Team of the Week: New York Mets (pictured above)
Bust of the Week: Pittsburgh Pirates
Well, I think it's safe to say now that the early first month surprises are finished with now. Many of the teams that jumped out from mediocrity to surprise us all have fallen back down to their usual spot, such as the Mariners and Marlins to the around .500, and the Padres and Pirates to the near-bottom of the standings.
However, there are still some teams up near the top that we didn't expect to be there. The Blue Jays, for example, as well as the high-flying, red hot Tigers, Royals, and Giants.
This week in baseball, we experienced the continuation of the Met's winning streak and the Pirates' inevitable downward slide. We also saw the Royals drop off a little after reaching the top of the pack, and witnessed the expected return of the Angels we used to know well.
So, that's the summary of this week in the MLB. Now it's the return of Mark Jones' weekly MLB Power Rankings. Enjoy...
15%...Last season's success
55%...Success this season
5%...Intangibles (injuries, etc.)
LW...last week's ranking
1. (LW-2) Los Angeles Dodgers (22-11)
2. (LW-1) St. Louis Cardinals (20-12)
These two teams have been at the top of the rankings for a while now, and are certainly playing like it. What a battle these two teams might have in the NLCS!
3. (LW-4) Toronto Blue Jays (22-12)
4. (LW-3) Boston Red Sox (20-12)
I think we have another excellent battle come September with these two teams, too. Although the Jays still have their doubters, I think this team has proved that they can compete with the Red Sox for the division title.
5. (LW-16) New York Mets (17-13)
What a run these Mets have put on since 9-13. It looks like they might finally make the playoffs, at least at this rate!
6. (LW-10) Milwaukee Brewers (18-14)
7. (LW-18) Detroit Tigers (17-13)
8. (LW-14) Kansas City Royals (18-14)
Although none of these teams were expected to be here right now, they're all playing definitely respectable baseball right now and should be expected to be decent competitors this season.
9. (LW-24) Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (16-14)
What a turnaround by the Angels! Not only have the returned to above .500, but are 7-1 in the past week!
10. (LW-17) Chicago Cubs (17-14)
11. (LW-21) Texas Rangers (17-14)
These Rangers are also beginning to look like the possible AL West champs. Like the Angels, the Rangers are also piling up the recent wins at 7-2!
12. (LW-8) Philadelphia Phillies (15-14)
13. (LW-5) Florida Marlins (17-15)
14. (LW-12) San Francisco Giants (16-14)
I think the Giants, of all teams, may be getting into an above .500 routine. Good for them, although I doubt it'll last long. Also, they haven't yet even started their schedule against the grueling NL East.
15. (LW-13) Cincinnati Reds (17-13)
16. (LW-6) New York Yankees (15-16)
17. (LW-7) Minnesota Twins (15-17)
18. (LW-19) Tampa Bay Rays (15-18)
These are three teams who were expected to be near the top, yet have really underperformed so far. The Rays, especially, need to quickly step up their game.
19. (LW-15) Atlanta Braves (15-16)
20. (LW-11) Chicago White Sox (14-16)
21. (LW-9) Seattle Mariners (16-16)
Yikes! Tough fall from 14-9 last week, going 2-7 in the past 11 days, but yet they're still in the race somewhat. Probably not for long, though.
22. (LW-28) Houston Astros (14-17)
At least they've gone 5-3 in 11 days...perhaps these usually-helpless Astros can finally make a league impact this season.
23. (LW-23) Arizona Diamondbacks (13-19)
24. (LW-20) San Diego Padres (13-19)
What a smash by the Padres! We knew long ago they were headed downhill, but this badly. Heck, they're 2-7 in their last nine games, and I ranked them twentieth last week!
25. (LW-26) Oakland A's (11-18)
26. (LW-29) Baltimore Orioles (13-19)
Pathetic team number two.
27. (LW-27) Colorado Rockies (12-18)
Pathetic team number three.
28. (LW-25) Cleveland Indians (11-21)
Oh, it's pathetic team number four!
29. (LW-22) Pittsburgh Pirates (12-19)
Well, I would be calling them pathetic team number five, but I have more to comment on these Pirates. Firstly, this was the worst week I've ever seen for any team (minor leagues included). Second, they deserve a name change. Welcome to Major League Baseball, your newly-introduced Pittsburgh Failures!
30. (LW-30) Washington Nationals (10-19)
Ugh...I think the Nats are more like a pathetic farm team...
Mark Jones' Projected 2009 Playoff Picks
1. Boston Red Sox (record: No. 1)
2. Detroit Tigers (record: No. 3)
3. Los Angeles Angels (record: No. 4)
4. Toronto Blue Jays (record: No. 2)
5. Texas Rangers
6. New York Yankees
7. Kansas City Royals
8. Minnesota Twins
9. Tampa Bay Rays
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
2. St. Louis Cardinals
3. New York Mets
4. Milwaukee Brewers
5. Philadelphia Phillies
6. Chicago Cubs
7. Florida Marlins
8. Atlanta Braves
9. Cincinnati Reds