After a week off, we're back with a vengeance [MLB Power Rankings]
Regardless, we're back for week 9, and of course there will be a little more movement than normal, since the league has had two weeks to marinate. There's a new #1 and a new last place team as well. The Athletics moved up 8 spots, and the Indians plummeted 8 spots. They were the biggest movers of the week.
Without further ado, here are your MLB Power Rankings for week 9:
1. St. Louis Cardinals (37-19) [Last week: 2] - The Cardinals are looking great right now, sporting the best record in baseball as well as the best run differential. They're currently the class of the NL Central, which is quietly making a case for the best division in baseball.
2. Texas Rangers (35-21) [LW: 1] - Yu Darvish is racking up strikeouts and headlines, but Derek Holland has also been fantastic for the Rangers. The back end of their rotation is questionable, however, which is why nine different pitchers have started a game for them this year.
3. Cincinnati Reds (35-22) [LW: 7] - Johnny Cueto is back, and it's a nice boost for the Reds, since he's been fantastic so far this year. They're a well rounded team with solid arms, great bats, and one of the best closers in baseball, in Aroldis Chapman.
4. Atlanta Braves (34-22) [LW: 6] - The Braves have fallen off a bit from their torrid pace at the beginning of the season, but from top to bottom, they're still one of the most talented teams in baseball and might run away with the NL East.
5. Boston Red Sox (35-23) [LW: 4] - Dustin Pedroia is having another MVP caliber season, and Clay Buchholz is one of the leading Cy Young contenders so far. The Sox are far from perfect, but they should stick around for a while this year.
6. Pittsburgh Pirates (35-22) [LW: 10] - The Pirates have been pretty hot lately, and would lead their division if they were almost anywhere else except the NL Central, where they are tied with the Reds, 2.5 games behind the Cardinals.
7. Arizona Diamondbacks (32-24) [LW: 12] - I'm officially submitting Paul Goldschmidt for consideration for NL MVP. He's leading MLB in WAR right now, and is in the top 5 in all three Triple Crown categories.
8. Oakland Athletics (34-24) [LW: 16] - The Athletics have been great so far, and it's really hard to explain. Guys like Josh Donaldson, Seth Smith, Coco Crisp and Jed Lowrie are leading their offense. How much longer can that last?
9. New York Yankees (31-25) [LW: 3] - They got swept by the Mets, and followed it up by losing two of three to their biggest rivals, the Red Sox. The Yankees are finally hitting a rough patch, just as Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis return from injury.
10. Baltimore Orioles (32-25) [LW: 13] - If it wasn't for Miguel Cabrera, Chris Davis would be leading the AL in all three Triple Crown categories right now. And Manny Machado is arguably better than him. Whoa.
11. Detroit Tigers (30-25) [LW: 8] - Cabrera's in the same boat as Davis. They're both 1st or 2nd in all three AL Triple Crown categories. Cabrera's numbers over the past year have been absolutely mind blowing.
12. Tampa Bay Rays (31-25) [LW: 15] - They're 7-3 in their last ten games, and they're once again being led by young, home-grown pitchers. If David Price can come back strong when he gets off the DL, they could be in good shape.
13. Cleveland Indians (30-26) [LW: 5] - The Indians have lost 9 of their last 12 games, leading to their precipitous drop. It's not helping that their one guy who was hitting well (Carlos Santana) is slumping a bit.
14. San Francisco Giants (30-27) [LW: 9] - The Giants, whose trademark lately has been their awesome starting pitching, are now in the bottom half of the league in pitching. Their offense is doing fine, but they need the pitching to step it up.
15. Colorado Rockies (30-27) [LW: 11] - Troy Tulowitzki is the best shortstop in baseball right now, and his bat is really making a difference for the Rockies. Teammate Carlos Gonzalez and Tulo are 6th and 7th in the NL in WAR, respectively.
16. Washington Nationals (28-29) [LW: 14] - With both Strasburg and Harper hurt, the Nationals need other people to step it up. Their Zimmerman(n) crew has been solid this year, and should continue to help them a lot.
17. Philadelphia Phillies (27-30) [LW: 18] - Domonic Brown has been on fire as of late, and currently leads the NL with 16 HR, 12 of which came in the month of May. Interestingly enough, he wasn't issued a single walk in the entire month.
18. San Diego Padres (26-30) [LW: 19] - There aren't a whole lot of highlights for the Padres, but Andrew Cashner has been pretty solid since he was called up, boasting a 4-3 record with a 3.65 ERA and he has arguably been their best starter.
19. Minnesota Twins (25-29) [LW: 22] - The Twins have rebounded from 10 straight losses with seven wins in their last nine games. Joe Mauer is 5th in the AL in WAR, but they'll need more from the rest of their supporting cast.
20. Chicago White Sox (24-30) [LW: 21] - Their six game losing streak is the worst current streak in baseball, but they had won nine of twelve games before that. They'll likely turn it around this week against the Mariners.
21. Los Angeles Angels (25-32) [LW: 28] - The Halos just got swept by the Astros, but they've still jumped up 7 spots. Chalk that up to the 12 games before the Astros debacle, in which they racked up 10 wins against some decent opponents.
22. Seattle Mariners (24-33) [LW: 20] - I know I mention these guys every week, but they're pretty much the only Mariners worth mentioning. Hisashi Iwakuma and Felix Hernandez are 2nd and 4th in the league in ERA, respectively. Just thought you should know.
23. Kansas City Royals (23-31) [LW: 17] - They're in last place in the AL Central, but fortunately it's the tightest division in baseball, so they're still only 6.5 games back. Hiring George Brett as interim hitting coach can only help, right?
24. New York Mets (22-32) [LW: 23] - They followed up a sweep of the Yankees by losing three straight to the Miami Marlins. This team is Jeckyll and Hyde personified. I'm still not sure how Matt Harvey got tagged by the Marlins.
25. Chicago Cubs (23-32) [LW: 24] - The Cubs are 9 games under .500, but their run differential is only -1. Is that a sign that their record will start to inch closer to .500, or will they continue to stick in the .400 range?
26. Los Angeles Dodgers (23-32) [LW: 26] - Congrats to the Dodgers, the most expensive last place team in the history of baseball. On a more serious note, Matt Kemp is heading to the DL, and hopefully that will cure his hamstring and everything else that has ailed him this year.
27. Toronto Blue Jays (24-33) [LW: 27] - The Blue Jays, picked by many to win the division before the year began, are the only team in the AL East with a negative run differential. Maybe next year, guys.
28. Milwaukee Brewers (21-34) [LW: 25] - The Brew Crew have lost 7 of their last 9, and they're about to host the Athletics, so it might get worse before it gets better. If it gets better at all. Still, Jean Segura is having an incredible season.
29. Houston Astros (20-37) [LW: 30] - The Astros actually have the longest current winning streak in baseball at five games. And they still have the second worst record, and the worst run differential. It tells you just how bad they've been.
30. Miami Marlins (16-41) [LW: 29] - The Marlins are also streaking, coming off three straight wins. They even beat up Matt Harvey a bit this weekend, a shocking development for an offense that has been the worst in baseball.
If you love these rankings, you're probably a smart baseball fan. If you hate them, let me know why, in the comments below.