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Power Rankings: Vol. 3

May 1, 2012
  1. Texas Rangers – 17-6 – The Rangers went 4-3 this past week, winning two against the Yankees but only once against the Rays. Even while facing Sabathia, Kuroda, Shields and Price they managed to outscore their opponents. Yu Darvish (15.1 IP, 1 ER, 19 K, 4 BB in his past two starts) has been excellent lately.
  2. St. Louis Cardinals – 14-8 – The Cards went 3-3 last week, but could’ve (should’ve?) won all six games. On Monday and Tuesday they lost consecutive games on walk-offs after leading entering the bottom of the ninth. On Monday the Cubs scored their first run on two infield singles and a sac fly. In other words the Cards got BABIP’d. On Tuesday the Cubs first runner to “score” didn’t even tough home plate when the umpire called him safe, and their eventual winning run was called safe at second in the bottom of the 10th on a steal when he didn’t even touch the bag on his slide and was clearly tagged.
  3. Tampa Bay Rays – 15-8 – The Rays had a great week last week going 5-1 against the Angels and Rangers. It seems they’re finally clicking after a slow start, and they’ll probably be No. 2 in these rankings next week after six games against Seattle and Oakland this week.
  4. New York Yankees – 13-9 – The Yanks are still giving up too many runs and extra base hits (opponents have a .454 slugging against them, 27th overall), but a soft stretch in the schedule should help them out a bit.
  5. Atlanta Braves – 14-9 – The Braves’ offense isn’t a murderer’s row of great hitters, but they’re getting the job done collectively; they rank ninth in OPS. It’s really been their pitching that’s carried them lately. Their bullpen is good again, and Tim Hudson’s return will help a staff that has great underlying numbers or great overall numbers from Tommy Hanson, Mike Minor and Brandon Beachy.
  6. Los Angeles Dodgers – 16-7 – I’m not ready at all to say the Dodgers will win their division, but they might have the easiest path to a division crown among division leaders. I think it’s safe to say the Rockies and Padres won’t be contending this year, the D’backs have lost two of their best players to injuries already and the Giants have offensive issues and a concern over Lincecum’s pitching. There will be bumps in the road for LA, but against a weak division and with a stellar pitching staff and the best player in the game it could be a blue October in LA this year.
  7. Washington Nationals – 14-8 – Despite losing four in a row the Nats remain in first place in the NL East. Their team ERA is still tops in the majors, but their offensive is struggling.
  8. Baltimore Orioles – 14-9 – It’s not a fluke so far, as Baltimore’s run differential is +12 and the O’s are over .500 both at home and on the road. But up until May 15 they play the Yankees, Boston, Texas, Tampa Bay and the Yanks again. They should be able to score runs against those teams, but the lack of quality depth in their pitching will hurt them competing against such great offenses.
  9. Toronto Blue Jays – 12-11 – The Jays have got some great pitching so far, but it’s hard to see that staying course throughout the whole season. They are 27th in K/9 and 28th in K/BB. They’ll need to miss more bats to keep up the team’s 1.24 WHIP.
  10. Cleveland Indians – 11-9 – The Indians are -1 in the run differential department and are only slugging .371 as a team (22nd). But they’re fourth in OBP at .342 and their OPS with runners on compared to their overall OPS goes from .713 to .780. So they’re getting hits when it counts.
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