Braves top the list again [MLB Power Rankings]
The playoff teams seem to be drifting to the top, and soon we'll start seeing some separation between the haves and the have nots. As always, 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:
1. Atlanta Braves (76-48) [Last week: 1]
Eric: Justin Upton has heated up again, sporting a .350/.443/.767 line with 7 homers in August.
Pat: After a rough first start, the return of Brandon Beachy has been pretty nice for the Braves. Another quality arm can never hurt.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers (72-51) [LW: 7]
Eric: As I pointed out yesterday, the Dodgers 42-8 streak has been equaled only twice since 1900, by the 1941 Yankees and 1942 Cardinals. Both teams won the World Series.
Pat: Yasiel Puig and Clayton Kershaw are both making strong runs at some postseason hardware.
3. Detroit Tigers (73-51) [LW: 4]
Eric: Miguel Cabrera, damn. Sometimes you just have to sit back and watch.
Pat: Speaking of Cabrera, the 2012 Triple Crown winner is actually having a better season this year in all three triple crown stats. Unbelievable.
4. Pittsburgh Pirates (72-51) [LW: 2]
Eric: Pitching and defense are going to have to carry the Pirates if they make the playoffs. They are 23rd in baseball in runs scored, last of the teams that have a chance.
Pat: With 7 losses in their last 10 games, the Pirates are doing their best to make my dream come true and extend their streak of losing seasons. Keep it up, boys!
5. Boston Red Sox (73-53) [LW: 3]
Eric: His season will now be defined by plunking A-Rod, but Ryan Dempster hasn’t been all that great performance-wise, with an ERA+ of 93.
Pat: The Red Sox have also lost 7 of their last 10. Rough patch in the schedule, or are they regressing after playing over their heads for a few months?
6. Texas Rangers (71-53) [LW: 5]
Eric: Jurickson Profar has started at second base, shortstop, third base, left field, and DH this year. He hasn’t figured out the bigs at the plate yet, but his youth can explain that, and all that jumping around the diamond probably doesn’t help.
Pat: The Rangers are battling it out with the A's in what will be an exciting race for the AL West down the stretch.
7. St. Louis Cardinals (71-52) [LW: 6]
Eric: The Cardinals only have three players with double digit home runs. They still lead the NL in scoring thanks to being first in team OBP.
Pat: The Cardinals have the best run differential in the NL with +140, but they're still 2 games behind the Pirates. I expect the Cards to take the NL Central when all is said and done.
8. Tampa Bay Rays (70-52) [LW: 8]
Eric: James Loney is still hitting .310/.359/.443 on the year, his best OPS in 6 years. Rays voodoo strikes again.
Pat: The Rays are currently leading the Wild Card race, and have a 3 game lead over their division rivals in Baltimore. I think they'll hold on to that spot.
9. Oakland Athletics (70-53) [LW: 9]
Eric: Bartolo Colon had been the stabilizing force in Oakland’s rotation, but had gotten shelled his last few starts and is now on the DL with a groin strain.
Pat: Can the A's stay in the race with the Rangers despite Colon's injury? That could be a serious blow to their chances of avoiding the 1-game Wild Card playoff.
10. Cincinnati Reds (70-54) [LW: 10]
Eric: The Reds have quietly gotten hot, and now sit just 2.5 out of the division, and have essentially eliminated every other team but Arizona in the wild card race.
Pat: The Reds are 7-3 in their last 10, and have the 2nd wild card spot all but locked up.
11. Baltimore Orioles (67-56) [LW: 11]
Eric: Jim Johnson has blown the most saves, including three this past week, and the saves he does convert are usually messy. Regression is a bitch.
Pat: The Orioles are sliding out of playoff contention, despite one of the scariest offenses in baseball.
12. Cleveland Indians (66-58) [LW: 12]
Eric: The Indians starters haven’t been great, but they’ve all been serviceable and durable at least. That was the best case scenario going into the season.
Pat: My fantasy team wants Danny Salazar to bring down his ERA a little bit. He's striking guys out, but letting a few too many runs score.
13. Kansas City Royals (64-59) [LW: 13]
Eric: The series loss to the Tigers likely ends any realistic hopes of KC winning the division. The wild card is still a possibility, but at 6 games back they need to stay hot.
Pat: I'm going to go ahead and say the Royals are officially out of the playoffs, as far as I'm concerned. Sorry, KC fans. It's been real, and it's been fun.
14. Arizona Diamondbacks (64-58) [LW: 15]
Eric: Kevin Towers concentrates on the bullpen when building teams, and this year the D’Backs have been the best at preventing inherited runners from scoring.
Pat: Paul Goldschmidt for MVP, especially if they get hot and make a run at the wild card.
15. New York Yankees (64-59) [LW: 14]
Eric: Things like the Dempster incident is why I actually hope A-Rod does well during his appeal (to a point anyway, because screw the Yankees). Sorry guys, he has the right to appeal, and the union needs to help because they can’t have a precedent of the commish going against the CBA whenever he wants. Get over it.
Pat: The Yankees are basically out of the playoff race, so now they're in an all-out war against one of their own players. My, how the mighty have fallen.
16. Washington Nationals (60-63) [LW: 16]
Eric: Arizona has been the best team at dealing with inherited runners. The worst? The Nationals. 41% of inherited runners have scored.
Pat: After a rough July (7.18 ERA), Jordan Zimmermann is back in the swing of things for August, with a 1.59 ERA this month.
17. Colorado Rockies (58-67) [LW: 17]
Eric: I had forgotten that Walt Weiss manages this team until watching them this weekend in Baltimore. How did that happen anyway?
Pat: Michael Cuddyer is still maintaining his surprising .322 average, but the more unique news is that through 31 AB, pitcher Tyler Chatwood is outpacing Cuddyer, with a .323 avg.
18. Seattle Mariners (57-66) [LW: 18]
Eric: The Mariners, of all teams, is the team that’s scored the most runs this year via the home run, at over 47%.
Pat: Danny Farquhar has done pretty well so far after taking over the closer role from Tom Wilhelmsen. He has a 2.45 ERA with 7 saves against one blown save since becoming the closer.
19. New York Mets (56-66) [LW: 19]
Eric: The Mets called up third base prospect Wilmer Flores after David Wright hit the DL. He has also played second and first in the minors, which will obviously be necessary once Wright returns.
Pat: Matt Harvey might get shut down soon once he reaches his innings limit, and it will be all bad for this team once that happens.
20. Toronto Blue Jays (57-67) [LW: 21]
Eric: Brett Lawrie has been unconscious the past 28 days: .362/.413/.564. The Jays need Lawrie to reach his potential going forward.
Pat: Remember when everyone picked the Blue Jays to win the AL East before the season? That was funny.
21. San Diego Padres (56-68) [LW: 22]
Eric: No one has noticed, but Carlos Quentin is hitting .275/.363/.493, very good at Petco. Of course, no one has noticed because injuries have limited Quentin to 82 games and kept him out of action for almost a month.
Pat: Everth Cabrera still leads the NL in steals with 37, despite being suspended for over 2 weeks already.
22. Los Angeles Angels (55-68) [LW: 20]
Eric: The Angels hoped that Tommy Hanson had recovered from past injuries and would be a cheap rotation upgrade. It hasn’t worked, as Hanson has a 5.59 ERA this season and was demoted this week.
Pat: Pujols is done for the year (most likely) and Josh Hamilton has been a huge disappointment. If only the Angels could clone Mike Trout.
23. Minnesota Twins (54-68) [LW: 23]
Eric: Saskatchewan native Andrew Albers was pitching in independent ball 3 years ago. He was signed by the Twins, worked his way through the system, and started his big league career with 17.1 scoreless innings.
Pat: Kevin Correia, who has been their best starter for most of this year, has a 4.61 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. That's awful.
24. San Francisco Giants (55-68) [LW: 25]
Eric: Matt Cain has a 2.41 ERA since the All-Star Break, which is welcome news for the Giants.
Pat: If Cain can continue this turnaround, it could bode well for the Giants... in 2014.
25. Philadelphia Phillies (54-69) [LW: 24]
Eric: Delmon Young was released this week, so it’s not all bad for Phillies fans.
Pat: Cole Hamels is 5-13 this year, despite a slightly above average ERA+ of 105. He has had some bad starts, but the Phillies haven't given him much help.
26. Milwaukee Brewers (54-70) [LW: 27]
Eric: Carlos Gomez has missed the last two games with a sprained knee. Add him to the MASH unit in Milwaukee.
Pat: The Brewers' lineup seems like it SHOULD be good, even with Ryan Braun suspended. Guys like Carlos Gomez and Jean Segura are having a great year, and Aramis Ramirez just came off the DL. Yet they're still in the bottom third in all of baseball.
27. Chicago Cubs (53-70) [LW: 26]
Eric: The Cubs run differential, formerly close to even, has been dropping closer to their actual record lately.
Pat: With a couple losses in a row, the Cubs officially dropped behind the Brewers for the 2nd worst team in the NL.
28. Chicago White Sox (49-74) [LW: 28]
Eric: I was just going to make “Free Chris Sale!” my White Sox comment the rest of the year, but then they went ahead and gave him run support his last start. Back to the drawing board.
Pat: Aside from Sale, this is just an abysmal team.
29. Miami Marlins (47-75) [LW: 29]
Eric: 10 runs on Friday (a game they still lost) got the Marlins close to 400 runs, but they’re not quite there at 396.
Pat: It's embarrassing how impotent their offense has been. Someone get a Cialis for their bats.
30. Houston Astros (41-82) [LW: 30]
Eric: They’ve clinched a losing season, and currently have exactly twice as many losses as wins.
Pat: This is one of the worst teams I've seen in a long time.
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