MLB Power Rankings: Week Four

D.A.Senior Writer IMay 3, 2009

TORONTO - APRIL 6: Roy Halladay #32 of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers the pitch during the Opening Day game against the Detroit Tigers at the Rogers Centre on April 6, 2009 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by: Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

Team (Current Record|Last Week's Ranking)

1. Toronto Blue Jays (17-9|1)—The blue birds still sit atop the American League East. Aaron Hill's performance against Baltimore proves that they're resilient and for real. They lead the MLB in runs (155), hits (278), total bases (444), RBI (146), batting average (.295), and OPS (.842). They are in the top-two in the American League in OBP (.371) and slugging (.471).

2. Los Angeles Dodgers (17-8|2)—The Dodgers still have the best run differential in all of baseball (+37). The Dodgers lead the MLB in OBP (.374). They lead the NL in hits (242) and are in the top-two in RBI (129) and batting average (.283). The Dodgers pitching also leads the MLB in WHIP (1.24). The pitching is coming around, as Billingsley remains hot and Wolf and Kershaw looked very impressive.

3. St. Louis Cardinals (17-8|3)—Albert Pujols can hit anything in the strike zone. The red birds lead the National League in runs (140), total bases (380), and RBI (138). They arein the top-two in slugging (.452) and OPS (.810). The pitching is also second-best in the NL with a 3.57 ERA. If Pineiro and Lohse continue with their sizzling starts, this team is going to run away in the NL Central.

4. Boston Red Sox (15-9|4)—The team the Red Sox want to avoid is the Rays. The Red Sox are second in the American League in RBI (133) and OBP (.370). The Red Sox have the individual batting average leader (Youkilis at .402) and stolen bases leader (Ellsbury at 13). Jason Bay has been extra clutch. Their pitching, excluding Wakefield, continues to struggle as Lester continues to prove he was overrated and Beckett and Penny boast ERAs over 7.00.

5. Philadelphia Phillies (12-10|17)—The champs are trying to prove that offense can carry a team. They boast a winning record despite having an NL-worst ERA of 5.64 and MLB-worst six quality starts. The Phillies lead the National League in home runs (31) and slugging (.458). Utley, Ibanez, Victorino, and Howard are all producing. They're also the MLB's best defense, having only committed four errors.

6. Seattle Mariners (14-10|5)—Russell Branyan (.344, 6 HR, 14 RBI, 1.106 OPS) is the reason this team is doing so well. The M's offense is just average across the board. Their pitching is fantastic, leading the Amerian League in ERA (3.60), WHIP (1.29), and batting average against (.243).

7. Kansas City Royals (13-11|8)—Callaspo and Bloomquist are each ridiculous, batting over .365. The problem is, nobody else on the team even comes close. Their offense is average across the board. They're the opposite of the Phillies—trying to get by on their phenomenal pitching. Their pitching is second in the American League in ERA (3.76) and WHIP (1.31). Greinke has only yielded two earned runs in 36 innings pitched.

8. Detroit Tigers (12-11|11)—Galarraga continues to dazzle. Jackson was an excellent pickup. The rest of the starters need to come to form, as Verlander and Miner each have a 6.75 ERA. Inge, Carbrera, and Granderson continue to tear with their bats, but they could use more from Magglio and Guillen.

9. New York Yankees (13-10|15)—The Bronx Bombers are second in the American League in runs (142), hits (239), and home runs (35). Swisher has been an excellent offseason acquisition. Cano and Posada returned to their usual selves. Teixeira will come around, as he usually starts slow. Sabathia and Burnett continue to struggle and the Yankees have the MLB-worst ERA (5.93)

10. Florida Marlins (14-10|6)—Win seven, and then lose seven. Win three, and then lose two. Can you say streaky? And they're still atop the NL East. Cantu is the only Marlin batting over .275 with a .352 average. Where are Uggla and Ramirez? Johnson and Volstad continue to be pitching studs, but the rest of the staff must come through.

11. Cincinnati Reds (12-11|12)—Their offense can't hit (180 hits) or score (88 runs). Votto is putting up All-Star numbers. Cueto and Harang are pitching very well, Volquez is returning the form, and Arroyo keeps winning because of run support. The Reds are also the only team yet to have blown a save.

12. Pittsburgh Pirates (12-11|7)—They have the best pitching staff in the MLB. They lead the MLB in ERA (3.42) and quality starts (15). Duke, Maholm, Ohlendorf, and Snell are quite amazing. Sanchez, Morgan, and McLouth provide the only consistent offense for the Bucs, as their offensive stats are in the bottom half of the MLB.

13. Minnesota Twins (12-12|14)—Mauer is back and off to a hot start, hitting a homer and double in his first game. When Morneau and Mauer are hitting, there's not a better three-four punch. Morneau is putting up his usual ridiculous numbers. Perkins continues to pitch well, but the rest of the starters are continuing to struggle.

14. Milwaukee Brewers (12-12|19)—Braun, Cameron, and Hall are all batting extremely well. Gallardo is pitching fantastically, as is Looper. A problem is their bullpen, which has blown an MLB-leading eight saves. They also need Fielder and Hardy to return to form—batting below .240 will not suffice.

15. Chicago White Sox (12-11|13)—Podsednik is back, which should provide some speed, along with Getz from injury. Konerko is back to natural form, but Quentin and Ramirez both need to bring their batting averages up. Buehrle and Danks continue to do well, but Floyd and Colon need to be more consistent. The pale hose lead the American League in quality starts (13).

16. Chicago Cubs (12-11|16)—Lilly has been their only good and consistent starter. Zambrano should return to form, but Harden and Dempster are big question marks. No team in the National League strikes more batters out (199), but the same follows with walking batters (101). The Cajun connection of Theriot and Fontenot has been clutch.

17. San Francisco Giants (11-11|18)—The Giants somehow win, despite being the worst NL team in runs (81), hits (180), home runs (13), total bases (271), RBI (74), slugging (.374), and OPS (.684). Lincecum and Cain continue to shine. Johnson and Zito are starting to pitch well.

18. Arizona Diamondbacks (11-13|27)—The D'backs cannot get on base. They are the worst MLB team in batting average (.232) and OBP (.307). Haren continues to be a pitching monster (1.47 ERA) and Davis and Scherzer are pitching well. Garland needs to step up. Lopez continues to bat well (.330), and Upton is finally starting to perform.

19. Texas Rangers (11-13|21)—The story is the same, as no team hits more home runs (43), slugs more (.501), or gives their pitchers more run support (5.95). Yet, they still have a negative run differential. Their pitching staff has an awful 5.64 ERA. Milwood continues to do well, and O'Day out of the bullpen is dazzling. McCarty, Padilla, and Feldman must pitch better.

20. Los Angeles Angels (10-13|24)—Abreu and Hunter continue to put up exceptional offensive numbers. The pitching staff has a 5.06 ERA, despite having an MLB-best batting average against (.225). Weaver and Saunders perform well, but the rest of the starters are struggling. Fuentes has blown two saves and has a 7.88 ERA.

21. Tampa Bay Rays (10-15|22)—It looks like the only series that the Rays can win are against Boston. Garza and Shields have been pitching well. The Rays need Kazmir, Niemann, and Sonnanstine to shake off their struggles. Offensively, Pena and Longoria are just fantastic, as Longoria leads the league in RBI (30) and Pena leads in home runs (11). They also lead the MLB in stolen bases (32).

22. Atlanta Braves (11-12|10)—Jurrjens, Lowe, and Vazquez have been pretty good. The team has a 3.92 ERA. The problem is their offense is terrible, having only 88 RBI, .255 batting average, 19 home runs, and .342 OBP. They also need base stealing help, having only four stolen bases (and that's in seven attempts).

23. New York Mets (10-13|20)—The Mets lead the National League in batting average (.284) and are second in OBP (.368). Santana continues to put up Cy Young numbers. The problem is, their others starters might form the worst non-ace pitching staff in baseball (Perez, Hernandez, Maine, Pelfrey), as they all have ERAs over 5.40.

24. San Diego Padres (11-13|9)—Their hot start was unsustainable, as they have now lost four in a row and eight of their last 10. Gonzalez is putting up MVP type numbers (.318 average, 9 homers, 20 RBI, and 1.082 OPS). Their leader in wins (Meredith, 3) isn't even a starter. Bell has yet to yield an earned run. The starting staff needs to pitch a lot better.

25. Houston Astros (10-14|29)—No team gives their pitching staff less run support than the Astros (3.59). Pence continues to perform well, and Bourn is finally playing at his level of talent. Berkman is almost batting half of his last year's average (.167), and Oswalt has yet to get his first win of the season. Rodriguez is pitching well, but Valverde's injury could spell trouble for the bullpen.

26. Colorado Rockies (9-13|28)—Helton looks like he has rebounded from his back problems (.320 average, 16 RBI). Hawpe continues to bat well, and Fowler is excellent on the base paths. Marquis and De La Rosa need the other starters on the team to perform as well as they are. The team ERA is 5.16.

27. Oakland Athletics (9-12|26)—The A's are the worst team in the American League in runs (89), hits (178), home runs (10), total bases (246), RBI (81), batting average (.239), OBP (.316), slugging (.330), and OPS (.646). Bailey, Wuertz, Casilla, and Ziegler out of the bullpen are all excellent. The lone bright stars outside the bullpen are Suzuki (.333 average) and Braden (2.10 ERA).

28. Cleveland Indians (9-15|25)—Martinez (.394 average, 13 RBI) and Cabrera (.33 average, 13 RBI) are both hitting well. Sizemore has six home runs and 19 RBI, but needs to be batting better than .250. Hafner is unfortunately back on the disabled list. Lee could be returning back to form, having only yielded three earned runs in his past three starts, but the rest of the starters are pretty bad.

29. Baltimore Orioles (9-15|23)—The O's have now lost five in a row and eight of their last 10. The pitching staff has an awful 5.80 ERA and MLB-worst .305 batting average against.  The offense is good with Jones, Roberts, and Huff putting up good numbers, and Markakis putting up MVP numbers.

30. Washington Nationals (6-17|30)—The Nationals took one from the red-hot Cardinals, as Martis threw a gem and has a 3-0 record. The pitching staff is struggling, specifically Lannan and Olsen. Guzman, Johnson, and Zimmerman continue to bat well, and Dunn is still hovering at .300 and not the top strikeout victim on his team. The Nats lead the MLB in errors.

Previous Power Rankings: |1|2|3|Breakdown

Biggest Free-fall: The San Diego Padres dropped 15 spots from No. 9 to No. 24 after losing four in a row and eight out of 10. They are now fourth in the NL West.

Biggest Climb: The Philadelphia Phillies rose 12 spots from No. 17 to No. 5 after winning six of 10, including a sweep of the Marlins.

Best team average: The Toronto Blue Jays have an average ranking of 1.75, after maintaining the top spot three times, and being fourth once.

Worst team average: The Washington Nationals have an average ranking of 30, after maintaining the last spot for all four weeks.

Teams yet to fall out of the top ten: Blue Jays, Dodgers, Cardinals, Mariners, and Marlins.

Teams yet to climb out of the bottom ten: Nationals, Indians, and Astros.

Teams yet to experience top or bottom ten: Reds

Teams who have not done worse since their original position: Dodgers, Red Sox, Yankees, Twins, Reds, and Brewers.

Teams who have not done better since their original position: Nationals, Orioles, and Athletics.

Prediction of the week: The Blue Jays will go 6-1 this week.

Division Rakings/Picture (Record|Last Week's Ranking):
*Divisional rankings are based on the average power rankings.

1. AL East (64-59|1) - Tor (1), Bos (4), Nyy (9), Tam (21), and Bal (29).
2. NL Central (75-67|3) - Stl (3), Cin (11), Pit (12), Mil (14), Chc (16), and Hou (25).
3. AL Central (58-60|2) - Kan (7), Det (8), Min (13), Chw (15), and Cle (28).
4. NL West (59-58|5) - Lad (2), Saf (17), Arz (18), Sad (24), and Col (26).
t5. AL West (44-47|6) - Sea (6), Tex (19), Laa (20), and Oak (27).
t5. NL East (53-62|5) - Phi (5), Fla (10), Atl (22), Nym (23), and Was (30).

If the playoffs started today...

1. Toronto v. 3. Kansas City
2. Seattle v. 4. Boston

1. St. Louis/Los Angeles v. 4. Philadelphia
2. St. Louis/Los Angeles v. 3. Florida

If awards were given out today...

AL MVP: Evan Longoria (Tampa Bay Rays)
NL MVP: Albert Pujols (St. Louis Cardinals)

AL Cy: Zack Greinke (Kansas City Royals)
NL Cy: Johan Santana (New York Mets)

AL RoY: Andrew Bailey (Oakland Athletics)
NL RoY: Jordan Schafer (Atlanta Braves)

AL MoY: Cito Gaston (Toronto Blue Jays)
NL MoY: Tony La Russa (St. Louis Cardinals)

AL Comeback: Victor Martinez (Cleveland Indians)
NL Comeback: Mike Cameron (Milwaukee Brewers)