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Kim O'Reilly, CBS Sports

With only a week-and-a-half in the books of a six-month marathon, drawing sweeping conclusions on the entire league right now would be foolish. We know that. It would also be incredibly boring to just leave the rankings the same as they were in spring training without accounting for what we've seen so far. As I've preached now every April for over a decade here with the Official Power Rankings, we're in "react without overreacting" mode. 

In terms of reacting, the National League East (henceforth: Least) really hasn't covered itself in glory so far. In fact, it appears to have three of the worst teams in baseball behind the juggernaut Braves and 4-5 Phillies

Nationals

It wasn't that long ago that they hoisted a World Series trophy, but more recently they traded a dude who appears to be a future Hall of Famer. They lost 107 games in 2022 and 91 last year and my hunch is this year they settle between those figures (we'll go with 97 losses). This ballclub was the best bet for a last-place finisher in the Least heading into the year and everything is right on schedule with the futility we've seen thus far. They sit 3-6 with an anemic offense and thin pitching staff. 

Marlins

Sure, they were a playoff team last season, but so much went right for them and they still barely snuck in before getting bounced in two games. They also entered spring training without ace Sandy Alcantara (Tommy John surgery) and the rotation has been further ravaged since, with shoulder injuries to Braxton Garrett and Edward Cabrera, and Eury Pérez is also now headed to Tommy John surgery. The offense was lackluster last year and now it's without big-time power man Jorge Soler

Things have spiraled on the field, too, unsurprisingly. They started a pathetic 0-9 despite it being a relatively friendly schedule. Sunday brought the first Marlins' victory, but they are the worst team in baseball at the moment. 

Mets

As a reminder, this is the team with the highest payroll in baseball. Those MLB needs a salary cap! people will be aghast to learn that spending doesn't necessarily equal winning in this sport. These Mets went 1-5 on a season-opening homestand against two teams that most believed heading into the season were mediocre. They now sit 3-6 with a four-game series in Atlanta on the docket next, so they'll likely be 4-9 or even 3-10 heading to next weekend. 

Perhaps worst of all, if things continue on this path, Pete Alonso will get traded in front of the deadline instead of being handed a long-term extension. 


As I said, we shouldn't be overreacting, but there are a lot of expected elements at play here. Even the best-case scenario for these three teams was mediocrity and things have already, rather dramatically, pushed that scenario further down the scale of likelihood. None of them have faced a difficult schedule and they still sport bad records. 

It really does look like the National League East houses three of the worst teams in baseball.

Biggest Movers
13 Cubs
11 Mariners
Rk
Teams
 
Chg
Rcrd
1 Braves The Spencer Strider injury is obviously a huge blow, but remember they dealt with a litany of starting pitching injuries last year, too. -- 27-17
2 Yankees This is the 10th time in franchise history the Yankees have won at least eight of their first 10 games. It happened in 2020 and before that you'd have to go back to their 9-1 start in 2003. In the previous nine times they were at least 8-2, they won the AL pennant six times and the World Series thrice (1949, 1953, 1956). 1 33-16
3 Rangers Series wins over the Cubs, Rays and Astros. The champs are good. 2 24-24
4 Cubs You cannot say enough about the job Jed Hoyer has done in reshaping what was once a boom-or-bust offense with power and strikeouts into this group. So far, they've been among the league leaders in walk percentage and have also had close to the lowest strikeout percentage. 13 26-22
5 Dodgers So far, the Dodgers are 6-1 in Dodger Stadium and 2-3 elsewhere. Hmmm ... (I don't really think it's a thing that'll continue; I just found it interesting right now). 3 33-17
6 Pirates Sure, it was an easy schedule to start the season, but the games were on the road. They were tested at home by the Orioles and took two of three in dramatic fashion. That's a Big Boy series win. Also of note: The Pirates are already 3-0 in extra innings. 9 22-26
7 Orioles It was a 3-3 week with two of their wins being miracle late-inning comebacks. Those certainly count, but on balance that wasn't a good week. 3 29-16
8 Brewers What a strong start. The last time the Brewers were 6-2 through eight games? Well, last year. They were 7-1 in 2019. They made the playoffs in both of those seasons. 8 27-20
9 Red Sox Liam Hendriks told me that one of the reasons he liked signing with the Red Sox was that they always tend to "punch above their weight." He said that before Opening Day. It's come to fruition so far and they haven't even played a home game yet. What an outstanding road trip. 11 24-24
10 Guardians What a total bummer on the Shane Bieber injury. The team is out to a great start, he was looking like his old (Cy Young) self and is set to hit free agency after this season. 9 31-17
11 Diamondbacks Tough to evaluate right now, you know? They won three of four from a pitiful team and then have lost five of six to stellar teams. 5 22-26
12 Reds Spencer Steer drove home 12 runs in the first eight games. I went to look up how rare that was in Reds history and the record is 16 RBI in the first eight games (Harry Steinfeldt in 1904). Also, Tyler Naquin had 14 in the first eight games in 2021. 9 19-28
13 Phillies Through nine games in 2022, they were 4-5. Through nine games last year, they were 3-6. I see no need to fret just yet. 4 34-14
14 Rays It's an awfully bad look after a terrible outing to blame the baseballs when no other pitcher said there was anything wrong, yet that's exactly what happened with Pete Fairbanks on Friday. 6 25-24
15 Astros It's only 10 games out of 162. They're overwhelmingly likely to be just fine and that's why I'm not willing to drop them any further just yet. They have not, however, started this slow since 2016, which was the last time they weren't in the ALCS. 1 21-27
16 Blue Jays Much more worrisome than Kevin Gausman's stat line would be his velocity readings from the outing on Saturday. 9 21-25
17 Cardinals Awful rotation, again, but the debut of Sonny Gray is coming and will help shore things up. They've gone 4-2 in games where they aren't playing the Dodgers. 5 21-26
18 Tigers Are they good? Are they AL Central Good? Or were they just beating up on terrible teams? They just lost two of three to the A's at home and an upcoming two-week stretch on the schedule includes the Twins, Rangers and Rays. Seems like the honeymoon might already be over. -- 23-24
19 Twins The Twins are averaging three runs per game and are slugging just .300 as a team. 9 24-23
20 Giants The Giants are 4-3 vs. the Padres, 0-3 vs. the Dodgers and haven't played anyone else. Good news, Giants fans: The Nats now come to town. 9 23-25
21 Padres Just eyeballing it, I'm gonna say the Padres have the toughest schedule to start the season. They've played the Dodgers, Giants and Cardinals so far with the Cubs, Dodgers, Brewers and Blue Jays coming next. 9 25-25
22 Royals Their only two losses in the last eight games came on furious late-inning comebacks by a feisty/good Orioles team. Not a bad run of baseball here by the hopeful contender Royals. Still, let's not get overzealous. They are 2-4 when they don't play the White Sox. 1 30-19
23 Angels I would congratulate Anthony Rendon for finally getting a hit, but he's probably annoyed that he had to try hard for it to happen. Regardless, he's scorching hot and all the way up to .094 on the year. 1 19-29
24 Mariners Three years into his career, maybe Julio Rodríguez is just destined to be a slow starter. It happens. Some very good players like Mark Teixeira and even Hall of Famers like Ryne Sandberg were notorious slow starters. 11 26-22
25 Mets I suppose we could try to put a positive spin on things and say they've won three of their last four games? 1 21-26
26 Nationals The biggest Nationals news this past week was probably the formal retirement of Stephen Strasburg. That's not a positive commentary on the state of the franchise. 1 21-25
27 Athletics As bad as the team on the field plays this season -- and it'll be very bad -- it pales in comparison to the ongoing performance by owner John Fisher. What an absolute joke he is. 2 19-30
28 Rockies Rough start for the 1993 expansion squads, huh? -- 15-31
29 White Sox One of the many things that makes baseball great is how on any given day, an abomination of a team can be an elite squad. On April 2, 12,300 fans witnessed the White Sox taking down the Braves. 1 14-34
30 Marlins Look, I knew they'd be bad. I hammered their under when I sifted through the gambling win totals in spring training. I did not, however, foresee them sitting in last this quickly. Regular rankings readers know a lot of times with the team in last here I'll just say what they are on pace to finish. The Marlins' pace? They are on pace to go 16-146. 3 16-33