MLB Power Rankings Week 19

Waffle House in hand, Braves surge to the top [MLB Power Rankings]

8/12/13 in MLB   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

Aug 11, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Texas Rangers catcher Geovany Soto (8) throws out Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) during the ninth inning at Minute Maid Park. The Rangers won 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY SportsAnother week, another edition of the MLB Power Rankings. There are a few teams streaking this week, notably the Rangers (7 straight wins), Dodgers (5 straight wins and an epic hot streak in the last month and a half), and Rays (5 straight losses).

The rankings will be mine (Pat), and the comments will be coming from myself and Eric.

Enjoy.

Without further ado, here are your MLB Power Rankings for week 19:

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 11. Atlanta Braves (72-46) [Last week: 4] 
Eric: The Braves have lost a grand total of once since a Waffle House opened in Turner Field. All hail Waffle House.

Pat: I'm not sure if it's the Waffle House, the mediocre competition in the NL West, or just that the Braves have a damn good team, but they look great right now.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 13. Pittsburgh Pirates (70-47) [LW: 3] 
Eric: I would probably be more on board with the Pirates story if I didn’t have such antipathy for Pittsburgh, the Steelers, and the Penguins. Oh well.

Pat: Andrew McCutchen has been a great player for a few years now, but it seems like Starling Marte is doing his best to be a mini-McCutchen, which is paying dividends for the Bucs.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 13. Boston Red Sox (71-49) [LW: 2]
Eric: David Ortiz is actually appealing the $5,000 fine he received for destroying the bullpen phone in Baltimore. What a putz. That’s the lowest punishment he could’ve received.

Pat: Will Middlebrooks is back in the bigs, and the Red Sox are hoping that he looks more like the 2012 version of himself, rather than what we saw earlier this year.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 14. Detroit Tigers (69-47) [LW: 6] 
Eric: Jose Iglesias has not hit at all since coming to the Tigers, but they’ll do with that because his defense is sorely needed in that infield.

Pat: Miguel Cabrera owns Mariano Rivera. But that statement might not be fair to Rivera, since Cabrera does really well against almost everyone.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 15. Texas Rangers (68-50) [LW: 10] 
Eric: They’ve won 12 of their last 13 and in that time have given up more than five runs once.

Pat: Just when you thought the summer heat might be getting to the Rangers, they turn it around. Maybe they'll be fine without Nelson Cruz.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 16. St. Louis Cardinals (67-50) [LW: 5] 
Eric: The St. Louis train has been a little leaky lately, but they’re still 7.5 up in the wild card, so they have time to right things.

Pat: The Cardinals aren't looking as hot right now as they were a month ago, but they still have a very complete team and a talented roster from top to bottom.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 17. Los Angeles Dodgers (67-50) [LW: 8] 
Eric: The Dodgers have lost just three times since the All-Star Break, and two of those losses came with Kershaw starting. The other was with Greinke on the hill. Baseball is weird.

Pat: The Dodgers' past 45 games have been historically great. This team is going to be scary in the postseason.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 18. Tampa Bay Rays (66-50) [LW: 1] 
Eric: Jeremy Hellickson hasn’t thrown more than 6 innings in his last six starts.

Pat: Finally the Rays are coming back down to earth, riding a 5-game losing streak at the moment.

9. Oakland Athletics (66-50) [LW: 7] Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 1
Eric: Josh Reddick hit five homers in two days on Friday and Saturday, the first time that’s happened since 2004.

Pat: Sonny Gray made his first MLB start, and looked pretty solid. The A's still got the L, thanks to some shoddy defense and a mediocre bullpen showing.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 110. Cincinnati Reds (65-52) [LW: 11] 
Eric: Joey Votto is leading the NL in walks and is 2nd in hits (behind a cooling off Jean Segura), which almost seems like a contradiction. Why isn’t he getting more MVP talk again?

Pat: Keep an eye on Tony Cingrani. He has quietly been outstanding for the Reds as a young starter, and could be an exciting ace for years to come.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 111. Baltimore Orioles (65-52) [LW: 12] 
Eric: The Orioles have hit the most home runs of any team, and until recently, have also given up the most home runs of any team.

Pat: The acquisition of Bud Norris helped their mediocre rotation a bit, but will it matter come playoff time? Can their lineup hit enough to win against elite pitching teams?

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 112. Cleveland Indians  (63-55) [LW: 9] 
Eric: Seriously, is this team ever not on a streak? From enough wins to get into the second wild card spot, they then lost six in a row.

Pat: Two words: Danny Salazar. Keep an eye on that kid.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 113. Kansas City Royals (61-54) [LW: 13] 
Eric: It took two years it seems, but Eric Hosmer finally doesn’t suck again. His slugging percentages in June, July, and August? .541, .495, and .523.

Pat: Last week, there was questioning regarding me dropping the Royals one spot while they were on a huge winning streak. After further review, I have come to the conclusion that they were ranked too high the week before. Now, they're just right.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 114. New York Yankees (59-57) [LW: 14] 
Eric: It seems like once a year Mariano Rivera hits a rough patch and blows a few saves, then picks up like nothing happened. That’s probably what will happen now after blowing three in a row.

Pat: I thought I won ERA in my fantasy league, but then Mariano Rivera screwed it up. That doesn't happen often.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 115. Arizona Diamondbacks (59-57) [LW: 15] 
Eric: If any team is going to prevent 3 NL Central teams from making the playoffs, it’s the D’Backs, but at 5.5 games back, they’re quickly running out of time to make a run.

Pat: The Diamondbacks looked like they were in good shape in the NL West until the Dodgers turned on the afterburners. I almost feel bad for them at this point.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 116. Washington Nationals (57-60) [LW: 16] 
Eric: Given everything that’s happened, it seems like people sometimes forget how good Stephen Strasburg. Yesterday he showed how good by pitching a rare Maddux (complete game shutout with less than 100 pitches) with double digit strikeouts.

Pat: The Nats are still struggling this year, but they should bounce back nicely next year. There's still a lot of talent on that roster.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 117. Colorado Rockies (55-64)  [LW: 18] 
Eric: Nolan Arenado’s rookie season so far: .259/.297/.404. He is providing excellent defensive value though.

Pat: The Rockies are on a 3-game mini winning streak, but it doesn't even matter at this point.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 118. Seattle Mariners (54-63) [LW: 17] 
Eric: Tom Wilhelmsen has gone from big league closer to AAA starter. I can’t decide if that’s worth a try or just desperation.

Pat: I'm going to spare Jess and hold off from commenting on the Mariners this week. There's always next year.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 119. New York Mets (54-61) [LW: 23] 
Eric: After a shaky start, Zach Wheeler has been putting together some solid starts. In many ways, that’s the main goal of the remainder of the Mets season.

Pat: Marlon Byrd currently leads the Mets in home runs. That's a bad sign.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 120. Los Angeles Angels (53-63) [LW: 19] 
Eric: Each of Mike Trout’s rate stats this year (.328/.423/.572) are better than what they were last year (.326/.399/.564). That’s mind boggling.

Pat: As Eric noted, we're seeing a very special player in Mike Trout. Enjoy it while it lasts... which will hopefully be another 15+ years.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 121. Toronto Blue Jays (54-63) [LW: 20] 
Eric: Remember my comment about the Orioles formerly giving up the most homers? Toronto (and Houston) is the team that passed them, another reason why the Blue Jays fell on their face.

Pat: The Blue Jays showed signs of promise midseason, but it might be time to shake things up one more time in Toronto. Perhaps the loss of John Farrell, who is now managing the AL-best Red Sox, meant more than they anticipated.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 122. San Diego Padres (53-64) [LW: 21] 
Eric: No pitching staff in the National League has issued more walks than the Padres.

Pat: Credit Jason Marquis and Edinson Volquez for that walks stat, since they're 2nd and 6th in all of baseball, respectively, in most walks issued.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 123. Minnesota Twins (52-63) [LW: 25] 
Eric: In their four game series against the White Sox this weekend, the Twins scored 19 runs. All of them came by the home run.

Pat: The Twins are actually 7-3 in their last 10, but that might just be thanks to mediocre opponents on the schedule.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 124. Philadelphia Phillies (52-65) [LW: 22] 
Eric: Those that like seeing great players spend their entire careers with one team will like Chase Utley’s extension, but it’s not going to help the Phillies get back to contention.

Pat: I also scratched my head a bit when I saw Utley's extension. Was anyone else going to make a serious run at acquiring his services? What was the point of that?

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 125. San Francisco Giants (52-65) [LW: 24] 
Eric: Many predicted doom for Tim Lincecum after he threw so many pitches in his no-hitter, which looked correct after he got blasted his next start. The three starts after that though have all been very good.

Pat: What's the problem in San Fran? How are the Giants THIS bad? Someone come up with an answer, quickly.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 126. Chicago Cubs (52-65) [LW: 26] 
Eric: The Cubs still have a .1 percent chance of making the playoffs according to Baseball Prospectus. So you’re saying there’s a chance?

Pat: As bad as the Cubs have been, they're still stacking prospects and quality young players for the next few years. This won't last too much longer.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 127. Milwaukee Brewers (51-67) [LW: 27] 
Eric: With Gomez, Segura, Aoki, and yes, Ryan Braun, the Brewers still have a decent core lineup in their prime or just off it. It makes the rebuild or try to reload decision a little more interesting.

Pat: The problem with the Brewers is that they have literally no pitching. You can't win that way.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 128. Chicago White Sox (44-72) [LW: 29] 
Eric: Free Chris Sale!

Pat: The White Sox sneak back in front of the Marlins, only because the Marlins are slightly worse in their past 10 games. That is all.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 129. Miami Marlins (44-72) [LW: 28] 
Eric: The Marlins are the only team that has yet to score 400 runs this season, and at 368, they’re not that particularly close.

Pat: The Marlins settle back in the 29th spot, where they've spent most of the season.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 130. Houston Astros (37-79) [LW: 30] 
Eric: Only one win in the last 10. Only four wins period since the All-Star Break. It has officially gotten ugly for the Astros.

Pat: I might even say it has been ugly for the Astros since day one, but it's really just semantics. Ask me about this team in 2016 or so. That's when we'll know if their plan works. Maybe.

If you love these rankings, you're probably a smart baseball fan. If you hate them, let us know why, in the comments below.
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8/13/13   |   kantwistaye   |   4211 respect

Pat is right that the Brewers have no pitching, but I'd add they're mostly young. Then, I'd add they don't project to be aces and sfelkhflsjfdakd. We need pitching.j 

8/13/13   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

ML31 wrote:
I'd say yes...  Pitching.  It's just weird because it feels like every pitcher is just the opposite of what they have been the last 5 years.  All at the same time.

I was at the Giants-Pirates series in PNC earlier this year.   BEAUTIFUL ball park, btw.   And I really likeded Pittsburgh.
yes

It's a great ballpark, but for me personally that novelty has worn off after 13 years.  I'm just glad the team playing there is finally as nice as the park itself.

8/13/13   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

kramer wrote:
I'm banking on pitching being the answer for the Giants.  Is Barry Zito's road ERA under double digits yet?

I'd say yes...  Pitching.  It's just weird because it feels like every pitcher is just the opposite of what they have been the last 5 years.  All at the same time.

I was at the Giants-Pirates series in PNC earlier this year.   BEAUTIFUL ball park, btw.   And I really likeded Pittsburgh.
yes

8/13/13   |   kobe_lova   |   61565 respect

LOL

8/12/13   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Eric_ wrote:
I'm saying that while normally I'd be all on board with the Pirates story, I can't because Pirates fans are also Steelers and Penguins fans, and I can't stand those people. You included.

The feeling is mutual.  I never did anything to you for you to personally hate me.  Just because I'm a fan I'm thrown in with the rest of the fanbase that you don't like.  You are pretty pathetic for that.

8/12/13   |   Jess   |   34631 respect

(Edited by Jess)

The only thing I ever loved about Brandon League was his cool hair.

(I think I've had to edit every post I've made today due to typos, misspelled words, or just not making sense.)

8/12/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

kteacher wrote:
If Kershaw wants run support he usually has to do it himself (though yesterday was a treat). 

Brandon League is ......well let's just say I close my eyes or turn the channel when he's brought in. 

In baseball nerd land, Brandon League is Exhibit 47 on Why You Don't Give Relievers Long-Term Deals for Big Money.

8/12/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

kramer wrote:
"I would probably be more on board with the Pirates story if I didn’t have such antipathy for Pittsburgh, the Steelers, and the Penguins. Oh well."

In other words he can't be excited about them because of the other teams that play here...makes a lot of sense.indecision

I'm saying that while normally I'd be all on board with the Pirates story, I can't because Pirates fans are also Steelers and Penguins fans, and I can't stand those people. You included.

8/12/13   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Pat wrote:
I don't think he's acting like that at all. In fact, I would say he's acting completely the opposite way. He made it pretty clear that the Pirates AREN'T the reason he hates the city.

"I would probably be more on board with the Pirates story if I didn’t have such antipathy for Pittsburgh, the Steelers, and the Penguins. Oh well."

In other words he can't be excited about them because of the other teams that play here...makes a lot of sense.indecision

8/12/13   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

I'm banking on pitching being the answer for the Giants.  Is Barry Zito's road ERA under double digits yet?

8/12/13   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

kramer wrote:
The Bucs have called up Andrew Lambo for tomorrow's series in St. Louis, could be why they didn't make a trade for a RF at the deadline.

Also, shut it Eric.  It's been 21 years since baseball was relevant in Pittsburgh, you act like the Pirates are to blame for why you hate this city...geez.indecision

I don't think he's acting like that at all. In fact, I would say he's acting completely the opposite way. He made it pretty clear that the Pirates AREN'T the reason he hates the city.

8/12/13   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

(Edited by kramer)

The Bucs have called up Andrew Lambo for tomorrow's series in St. Louis, could be why they didn't make a trade for a RF at the deadline.

Also, shut it Eric.  It's been 21 years since baseball was relevant in Pittsburgh, you act like the Pirates are to blame for why you hate this city...geez.indecision

8/12/13   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

Pat wrote:
Which of the top 12 teams should the Royals pass in the rankings, and why?

I'd start with the Cleveland Indians, who lost 6 of their 7 games this week, allowing the Royals to pull within a half game of them in the standings (after being 4.5 back entering the week).

8/12/13   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

I haven't done this all year.  So here's my list as of Monday Aug 12...

1. Atl      11. TB     21. SF
2. Det     12. Oak   22. SD
3. TX      13. NYY   23. NYM
4. LA      14. AZ     24. Mil
5. Pit      15. Cle    25. Tor
6. StL     16. Den    26. Phi
7. Cin     17. DC     27. Cubs
8. Bos    18. MN    28. Mia
9. KC      19. Ana    29. ChiSox
10. Bal    20. Sea    30. Hou

8/12/13   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

Dan_B wrote:
Even after taken 3 of 4 from your Red Sox, the Royals stilllllllll don't move up, Pat?

Which of the top 12 teams should the Royals pass in the rankings, and why?

8/12/13   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

Even after taken 3 of 4 from your Red Sox, the Royals stilllllllll don't move up, Pat?

8/12/13   |   kteacher   |   34351 respect

If Kershaw wants run support he usually has to do it himself (though yesterday was a treat). 

Brandon League is ......well let's just say I close my eyes or turn the channel when he's brought in. 

8/12/13   |   Jess   |   34631 respect

(Edited by Jess)

Lord Danny Farquhar seems to be doing well in that closer spot. Supposedly (according to Wedge or the dude who's filling in), they knocked Tom down so he could get more playing time. I think it's just because he was sucking it up - how many saves did he blow in the last couple of weeks before he went down? I dunno, but too many. It always scares me when they turn it over to the bullpen anyway, and with him it was like a sure loss.

Ugh these Mariners. Did they really just lose a series to the Brewers?