Friday, April 19, 2013

MLB Power Rankings - 4/19/13

USA Today Sports Images
The Braves top our MLB rankings this week.
By Steve Roney

With the season fully underway, it's time to take stock of where all 30 major league teams are. These rankings, as with any power rankings, reflect how the league shakes out right now. With only about 15 games under each team's belt, there's only so much certainty right now. Here's how Mark Zuckerman, Chase Hughes and I see the league stacking up (Note: All stats are through Thursday)...

1. Atlanta Braves - Justin Upton is getting all the attention, but the pitching staff has been brilliant. (MZ)

2. Oakland Athletics - The A's have proven convincingly that last season was no fluke, riding strong pitching to one of the best starts of any team. Once Josh Reddick gets going, watch out. (CH)

3. Detroit Tigers - This is a team that will live and die with strikeouts — Tiger hitters whiff almost as often as their counterparts do against their imposing staff. So far, it's working out well. (SR)

4. Boston Red Sox - Can they keep this up? If Lester and Buchholz can keep dominating, yes. (MZ)

5. Washington Nationals - An inconsistent start to the season, but they'll be fine. (MZ)

6. Colorado Rockies - Who saw this start from the Rockies? I think the offense will keep it up, but the pitching will fall back down to earth and soon. (CH)

7. New York Yankees - Hanging in there for now, but hard to see it lasting without Jeter and A-Rod. (MZ)

8. St. Louis Cardinals - The division-leading Cards are starting to get a nice return on former first-round pick Pete Kozma, filling in for the injured Rafael Furcal, who is out for the season. (SR)

9. Texas Rangers - The new-look Rangers are once again winning games with a deep lineup. Led by Derek Holland (1-1, 1.64 ERA) and Yu Darvish (2-1, 2.75 ERA), their starting pitching has been excellent as well. (CH)

10. San Francisco Giants - Pitching is all of a sudden a concern with Ryan Vogelsong, Matt Cain, and Tim Lincecum off to bad starts. Bumgarner is the only Giants starter doing well at the moment. (CH)

11. Arizona Diamondbacks - The D-Backs may be missing Justin Upton right now, but I like their pitching to have them back in the playoffs this season. (CH)

12. New York Mets - They don't stack up talent-wise, but Terry Collins seems to get the most out of them. (MZ)

13. Cincinnati Reds - The Reds are in great shape -- especially when you consider that Joey Votto (1 HR, 3 RBI) has yet to really start contributing. (SR)

14. Kansas City Royals - A lineup consisting entirely of players under 30 is again teeming with potential, but it's the pitching staff that has been the surprise so far, with only Luis Mendoza failing to start strong. (SR)

15. Baltimore Orioles - The lineup has done its part. Eventually the rotation needs to do likewise. (MZ)

16. Pittsburgh Pirates - After contending last season for the first time in forever, the Pirates aren't in bad shape so far this year either, thanks mostly to a strong start from young outfielders Starling Marte, Travis Snider and Andrew McCutchen. (SR)

17. Chicago White Sox - Young ace Chris Sale hasn't been quite as dominant as he was last year, though three of his four turns on the mound were quality starts. His 4.50 ERA is mostly due to an eight-run disaster against the Indians. (SR)

18. Minnesota Twins - It may be time to put the Aaron Hicks experiment to bed -- or at least back at Triple-A. The rookie center fielder is batting a paltry .044 and just looks lost at the plate (20 Ks). (SR)

19. Los Angeles Dodgers - The Greinke news is a tough hand for the Dodgers to be dealt, but so far their pitching has been impressive. Watch out for lefty Hyun-jin Ryu. (CH)

20. Philadelphia Phillies - Hamels and Halladay have ERAs over 7.00, and now Lannan's on the DL. (MZ)

21. Milwaukee Brewers - Jean Segura, acquired in the Zack Grienke trade with the Angels last summer, has been a nice surprise, leading the team with a .367 average. Offense hasn't been the problem though -- a 4.75 team ERA, the NL's second-worst, is dragging them way down. (SR)

22. Toronto Blue Jays - Dickey, Buehrle, Johnson combined ERA: 6.66. Yikes. (MZ)

23. Cleveland Indians - Though Terry Francona is now, unbelievably, the longest-tenured professional head coach in Cleveland, his Indians are off to a rough start, and were just swept away by the visiting Red Sox. When will Boston leave this guy alone? (SR)

24. Seattle Mariners - Seattle looked good the first week, but Michael Morse's recent absence showed how thin they are. Beyond Morse and Franklin Gutierrez's surprising start, there are too many holes in their lineup. (CH)

25. Tampa Bay Rays - If they don't start hitting, and if Price doesn't get it together, they could be in trouble. (MZ)

26. San Diego Padres - The Padres lost ten of their first 12 games and can't seem to hit or pitch very well. It could be a long season in San Diego. (CH)

27. Chicago Cubs - Things have been ugly so far in Chicago, and aren't much better down on the farm, either; top prospect Jorge Soler, a high-priced Cuban import playing in Class A, was suspended five games and fined last week after attacking the opposing dugout with a bat. (SR)

28. Los Angeles Angels - Somehow, with all that talent, the Angels have started the season battling the Astros for last place. Mike Scioscia is a well-respected manager, but something may need to change. (CH)

29. Houston Astros - Houston has been decent on offense, but their pitching is just not good whatsoever. But hey, at least they are as good as the Angels so far this year. (CH)

30. Miami Marlins - Other than Stanton, what reason is there to watch these guys? (MZ)


NatsLady said...

According to David Ortiz (via Twitter), the Royals-Red Sox game has been cancelled.

ehay2k said...

Interesting rankings, against a tiny sample size though. Pretty much the same as AP football rankings after only 1 or 2 games played.

As for Jorge Soler, I seem to recall a few people on NI were upset the Nats didn't get him. Rizzo likes talent, but he loves character. I wonder if Soler had a reputation? Or has the transition been just too hard on him? In any case, he's not a guy I would want in my clubhouse at the moment.

Boston is locked down. You don't hold a sporting event with a mad bomber on the loose.

bob chambers said...

The O's 15? They seem like a pretty hot team right now.

Anonymous said...

bob chambers said...

"The O's 15? They seem like a pretty hot team right now."

You mean in the last 24 hours? They're 5-5 over their last ten.

NatsLady said...

Atlanta not getting much offense from BJ and Heyward. Nats not getting much offense from RZ, Espi (and ALR). Regression pending....

Doc said...

I love that the Angels are at 28th, and the Hated Dodgers at 19th---life is good!

Hope they both stay there!

Watch out Bravelesses, we're on our way up!


baseballswami said...

I knew the Angels were struggling, but I did not know they were 2 and 10. With Trout, Pujols and Hamilton. Confusing game. Looks like Ross D and Espi coming up on MLB.

baseballswami said...

Both guys were articulate, but Ross did most of the talking. Represented the Nats well.

3on2out said...

After 2 less-than-scintillating weeks, 2nd best power ranking in the NL. Only the ridiculously white-hot Barves are ahead of the Nats. I like it.

Secret wasian man said...

Luv da Nats. But 5. Is way too high. Maybe 12 or 10

baseballswami said...

I don't know why we are even playing the game tonight. All the media people have been telling me all day that Harvey is unhittable. I think they said that about Stras, right? And that hasn't been true, unfortunately for us. I hope someone told the hitters not to even bother.

Doc said...

Swam, I missed the MLB interview with Det and Espi (watching the stuff unfold in Boston) and working on a book.

Hope the interview gets posted on one of the side blogs.

Speaking of the power rankings, Kimbrel deserves his own ranking in the MLB Team Power Rankings--the guy is unbeleeebable!!

One ****##@@@ of a dominent closer!!!!!!!

natsfan1a said...

swami, evidently the pundits didn't get the memo about why they play the games. :-)

A DC Wonk said...

I hope someone told the hitters not to even bother.

No -- the memo indeed told the hitters not to bother. But to rack up pitch counts, and hope to get to the relievers. ;-)

(Of course, if I make that public enough, sure enough, one of the pitching-studs will get knocked out in the 4th ;-) )

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