The elite teams in baseball are holding their ground. Even with some hiccups here and there, we have reached the point where the top teams in each league, teams like the Oakland Athletics, San Francisco Giants, Toronto Blue Jays, and Detroit Tigers (among others) have sustained great play for long enough that they have settled in at the top of the standings.
After that, baseball is chaos. You can call it parity or you can call it mediocrity, but it is certainly entertaining. For example, the Kansas City Royals and Colorado Rockies were two teams that looked dead in recent weeks. Then they went on seven and five game winning streaks, respectively, and are right back in the thick of things.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are another example of why things are so crowded. For much of April and May they looked lifeless, but they now find themselves one game below the .500 mark and very much alive in the playoff picture.
With that, here are the MLB Power Rankings for Week 13 of the 2014 season.
1. Oakland A’s (42-27, no change)
Run differential update: Oakland’s overall mark for the season now sits at an astounding +132. And they didn’t even get a bat thrown at one of their players this week so, you know, that’s a bonus.
2. San Francisco Giants (43-27, no change)
3. Toronto Blue Jays (41-30, no change)
4. Los Angeles Angels (37-31, no change)
5. Milwaukee Brewers (41-29, no change)
6. Detroit Tigers (36-29, no change)
7. St. Louis Cardinals (37-32, +1)
Coming off an impressive sweep of the red-hot Washington Nationals this weekend, the Cardinals have maintained a winning record despite a depressing lack of offensive punch thus far. This is definitely a team to watch in the trade market. Thankfully for them, they dodged a bullet this week when Adam Wainwright‘s MRI on his pitching elbow came back clean. They will only be without him and his nasty stuff for one start.
8. Washington Nationals (35-33, -1)
9. Los Angeles Dodgers (37-34, no change)
10. Atlanta Braves (36-32, no change)
11. Baltimore Orioles (35-33, +5)
12. Miami Marlins (35-33, no change)
13. New York Yankees (31-31, +1)
14. Kansas City Royals (36-32, +5)
Are the Royals finally proving people right? Is this a playoff-worthy team when it hits? Is this finally happening?
15. Seattle Mariners (35-34, -4)
16. Cleveland Indians (35-35, -1)
17. Cincinnati Reds (33-35, no change)
18. Texas Rangers (34-35, -5)
19. Colorado Rockies (34-35, +2)
20. Pittsburgh Pirates (34-35, +3)
The Pirates keep climbing, providing some hope that they can follow up last season’s playoff run. The promotion of Gregory Polanco was the big story this week, and the young outfielder has already been remarkably impressive.
21. Minnesota Twins (32-35 +1)
22. Chicago White Sox (33-37, -4)
23. Boston Red Sox (31-38, -3)
24. New York Mets (31-38, no change)
25. Houston Astros (32-39, +2)
Is this too low? It very well might be, but it takes time to complete the transition to a mode of thinking where the Astros aren’t a joke. The fact is, they have good young pitching and good young hitters and those guys are finally starting to provide moments of excitement like this one from Jon Singleton.
26. San Diego Padres (29-40, -1)
27. Philadelphia Phillies (29-38, -1)
28. Chicago Cubs (28-39, no change)
29. Arizona Diamondbacks (30-42, no change)
30. Tampa Bay Rays (27-43, no change)
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