The MLB Power Rankings are back! This is also the true mid-point of the season.
*Stats and records through 06/28/2014
#1 – OAKLAND ATHLETICS, 50-30 (Last Ranking – #1)
The A’s are far and away the best team is baseball. They have scored the most runs and have allowed the fewest for a run differential of 134. Second place in that category? 52. They have the highest combined WAR by 2.0. They also have the best winning percentage and the second most wins. Domination.
#2 – MILWAUKEE BREWERS, 51-32 (Last Ranking – #4)
The Brewers are tied for the most wins since the last Power Ranking three weeks ago, and they now have the most wins in the Majors. They are mostly relying in the offense (5th in runs scored, 6th in wOBA) as their pitching is just middle of the road. Frankly, I’m probably letting the win total and my fondness for the NL Central cloud my judgment, but hey, it’s my list.
#3 – LOS ANGELES ANGELS, 45-34 (Last Ranking – #5)
The Angles are still toward the top statistically (2nd in combined WAR), and they have the second best run differential (52). They’ve won twice as many games as they’ve lost since the last ranking (12-6). I believe the AL West is the best division in baseball, so having two of the top three teams makes sense.
#4 – LOS ANGELES DODGERS, 46-37 (Last Ranking – #Just Missed)
Funny, three weeks ago, I removed the Dodgers from the top 10 and said they weren’t very good. Manager Don Mattingly felt the same as he had literally just called out the team in the media the day before. It’s nice that Donny Baseball agreed with me. The good thing for him and his team is that they’ve responded, going 14-6 since and getting back into the NL West race as the Giants are self-destructing. I am being aggressive with their ranking, but talent was never the question. Now that they are playing like a team, I think this hot streak is just the beginning.
#5 – DETROIT TIGERS, 44-33 (Last Ranking – #6)
The Tigers have been red hot the last week (5-1 with a +20 run differential), and they are currently 3rd in team wOBA for the season. The pitching has underperformed, but they showed signs of life leading the league in xFIP last week.
#6 – ST. LOUIS CARDINALS, 44-38 (Last Ranking – #7)
The Cards climbed to 3rd in combined WAR and are 4th in team ERA. They are kind of the opposite of the Tigers as the offense has underperformed much of the season but were in the top half in wOBA over the last week. It’s only a matter of time until all of the cylinders are clicking.
#7 – WASHINGTON NATIONALS, 43-38 (Last Ranking – 9)
The Nats pitching has been fantastic, and in fact they lead the Majors in ERA (3.07) and FIP (3.16). On the eve of Bryce Harper’s return, I moved them ahead of the Giants and Blue Jays despite having a worse record. I wouldn’t be surprised if they continue to rise.
#8 – TORONTO BLUE JAYS, 45-38 (Last Ranking – #3)
The Blue Jays have had a rough three weeks (7-13), and their drop in the ranking reflects that. They are still very strong offensively (2nd in wOBA at 0.338), so I expect them to be in the AL East race to the end, but I’m not sure that division is really all that strong.
#9 – SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS, 46-35 (Last Ranking – #2)
I always had a bit of an uneasy feeling when the Giants were ranked so highly because the statistics didn’t really support the success. They had crazy numbers in clutch situations that were did not seem sustainable. They have been the worst team in baseball by record (5-14) since the last ranking, so in a way I feel vindicated, but I was still the sucker who ranked them highly when I didn’t really believe in it. Oh well, that is in the past.
#10 – ATLANTA BRAVES, 43-38 (Last Ranking – #8)
The Braves were barely 0.500 over the last three weeks (11-10), but they are still top 5 in combined WAR and team ERA in the Majors, so they belong in the top 10. The stats, in fact, were the difference in the showdown with the Mariners for the last spot.
SEATTLE MARINERS, 43-38 (Last Ranking – 10) – The Mariners are the odd man out. They’re probably closer to 10.1 than missing the list. Ultimately, the stats don’t support their record as well as the Braves.
BALTIMORE ORIOLES, 42-38 (Last Ranking – Just Missed) – The O’s stay over 0.500 despite the middle of the road statistic. Buck knows what he’s doing.
CINCINNATI REDS, 42-38 (Last Ranking – Unranked) – The Reds have a ton of momentum, going 14-6 the last three weeks, and the stats back up the success.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS, 41-39 (Last Ranking – Unranked) – Royals have highest combined WAR for a team not in the top 10.
NEW YORK YANKEES, 41-38 (Last Ranking – Just Missed) – I can’t stand that they linger on this list, but the record and the stats are there.