MLB Power Rankings Week 6

Are the Yankees an underdog story now? [MLB Power Rankings]

5/13/13 in MLB   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

May 10, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; New York Yankees players (left to right) Brett Gardner, Ichiro Suzuki, Robinson Cano, Vernon Wells and Jayson Nix celebrate after beating the Kansas City Royals 11-6 at Kauffman Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY SportsThis past week was a pretty fascinating one around Major League Baseball, with back-to-back complete game shutouts by teammates, an almost-perfect game, and some solid winning streaks.

The Rangers are still looking good, the Cardinals are hot, and somehow the Yankees are starting to look like a nice underdog story.

Is this real life? The Yankees, typically known as the AL's financial powerhouse, have an entire mid-market team worth of salary sitting on the DL, and they're still winning with a bunch of guys they got off the scrap heap.

Without further ado, here are your MLB Power Rankings for week 6:

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 11. Texas Rangers (24-13) [Last week: 1] - The Rangers have now won 4 in a row, and are looking like the team to beat in the AL. It helps that they're in an otherwise extremely weak division, featuring four other teams in the bottom half of the league.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 12. St. Louis Cardinals (23-13) [LW: 4] - The Cards have won eight of their last ten, and they're really starting to come together. Shelby Miller and Adam Wainwright pitched back-to-back complete game shutouts on Friday and Saturday.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 13. San Francisco Giants (23-15) [LW: 5] - Barry Zito is looking pretty solid so far, but Matt Cain and Ryan Vogelsong are making up for it, having subpar seasons so far. Fortunately for the Giants, their offense is really clicking.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 14. New York Yankees (23-13) [LW: 7] - Despite having nearly $100M on the disabled list, the Yankees just keep winning. Will the return of guys like Curtis Granderson, Derek Jeter, and Mark Teixeira make them even better? Or will it ruin a good thing?

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 15. Boston Red Sox (22-16) [LW: 2] - Are the Red Sox regressing back to where they were in late 2011 or 2012? Or is this 2-8 stretch just a rough part of the season? Personally, I'm hoping it's just a bump in the road. But I'm nervous.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 16. Detroit Tigers (20-15) [LW: 3] - The Tigers have two of the top three on the AL's RBI leaders list with Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera. Miggy is having a great followup to his MVP season, currently leading the league in batting average and RBI.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 17. Atlanta Braves (21-16) [LW: 6] - Jason Heyward comes back this week, and perhaps he can help make up for the complete lack of production from BJ Upton so far. If Heyward starts hot, this offense could be one of the best we've seen in a while.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 18. Baltimore Orioles (23-15) [LW: 10] - Manny Machado has been awesome for the Orioles so far, currently hitting .331 with 5 HR and 24 RBI. It looks like he's going to be an outstanding hitter for the Orioles for a long time.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 19. Cincinnati Reds (22-16) [LW: 11] - In a somewhat surprising development, Brandon Phillips is leading the NL in RBI with 31. It's not often that you see a second baseman pulling that off. And his name isn't even Robinson Cano!

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 110. Colorado Rockies (20-17)  [LW: 8] - Interestingly enough, Troy Tulowitzki is tied with Phillips for the NL lead in RBI. So we have two middle infielders tied for the league lead in RBI. Highly unusual, indeed.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 111. Cleveland Indians  (20-15) [LW: 16] - Mark Reynolds is still striking out as much as ever, but he's also hitting the cover off the ball when he makes contact. He's tied for the AL lead with 11 HR, and is 5th with 32 RBI.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 112. Pittsburgh Pirates (21-16) [LW: 13] - AJ Burnett has been incredible so far, and has 66 strikeouts in only 49 innings. Can he keep that up and lead the NL in K's when all is said and done?

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 113. Arizona Diamondbacks (21-17) [LW: 14] - They reeled off 5 straight wins to start last week, and then lost two in a row to the Phillies. The Diamondbacks are a solid team with a good young core. They need Brandon McCarthy to step it up, though.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 114. Washington Nationals (20-17) [LW: 15] - Jordan Zimmermann looks like an early Cy Young candidate, and Bryce Harper's a contender for MVP. This team is fun to watch on both sides of the ball.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 115. Kansas City Royals (18-16) [LW: 9] - They've lost three in a row and six of their last seven, but the Royals keep hanging around. They're a bit streaky, but they could make a run and remain in wild card contention for a while.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 116. Tampa Bay Rays (19-18) [LW: 19] - James Loney has the second best batting average in the AL, second only to Miguel Cabrera. Still the Rays will need more if they want to keep climbing back into contention.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 117. Oakland Athletics (19-20) [LW: 12] - The A's have lost seven of their last ten, and are starting to settle back to where everyone thought they would be. Their offense couldn't possibly maintain the pace at which they started the season.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 118. Minnesota Twins (17-17) [LW: 18] - Joe Mauer is looking like an early MVP candidate, but only if the Twins can start winning some more games. They'll need to get more from their pitching, currently 24th in baseball in ERA.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 119. Seattle Mariners (18-20) [LW: 22] - The Mariners are creeping up to the .500 mark, despite the fact that their lineup is atrocious. Kyle Seager is hitting pretty well, but that's pretty much it for the Mariner's otherwise impotent offense.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 120. Philadelphia Phillies (18-21) [LW: 21] - Roy Halladay is having surgery, and now the Phillies are officially hurting. They're in a pretty tough division, and it's looking like this is around where they'll be all year.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 121. Milwaukee Brewers (15-20) [LW: 17] - Carlos Gomez and Jean Segura are arguably the most valuable duo in the National League, with a combined 4.8 wins above replacement between the two of them. Interesting, right?

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 122. Chicago White Sox (15-20) [LW: 24] - Chris Sale put up a pretty epic performance on Sunday, taking a perfect game into the 7th. He only allowed 1 hit and he struck out 7 in a complete game shutout win over the Angels.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 123. Los Angeles Dodgers (15-21) [LW: 20] - Don Mattingly is on the chopping block if the Dodgers can't turn this around somehow, but is it his fault that the Dodgers haven't really performed up to par?

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 124. San Diego Padres (16-21) [LW: 25] - The Padres just got swept by the Rays, but before that they were on a roll, winning four in a row and 11 of their last 14. But before that, they lost 5 in a row. Good lord, this team is streaky.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 125. New York Mets (14-20) [LW: 23] - Matt Harvey is being compared to some of the all-time greats, and for good reason. He's leading the NL in ERA, and is second only to AJ Burnett in strikeouts with 62 in 56+ innings.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 126. Toronto Blue Jays (15-24) [LW: 27] - They're having a rough year, but they looked good this weekend against the Red Sox. Is this the beginning of a nice turnaround for them? It would be about time.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 127. Chicago Cubs (15-22) [LW: 28] - ESPN is reporting that the Cubs might be interested in Jacoby Ellsbury when he hits free agency next year. Coincidentally, "next year" is the only thing Cubs fans can look forward to.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 128. Los Angeles Angels (14-23) [LW: 26] - The Angels are by far the biggest disappointment of the year so far. They were picked by many to win the World Series, but nothing has gone their way so far.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 129. Miami Marlins (11-27) [LW: 29] - The Marlins have lost two in a row, and three of their last ten. The fans don't even care anymore at this point, even though guys like Marcell Ozuna are showing flashes of potential.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings week 130. Houston Astros (10-28) [LW: 30] - Four losses in a row, and they're sitting ugly with a .263 winning percentage. Their -81 run differential is the worst in baseball by 25 runs. Houston, we have a problem.


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5/13/13   |   Scott   |   53843 respect

As a Cardinal fan, the fact that the offensive really hasn't hit their stride collectively really gives me hope that once the pitching comes back down to earth, the offense will be ready to carry this team and keep them from going into any prolong losing streaks.  I'm spoiled by what I see year and year out with this organization.  They just seem to be able to plug anybody in at any position and continue to be a major player in not only the division but in the league

5/13/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

As last week, here are my thoughts on individual teams. As usual, I essentially agree with your rankings. If I cared about such things, I'd say my O's deserve a spot or two higher, but whatever.

Atlanta: Funny thing about Heyward is he was massively slumping before the appendectomy. Of course, his BABIP was also a ridiculously low .114. So even he's not 100% yet, he'll probably hit better than he did before just on his luck turning.

Baltimore: I thought Machado's bat wouldn't catch up quite yet, and I don't think anyone else did either, but it's sure awesome. One thing to note with the O's is that Chen just went on the DL, taking out their best performing starting pitcher, which is a group that's been struggling already.

Tampa Bay: Do I really need to mention that Loney won't hit like that all year? Rays though have gotten back in it now, so even with the Jays, the AL East is still a 4 team race.

Milwaukee: Gomez has really turned a corner this year with the bat (although there's some unsustainability in his numbers). Ditto Segura, but both give Milwaukee at worst young, cheap, above average guys at premier defensive positions, which might be the most valuable commodity in baseball.

Psst...also RBI's don't mean anything other than in fantasy, but I'm sure you knew that.

5/13/13   |   Jess   |   34885 respect

Seager is hitting really well, and Ackley has improved too. Quite a few of them are getting on base who weren't before, Smoak is learning to be patient and draw walks, and we can usually count on Morales to get something done. They're still not great, but they're showing signs of improvement all around, thankfully. I just wish they'd dump Andino...ugh. Now the pitching rotation after the 1-2 Felix-Kuma punch, on the other hand, is infuriating.