So the first 10 days of baseball season have come and gone. Many teams have been very impressive to watch and hear about (Rangers, Phillies, Reds). Others have had unexpected disappointing starts (Red Sox, Rays, Twins, Tigers) while others have been surprises (Indians, Royals, Orioles).
Without putting my preseason rankings and thoughts of every team into the equation, I wrote down the first of my power rankings based solely who the most impressive to least impressive. And I give my top 10 starting candidates in the Cy Young Award races as well as the MVP races. Enjoy reading and enjoy disagreeing.
1. Texas Rangers (8-1)
The most impressive team in the majors throughout the first nine games. Matt Harrison (1.29), Derek Holland (2.25) and C.J. Wilson (2.84) are the only three pitchers on the same AL team with an ERA of 2.84 or lower. The Rangers are the only team in the majors in the top four in runs scored and runs against throughout the first 10 days of baseball. They are also the only team that is undefeated at home (6-0).
2. Philadelphia Phillies (7-2)
Another team that is getting it done with their bats. Only the Reds and White have scored more runs than the Phillies throughout the first ten days. They have also started with a strong 5-1 home record.
3. Cincinnati Reds (6-3)
The National League’s best offense is at it again. The Reds lead the NL in runs scored with 61 through their first nine games. They are also one of only four teams with at least five home wins already.
4. Cleveland Indians (7-2)
Who knew that Indians would start off the season with strong bats? Fifty-two runs scored through their first nine games ranks fifth in the majors to this point. They are also one of only two teams that haven’t lost a road game (3-0).
5. Chicago White Sox (6-3)
Like the four teams in front of them, the White Sox have gotten it done with their bats. Nine games in and they’ve already scored 62 runs, which leads the majors.
6. Colorado Rockies (6-2)
Unlike most of the teams ahead of them in these rankings, the Rockies are getting it done with their pitching. The Rockies are giving up an impressive 3.37 runs per game through the first eight games. This is mostly because of the strong starts from Huston Street and Esmil Rogers.
7. Toronto Blue Jays (5-4)
The Blue Jays are also getting it done with their pitching staff, giving up only 30 runs through their first nine games. Ricky Romero and Kyle Drabek have each started the year with an ERA under 1.40 and 12 strikeouts.
8. Los Angeles Angels (5-4)
Even you listen closely you could hear Jered Weaver strikeout another batter. He has been nothing short of fantastic this year (3-0, 0.87 ERA, 27 strikeouts).
9. San Diego Padres (4-4)
The Padres are starting this season like their normal selves: a great pitching staff with a lineup that hasn’t shown much through their first eight games. Once their bats come to life a little bit more, they could be moving up the rankings.
10. Arizona Diamondbacks (4-4)
He may not be an MVP candidate in many minds, but Miguel Montero (2 HR, 13 hits) could be developing into one of the game's better catchers this season.
11. San Francisco Giants (4-5)
Tim Lincecum (2 starts, 1-1 record, 0.64 ERA, 18 strikeouts) is off to a fast start this season.
12. Kansas City Royals (6-3)
Through the first nine games, the Royals have scored a respectable 49 runs, which helps them get to a 6-3 record. It’s funny how they have already drawn 39 walks this season.
13. Baltimore Orioles (6-3)
Something tells me the Orioles are going to be sticking around for a while. Their lineup seems to have better names on it than past years. And these guys named Jeremy Guthrie and Zach Britton have kicked some butt so far (combined 3-1 record, 0.65 ERA, and 15 combined strikeouts).
14. New York Yankees (5-4)
What happened to this new swing Derek Jeter was suppose to have? Not helping him much (.233 average, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1 extra-base hit this season).
15. Oakland Athletics (4-5)
A strong start from the A’s pitching staff, giving up only 30 runs through the first nine games. Their offense is what’s messing them up, only averaging 3.2 runs per game so far.
16. Atlanta Braves (4-6)
Derek Lowe becomes one of the early favorites for the NL Cy Young award with a 1.45 ERA and 12 strikeouts.
17. Pittsburgh Pirates (5-5)
Jose Tabata and Neil Walker have been impressive to start the season with a combined 4 homers and 25 RBI.
18. Chicago Cubs (4-5)
Not the most exciting nine-game start to a season for the Cubs. But their offense and pitching staff ranks in the bottom half of the majors, their team is under .500, their starters only have two wins and have recorded a 4.89 ERA. Alfonso Soriano seems to be starting the year well, though (3 HR, 9 hits).
19. Milwaukee Brewers (5-5)
One of only two teams in the majors that haven’t won a road game yet (0-3). Since the 3-for-17 start, Prince Fielder has gone 11-for-18, and hit two homers and 11 RBIS.
20. Florida Marlins (5-4)
The Marlins are going to get a good chance to see a clearer picture of what their identity is when they play the Braves and Phillies this week. The return of Hanley Ramirez will help them see this picture better.
21. Washington Nationals (4-5)
In their first nine games, no Nationals starting pitcher has played fewer than five runs in a game this year.
22. New York Mets (4-5)
This team would be making more noise and would be talked about a little more if they actually had a pitching staff. Other than Chris Young, this team hasn’t shown much, giving up 51 runs through their first nine games.
23. St. Louis Cardinals (3-6)
If the Cardinals’ bats would wake up, they would have more than three wins to this point. They birds have only scored an MLB-third-worst 27 runs through their first nine games. Their pitching staff seems to be doing alright though, giving up an average of 3.77 runs per game.
24. Los Angeles Dodgers (5-4)
Another team that seems to be struggling offensively. The Dodgers have only scored 28 runs through their first nine games.
25. Detroit Tigers (3-6)
Apparently the Tigers’ pitchers forgot that the season has started. They are pretty much the reason why they have lost six games already and are luck they are three games under .500 to this point. The Tigers have given up an AL-worst 54 runs through the first nine games. Not what Tigers fans are wanting to see.
26. Minnesota Twins (3-6)
I’m a little surprised that the Twins are under .500 through the first nine games. With a lineup that has decent names like Denard Span, Justin Morneau, Jason Kubel and Joe Mauer, you would think that their offense would be producing more than it has so far. Only scoring 24 runs through their first nine games isn’t exactly helping the Twins at the start of the season.
27. Seattle Mariners (2-7)
Here’s something Mariners fans don’t like knowing: the Mariners are the only MLB team that is in the bottom five in runs scored (29) and most runs given up (47). I think their pitching staff could get better as the season goes on, but it looks like the same ol’ lineup for the M’s. Can’t put runs on the board and not they can’t stop guys from crossing the plate either.
28. Boston Red Sox (2-7)
Aside from Josh Beckett and his performance last night, the Red Sox pitching hasn’t exactly been living up to their expectations for a second year in a row. With guys like Jon Lester, John Lackey and Clay Buchholz, you would think that the Red Sox wouldn’t be giving up 53 runs through their first nine games already.
29. Houston Astros (2-7)
Can’t say that I didn’t see the poor start coming out of Houston. The pitching staff is arguably the worst in the entire majors (giving up 55 runs through nine games). Their offense hasn’t helped them either, which is also in the bottom ten in the majors.
30. Tampa Bay Rays (1-8)
I know it’s only nine games into the season, but I’m going to predict that the Rays strong run at the AL East over these past few years is pretty much over. I’m not seeing any sort of spark coming out of this team. They are dead last in runs scored in the entire majors and their pitching staff isn’t starting off very strong either.
Manny Ramirez’ retirement isn’t going to help matters, and it’s not going to hurt them that much either. Tropicana Field is a stadium that use to be tough for opponents to play in. But now it seems like the Rays are having trouble playing there too (0-5 home record).
Carter’s Top 10 American League Cy Young Award Candidates:
1. Jered Weaver (Angels): 3-0, 0.87 ERA, 27 strikeouts
2. Zach Britton (Orioles): 2-0, 0.66 ERA, 8 strikeouts
3. Dan Haren (Angels): 2-0, 1.15 ERA, 13 strikeouts
4. Gio Gonzalez (Athletics): 2-0, 0.69 ERA, 8 strikeouts
5. Jeremy Guthrie (Orioles): 1-1, 0.64 ERA, 7 strikeouts
6. Matt Harrison (Rangers): 2-0, 1.29 ERA, 11 strikeouts
8. Ricky Romero (Blue Jays): 1-0, 1.32 ERA, 12 strikeouts
9. Justin Masterson (Indians): 2-0, 1.35 ERA, 9 strikeouts
10. Nick Blackburn (Twins): 1-1, 0.77 ERA, 4 strikeouts
11. Kyle Drabek (Blue Jays): 1-0, 1.38 ERA, 12 strikeouts
Carter’s Top 10 National League Cy Young Award Candidates:
1. Jaime Garcia (Cardinals): 1-0, 0.60 ERA, 18 strikeouts
2. Chris Narveson (Brewers): 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 14 strikeouts
3. Roy Halladay (Phillies): 1-0, 0.69 ERA, 13 strikeouts
4. Tim Lincecum (Giants): 1-1, 0.64 ERA, 18 strikeouts
5. Kevin Correia (Pirates): 2-0, 1.29 ERA, 6 strikeouts
6. Esmil Rogers (Rockies): 1-0, 1.23 ERA, 7 strikeouts
7. Huston Street (Rockies): 0-0, 1.13 ERA, 9 strikeouts
8. Derek Lowe (Braves): 1-2, 1.45 ERA, 15 strikeouts
9. Matt Cain (Giants): 1-0, 1.38 ERA, 7 strikeouts
10. Chris Young (Mets): 1-0, 1.45 ERA, 12 strikeouts
Carter’s Top 10 American League MVP Candidates
1. Howie Kendrick (Angels): .389 average, 4 HR, 4 RBI
2. Nelson Cruz (Rangers): .310 average, 5 HR, 10 RBI
3. Miguel Cabrera (Tigers): .355 average, 4 HR, 9 RBI
4. Paul Konerko (White Sox): .400 average, 3 HR, 11 RBI
5. Asdrubal Cabrera (Indians): .316 average, 3 HR, 9 RBI
6. Ian Kinsler (Rangers): .250 average, 4 HR, 7 RBI
7. Alex Rodriguez (Yankees): .321 average, 3 HR, 5 RBI
8. Russell Martin (Yankees): .300 average, 3 HR, 8 RBI
9. Mark Teixeira (Yankees): .182 average, 4 HR, 10 RBI
10. Josh Willingham (Athletics): .242 average, 3 HR, 6 RBI
Carter’s Top 10 National League MVP Candidates
1. Ryan Braun (Brewers): .353 average, 4 HR, 8 RBI
2. Prince Fielder (Brewers): .400 average, 2 HR, 11 RBI
3. Rickie Weeks (Brewers): .268 average, 3 HR, 5 RBI
4. Ryan Howard (Phillies): .361 average, 2 HR, 11 RBI
5. Alfonso Soriano (Cubs): .281 average, 3 HR, 5 RBI
6. Jose Tabata (Pirates): .342 average, 2 HR, 3 RBI
7. Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies): .314 average, 3 HR, 6 RBI
8. Miguel Montero (Diamondbacks): .500 average, 2 HR, 4 RBI
9. Pat Burrell (Giants): .160 average, 3 HR, 3 RBI
10. Neil Walker (Pirates): .300 average, 2 HR, 9 RBI
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