MLB Power Ratings (After 5/24/09)

Last Updated: May 26th, 2009 by Rodney James (Bankroll Sports Contributor)

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*Baseball Records & Team Rankings are as of 5/24/2009
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1. Los Angeles Dodgers (30-14) – The Dodgers continue to hold the top spot, and the difference continues to expand. Los Angeles became the first team to win 30 games on the season Saturday against the Angels. The Dodgers continue to get solid power numbers from Casey Blake and Andre Either during the absence of Manny Ramirez. Closer Johnathan Broxton has been excellent, with a 5-0 record, and 11 saves, and just 2 blown saves on the season. The Dodgers lead the Padres by 8.5 games for the NL West lead. Los Angeles boasts the best home record in baseball, at 18-4, but have played well on the road as well, winning 12 of 22. After the Angels leave town on Sunday the Dodgers will start a seven game road trip on Monday at Colorado, and then a four game set at Wrigley Field on Thursday against the Cubs.  

2. Milwaukee Brewers (26-17) –  All the work the Brewers did to dispose of the Cardinals last week have went to waste this week, losing two straight to the Twins. With St. Louis winning five straight, the Cardinals and Brewers are once again tied atop the division. Milwaukee has a 12-7 record at home, and 14-10 when playing on the road. The Brewers have tortured fellow National League Central opponents winning 17 of 25 against them, including the three game sweep in St. Louis. Milwaukee picked up some insurance this week in the outfield, grabbing Jody Gerut from San Diego, in return for Tony Gwynn Jr. Ryan Braun continues to sparkle for Milwaukee, hitting a team best .336, and leading the team with 31 runs scored. The Brewers will complete their series with Minnesota on Sunday, and then host back to back Central foes in the Cardinals and Reds. The Cardinals will be in town Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, while Cincinnati will start a three game set Friday.

3. St. Louis Cardinals (26-17) – The Cardinals have made an eight team jump from last weeks spot at #11. After getting swept at home to the Brewers, the Cardinals were able to real off a three game sweep over rival Chicago, and have won the first two against state opposition Kansas City. The starting pitching for St. Louis has done something that will be remembered for ages. All five starting pitchers picked up a win in the last five games, allowing just one earned run in 36 innings. In the Cubs series, Chicago scored just 2 runs in three games, while Kansas City has been shutout in the first 18 innings of the series. Chris Carpenter came back strong on Wednesday and went five scoreless innings. Carpenter is now 2-0 on the season, and pitched in 15 innings, not allowing an earned run. The dominance does not come as a surprise to Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan, as they saw the starters start the season 14-2, before the 1-10 string hit. The Cardinals offense still tries to get by, without outfielders Ryan Ludwick and Rick Ankiel and third basemen Troy Glaus. The Cardinals will finish their series with Kansas City Sunday, before heading on the road for three at Milwaukee and then three at San Francisco over the weekend.

4. Detroit Tigers (24-17) – The Tigers had their seven game winning streak snapped on Saturday evening, but despite that, Detroit holds a four game lead in the American League Central. Detroit moved up four spots from # 8 last week to # 4 this week. Detroit won games with their pitching, allowing over six runs just once in the streak. Rick Porcello leads the Tigers staff with wins, winning five and losing three to start the season. Miguel Cabrera is hitting a team leading .370, with 33 runs batted in. Fernando Rodney has saved all eight opportunities he has had this year for Detroit. The Tigers will finish their three game set with Colorado on Sunday, and then face divisional foe Kansas City on the road, before heading to Baltimore for a four game weekend set.

5. Toronto Blue Jays (27-19) – The Blue Jays drop three spots from # 2 to # 5 with their recent struggles, that have seen them drop five straight games and six of their last ten. Toronto was swept by divisional foe Boston on the road, and they have dropped the first two at Atlanta. Toronto leads the American League by a slim ½ game going into Sunday’s games. The Blue Jays continue to play without catcher Michael Barrett starting pitchers Jesse Litsch and Dustin McGowan. Toronto will continue their long road trip on Monday in Baltimore, and then take Thursday off, before going back home to host the Boston Red Sox, in what they hope is revenge from the beating they took at Fenway.

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6. Philadelphia Phillies (23-18) –  The defending World Series Champions have made their way up to # 6, four spots up from last weeks # 10 rankings. Philadelphia has won seven of their last ten games, despite falling on Saturday, behind a Brad Lidge blown save. The Phillies have struggled at home winning just 8 of 20 games, while they have thrived on the road, compiling a 15-6 record. Raul Ibanez has continued his torrid pace, leading the team in batting average (.350), homeruns (17), runs batted in (42) and runs scored (37). Those numbers place him in the top five in batting, the leader in homeruns and rbi’s and second in runs scored in the entire National League. For a team that has three offensive MVP type’s already, Ibanez has made the Philadelphia lineup even more potent. The Phillies have just a ½ game lead over the New York Mets in the National League East. Philadelphia will close their road series at the new Yankee Stadium on Sunday, and then make the trip back to Philadelphia to host divisional foes Florida and Washington, with an off day on Thursday.

7. Boston Red Sox (25-18) – The Red Sox have had two straight chances to over take the Toronto Blue Jays atop the American League East. Both times, the New York Mets knocked them off, to keep Boston ½ game behind Toronto. Despite sweeping Toronto in a three game series, the Red Sox have dropped from # 3 to # 7. Boston had a lead on Saturday until closer Jonathan Paplebon blew the save, and the game, and the Mets came back to win 3-2. Friday’s defeat was a 5-3 loss at the hands of Mets ace Johan Santana. American League MVP in 2008 Dustin Pedroia continues to hit, leading the team with a .327 batting average. The Red Sox will look to avoid the sweep on Sunday, and then travel to Minnesota for a four game series, followed by three north of the border in Toronto.

8. Texas Rangers (25-17) – Part of the Rangers success in 2009 has been winning games at home. Texas is 14-6 at home. The other part is beating up on divisional foes. The Rangers have won 10 of 12 against other AL West opponents. Texas has won two straight and seven of their last ten. Texas didn’t always play well this week, taking a three game sweep at the hands of the Detroit Tigers. The Rangers lead the American League West by three games over Los Angeles, and six over Seattle. Michael Young and Ian Kinsler continue to provide offense for the potent Rangers offense. Young leads the team with a .345 batting average, while Kinsler has a team leading 32 runs batted in, and 31 runs scored. The Rangers will look to take the three game sweep at Houston on Sunday, before hosting the New York Yankees for a three game series on Monday and Oakland Athletics for three on Friday.

9. New York Yankees (25-18) – There isn’t a hotter team in baseball right now than the New York Yankees. The Yankees have won 12 of 15 games since third basemen Alex Rodriguez returned from the disabled list. Rodriguez is only hitting .200 since his return, but 7 of his 10 hits have homeruns. The Yankees have surged into a second place with the Boston Red Sox, just ½ game behind Toronto for the lead. The Yankees are 14-8 at the new stadium, and 11-10 on the road. The Yankees are still playing without their top two catchers as Jorge Posada is out with a right hamstring strain and Jose Molina has a strained right quadriceps. The Yankees will finish the three game set with Philadelphia on Sunday, and then play back to back road series’ at Texas and Cleveland, with an off day on Thursday.

10. New York Mets (23-19) – At 23-19 on the season, the New York Mets are just ½ game behind Philadelphia for the top spot in the National League East Division. The Mets have battled their share of injuries as closer Francisco Rodriguez is out for a few days, and shortstop Jose Reyes has been out a few games with an injury. The Mets are also without Carlos Delgado, Oliver Perez and Alex Cora, all on the disabled list with various injuries. The Mets offense has been lifted by Carlos Beltran, who is batting .364 with 6 homeruns, 29 runs batted in and 30 runs scored. Johan Santana leads the starting pitching staff with 6 wins, and only 3 losses. The Mets will finish their three game set at Boston, before coming back home and hosting the Washington Nationals and Florida Marlins.

11. Los Angeles Angels (22-20) – The Angels make a three team improvement from last week, jumping from # 14 to # 11. Los Angeles is three games back in the American League West, trailing the Texas Rangers. The Angels picked up a 3-1 win over the Dodgers Friday, only to fall on Saturday 5-4. The Angels will finish their three game series with the Dodgers on Sunday, and then go back home and host the Chicago White Sox and Seattle Mariners for three game sets.

12. Cincinnati Reds (22-20) – The young offensive sluggers for Cincinnati are learning the importance of consistency. Once this happens, Dusty Baker and his Reds will be a force to reckon with in the National League Central. Cincinnati, despite the inconsistency have stayed alive through two months in the division. Coming into Sunday’s game with the Indians, the Reds are two games over .500, and just 3.5 games back of Milwaukee and St. Louis. The Reds remain at # 12 in the power rankings. Joey Votto leads the Reds in batting, also leading the entire National League, with his .371 clip. Jay Bruce leads the team in homeruns with 12, while Brandon Phillips has knocked in 34 runs. The starting pitching staff has been anchored by veteran Bronson Arroyo, who has won six games in 2009. The Reds will finish their series against the Indians on Sunday, and then welcome the Houston Astros to town on Monday, and then get a shot against the division leading Milwaukee Brewers in Milwaukee over the weekend.

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13. Atlanta Braves (22-20) – Probably the most over-looked team in all of baseball is the Atlanta Braves. Quietly the Braves have crept to within 1.5 games of the lead in the National League East. With all the talk of the Phillies and Mets in the East, the Braves have hung around. Atlanta has won two straight games over the American League East leading Toronto Blue Jays, and will look to sweep the series on Sunday. Atlanta makes a three team jump from # 16 to # 13. Chipper Jones has heated up, raising his average to .316 on the season, while the power for the Braves continues to be non existent. Kelly Johnson leads the Braves in homeruns, with just four. After Toronto leaves town on Sunday, the Braves will head out west to play the Giants in a three game set, and then stop in Arizona on Thursday for a four game weekend series.

14. Tampa Bay Rays (23-22) – The defending American League Champions seem to heating up a bit, winners of three straight games and seven of ten overall. The Rays have made a five team jump from # 19 to # 14. Tampa fell in the first two games at Oakland, but picked up a win in the last game, and have won the first two over state foe Florida. Jason Bartlett continues to hit the ball around the park, batting for a team leading .376 batting average. Carlos Pena leads the team with 15 homeruns and Evan Longoria leads all of baseball with 48 runs batted in. The Rays will finish the series with Florida on Sunday, and then take to the road at Cleveland for a four game set, before hosting Minnesota over the weekend.

15. San Diego Padres (21-22) – Making the biggest jump of the week is the San Diego Padres. The Padres move up 11 spots from # 26 to # 15, winning eight straight games. All the wins for San Diego have come at home, where they are 16-6 on the season. The winning streak has help aid the Padres into second place in the National League West, but still 8.5 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. Adrian Gonzalez continues to make a run at the All Star game, as he leads San Diego in batting average (.281), homeruns (16), runs batted in (30) and runs scored (29). Closer Heath Bell has saved 12 games, in 12 tries. The Padres will look to finish a perfect nine game home stand on Sunday against the Cubs, and then take the road to Arizona and Colorado.

16. Chicago Cubs (21-20) – The biggest loser of the week is the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs have lost six straight games, and dropped from # 5 down all the way to # 16. More importantly for Chicago, they have fallen back to fourth place, four games behind Milwaukee and St. Louis. The Cubs were swept by the Cardinals during the week, only scoring two runs in three games. Since in San Diego, Chicago’s offense has not picked up, scoring just one run in two games. The Cubs got good news on Friday, but bad news as well. Chicago activated Carlos Zambrano from the disabled list, but also placed starting pitcher Rich Harden on the disabled list. Harden joins third basemen Aramis Ramirez on the list. The Cubs will look to win one game on the six game road trip on Sunday in San Diego, and then hope the friendly confines help the bats get back on track, as they will host Pittsburgh and Los Angeles for seven straight.

17. Kansas City Royals (21-22) – The Royals are searching for their bats, as they have scored just three runs in their last three games. All those runs came in the same game, a 8-3 loss to Cleveland on Thursday. Friday and Saturday have not been kind to the Royals, who have been out scored by state rival St. Louis 10-0. The Royals have dropped four spots from # 13 to # 17 with their current losing streak. Kansas City is in second place in the American League Central, four games behind first place Detroit. Zack Greinke picked up a no decision in Thursday’s loss, as his season era went up to 0.82. Greinke has won 7 of his 8 decisions in 2009.  The Royals will look to win one in St. Louis on Sunday, before heading home to host the Tigers and White Sox in back to back series’, taking Thursday off.

18. Minnesota Twins (21-23) – Despite winning three straight, the Minnesota Twins have lost six of their last ten games, and fallen three spots from # 15 to # 18. The Twins picked up a 20-1 win over the Chicago White Sox on Thursday night, and followed suit on Friday with a 11-3 win over Milwaukee, and picked up another win Saturday 6-2. The Twins are 16-9 when playing at home, but a dismal 5-14 on the road. Minnesota has struggled against American League East foes, winning just 3 of 15 times against them. The Twins are in third place in the Central Division, trailing the Detroit Tigers by 4.5 games. Justin Morneau leads the Minnesota offense in batting average (.343), homeruns (12), runs batted in (36) and runs scored (35). The Twins will look to sweep the Brewers on Sunday night Baseball, before hosting the Boston Red Sox for four, and then head to Tampa Bay for a three game weekend set.

19. Seattle Mariners (20-24) – The Mariners cannot seem to find any positive consistency, as they have not won two straight since April 24th and 25th. The Mariners are six games behind the Texas Rangers, in third place in the American League West. Ichiro Suzuki leads the team in hitting with a .315 batting average, while big man Russell Branyan leads in homeruns with 10. Felix Hernandez leads the starting pitching staff, but has just four wins on the season. The Mariners and Giants will play the rubber game of a three game series on Sunday, and then Seattle will make trips to both Oakland and Los Angeles (Angels) this week.

20. San Francisco Giants (20-22) – If the Giants could play their entire season at home, they would have a chance to compete with the Dodgers atop the NL West. Problem is, they don’t. The road has been unkind to the Giants, who have won just 7 of 21. San Francisco dropped three spots from # 17 to # 20. Despite the win on Saturday, the Giants have won just two of their last ten games overall. After getting swept at divisional foe San Diego, the Giants fell in the first at Seattle, but bounced back on Saturday. The Giants are in third place, ½ game behind San Diego, and nine full games back of the Dodgers. The Giants, after finishing up in Seattle will head back home and look to get back on track against Atlanta and St. Louis this week.

21. Chicago White Sox (19-23) – The White Sox made their best efforts to grab Jake Peavy to join the starting rotation, but were not able to land him when Peavy declined a trade to the Windy City. The White Sox make a one team jump up from # 22 to # 21 winning four of their last five games.  The lone loss in that span was a 20-1 butt whooping at the hands of divisional foe Minnesota. The White Sox have shut out the Pirates 6-0 in the first two games of the three game series. Chicago will play Pittsburgh for the final time on Sunday, and then head west and take on the Angels Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. After an off day on Thursday, the White Sox will play at Kansas City over the weekend.

22. Pittsburgh Pirates (19-24) – Despite losing three straight games, the Pittsburgh Pirates actually moved up three spots from # 25 to # 22. Pittsburgh is seven games back in the National League Central, trailing the Brewers and Cardinals. Pittsburgh has struggled on the road, winning just 8 of 23 games. On Friday, Zach Duke pitched a complete game in just 88 pitches, but took the loss to the White Sox 2-0. Freddie Sanchez is Pittsburgh’s top hitter, batting .294 on the season. The Pirates will look to avoid the sweep Sunday at Chicago, before visiting the Cubs starting Monday, and coming home on Friday to host the Houston Astros.

23. Florida Marlins (19-25) – The Marlins continue to struggle after the red hot start. Florida falls another five spots this week from # 18 to # 23. The Marlins have lost four straight, including the final two against Arizona, and the first two against state rival Tampa Bay. The Marlins are 8-14 at home, while playing .500 (11-11) on the road this season. Florida has been beat up by Central foes, going just 2-10 against them. Florida has fallen to fourth place in the National League East, 5.5 games behind front running Philadelphia. Hanley Ramirez leads the Marlins in batting average and homeruns with a .323 clip and 8 blasts. The Marlins will look to pick up one win over the Rays on Sunday, and then head out on the road against divisional foes – Philadelphia and New York (Mets), with an off day Thursday.

24. Arizona Diamondbacks (19-24) – The Diamondbacks made a five team jump over the week. Instead of being the second worst, they have jumped to # 24. Arizona has won four straight and six of their last ten. In their recent win streak at Florida and Oakland, the Diamondbacks have outscored opponents 25-20. Felipe Lopez leads Arizona in hitting with a .323 mark, while Mark Reynolds has knocked 12 out of the park. Reliever Tony Pena leads the team in wins, with a 4-1 mark, and a robust era of 1.27. Arizona will finish their series with the Athletics on Sunday, and then head home for seven straight home games, starting with three with San Diego and finishing the weekend with the Atlanta Braves for four games.

25. Houston Astros (18-23) – The Astros fall five spots from # 20 to # 25 after their current three game losing streak.  Along with the losing streak, Houston has also lost six of their last ten games. The streak has sent the Astros to the bottom of the National League Central division standings, tied with Pittsburgh, seven games back. The Astros have struggled at home winning just 9 of 23, while playing .500 ball at home. Another down fall for the 2009 Astros is their record against National League Central foes. The Astros have went just 9-17 against the division. Hunter Pence leads the team in batting with a .351 mark, while Carlos Lee leads with 29 runs batted in. The Astros will look to avoid the three game sweep on Sunday against Texas, and then start a road trip on Monday at Cincinnati, and a weekend trip for three at Pittsburgh.

26. Baltimore Orioles (18-25) – Baltimore takes a three team tip from # 23 to # 26 with their recent struggles. Despite those struggles, the Orioles have been able to right the ship some and win two straight at Washington. Adam Jones continues to lead the offense, along side Nick Markakis and Brian Roberts. Jones leads in batting average (.362) and homeruns (9), while Markakis leads in runs batted in (36), while Roberts leads in runs scored (37) and stolen bases (10). Brian Bass, a relief pitcher leads the team in wins with 3, while closer George Sherill has saved 9 of 11 games. The Orioles will look to finish the sweep of Washington on Sunday, and then come home and host Toronto and Detroit, with the Tigers and Orioles playing four over the weekend.

27. Colorado Rockies (17-25) – The Rockies were able to stop the Detroit Tigers seven game winning streak on Saturday, topping them 4-3. Colorado remains at the # 27 position, sitting in last place in the National League West. The Rockies are a league worst 12 games behind first place in their division. The Rockies have gotten solid hitting from first basemen Todd Helton, who is hitting .343, and off season pick-up Jason Marquis has been solid, leading the team with five wins. Colorado will finish their series with the Tigers on Sunday, and then head back to the Mile High City to host the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres, with an off day on Thursday.

28. Oakland Athletics (15-25 – Things have not gone as planned for the Oakland Athletics when they acquired Matt Holliday from the Colorado Rockies. The Athletics do not have a batter that is hitting over .300 on the season, with Kurt Suzuki leading the team with a .298 clip. Dallas Braden leads the team in wins, but has just a 3-5 record, with a 3.67 era. Oakland remains at # 28, just ahead of Cleveland. The Athletics will finish their three game set with Arizona over the weekend, and then host the Seattle Mariners for a three game set starting Monday. Oakland will take Thursday off, before traveling to Texas for  Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with Friday’s as a doubleheader.

29. Cleveland Indians (17-27) – Victor Martinez has stayed healthy through the first two months of the season, which has been a pleasant surprise for Indians fans. Unfortunately, his numbers have done very little as far as putting the Indians in the win column. Martinez is batting .391 on the season, and his driven in 30 runs. Cleveland has not capitalized, starting the season ten games under .500 and nine games back of the Detroit Tigers. Off-season pick-up Kerry Wood has saved six games for Cleveland, but has an ERA of 7.71 with 10 walks on the season. The Indians have played poor of late, and dropped five spots from # 24 to # 29. The Indians will finish their series with state rival Cincinnati on Sunday, and then host Tampa Bay on Monday for a four game series, and then welcome the Yankees in for a weekend series.

30. Washington Nationals (12-30) – The Nationals remain the worst team in Major League Baseball, and the distance between them and the next worse is growing. The Nationals are inching closer and closer to 20 games under .500, and they haven’t even played 45 on the season yet. Washington is a 11.5 games out of first place. Christian Guzman has been one of the bright spots offensively for the Nationals, hitting at a .360 clip, which ranks him fourth in the National League. Adam Dunn leads a group tied in fourth in the NL in homeruns with 12, while Ryan Zimmerman is fifth in RBI’s with 34. The Nationals will finish off their three game series with Baltimore on Sunday, and then hit the road against the top two teams in their division. On Monday  the Nationals will play at the new Citi Field in New York, and then over the weekend Washington will visit Philadelphia for three.

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