Cardinals finally drop, thanks to other teams dominating [MLB Power Rankings]
The rankings will be mine (Pat), and the comments will be coming solely from Eric.
Without further ado, here are your MLB Power Rankings for week 18:
1. Tampa Bay Rays (66-45) [Last week: 2]
Eric: Rays starters in the month of July had a 2.25 ERA. Wow.
2. Boston Red Sox (68-45) [LW: 3]
Eric: Trading Jose Iglesias shouldn’t be an issue long-term, as 20 year old Xander Boegarts is waiting in the wings next season and could be the best prospect in the game right now.
3. Pittsburgh Pirates (67-44) [LW: 4]
Eric: Francisco Liriano is pitching like its 2006, and other than a likely unsustainable home run rate and strand rate, it looks pretty legit.
4. Atlanta Braves (67-45) [LW: 6]
Eric: The Braves are hot again, having won 9 out of their last 10. With the rest of their division struggling, they could be the first team to clinch a playoff berth.
5. St. Louis Cardinals (65-45) [LW: 1]
Eric: As a team, the Cardinals are hitting .335 with runners in scoring position. This is much higher than any other team, and likely is not sustainable despite whatever clutch hosannas people want to throw at them.
6. Detroit Tigers (64-45) [LW: 7]
Eric: The Tigers are red hot even with Miguel Cabrera hobbled by an abdomen strain. That’s not good for everyone else.
7. Oakland Athletics (64-47) [LW: 5]
Eric: Injuries ruined his time in Boston, but Jed Lowrie has quietly established himself in Oakland, hitting .292/.357/.418.
8. Los Angeles Dodgers (61-49) [LW: 10]
Eric: Hyun-Jin Ryu has remained a good pickup for the Dodgers. He has a 3.15 ERA and good peripherals in his first stateside season.
9. Cleveland Indians (62-49) [LW: 11]
Eric: Pitching was supposed to be the Indians’ weakness, but their exactly league average in run prevention, which is enough for their bats to carry them to wins.
10. Texas Rangers (62-50) [LW: 13]
Eric: Ron Washington won his 582nd game on Sunday, making him the winningest manager in Rangers history.
11. Cincinnati Reds (61-51) [LW: 8]
Eric: Joey Votto should be an MVP candidate with his league leading .439 OBP and .514 slugging to boot, but likely won’t be because his RBI total is “only” 52, as if it matters.
12. Baltimore Orioles (61-51) [LW: 9]
Eric: Despite giving up a real prospect for Francisco Rodriguez, he has yet to enter a game in a high leverage situation. What was the point of trading for him then? Of course, he’s given up a homer three of his four appearances, so it’s not like he deserves high leverage work.
13. Kansas City Royals (56-52) [LW: 12]
Eric: The Royals have won 9 of their last 10 but haven’t gained a single game in the AL Central because Detroit and Cleveland have also won 9 of their last 10. Ouch.
14. New York Yankees (57-53) [LW: 14]
Eric: I wonder how good this team would be if they could score at all, given how good the pitching has been. Not that I mind of course.
15. Arizona Diamondbacks (56-55) [LW: 15]
Eric: In trading Ian Kennedy, the Diamondbacks have once again sold low on the player. The results of the previous trades of Trevor Bauer and Justin Upton have been mixed.
16. Washington Nationals (54-57) [LW: 16]
Eric: The Nationals extended GM Mike Rizzo. The Nationals are three games below .500. Just saying.
17. Seattle Mariners (52-59) [LW: 18]
Eric: The Mariners have a lot of contributors that will be free agents at the end of the year, including Kendrys Morales, Michael Morse, Raul Ibanez, and Oliver Perez. I have no idea why they didn’t try to make a trade to get something for some of these guys.
18. Colorado Rockies (52-61) [LW: 17]
Eric: Unfortunately for Rockies fans, everyone that said they would fade after their hot start were correct.
19. Los Angeles Angels (51-59) [LW: 20]
Eric: CJ Wilson has been very good after a slow start this year. That at least gives the Angels two good starters in Wilson and Jered Weaver.
20. Toronto Blue Jays (51-60) [LW: 22]
Eric: Josh Johnson has been beyond terrible, sporting a 6.60 ERA and a through the roof home run rate. Makes you wonder if he’s hurt again.
21. San Diego Padres (52-60) [LW: 24]
Eric: Remember former Astros outfielder Jason Lane? Well, he's been in the Atlantic League and just signed a minor league deal with the Padres...as a pitcher.
22. Philadelphia Phillies (50-61) [LW: 21]
Eric: Losers of 9 of their last 10. Good job not trading anyone at the deadline Amaro. Good effort.
23. New York Mets (49-60) [LW: 23]
Eric: Losing David Wright with a hamstring injury just feels unfair and cruel to Mets fans.
24. San Francisco Giants (49-61) [LW: 25]
Eric: With the rest of the Giants issues, Pablo Sandoval’s struggles have flown under the radar, but he’s hitting just .266/.315/.394 this year and looks as rotund as ever.
25. Minnesota Twins (48-60) [LW: 26]
Eric: The Twins have scored as many runs as the Pirates. The pitching disparity between the teams is a little wide though.
26. Chicago Cubs (49-62) [LW: 19]
Eric: Junior Lake is hitting .352/.370/.563 the first 17 games of his career. His minor league profile and scouting reports suggest he’s nowhere near a star level player though.
27. Milwaukee Brewers (47-64) [LW: 27]
Eric: Carlos Gomez still leads MLB in bWAR, likely on the strength of defense.
28. Miami Marlins (43-67) [LW: 28]
Eric: Most in baseball thought the Marlins rushed Jose Fernandez to the bigs at the age of 20 and with no time above A-ball. Clearly we were all wrong and the Marlins were right.
29. Chicago White Sox (40-69) [LW: 29]
Eric: Thanks to a 10 game losing streak, the White Sox now have a worse record than the Marlins. What a mess.
30. Houston Astros (36-74) [LW: 30]
Eric: Jim Johnson has more saves (38) than the Astros have wins (36).
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