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1. Arizona Diamondbacks (9-3)
Previous Ranking: 6
The snakes move to the top spot after winning 8 games in a row against division rivals. The Diamondbacks offense, believe it or not, has been the best in the majors so far. The team leads the majors in home runs (21), runs (77), and RBI (72) thanks mostly to Justin Upton, who leads the team in most all major categories.
2. Boston Red Sox (7-6)
Previous Ranking: 4
After getting swept on the road in Toronto, the Red Sox stepped it up at home by taking two of three from both Detroit and New York. While David Ortiz has gotten off to one of his worst starts in recent memory, J.D. Drew (.353 avg, 3 hr, 8 RBI) is making up for the loss. Looking at the pitching staff, opponents are hitting a league low .232 off of Red Sox pitchers.
3. Chicago Cubs (7-5)
Previous Ranking: 9
The Cubs return home after going 4-2 on their road trip against Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Who would have thought that Ryan Dempster would only allow one run through 13 innings pitched so far this season? Meanwhile, If Felix Pie doesn't start hitting the ball, I wouldn't be surprised if Reed Johnson eventually overtook him on the roster. While the Cubs targetted Brian Roberts in the offseason, their main focus should be to acquire a centerfielder.
4. New York Mets (5-6)
Previous Ranking: 3
You know your team is struggling offensively when Angel Pagan is leading your team in 3 major offensive categories. The Mets pitching has been great so far, especially if you factor in the losses of Pedro Martinez and Orlando Hernandez. However, it's the offense that continues to struggle, and is holding this team back. Johan Santana has delivered 3 excellent starts for the team, but only has a 1-2 record to show for it.
5. New York Yankees (6-7)
Previous Ranking: 1
I normally would cut the Yankees some slack after losing two of three to Boston. However, losing two of three to the Royals is unacceptable. The teams powerful offense needs to wake up as the pitching staff has done more than enough to win ballgames. Derek Jeter should be back from injury this week. Maybe that will get the offense moving.
6. Los Angeles Angels (7-6)
Previous Ranking: 7
Despite terrible relief pitching, and mediocre starting pitching, the Angels continue to stay competitive by sporting the American League's best offense so far. Howie Kendrick has started the season 15 for 32 and is showing everyone why he should be considered among the top second basemen in the game. Meanwhile, the Torii Hunter signing has paid off so far as Hunter leads the team in home runs (4) and is second on the team in RBI (8).
7. Toronto Blue Jays (7-5)
Previous Ranking: 8
After sweeping the Red Sox last weekend, the Blue Jays started out the week by getting swept by the A's at home. They then followed that series with a three game sweep of the Texas Rangers. The Blue Jays are going to need to be a little more consistent in order to have a chance at the AL East this season. The team also needs Scott Rolen to come back from the DL as soon as possible. While Marco Scutaro is doing okay filling in, he doesn't deserve to be an everyday starter.
8. Cleveland Indians (5-7)
Previous Ranking: 2
It was a rough week for the Tribe. After dropping two of three to Oakland last weekend, the Indians continued to struggle by losing series to both the Angels and Athletics this week. What is even more discouraging than the losses are the performances of their top two starters. C.C. Sabathia start (0-2, 11.57 era) is the worst start ever by a reigning Cy Young winner after the first three games of the following season. Meanwhile, Fausto Carmona has already issued 17 walks in just 16 innings pitched.
9. Milwaukee Brewers (8-4)
Previous Ranking: 13
Maybe a year off would do everyone some good.....Gabe Kapler continues to stroke the ball for the Brew Crew already has four home runs on the season. Ben Sheets is back to his Cy Young form and if he can stay healthy all year long, there is nothing stopping this team from being playoff contenders.......except Eric Gagne.
10. San Diego Padres (7-6)
Previous Ranking: 10
If only the Padres had a better offense. San Diego is 14th in the national league with 40 runs scored despite having a league leading 10 quality starts. The team should have never lost two out of three to San Francisco this past week and if it weren't for a couple bad breaks, the Padres would be right up their with Arizona battling for the best record in the league.
11. Philadelphia Phillies (6-7)
Previous Ranking: 14
If I were to ask someone what player was leading the Phillies in all of their offensive categories, I bet everyone would guess that it would be either Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, or Chase Utley. However, no one would suspect Pat Burrell, who is hitting .359 with 13 RBI, 4 HR, 8 runs, and 4 doubles. So far, the Michael Bourn for Brad Lidge deal is looking great for the Phils....Yet the Pedro Feliz signing is looking like one of the worst this offseason.
12. Oakland Athletics (8-5)
Previous Ranking: 19
After losing the opening series of the year to the Red Sox, the A's have won 7 of their last 9 games, including 5 out of 6 on the road against the Blue Jays and Indians. In that stretch, the A's have beaten C.C. Sabthia (twice), Fausto Carmona, Paul Byrd, A.J. Burnett, Dustin McGowan, and Shaun Marcum. That's not too bad of a list. Oakland's starters have an era of just 3.07, which is best in the American League.
13. Seattle Mariners (6-7)
Previous Ranking: 16
The Mariners ended last week by losing four in a row last week to the Orioles. However, they've quickly bounced back and won two out of three from both the Rays and division rival Angels. The starting pitching has been outstanding so far, aside from Miguel Batista. However, if Kenji Johjima and Brad Wilkerson continue to struggle, it may not be too long before we see Jeff Clement and Wladimir Balentien back in Seattle.
14. St. Louis Cardinals (9-4)
Previous Ranking: 17
The Cardinals continue to win ballgames against mediocre teams. Their strength of schedule has been one of the easiest so far this season. However, they should get a good test this week as they face Milwaukee for a three game set. The team is getting a tremendous amount of offensive production from both Ryan Ludwig and Brian Barton. It will be interesting to see how long they continue to play this well.
15. Chicago White Sox (7-4)
Previous Ranking: 18
I'm waiting to see how well the White Sox fare against other teams before I move them any higher in the rankings. The team is 7-4 record is shown by them going 5-1 against Detroit, and then 2-3 against the Indians and Twins. Their schedule for April is relatively easy. This week they have two games against the A's and Orioles, followed by a three game set against the Rays. Things will get a lot harder once they enter May.
16. Los Angeles Dodgers (5-7)
Previous Ranking: 5
The Dodgers suffer the biggest fall in the power rankings this week after a 1-5 week against the Diamonbacks and Padres. While both of those teams are very good, the Dodgers have to be able to beat them if they want any shot at the division. While the team continue to have strong pitching, the offense has yet to wake up. Things should get a little easier with a 3 game set against Pittsburgh to start out the week.
17. Atlanta Braves (5-7)
Previous Ranking: 11
The Braves were swept earlier in the week by the Rockies and managed to win two of three against the Nationals. However, things don't look good for the team as Tom Glavine was injured on Sunday. With both Glavine and Mike Hampton hurt, the Braves will have to rely on weak minor league depth to carry them. On a better note, the Braves offense is among the best in the National League right now, even with Mark Teixeira hitting near the Mendoza line.
18. Minnesota Twins (6-6)
Previous Ranking: 20
Francisco Liriano's start on Sunday wasn't great, but you can't read into it too much. One start at this point in the season means nothing. Meanwhile, who would have ever thought Livan Hernandez would be 3-0 with a 2.57 era to start the year in the American League. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't most experts call this a "terrible" signing?
19. Kansas City Royals (7-5)
Previous Ranking: 22
Brian Bannister continues to dominate. He is 3-0 this season with an era of just 0.86. Dayton Moore's trade of Ambiorix Burgos for him at the beginning of last year is looking like one of the best trades in recent memory. Meanwhile, the Royals bullpen is unstoppable this season. Their 1.16 bullpen era is by far the best in the majors.
20. Cincinnati Reds (6-7)
Previous Ranking: 15
Maybe I got a little too excited about this young Reds team a little too fast. I don't understand how a team that wins series against Arizona and Milwaukee and splits with Philadelphia can just lose three straight games to a team as bad as the Pirates. Much like the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League, the Reds need to develop consistency if they are to be considered serious threats for the division. They have a tough week ahead with the Cubs and Brewers.
21. Colorado Rockies (5-7)
Previous Ranking: 21
Even though the Rockies bounced back from their 1-5 start with a sweep of the Braves, they have the second fewest runs scored in the National League with 42. The offense is going to have to pick it up as no one in Colorado can rely on the pitching to succeed while the team plays at Coors Field.
22. Tampa Bay Rays (6-6)
Previous Ranking: 23
The Rays will always play teams tough this year with that offense. However, the pitching has hit a snag with both Scott Kazmir and Matt Garza out. However, the team shouldn't be set back too much with Jeff Niemann and Evan Longoria called up on Sunday.
23. Detroit Tigers (2-10)
Previous Ranking: 12
Are you serious? According to the strength of schedule, the Tigers have had the easiest road in the majors up to this point. What has that gotten them?........ A 2-10 start to the season. So far, the Tigers only have one quality start from their starters, which is fewest in the majors. Things only get worse for the Tigers as Dontrelle Willis is now headed to the DL.
24. Houston Astros (5-8)
Previous Ranking: 24
As noted last week, opposing hitters are hitting a league best .300 off of Astros pitchers. You can't do that and expect to win many ballgames. The trades for Michael Bourn and Jose Valverde aren't looking good so far for Astros new GM Ed Wade. The Tejada trade seems to be the only one that was okay, but it depleted the teams pitching depth.
25. Pittsburgh Pirates (6-6)
Previous Ranking: 27
After sweeping the Reds over the weekend, we had no choice but to move them up one in the rankings. However, the team faces a huge test this next week as they face the Dodgers and Cubs on the road. As a team, the Pirates are hitting just .234 with runners in scoring position.
26. Texas Rangers (5-7)
Previous Ranking: 26
After defeating the Orioles in a 3 game set to start the week, the Rangers were swept by the Blue Jays over the weekend. Much like the Pirates, the Rangers have trouble driving in runners when they are in scoring position. Their .182 average with runners in scoring position is the worst in the American League.
27. Baltimore Orioles (7-5)
Previous Ranking: 28
O's fans screamed for a higher ranking last week, yet once again, the play this week didn't warrant it. The birds lost two straight series to Tampa Bay and Texas, both of which are teams that should be beaten. The only reason the Orioles are getting bumped up a spot this week is because the poor play of the Nationals.
28. Florida Marlins (7-5)
Previous Ranking: 29
I really don't understand how the Marlins are winning ballgames other than noting they've had an easy schedule. Their starters era is 7.17, which is worst in the majors. Meanwhile, opponents are hitting a whopping .292 off Marlin pitchers. The team keeps on playing bottom feeders until the 25th of this month, so we'll see how they hold up.
29. San Francisco Giants (5-8)
Previous Ranking: 30
The Giants managed to pull together some wins this week with strong performances from their starters. However, they could have won a lot more games had the team invested it's money better in a bat or bullpen help. The fact that the Giants lost 8-7 on Saturday after Matt Cain carried a no-no into the 7th is just pathetic.
30. Washington Nationals (4-9)
Previous Ranking: 25
You can't lose 9 games in a row, have the second worst record in the majors, and expect to not drop in the rankings. Just about the only thing going well for the Nationals is the development of Lastings Milledge. At least the team gets Wily Mo Pena back this week as well.
Since: May 10, 2007
Posted on: April 14, 2008 1:52 pm
MLB Power Rankings: Week 3
Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: April 14, 2008 11:48 am
MLB Power Rankings: Week 3
Since: Dec 30, 2006
Posted on: April 14, 2008 7:03 am
MLB Power Rankings: Week 3
Since: May 12, 2007
Posted on: April 14, 2008 6:39 am
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