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While the National League continues to dominate the top of our Power Rankings, three weeks into the MLB season the American League is starting to make a splash as well.

Which red hot AL squad is contending with the likes of the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants and New York Mets? Where do the Chicago White Sox rank after an eight-game losing streak? And is there a new team sitting all the way down at No. 30?

Our expert panel has combined to rank every team in baseball based on a combination of what we’ve seen so far and what we already knew going into the 162-game marathon that is a full baseball season. We also asked ESPN MLB experts David Schoenfield, Bradford Doolittle, Joon Lee, Jesse Rogers and Alden Gonzalez to weigh in with an early observation for all 30 teams.

Week 2 | Preseason rankings

1. Los Angeles Dodgers

Record: 12-6

Previous ranking: 1

Remember back to the start of the season, when we talked about how the Dodgers’ rotation might be their only weakness? Well, through the first three weeks, the Dodgers boast the best starting-pitcher ERA in the majors. Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw and Julio Urias have basically performed to the level of their expectations, while Tony Gonsolin and Andrew Heaney — the latter currently on the injured list with shoulder soreness — have been revelations. Oh, and Dustin May is on his way back. The Dodgers are on a 108-win pace, which sounds about right. — Alden Gonzalez


2. San Francisco Giants

Record: 13-6

Previous ranking: 3

Admit it: They got you again, didn’t they? You looked at the Giants’ roster, noted some key missing players, became underwhelmed by the totality of the group and once again didn’t see dominance in them. Well, three weeks in, they boast the second-best winning percentage and are tied with the Dodgers for the highest run-differential in the majors, looking every bit as much like the team that won 107 games last year (even without Buster Posey and Kevin Gausman and others). These Giants just seem to find a way. This year, it’s been largely with help from Carlos Rodon and Joc Pederson, two savvy pickups from the offseason. — Gonzalez


Record: 12-7

Previous ranking: 4

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This Blue Jays team is living up to expectations. Shortstop Bo Bichette’s struggles have marked one of the few weak spots in the lineup, but the young star knocked a go-ahead grand slam to beat the Red Sox 6-2 on Monday. Catcher Zack Collins has also been one of the team’s best contributors so far since coming over from the Chicago White Sox via trade before the season. — Joon Lee


4. New York Mets

Record: 14-6

Previous ranking: 2

OK, their starting pitchers have beat up on the struggling lineups of the Diamondbacks (six games) and Nationals (four games), but they also won their other three series against the Phillies, Giants and Cardinals — meaning they won their first six series for the first time in Mets history. The upcoming homestand against the Phillies and Braves will be a golden opportunity to extend their early lead in the NL East even further. On top of that came the news that Jacob deGrom’s MRI showed considerable healing of his stress reaction, and he was cleared to begin strengthening exercises. — Dave Schoenfield


Record: 12-6

Previous ranking: 7

A major development for the Yankees was the bounceback start from Gerrit Cole, who allowed four hits and one walk while striking out nine batters against the Cleveland Guardians on Sunday. Another early bright spot so far is infielder Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who is off to a strong start at the plate and is one of the top position players in WAR on the team through the early part of the season. — Lee


Record: 10-8

Previous ranking: 10

Wander Franco continues to be just as good as advertised. The Rays shortstop looks like one of the best players in the league so far in April, hitting .319 in 17 games this season and ranking in the top-5 in baseball for WAR. — Lee


Record: 11-7

Previous ranking: 15

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Logan Gilbert has been dealing through his first four starts, going 3-0 and allowing just one earned run over 22 innings. Some of the advanced metrics aren’t quite as impressive as the ERA, but he’s allowed just two extra-base hits. Gilbert’s family and friends from the Orlando area were in Tampa on Tuesday to see him toss 5.2 scoreless innings against the Rays. One notable improvement from 2021: He’s throwing all three of his offspeed pitches much harder while maintaining his 95-mph fastball. — Schoenfield


Record: 10-7

Previous ranking: 11

St. Louis had an awful week at the plate, averaging just 2.71 runs per game in their last seven games prior to Wednesday’s 10-5 win over the Mets. Luckily, they pitched well — at least until the ninth inning on Monday when they gave up five runs to the Mets and ended the game in a 5-2 loss. A decent home run hitting team, they hit just one over that seven-game span but still won four of seven. — Jesse Rogers


Record: 12-7

Previous ranking: 8

The Padres sit near the top of the majors in three-true-outcome percentage. Manny Machado, Eric Hosmer and Jurickson Profar had been great, combining for a 1.007 OPS, but the Padres had received little production outside of those three. If Jake Cronenworth and Trent Grisham can get going — one would expect they will eventually — the Padres should have enough to keep their heads above water until Fernando Tatis Jr. returns. — Gonzalez


Record: 12-7

Previous ranking: 13

The schedule makers didn’t do the Brewers any favors as they played on Sunday night in Philadelphia, traveled back home for a late afternoon game against the Giants on Monday, and then on to Pittsburgh for a series on Tuesday. They went 3-1 in those four games and find themselves near the top of the NL central. Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff are looking more and more like their 2021 versions of themselves. — Rogers


Record: 8-11

Previous ranking: 9

Despite strong starts from Matt Olson, Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley and Marcell Ozuna, the offense has only been middle of the pack. Eddie Rosario, last year’s playoff hero, started 3-for-44 without an RBI, and will now spend eight-to-12 weeks on the IL after undergoing eye surgery to correct blurred vision. Meanwhile, neither Adam Duvall nor Dansby Swanson, who combined for 65 home runs last year, have cleared the fence entering Thursday while combining for 54 strikeouts in 143 PAs. — Schoenfield


Record: 9-9

Previous ranking: 6

The Astros’ offense hasn’t just struggled over the first month of the season, it hasn’t even looked like an Astros offense. The calling card of the elite Houston attack of recent vintage has been balance. Hit for average, hit for extra bases, own the strike zone. So far, the Astros have mostly scored via the longball, or they’ve struggled to score at all. Houston led the majors with an aggregate .267 batting average from 2017 through 2021. This season, the Astros hit .209 over their first 18 games. It’s still early — very early — but so far, this version of the Houston offense has been unrecognizable from what we’ve come to expect from an Astros attack. — Bradford Doolittle


Record: 12-7

Previous ranking: 14

Mike Trout is back to being Mike Trout, boasting an otherworldly .365/.476/.808 slash line through his first 15 games. But it’s the Angels’ starting pitching that has triggered the most encouragement with this year’s team, specifically with regards to three men not named Shohei Ohtani. Noah Syndergaard, Patrick Sandoval and Michael Lorenzen have combined for a 1.71 ERA in 47 1/3 innings through each of their first three starts. — Gonzalez


Record: 10-8

Previous ranking: 16

C.J. Cron, signed to a two-year, $14.5 million extension over the offseason, really likes hitting in mile-high altitude. The power-hitting first baseman held a .326/.412/.661 slash line at Coors Field last year and is batting .350/.372/.800 there this year, while helping to carry an offense that has lifted the Rockies among the sport’s biggest surprises in the first month. — Gonzalez


Record: 8-11

Previous ranking: 12

Boston currently finds itself at the bottom of the American League East in large part due to the inconsistency of their pitching staff. While the pitching staff features standouts like Nathan Eovaldi and Garrett Whitlock, the team will need better performances from Nick Pivetta, who has struggled mightily through his first three starts after the team’s front office placed high expectations upon him before the season. — Lee


16. Chicago White Sox

Record: 7-10

Previous ranking: 5

In six games over five days against division opponents, Cleveland and Minnesota, the White Sox lost all six and were outscored by an average of four runs. Eloy Jimenez went down with a hamstring injury. Tony LaRussa created a negative stir by rolling out a lackluster lineup in one game that featured Leury Garcia hitting third. Tim Anderson committed six errors in three games. The only bright spot was that the White Sox are not as bad as they looked during their losing streak. No team is as bad as the White Sox looked during their losing streak. — Doolittle


Record: 10-8

Previous ranking: 22

The Twins’ preseason optimism had to be teetering after a slow start out of the gate. All of a sudden, a modest winning streak pushed Minnesota into first place in the AL Central. There are two primary reasons for the sudden about face: A surprising starting rotation and a division race that, with Chicago floundering, looks very winnable. The rotation was probably the Twins’ biggest question mark entering the season but has been terrific in the early going. The starters rank high in collective ERA and in the top 10 of most other key metrics, save for a middling rank in strikeout rate. Nearly everyone has pitched in, but the revelation has been low-key free-agent pickup Dylan Bundy, who went 3-0 with a 0.59 in his first three outings. — Doolittle


Record: 9-10

Previous ranking: 19

The Phillies are 1-6 in games started by Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler, which helps explain the sub-.500 start. The good news: Nola allowed one hit in seven scoreless innings in his last start against the Brewers, although the Phillies lost 1-0. And Wheeler, while he gave up four runs in five innings, at least saw his fastball velocity creeping back closer to its 2021 level. There is still the potential for a very good rotation, but it needs to get going. Starting Friday they play the Mets seven times in nine games, and that’s followed by a road trip to Seattle and the Dodgers. — Schoenfield


19. Cleveland Guardians

Record: 7-11

Previous ranking: 20

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The Cleveland offense has cooled off after a blistering start but still rank high in a number of key categories. While the Guardians still rank well in percentage of runs scored via the home run, an attack that has seen a lot of changing faces over the last couple of years has shown signs of being less of a take-and-rake offense. They are more athletic, too, ranking third in collective sprint speed, according to Statcast, and in the top 10 by most team defensive metrics. — Doolittle


Record: 10-9

Previous ranking: 23

Despite gutting their roster this offseason, Oakland has proven to be competitive so far in the early part of the season. The team’s starting pitching has been one of the roster’s bright spots, with strong performances from Frankie Montas, Cole Irvin, Daulton Jefferies and Paul Blackburn. — Lee


Record: 6-11

Previous ranking: 17

The Tigers and Miguel Cabrera enjoyed a bit of history over the last week when Miggy reached the 3,000-hit milestone. Even if you isolate just the Detroit portion of his Hall of Fame career, Cabrera has reached the upper echelon of all-time Tigers hitters. According to baseball-reference.com, Cabrera ranks fifth in runs created as a Tiger, behind Ty Cobb, Al Kaline, Charlie Gehringer and Harry Heilman. He’s third behind Kaline and Heilman as righty hitters and has an outside chance to catch Heilman before his career is over. — Doolittle


Record: 9-8

Previous ranking: 21

The Marlins aren’t going anywhere unless their big offseason pickups — Avisail Garcia and Jorge Soler — start to hit. Entering Wednesday, both were hitting under .200 and had hit just one home run apiece. Garcia had a disturbing 18-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (never a strength of his in the first place) while Soler has been a double liability since Don Mattingly has been starting him in left field (Bryan De La Cruz often enters as a defensive replacement). — Schoenfield


Record: 8-10

Previous ranking: 18

The Cubs had one of the stranger series against the Pirates over the weekend. They lost 3 of 4 but outscored Pittsburgh by 17 runs! They tallied 21 in their lone win but only 8 in the three losses. Despite the up-and-down four-game set, the Cubs lead the majors in OPS. A lot of that has to do with rookie sensation Seiya Suzuki. He cooled off a little last week but is still getting on-base over 45% of the time. — Rogers


Record: 6-10

Previous ranking: 25

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At a certain point, you have to start wondering if and when the Royals will just cut bait with first baseman Carlos Santana. At 36, the reality is likely that this is just what Santana is at this point, someone who draws walks but doesn’t produce nearly enough on contact to be an overall positive producer to the attack. Meanwhile, in Triple-A, first base prospect Nick Pratto is off to a slow start, but fellow first base prospect Vinnie Pasquantino has hit well and features Santana-like plate discipline. If Santana is going to show that he’s got something left in the tank, he better demonstrate it sooner than later. — Doolittle


Record: 8-10

Previous ranking: 27

You have to give the Pirates credit. After getting blasted 21-0 by the Cubs on Saturday, they came back the next day and won 4-3 like nothing happened. In fact, they played solid baseball in winning 3 of 4 in Chicago and even got to .500 with that series win, before falling to the Brewers on Tuesday. Daniel Vogelbach and Ke’Bryan Hayes both had strong weeks for the Pirates, with the former player winning a game with a home run. — Rogers


Record: 6-12

Previous ranking: 26

After a slow start, the Rangers are starting to play better baseball, especially on the mound. Dane Dunning wasn’t great, but Texas got solid starts from Glen Otto and Martin Perez last week. Otto, in particular, was impressive in his season debut after getting a taste of the big leagues last season. He shut down Oakland last Friday, giving up just a run over five innings. It’s an encouraging sign for a staff who ranked near the bottom in ERA until the last seven days. — Rogers


Record: 6-14

Previous ranking: 24

We mentioned the lineup in this space last week, and it has only gotten worse. The Nationals have lost seven in a row heading into Thursday’s game against the Marlins, failing to score more than three runs in any of the seven losses. Even their win before that was a 1-0 victory. Oh, they’ve also allowed the most runs in the National League. The Nationals record of 103 losses in 2009 looks like it will be in play, and don’t discount the franchise record of 110, set back in the Expos’ expansion season of 1969. — Schoenfield


Record: 8-11

Previous ranking: 28

Among the 13 players who have absorbed the most plate appearances on this D-backs team, only one, Seth Beer, has an adjusted OPS above 110. The D-backs are averaging only three runs per game and have produced the second-lowest OPS in the sport, but they have received some nice contributions from three of their starters — Merrill Kelly, Madison Bumgarner and Zac Gallen. You take the positives where you can. If the Rockies are ultimately better than we expected, the D-backs are primed for another 100-plus-loss season. — Gonzalez


Record: 6-12

Previous ranking: 30

Ace John Means will undergo Tommy John surgery and will miss the rest of the season, knocking a big blow to the Orioles roster. But starter Bruce Zimmermann has been one of the team’s biggest surprises so far, with a 1.20 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 15 innings pitched across three starts. — Lee


Record: 3-15

Previous ranking: 29

Cincinnati won a game! The worst team in baseball snapped an 11-game losing streak with a win over St. Louis on Sunday. But when Joey Votto is tweeting about a hitting slump, you know things are bad. The Reds rank 30th in OPS and ERA. That about says it all for a team stripped of star players other than the aforementioned Votto and second baseman Jonathan India. — Rogers


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