This week has been eventful, to say the least. Tragedy struck, and no matter who was your favorite team, we became one team. Teams were inspired, a team that’s not the Braves has an eight game winning streak, and an unexpected team swept a top 10 team. This is why I love baseball, and can’t wait for more.
1. Atlanta Braves
Do I even have to explain this one? Why yes the Braves still deserve the number one rank, their fire is starting to cool down. Currently on a three game losing streak, they are set to play the Rockies, a team with the same record. I sense a change in ranking coming next week.
2. Texas Rangers
The Rangers just keep getting better. Now they hold a 13-6 record, and are currently on a four game winning streak. They have also reclaimed their spot on top of the AL West, ahead of the Athletics.
3. San Francisco Giants
The first half of the Giants road trip was rough, including getting swept by the Brewers, but turned it around by sweeping the Padres. They are currently in the middle of a three game series against the Diamondbacks, in which Buster Posey helped seal a comeback win in game one.
4. Boston Red Sox
After tragedy struck the city of Boston last week, the Red Sox had a whole new motivation to succeed. They have only lost two games since the marathon, and with the Athletics and Astros coming into town, they will be looking to make a statement for their city. It will be an amazing story if the Red Sox can be successful this postseason, because like the Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball team, they have someone to win for.
5. Colorado Rockies
The Rockies have edged out the Giants for first place in the NL West. Colorado looked impressive against the Diamondbacks and the Mets, but the Braves coming into town will be a true test of their ability. And the Rockies are 8-1 at home.
6. Cincinnati Reds
The Reds have put themselves in first place in the NL Central, half a game ahead of the Cardinals. They have a three game winning streak, and with the Cubs in town that streak should continue.
7. Oakland Athletics
Before Yoenis Cespedes went on the DL, the Athletics were 8-2. Without him, the A’s lineup is hurting. There are too many teams fighting for the top spot, the A’s have to prove they can win without him or they are going to fall to the bottom of the AL West.
8. St. Louis Cardinals
Although the Cardinals are 11-8, they are very inconsistent. While beating the Nationals on the road and Pirates at home wouldn’t necessarily be impressive, it would help boost their confidence. Especially when the Reds come into town next week.
9. Baltimore Orioles
In typical Orioles fashion, pitching has already become a problem. After his disappointing loss to the Dodgers, P Jake Arrieta was sent to AAA Norfolk. However, the O’s did get their first extra inning win of the season, on C Matt Wieters’ grand slam. This is huge for Baltimore because they went 16-2 in extra inning games lat year.
10. Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers have made a HUGE jump this week, and it is primarily because of their eight-game winning streak. During that period, the Brewers swept both the Cubs (not impressive) and the Giants (very impressive). For the Cinderella story that the Brewers are, I hope this streak continues.
11. Kansas City Royals
The Royals stunned many by snapping the Braves’ 10 game winning streak. They also won their series against the Red Sox, stopping Boston’s 7 game winning streak.
12. New York Yankees
Still plagued with injury, the Yankees are stuck in the middle of the AL East. Series wins against the Diamondbacks and Blue Jays are good, but they need to win against the Orioles and Red Sox if they want to move up in the rankings and get into postseason contention.
13. Arizona Diamondbacks
This week has been disappointing for the Diamondbacks, losing their series to the Yankees and Rockies. Just over .500 at 10-9, Arizona will be really tested as they play the Giants on the road and then the Rockies again at home.
14. Washington Nationals
At a barely over .500 record, the Nationals just can’t seem to move out of the middle of the NL East. The Nationals just got swept by the Mets, and look to have a disappointing end of April when the Cardinals and Reds come into town, and then Washington hits the road to Atlanta.
15. Pittsburgh Pirates
This past week the Pirates have surprised a lot of people. They split their series with the Cardinals and won their four game series against the Braves. They have a tough road trip ahead of them, playing the Phillies, Cardinals, and Brewers this upcoming week. This is the perfect opportunity for the Pirates to prove themselves and move up in the ranks.
16. New York Mets
The Mets had three games postponed last week, and then followed that by a sweep from the Rockies. They won their series against the Nationals, but now they welcome the Dodgers and Phillies to Citi Field, which won’t be easy.
17. Tampa Bay Rays
There have been a lot of surprises in baseball this past week, and to me the most surprising was the Rays sweep of the Athletics after losing their series to the Orioles. The Rays have the potential to move up in the AL East as they host divisional rival Yankees.
18. Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies have been a little shaky this past week, getting swept by the Reds and losing their series to the Cardinals. They welcome the Pirates into town, and then hit the road to play the Mets and Indians. A key to their offense will be Michael Young; this past week Young hit .333, with 7 hits and 3 runs.
19. Detroit Tigers
The Tigers have just ended their search for a closer, and it comes in the form of Jose Valverde. Six months ago Valverde, a Tiger, was sent down to the farm system. After pitching for Class A Lakeland the past four days, the Tigers decided to give him another chance and sign him to a one-year contract. He will be key in Detroit’s success.
20. Minnesota Twins
After a rough second week of April, equipped with 5 losses, the Twins have turned it around by getting 4 wins this week (two games were postponed). While a three game home series against the Rangers will be tough, they have an opportunity to prove themselves.
21. Cleveland Indians
After being swept by the Red Sox, the Indians bounced back with a not very impressive series win over the Astros. Pitching is looking to be their problem, especially in the case of Brett Myers. In 4 games, Myers is 0-3, has an ERA of 8.02, allowed 29 hits, 19 runs, and 10 home runs. Their pitching needs to be improved if the Indians want success against the White Sox and Royals.
22. Los Angeles Dodgers
This just hasn’t been the Dodgers’ week. They lost their series to the Diamondbacks, Orioles, and got swept by the Padres. A huge blow to this Dodgers team was Clayton Kershaw’s last outing, that turned out to be not so impressive. He pitched only 5.1 innings, gave up 3 earned runs, and brought the Dodgers a loss. They have the bats and pitching staff to win, but execution is a lot more important than what is on paper.
23. Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays aren’t looking to good, sitting at the bottom of the AL East, 5.5 games back. I think a lot to do with this is because their bats aren’t coming alive. The Blue Jays best hitter, LF Melky Cabrera is only hitting .265. I don’t think their bats will come alive any time soon either, because the Blue Jays have to face divisional rivals Orioles, Yankees, and Red Sox back-to-back-to-back.
24. Seattle Mariners
At 8-13, Seattle currently sits fourth in the AL West. This past week, the Mariners struggled against the Tigers and Rangers. With a road trip to Houston and a home series against the Angels, the Mariners have an opportunity to get back over .500. That is if they can heat their bats up.
25. Los Angeles Angels
While the Angels looked rough against the Athletics and Twins, they sprung to life and swept the Tigers in impressive fashion. Personally, I think a huge key to the Angels’ offense is from Mike Trout, who had a standout season last year. Trout isn’t doing awful, hitting .291, with 12 runs, 11 RBIs, and 3 stolen bases. Trout has gotten off to a slow start, but hit his second home run of the year, a grand slam.
26. Chicago White Sox
Injuries haven’t been kind to the White Sox, as Dayan Viciedo has been placed on the 15 day DL. The White Sox split their four game series with the Blue Jays, and finished an unfortunate 3-7 on their 10 game road trip.
27. Houston Astros
Since last week’s rankings, the Astros have gone back down to the bottom, but not all the way. They still only have 5 wins and are currently sitting on a 3 game losing streak. And with the Red Sox and Yankees coming up on the road, I think that streak might get worse.
28. Chicago Cubs
The problem with the Cubs is not that they can’t hit, they just can’t score. The Cubs have the lowest batting average with runners in scoring position, just .140, the lowest in baseball. The Cubs are also at their third closer, but I wouldn’t give up on them yet. They just need to continue to get hits to bring in runs, and they will be fine.
29. San Diego Padres
We saw a glimpse of hope from the Padres when after getting swept by the Rockies, they turned it around and swept the divisional rival Dodgers. This was all fine until they visited the Giants, where they got swept and were outscored 10-2. Things don’t look promising as the Padres visit the red-hot Brewers and then the Giants at home.
30. Miami Marlins
Well, there isn’t much promising to say about this Miami team. They still only have four wins, and the worst record in baseball currently. I guess there is one positive note; they beat the Nationals and Reds to avoid the sweep. Don’t give up yet Marlins fans!