The Braves are Sixth

Jason Heyward is one of the big reasons that the Atlanta Braves are so high in the MLB Power Rankings.

Two different MLB power rankings are out in the first week of the season, and both list the Atlanta Braves as the sixth-best team in baseball. In fact the same five teams are in front of the Braves in each ranking. Here is the SB Nation power ranking for week 1:

  1. Yankees
  2. Red Sox
  3. Rays
  4. Phillies
  5. Cardinals
  6. Braves
  7. Angels
  8. Rangers
  9. Twins
  10. Rockies

And here is the ESPN power ranking:

  1. Yankees
  2. Red Sox
  3. Phillies
  4. Rays
  5. Cardinals
  6. Braves
  7. Rockies
  8. Angels
  9. Twins
  10. Dodgers

Only one team is different between the two top tens (the Dodgers and Rangers). I find it interesting that many folks keep picking the Rockies to beat the Braves in the first round of the playoffs, yet the Braves are ranked ahead of the Rockies when it comes to power rankings. Anyway, that's a long way off and there's a lot of baseball between now and then.

It's good to see the Braves getting this kind of respect. It seems like the top-5 teams in each ranking are the upper echelon of MLB teams, and the next five are teams on the bubble who are trying to break into that upper echelon. Good to see the Braves thought of as "almost" upper echelon, now hopefully their play on the field will work to improve people's opinion and move them to that next level.

By the way, congrats to Peter Hjort, who posts here as PWHjort, for his Braves blog, Capitol Avenue Club, being selected to join Rob Neyer's ESPN SweetSpot Network. He wrote the snippet for the Braves in the ESPN power ranking.

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