Skip to content

MLB Power Rankings: Cardinals ascend

May 10, 2013, 6:15 PM EDT

Photo by USA Today

By Steve Roney
CSNwashington.com

On the strength of their starting pitching the Cardinals have finally knocked the Braves from the top spot in the rankings; here's how Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman, Nats writer Chase Hughes, and I see the rest of the league shaking out.

1. Cardinals (21-12; LW: 5) Hughes – Their entire starting rotation boasts ERAs of 2.72 or lower and Carlos Beltran is an early MVP candidate.

2. Rangers (21-13; LW: 3) Zuckerman – Was Yu Darvish worth all the money? Right now, the folks in Texas certainly think so.

3. Braves (21-13; LW: 1) Roney - With Brian McCann back, wither Evan Gattis? Though he's cooled from his torrid start, the Braves need his bat to stay in the lineup.

4. Giants (20-15; LW: 8) Zuckerman – How is it that the World Series champs in two of the last three years still flies under the radar?

Read more »

  1. EmDash - May 10, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    The Giants are an interesting team this year – they were built on pitching and defense, but Lincecum and Vogelsong seem mostly broken, Cain has been iffy this year (though he's more likely to figure things out than the other two), and it's hard to expect to rely on Zito, though he's somehow mostly been great this year. Kind of like the Nats started out this year, really. But their offense, which no one expected to be great, has somehow overcome a lot of that so far.

  2. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 10, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    I still think strength of schedule has to impact the power rankings as you are looking at a 35 game window.A lot of pretenders in that Top 10.

  3. Eugene in Oregon - May 10, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    After what they did in the offseason, hard to believe the Dodgers, Blue Jays, and Angels are so low on this list.

  4. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 10, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    2. Rangers (21-13; LW: 3) Zuckerman – Was Yu Darvish worth all the money? Right now, the folks in Texas certainly think so.Letting Josh Hamilton walk seems like addition by subtraction and also gave them payroll flexibility.They spent a ton on Yu Darvish and he can only help them 1 out of every 5 days. Yes, he is helping but will it last.

  5. SonnyG10 - May 10, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    I'm glad the Dodgers are not doing well after they tried to buy a championship.

  6. peric - May 10, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    They spent a ton on Yu Darvish and he can only help them 1 out of every 5 days. Yes, he is helping but will it last.The real question is: is Yu Darvish better than the alternative? In the case of the Nats (and many here thought they should sign him) apparently not. But is that the case for the Rangers? Perhaps.

  7. Faraz Shaikh - May 10, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    I think using initials would be cooler. MZ, CH, and SR.GoSM, I wouldn't say a lot. Orioles and Red Sox are the only two teams that have surprised me so far. I knew Yankees would find a way to hang around despite pretty much all baseball gurus expecting them to crash below .500. they are the evil empire after all, wouldn't go away that easily. I expected angels to struggle but not this badly. Blue Jays as well. I thought they would be better than this. cardinals don't surprise me. they have lot more pitching prospects and some impressive hitters in their farm system. I am actually a bit jealous with their pitching depth in minors.

  8. Rabbit34 - May 10, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    The power rankings will be completely shuffled the next time they come out. Really, what is the point to them? They don't help a team rise in the standings. They don't make a team play better or worse. A power ranking, as I see it, is the result of how a team plays, not the cause. You look at a power ranking and say…Oh yeah.

  9. Harpo - May 10, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    "17. Twins (16-15; LW: 17) Hughes – and Vance Worley is not the guy they thought they were trading for."SUCKERS!

  10. peric - May 10, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    I'm glad the Dodgers are not doing well after they tried to buy a championship.At some point the wheat will get separated from the chafe and they will do a lot better. But basically that's their rebuilding stratagem: buy / trade for as much top MLB talent, preferably still young, as possible. Then let them compete with each other until the winners stand alone.

  11. Rabbit34 - May 10, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    Oh yeah. Time for a carrot.

  12. EmDash - May 10, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    Yu Darvish is pretty great, though. I don't know if he'll consistently be as effective as he is right now, but he's a pitcher that's just so *varied* in what he can do that he's really fun to watch.

  13. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 10, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    Faraz Shaikh, I'm thinking the AL East is very weak this year. The Yankees are a huge surprise and probably the surprise of the year with the 4 All Stars who haven't played and accomplishing what they have.Tampa I still think is the best team in the AL East but their bullpen has been awful. For years they have scrimped and saved on the payroll and the bullpen and their bench were put together with lots of retreads and it's finally bit them in the backside.The Orioles don't have great starting pitching but what they have is a strong 1-6 in their lineup that is producing. Can McLouth keep it up? It's hard to believe. Chris Davis has been the difference maker for them. Big bat makes everyone around him better.The Red Sox is getting some real good starting pitching and the younger looking David Ortiz is looking great. Can they keep it up since they are depending on so many players performing so much above their stat lines from last year.Toronto just proves once again that there is more to winning than acquiring former All-Stars.

  14. baseballjones - May 10, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    How long until A-Rod is not reflexively referred to as an All-Star? The guy has not played an All-Star caliber season since 2010.

  15. Faraz Shaikh - May 10, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    GoSM, Faraz or FS is fine. I guess you can say AL East is weak. That could be the reason Blue Jays acted this off-season and traded farm for these players.Did you guys see Aumont's tweet about untucking? WOW, Phillies players just cannot stop talking about Nationals, can they?

Archives

NLDS: NATIONALS VS. GIANTS

FRI: Game 1 at Washington, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2 at Washington, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3 at San Francisco, TBA (MLBN)
TUE: Game 4 at San Francisco, TBA (FS1)*
THU: Game 5 at Washington, TBA (FS1)*
*if necessary

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter