MLB Power Rankings 2013: Breaking Down the Entire League as Season Heats Up
The 2013 MLB campaign is beginning to heat up, as some legitimate contenders start to assert themselves and some pretenders start to fall back.
The Texas Rangers have posted the best team ERA thus far, while the Oakland Athletics have scored the most runs. There are also some squads that are on fire right now.
Here's a look at my latest 2013 MLB power rankings, complete with analysis.
1. St. Louis Cardinals (20-11)
The Cardinals have the best starters ERA in baseball (2.25) and rank in the top 10 in runs scored. They also own the league's second-best run differential. They've won their last six games.
2. Detroit Tigers (19-11)
The Tigers rank second in runs scored and fourth in team ERA this season. They also own baseball's best run differential. They've gone 9-1 in their last 10 games.
3. Boston Red Sox (20-11)
Wow. What has happened to the Boston Red Sox? They rank fifth in runs scored and eighth in ERA this season while posting the fourth-best run differential. The ageless David Ortiz has been out of his mind.
4. Texas Rangers (20-11)
The Rangers rank first in ERA and 12th in runs scored. They've posted the third-best run differential in baseball and they've won three straight games.
5. San Francisco Giants (19-12)
The Giants rank in the top 10 in runs scored this season, but their starting pitching has been uncharacteristically flat. Matt Cain and Ryan Vogelsong have to get it going. Still, they've won six straight games, including a sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers. This team simply knows how to win.
6. Baltimore Orioles (19-13)
The Orioles rank fourth in runs scored but 16th in ERA. Their pitching will have to improve, but they've managed to post a pretty good record regardless. I like the work that Chris Davis has put in at the plate.
7. Atlanta Braves (18-12)
The Braves are currently on a tough stretch, but I still like the overall look of the team. There is talent throughout the roster, but there's a lot of young talent, which means it's inevitable there will be some rough patches.
8. New York Yankees (18-12)
Injuries have decimated the Yankees lineup, but they have still started off 18-12. The club's pitching has kept it in some games, led by CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda and...Phil Hughes?!
9. Kansas City Royals (17-10)
Will this be the year the Royals finally get their act together? Well, their pitching is finally decent, so there's a good chance. You can't deny the impact Jeremy Guthrie, James Shields and Ervin Santana have made for this club.
10. Colorado Rockies (18-13)
The Rockies rank second in runs scored but 13th in team ERA. Still, they are better on the mound than they were last season. I'm going to give them credit for a good start, but if they start losing, it's going to be easy for me to drop them considerably.
11. Arizona Diamondbacks (16-15)
Give the Diamondbacks credit for withstanding a brutal opening schedule. The fact that they rank in the top 10 in runs scored and ERA despite playing against a high level of competition should be noted.
12. Cincinnati Reds (18-14)
The Reds rank seventh in runs scored and fifth in team ERA. They've also posted a respectable run differential of plus-28. They have some work to do, but winning three straight is a good sign, even if it was against the Chicago Cubs.
13. Washington Nationals (17-15)
After winning two of three against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Nationals jump up my rankings. Washington's offense has been dreadful this season (ranked 27th in runs scored), but the pitching ranks in the top 10 in ERA.
14. Pittsburgh Pirates (17-14)
The two losses to the Nationals in Pittsburgh were disheartening, but they've found ways to win the majority of their games this season, which is a start. They rank 11th in team ERA.
15. Oakland Athletics (18-14)
Oakland's pitching worries me, but the A's have found great life in their offense this season (ranked first in runs scored). Still, the fact that the only two teams they have winning records against are the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels bears a mention.
16. Cleveland Indians (14-14)
Cleveland ranks sixth in runs scored but 19th in ERA. They've posted the best run differential among teams .500 or worse this season. Starters Justin Masterson and Zach McAllister have stepped up, but can the rest of the rotation?
17. Tampa Bay Rays (14-16)
The Rays have played .500 ball in their last 10 games, which is a step in the right direction. The pitching has to pick up considerably for them to make a serious run, though. Starters David Price and Jeremy Hellickson have disappointed thus far.
18. Minnesota Twins (13-14)
Minnesota isn't great in any one category, but the Twins have been able to grind out victories and hang around. Kevin Correia's crash back down to Earth has to be concerning, though.
19. Milwaukee Brewers (14-16)
The Brewers rank 11th in runs scored but 26th in ERA. They've also lost their last five games. They lost to the Cardinals on Sunday, 10-1. Ouch.
20. Seattle Mariners (15-18)
I can't say that much positive about the Mariners, but I can't say much positive about the teams below them on this list, either. They've gone 7-3 in their last 10 games, though, so at least they aren't down and out.
21. Los Angeles Dodgers (13-17)
Injuries have certainly hurt the Dodgers, but they also aren't playing very well as a team. They rank 28th in runs scored and 20th in ERA. Oh yeah, and they just got swept by the rival San Francisco Giants.
22. Philadelphia Phillies (14-18)
The Phillies rank in the bottom third of the league in runs scored and ERA. Making matters worse, Roy Halladay has posted an 8.65 ERA and is experiencing shoulder problems (per the Philadelphia Inquirer).
23. San Diego Padres (13-18)
The Padres have won seven of their last 10 games after a brutal start, but that starting pitching is incredibly sketchy. Good thing the bullpen is solid.
24. New York Mets (12-16)
The Mets certainly aren't going the right direction. They've lost seven of their last 10 games. They have the exact opposite problem as the Padres. Their starting pitching has been decent, but their bullpen has been dreadful.
25. Chicago White Sox (12-17)
I can't even imagine where the White Sox would be if they didn't have decent pitching. They rank 29th in runs scored and are one of only two teams to score under 100 runs thus far. Adam Dunn has 38 strikeouts in 103 at-bats, and he's batting (drum roll please) .146 for the season.
26. Los Angeles Angels (11-20)
What do the Angels and Dodgers have in common? They both spend a lot of money and get next to nothing in return. The Angels rank 15th in runs scored but 28th in ERA. Yikes. If only pitching wasn't a part of the game.
27. Chicago Cubs (11-20)
The Cubs actually rank 14th in ERA this season, but they rank 24th in runs scored. They've lost their last four games and dropped six of their last 10 contests.
28. Toronto Blue Jays (11-21)
The Blue Jays rank 26th in runs scored and 29th in ERA. They've also posted the second-worst run differential in the entire league. Did I mention they're 2-8 in their last 10 games?
Will the Astros be the worst team in baseball by season's end?
29. Miami Marlins (10-22)
The Marlins have scored a league-worst 84 runs this season. They also rank 21st in ERA. They've also posted the third-worst run differential in baseball. Do I really need to go any further?
30. Houston Astros (8-24)
The Astros are actually on pace to have a worse record than last season. That's how bad it's been in Houston. They rank 16th in runs scored, but they've posted a 5.64 ERA, by far the worst mark in the league.
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