Thursday, August 15, 2013

MLB Power Rankings: Blue Streaking

Photo by USA Today
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (69-50; LW: 7) - Zuckerman: No, they don't have MLB's best record. But when you win 39 of 47, you deserve No. 1 ranking.

2. Atlanta Braves (74-47; LW: 1) - Roney: Beachy continues to provide a big boost to Atlanta's rotation, after a shaky debut. Better than trading for an ace at the deadline, for sure.

3. Boston Red Sox (72-50; LW: 2) - Roney: Their monster road swing isn't going all that great so far -- but the good news is, the Rays and Os are struggling even worse right now.

4. Pittsburgh Pirates (71-48; LW: 3) - Hughes: Pittsburgh is starting to slip as the Cardinals and Reds are surging. The NL Central is about to get real interesting.

5. Detroit Tigers (70-49; LW: 4) - Hughes: With the frontrunners for AL MVP and Cy Young in store, this could be their year. Verlander has to come around for it to happen, though.

6. St. Louis Cardinals (68-51; LW: 5) - Hughes: It doesn't matter who they throw out there or when, the Cardinals know how to win ballgames, especially this time of year.

7. Texas Rangers (70-51; LW: 9) - Zuckerman: Yu Darvish is only the 3rd pitcher in history with five 14-strikeout games in a season. The others: Nolan Ryan, Pedro Martinez.

8. Oakland A's (67-52; LW: 8) - Zuckerman: Six games left with Texas. Those will be huge in determining AL West champ.

9. Tampa Bay Rays (67-51; LW: 6) - Roney: Poor time to hit a rough patch, but there was bound to be some regression.

10. Cincinnati Reds (68-52; LW: 10) - Hughes: Cincinnati is showing no signs of slowing down which doesn't bode well for the Nationals, even if they're starting to pick things up.

11. Baltimore Orioles (65-55; LW: 11) - Roney: Ever notice how when teams lose their All-Star closer (Yankees last season, Boston this year, plenty of teams all the time), they don't suddenly become much worse? It's almost like you can find a capable closer anywhere...take note, Duquette. 

12. Cleveland Indians (65-56; LW: 12) - Hughes: Cleveland looks well on their way to a winning season, but the playoffs may be more realistic next season.

13. Kansas City Royals (62-56; LW: 13) - Hughes: James Shields has been fantastic this year, but they have to look at how Wil Myers has started his career and wonder if a mistake was made.

14. Arizona Diamondbacks (62-57; LW: 14) - Zuckerman: Showed some serious late-inning mojo in sweep of Orioles.

15. New York Yankees (62-57; LW: 15) - Roney: Soriano is mashing like he never took off his pinstripes -- does it feel like mid-2000s sluggers have been finding themselves in New York all season?

16. Washington Nationals (59-60; LW: 16) - Roney: It's hard to believe that Strasburg only just recorded the first shutout of his career. 

17. Seattle Mariners (55-64; LW: 18) - Zuckerman: Michael Morse update: 67 games played, .243 average, 12 homers, 26 RBI.

18. Colorado Rockies (57-65; LW: 21) - Zuckerman: Three regulars with OPS over .900: Tulowitzki, Cuddyer, Gonzalez. That shouldn't translate to a losing record.

19. Toronto Blue Jays (55-65; LW: 17) - Roney: Latest installment of Speed Kills: what Rajai Davis did to the Red Sox infield last night.

20. New York Mets (54-63; LW: 22) - Roney: Ike Davis' resurgence is what all teams hope for when they send hitters to the minors to clear their heads. He's not lighting the world on fire, but he's hitting like a major leaguer now.

21. San Diego Padres (54-66; LW: 19) - Zuckerman: A 4.21 ERA in that cavernous ballpark? How can that be?

22. Minnesota Twins (53-65; LW: 25) - Hughes: At 34 years old, it looks like Josh Willingham's career as a capable slugger is starting to wind down.

23. Philadelphia Phillies (53-67; LW: 23) - Roney: Good for the Phillies and Chase Utley, extending their union for the next few years -- and possibly the rest of Utley's career. Not enough players spend their careers with the same team, and Utley in another uniform would feel wrong.

24. Los Angeles Angels (53-66; LW: 20) - Zuckerman: Doesn't matter how good Mike Trout is. He can't carry this entire team on his own.

25. San Francisco Giants (54-66; LW: 24) - Zuckerman: Seeing them in person last three nights, completely understand the season they're having.

26. Chicago Cubs (52-68; LW: 26) - Hughes: Is Jeff Samardzija good enough to build a rotation around? His numbers this season don't really back that up.

27. Milwaukee Brewers (52-68; LW: 27) - Hughes: Milwaukee is bad, real bad. And even worse, they keep trending downward.

28. Chicago White Sox (46-73; LW: 29) - Hughes: The rebuilding project is in full effect with Paul Konerko even hitting waivers. Maybe we'll see you back in a few years, Southsiders.

29. Miami Marlins (46-73; LW: 28) - Roney: An outfield of Yelich, Ozuna, and Stanton, plus that rotation, make for a very talented young team. They could use a little more talent in the infield, but this team has serious potential in the coming years.

30. Houston Astros (39-80; LW: 30) - Zuckerman: 12 of 15 players with 100+ at-bats this season are hitting below .250.


Candide said...

(Re-posting for MicheleS)

MicheleS said...will be in 112 AA today, be on the look out for me.

Heh - last time I tried improving my seats down there, I got chased out within seconds.

I figure to get to the park around 2:30 - can hang out at the 312 picnic tables before the game. I think they sell beer nearby :-) Don't know what you look like (think we might have talked at Mark's downtown NI get-together last year), but I'll be wearing the blue jersey, red cap, and a burgundy backpack.

Else, if you want to text me when/if you think the coast is clear to come down to 112, my number is 703732-two-seven-one-eight.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

JD, looks like my prediction on the Dodgers back in June was spot on and not only will they win the NL West, they are looking like the best team in baseball.

I'm not happy about it since they bought the team the Yankees way but it is what it is.

mick said...


Dodgers are living up to expectations....Mattingly should be NL manager of year candidate

mick said...

This could still get interesting...I just want Nats to win 84-85 games...that would be a strong finish and would give them momentum for 2014. I just hope Rizz gets the right guy

also, heard an interesting rumor that Davey may want to come back...


Tcostant said...

Finally a realist ranking for the Nationals!

mick said...

would not be shocked that if in the end the NLCS is between Dodgers and Nats...

mick said...

now, off to the beach....2 more days!!!

Theophilus T. S. said...

I can't imagine Johnson wanting to come back. His body language -- and throwing up his hands, saying "What do I have to do?" -- tell me he's had a belly-full of these guys and is tired of making excuses for them.

Part of me wants him to come back, because he's been a great manager here and elsewhere and it seems unfair that this year should drag down his numbers and representation. But I don't have faith in the FO to reform the roster, and I have less faith that some of the players will get rid of their "my way, so long as I make some nos. and get paid my salary" attitude. Without both, I think its as likely that next year as more of the same as it is that they return to last year's form.

Congratulations to Z'mann on getting thru seven innings on less than stellar stuff; it's the kind of deep-into-the-game performance I sometimes thought he couldn't summon up. Think how awful it might have been if he'd only gone six.

Theophilus T. S. said...

A couple of thoughts from last night's game. How many people noticed how nicely Rendon presents the ball to Desmond on the DP? Unhurried, quick but not hard, easy to see, well-timed, on target. Very slick.

F.P.'s comment re Soriano: "How hard it is when your closer doesn't have swing-and-miss stuff." It may be a case of cutting off the nose to spite one's face but sometimes the face has gotta go. I've been scarred by watching Dave (Don?) Stanhouse (?) and Randy Myers over the years; eventually it raises the team blood pressure over the stroke point.

The Real Feel Wood. Accept no substitutes. said...

San Francisco Giants (54-66; LW: 24) - Zuckerman: Seeing them in person last three nights, completely understand the season they're having.

But they've only played two games here so far. Was Mark hanging with the Giants on the off day Monday, and if so why won't he tell us what they were up to?

NatsLady said...

Rendon is developing very nicely, that's for sure. I had my doubts, because he's definitely "learning on the job." But he IS learning, and that is great to see.

MicheleS said...

Candide.. i will have to find you.. I lost my phone , so no tweets/texts at the game today. you can delete the post with your numer.

Theophilus T. S. said...

A further trenchant observation last night from Ray Knight, comparing Span to Paul Blair and Cesar Geronimo, two of the best CFs ever. I still reserve judgment on Span as a hitter, and whether the Nats have a greater need for an offensive threat in CF. But there isn't any doubt that Span's CF play is outstanding.

baseballswami said...

Out of the blue comment, perhaps, but-- regarding Mattheus. I feel that almost every single player we have that has been in the DL has not stayed in rehab games long enough. They are always rushed back because we need them, but then they are not actually ready. Drives me crazy.

NatsLady said...

Different topic. Apparently the proposed replay system has "coach's challenges." Desi doesn't like it. What say you all?

MicheleS said...

And Candide.. I may not get there until 3ish.. Have to make the sudden sickness that I am coming down with believable.

Candide said...

MicheleS... You sound sick to me. I'll hang out at the picnic tables until a couple of minutes before first pitch.

Holden Baroque said...

NL: "proposed relay system"?

Holden Baroque said...

Oh. Replay. Sorry.


natsfan1a said...

...and the penny drops...I know the feeling :-)

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