Jun 13, 2014, 1:03 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. Oakland Athletics (LW: 2) – Hughes: The Athletics host the Orioles right after the All-Star break. I’m sure their fans will be happy to see Manny Machado.
2. San Francisco Giants (LW: 1) – Hughes: They may be hoping to avoid the Nationals come playoff time, but the Giants are still among the league’s best. Plus, Brandon Belt is coming back soon.
3. Milwaukee Brewers (LW: 4) – Zuckerman: Not sure most people realize just how good Jonathan Lucroy is. One of the best all-around catchers in the game.
4. Toronto Blue Jays (LW: 5) – Roney: Can’t say enough about the resurgence of Mark Buehrle, and what that has meant for Toronto.
5. Detroit Tigers (LW: 3) – Zuckerman: Max Scherzer just tossed his first career complete game Thursday night. Never would’ve guessed he hadn’t done it before.
6. Washington Nationals (LW: 17) – Roney: Doug Fister has been a huge boost – 5-1, 31 Ks in seven starts. Huge lift for the rotation.
7. Atlanta Braves (LW: 7) – Roney: Evan Gattis has given them everything Brian McCann would’ve at the plate – and he’s about 30 times cheaper. Not sure about his game-calling yet, though.
8. Los Angeles Angels (LW: 10) – Hughes: LAA has the fourth best offense and the eighth best rotation ERA in baseball. With the As in their division, though, it may be Wild Card or bust.
9. St. Louis Cardinals (LW: 6) – Zuckerman: Everyone in St. Louis is praying Adam Wainwright’s elbow injury isn’t serious.
10. Baltimore Orioles (LW: 13) – Roney: Machado should’ve gotten more games, in my opinion. His behavior against Oakland for three days was awful.
11. Los Angeles Dodgers (LW: 8) – Hughes: The Dodgers’ rotation is one of the best in baseball this year. Dan Haren’s 3.49 ERA is worst among the group.
12. New York Yankees (LW: 9) – Roney: Tanaka has been best-case scenario – but Yangarvis Solarte has been even more than that for New York.
13. Miami Marlins (LW: 12) – Roney: What an outfield. Christian Yelich, especially, has been a revelation.
14. Seattle Mariners (LW: 15) – Hughes: Robinson Cano is hitting .332, yet the Mariners as a team are 27th in the majors with a .237 team batting average.
15. Kansas City Royals (LW: 21)– Zuckerman: If they’re serious about contending this season, it’s time to show it.
16. Chicago White Sox (LW: 16) – Zuckerman: Jose Abreu and Adam Dunn have combined for 30 of their 68 homers as a team.
17. Cleveland Indians (LW: 24) – Zuckerman: Lonnie Chisenhall had a great week. In one night: 5-for-5, 3 HR, 9 RBI.
18. Pittsburgh Pirates (LW: 23) – Zuckerman: They’ve finally got Gregory Polanco in big leagues, but that can’t make up for injuries to Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano.
19. Colorado Rockies (LW: 11) – Hughes: The Rockies can score runs, but own the worst team ERA (4.63) in baseball. Tough to win like that.
20. Cincinnatti Reds (LW: 18) – Zuckerman: Joey Votto’s back, and not a moment too soon for a Cincinnati club that desperately needs an offensive spark.
21. Texas Rangers (LW: 14) – Hughes: Texas has won 90 games each of the last four years, but it’s hard to see them doing that this season with all their injuries.
22. Minnesota Twins (LW: 20) – Zuckerman: Ricky Nolasco and Kevin Correia combined: 7-12, 5.65 ERA. Not good from your Nos. 2 and 3 starters.
23. Boston Red Sox (LW: 22) – Roney: Jon Lester has been going strong, and is making himself a lot of money right now.
24. Houston Astros (LW: 28) – Hughes: Houston is rising much faster than many predicted and none of their three recent No. 1 picks have reached the majors yet.
25. New York Mets (LW: 19) – Roney: Jacob deGrom has been a nice little surprise so far for the rotation.
26. Philadelphia Phillies (LW: 26) – Roney: Anybody think that they’d be an improved squad, after an offseason spent not improving? Even Amaro had to know.
27. Arizona Diamondbacks (LW: 29) – Hughes: Paul Goldscmidt is a great player, but he can’t make up for the worst starting rotation in baseball.
28. San Diego Padres (LW: 27) – Hughes: With the Padres playing as bad as they are, does Bud Black last the rest of the season?
29. Chicago Cubs (LW: 30) – Zuckerman: They’re just not good. Plain and simple.
30. Tampa Bay Rays (LW: 25) – Roney: Wouldn’t be shocked to see Price moved before the deadline arrives.
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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