The MLB Power Rankings are back! This is also the true mid-point of the season.
*Stats and records through 07/05/2014
#1 – OAKLAND ATHLETICS, 54-33 (Last Ranking – #1)
The A’s didn’t have their best week (4-3), but they still have the best record in baseball. They have over double the closest run differential and have scored the most runs in baseball. And on top of that, they added the Pretty Princess Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to what was a depleted rotation. It came at great cost sending their top prospect Addison Russell and two other young players, but Billy Beane saw his competitive window being at its peak and made a bold move.
#2 – LOS ANGELES ANGELS, 50-36 (Last Ranking – #3)
The Angles are the second best in run differential and combined WAR and third best in record and OPS in baseball. After a 5-2 week, they sit at #2 behind only Division rival Oakland.
#3 – LOS ANGELES DODGERS, 50-40 (Last Ranking – #4)
The Dodgers were OK last week (4-3), but they took the lead outright in the NL West. They have the fifth best run differential and third best combined WAR. They are also one of the more well-rounded teams ranking 6th in both team OPS and team ERA. I still believe the best has yet to come. It might be time to pull the trigger and get David Price to really take this team to the next level.
#4 – MILWAUKEE BREWERS, 52-36 (Last Ranking – #2)
I didn’t really like ranking the Brewers 2nd last week, so I had no problem moving them down after their 2-4 record last week. The division is shaping into a battle as the Pirates and Reds have woken up. Their pitching metrics worry me moving forward, but the bats are for real and they play in a hitters park, so maybe this mix can keep it together.
#5 – WASHINGTON NATIONALS, 47-39 (Last Ranking – 7)
The Nats pitching remains phenomenal leading the NL at 3.05 ERA. Last week the offense woke up as they posted a 4-1 record and the best run differential for the week (+19). The Braves actually passed them and took the lead for the NL East with an undefeated week, but I just feel like the Nats are the better team with all things being equal.
#6 – ATLANTA BRAVES, 49-38 (Last Ranking – #10)
The Braves had a fantastic week going 6-0, which catapulted them into the NL East division lead and my top 5. They are still excellent statistically (4th in combined WAR, 3rd in ERA), so it is very easy to get behind them. My biggest worry going forward is Evan Gattis’ balky back, but hopefully he won’t be out too long.
#7 – DETROIT TIGERS, 48-36 (Last Ranking – #5)
The Tigers held court going 4-3, but the NL East teams were just too good and passed them over. When I look at the statistical profile along with the overall record, I like this ranking. I think their record is somewhat a product of their extremely weak division.
#8 – ST. LOUIS CARDINALS, 47-41 (Last Ranking – #6)
Much like the Tigers, the Cards drop had more to do with the NL East teams dominating. That said, they went just 0.500 last week. They Cards are still stronger with pitching and defense, but they hope calling up top prospect Oscar Taveras will ignite the dormant bats.
#9 – SEATTLE MARINERS, 48-39 (Last Ranking – Just Missed)
The Mariners were the odd man out last week, and they responded with a big middle finger, going 5-1 and finishing 2nd in run differential for the week. They currently sit third in the league in run differential and fourth in ERA. Like the Cardinals, they have some work to do offensively, but they deserve their current ranking.
#10 – SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS, 48-39 (Last Ranking – #9)
Coming off another shaky week, the Giants barely remain in the top 10. They still have the 7th best record, but their statistics do not support that record in any way. Another week or two of 2-4 or worse and they’ll be out of the top 10.
BALTIMORE ORIOLES, 47-40 (Last Ranking – Just Missed) – The O’s take the lead in the AL East, and it still doesn’t impress me.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS, 47-42 (Last Ranking – #8) – The Blue Jays have really been limping the last 3-4 weeks, and now it looks like E5 is going to need a trip to the DL. Not good.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS, 45-41 (Last Ranking – Just Missed) – It holds, so I’ll leave the comment from last week. Royals have highest combined WAR for a team not in the top 10. A couple more 4-2 weeks will likely get them in the top 10.
PITTSBURGH PIRATES, 46-41 (Last Ranking – Unranked) – This is my happiest entry of the season. A 5-1 week pulls my Pirates onto the “just missed” list and even better knocks the Yankees off the list!
CINCINNATI REDS, 44-42 (Last Ranking – Just Missed) – The Reds regressed from their hot streak, but they’re still over 0.500 in what is shaping up to be one of the better divisions in the Majors.