Baseball Essential MLB Power Rankings: April 18th, 2016

 Source: Hunter Martin/Getty Images North America

Source: Hunter Martin/Getty Images North America

18. Philadelphia Phillies (6-7, -18 Run Differential)
Record for Week: 4-3
Previous Ranking: 28

One of the most surprising teams in baseball over the first two weeks has been the Philadelphia Phillies. While their division rival and fellow tanker the Atlanta Braves have struggled mightily over the first two weeks, the Phillies have been fairly competitive. The offense has been rather poor this week, but the pitching staff has been fantastic this week, highlighted by great performances by Aaron Nola and Jered Eickhoff, and Vincent Velasquez’s dominance of the San Diego Padres. It’s clear that the young pitching staff is going to be the Phillies strength this season, but their offense will hold them back from any good. Add to that a shaky bullpen, and this may be the highest spot the Phillies reach on the power rankings in 2016.

Best Hitter of the Week: Odubel Herrera 7/19, 1.256 OPS, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 SB
Worst Hitter of the Week: Cedric Hunter 1/19, .083 OPS

Best Pitcher of the Week: Vince Velasquez 9 IP, 0 ER, 16 K, 1 W
Worst Pitcher of the Week: Aaron Nola 12 IP, 11 ER, 15 K

Upcoming Schedule: vs. Mets (3), @ Brewers (3)

17. Toronto Blue Jays (6-7, +3 Run Differential)
Record for Week: 3-3
Previous Ranking: 20

Surprisingly enough, the Toronto Blue Jays offense has gotten off to a bit of a slow start overall. Through 13 games, the Jays offense is only averaging four runs per game while giving up just under four runs per game. The likes of Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, and Edwin Encarnacion have all been their usual selves, but the rest of the offense has sputtered in the early going. The pitching staff has held together rather well, despite the large question marks that were anticipated going into the season. Both J.A. Happ and Aaron Sanchez have exceeded expectations to this point, offsetting some of the struggles of R.A. Dickey and Marcus Stroman. All in all, the Jays pitching, and thus team as a whole, could be better than expected.

Best Hitter of the Week: Josh Donaldson 8/23, 1.158 OPS, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1 SB
Worst Hitter of the Week: Russell Martin 2/16, .336 OPS, 1 RBI

Best Pitcher of the Week: Marcus Stroman 8 IP, 2 ER, 3 K, 1 W
Worst Pitcher of the Week: Pat Venditte 1.1 IP, 1 ER, 0 K

Upcoming Schedule: @ Red Sox (1), @ Orioles (3), vs. Athletics (3)

16. Milwaukee Brewers (5-7, -29 Run Differential)
Record for Week: 2-4
Previous Ranking: 16

Believe or not, the Milwaukee Brewers have the worst run differential in all of baseball in the first two weeks of the season. The Brewers are barely scoring three runs a game, while giving up just shy of six runs a game to this point. As a team the Brewers have been pretty uninspiring, but their record has been a bit of a surprise in spite of that. The Brewers are clearly in the midst of a full blown rebuild, but they at least still have some talent on the field to watch for the remainder of the year.

Best Hitter of the Week: Ryan Braun 6/22, .879 OPS, 2 HR, 4 RBI
Worst Hitter of the Week: Scooter Gennett 2/17, .436 OPS

Best Pitcher of the Week: Jimmy Nelson 12 IP, 4 ER, 10 K, 2 W
Worst Pitcher of the Week: Taylor Jungmann 8 IP, 12 ER, 8 K

Upcoming Schedule: @ Twins (2), vs. Twins (2), vs. Phillies (3)

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