back of the New York Yankees.

The Red Sox are on the verge of being swept at home against the Oakland Athletics after Boston took two-out-of-three on the road over the weekend against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Red Sox have scored three or more runs in a game the past seven contests. That's why they are one of the best team's in the MLB.

Last week's ranking: 2

2. Houston Astros: Other than the Boston Red Sox, the Houston Astros might be the biggest threat to the New York Yankees in the American League.

The Astros have two pitchers in the rotation that have an ERA under 2 in Justin Verlander (1.21 ERA) and Gerrit Cole (1.43 ERA).

That would be the formula to shut down New York's offense. Dallas Keuchel has a 3.10 ERA and he hasn't exactly been sharp for the Astros, but he is improving.

Jose Altuve hasn't played at an MVP level this season for Houston, but he is starting to play better. Altuve has a .311 batting average with two homeruns and 20 RBI's, along with two stolen bases.

George Springer leads the team in homeruns with eight and Carlos Correa leads the team in RBI's with 29.

Last week's ranking: 3

1. New York Yankees: The Yankees bats continue to speak loud and that's why they are off to a 28-12 start.

The game between the Yankees and the Washington Nationals on Tuesday Night was suspended because of rain and the game was tied at three heading into the bottom of the sixth inning and it will resume at 5:05 p.m. on Wednesday and then the second game of this series is scheduled to begin at 7:05 p.m.

Maybe this could be a World Series preview, but the odds are that isn't the case. Giancarlo Stanton has finally gotten out of his slump. His batting average is now at .255 with 10 homeruns and 26 RBI's, along with two stolen bases.

Last week's ranking: 1


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Glenn Kaplan
ANALYST
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