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Power Rankings Vol. 4

May 13, 2012
  1. Texas Rangers – 23-12 – First in runs by a mile and fourth in ERA. They’ve got the deepest lineup in the majors, which includes speed and power. Four stud pitchers and one not-bad fifth starter, with room to grow from Feliz and Darvish. It’s just not fair. I hope Josh Hamilton breaks Barry Bonds’ home run record. That’d be awesome.
  2. Atlanta Braves – 22-13 – The hottest team in baseball, it swept the team with the best run differential in the NL this weekend. The Braves took advantage of Cardinals’ pitchers wildness and Cards’ hitters lack of situational hitting this weekend to romp in and out of St. Louis.
  3. St. Louis Cardinals – 20-14 – They still own the NL’s best run differential even though they’ve lost six of their last 10. A convincing sweep of Arizona earlier in the week was negated when they were swept by the Braves at home. Had the Cardinals, in innings eight through 11 Friday night, not went 0-5 with RISP including one idiotic sac bunt with no out and the winning run at second in the tenth that’s not the case. But the Braves out-hit, out-pitched, out-everythinged the Cards this weekend, and that’s why they moved ahead of the Birds.
  4. Los Angeles Dodgers – 23-11 – They own the best record in baseball and have a 7-4 May record, even though Matt Kemp has cooled off. Thanks to a pitching staff that has a 3.32 ERA through May, the Dodgers are a cool six games in front of their closest NL West competition.
  5. New York Yankees – 19-15 – The Yanks rank ahead of both Tampa and Baltimore here, even though they have a worse record. Their run differential is better than both teams’, and I just trust that offense to make up for a lot of their pitchers’ mistakes.
  6. Tampa Bay Rays – 21-14 – Just 2-6 in their past eight, but still 16-8 since April 18. They desperately need their offense to get going, as they’re hitting just .223 with a .307 OBP in May. Part of that is due to Desmond Jennings being ineffective since May 5 and Evan Longoria’s DL stint. It’ll be interesting to see how well they hold up with two of their three best hitters out.
  7. Baltimore Orioles – 22-13 – Weathered the Josh Hamilton storm to win one from Texas and then take two of three from Tampa Bay. Neither the O’s rotation or lineup is other-worldly, but the secret to their great start is a bullpen that’s got a 2.07 ERA (second in the majors), the fifth-best save percentage and the sixth-best OPS against.
  8. Washington Nationals – 21-13 – They’ve been able to overcome several injuries so far, but they’ve lost Jayson Werth for a few weeks and Wilson Ramos for probably the year this past week. The Nats’ pitching has continued to be stellar, now that it’s May, but a shaky bullpen and the injuries will probably be too much to handle for the immediate future.
  9. Toronto Blue Jays – 19-16 – They have the best run differential in the AL East, and second best in the AL. The growth of Edwin Encarnacion and Brandon Morrow, along with the strong starts of Ricky Romero and Henderson Alvarez, have helped make up for some underperforming hitters.
  10. Cleveland Indians – 18-16 – There’s really not a quality choice for the 10th spot, but despite Cleveland’s beatdown by the Sawx this weekend I chose them. Before this weekend their run differential was an even zero, which isn’t great but was a lot better than other teams’. If they could get their starting pitching figured out just a bit, they’d be better off the rest of the season.
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