Baseball Essential MLB Power Rankings: April 18th, 2016

Source: Brian Blanco/Getty Images North America

Source: Brian Blanco/Getty Images North America

6. Detroit Tigers (7-4, +15 Run Differential)
Record for Week: 4-3
Previous Ranking: 4

While the Royals and White Sox have both gotten off to hot starts, the Detroit Tigers have also been playing well. The offense has been clicking, and the pitching staff has held it together to this point, behind the strong performance of Jordan Zimmermann. The Tigers are scoring a good amount of runs, and their pitching staff has done a good job of holding opposing teams. Most importantly of all, the much improve Tigers bullpen has gone a long way in making the team more cohesive from top to bottom. With the Royals and White Sox looking good early on, it looks to be at least a three team race in the AL Central this season.

Best Hitter of the Week: Nick Castellanos 9/25, 1.040 OPS, 2 HR, 6 RBI
Worst Hitter of the Week: Jose Iglesias 3/14, .675 OPS, 1 SB

Best Pitcher of the Week: Jordan Zimmermann 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 K, 1 W
Worst Pitcher of the Week: Justin Verlander 10.1 IP, 10 ER, 10 K

Upcoming Schedule: @ Royals (3), vs. Indians (3)

5. Kansas City Royals (8-4, +8 Run Differential)
Record for Week: 4-3
Previous Ranking: 3

Once again the Royals are being the Royals through the first two weeks of the season. Despite many picking them for some regression, and quite a few picking them to miss the playoffs altogether after winning the World Series in 2015, the Royals have once again looked stellar this year. The Royals actually look relatively similar to their division rival White Sox at this point; scoring around the same amount of runs, giving up around the same amount of runs, and protecting games with strong bullpen performance. It seems pretty clear who the best teams in the AL Central will be, but the Royals will clearly still be the team to beat this season, at least for now.

Best Hitter of the Week: Eric Hosmer 11/30, .933 OPS, 1 HR, 4 RBI
Worst Hitter of the Week: Paulo Orlando 3/19, .316 OPS

Best Pitcher of the Week: Wade Davis 3.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 K, 1 W, 3 SV
Worst Pitcher of the Week: Chris Young 8.2 IP, 10 ER, 6 K

Upcoming Schedule: vs. Tigers (3), vs. Orioles (3)

4. Chicago White Sox (8-4, +7 Run Differential)
Record for Week: 4-2
Previous Ranking: 10

The Chicago White Sox have certainly come out of the gates hot in 2016. Near the top of the league in both pitching and offense, the White Sox have excelled in close games early in the season. The trio of Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, and Carlos Rodon has been electric, all with ERAs under 2.50, with Mat Latos being a surprise so far as well (0.75 ERA). The offense has done enough behind the likes of Austin Jackson, Jose Abreu, Todd Frazier, and company, and the White Sox’s bullpen has held several leads in close games. After a busy offseason, and looking for a playoff birth in a relatively wide open American League Central, the White Sox have gotten off to one of the best starts in all of baseball.

Best Hitter of the Week: Melky Cabrera 9/21, .905 OPS, 0 HR, 1 RBI (GW RBI)
Worst Hitter of the Week: Jose Abreu 2/17, 0 HR, 1 RBI

Best Pitcher of the Week: Chris Sale 9 IP, 0 ER, 9 K, 1 W
Worst Pitcher of the Week: John Danks 6.1 IP, 5 ER, 4 K

Upcoming Schedule: vs. Angels (4), vs. Rangers (3)

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