MLB Power Rankings

Sorry, Pirates, I'll be nice this week [MLB Power Rankings]

6/11/12 in MLB   |   Pat   |   5229 respect

Jun 5, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher A.J. Burnett (34) pitches during the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIREI need to get one thing out of the way first. Last week, I was a bit rude to the Pirates, I'll admit it.

This week, they made a nice jump from 16 up to 10, and they're starting to validate their place among the top 3rd in the league. Let's see how long they can keep that up.

A few other teams shifted around a bit, including my Red Sox taking another fall, and another change at #1.


Without further ado, here are this week's rankings:

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings1. Los Angeles Dodgers (Last week: 2) - Once again, the Dodgers take over the top spot, thanks to their 7 wins out of their last 10 games. They're still going strong, despite missing MVP candidate Matt Kemp.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings2. Washington Nationals (3) - The good news: They just swept the Red Sox. The bad news: Well, it was only the Red Sox. This is still an excellent team, though, and that series was just more evidence of that.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings3. Texas Rangers (1) - The Rangers are actually hitting a rough patch, going 4-6 in their last 10 games. For the first time in a while, they no longer have the best record in the AL. I'd still take them over anyone else, though.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings4. New York Yankees (10) - The Yankees have caught fire as of late, winning their last 3 and 8 of their last 10. This is what people expected of them, and it looks like they're here to stay, if history serves.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings5. Tampa Bay Rays (5) - They now have the best record in the AL, a half game ahead of the Yankees and Rangers. They still have a rather inept lineup though, and that will cost them at some point.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings6. Atlanta Braves (14) - Winners of 8 of their last 10, the Braves are really hitting their stride. It's a bit unfortunate for them that they're in the same division as the Nationals, who are shaping up to be one of the NL's best.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings7. San Francisco Giants (11) - The Giants are loving the bat of Melky Cabrera, who is quite a surprise so far, currently leading the NL with a .364 batting average. Also, Santiago Casilla, who was their backup to the backup closer, is sitting on 16 saves.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings8. Chicago White Sox (4) - Paul Konerko has taken the MLB lead with a remarkable .365 batting average, 27 points ahead of Josh Hamilton, his nearest AL competitor. And I thought he was going to decline this year.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings9. Baltimore Orioles (8) - The Orioles are the only team with a winning percentage over .550, and still a negative run differential. If Wei-Yin Chen can overcome the hype around Yu Darvish, he could win AL Rookie of the Year.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings10. Pittsburgh Pirates (16) - As I said before, I was a bit harsh on them last week. Consider this an apology. Also: Aside from his one bad outing when he gave up 12 runs in 2.2 innings, AJ Burnett has a 1.89 ERA.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings11. LA Angels of Anaheim (17) - The emergence of Mark Trumbo has really lit a fire under this team. He's 3rd in the AL with a .326 batting average, and has 14 HR and a 1.011 OPS. He was 2nd in ROY voting last year, and is now an MVP candidate.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings12. Toronto Blue Jays (13) - Jose Bautista is really starting to come on strong, and now has 17 HR and 44 RBI. He and his teammate Edwin Encarnacion are both tied for 4th in the AL in both categories.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings13. Cincinnati Reds (9) - Joey Votto is hitting the cover off the ball, batting .355 with 10 HR and 38 RBI. Unfortunately for the Reds, he's their only hitter with a .300+ average. They'll need help at some point.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings14. Cleveland Indians (15) - They're not that good, but closer Chris Perez still somehow leads the MLB in saves, with 20. If only Ubaldo Jimenez would revert back to his 2010 form, when he was a legitimate ace.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings15. St. Louis Cardinals (19) - The Cards have a +55 run differential, 2nd in all of baseball trailing only the Rangers. Yet somehow, they only have a 31-30 record. They need to use their runs more wisely, apparently.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings16. Arizona Diamondbacks (20) - Paul Goldschmidt is turning it on as of late, currently riding a rather impressive 17-game winning streak. They've now won 5 straight, and 8 of their last 10 games.
 
Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings17. New York Mets (7) - They've lost 3 in a row, and they're in a nearly impossible division to win. If you want to compete in the NL East, you have to be excellent. Sorry, but the Amazins just aren't cutting it this year.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings18. Miami Marlins (6) - Another team that is slipping badly, they've now lost 6 in a row. Last week, they looked like contenders on the rise. This week, they look like pretenders, plummeting down the standings.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings19. Boston Red Sox (12) - Just when things were starting to look good, the Sox ran into the the buzzsaw that is the Washington Nationals. They got swept, and were lucky to even keep the games close.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings20. Detroit Tigers (21) - Their power duo of Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera are looking good, combining for around a .316 batting average, 23 HR, and 91 RBI so far, but they'll need more than that to win.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings21. Milwaukee Brewers (24) - Corey Hart and his 13 HR are making a decent attempt at replacing the aforementioned Prince Fielder's absence, and Ryan Braun is once again one of the best overall hitters in baseball.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings22. Philadelphia Phillies (18) - Somehow, the Phillies just aren't winning for Cliff Lee. He's 0-3 right now, despite a rather respectable 3.18 ERA. The team is 3-7 in Cliff Lee's starts this year, and have averaged only 3.4 runs in support of him.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings23. Seattle Mariners (23) - Jesus Montero is the leading offensive candidate for AL Rookie of the Year, in my opinion. Unfortunately for him, it's almost definitely going to a pitcher this year. Sorry, bro.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings24. Houston Astros (26) - Jed Lowrie has been a nice surprise for the Astros, combining with guys like Jose Altuve, Carlos Lee, and Chris Johnson to form a decent core to their lineup. But Wandy Rodriguez is their only starter with a sub-4.50 ERA.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings25. Minnesota Twins (28) - Shocking new: The lowly Twins have won 7 of their last 10 games. If I didn't know better, I'd think they might have potential. Unfortunately, I know better, and this team isn't going anywhere.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings26. Oakland Athletics (27) - The offensively challenged Athletics have no regular players hitting above .275, so their solid young pitching is getting pretty much wasted. Moneyball might need a re-evaluation.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings27. Kansas City Royals (25) - After a decent 6-2 stretch, the Royals have now lost 4 straight. One of their lone bright spots is closer Jonathan Broxton, and even HIS job was in jeopardy at one point.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings28. Colorado Rockies (22) - Carlos Gonzalez continues to be one of the best hitters in baseball, and is 2nd in the NL in both HR and RBI. Sadly, it takes 9 to make a lineup, and he's just not enough.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings29. Chicago Cubs (29) - Their signing of Jorge Soler should excite Cubs fans, but much like their playoff chances, he's a long way from being a Major League reality. But hey, at least it's a step in the right direction, right?

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings30. San Diego Padres (30) - The Padres have the worst run differential in baseball, the worst record in baseball, and... well... I think you get the point. Once again, this is the worst team in baseball.


Where did I go wrong? Let me know where you agree or disagree.
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6/14/12   |   ML31   |   3671 respect

(Edited by ML31)

OK...  The edit button just showed...  This post became unnecessary.  

6/14/12   |   ML31   |   3671 respect

(Edited by ML31)

My rankings as of today would go Dodgers (I hate having to rate them #1), Nats, Yankees, Giants, O's.

Yeah, maybe I'm looking at the Giants through orange and black covered glasses....

My bottom 5 are Rox, Mariners, Cubs, and Padres.

6/13/12   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Yes, the Bucs' run differential is horrendous, but you can blame that on the first 6 weeks of the season.  Even with their loss tonight they're 12-4 in their last 16 games, and have actually been hitting much better.  Tonight was one rare instance where the pitching and defense both came apart at the seams.

6/12/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Pat wrote:
Apparently ESPN doesn't realize it either.

I clicked the link and he was there under rookies.

Also, I want to point that Brian Roberts returned to the lineup after being out over a year due to concussion symptoms. He's 2-for-3 tonight. Welcome back B-Rob.

6/12/12   |   Pat   |   5229 respect

Eric_ wrote:
I read it last week on SI.com regarding Trout. Apparently he was originally considered no longer eligible, since they counted time he spent back in AAA when he got sent down for a few weeks as major league service time. Luckily for Trout, baseball realized that rule was stupid and rescinded the time, thus keeping him under 45 days. I'm not sure that was really common knowledge. I had no idea until I read that.

Apparently ESPN doesn't realize it either.

6/12/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Pat wrote:
Re: the Cardinals - Yeah, I know, that was kinda tongue in cheek.

Wow... yeah, I overlooked Trout. Looks like he only had 123 AB last year, and the cutoff is 130. And he didn't have 45 days on the 25-man roster, since a good chunk of his ML service in 2011 was during the 40-man roster period. Good catch on that.

I read it last week on SI.com regarding Trout. Apparently he was originally considered no longer eligible, since they counted time he spent back in AAA when he got sent down for a few weeks as major league service time. Luckily for Trout, baseball realized that rule was stupid and rescinded the time, thus keeping him under 45 days. I'm not sure that was really common knowledge. I had no idea until I read that.

6/12/12   |   Pat   |   5229 respect

Re: the Cardinals - Yeah, I know, that was kinda tongue in cheek.

Wow... yeah, I overlooked Trout. Looks like he only had 123 AB last year, and the cutoff is 130. And he didn't have 45 days on the 25-man roster, since a good chunk of his ML service in 2011 was during the 40-man roster period. Good catch on that.

6/12/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Couple of quick things:

  • Yeah, the Orioles' negative run differential is a concern (still holding out hope). I just want to point out the Pirates' run differential is even worse. wink The O's problem is the pitching is starting to regress, while the Pirates can't score runs.
  • Pat, I know you know batting average isn't everything, but you are right in that Reds' offense is underachieving save for Votto (and Bruce and somehow Todd Frazier). They're below average in runs scored despite their bandbox of a park.
  • They need to use their runs more wisely, apparently. OK, Pat, I *definitely* know you know that isn't how it works. I don't have time right now to look it up but I'm guessing the Cards don't have a good record in 1 run games, which would mean either bullpen issues or just flat out bad luck. They are far from out of it and at this point would probably still be my pick to win the NL Central.
  • AL Rookie of the Year is going to be Mike Trout. Apparently he's still eligible despite his call up last year.
No issues with your rankings really, but I had to put in my 2 cents on some of those comments.

6/12/12   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Speaking of Chen I believe he's getting the nod tonight against the Pirates.  Let's see how far they can go, it's been 11 years since they swept and AL team before this past Sunday.  Burnett has been awesome, and this team is, after all these years, finding ways to WIN instead of finding ways to LOSE.

6/11/12   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

Should be a good series this beginning tonight between the red-hot Yankees and the red-hot Braves...