We have a new team at number one, and the same team at number thirty. Even though we are only about 25 games in, I’m already excited to see how this playoff hunt is going to unfold. Hope you’re strapped in, because this season is going to be a roller coaster ride.
1. Boston Red Sox
And we have a new leader! Boston has been showing their dominance this past week, with series wins over the Athletics and a sweep over the Astros. David Ortiz has dominated the lineup, with two home runs and nine RBI this past week. C David Ross has also been helping; in eight at bats he has two home runs and a .500 batting average this week.
2. Detroit Tigers
The Tigers have made a hell of a jump this week. They have taken command of the NL Central, and shut down the Braves in a three game sweep, scoring at least 7 runs in each game. P Anibal Sanchez showed off his arm when he struck out 17 over eight shutout innings. Now this is the reigning AL champions we know.
3. Texas Rangers
The Rangers just keep proving themselves. They hold one of the best records in baseball at 16-9, and although they went 2-2 against the Twins, their pitching remains strong. Their team’s 3.02 ERA is the best in all of baseball. Even with injury they can still succeed.
4. Atlanta Braves
The Braves no longer hold the top spot, but they didn’t fall far. They still have one of the best records at 16-9, but they got swept by the Tigers this past week. They still won’t give up their NL East top spot, by dominating the Nationals in D.C.
5. Pittsburgh Pirates
This past week has been very good to the Pirates, going 5-2, bringing their overall record to 15-11. They won their series against the Phillies and Cardinals, both on the road. They can end their road trip strong, with the last stop being the Brewers.
6. Baltimore Orioles
The playoff caliber Orioles team looks to be back. Beating divisional rival Blue Jays and then while on the road almost sweeping the Athletics in a four game series. Baltimore’s offense is second in baseball with 129 runs scored, as Chris Davis (9 home runs, 28 RBIs) and Adam Jones (4 home runs, 20 RBI) are simply on fire.
7. New York Yankees
Unfortunately for the Yankees the injury list just keeps growing. This hasn’t been stopping them though, as they are finding ways to win games. Their offense ranks fifth in the AL in runs scored with 112. The Yankees need people to step up behind Robinson Cano.
8. Arizona Diamondbacks
Arizona has slowly risen through the rankings, and at 15-11 after going 5-2 last week they definitely deserve this spot. This is a team with no superstars, just a well-rounded team who knows how to win. They have the pitching tools: Pat Corbin has an ERA of 1.91 and is 3-0; yet Wade Miley is 0-3 with a 7.48 ERA. Their bullpen isn’t lacking though, they have the third-best ERA in baseball at 2.44.
9. Colorado Rockies
While the Rockies are still on top of the NL West, they’ve cooled down quite a bit. They took a little bit of a blow this week losing their series to the Braves and the Diamondbacks. Their offense is hitting .279 as a team and has 32 home runs. They also have an NL high 127 runs scored, so far.
10. St. Louis Cardinals
This past week looked promising for the Cardinals, when they swept the Nationals on the road. It took a bad turn when they could only amount to 1-2 against the Pirates, making their week 3-3. Pitching has been huge for the Cardinals’ success. The lead baseball in ERA, 2.18 for the rotation. Another plus is that no starter has an ERA over 3.10.
11. Cincinnati Reds
Not the best week for the Reds, hence their drop. They won their series against the Cubs (not impressive) and nearly get swept in four games by the Nationals. Choo and Votto remain the leaders in the lineup, but the rest of the lineup needs to step it up if they want to be successful.
12. Oakland Athletics
After a great start to the season, the A’s have fallen to 15-12. They had a rough week though, losing their series to the Red Sox and Orioles. A key to their lineup is that Yoenis Cespedes back healthy, and didn’t miss a beat, homering his first game back. Their big issue is pitching, their two best starters Anderson (1-4, 7.23 ERA) and Parker (0-4, 8.10ERA) have not been on top of their game. While the bullpen picks up the slack, the starters need to work to get those ERAs down.
13. San Francisco Giants
The Giants are another team to drop drastically, and a lot to do with that is their disappointing past week. They lost their series against the Diamondbacks, and then turned around to be swept by the Padres on the road. At 14-12 and third in the NL West, they have some catching up to do. Their pitching has been an issue, Matt Can and Ryan Vogelsong both have ERAs over 6.
14. Washington Nationals
While I guess a 13-13 record isn’t bad, it certainly is not what you need if you want to win your division. Getting swept by the Cardinals was rough, but they turned it around winning three of the four game series against the Reds. Bryce Harper has been incredible in his sophomore season so far with 9 home runs and 18 RBI.
15. Kansas City Royals
The Royals have all the tools they need to be successful, yet they’ve only managed average. 13-10 isn’t bad, and neither is being on top of your division. The Royals also have a great bullpen, with a team ERA of 3.10. While they are good, there is always room for improvement, and they have the skill to do it.
16. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers have definitely improved, beating the Mets and Brewers this past week. But at 12-13 they can do better. Their offense is struggling, with 80 runs through 24 games, that is the second lowest in the NL. Injury has a lot to do with the pitching struggle, going through nine starters so far.
17. Seattle Mariners
The Mariners have struggled this past week, and a 12-16 record reflects that. They went 1-2 against the Astros, and then almost swept and almost equally as bad Angels team. They can be powerful; they’re ranked sixth in the AL in home runs with 27. Their problem, however, is scoring runs. They’ve only managed 87 runs in their first 27 games.
18. Tampa Bay Rays
Tampa Bay has surprised a lot this week, sweeping the Athletics and then going 2-1 against the Yankees. However, going 2-2 against a weak White Sox team is not something to brag about. The Rays are still fourth in the AL East, six games behind the Red Sox. They will be tested by the Royals and Rockies next week.
19. Milwaukee Brewers
I was hoping their winning streak would continue, but unfortunately after nine games the Padres snapped it. Their bullpen is slowly improving, thanks to closer Jim Henderson majorly stepping up. With the Pirates and Cardinals coming in to town, the Brewers have a lot to prove. Hopefully they can show that this nine game winning streak was not just a fluke, and that they are a force to be reckoned with.
20. Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia’s week started off rough, dropping their series to the Pirates; but ended up strong by sweeping the Mets. As they fight to get over .500, series against the Indians and Marlins should definitely get them there. Michael Young will be a key factor in this as well, but only if the rest of the lineup can back him up.
21. Minnesota Twins
It must be tough playing one of the worst teams in baseball and one of the best in the same week. The Twins managed to split both of those series, making their overall record 11-11. It won’t be easy playing the red hot Tigers, but a road trip to Cleveland should be more in their grasp.
22. Chicago Cubs
It was a positive week for the Cubs, well if you consider going 3-1 against the Marlins is positive. They also beat the Reds to avoid the sweep on the road. Their struggles begin on base, for the Cubs are hitting .151 with runners in scoring position. Chicago has also only scored 80 runs in their first 24 games.
23. San Diego Padres
A surprising moment came for the Padres this week. After dropping their series to the Brewers, San Diego came back and swept the San Francisco Giants. While they only went 1-2 against the Brewers, that one win happened to snap a five game losing streak. Their lineup is still struggling, only amounting to 15 home runs and 85 runs scored. Their starting rotation’s ERA of 5.33 is also the worst in the NL.
24. Chicago White Sox
The White Sox just aren’t hitting well. Their overall batting average as a team is a weak .229, and they have the lowest runs scored in the AL with 83. Their pitching has been the opposite, doing well with an overall ERA of 3.60. Chicago’s closer, Addison Reed continues to excel at 8-8 in saves with a 1.64 ERA.
25. Cleveland Indians
While the Indians’ offense has been improving, their pitching has taken a toll. During their first 22 games, the Indians have used eight different starting pitchers. These pitchers all combined for an ERA of 5.53. The only positive spot in their rotation comes from Justin Masterson, whose 3.12 ERA helps the team as a whole. Without Masterson’s ERA, that 5.53 number jumps to 6.75. Masterson needs to stay dominant for the sake of the rotation.
26. New York Mets
This week has shown the Mets only one win. It came from the Dodgers, a series in which the Mets lost. New York then went on to be swept by the Phillies. While they land third in the NL with 115 runs scored, they are only hitting .239 as a team. They have two set starters in their rotation in Matt Harvey and Jon Niese, but after that it’s up in the air. Their bullpen (with their 5.35 ERA) also needs work.
27. Toronto Blue Jays
This past week was grim for the Blue Jays, and next week looks to be equally as grim. Like the Mets, the Blue Jays only saw one win last week, which stopped the sweep from the Baltimore Orioles. They are currently sitting in last of the AL East, 8.5 games behind Boston, a team they welcome into town next week.
28. Houston Astros
It looked to be a good week for the Astros, going 2-1 against the Mariners. That was until they traveled to Boston and got swept in a four game series. Their pitching is struggling, with a 5.51 ERA, 6.34 coming from their starters. The Astros have three pitchers, Bedard, Humber, and Peacock all with ERAs over 7.98. Their upcoming week looks to be even worse than this one, visiting the Yankees in New York and then welcoming the Tigers into town.
29. Los Angeles Angels
After going 1-2 against the Rangers and 1-3 against the Mariners, the Angels land themselves as the second worst team in baseball. A lineup filled with superstars like Trout, Hamilton, and Pujols have not lived up to the hype. Angels fans are awaiting the day P Jared Weaver returns from the DL, so Joe Blanton and his ERA of 7.09 will take to the bench.
30. Miami Marlins
The Marlins had a chance to get themselves out of last place, put they could only manage to go 1-3 against the Cubs. The good news: Giancarlo Stanton can finally say he joined the home run club! The bad news: he is now on the DL. Their pitching is average, holding onto a team 4.26 ERA.