MLB Power Rankings

The Empire strikes back [MLB Power Rankings]

6/18/12 in MLB   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

Jun 17, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson (14) doubles against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-US PRESSWIREAs much as I hate to say it, there's a new team on top of the rankings this year, and they are the Evil Empire, AKA the New York Yankees.

They're on an absolute tear right now, winning 9 in a row, and doing it against winning competition. They're not just beating up on bad teams, they're actually winning against teams with winning records.

Their streak includes the Nationals, Braves and Mets, all over .500, and all pretty solid teams thus far. That gets the Yankees the top spot in my book.

Without further ado, here are this week's rankings:

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings1. New York Yankees (Last week: 4) - One of the pleasant surprises is starting pitcher Ivan Nova. He's 9-2 this year, and is a combined 25-6 between this year and 2011. Even when he's not pitching well, the Yankees seem to win for him.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings2. Los Angeles Dodgers (1) - They still possess the best record in baseball, even without star slugger Matt Kemp, but they lose their grip on the #1 spot simply due to the Yankees' recent dominance.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings3. Texas Rangers (3) - Josh Hamilton is putting together an epic season, and still has an outside chance at the triple crown, if a few things go his way. Also, Yu Darvish and Matt Harrison have combined for 16 wins.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings4. Cincinnati Reds (13) - The Reds are on a 6-game winning streak, and similar to the Yankees, they've done it against winning teams. In those 6 wins, they've allowed a total of 14 runs, averaging less than 2.5 per game.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings5. Baltimore Orioles (9) - The Orioles have won 7 of their last 10, and have managed to get their run differential up over 0. Can it be possible that this team isn't nearly as fluky as we previously thought?

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings6. Washington Nationals (2) - The Nats were just the victims of a 3-game sweep at the hands of the Yankees, but that was coming off a 6-game winning streak against the Red Sox and Blue Jays. They'll be fine.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings7. Tampa Bay Rays (5) - The Rays have one of the best pitching staffs in baseball, it really makes you wonder how they would fare if they were able to piece together a better-than-average Major League lineup.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings8. LA Angels of Anaheim (11) - The Angels continue to climb up the ranks, now enjoying wins in 7 of their last 10 games. This team has always had the talent, it's nice to see them finally putting wins together.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings9. San Francisco Giants (7) - Matt Cain's perfect game was just another bright spot in what has been a solid season so far for the Giants. If they can get some more great outings from Tim Lincecum, they'll be in great shape.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings10. Atlanta Braves (6) - Brandon Beachy is only 5-5, but you wouldn't be able to tell if you only saw his 2.00 ERA and his 0.96 WHIP. He just hit the DL, so the Braves will miss his consistent quality starts.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings11. Chicago White Sox (8) - The White Sox look like the favorite to win the AL Central, thanks in large part to guys like Paul Konerko and Chris Sale, as well as resurgent Adam Dunn, who now leads all of baseball with 23 HR.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings12. Pittsburgh Pirates (10) - The Bucs continue to be one of the streakier teams in the league, but it's largely due to their putrid offense. Aside from Andrew McCutcheon, they're pretty much a AAA-caliber lineup.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings13. Toronto Blue Jays (12) - They currently have 4 starting pitchers on the disabled list, including Kyle Drabek, Brandon Morrow, Drew Hutchinson, and Dustin McGowan. That's going to make things difficult.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings14. New York Mets (17) - They got swept by the Yankees, swept the Rays, and then got swept by the Reds. Some consistency would be nice around here, but don't get your hopes up, Mets fans. This is your team.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings15. Boston Red Sox (19) - Felix Doubront is a pleasant surprise thus far for the Sox, but they'd love to find a way to move Kevin Youkilis and get guys like Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford healthy.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings16. St. Louis Cardinals (15) - Carlos Beltran has been great for the Cards so far, and is among the handful of players in the MVP discussion right now. Still, they haven't been great and are 5 games out of the division lead.
Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings17. Arizona Diamondbacks (16) - Someone floated the rumor of Gerardo Parra for Kevin Youkilis, but I'm not sure why the D-Backs would do that. Parra has been pretty good this year when he's gotten the chance to play.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings18. Cleveland Indians (14) - The Indians currently hold the ignominious title of the worst run differential for a winning team. It's at -40 right now, and they've lost 7 of their last 10. They're sliding fast.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings19. Miami Marlins (18) - The Marlins are reeling right now, losing 10 of their last 12. Unfortunately for them, they play the Red Sox next, who just beat them 2 out of 3 in Miami last week. We'll see if they can improve on that.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings20. Detroit Tigers (20) - Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera are starting to look like the power dup that the Tigers expected at the beginning of the year. It's not translating to wins yet, though. It will, at some point.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings21. Oakland Athletics (26) - They've won 5 of the last 6, but when you play the Rockies and Padres, it almost doesn't count. They have some decent young pitchers, but their offense is abysmal.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings22. Milwaukee Brewers (21) - The Brew Crew is struggling this year, despite the fact that Ryan Braun is pretty much duplicating his MVP performance from last year. Buster Olney brought up an interesting question: Would voters pick him again, after his PED debacle last year?

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings23. Kansas City Royals (27) - Another year, and another mediocre season in Kansas City. Will they ever be legitimate contenders? The last time they won their division, they won the 1985 World Series.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings24. Philadelphia Phillies (22) - The Phillies are falling dangerously close to irrelevance, despite a Cy Young-caliber season so far for Cole Hamels. They're in last place in the NL East, and the only team in their division under .500.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings25. Seattle Mariners (23) - They've beaten the Giants twice in a row, but that was after 6 straight losses, including 3 against the Padres, one of the worst teams in baseball. That's not going to help anyone.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings26. Minnesota Twins (25) - Despite the Padres' best efforts, the Twins maintain their stranglehold on the worst run differential in baseball, at -74. That isn't exactly what you want to be your team's claim to fame.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings27. Houston Astros (24) - They've lost 3 straight and 7 of their last 10. They have the 2nd worst road record in baseball (behind the Cubs), but have somehow managed to remain over .500 at home.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings28. Colorado Rockies (28) - They've lost 10 of their last 11 games. Their lone win during that span was an extra innings victory over the Tigers. Remarkably, Carlos Gonzalez is still a legitimate triple crown contender.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings29. San Diego Padres (30) - The not-so proud owners of the worst run differential in baseball, the Padres still have managed to win half of their last 10 games, which briefly lifts them out of the 30th spot.

Blog Photo - MLB Power Rankings30. Chicago Cubs (29) - After a 3-game sweep at the hands of the mediocre Red Sox, the Cubs now hold the worst record in all of baseball. Expect to see a fire sale soon, starting with pitchers Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster.

Where did I go wrong? Let me know where you agree or disagree.
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6/18/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

The Mets should probably go ahead and start RA Dickey three times a week. That knuckleball is just unhittable right now.

6/18/12   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Believe it or not, 4 or the 6 games on this road trip the Bucs scored at least 6 runs.  Surprisingly, the Pitching is actually what let them down in Baltimore, giving up at least 7 runs to the O's in all 3 games.indecision