Every Tom, Dick, and Harry have decided to make thier own power rankings, and I am no different. I will, however, stick to the National League, as I really only see the NL play on a (nearly) everyday basis. This also eliminates me from tedious Boston-New York arguments that absolutely dominate this board and ESPN. So without further ado.....
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (LW --) Week 2 record (7-0)
This team demolished the Rockies and the Giants at home, en route to a 6-0 home record to begin the season. All the attention is on Manny Ramirez, but fantasy owners know that Matt Kemp had a monster week including a monster two home run game Sunday. This team's offense has been scary, and they lead the National League in both Runs (82) and Runs allowed (40)
2. Florida Marlins (LW --) Week 2 record (7-0)
The mainstream media is quick to point out that the Marlins 11-1 record comes with an asterisk of beating the Nationals 6 times, but this team has also swept the Atlanta Braves and lost only once to the Mets. Next week starts off good for the fish with a series against the buccos, but toughens up quickly with New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago.
3. San Diego Padres (LW --) Week 2 record (5-2)
When this team swept the Giants last week, I thought that was a nice way to start the season, but reality is to hit them in the face in New York. I was wrong. This team has travelled across the country and smacked both the defending champs and the (in many worlds) NL east favorites, the Mets around. Bullpen is still shaky, but Heath Bell looks like he's the real deal, with a perfect save percentage.
4. St. Louis Cardinals (LW --) Week 2 record (3-3)
Tony LaRussa fans aren't surprised by their hot start, but as a midwest teams (despite the history) they are often overlooked, as is he. The patchwork infield, rotation, and just about everything else on this team just seems to work. Albert Pujols continues to absolutely dominate. The series with the Cubs was one to keep an eye on, and we're lucky enough to have the same two go at it next week in the Lou.
5. Chicago Cubs (LW --) Week 2 record (3-2)
Aramis Ramirez' walk-off HR was huge for a team that has achieved essentially what folks expected from them, in a weak division. Still, they're tied for first with the Cardinals and their schedule is favorable, with series against the Natty and Arizona. The +10 differential (vs St. Louis +21) is the big reason why they're here.
6. New York Mets (LW --) Week 2 record (3-3 )
The bullpen certainly looks better, but this team really needs some help offensively. When you've scored exactly 1 more run this season than the lowly Nationals, you have some work to do. Luis Castillo leads this team in batting average, which is not a good sign. This team will come around, but from the looks of it, Citi field will deflate many of their slugger's numbers.
7. Philadelphia Phillies (LW --) Week 2 record (2-3)
Having Harry Kalas pass away gives them a bit of slack, along with facing a hot San Diego team. With Raul Ibanez' walkoff HR, I expect this team to get on a roll and start playing like defending champs. Ryan Howard is going oppo which, to Philles fans, is a sight for sore eyes.
8. Cincinnati Reds (LW --) Week 2 record (4-2)
Have to love what you've seen from their pitching staff, with good starts from Aaron Harang, Edison Volquez, and Bronson Arroyo. The young hitting nucleus of Jay Bruce and Joey Votto will carry them throughout the season. Underappreciated pickup in Ramon Hernandez, who has produced offensively everywhere he's been. Would love to see more consistency from this team, but that's to be expected with a young squad.
9. Pittsburgh Pirates (LW --) Week 2 record (3-3)
How about them bucs? Nice to see them looking decent for the time being. That pitching staff (pinch me if you've heard this for a number of years) looks like it could develop into one of the league's best. Nearly swept the slumping Braves, but get a real taste of competition when they face our # 2 team and #3 team.
10. Atlanta Braves (LW --) Week 2 record (1-5)
This ranking is more reflective of how poorly they played this week than it is their entire body of work. A 6-6 record isn't bad in such a tough division, but when being swept by the Marlins and nearly swept by the aforementioned Pirates, they do not get a pass. This team is filled with talent and this is supposed to be the year they compete again, but their offense must get it going. The return of Chipper Jones should help matters, but I don't expect him to be healthy for long stretches of time.
11. Colorado Rockies (LW --) Week 2 record (1-4)
This team is in need of an identity and some home cooking (and maybe another Cole Hamels start). Every game of theirs was on the road this week, including an embarrassment of a series against the Dodgers. They will be on the road some more next week with a rematch of the 07 NLCS, and they've fared well against the D'Backs of late. They have another shot at the Dodgers next week, but this time after spending the night in their own beds.
12. Milwaukee Brewers (LW --) Week 2 record (2-4)
Tough week for this team with a trip to New York and a scrappy Reds team that came to Miller Park with something to prove. The offense is there, but the pitching is suspect at best. Yovani Gallardo has alternated good starts, but after that the rotation has been dissapointing. Rumors they might go after Jake Peavy will quickly fizzle after this team sinks lower in the central. Help is on the way, however, with series against Arizona, Pittsburgh, and Houston.
13. Houston Astros (LW --) Week 2 record (3-3)
Much better showing this week than in week 1, a series win over the surprising Pirates. Somehow Cecil Cooper has earned an extension, but this team seems to be a shell of itself from the dominance in the middle of this decade. Michael Bourne is a pleasure to watch in center.
14. Arizona Diamondbacks (LW --) Week 2 record (2-4)
Only one team has a worse offense than the DBacks, and they just finished beating them 2 of 3 in a series. This team was nearly no-hit by the 57 year-old Randy Johnson. They strike out way too much and can't deliver any timely hitting so far. I don't think this team will stay down here for the majority of the season, but when you go to SF and only score 2 runs in 3 games, you have concerns.
15. San Francisco Giants (LW --) Week 2 record (2-4)
Another year, another miserable Giants offense. Wholloped in LA including losses of 7-2 and 11-1, they bounced back with stellar performances on the mound against Arizona. They have an opportunity to avenge two road sweeps when they face the Padres and Dodgers in the next few days. Tim Lincecum looks like his mechanics are a back, and that's a great sign for all fans of baseball.
16. Washington Nationals (LW --) Week 2 record (1-4)
Absolutley dreadful. Manny Acta says he's going to blow up the bullpen and he should before the Nats brass decide to hand him his walking papers.
My first crack at this and I promise to get better.