MLB Power Rankings

Posted: July 23, 2012 by vindanton in Pro Sports

By: Vin D’Anton

1. Texas Rangers – Yankee fans will scream bloody murder over this, but the Rangers have been the more consistent team. Part of these rankings are a combination of the overall body of work throughout the season, not just “what have you done for me lately,” at least in my book. No team has been more consistent than Texas in 2012, even with nearly every player being injured at some point this season. Throw in the fact that their division includes two other 50+ win teams and they still have a five game lead is remarkable.

2. New York Yankees Ok, so a four game sweep at the hands of the A’s doesn’t help, but in the past two months no team has been better. All they do the majority of the time is win series after series. After a .500 start to this season, they have been rolling through their opponents and not looking back. Oh, they do have the best record in baseball.

3. Washington Nationals – They’ve come out of the All-Star break ready to roll by taking two out of three from Miami and the Mets; and they just split a four game series with the Braves that was nearly a 3-1 series. That 11-10 loss on Friday could hurt them in the long run and we’ll see how strong Davey Johnson‘s young squad really is. We saw what a heartbreaking loss (to the Braves) did to a young Pirates team last season, but that pitching should take them to a division title.

4. Cincinnati Reds – No Joey Votto, no competition, no problem as of now. With teams like Colorado, San Diego and the Cubs coming up, it looks like the “Machine” has a great chance to make it out alive. Miguel Cairo and Todd Frazier will need to do a lot of work though to fill that MVP void.

5. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – You can make great arguments for other teams to be in this spot, but there is something about this Angels team. They have a GREAT offense even with an invisible Albert Pujols and the pitching is definitely there. As long as Jered Weaver is dominant, the whole team will do well. He has become to the Angels what Justin Verlander is to the Tigers.

6. Pittsburgh Pirates – The Bucs being a good team will always be a great story with people waiting for their collapse, but it seems like that collapse may not happen this year. The offense in July has been near the top in the league runs wise, but how consistent can they be? In the NL you need pitching and they got it, but the question as the deadline approaches will be if they need add one more arm. Unless its Cole Hamels or Cliff Lee, I say don’t…they should trade for Justin Upton though. Imagine the pitches he would see behind Andrew McCutchen.

7. San Francisco Giants –  Believe it or not, their 53 wins doesn’t do them justice (Shaun Smith helped me realize that). You can argue with me to the death, but no pitching staff is better and the bullpen is fantastic other than the overrated Santiago Casilla. If Tim Lincecum can find his stuff, they won’t be stopped. I still would like to see more out of the offense.

8. Atlanta Braves – They are who we thought they would be sitting at a very comfortable 52 wins and there is no doubt in my mind that they will get that second Wild Card. The Braves front office struck gold with a revived Ben Sheets.

9. Oakland A’s –  Ten walk-off wins this year…what a scrappy fun team to watch. The four game sweep over the Yankees was a statement that they aren’t going anywhere. It’s funny because while we all will think Moneyball as we watch this magic unfold, they have taken one aspect out of that old moneyball style of play…they are stealing bases and doing it well.

10. Detroit Tigers – Finally! After a sweep of the ChiSox this weekend, they have officially arrived. Barring a huge slump, there is nothing else to say except it’s their division to lose.

11. Los Angeles Dodgers – They are resurfacing a bit now and Don Mattingly is doing all that he can. With Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp back, the Dodgers may return to early season form and prove that they weren’t fools gold.

12. Baltimore Orioles – They have bounced back a bit, but have a lot to prove in the next four series’. Those next four series are: Rays, A’s, at Yankees, at Rays. Let’s see what Buck’s Boys are made of.

13. Chicago White Sox – It’s the beginning of the end. The story has been nice but the Tigers are warming up and the other Wild Card potentials are better than them. They have two good starters and one of them (Jake Peavy) gets no run support.

14. St. Louis Cardinals –  The Cards have done well in the first year of the Post-Pujols/LaRussa era. While they have been OK without Chris Carpenter, I still want to see a better arm in there.

15. Tampa Bay Rays – A couple of injuries have hurt a team that seemed to be on their way to another playoff berth. No excuse though, it’s baseball. Doesn’t help that their in the toughest division either.

16. Toronto Blue Jays – Take away the offense and they are nothing special. They will fight to the death for the Wild Card but they are too inconsistent to make the playoffs.

17. Cleveland Indians – Like the Pirates, we all would love to see the Tribe succeed, but like last year it seems they are just another nice, little, enjoyable story to watch during a long regular season. That young talent will need to play like old vets if they want to make it to the playoffs.

18. Boston Red Sox – When Jon Lester gets housed the way he did on Sunday, you know things aren’t going well. The relationship between Bobby Valentine and the clubhouse has been far from great thus far. If Kevin Youkilis becomes a difference maker for the other Sox, the inmates will cause havoc in the asylum.

19. New York Mets – It was fun, but it’s over. This is asking a lot, but the only way the fan base can have some hope is if you sweep the Nationals in a three game series at home this week…like I said, it’s over.

20. Arizona Diamondbacks –  All that offense but no pitching. Ian Kennedy is having the season we all thought he would and Trevor Cahill hasn’t been anything special. The Justin Upton situation doesn’t help either…what a shame. Kirk Gibson must “not believe what he is seeing.” They could benefit from the new Wild Card though.

21. Milwaukee Brewers – Did anyone think losing Prince Fielder would hurt them this much? I sure didn’t. They can’t pitch and they only can hit home runs. Interesting offseason coming up for the Brew Crew if they don’t finish strong.

22. Miami Marlins – The Marlins are still one of the best constructed teams in baseball and they get a pass for this season. They got great talent and who knows how much different the season would be if their closer wasn’t named Heath Bell. They need to move the fences in too so Giancarlo Stanton can hit even more homers which equals more fans in the stands.

23. Philadelphia Phillies They really don’t deserve to be in the top 25 because they are a putrid baseball team if you looked at the expectations before the season. Speaking of putrid…Ruben Amaro Jr. is a joke. If they have a losing week, Philly will be the center of the trade deadline world.

24. Seattle Mariners – I know the Astros are being moved to their division next year, but might as well switch the two instead. The Mariners can pitch but they can’t score…perfect NL team. The pitching is something they can lean on for future success.

25. Kansas City Royals – KC has been a joy to watch if you are a true baseball fan. A powerful offense is what you need to succeed in the American League…now they got to find some pitching and the future can be bright in a one team division.

26. San Diego Padres – A lot of the young talent that they have brought up this year is playing out of their mind right now. It is going to take a while to build success but their youth is showing signs of life. Little side note: Mark Kotsay looked like an idiot Saturday night pumping his fist like they won the game but then the Rockies Tyler Colvin made this spectacular catch.

27. Minnesota Twins – What happened to this team? They were so consistent every year and it seems like they can’t get out of their own way. Is it the ballpark? Is it Rod Gardenhire?

28. Chicago Cubs – Here’s the positive: Anthony Rizzo has been a game changer. The Cubbies are 13-8 since he came up to the Bigs on June 26th. He’s batting .329 with 10 RBI and four HR.

29. Colorado Rockies – Worst managed team in baseball. I would of fired Jim Tracy once he mentioned a four-man 75 pitch rotation. Clown.

30. Houston Astros – They often fight hard, but they are the worst team in baseball right now. Here’s a sad stat: They lead the Majors in innings of 5+ runs allowed with 17.

vindanton@gmail.com

@VinDanton

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