Orioles, Mets 3-0? Sox, Yanks 0-3? The Mayans may have been right [MLB Power Rankings]
Here are my week 1 rankings. Feel free to let me know where I went wrong in the comment section below.
1. Detroit Tigers - They beat the Red Sox in every way imaginable in their 3-game set. A masterful performance by Verlander in game 1, a blowout in game 2, and an extra-innings slugfest in game 3. With Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, that's going to be an great lineup.
2. Tampa Bay Rays - Their rotation looks like it could be one of the best in baseball, and their lineup has some serious potential as well. They'll give the big budget Yanks and Sox a tough task this season.
3. Texas Rangers - One of the best lineups in baseball, they've added Yu Darvish to their rotation and could be heading to yet another World Series if he ends up being anywhere near as good as anticipated.
4. St. Louis Cardinals - The defending World Series Champions, the Cardinals haven't missed a beat yet, despite the loss of legendary slugger Albert Pujols. They might still win the NL Central, not the most top-heavy division in the league by any stretch.
5. LA Angels of Anaheim - Pujols hasn't done much for his new team yet, but they still have a lineup that can do a ton of damage. Once Pujols starts clicking, they'll give opposing pitchers nightmares regularly.
6. Arizona Diamondbacks - The Diamondbacks have had some outstanding young players over the years, but not enough to put together a great season. Could this be their year? There's definitely a chance.
7. Blue Jays - Another AL East team who could give the traditional powers a run for their money, the Jays will get a good test this week against the Red Sox. A few wins could put serious distance between them early in the season.
8. Los Angeles Dodgers - Matt Kemp, the guy who probably should have won the NL MVP last year, picked up where he left off and is helping the Dodgers lineup immensely. Also Chad Billingsley might have a bounce-back year after few mediocre seasons.
9. New York Yankees - They've started off 0-3, but let's be serious. They're the Yankees. There's no way this will last long, and they'll be back around the top of the division within a week or two. Aging, perhaps. But they're still talented.
10. Washington Nationals - I'm not sure the Nationals have ever been in the top 10 of any Power Rankings since their move to Washington, but they have some talented young pitchers in Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann, and this could be their year to contend.
11. Philadelphia Phillies - Owners of arguably the best starting pitchers in baseball, the Phillies also boast a nearly AL-caliber lineup. They'll end up around the top of the NL East when it's all said and done.
12. Boston Red Sox - After an atrocious September, the Sox still haven't gotten out of their slump. To be fair, they were swept by the Tigers, the #1 team on this list, and 2 of the games were close. Also, remember they started last year 0-6, and were the best team in baseball from June to August.
13. New York Mets - After a ridiculous offseason, they Mets started off the year pretty well, sweeping a division rival in the Braves. I wouldn't worry too much about them keeping it that way, however.
14. Baltimore Orioles - The Orioles are another team that inexplicably started off 3-0. but they're also another team that we know won't be on top of the division for very long. Sorry, Orioles fans, but your team just isn't very talented.
15. Cincinnati Reds - The Reds have a sneaky good rotation, and a few hitters who can put a scare into opposing lineups. The NL Central could get pretty crowded up top if the Reds can be legit contenders.
16. Seattle Mariners - The Mariners started the season over a week ago in Japan against the Athletics, and they're actually looking ok so far. Granted, they're playing the Athletics, but still. Their lone loss was after a Felix Hernandez gem.
17. Milwaukee Brewers - Losing Prince Fielder was a huge loss, but this is still a talented team, and they still have Ryan Braun, the reigning NL MVP. No suspension means he'll still be around to give their lineup some pop.
18. Pittsburgh Pirates - The Pirates could be a surprising playoff contender this year. They have several young players with enormous potential and they made a few moves in the offseason to give themselves some veteran presence.
19. Miami Marlins - Despite making a huge splash in free agency, the Marlins haven't yet shown that they can put it all together. It's early, and things will probably change, but they haven't been all that impressive yet.
20. Kansas City Royals - The Royals are another team with a lot of young talent, especially Eric Hosmer, but they just don't have the talent to contend in the long term.
21. Atlanta Braves - Much like the Red Sox, the Braves had an abysmal September last year. Much like the Red Sox, the Braves are off to an atrocious start in 2012. The difference: They lost to the Mets, not the Tigers. Ouch.
22. San Francisco Giants - The Giants are known for their pitching, not their lineup. But unfortunately, that rotation failed them in their first series, and gave up 5+ runs in all 3 games. That's not going to work in San Fran.
23. Houston Astros - Last year's worst team has shown some signs of improvement, already winning 2 of 3. But let's not get ahead of ourselves... they'll still be among the worst in the NL.
24. Chicago Cubs - Ah, the Cubs. If I had to bet on it, I'd say their incredible streak of futility will be extended for at least one more season. Give Theo Epstein some time, however, and they'll win a World Series. Someday.
25. Cleveland Indians - They lost the longest opening day game in baseball history, and hopefully that won't be a microcosm for their whole season. I don't think they'll be that bad, but they aren't ready to be a playoff contender yet either.
26. Minnesota Twins - They might struggle mightily this year, if they're going to start the year by getting swept against the Orioles. They have a tough schedule coming up, and it might just keep getting worse. We'll see if they can rebound from this.
27. Colorado Rockies - If you've been on the internet at all lately, you've probably seen a whole lot of Jamie Moyer "old" jokes. The mere fact that the Rockies feel like they need him is at least slightly alarming.
28. Chicago White Sox - The White Sox are probably glad they lost Ozzie Guillen at this point, but they still need some talent, particularly in their lineup. They lost some key players as well, and they need to retool.
29. Oakland Athletics - Are we ready to admit that Moneyball is a failure yet? If you don't think so, then it seems like you're simply not paying attention anymore. This hasn't been a good team in a while, and that's not going to change this year.
30. San Diego Padres - The Padres are an extremely young team, and it's going to be a very long year (or more) in San Diego. The lineup simply lacks intimidation, and their pitching isn't great either.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.