Johnny G’s MLB Power Rankings Part 7

May 17th, 2010 by Johnny G | Filed under General.

1. Tampa Bay Rays (2) (26-11)- The Rays take over the top spot once again, as they also retain possession of the best record in baseball. You become a very difficult team to beat when you have a 2.78 ERA as a team, leading the league. Combine that with the fact they have scored the 2nd most runs in the AL and there is no mystery as to why the Rays have been dominant. On Saturday, the Rays designated former Phillie Pat Burrell for assignment, replacing him with Hank Blalock. Best wishes to Pat the Bat.

2. New York Yankees (1) (24-13)- Mariano Rivera gave up his first runs of the season on Sunday as he blew a rare save opportunity. Jason Kubel hit a Grand Slam in the 8th inning off of Mariano to give the Twins a lead they would not relinquish. After another week of play, the Yankees now sit two games back of the Rays for first place in the AL East. Robinson Cano has come back to earth slightly with a .326 average and a .975 OPS. Javier Vazquez is now being moved into the bullpen for what is said to be a “temporary” time period but it could be permanent if Sergio Mitre takes advantage of his opportunity.

3. Philadelphia Phillies (4) (23-13)- Nice 4-1 week for the Phils as they continue to play through injuries to critical pieces of the team. Brad Lidge is back on the DL and Jimmy Rollins has been out for quite some time. Rollins should be returning early this week and Jose Contreras has pitched absolutely phenomenal out of the bullpen and appears to be the closer at this point. The Phillies are first in the league in batting average, slugging, and OPS. They are also 4th in the league in ERA, which makes for a pretty solid recipe for success. They have outscored opponents by 48 runs so far and once everyone returns from injury, there is no telling how far this team can go.

4. Minnesota Twins (3) (23-14)- The Twins picked up their first win in New York since 2007 on Sunday, incredible. Overall a pretty mediocre week for the Twins, though as they struggled with the White Sox and were largely outplayed by the Yankees until Mariano had a rare hiccup. Joe Mauer finally hit his 2nd homerun of the season and Justin Morneau is having the best season of his career so far. Jon Rauch continues to pitch well in the absence of Joe Nathan as well.

5. San Diego Padres (9) (22-15)- Could this team really pull it off? I doubt it, but I will be rooting for them all the way to the end. Mat Latos came oh so close to a perfect game in his last start this week, with the lone hit being a comebacker off of his throwing hand that trickled too far away from him to retire Eli Whiteside. Latos is an immensely talented right hander that not many have discovered yet and if he continues to produce with the way Garland, Leblanc, and Correia are throwing, this team could legitimately win the West.

6. St. Louis Cardinals (5) (21-17)- Wow, how does a team of this caliber get swept by Houston and then drop two of three to the Reds? Then again, maybe I have been wrong all along and the Reds aren’t that bad. The Cards have outscored their opponents by 26 runs so far and have a much better ratio than the now first place Reds. Albert is “only” hitting .310, which is a tad low for his standards but everyone else is still producing. This week was in all likelihood just a bump in the road for a team that will advance team into the playoffs with a very impressive pitching staff.

7. Texas Rangers (6) (20-18)- Pretty bad week for the Rangers as they dropped both of their series even with Nelson Cruz returning to the lineup. Vlad Guerrero still leads the team with a .336 batting average and 31 RBIs. C.J. Wilson continues to absolutely dominate with his 1.48 ERA after pitching out of the bullpen for several years. Even with the rough stretch, the Rangers retain first place in the AL West.

8. Boston Red Sox (8) (19-19)- It’s like clockwork at this point. David Ortiz is coming around after another month and a half of the media questioning whether he was done. Big Papi now has his average at .232. Add a productive Big Papi to the mix with Pedroia, Youkilis, and Adrian Beltre, and you’ve got a nice middle of the order. Beckett, Wakefield, and Lackey have all struggled mightily but Lester and Bucholz have pitched well. This team could go one way or the other in the upcoming weeks but you can never count out the Bosox.

9. Colorado Rockies (10) (19-18)- Where would the Rockies be without Ubaldo Jimenez? I don’t think anybody involved with the Rockies want to even think about what a nightmare that would be. Jimenez is 7-1 with a 1.12 ERA and has been absolutely un-hittable this season. The 3 young studs lead this offense with Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki, and Ian Stewart. Miguel Olivo is now hitting .290 with 8 bombs and Manny Corpas suddenly looks like a closer again.

10. Detroit Tigers (12) (22-16)- Another impressive week for the Tigers and they continue to roll. Who would have thought this team would be 22-16, with Max Scherzer in the minor leagues and Rick Porcello with an ERA of 6.08? Certainly not me, but then again I am still waiting for the Dontrelle Willis implosion. Armando Galarraga has been summoned to replace Scherzer and had an impressive debut, pitching into the 6th and only allowing 1 run. The run differential of only 4 over their opponents this season says this team is not as good as their record shows, but for now the Tigers are winning baseball games.

11. Toronto Blue Jays (11) (23-16)- That is a pretty impressive record to be 4 games back in the division. That is just how it is in the best division in baseball, the AL East. Marcum and Ricky Romero continue to anchor the staff. Romero threw a complete game shutout on Saturday. Surprisingly the Blue Jays lead the league in homeruns and slugging. Alex Gonzalez and Jose Bautista both have homeruns a piece and at this point in this season I don’t want to totally discount their accomplishments but I find it hard to believe this can continue. Nevertheless, you can’t argue with their record in the league they are in.

12. San Francisco Giants (7) (21-15)- Yes, I realize the Giants went 3-3 this week and dropped 5 spots in the rankings. What I also know is, they had the Padres come into town with a lead on them in the division and they got swept off the field. A sweep of god awful Houston is not enough to hold your ranking after dropping the ball at home against the Padres. The pitching staff is still very impressive, though. Lincecum has an ERA of 1.76, Zito is at 2.15, Sanchez is at 2.66, and Cain is at 3.38. Hard to find much better than that in the National League.

13. Washington Nationals (13) (20-18)- The Nats stay in the same spot as last week after dropping 4 of 7 including a doubleheader to the Rockies. Adam Dunn is finally heating up and Tyler Clippard has 7, that’s right 7 wins out of the bullpen through 38 games. Clippard is also sporting an impressive 1.000 batting average. Livan Hernandez STILL has an ERA of 1.46 and Matt Capps is sitting at 0.93. That is simply amazing at this point in the season. In addition to those two, Scott Olsen now looks like a legit MLB starter. Chien Ming Wang and Stephen Strasburg are both waiting in the wings. Drew Storen, the Nationals closer of the future was also called up on Sunday.

14. Los Angeles Dodgers (18) (20-17)- Crazy what a clean 6-0 week can do for a team. Suddenly the Dodgers look like they are right back in the thick of things after struggling for the first month. Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley, the two immensely talented young arms for the Dodgers, have finally started to go deep into games and pitch effectively. Andre Ethier is hitting an incredible .393 with a whopping 38 RBI’s and is the current frontrunner for the MVP.

15. Florida Marlins (17) (20-18)- 6-1 week for the Fish as they finishes off a four game sweep of the Mets at home on Sunday. This team could get very dangerous if everyone starts clicking at the same time. Cody Ross, Gaby Sanchez, and Hanley Ramirez are all hitting .295 or higher with very solid power. Dan Uggla is hitting .283, which is like Ichiro hitting .500. It just never seemed possible with Uggla’s plate approach and major issues with strikeouts. The Marlins also don’t have a starter with an ERA over 4.37. This is just a very solidly built roster that could cause some damage.

16. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (16) (18-21)- Solid week for the Halos as they dropped two of three from the Rays and then swept the Athletics. This team is starting to put it all together with Weaver pitching lights out right now atop the rotation. Kendry Morales already has 9 jacks but Hideki Matsui has really cooled off considerably and is now hitting .241. The Brandon Wood experiment is also losing steam quickly as he loses more at-bats by the day with his .167 batting average, 33 strikeouts and 2 walks. Those numbers are ungodly bad.

17. Atlanta Braves (23) (18-19)- Finally the Braves offense has showed some signs of life. After being absolutely horrendous offensively more about a month and a half, the Braves put up 8, 11, 9, 6, 1, and 13 runs throughout the week. The spark could be largely attributed to the move of Martin Prado to the leadoff spot. Before the move, Atlanta’s leadoff men were unbelievably bad. All of a sudden Troy Glaus is hitting .283 with 5 long balls after an extremely slow start and the Braves look to have some life.

18. Cincinnati Reds (21) (21-16)- I had to refresh the MLB.com standings once or twice before it finally sank in. Yes, Dusty Baker’s Cincinnati Reds are in first place. St. Louis gives up their spot atop the division for the first time since last July and the Reds currently sit five games above .500. Reds’ fans should enjoy it while they can because this team has been outscored on the season but still retains a winning record. That is impossible to sustain over a full 162 game season. This is a nice little story but it is not going to end well.

19. Oakland Athletics (15) (18-20)- I really don’t know what to think of this team. After an awful week that seen the A’s go 1-5 overall, I really don’t think they have enough to stay afloat much longer. In a vacuum they have the pitching to compete but the overall ineffectiveness of the lineup and defense is just a killer. The return of Kurt Suzuki will certainly help and when Brett Anderson comes back the rotation is very deep. There is just not enough help on the offensive side.

20. New York Mets (14) (18-20)- What happened to the Mets? Well, nothing really. They just don’t have a very good baseball team. It seems as if every week I take a shot at Jeff Francoeur and this week will certainly be no different. Frenchy is now hitting an anemic .214 after his scalding hot start. That seems like years ago, doesn’t it? You won’t see a batting average plummet as consistently as his for a long time. It is beginning to get embarrassing to watch. Rod Barajas has 9 homeruns on the young season and is providing legitimate pop in the Mets lineup out of the 8-hole. Now only if the other seven players could hit…

21. Cleveland Indians (27) (15-20)- Very nice week for the Tribe, as they won both of their series. Shin-Shoo Choo continues to lead this team in just about every offensive category and Jake Westsbrook threw a complete game gem on Sunday to defeat the Orioles. Travis Hafner has steadily improved since his awful start but Grady Sizemore continues to struggle mightily. He looks nothing like the cornerstone of the franchise that many thought he was.

22. Chicago Cubs (20) (16-22)- The Cubs lost both of their series this week and Lou Piniella announced that it’s time to win. “What we need to do is win,” Piniella said. “We keep talking about at-bats for people. We talk about people needing to play. We talk about everything but winning baseball games. That’s what the hell I want to talk about … Period”. Maybe it’s me, but it is pretty difficult to talk about winning baseball games, you know, when you never do it. Piniella has been there too long with no results to be talking about this type of bullshit at this point. The Cubs just stink, that is all there is to it. Interesting stat: Marlon Byrd has 150 at-bats and exactly 3 walks. That is damn near impossible and makes that .345 average pretty hollow.

23. Milwaukee Brewers (19) (15-21)- What a horrendous week for the Brewers. It is really difficult to have a home-stand where you don’t win a baseball game. The Brew Crew went 0-6 this week and thoroughly embarrassed themselves. This is a team that proves that proves that the salary cap issues are not the problem with Major League Baseball. If you choose to commit large amounts of payroll to guys like Jeff Suppan and Trevor Hoffman, you really have no room to complain about the big markets having an “unfair” advantage. Take a look at the Rays or Twins and tell me how badly they are struggling. Stop signing washed up free agents and develop through your own farm system. Even the Yankees have figured that out at this point.

24. Chicago White Sox (22) (15-22)- John Danks is the only pitcher in the starting rotation with an ERA below 4.75. That is the type of problems the White Sox have right now. Rookie sensation Gordon Beckham is now hitting below .200, Carlos Quentin is hitting .180, and AJ Pierzynski is hitting .200. How can you win with these types of numbers from critical pieces of your roster? Very simple, you can’t.

25. Arizona Diamondbacks (24) (15-23)- Are the D-backs really this bad? Even Dan Haren is struggling right now and Brandon Webb is nowhere to be found. Edwin Jackson is so incredibly awful that it is really difficult to put into words. If Justin Upton continues to struggle at the plate and Dan Haren continues to get lit up, the D-backs really are this bad.

26. Seattle Mariners (25) (14-23)- The Mariners lost two of three from both the Orioles and Rays this week. Things appear to just keep getting worse for this team. Teammates are ratting out Griffey to the media about taking naps during the games, Mike Sweeney and his .200 batting average are challenging people to fights in the clubhouse, and Milton Bradley has checked into the local mental health facility. It’s not like they have a choice to release Ken Griffey Jr. After all, they have all those Griffey promotional nights lined up for the second half…

27. Pittsburgh Pirates (26) (15-21)- How do you get outscored by almost 100 runs through 36 games? Ask Neil Huntington. The team batting average is .237, the team OBP is .309. How about their pitching you say? Dead last in the National League with a 5.70 team ERA, dead last in WHIP, slugging against, and quality starts. In all honesty, this is the worst team in the MLB but some good fortune and luck has gotten them a couple of cheap wins against some bad competition. Don’t worry Astros fans, you won’t be in the basement for long.

28. Kansas City Royals (27) (14-24)- Trey Hillman, manager of the Royals got the axe this week because of the team’s recent struggles (this team has struggled for the last 5 years). I have a feeling they forgot to let go off the main culprit for this horrendous baseball team, namely Dayton Moore. I guess change of any kind has to be a good thing when you are as bad as the Royals, but was the third base coach really the issue with this squad? Nice move Dayton. Billy Butler has his average up to .338 and Zack Greinke finally got his first win. That’s all the good news I have for the folks in Kansas City.

29. Baltimore Orioles (28) (12-26)- The O’s went 3-3 this week but 2 of those wins came against the punch-less Mariners. Ty Wigginton is hitting .320 on the season now and Nick Markakis is finally looking like the player we all thought he was. Writing this every week for the Orioles makes me pretty depressed because the condition of this roster is absolutely pitiful. It also bothers me to no end that Chris Tillman is still pitching in minors, while David Hernandez is still in this rotation.

30. Houston Astros (30) (13-24)- The Astros went into St. Louis and impressively swept the Cardinals but then dropped the ball in San Fran by allowing the Giants to take all 3 games this weekend. Carlos Lee continues to struggle, despite his solo shot on Sunday, and one has to wonder if his age and weight issues are finally beginning to take their toll. Even with the slightly improved offense overall, the team does not walk at all. Hunter Pence has exactly 3 walks on the season and Pedro Feliz has 4. That is just not going to get it done.

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30 Responses to “Johnny G’s MLB Power Rankings Part 7”

  1. Johnny G says:

    To Grant: alright, lets get technical. I meant that you have a very young rotation and that will not be beneficial when or if the blue jays get into a wildcard race if they can keep this up. Romero is a 2nd year starter, Morrow is in his 3rd year, Cecil in his 2nd year, Marcum in his 4th yr.

    When did i say a couple homeruns from bautista would turn them into a contender? You said “I wouldnt be surprised if bautista kept it up”. Really? You wouldnt be surprised if a player who never hit more than 16 hrs in his career, wound up hitting 44 homeruns at 30 yrs old? Are you kidding me?

    Sure, the bluejays could be in a playoff spot by the end of the week but you know what being in a playoff spot at the end of May means? Absolutely nothing, you moron.

    The Blue Jays are in fact worse than the Rangers, who are in fact contenders. Theres no problem with being an optimistic fan but you need a dose of reality. This Blue Jays team is not much different than last year’s team, besides the loss of the greatest pitcher in the game and Scutaro. Overbay,fred lewis, john buck, and Edwin Encarnacion? No “contender” is running garbage like that out there on a daily basis.Get lost.

    • Grant says:

      I don’t really see what the problem with a young rotation is when they are as talented as the Jays pitchers. You’ve obviously never watched Marcum and Romero pitch, quit making these absolutely ridiculous judgments.

      You stated Alex Gonzalez and Jose Bautista as the reason the Jays are third in the league in wins. It’s part of it, but the Jays have so many talented guys not producing and it’s not like Bautista will fall off of a cliff.

      If you want to put a ranking of likelihood to make the playoffs then put your precious Rangers unreasonably high, but you call these power rankings and they fucking suck and everyone knows it so they should obviously be lower. Nobody is going to complain if you lower teams like the Jays when/if they have a losing streak, but give the hot teams respect when they are playing so well.

      • Johnny G says:

        It isn’t a “problem” per se, but when you are in a pennant race or are locked up in a wild-card battle, which you certainly will be if you happen to still be in contention, veteran presence is key. I have seen both pitch and think both are very good. The rest of your staff is not so good. Eveland,Cecil, Tallet.

        Sure i said that but those are only two of the players that are performing much better than their career norms. You have Bautista who is on pace to hit 44 homeruns, Fred Lewis is hitting .310 after being a bench player for the giants for several years, Alex Gonzalez has more homeruns this year through 30+ games than he had all of last year, Kevin Gregg has an ERA under 3 (confident that will continue?. It is just not realistic to think any of these guys will continue to produce like this. Why won’t Bautista fall off a cliff? Because you hope so? Jose Bautista stinks. Thats pretty much the bottom line.

        I don’t want to put a ranking of likelihood to make the playoffs and i have no rooting interest in the Rangers. The Rangers “fucking suck” but are in 1st place in their division with a winning record? If you say so.

        These rankings are not about going off of 5 games of play. You can go to espn and see a team that is awful, but goes 6-1 in a week and see them move up 20 spots, just like ESPN did to your blue jays in the first week of the season. These are based partly off of these teams play so far, their roster, talent level, and my predictions going forward. If you want to look at the ESPN bullshit rankings, feel free.

  2. thetruth11 says:

    Looks pretty right to me.

    Love the Cubs comment too. Lou’s record hasn’t been good enough for us to accept that kind of baloney “it’s time to win” from him.

  3. Schmitty says:

    Interesting night. Watching this crazy Yanks and Sox tied at 9 in the 9’th after Arod’s 2 run dinger. Can’t believe just saw this Yanks victory, homer by Tims! I am a homer as I love my Phils. Scary the way the can throw up a 4 or 5 spot in one inning started with 2 outs. The latest victim the Pirates tonight

    It is only May but you can already get a feel for who are the top dogs in each league respectively. Before all you Padre fans get too crazed, get by the Dodgers when the seasons done. Then you have priviledge to face the Phils in the NLCS.

  4. dougbce says:

    I know it’s still early but I think your rankings are starting to come together more and the good teams are seperating themselves which is probably making it easier.

    As for the Royals, they are probably right on. As for the 3rd base coach getting fired, yes absolutely that move should of been made a very long time ago. Watching them day in and day out as I do, I have seen him wave home players that get thrown out by 20 steps way to many times, like Jose Guillen just recently of all people.

    And now we get the battle of your #28 & 29 teams as Baltimore & KC play two games…woohoo!

  5. yyyuuuiii says:

    I think you nailed it right on the head to be honest…

  6. Redleg says:

    The Reds are in 1st place and they are 18th on your list?

    That makes sense…

  7. Grant says:

    Swapping the hapless Rangers with the Blue Jays (third most wins in MLB and ELEVENTH?) would go a long way to making these rankings more realistic. The red sox are also too high, but the rest is pretty good.

    • Johnny G says:

      Blue Jays have too many nobodies that are producing right now. Jose Bautista and Alex Gonzalez with 10 homeruns? If it continues they will move up but i just don’t see it happening.

      • Grant says:

        I wouldn’t be surprised if Bautista kept it up, but it’s very naive to think that is the only reason they are succeeding. Sliver Sluggers, Adam Lind and Aaron Hill won’t it so bad all year either so it all evens out.

        The Jays superior pitching staff and incredible depth is the main reason for the success if you ask any fan.

        • Johnny G says:

          You wouldn’t be surprised if Bautista, who never hit more than 16 home runs in a season, continues to hit at a 44 home run pace for the season?

          The Jays dont have superior pitching, they have very young and talented pitching but depending on rookies and first year players to lead a staff in a wild card race is not exactly the recipe for success.

          • Grant says:

            The Jays don’t, and have never, had a rookie OR a first year player in their rotation FYI.

            Bautista can hit 25-30, you act like a couple of homers from him would change them from 4th place to contender.

            They could very likely be in a playoff spot by the end of the week, you can’t continue this ignorance if you want readers to respect you.

            Nobody thinks the Jays are serious contenders but again, to call them worse than the Rangers in particular is ridiculous.

  8. raxGrissman says:

    >Implying the Rangers and Red Sox are better than the Tigers and Jays

  9. Tyrone says:

    These rankings are bad, and you should feel bad!

  10. grandersin says:

    Your post is bullcrap!

    <<>>

    Go stick it!

  11. socaliyankeesfan says:

    I dont see a problem with it except for the Sox being 4 spots higher than the Blue Jays when the Blue Jays are a much better team.

    People need to stop having a love affair with the Sox and see that they just are not that great of a team this year. They will proobably finish with 80-82 wins.

    • sean francis smith says:

      agreed about the red sox…

    • Johnny G says:

      theres a difference between having a better record after 30 games and being a better team. The Blue Jays are not a better team than the red sox, although they do have a better record right now.

  12. imp81381 says:

    In general, I consider these rankings throughout the season to be completely pointless and irrelevant. I don’t get why some people get all caught up in whether a writer puts your team’s name next to the number 2 or the number 5, it doesn’t change anything that matters. But, I actually looked at your link, and found this tidbit from the Phillies write-up rather interesting:
    “The Phillies are first in the league in batting average, slugging, and OPS.”

    Now, imagine what we’ll be able to do with an MVP leadoff hitter and our starting catcher returning to the lineup this week!

  13. billfromCA says:

    You can see the work you put into these rankings. I’m pretty sure i speak on behalf of everyone reading these when i say thank you for your effort!

  14. sammy130 says:

    wow, great analysis. You can’t find this type of stuff anywhere. Keep up the good work.

  15. Schmitty says:

    Great rankings…I battle with my friends from Tampa and San Diego! I must say it is almost June and everytime I hear Cliff Lee lose a heartbreaker like to the Rays today with that pathetic Seattle offense I cringe! Watching ESPN baseball tonight and listening to a great analyst Joe Morgan state how every WS team needs a great 1 & 2 starter and the Phils hope Cole will emerge as that #2 I wanna still punch Ruben in the face for his plunder. It is like a divorce or break up I can’t get over yet! Like I said your rankings are accurate, it pains me still knowing if this team had Lee, they would probably be your #1 ranked team! I pray Lidge NEVER comes back too! Great I get to watch Kendrick tommorow, think I will hit the gym instead! LOL!

    • Schmitty says:

      Those guys are right, I wonder and admire where you find the time to do your homework.

      Saw Pat the “lil” bat got relesed/cut etc. Tampa’s only mistake lately was signing that money stealing bum! Yes he had a good playoff run for the Phils in the 2008 NLDS & NLCS, but other than that super clutch double in game 5 of the 2008 series, he did essentially nothing! In fact I believe that was his only hit in that World Series!

      • Johnny G says:

        Thanks Schmitty, but my favorite all time phillie is pat the bat so keep the bashing to a minimum. The man was murdered by the fans here more than anyone i can remember and never uttered a bad word about the fans, ever. That’s something i have to respect.

        • Schmitty says:

          i will keep my bashing to kendrick, lidge and mostly amaro for now! lol! i will say this i saw pat out and about town when we were both young and he was the only one getting more ass than me! lol!i am friends with his roomie from miami, whom i met in lauderdale years ago.