MLB Power Rankings Weeks 5-6: Reasoning on Lake Cleveland About the Tribe

Lake CruiseAnalyst IMay 9, 2011

MLB Power Rankings Weeks 5-6: Reasoning on Lake Cleveland About the Tribe

0 of 12

    CLEVELAND - APRIL 30:  Michael Brantley #23 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates before scoring the game winning run in the 13th inning on a single by teammate Orlando Cabrera #20 against the Detroit Tigers during the game on April 30, 2011 at Progressive
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    The Indians are rolling along at 22-11—tied with the Phillies for the best record in the Majors.  The difference is no expert picked Cleveland to do anything this year.

    Now they're in the thick of the race for the No. 1 spot this week in Lake's Power Index.   

    The competition for best overall record and home field advantage—depending on the outcome of the All-Star game—is up for grabs between the Phillies and Indians.  

    But where do those teams rank on my LPI hierarchy?

    Crank the sound, roll tape and let's find the funks out...

12. Oakland A's: Making Their First Appearance in My 2011 Power Rankings

1 of 12

    OAKLAND, CA - MAY 02:  Hideki Matsui #55 of the Oakland Athletics is congratulated by manager Bob Geren after he hit a walk off home run to win the game in the tenth inning against the Texas Rangers at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on May 2, 2011 in Oak
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    The A's beat the Royals on Sunday, and going into Monday, are tied with the Texas Ranges for second place behind the Angels.

    The green and gold trimmed uniforms are classic in baseball lore, and Oakland is starting to play like it.  While Texas is fading, the A's are 6-4 in their last 10 games.

    At 18-17, the teams will meet for a best-of-three series starting Tuesday.

11. Kansas City Royals: Giving Teams the Royal Treatment Early in the Season

2 of 12

    KANSAS CITY, MO - MAY 03:  Starting pitcher Jeff Francis #26 of the Kansas City Royals pitches during the game against the Baltimore Orioles on May 3, 2011 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    They beat Baltimore in 10 innings to start the week and ended up where they started to end it—in second behind Cleveland.

    The Royals are treading water early, and I suspect they'll drop out of the LPI soon.  Until they do—go Royals.  I'm not a fan, but it's refreshing to see the royal blue uniforms in the spotlight.

10. San Francisco Giants: The Defending World Champions Are Coming

3 of 12

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 06:  Cody Ross #13 of the San Francisco Giants runs to home plate to score the winning run on a hit by Freddy Sanchez #21 in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park on May 6, 2011 in San Francisco,
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    At 18-16, winners of three in a row and six of their last 10, the Giants are fresh off knocking the Rockies off their tops.

    San Francisco is just now righting the ship after a rough start.  I'll be watching to see how they proceed.

9. Atlanta Braves: They Took the Weekend Series from the Phillies in Philly

4 of 12

    ATLANTA, GA - MAY 04:  Tim Hudson #15 of the Atlanta Braves pitches in the ninth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Turner Field on May 4, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    After having their six-game winning streak snapped on Saturday in Philadelphia, the Braves bounced back and beat the Phillies in the Sunday night game.

    Winning the series from one of the best teams in the Majors got the Braves on my index for the first time this season.

    With a 19-13 record, they're in third place in the tough NL East, but their in second place for the wild card behind Florida.

8. Colorado Rockies: Catch Them If You Can

5 of 12

    DENVER, CO - MAY 01:  Carlos Gonzalez #5 of the Colorado Rockies is caught in a rundown by third baseman Pedro Alvarez #24 of the Pittsburgh Pirates at Coors Field on May 1, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Pirates defeated the Rockies 8-4.  (Photo by Doug P
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Colorado got swept by the Giants over the weekend, but the Rockies still have a one game lead in the NL West.

    How long will it last, though?  The Rockies have Ubaldo Jimenez back, but they're starting to fade.  It could be a race to the last day of the season.

    I'll let you know.

7. St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals Are Raking Like World Series Champions

6 of 12

    HOUSTON - APRIL 27:  First baseman Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals waits for the next batter against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on April 27, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    The Cardinals have been raking to the tune of leading the Majors in a bunch of offensive categories.  They have to rake to keep their closers hidden.

    The starting rotation has been solid, though, and Jaime Garcia and Kyle Lohse have really stepped up for injured Adam Wainwright. 

    The Cards split with the Marlins and beat the Brewers in series last week.  At 20-15, they're in first place.

6. Los Angeles Angels: Congratulations to the Halos

7 of 12

    ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 29:  Outfielder Vernon Wells #10 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim is congratulated by his teammates after their victory over the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on April 29, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. M
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    After missing the playoffs last year, the Angels have bounced back to take over first place from the defending division champion Texas Rangers.

    The most  successful team in L.A. baseball right now, the Angels have one of the best pitching combinations in the Majors in Jered "Dream" Weaver and Dan Haren.

5. Tampa Bay Rays: Can They Get Past First Base, Um Place in the AL East?

8 of 12

    ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MAY 03:  Outfielder B.J. Upton #2 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates his two run walkoff home run against the Toronto Blue Jays at Tropicana Field on May 3, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    After losing Carl Crawford, Rafael Soriano and Manny Ramirez, the mindset is still "bring on the Yankees and the Red Sox" for Tampa.

    Tied for first place with the Yankees going into Monday, they're riding a four game winning streak.  Justin Upton and Evan Longoria have been doing their things.

4. New York Yankees: Grandy Man and Robbie Cano Are Doing It Big in the Bronx

9 of 12

    DETROIT, MI - MAY 02:  Curtis Granderson #14 of the New York Yankees runs to third base while playing the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on May 2, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Moving up in the LPI, the Bombers started off the week by losing three-of-four to the under .500 Detroit Tigers—Granderson's old team.

    The Tigers took the Jankees, I mean Yankees out three games in a row.  It was the first time the Yanks lost three in a row since the stooges retired in the same year.

3. Florida Marlins: Mouths Full of Talent

10 of 12

    CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 1:  Hanley Ramirez #2 of the Florida Marlins acknowledges a fan after hitting a home run in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on May 1, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Marlins defeated the Reds 9-5
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    The Fish started the week by beating the first place Cardinals in St. Louis in the series opener.

    The Cardinals bounced back to beat them in two of the last three of the best-of-four matchup.  The Cardinals battered Josh Johnson on Thursday.

    Earning a split, on the road in the STL, though, is a win for the Marlins.

2. Philadelphia Phillies: Swinging to Win and Winning to Swing

11 of 12

    PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 27:  Jimmy Rollins #11 of the Philadelphia Phillies bats against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on April 27, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Phillies defeated the Diamondbacks 8-4.  (Photo
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    At 21-9, they were off to their best start in about 30 years.  Roy Halladay won his fifth game of the season to complete the sweep of the Washington Nationals last Thursday.

    A watered down Phillies—without Chase Utley—could be better than everyone else.  They are the best in the NL—judging by records (22-11).

1. Cleveland Indians: High 5's for the Tribe

12 of 12

    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 23: Grady Sizemore #24 and Jack Hannahan #9 of the Cleveland Indians celebrate a two-run home run by Sizemore against the Minnesota Twins during the eighth inning of their game on April 23, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minn
    Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

    The greatest turnaround story in the Majors this year, the Cleveland Indians are suddenly relevant.

    Soon their winning won't be such a shocker, and we can all settle in and enjoy the ride.  It may prove to be a roller coaster, but it'll be fun.

    For the second straight week, they rank No. 1 in the LPI.  Speaking of No. 1, time for me to get out of here.  Catch me next time—right here on the next edition of: Increase the Peace.