Skip to content

MLB Power Rankings: Angels soaring

Jul 9, 2014, 12:04 PM EDT

Photo by USA Today Photo by USA Today

Here are this week’s MLB Power Rankings featuring thoughts on each team from Mark Zuckerman, Chase Hughes and myself, Steve Roney:

LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY

1. Athletics (LW: 1) – Zuckerman: Props to Billy Beane, who understands the time is now for Oakland to go all-in. This team is scary-good.

2. Angels (LW: 4) – Zuckerman: They might be the talk of baseball right now if not for those pesky A’s standing in their way.

3. Tigers (LW: 3) – Roney: Might Rick Porcello be coming into his own, a little bit? Easy to forget that he’s only 25, and with a pair of shutouts and improved control, he’s having a career year.

4. Brewers (LW: 2) – Roney: Others have said it, but what on Earth is Aramis Ramirez doing starting at third base? The ASG is always screwy, sure, but Todd Frazier and Anthony Rendon have legit gripes.

5. Dodgers (LW: 5) – Zuckerman: Four starters with ERAs under 3.10, two starters with ERAs under 2.30. Pretty, pretty good.

6. Orioles (LW: 10) – Hughes: With the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays in their current states, it might be smart for the O’s to go for something big at the deadline.

7. Giants (LW: 8) – Zuckerman: Lineup is going to have to start producing again if they’re going to keep pace with the red-hot Dodgers.

8. Nationals (LW: 6) – Hughes: For the Nats to get only one All-Star is a little ridiculous. Several of the NL’s biggest snubs have to play in D.C.

9. Braves (LW: 7) – Hughes: Atlanta is really taking advantage of their recent easy schedule and it’s not getting any harder until they play the Dodgers in L.A. July 29-31.

10. Mariners (LW: 11) – Zuckerman: Turns out they actually are more than just Robinson Cano and Felix Hernandez. Good team starting to come together.

11. Cardinals (LW: 12) – Roney: They have rumored interest in Boston’s Jake Peavy – an odd spot for a club with an embarrassment of pitching riches to start the year. Peavy is only meh at best, so if they deal, wouldn’t expect much more than a B-/C+ level prospect.

12. Blue Jays (LW: 9) – Hughes: Toronto may want to look at a deadline deal as well. Pitching would be the obvious target.

13. Reds (LW: 14) – Roney: Through 85 games last year, Reds CF/leadoff man Shin-Shoo Choo had 29 RBI. In 85 games this year, Reds CF/leadoff man Billy Hamilton has 36 RBI. And Hamilton is making 28 times less.

14. Pirates (LW: 13) – Roney: Gerrit Cole, back to the DL. The team, and the game, need him healthy – too many talented young hurlers are hurt.

15. Royals (LW: 15) – Roney: Salvador Perez will start in place of the injured Matt Wieters at catcher in the All-Star game. The universe tends to unfold as it should.

16. Yankees (LW: 16) – Hughes: A Yankees fan is trying to sue ESPN for showing him sleeping in his seat in TV. Get a sense of humor, dude.

17. Indians (LW: 18) – Roney: You can’t get deked on the base paths by Jeter like that, Kipnis. A low moment in a back-to-Earth season.

18. Marlins (LW: 17) – Hughes: Henderson Alvarez (2.27 ERA, 115 IP) is quietly having one of the best seasons among MLB starters this year.

19. Rays (LW: 27) – Hughes: The Cubs got a haul for Jeff Samardzija and David Price has a much more accomplished resume. Tampa should wait for an offer they can’t refuse.

20. White Sox (LW: 21) – Roney: Can’t say enough about a healthy Chris Sale – his 6:1 K/BB ratio is mind-boggling.

21. Mets (LW: 23) – Hughes: Travis d’Arnaud has a career .204 average in 81 games. Not gonna cut it.

22. Twins (LW: 19) – Roney: Phil Hughes got his redemption season back on track with 7 1/3 shutout innings over the Mariners; he’d been knocked around pretty good in three starts before that (1-2, 8.05 ERA).

23. Padres (LW: 24) – Zuckerman: More than halfway through the season, not a single player with 30 RBI. That’s pathetic.

24. Red Sox (LW: 20)– Hughes: Boston goes from worst to first then back to worst. I think any fanbase would take it if given the choice, though.

25. Phillies (LW: 28) – Hughes: “Well, I look at the standings, and you’re in last place, Ruben.” (Look it up)

26. Rangers (LW: 22) – Zuckerman: In their worst prolonged funk since 2003. They’re in really bad shape right now.

27. Astros (LW: 26) – Zuckerman: Jose Altuve is a (very short) machine: 126 hits in 89 games.

28. Rockies (LW: 29) – Zuckerman: A dreadful pitching staff plus an injury-plagued lineup leaves you with this. Ugly.

29. Cubs (LW: 25) – Roney: As Chase remarked, that Theo Epstein turned Samardzija and Hammel into Addison Russell is extraordinary. The Cubbies could have an incredible infield in a couple years.

30. Diamondbacks (LW: 30) – Zuckerman: Thirteen blown saves before the All-Star break. Yes, 13.

LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY

  1. chaz11963 - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    The Giants move up one from last week? They were 3-7 over their last 10 games with an OPS of .527. They seem more on the decline than moving up.

  2. veejh - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    Power Rankings…..shmower rankings.

    Beat these O’s!

  3. tcostant - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    Think how good the Mariners would be if they were able to close the deal with Nelson Cruz for multi-year. I think they were the only team willing to go to 3+ years. Cruz bet on himself and will likely make more because of it.

  4. masterfishkeeper - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    Interesting Schoenfeld take on the strength of schedule for the National league contenders:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/49519/remaining-schedules-key-in-nl

    • Theophilus T.S. - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:01 PM

      What this clearly suggests is that one wild card team will likely come out of the West, the other likely to be from the East. The only certain path is to win the East..

  5. Theophilus T.S. - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    No way Ballamer is no. 6. Implicit in Chase’s comment is they are playing in a division w/ two geriatric/bordering on total rebuild team and a serious underachiever. And Tampa will be worse after the trade deadline. Given their record against teams with winning records it pains me to say the Nats are also over-rated on this list.

  6. natsjackinfl - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    Hey Mark. Was that last line in the Dodgers write up your little tribute to Larry David?

    Big Curb Your Enthusiasm fan here.

    Looking forward to my trip up for the Brewers series.

  7. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    “28. Rockies (LW: 29) – Zuckerman: A dreadful pitching staff plus an injury-plagued lineup leaves you with this. Ugly”

    Don’t tell their owner that as he might not credential you.

  8. David Proctor - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    Prediction: Harper hits one onto Eutaw Street at some point in the next two games.

    • jd - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:53 PM

      When Harper gets going and he will ours will become a truly solid and dangerous lineup. He is such an important cog.

      Contrary to what Mick and Ghost said I don’t attach any special significance to these next few games. Being a game up or a game out at the break doesn’t mean very much to me.

      • adcwonk - Jul 9, 2014 at 3:22 PM

        +1

      • adcwonk - Jul 9, 2014 at 3:23 PM

        +1 on the significance. It’s great for fun/bragging rights, but there’s still a lot of playing to go, and the O’s ain’t in our division

      • David Proctor - Jul 9, 2014 at 3:30 PM

        Yeah, I don’t put over-importance on any game or series. But I do hate the O’s…

  9. davecydell - Jul 9, 2014 at 3:28 PM

    I say Nats go 4-1 and Braves 3-2 for a one game lead at ASG time.

  10. jd - Jul 9, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    wonk,

    People put things like that out there almost as a way to set up the negative comments which will follow if we should happen to lose say 3 of 5 games. Like you, I think every game is of equal importance until you play your direct competition and/or you are in danger of falling too far behind and/or you have an opportunity to pull away and/or it’s September.

    None of these conditions are in play between now and the all star break so they are just regular season baseball games we would like to win. Nothing more nothing less.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 88 64 --
ATLANTA 76 76 12.0
MIAMI 74 78 14.0
NEW YORK 73 80 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 70 82 18.0
Through Thursday's early games
x-Clinched division title

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

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