As we enter the fourth week of the Major League Baseball season we approach the point when we can take the current results for teams and individual players a bit more seriously. The small sample size qualifiers still linger, however, and to construct MLB Power Rankings for week four of the season is to attempt to blend the current results that might be misleading with the projected results for teams that seem to be overachieving or underachieving thus far. With that in mind, here are the Week Four Power Rankings:
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (12-7)
Even with the drama with Yasiel Puig and his extraordinary and frightening journey to the United States, and even with an injury to defending Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw, they are still the most loaded team until they give us a reason to believe otherwise. It is worth pointing out, though, that seven of their wins have come against the struggling Arizona Diamondbacks.
2. Oakland A’s (13-5)
The struggles of expensive closer Jim Johnson did little, if any, damage to the overall quality of Oakland’s pitching staff. Their 2.48 ERA as a team leads the American League by a wide margin (Kansas City is second with a 3.20 team ERA). Their average run differential per game (+1.77, per Baseball Prospectus) leads all of baseball by a wide margin. This is the best team in baseball right now, and if not for the belief that the Dodgers will be the best team in baseball over the long run, the A’s would top this list.
3. Atlanta Braves (12-6)
The Braves are winning with their usual formula: pitching. The only reason it feels unusual is because their staff was hit hard by injuries before the season started. Ervin Santana has been spectacular through three starts. Their exceptional team ERA (2.40 ERA) is only outdone by their ridiculous 2.90 team FIP (fielding independent pitching).
4. Detroit Tigers (9-6)
It feels a little bit like this team is treading water so far, but the overall quality of their roster keeps them in the top five. That quality will only be improved when they inevitably sign Stephen Drew to play shortstop (the team released Alex Gonzalez this week).
5. St. Louis Cardinals (11-8)
Among the best teams in all of baseball in runs allowed per game (3.32), the Cards just need their offense to catch up a little bit (3.89 runs scored per game). It’s easy to believe that will happen with the overall quality of their lineup.
Tags: Atlanta Braves Boston Red Sox Detroit Tigers Los Angeles Dodgers Milwaukee Brewers MLB MLB Power Rankings New York Yankees Oakland Athletics San Francisco Giants St. Louis Cardinals Tampa Bay Rays Texas Rangers Washington Nationals