May 29, 2014, 6:53 PM EDT
Here are this week’s MLB Power Rankings featuring thoughts on each team from Mark Zuckerman, Chase Hughes and myself, Steve Roney:
1. Giants (LW: 3) — Roney: As disappointing as the pitching was last year, it’s been so much better one through five this year. Even Lincecum has been solid.
2. Athletics (LW: 1) — Roney: Billy Beane and his interchangeable parts-as-the-new-Moneyball system continue to impress. And how about Josh Donaldson proving last year was no fluke?
3. Tigers (LW: 2) — Hughes: Is there a more underrated pitcher than Anibal Sanchez? Dude’s got a 2.56 ERA over the last two seasons in the AL.
4. Brewers (LW: 4) — Hughes: Yovani Gallardo, a starting pitcher, pinch-hit for a walkoff home run the other day. Everything’s going right for the Brew Crew.
5. Blue Jays (LW: 9) — Zuckerman: They’ve scored the most runs in the AL, and they look like they might have staying power.
6. Cardinals (LW: 6) — Hughes: Is this the year Wainwright finally wins a Cy Young? He’s 8-2 with a 1.67 ERA through 11 starts.
7. Braves (LW: 5) — Zuckerman: Surprising fact: They’ve scored the fewest runs in baseball. Giving up the second-fewest has made up for lack of offense.
8. Dodgers (LW: 10) — Roney: Who knew Josh Beckett had nine consecutive innings of hitless baseball in him still? That was as surprising, to me, as it was impressive.
9. Yankees (LW: 10) – Zuckerman: Teixeira’s re-emergence as a productive hitter has been much-needed.
10. Angels (LW: 8) — Roney: 3.05 ERA, 1.10 WHIP. This is finally the C.J. Wilson that was bought and paid for.
11. Rockies (LW: 7) — Roney: Charlie Blackmon has cooled off. Anyone who sold high on him in fantasy baseball — that is how the game is won.
12. Marlins (LW: 12) — Zuckerman: Give them credit: They’re hanging in there thanks to a strong rotation. And that guy named Stanton, who is a pretty decent hitter.
13. Orioles (LW: 13) — Zuckerman: Nelson Cruz: Best acquisition by any team in 2014.
14. Rangers (LW: 17) – Roney: A huge, huge sigh of relief that Yu Darvish looks to be OK. Baseball has lost too many pitchers, and so have the Rangers.
15. Mariners (LW: 19) — Roney: Slashing .250/.306/.404, Dustin Ackley isn’t quite the latest Alex Gordon, but he’s finally a viable major league hitter (at least on that team).
16. White Sox (LW: 18) — Hughes: An All-Star two years ago, Paul Konerko is now a 38-year-old utility player hitting .171.
17. Nationals (LW: 14) — Zuckerman: The injuries have been a problem, but healthy guys aren’t hitting, either.
18. Reds (LW: 21) — Hughes: Cincy is the only team with a worse offense in the month of May other than the Nats. Matt Williams isn’t the only rookie manager having a rough month.
19. Mets (LW: 23) — Zuckerman: Hitting coach gets fired, blames Keith Hernandez. Didn’t he know Roger McDowell (hiding behind the bushes) was really to blame all along?
20. Twins (LW: 15) — Hughes: Switching positions was supposed to help Joe Mauer, but he’s currently having the worst year of his career.
21. Royals (LW: 16) — Hughes: Just when they get their pitching somewhat in check, their offense takes a nosedive. The Royals will get it together some day, right?
22. Red Sox (LW: 22) — Zuckerman: They lose 10 in a row, bring 2004 champs back for anniversary, sweep Braves. Go figure.
23. Pirates (LW: 25) — Hughes: The Buccos have the fifth-worst offense in the majors. Gee, if only they had a hitting prodigy waiting in the wings at Triple-A…
24. Indians (LW: 20) — Hughes: The Indians may want to call about Jeff Samardzija. They have the eighth best offense, but have allowed the third most runs of any team.
25. Rays (LW: 27) — Zuckerman: They’ve been right there in the mix six straight years, but it just may not happen this season.
26. Phillies (LW: 24) — Zuckerman: Sandberg has felt queasy all season. Is it his flawed roster? Or just a bad burger at Shake Shack?
27. Padres (LW: 26) — Roney: Tyson Ross looks great. How much of it is Petco, though?
28. Astros (LW: 29) — Roney: George Springer has smashed six homers in six games. He could be the Evan Longoria that leads to a nice Rays-like rise down the road.
29. Diamondbacks (LW: 28) — Roney: A.J. Pollock has been a nice surprise. All the other surprises this year have been not so nice.
30. Cubs (LW: 30) — Hughes: The Cubs’ lineup is so bad, they could probably use Manny Ramirez right now, even if he turns 42 tomorrow.
NL EAST STANDINGS
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
Full season schedule
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.
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