It was bound to happen.
For one thing, the difference between being the top team and the third-best team in power rankings issued in May is minute; it comes down to splitting hairs and deciding what tidbit will trump. In the case of the Oakland Athletics taking over the top spot from the Milwaukee Brewers, it is their astounding run differential that gives them a slight edge.
The A’s are averaging a +2.16 run differential per game (from Baseball Prospectus). Think about that. For all of the zany things that happen in baseball games, not to mention the fact that even the best teams are likely guaranteed a loss or two a week, and the A’s are still outscoring their opponents at that rate on average. We are just reaching the point in the season where run differential starts to be a telling and useful statistic; if the A’s keep this up for much longer we might have to call them a dominant team.
In their own division the A’s have seen the Los Angeles Angels start to pile up wins to the tune of a win-loss record more befitting the fact that they are outscoring their opponents by nearly a run per game (+0.96). Then there is the Detroit Tigers, a team that could very well be 1A in these rankings after sweeping the Boston Red Sox this past weekend. The Brewers dropping to #3 is not so much a matter of them playing poorly as much as it is the exceptional level of play from the A’s and Tigers.
With some minor shuffling at the top and a lot of uncertainty in the middle, here the MLB Power Rankings for week eight of the season.
1. Oakland A’s (28-16, +1)
2. Detroit Tigers (27-12, +1)
3. Milwaukee Brewers (27-17, -2)
4. San Francisco Giants (28-17, no change)
5. Los Angeles Angels (24-19, +3)
6. Atlanta Braves (23-19, +1)
7. Baltimore Orioles (22-20, -2)
8. Colorado Rockies (25-20, -1)
9. Los Angeles Dodgers (23-22, no change)
10. Washington Nationals (23-20, no change)
11. New York Yankees (23-20, no change)
12. St. Louis Cardinals (23-21, +1)
13. Kansas City Royals (22-21, +5)
14. Boston Red Sox (20-23, no change)
15. Toronto Blue Jays (23-22, +6)
16. Cincinnati Reds (19-23, -1)
17. Miami Marlins (23-22, -1)
18. Seattle Mariners (21-22, -1)
19. New York Mets (20-23, no change)
20. Texas Rangers (21-23, -8)
21. Tampa Bay Rays (19-26, +1)
22. Philadelphia Phillies (19-22, -2)
23. Minnesota Twins (21-21, +1)
24. Chicago White Sox (21-24, -1)
25. San Diego Padres (21-24, +2)
26. Pittsburgh Pirates (18-25, no change)
27. Arizona Diamondbacks (18-28, +1)
28. Cleveland Indians (19-25, -3)
29. Chicago Cubs (15-27, no change)
30. Houston Astros (16-28, no change)
Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks Atlanta Braves Baltimore Orioles Boston Red Sox Chicago Cubs Chicago White Sox Cincinnati Reds Cleveland Indians Colorado Rockies Detroit Tigers Houston Astros Kansas City Royals Los Angeles Angels Los Angeles Dodgers Miami Marlins Milwaukee Brewers Minnesota Twins New York Mets New York Yankees Oakland Athletics Philadelphia Phillies Pittsburgh Pirates San Diego Padres San Francisco Giants Seattle Mariners St. Louis Cardinals Tampa Bay Rays Texas Rangers Toronto Blue Jays Washington Nationals