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MLB Power Rankings: Dodgers here to stay

Aug 22, 2013, 10:00 AM EST

Photo by USA Today
By Steve Roney
There are many reasons for the Dodgers' ascension — from Adrian Gonzalez' consistency and Yasiel Puig's flash to the shutdown pitching. Blazing hot after the break, they're exactly the sort of team that no one wants to run into in October.
Here's how Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman, Nats writer Chase Hughes, and I see the rest of the league shaking out:

1. Atlanta Braves (77-49; LW: 2) – Zuckerman: The bullpen is so good, they've basically turned every game into a 6-inning affair.

2. Los Angeles Dodgers (73-52; LW: 1) – Hughes: Everyone knows about Yasiel Puig, but Hanley Ramirez has been as important as anyone to their unbelievable run over the past few months.

3. Pittsburgh Pirates (74-51; LW: 4) – Roney: Pedro Alvarez may never hit for average, but his power is seriously impressive — as is leading the team with 83 RBI despite a .234 average.

4. Boston Red Sox (75-54; LW: 3) – Zuckerman: Everyone may have shared Dempster's sentiments, but his A-Rod plunking may have cost Boston that game.

5. Detroit Tigers (73-52; LW: 5) – Roney: It almost doesn't matter that Prince Fielder is disappointing. Miguel Cabrera is set to top last year's batting average, RBI, and home run totals — which won him the Triple Crown and 2012 MVP.

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  1. Don - Aug 22, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    I gotta go with the Dogers as the clear number 1 team. The Braves are a nice club, but the Dodgers have multiple Aces, they rake like mad, they can run and they defend well too.

  2. SonnyG10 - Aug 22, 2013 at 10:35 AM


  3. Doc - Aug 22, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    **#@ the hated Dodgers!!!We'll get 'em next year, when all their oldies start acting like oldies. They are the West Coast Yankees, with a similar TV agreement!!!!!

  4. baseballswami - Aug 22, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Speaking of TV deals……??????

  5. NatsLady - Aug 22, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Honestly, I was hoping that the Dodgers would shellack Atlanta. But after this latest injury (Heyward) my heart has gone out of hating them. He was great to watch, especially his D.

  6. James Joyce - Aug 22, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    Please, we'll get 'em next year is what the Nats will be saying every year at the rate they are going with this club. The sad thing is that the Nats have reached their goal: mediocrity. Gave Rizzo a big contract as a reward for it right in the middle of a losing streak. Attendance is way up, the cash registers are ringing. All is good right here in the almost at 500 'hood. The goal is to be one of the 15 clubs that has a chance year to year, if they do better, then great! But that's gravy. The Yankees and Dodgers are actually looking to win it all every year. Clubs like the Red Sox, Rangers, Cards, Phils and Angels not far back in terms of going the extra mile to win. The Nats just have not shown the will or skill to be an elite club. Not sure why we should think that old dog Mike Rizzo and even older dog Ted Lerner will learn the new tricks needed to get it together any time soon.

  7. Tcostant - Aug 22, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    One thing I think I'll miss next year, is guys like Werth hitting on 3-0 counts. Not many managers will do that.

  8. NatsLady - Aug 22, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    Tcostant–LOL! I would love if Rizzo would do that, but I expect Werth wants to play full-time a couple more years. Plus, does he know pitching?

  9. Muddy - Aug 22, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    Nice article this a.m. by Boz re Werth being worth this contract unlike most other mega deals — Pujols (ouch), Hamilton (oh boy), Teixeira (the Nats reportedly did make him a huge offer but got lucky: he preferred the Yankees; hopefully others will, too, in the future), Howard, even Prince, who's looking very mortal. Mauer's contract looks marginally okay. So far the Nats haven't done too badly relative to the Angels, Boston (now Dodgers), and Yankees.

  10. JD - Aug 22, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    Muddy, Werth has certainly earned his salary this year and last. He still has 4 more years to go on the deal after this year but so far so good.

  11. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 22, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    Agree with Boswell highlighting the dangers of free spending. Disappointed he seemed dismissive with what Werth has accomplished. I am certain the Nats will get more value from Werth's remaining $83MM than the Yankees will get from Rodriguez. As always with Boswell I wonder who is fueling his viewpoint. Almost always, I think it reflects the mindset of a certain segment of the Nats FO/brain trust, not necessarily Rizzo. Behind this article I heard some nit-picking about Werth's performce, health, possibly an implication that he had usurped a leadership role. I will be interested to see if anybody leaves this offseason besides Johnson.

  12. NatsLady - Aug 22, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Theo, unfortunately, I doubt it's within the Nats' power to fire Boz, so he won't be leaving.

  13. James Joyce - Aug 22, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    JD – Werth missed half of last season and a chunk of this year too. In 2012 it was great that he hit .300 but less than great that he had only 5 HR and a whopping 31 RBI. He's having a great 2013, but the idea that he was worth $13.5M in 2012 is hard to swallow and that he's already earned his $16.5M this year is at least somewhat gratuitous. He's on pace for what, maybe 75 RBI? They owe the guy $85M through his 39 yr old season. He was terrible in 2011, ok in 2012 and to date very good in 2013. But, the contract to date is a stinker and it does not look to get better.





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