Baseball is back and so are our weekly King’s Ranks! If you are new, welcome to the baseball world through my eyes. If you are returning from last season, welcome back and thank you for all of your support. I love writing and talking about baseball and love growing this community.

King’s Ranks is a weekly power ranking column where I rank all 30 teams based solely off of what they have done this season. Preseason predictions mean nothing here. This is how I view the teams and the little stories to watch about every team.

I also talk about any big stories in the league as the introduction to each article. So let’s dive right in.

The Texas Rangers signed star shortstop Corey Seager to a massive deal in the offseason. It was a move that surprised many but it was good to see Seager get the money he deserves. Corey is off to a great start in his new home even though the team as a whole is struggling early.

This weekend, in a game against the Los Angeles Angels, something bizarre happened. With the bases loaded and the Angels down by one with one out, Corey Seager stepped to the plate. But he never took a pitch. The Angels manager Joe Maddon decided to intentionally walk Seager and give the Rangers a free run. The move baffled many including Mike Trout who could be seen confused in center field.

This was the third time in MLB history that a team has intentionally walked a batter with the bases loaded. The other two times were to Barry Bonds and Josh Hamilton with Maddon being the manager of the Rays when Hamilton was walked. Now, in all three instances, the team that decided to walk in a run has went on to win that game.

Now I think the move is crazy. I do not believe you should ever give out a free run. Also, while Corey Seager is a great player, he is not quite Barry Bonds or prime Josh Hamilton. It makes sense in a way because you are only giving up one run instead of a potential base hit which could score up to four runs. However, I believe it shows a lack of faith in your pitcher. If your pitcher can go and execute a pitch, he could get a double play and get out of the inning.

But so far, it has worked every single time. I don’t think it is something we will see very often and will likely not see for a very long time again. It is just something that is going to confuse people and create chatter whenever it happens.

With all that out of the way, let’s get into our very first King’s Ranks of the 2022 season.

1. San Francisco Giants (7-2)

New year, same teams at the top of the rankings. I gave the slight edge to the Giants due to two factors. First, the Giants have not lost a series yet. They have taken care of business against Miami and San Diego and then swept a decent Cleveland team on the road. The second reason is that I think the Giants have played a slightly tougher schedule. The pitching is going to carry this team this season and so far Carlos Rodon looks like a Cy Young candidate. A very intriguing four game series at the New York Mets will be a very interesting series to watch this week.

2. Los Angeles Dodgers (7-2)

The Dodgers are going to be towards the top of this list for the entire season. This offense is one of the best that we have ever seen. A rough start for the rotation looks to be more so the fact that they were playing in Colorado rather than the staff actually struggling. If they get a dominant Clayton Kershaw, nobody is going to touch this team in the regular season. I believe the Dodgers will get very close to 116 wins. They will get tested this week when they host Atlanta in a NLCS rematch and then travel to San Diego.

3. Chicago White Sox (6-3)

Once again the White Sox are dealing with some early injury issues. Once again, they seem to be unaffected by those injuries. They managed to take two of three from two tough teams in Seattle and Tampa Bay. Lucas Giolito and Lance Lynn have made their way to the IL but Dylan Cease and company have really stepped up. The lineup is deep and will score runs. Four games with the Guardians and then three in Minnesota will really show how big of a gap there is between them and the rest of the AL Central.

4. New York Mets (7-3)

My biggest concern about the Mets coming into this season was the injury history with their rotation and bullpen. In that aspect, they are not off to a good start. Jacob deGrom is going to miss most of the season, and Taijuan Walker and Trevor May are both dealing with injuries as well. However, the lineup is shouldering the load. Francisco Lindor looks like the player we saw in Cleveland and sets the table for everyone else in that lineup. They will have their biggest test of the young season this week when the San Francisco Giants come to Queens for a four game series.

5. Toronto Blue Jays (6-4)

Toronto might be the most exciting team to watch right now. Any given night, the offense can be electric and the rotation is settling down after a tough start to the season. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. looks like a guy that wants to show he is an MVP. Alek Manoah is a guy you are going to want to remember. In 12 innings this season, Manoah has allowed just five hits and two runs while striking out 13. A tough two weeks lies ahead with seven games with the Red Sox and six with the Houston Astros. Buckle up Toronto.

6. St. Louis Cardinals (5-3)

The Albert Pujols signing might have brought along some magic for the St. Louis Cardinals because they are off to a great start. A couple rainouts have thrown a wrench into things but a split in Milwaukee was a solid result for this team. Nolan Arenado and Tyler O’Neil are off to solid starts and Albert Pujols is off to a better start than many expected. It will be fun to watch Pujols chase the 700 career home run mark. He needs 19 more which will make for an exciting summer in St. Louis.

7. Houston Astros (5-4)

The Houston Astros finally finished up a long nine game road trip to start their season. Things got worse as the road trip went on. To start the season, Houston took two of three from the Angels, dominating the Angels lineup. Then they would split two games in Arizona where the lineup struggled. To end the trip, they lost two of three in Seattle where they struggled to score and their rotation, with the exception of Justin Verlander, were hit around by the Mariners being outscored 18-7 in three games. Now they get to return home for a tough week with the Angels and Blue Jays coming to town. The offense needs to figure things out quickly or this division will become a very intriguing three team race.

8. Los Angeles Angels (6-4)

One team that seems to have figured things out are the Los Angeles Angels. After being shut down by the Houston Astros, the Halos swept two games with the Miami Marlins and took three of four from the Texas Rangers. Mike Trout seems to have dodged a bullet after being hit in the hand on Sunday. He could miss the entire series this week in Houston. The Angels still need to prove they can hang with the top teams in the American League if they want to contend in the AL West. We know Houston can. Seattle just beat up on the Astros as well. The Angels get another chance this week at Minute Maid Park.

9. Seattle Mariners (5-5)

The Astros, Angels and Mariners could be put in any order and I would be ok with it. I have the Mariners below the other two due to records. That is seriously what it came down to. If Seattle can keep the bats rolling, they could leap the other two in the rankings next week. They outscored Houston 18-7 in the three game series and that included being shutout in game two. A tough start to the season with series against the Twins, White Sox, and Astros was not an ideal start to the year. Now things settle down as they host Texas and Kansas City this week. One guy to keep an eye on is Ty France. He is quickly becoming one of the best hitters that nobody talks about.

10. Tampa Bay Rays (5-5)

After sweeping the Orioles to start the season, the Rays have since gone 2-5 against Oakland and the Chicago White Sox. The team is struggling to score consistently but the pitching always gives them a chance. We have learned over the years to never doubt Kevin Cash and the Rays so the panic meter is still low. They stay in Chicago to play the Cubs for three before heading home for a tough homestand starting with Boston. Lastly, Wander Franco is special and could contend for the AL MVP this season.

11. Colorado Rockies (6-3)

Here might be the biggest surprise so far in baseball in the first week and a half. The Colorado Rockies made an immediate statement when they took the series over the Dodgers to open the season. They would then sweep the Rangers in a two game series before splitting four with the Cubs. Connor Joe is one of the best stories in baseball. After defeating cancer, Joe is now hitting in the Colorado order every day. Joe is batting .361 on the year and everyone seems to feed off the energy that he brings. This has the makings of a Cinderella story. Can they maintain it is the question.

12. San Diego Padres (6-5)

The Padres are a tough team to rank. After having nor problem taking three of four from Arizona, they then dropped two of three in San Francisco and then split a four game series with Atlanta. Sean Manaea has been fantastic in his two starts this season, going 13 innings allowing four hits and two runs while striking out 13 with three walks. Missing the face of the franchise in Fernando Tatis Jr. is always hard but the schedule gets much more favorable with a three game series with the Reds before hosting the Dodgers for three. After that, things get much more manageable for San Diego.

13. Boston Red Sox (5-5)

The Red Sox feel like they have some problems. It all started when they couldn’t extend Xander Bogaerts or Rafael Devers before the season started. The pitching has struggled as well. Now it seems like it is no big deal, but it might just be a big deal. This week is big for Boston as they host Toronto and then head to Tampa Bay for a three game series. If they can figure out a way to win both of those series, things will get back to normal for the Red Sox.

14. Milwaukee Brewers (5-5)

Good news for Milwaukee, the rotation seems to have settled down after a very rocky start. Playing Baltimore always helps with that. Splitting the four game set with the Cardinals is bittersweet but a nice bounce back week for the Brew Crew. The bad news, Christian Yelich is still struggling at the plate. The Brewers don’t have the depth in their lineup to have a guy like Yelich struggle and expect to make a run at a World Series. He needs to figure things out and a series with the Pirates this week might be able to help.

15. New York Yankees (5-5)

Let the yearly panic in the Bronx begin. After taking two of three from Boston to open the season, the Yankees then split four with Toronto which wasn’t bad. Then they would drop two of three to Baltimore scoring a total of six runs in the series. Yikes. This offense is terrifying on paper but on the field so far there hasn’t been much to fear. Joey Gallo has been awful. He is hitting just .138 and is still in search of his first home run. To start the season, the Bronx Bombers once again look like the Bronx Busts.

16. Chicago Cubs (5-4)

The Cubs got off to a phenomenal start to the season when they took two of three from the Milwaukee Brewers. Since then, they have tread water splitting series with Pittsburgh and Colorado. That is not going to be good enough to take the division from Milwaukee or St. Louis. The Cubs do have an absolute superstar in Seiya Suzuki. In nine games, the Japanese star is dominating the MLB batting .400 with four home runs and eleven RBIs. Is it too early to give him the Rookie of the Year award?

17. Atlanta Braves (5-6)

The defending champs are not off to the start that they had hoped for. They have yet to win a series after splitting a series with Cincinnati, losing two of three to Washington, and splitting another four game set with San Diego. The pitching is still working into form after the shortened spring so that is a major cause of their slow start. Matt Olson is off to a great start on a new coast batting .421 so far. Ronald Acuna Jr. is about to begin his rehab stint after last season’s ACL tear. Next up however is a NLCS rematch with the Dodgers and an awkward reunion with the former face of the franchise in Freddie Freeman.

18. Cleveland Guardians (4-5)

The newly named Cleveland Guardians are going to have a chance to win almost every night due to their fantastic young rotation. They have however struggled mightily to score runs against good pitching. That was on display over the weekend as they were swept by San Francisco and were outscored 16-4 in the three game series. They seem to be your prototypical best of the rest team that will beat the bottom tier teams but really struggle against playoff caliber teams. All the talk of the AL’s star studded rookie class hyped up what should be an exciting race, but it is Steven Kwan that has been far and away the best rookie in the junior circuit in the early part of the season.

19. Miami Marlins (4-5)

The Marlins look like a similar team to what they were last year. Fantastic young pitching with little to no offense. However we did see what they could do if they get the bats going as they took three of four from Philadelphia over the weekend in a series where they averaged just over six runs per game. Is that just a flash in the pan though? A three game series at home with the Cardinals followed by a trip to Atlanta for three games will decide that. Jesus Luzardo looks like a guy that can be an ace in any rotation for years to come.

20. Pittsburgh Pirates (5-4)

The Pittsburgh Pirates once again are not supposed to do too much this season. They have a plan for their future and the early signs are promising for this squad. A series win over Washington was a fun time for Pirate fans and they have a glimpse of their future. Ke’Bryan Hayes and Bryan Reynolds both signed contract extensions since the season started as this squad looks to slowly climb their way up the NL Central in the years to come.

21. Oakland Athletics (5-5)

Overlooking the Oakland Athletics could be disastrous for any team expecting an easy series win. Because this team has something that is very dangerous for opposing teams, belief. They believe that they can beat anyone on any given night. That was on display when they took three of four in Tampa Bay before losing two of three in a close series in Toronto. Now they get to play at home for the first time in 2022 when they host Baltimore for four and Texas for three. There still is one dark cloud looming over this team. How long is Oakland still home?

22. Philadelphia Phillies (4-6)

The Phillies have some problems. After a positive start taking two of three from Oakland, the Phillies lost two of three to the Mets and three of four to the Marlins. While it is still early, the success of the Mets seems to be creating panic in Philadelphia. A trip to Colorado for three followed by a home series with the Mets doesn’t make things easier. So far, it has been all bark and no bite for the new look Phillies.

23. Detroit Tigers (4-5)

It was a rough start to the season for Detroit after dropping two of three to both the White Sox and Red Sox. They also had to place their big free agent signing Javy Baez on the IL. Things seemed to settle down over the weekend though. Taking two of three from the Royals (the fourth game was postponed) gave Detroit some momentum and helped Spencer Torkelson work out of his early slump. The offense needs him to continue in the positive direction with Baez out and with the Yankees and Rockies coming to town this week.

24. Minnesota Twins (3-6)

The Minnesota Twins have been either very good or very bad to start the season. There has been more bad so far which is why I have them ranked this low. Byron Buxton is once again dealing with an injury although it seems minor. They have survived a very tough start to the season after playing the Mariners, Dodgers, and Red Sox. They get a short breather when they go to Kansas City for three before returning home to host the Chicago White Sox.

25. Washington Nationals (4-7)

At some point in the season the Nationals will go through a very tough slump and I will just write about how great Juan Soto is. I don’t need to go there yet because another Nat is off to a great start and that is Josh Bell. Bell has already driven in 10 runs while batting .350 and could be an interesting trade piece come July. He and the rest of this lineup better enjoy a four game series with Arizona, because after that they welcome an elite rotation to town in the San Francisco Giants.

26. Baltimore Orioles (3-6)

This weekend might be the best weekend of baseball for the Baltimore Orioles in 2022. They took two of three from the Yankees after dropping two of three to Milwaukee. The new dimensions at Camden Yards will make it hard for teams to find those home runs in left field that used to fly out very easily. The bad news for the Orioles is that they lost John Means for most of the season due to an elbow injury. The rest of the rotation has been good but we will see if they can sustain that success through a full season.

27. Kansas City Royals (3-5)

The Royals are struggling in every possible way so far this season. They have scored the 3rd fewest runs so far this season while also hitting just .207 as a team. They are middle of the pack in runs allowed but that is with two rainouts already this season. Zack Grienke is pitching very well without getting many strikeouts as he has just one in eleven innings. They will look to wake up the bats this week when they host Minnesota for three before heading to Seattle for three.

28. Arizona Diamondbacks (3-6)

An exciting Opening Day that saw Seth Beer hit a walkoff home run on National Beer Day has been followed by very lackluster baseball for Arizona. Ketel Marte has struggled mightily along with about every other player on the Diamondbacks roster. What might be the worst team in baseball looks just like we expected them to. Now they play Washington for four in what might be their best chance to win a series this season.

29. Texas Rangers (2-7)

The big issue with Texas coming into this season was that they didn’t do enough to help their rotation. That has proven very true so far in 2022. They have a league worst ERA of 6.09 which completely negates any good the offense is doing. That offense has been solid to start the year. Corey Seager looks to be worth every penny while Marcus Semien has not got things going yet. Texas doesn’t look to be a contender in the AL West but can still be the deciding factor in who does win the division. They travel to Seattle and Oakland this week for a couple of three game series.

30. Cincinnati Reds (2-8)

Things changed very quickly for the Cincinnati Reds. After splitting a four game series with the defending World Series Champions in Atlanta, the Reds have lost six straight games to the Guardians and Dodgers. The lineup does not have a shot against the top pitchers in the league. Hunter Greene is a guy to watch in the Reds rotation. Greene set an MLB record for most pitches 100+ MPH in a single game with 39. There is the face of the franchise for Cincinnati once Joey Votto hangs them up.


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