June 15, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; A general view of the Houston Astros during batting practice before the game against Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Power Rankings Week 5: Texas Rangers Take No. 1 Spot

1. Texas Rangers

After an impressive sweep over the Boston Red Sox, the Rangers move up into the number one spot. All three starters in that series were commanding, which eases the burden on their bullpen. They also currently have an ERA of 3.08 and lower. This keeps the bats from doing all the work, especially when you only have two players hitting above .300.

2. Boston Red Sox

Don’t worry Red Sox fans, your team didn’t drop far. The Sox are sitting comfortably with the best record in baseball (shared with the Cardinals). It certainly doesn’t help your case when you drop a sweep to an impressive Texas Rangers. They are also only leading the AL East by 2 games, with the Yankees and Orioles hot on their tails.

3. Detroit Tigers

The Tigers outscored the Astros 37-8 in their series over the weekend. But honestly, it’s the Astros. Not that impressive. What is impressive is their 19-11 record, and their lead of the AL Central. Miguel Cabrera has also gotten very hot, hitting .385 with 6 home runs and 36 RBI.

4. St. Louis Cardinals

With a 20-11 record, the Cardinals are tied with the Red Sox for best record in baseball. This is to help from a six game winning streak they have going, including a sweep over the Brewers and series win over the Reds. With the Cubs on the road I can see this streak continuing.

5. Atlanta Braves

The Braves have definitely cooled down since their 13-2 start. They split their series with divisional rival Nationals, who they swept the last time they met up. A 10 game road trip poses a slight threat, playing the Reds, Giants, and Diamondbacks.

6. San Francisco Giants

With a 19-13 record, the Giants are only .5 games ahead of the Rockies for the lead of the NL West. With a sweep over the rival Dodgers, the Giants hope to lead that momentum into series’ against the Phillies and Braves. Pablo Sandoval looks to be a leader in hitting, with a .323 average and 24 RBI.

7. Baltimore Orioles

A series win over the Angels was a major confidence booster for the Orioles. They welcome a hot Kansas City Royals team into Camden Yards; and after a little scare that had a lot of O’s fans worried, Chris Davis is back in the lineup. Davis is a definite leader in their lineup, with a .327 average, 9 home runs and 30 RBI.

8. Washington Nationals

I read a stat today that I was a little surprised to read. When Bryce Harper homers, the Nats are 6-1. And when he doesn’t  They’re 11-14. Harper is leading his team in multiples areas: batting average, runs, home runs, and RBI. All in his sophomore season.

9. Colorado Rockies

Divisional rival San Francisco Giants might have won the World Series last season, but the Rockies are going to fight them for the West title this year. At 18-13, the Rockies are only .5 games behind the Giants. This past week, SS Troy Tulowitzki is hitting .636 with 1 home run and 6 RBI. On the season, Tulowitzki is hitting .348 with 7 home runs and 28 RBI.

10.  Kansas City Royals

With series wins over the Rays and White Sox, they Royals are now 17-11 and one game behind the Detroit Tigers for the lead of the AL Central.  Their starting pitching has been consistent with Santana’s 2.00 ERA, Guthrie’s 2.40 ERA, and Shields’ 2.52 ERA.

11. New York Yankees

This past week wasn’t the best for the Yankees, as they lost their series to the Athletics. They have a tough week ahead of them, playing the Rockies and Royals on the road. Robinson Cano is still leading the team in batting, with a .325 ERA, 8 home runs, and 19 RBI. Pitching from Kuroda has been consistent, 2.25 ERA and only one loss of the season.

12. Oakland Athletics

After winning their series over the Yankees, the A’s should have it easy with the Indians and Mariners on the road. However, the A’s have recently been plagued with injuries. Outfielder Chris Young has been placed on the DL, when his left quadriceps strain hindered his ability to run. Another outfielder, Josh Reddick has also been sidelined due to a sore right wrist. We have to wonder if they can push past these injuries and keep the drive to the AL West Title alive.

13. Cincinnati Reds

Although the Reds are in the middle of the NL Central, Shin-Soo Choo has been outstanding. In the lead off spot, he is hitting .331, has 5 home runs  and 13 RBI  The Reds will give the start against the Braves to Homer Bailey, whose 4.02 ERA isn’t bad, he is 0-3.

14. Pittsburgh Pirates

It’s been a tough week for the Pirates, losing their series to the Brewers and Nationals. Marte leads the Pirates in batting average, at .325, has 5 home runs  16 RBI and 10 stolen bases. After a short road trip to play the Mets, the Pirates should get some help when the Brewers and Astros come into town.

15. Arizona Diamondbacks

Pitcher Patrick Corbin has been pretty close to perfect for the Diamondbacks. He is 4-0, has a 1.80 ERA and 32 strikeouts. The other pitchers in Arizona’s rotation are being consistent as well. For example, Trevor Cahill has a 2.80 ERA, 34 strikeouts, but is 2-3. Pitching can be key for the Diamondbacks, if they can get the wins behind their pitchers.

16. Cleveland Indians

Another fun fact I read today: only the Rockies and Braves have more home runs than the Indians. Bet you didn’t expect that huh? Carlos Santana has a .367 ERA, 6 home runs and 14 RBI  Pitching has been inconsistent, however. The team’s third in ERA is 6.37 from Jimenez. Need to keep that down especially when the Athletics and Tigers are coming up this week.

17. Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers looked great when they played the Pirates, but collapsed when the dominant Cardinals came into town, getting swept in four games. Could be a fluke, but the Cardinals seem to play best against the Brewers, only losing one game to them this season. Pitching has been hurting, top three ERAs of the team are 3.16, 4.50 and 6.00.

18. Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays were tested when they played the Royals and Rockies on the road. They lost the series to the Royals (one game was postponed) and was then able to win the series against the Rockies. With the Blue Jays and Red Sox coming up these next two weeks, to move up in the AL East winning those games will be crucial.

19. Seattle Mariners

At a slightly under .500 record and 4.5 games back, the Mariners can get back into the hunt. It won’t be easy, seeing that the two teams ahead of them are the Rangers and Athletics, and they will be able to put that to the test this week. Saunders has returned from the DL, and in this past week is hitting .286 with 2 home runs and 4 RBI. It won’t be easy, but it’s possible.

20. San Diego Padres

The Padres last week split their series against the Cubs, won against the D-backs, and now welcomes Miami to town. Pitching ERAs have been high, with an ERA of 4.25 and higher. Alonso could be a key to their lineup, with a .270 average, and a team leading 4 home runs and 20 RBI. That won’t be good enough when the Orioles and Nationals are on their schedule next week.

21. Philadelphia Phillies

This week could be considered a disaster in the minds of Phillies fans. Roy Halladay had two awful outings, which leads to the “where’s the old Halladay questions. Halladay has the worst ERA on the Phillies at 8.65, the worst record at 2-4, yet has 34.1 innings pitched. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him taken off the starting rotation.

22. Chicago White Sox

A 13-17 record isn’t something to be proud of, but going 2-1 against the Texas Rangers last week certainly is. Until you lose the series against the Royals. Hitting needs to step it up, as no player is hitting above .300. On the road against the Mets and at home against the Angels should help the White Sox get to a .500 record.

23. Minnesota Twins

It has been a tough past week for the Twins and it is only going to get worse. Going 1-2 against the Indians, starting a four game series in Boston with a loss, and then playing the Orioles at home. Pitching has not been on for the Twins; two of the top three pitchers have ERA over 6.35. And like Chicago, they do not have a player currently hitting over .300.

24. Los Angeles Dodgers

Getting swept by any team is bad, but it only stings even worse when it comes from the San Francisco Giants; and that’s exactly what happened this past weekend. Clayton Kershaw looked dominant, throwing a no-hitter into the sixth, until Scutaro tripled to the right-centerfield gap. Posey then brought in the one lone run against Kershaw, who also won the game thanks to a walk off home run, his first in his career.  Needless to say, it’s been a difficult start to the season after all the talent brought in over the offseason.

25. Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays are currently stuck at the bottom of the AL East. And with all the competition in this division, I don’t see them moving up any time soon. However, they are currently in a series against the Rays and then play Boston on the road right after that. If they want to turn it around I would start now.

26. Chicago Cubs

After getting swept by the Reds, the Cubs won a makeup game against the Rangers. Now, they welcome the Cardinals into town, then hit the road to play the Nationals, and then back home for the Rockies. Although their four game losing streak was ended over a win to the Rangers, playing three difficult teams in one week will not be easy. I see that streak coming back.

27. New York Mets

Pitcher Matt Harvey has been great for the Mets starting rotation. He is 4-0, has an ERA of 1.56, and has 46 strikeouts. The Mets also were able to hit off Braves closer Kimbrel, who is usually very dominant, and blew the saves in the Mets 7-5 win.

28. Los Angeles Angels

After sweeping the Tigers in late April, the Angels have lost four straight series. Pitching is lacking, hitting is lacking, and base running is lacking. The Angels play the Astros and White Sox this week, two teams that are also not doing well. It should be interesting to see if they can pull it together.

29. Miami Marlins

Hey, you’re no longer the worst team in baseball! The Padres and Dodgers on the road will not be easy, but thanks to Jose Fernandez’s last win over the Phillies should be a confidence booster.

30. Houston Astros

Sorry Astros, you’re back on the bottom. At 8-24, 11 games back in the AL West, things are not looking great right now. Especially when the Rangers and Tigers are on the schedule for next week.


Tags: Atlanta Braves Boston Red Sox Detroit Tigers MLB MLB Power Rankings St. Louis Cardinals Texas Rangers

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