Friday, April 05, 2013

Nachos Grande MLB Power Rankings: April 5, 2013

Back in the day, I spent all of my blogging hours over at the (now mostly defunct) Sporting News website.  One of the features that I did there that gained in popularity was weekly MLB Power Rankings.  A few years ago, I tried to institute a similar thing on my blog but for whatever reason it eventually fell by the wayside.  Today, I aim to rekindle that fire.

Of course, we aren't even a week into the season so I expect there will be quite a bit of variance between this week's rankings and the next set of rankings that I do (hopefully in about a week or so).  Even so, you've got to start somewhere - so it might as well be at the beginning!

MLB Power Rankings:  April 5, 2013  
Note:  All records accurate as of 5:30 PM EST on 4/5/13.

The Top 10:

1.  Washington Nationals (3-0)
No surprise here - most people's pick for the National League World Series representative took care of business against the hapless Marlins.  The Nats first test begins in a few hours when they visit the Cincinnati Reds.  The Nationals are also the only remaining undefeated team in baseball, despite most teams having only played a single series!

2.  Texas Rangers (3-1)
I didn't expect to see the Rangers this high in the rankings but a 3-1 record (including today's win over the division rival Angels) puts the Rangers at the top of the American League.

3.  San Francisco Giants (2-1)
If it weren't for Clayton Kershaw winning one game all by himself (almost literally), the Giants would be undefeated.  As it is, they took two of three from their hated rival and currently reside at the top of the NL West.

4.  Boston Red Sox (2-1)
The Red Sox took it to the Yankees for the first two games of the year before being shut down by the ageless wonder Andy Pettitte.  I don't expect Boston to stay in the top 5 of the Power Rankings this year, but for now they belong.

5.  Cleveland Indians (2-1)
The Indians managed to defeat the Blue Jays two out of three games to begin the seasons - something that I don't think many people expected.  The Jays should have taken a page from the Nationals playbook...you need to beat the teams you are supposed to if you want to be in playoff contention come September.

6.  Cincinnati Reds (2-1)
The Reds had the opening interleague match up against the Angels and managed to go 2-1.  While the end result was impressive, the Reds lost Ryan Ludwick for a few months at least.  In addition, the Reds offense looked suspect for most of the series, something that is a growing concern for Reds fans (especially given how poor the Reds hit during spring training).

7.  Baltimore Orioles (2-1)
Baltimore took two out of three against their division rival, the Rays.  I'm sure all Oriole fans are happy about the O's good start!

8.  Atlanta Braves (2-1)
Like the Giants, the Braves were one pitching buzz saw away from beginning the year undefeated after one series.  However, Cliff Lee had other plans so the Braves had to settle with a series win against the Phillies rather than a series sweep.

9.  New York Mets (2-1)
The Mets aren't expected to do much at all (positive) this year, so beginning 2-1 with a +12 run differential is perhaps one of the biggest early surprises of the season.  Will New York's run of good play continue?  They now move on to play the Marlins so could reasonably expect to see the Mets record improve quite a bit by the end of the weekend.

10.  Chicago Cubs (2-1)
The Cubs currently rank dead last in hitting in all of MLB, but they still managed to pull off two wins out of three games.

The Middle:

11.  Colorado Rockies  (2-1)
12.  Chicago White Sox (2-1)
13.  Minnesota Twins (2-1)
14.  Arizona Diamondbacks (2-1)
15.  Oakland Athletics (2-2)
16.  Detroit Tigers (2-2)
17.  Seattle Mariners (2-2)
18.  Los Angeles Dodgers (1-2)
19.  St. Louis Cardinals (1-2)
20.  Pittsburgh Pirates (1-2)
21.  Kansas City Royals (1-2)
22.  Toronto Blue Jays (1-2)
23.  Philadelphia Phillies (1-2)
24.  Tampa Bay Rays (1-2)
25.  Houston Astros (1-2)

The Bottom Five:

26.  Los Angeles Angels (1-3)
The Angels drew a tough opening series by having to travel to Cincinnati to play the defending NL Central champions.  However, despite winning game one in 13 innings, the Angels lineup proved to be mostly anemic - and prone to striking out at an alarming rate.

27.  San Diego Padres (1-2)
The Padres got pushed around by the Mets - and that in and of itself is enough to put them in the bottom five.

28.  Milwuakee Brewers (1-2)
The Brewers are already -7 in terms of run differential...once again suggesting that Milwaukee will be relying on three run homers in order to "steal away" victories.

29.  New York Yankees (1-3)
Before you get mad at the Yankees placement, realize they are one of only two teams with three losses already (the other being the Angels).  In addition, the Yankees run differential currently sits at -12...and their only win came courtesy of a great pitching performance by Andy Pettitte.  There's reason to be concerned in New York right now.

30.  Miami Marlins (0-3)
For as long as the Marlins remain winless, they shall remain at the bottom of the Power Rankings.  To be fair, they'll probably remain at the bottom of the rankings anyway but we shall see...maybe they can pass the big budget Yankees with a little luck.

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There you have it - my inaugural 2013 MLB Power Rankings.  As always, I'd love to know what you think - sound off in the comments below.

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