MLB Power Rankings: Week Eight

D.A.Senior Writer IMay 31, 2009

CHICAGO - MAY 29: Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a solo home run in the 7th inning against the Chicago Cubs on May 29, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Dodgers 2-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Team (Current Record|Last Week's Ranking)

1. Los Angeles Dodgers (34-17|1)—Did anybody think that Juan Pierre would be such a good fill-in for Manny, leading the team in RBI last week? Matt Kemp has also been hot. The Dodgers lead all of baseball in batting average (.281) and on-base percentage (.370).

They also lead the National League in runs (279), hits (508), and RBI (264). Although Billinglsey struggled last week, the Dodgers still lead the MLB in batting average against (.236) and are second in ERA (3.77).

2. New York Yankees (29-20|4)—How great must the Yanks feel being back on top of the AL East? Jeter has returned to his normal self the past week and Teixeira continues to be hot (thanks to protection from A-Rod).

The Yankees are the only team in baseball that are top-five in all of these categories: runs (279-3rd), hits (489-4th), home runs (79-2nd), RBI (266-2nd), total bases (847-1st), batting average (.281-4th), on-base percentage (.356-4th), slugging (.487-2nd), and extra base hits (191-2nd).

3. Texas Rangers (30-19|9)—Why am I not buying the Rangers? They have the fifth easiest strength of schedule in all of baseball. Nelson Cruz and Marlon Byrd have been hot, combing for a .378 batting average, 11 RBI, and 5 home runs last week.

McCarthy has also been surprisingly hot with a 0.60 ERA last week. The Rangers lead the Majors in home runs (83), slugging (.491), and extra base hits (200). They also come second in total bases (840) and fourth in RBI (261).

4. St. Louis Cardinals (29-20|2)—Ludwick returned to the lineup, helping to protect Pujols a little bit. He continues to put up MVP-type numbers. Greene also went on the DL with an anxiety disorder.

How amazing has this pitching staff been in the last week? They posted a 1.68 ERA and .200 batting average against last week. Now, the Cardinals lead all of baseball in ERA (3.56) and WHIP (1.27). Carpenter finally gave up an earned run, but has still been dominant.

5. Milwaukee Brewers (29-20|5)—The Brewers didn't falter this past week, despite their bats going missing. They batted .215 with 19 RBI and a terrible .266 on-base percentage. Their pitching has been carrying them.

The Brew Crew leads the Majors in saves (17). They're also second in quality starts (28) and batting average against (.240). They're also third in WHIP (1.31).

6. Philadelphia Phillies (27-20|6)—The Phillies continue to be the power hitting team of the National League. They're second in the National League in runs (263) and RBI (251). They also lead the National League in home runs (68), total bases (755), extra base hits (181), and slugging (.465).

Victorino and Howard have been on-fire. However, there are pitching concerns as Myers is likely done for the season on the DL.

7. New York Mets (27-21|13)—I don't know that many Mets fans are that excited to see Brian Schneider return from the DL. Gary Sheffield has been an exceptional fill-in since Delgado went on the DL. He batted .467 with nine RBI last week and was a real spark for victories. Castillo and Pagan have been hot as the Mets are second in the National League in batting average (.281) and on-base percentage (.364).

8. Boston Red Sox (28-22|8)—Big Papi continues to struggle. He's tried to make some adjustments, but they have not worked. Lowell and Pedroia have been on-fire the past week and Bay and Youkilis continue to be RBI machines. Pitching has been a major concern, especially as Lester and Dice-K continue to struggle.

Wakefield has finally shown signs of struggling and Papelbon has a 9.00 ERA in the past week.

9. Toronto Blue Jays (29-23|8)—After an 0-9 road streak, the blue birds have returned home and look to sweep Boston and return to AL East prominence. Scutaro has been on-fire and Rios has responded well to his benching. Starting pitching was a little bit sketchy last week. However, the Jays still lead all of the Majors in quality starts (29) and are second in WHIP (1.30).

10. Detroit Tigers (27-21|3)—Although Willis and Galarraga have struggled, this pitching staff, especially Verlander, has been phenomenal. It may be the best in the American League with a 3.95 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, and .252 batting average against. Ordonez and Granderson are finally starting to heat up and Clete Thomas looks like a very dangerous player.

11. Cincinnati Reds (26-22|14)—What exactly is wrong with Joey Votto? He has returned to the DL with a personal problem, which might haunt the Reds. Arroyo has been really good but Owings and Cueto have struggled as of late.

The bullpen continues to be phenomenal. Dickerson and Hairston have been great offensively for the Reds of late, who are only 2.5 games back in the NL Central.

12. Chicago Cubs (25-23|12)—Bradley should be hearing less boos as he batted .400 last week and the Cajun Connection of Theriot and Fontenot has been on-fire. Lee and Soto continue to struggle, but Fukudome and Reed Johnson have performed better than expected.

Lilly, Marshall, and Wells all pitched well last week, as did the bullpen. Zambrano's suspension was probably not a good, timely thing for the Cubs.

13. San Francisco Giants (24-24|22)—Sandoval continues to be an underrated rookie and Rowand and Burriss have been exceptional since the lineup shakeup. Lincecum and Cain have been exceptional and the Big Unit could notch his historic 300th victory this week.

The Giants are still last in the Majors in runs (188), home runs (25), and RBI (176). They're also second to last in total bases (594), on-base percentage (.314), slugging (.365), and extra base hits (118).

14. San Diego Padres (24-25|15)—Gonzalez continues to be an RBI machine as well as Kouzmanoff (although his batting average wasn't great). Cliff Floyd has been activated to help an offense that's the worst in the majors in hits (388) and batting average (.238).

They're also bottom-two in the NL in runs (195) and RBI (188). Bell also blew his first save of the season.

15. Los Angeles Angels (24-24|11)—Vlad has returned off the DL, but has struggled. This team will do better when he gets his groove back. Hunter continues to put up All-Star numbers and Rivera and Figgins have been astonishing.

Fuentes hasn't been a great replacement for K-Rod, as the Angels have the worst bullpen in baseball. Santana and Lackey have also struggled.

16. Atlanta Braves (24-25|12)—Where is the offense? The Braves are bottom-five in the Majors in home runs (34), total bases (637), and slugging (.387). McCann and Johnson have been the only producers. I think Atlanta fans are also getting sick with Francouer's terrible play. The starting pitching staff didn't have their best week last week.

17. Chicago White Sox (23-25|20)—The White Sox have now won four series in a row. Podsednik has been a real spark since returning to the White Sox. Ramirez has been on-fire since moving to the No. 2 spot in the lineup and Konerko and Dye have continued their offensive numbers.

Clayton Richard has been phenomenal since the whole Peavy debacle and Colon and Buehrle were great last week.

18. Seattle Mariners (24-26|21)—Aardsma has been a great closer. The pitching staff leads the American League in ERA (3.91). Starting pitching was excellent last week. Ichiro has been great on his hitting streak and Branyan continues his quiet, great season.

Beltre has also been good. However, the team is the lowest scoring team in the Majors with only 189 runs scored and 181 runs batted in.

19. Tamp Bays Rays (25-27|10)—The Rays suffered a couple of meltdowns against the Indians last week. Their offense has been great, leading the Majors in runs (292), RBI (277), and stolen bases (82).

They've also been top-five in hits (498-3rd), home runs (62-4th), total bases (820-4th), on-base percentage (.355-5th), slugging (.452-4th), and extra base hits (188-3rd). However, they have had the easiest strength of schedule in the American League.

20. Baltimore Orioles (23-27|25)—What a good time to be an O's fan. Wieters have electrified the fan base. Reimold has been great for a rookie. Luke Scott, since returning from the DL, has a 2.344 OPS, six home runs, 14 RBI, and a .533 batting average. Bergesen pitched well last week, but they still need a pitcher, having the Majors worst amount of quality starts (13).

They also are bottom-three in the Majors in ERA (5.27), WHIP (1.51), and batting average against (.286).

21. Florida Marlins (23-27|26)—If the Marlins aren't going to contend, they're going to be some pesky Fish. Helms and Hermida have been good RBI batters, but there's not much consistent production from anybody else.

Ross and Coghlan have also been batting well. Johnson has continued to be a good, consistent started and the bullpen has calmed down a little (Calero has been great recently).

22. Minnesota Twins (24-27|16)—The Twins are the worst road team in all of baseball with a 5-16 record. Morneau and Mauer continue to be the most devastating blow in baseball. Crede has been playing well, but Cuddyer has cooled down significantly. Liriano seems unfixable and Perkins really stunk last week, although Slowey and Blackburn were great.

23. Kansas City Royals (23-26|17)—The Royals leading RBI man last week? Mitch Maier. That's not good if the Royals want to make noise in their easy division. Only Teahen and Butler performed offensively last week. Greinke has continued his monster Cy season.

However, Bannister struggled and Meche and Davies have struggled. Farnsworth has finally settled in, which is good for a team without a closer temporarily.

24. Pittsburgh Pirates (22-27|23)—Freddy Sanchez has been extraordinary, batting .636 last week. The LaRoche brothers were also great last week. Duke has continued to be underrated, but Maholm, Ohlendorf, and Snell have struggled huge as of late. More is needed from Nate McLouth (.067 batting average last week) and Nyjer Morgan if they're going to win.

25. Arizona Diamondbacks (22-28|19)—The Diamondbacks are now 10-11 under new manager AJ Hinch. Justin Upton has been nothing short of spectacular (.407 batting average, 1.076 OPS last week) and Parra has been playing like the Rookie of the Year.

Zavada has been impressive out of the bullpen and Schlereth, just called up, looks promising. Haren has continued to put up great numbers.

26. Colorado Rockies (20-28|27)—The Rockies finally have fired Clint Hurdle, promoting Jim Tracy (2-0). Jason Marquis has been playing like an All-Star, but nothing is there from the rest of the staring pitching staff.

Hawpe and Barmes were great last week, but Helton is going to have to bat better than .190 a week. Tulowitzki has also continued his struggles.

27. Cleveland Indians (21-30|27)—Grady Sizemore has joined Hafner on the DL with an elbow problem. Victor Martinez also now has a leg injury. The team has a good offense being fourth in runs scored (269), fifth in hits (478), and third in on-base percentage (.356).

The pitching staff is the problem, with the American League's worst ERA (3.59) and WHIP (1.56), although Pavano has been a nice surprise.

28. Oakland Athletics (18-29|29)—Adam Kennedy has heated up, although Matt Holliday has cooled down. Nomar has gone back to the DL.

The offense is pretty bad, being bottom five in the Majors in runs scored (200), hits (393), home runs (34), RBI (191), total bases (574), batting average (.240), on-base percentage (.316), slugging (.351), and extra base hits (110).

29. Houston Astros (19-28|24)—The Astros are just a bad team, who are starting to shop their players, including ace Roy Oswalt. Maysonet has looked impressive, but Lee and Berkman have struggled.

The offense is fifth worst in the Majors in runs scored (203) and RBI (192). Pitching is a problem too, as Wandy as finally started to struggle. The pitching staff has a 1.49 WHIP and .281 batting average against.

30. Washington Nationals (13-35|30)—The Nationals continue to be the joke of baseball. Johnson should make some good trade bait, and Dunn was absolutely on-fire last week. Zimmerman and Guzman have cooled down significantly.

This team has no pitching, with the Majors worst ERA (5.71), WHIP (1.64), and batting average against (.286). They've also only had 15 quality starts.

Previous Power Rankings: |1|2|3|4|5|6|7|


Biggest climb: The San Francisco Giants jumped nine spots from No. 22 to No. 13 after going 4-2 and being second place in the NL West.

Biggest fall: The Tampa Bay Rays fell nine spots from No. 10 to No. 19 after losing five in a row, including a sweep by the Tribe.

Best team average: The Los Angeles Dodgers have the best team average (2.88) by being first twice, second four times, fifth once, and eighth once,

Worst team average: The Washington Nationals have the worst team average (29.75) by being ranked last seven times and 28th once.

Teams yet to fall out of the top 10: Dodgers, Blue Jays, and Cardinals

Teams yet to climb out of the bottom 10: Indians and Nationals

Prediction of the week: Mets will go 7-0

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

1. AL East (1): Nyy (2), Bos (8), Tor (9), Tam (19), Bal (20)
2. NL Central (2): Stl (4), Mil (5), Cin (11), Chc (12), Pit (24), Hou (29)
3. NL West (3): Lad (1), Saf (13), Sad (14), Ari (25), Col (26)
t4. NL East (5): Phi (6), Nym (7), Atl (16), Fla (21), Was (30)
t4. AL West (6): Tex (3), Laa (15), Sea (18), Oak (28)
6. AL Central (3): Det (10), Cws (17), Min (22), Kan (23), Cle (27)

If the playoffs started today...

1. Texas v. 4. Boston/Toronto
2. New York v. 3. Detroit

1. Los Angeles vs. 4. St. Louis/Milwaukee
2. St. Louis/Milwaukee vs. 3. Philadelphia

If awards were given out today...

AL MVP: Justin Morneau (Minnesota Twins)
NL MVP: Albert Pujols (St. Louis Cardinals)

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

AL RoY: Elvis Andrus (Texas Rangers)
NL RoY: Gerrardo Parra (Arizona Diamondbacks)

AL MoY: Ron Washington (Texas Rangers)
NL MoY: Joe Torre (Los Angeles Dodgers)

AL Comeback: Aaron Hill (Toronto Blue Jays)
NL Comeback: Nick Johnson (Washington Nationals)


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.