MLB Power Rankings, Week 3: Yankees Still on Top, Astros Out of Cellar
Out West, the A's and Giants continue to win with great pitching, while none of the remaining seven teams in those divisions has a record better than .500.
1. New York Yankees (9-3, Last Week: 1)
The defending champs are coming off of a relatively easy weekend sweep of the Rangers at home, and now head out to the West Coast to play the A's and Angels.
New York was able to work the count like crazy against the Rangers, forcing Scott Feldman to throw 73 pitches in just 2 1/3 innings Saturday, and Rich Harden into 94 pitches in just 3 2/3 innings Sunday.
2. Tampa Bay Rays (9-3, Last Week: 13)
Tampa has now won six straight games, including a weekend sweep of the Red Sox.
Matt Garza has been stellar so far, having won all three of his starts with a microscopic 0.75 ERA.
3. Minnesota Twins (9-4, Last Week: 7)
The Twins opened their new home, Target Field, in fine fashion this week, going 4-2 against Boston and Kansas City.
Jon Rauch has had no problem at all filling in for the injured Joe Nathan so far, as he's converted all six of his early-season save opportunities.
4. Oakland Athletics (9-5, Last Week: 6)
The A's have played the Mariners, Angels, and Orioles so far, all teams under .500 entering Monday.
Their pitching has carried them to this surprising start, leading the majors with an amazing 2.69 ERA.
5. Philadelphia Phillies (8-4, Last Week: 2)
The Phils rank second in the league in ERA (2.90), but struggled this weekend against Florida at home, dropping two of three.
Placido Polanco has gotten off to a great start, hitting .396 with 12 runs batted in.
6. San Francisco Giants (8-4, Last Week: 3)
Tim Lincecum appears quite interested in winning his third-straight NL Cy Young award, and has started 2010 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 20 innings pitched.
7. St. Louis Cardinals (8-4, Last Week: 8)
The Cardinals dropped the ultimate heartbreaker Saturday afternoon/night against the Mets 2-1 in 20 innings.
Overlooked in that game was the incredible performance of Jaime Garcia, who started and threw seven one-hit, scoreless innings for St. Louis.
8. Florida Marlins (8-5, Last Week: 9)
Jorge Cantu set a big-league record with at least one base hit and one RBI in each of his team's first 10 games this season.
He leads the majors with 16 RBI so far.
9. Detroit Tigers (7-5, Last Week: 4)
Prized rookie Austin Jackson, acquired from the Yankees in the offseason, has shown no signs of struggling to adjust to big league pitching, as he's hitting .340 with four doubles and two triples thus far.
However, he does have 15 strikeouts in 11 games.
10. Atlanta Braves (7-5, Last Week: 11)
Speaking of good rookies, Jason Heyward is hitting .302 with three homers and a team-leading 15 RBI headed into the third week.
Atlanta got a much-needed victory Sunday against Colorado, one day after being no-hit by Ubaldo Jimenez.
11. Pittsburgh Pirates (7-5, Last Week: 19)
The Pirates earned themselves a sweep over the Reds over the weekend, and have been one of the league's biggest surprises so far.
12. Cleveland Indians (6-6, Last Week: 26)
The Tribe has won four in a row to reach .500, but they'll be tested starting Tuesday when they make their first-ever trip to the Twins' Target Field.
13. Toronto Blue Jays (7-6, Last Week: 5)
The Jays have dropped off since their fiery opening week start, and have fallen to third in the AL East.
Vernon Wells has continued to mash, though, and he leads the team with his .340 average, six homers, 11 RBI, and 11 runs.
14. San Diego Padres (6-6, Last Week: 27)
The Padres have put together a little winning streak of their own, and their offense has been a surprise so far.
With many unproven big league hitters, the Padres sit around the middle of the pack in the league in terms of runs scored.
15. Los Angeles Dodgers (6-6, Last Week: 21)
Matt Kemp has gotten off to a sizzling start, hitting .327 (.373 OBP) with five homers and 15 RBI.
However, it was The Mayor of Mannywood that rescued the Dodgers Sunday, when Ramirez hit a go-ahead, game-winning, two-run, pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the 8th to give L.A. a 2-1 win over the Giants.
16. Washington Nationals (6-6, Last Week: 19)
So far, the young Nationals have been carried by a pair of wily veterans.
Livan Hernandez hasn't given up a run in 16 innings of work so far this season, and Pudge Rodriguez leads the club with a .444 average.
17. Colorado Rockies (6-6, Last Week: 14)
As mentioned previously, Ubaldo Jimenez was stellar Saturday night in no-hitting the Braves in Atlanta.
The real highlight was the amazing catch in center by Dexter Fowler, who seemingly had to run five miles just to have a shot at it.
18. Los Angeles Angels (6-7, Last Week: 28)
The Angels, who struggled through the first week, were able to snag a much-needed sweep at the hands of the Blue Jays over the weekend.
Ervin Santana was superb in Toronto Sunday, tossing a one-run complete game with six strikeouts and no walks.
19. Seattle Mariners (6-7, Last Week: 25)
Franklin Gutierrez is not only the best defensive center fielder in the league, but he's also quite capable with the bat.
He's picked up at least two hits in seven of his 12 games, and is hitting .404 so far on the season.
20. Milwaukee Brewers (5-7, Last Week: 16)
The Brewers got off to an amazing start Sunday against the Nationals, putting 10 runs on the board before Washington even had a chance to bat.
Despite the massive lead, Doug Davis wasn't able to pick up the win, lasting just 4 2/3 innings on the mound.
21. Kansas City Royals (5-7, Last Week: 24)
Brian Bannister has looked great so far in two starts, having tossed 12 1/3 innings of three-run baseball, all against the Tigers.
However, he's still yet to pick up a win, as the bullpen has struggled to keep things in order each time.
22. Chicago Cubs (5-7, Last Week: 23)
Chicago's bullpen blew a great outing by Ryan Dempster Sunday against Houston, blowing a 2-0 lead in the 9th on their way to a 3-2 loss in 10 innings.
Dempster threw 7 2/3 innings and struck out eight, while giving up just four hits and one run.
23. Texas Rangers (5-7, Last Week: 12)
The Rangers had a rough weekend in New York, getting swept by the Yankees rather easily.
Nelson Cruz has been on fire at the plate, and has already popped a league-leading seven home runs in just 12 games.
24. Arizona Diamondbacks (5-7, Last Week: 10)
The D'Backs received some bad news when they moved Brandon Webb to the 60-day DL Saturday.
The former Cy Young winner won't be eligible to come off of the DL until May 25, and could be out longer.
25. Boston Red Sox (4-8, Last Week: 15)
David Ortiz and J.D. Drew have been absolutely horrendous so far.
Ortiz is hitting just .171, and Drew is even worse, at .139.
They've combined for one home run, four runs batted in, eight walks, and 31 strikeouts.
26. Cincinnati Reds (5-8, Last Week: 17)
The Reds looked decent through the first week of the season, but have now lost five in a row, including a sweep at the hands of the Pirates over the weekend.
They've had real problems at the plate so far, as their leading hitter, Joey Votto, is hitting .283.
27. New York Mets (4-8, Last Week: 20)
26-year-old Mike Pelfrey has started to look like the high prospect the Mets have thought he was, as he's given up just two runs in 14 innings of work so far this season.
He also picked up the save for the Mets in the 20-inning win over St. Louis Saturday.
28. Chicago White Sox (4-9, Last Week: 22)
The White Sox appear to have fallen off the face of the earth, and got swept in Cleveland over the weekend.
Carlos Quentin, despite a team-leading 11 RBI, is hitting just .200, and is really struggling.
29. Houston Astros (3-9, Last Week: 30)
The Astros, after starting 0-8, have now won three of their last four games.
The starting pitching has been very solid of late, and the team has had a quality start in four of the last five.
30. Baltimore Orioles (2-11, Last Week: 29)
The O's got their second win of the season Sunday against Oakland by a score of 8-3.
23-year-old Brian Matusz looked great for the second straight game, striking out eight while giving up three runs in 6 1/3 innings.
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