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Your Monday Morning Power Rankings

Apr 25, 2011, 9:12 AM EDT

Roy Halladay

The rain really messed with stuff last week. There were so many close calls on the rankings that would have been way easier to make if there was one more game in a given series, but a ton of teams had a game — or two — scratched.  Oh well. April showers and all of that. Anyway:

1. Phillies (2): I had a hard time deciding whether to knock the Rockies to number two and elevate the Phillies to the top spot. Yeah, it was a bit of a rough week for the Rockies, but they were facing the world champs and the hot Marlins. It was likewise a great weekend for the Phillies but, dudes, it was the Padres. And the Phillies are still struggling offensively. At the moment I tend to think that each of these teams are strong yet imperfect, and I believe that the differences between them are pretty small from an overall Power Rankings perspective. But ultimately I think the Phillies are better suited for the long haul of the season and, for the moment, that will serve as a tie-breaker.

2. Rockies (1): See above.

3. Yankees (6): An off day and a postponement made for a short week, but at their age they can use the time off.

4. Rangers (3): Neftali Feliz on the DL is bad news. If Ron Washington’s usual bullpen preferences win out, Feliz will be replaced by a bullpen-by-committee featuring C.J. Wilson, Derek Holland and Matt Harrison.

5. Marlins (9): Hanley Ramirez continues to struggle, but the Feesh are doing just fine without his contributions at the moment.

6. Indians (4): Because I’m often too lazy to actually log on to MLB.tv, I end up watching more Indians games than anyone else’s. And I gotta admit: they’ve been fun to watch. Even if the winning doesn’t keep up — which I don’t think it will — it’s been great to watch the development of Carlos Santana and Asdrubal Cabrera as well as a resurgent Grady Sizemore.  It’s just an interesting team to watch, which I didn’t anticipate before the season began.

7. Royals (4)Kila Ka’aihue is struggling. Meanwhile, Eric Hosmer is hitting .380 as a 21 year-old in his first go-around at AAA.  You don’t need to be a MacArthur Grant recipient in order to have the sort of creativity required to solve this predicament.

8. Angels (8): I assume the bad series against the Red Sox is a form of mourning for the departure of Brandon Wood.

9. Cardinals (10): The bullpen is still a problem, but taking two of three from the rival Reds is a nice pick-me-up.

10. Brewers (12): Two of three from Philly, two of three from Houston and their star left fielder locked up for a decade. Not a bad week.

11. Reds (7): Miguel Cairo steps in for Scott Rolen for a couple of weeks. I always want to mock when Cairo gets more playing time than he deserves — which seems to happen a lot — but then he does stuff like hit the go-ahead RBI on Saturday night. And it’s not like Rolen was tearing up the pea patch or anything.

12. Tigers (19): I’ve moved them up a lot because they’ve won, but let’s keep in mind that the wins this past week came against the bottom two teams in our Power Rankings.

13.  Giants (11): Brian Wilson‘s ERA is 9.82.

14. Rays (18): Hard to find a pitcher who had a better week than James Shields.

15. Blue Jays (13): If there were any illusions on the part of Jays fans about their team’s prospects of challenging in the East, they can look back at the last week and change and note that they lost three of four to Boston, split two with the Yankees and lost two of three to Tampa Bay. No, they aren’t there yet.

16. Dodgers (24): The Dodgers have taken well to being wards of the state, taking three of four from Atlanta and two of three from the Cubs.

17. Athletics (15): The two losses against the Mariners may seem bad on the surface, but they came against Felix Hernandez and Michael Pineda. There are a lot of teams that are going to go through that experience over the next couple of years.

18. Red Sox (29): Winners of eight of ten including five straight on the road, with most of those wins coming in convincing fashion.  Yeah, I think the Red Sox are gonna be just fine.

19. Braves (17): Are they the listless and feeble team that got pwned by the Dodgers early last week or are they the explosive and opportunistic team that swept the defending world champs in San Francisco over the weekend?

20. Cubs (16): They may have looked OK against the punchless Padres, but they gave up 27 runs in three games to the Dodgers.

21. Nationals (21): Another team with two postponements in the past week. I sure hope the makeup games don’t end up tiring out the pitching staff before the playoffs begin.

22. Pirates (22): The Pirates got creamed by the Marlins early in the week. They bounced back nicely, however, when a random fan wearing a Pirates shirt was sitting along the left field line at Busch Stadium during last night’s Reds-Cardinals game, got a foul ball and then proceeded to thump his chest and yell “Pirates rule!”  The fire still burns inside for some fans.

23. Mets (27): Four wins in a row for the Mets, an off day today and a week in which the biggest gloomy off-the-field news did not involve them. Ya think they’ll get one day without anyone in the press slamming them?

24. Diamondbacks (25): They get three at home against Philly starting tonight. Except they’re flying back from New York while Philly was in San Diego, chilling on Pacific time and likely relaxing in Phoenix before the Dbacks were. Probably doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but I always wonder what about a home game makes it the most advantageous for the players. The beds they sleep in? Travel fatigue? Crowd? Familiar surroundings?

25. Orioles (20): Well, I guess it was a better week than the week they had before. But man, not good. 21 runs given up to the Yankees in two days.

26. Twins (28): My kids’ school sends home letters when epidemics of various stripes are floating around. Strep throat, head lice, that sort of thing. With all that has ailed the Twins so far this year I suppose their moms are getting the same sorts of letters. But hey, three wins in a row suggest that maybe things are looking up.

27. Astros (26): No one has given up more runs than the Astros have (123).

28. Padres (23): No one has scored fewer runs than the Padres have (63).

29. White Sox (14): They’ve lost 10 of 11 and have tumbled down the Power Rankings accordingly.

30. Mariners (30): They have the worst record and the worst run differential in baseball. They’ve earned this.

  1. Paul White - Apr 25, 2011 at 9:37 AM

    So, to summarize, you feel that the team that was just swept in four home games by the Red Sox, and stands only 1.5 games better than them in terms of overall record, is TEN spots higher than the Sox in overall power rankings. And the team that the Red Sox took three out of four from and is now a game behind Boston in the standings is nonetheless three slots ahead of them in the power rankings.

    Um, yeah, okay, sure.

    • Joe - Apr 25, 2011 at 9:59 AM

      I think Craig is just baiting Red Sox fans this week.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 25, 2011 at 10:03 AM

      This is neither a reproduction of the overall league standings nor a referendum on the previous weekend. The Red Sox went up 11 spots, which hardly ever happens. That’s a huge jump. But when I do these things I don’t ignore what teams had been doing before. The Sox had a hell of a lot of ground to make up after their slow start.

      Also, while 1.5 games doesn’t seem like a hell of a lot, it is in the early part of the season. 1.5 games is what separates the seventh best record in baseball right now from the 20th.

      • yankeesfanlen - Apr 25, 2011 at 10:13 AM

        Craig, I see where you’re coming from on this. Yankees have the biggest lead (3 games) in the AL, so they’re #3, highest in AL.It’s just that the accumulating basis hasn’t built up yet.
        And Sox fans want to win a couple of games and be instantly put at the top.

      • JBerardi - Apr 25, 2011 at 12:10 PM

        I know these rankings are somewhat-to-very arbitrary, but ranking a team you yourself picked to win the AL east about two weeks prior 29th didn’t make sense to me at the time, and it certainly isn’t looking any better this week. I mean, talent has to count for something in your rubric, right? If this isn’t a reproduction of league standings, what other basis could there be for ranking them so low?

        Also, I’m not buying this “1.5 games is a lot in April” argument one bit.

      • Jack Marshall - Apr 25, 2011 at 12:45 PM

        They went up 11 slots because they were ranked absurdly low last week. (I just know you only ranked them 18th to irritate me.) The truth is that the Red Sox, at this moment, give strong signs of being better than they were projected to be. They had five big question marks entering the season: Lackey, Dice-K, Beckett, the catching, and Papelbon. Dice-K and Beckett look better than they did at any time last season, Papelbon as well. Lackey has been encouraging. Since the 0-7 start, and without much of the line-up hitting at all, the team has gone10-4, playing mostly on the road. The team’s starting pitching has a sub-1 era for its last 7 games, and Crawford and Ellsbury are starting to hit. How many teams would the Orioles less like to play this week? I fart on your “18″!

  2. Paul White - Apr 25, 2011 at 10:17 AM

    Fair enough, but if this is meant to be more a measure of the season to date, then it would seem fair to note that while the Red Sox had a horrible opening week, it was entirely on the road against two very hot division-leading clubs, and since then they have been exceptionally good (10-5). Placing them below a team like Toronto, for instance, just strikes me as a lingering emotion from the first week that has little basis in fact.

  3. Ari Collins - Apr 25, 2011 at 11:00 AM

    Boston should probably be higher, since they’ve been as good overall as any number of teams but have been the best team in baseball lately. But hey, subjectivity, show me more, and all that.

    And as a correction: if you want to talk about how good they’ve been lately, it makes more sense to say they’ve won 8 or 9 than 8 of 10, doesn’t it?

  4. uyf1950 - Apr 25, 2011 at 11:04 AM

    Every fan wants to see their team at or near the top. The problem with the comment from Paul White is several fans can make that same argument. For example: The Twins taking 2 games from the Indians this weekend warrant them being ahead of the Indians. Of course not. Just my opinion. Over time the “cream rises to the top” always has been the case always will be the case.

    • Paul White - Apr 25, 2011 at 11:17 AM

      To clarify, since it seems a couple of folks are presuming that I think the Red Sox should be ranked near the top, that’s not the case. The Sox haven’t earned a spot in the top dozen or so teams yet. And the Angels, for instance, have been better overall than the Red Sox, this weekend’s sweep notwithstanding. If, on that basis, Craig thinks they should be ranked higher, that’s certainly justifiable.

      But my claim that the Blue Jays have no business being ranked higher than Boston isn’t just fanboy talk. The Red Sox are simply better than them, in every measurable way. They’ve got a better record. They’ve been better in the their last 10 games and their last 20 games. They’ve got a better run differential (barely) and, presuming strength of schedule numbers mean anything, they’ve compiled it against tougher competition. They’ve played more road games. And they beat Toronto head-to-head 3 times in 4 games. Those facts all seem pretty clear, whether I’m a Red Sox fan or not.

  5. txrangers90 - Apr 25, 2011 at 11:33 AM

    just wondering if craig saw this lol
    http://www.lonestarball.com/2011/4/25/2131756/hbt-power-rankings-lampoon-ranger-bullpen-usage

  6. rynev - Apr 25, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    Team X is way better than ranking Y!

  7. beantownsports247 - Apr 25, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    ha , Craig , these are a joke , I could care less what you think the rankings are but they are terrible , Yankees should be ahead of the Red Sox right now , but since april 15 who has the best record in baseball ? What pitching staff has a .84 ERA in the past 7 starts ? Oh yeah , the Red Sox , this is how the east was suppose to be and will be , Yankees/Red sox battleing it out for the Division and wild card , the rays will not keep up throughout the season , sorry just not happening .

    • uyf1950 - Apr 25, 2011 at 1:16 PM

      Nothing like cherry picking a date to try and make a point. Why not April 11th? But I guess that wouldn’t fit neatly into your “best record in baseball” comment. Since Craig already stated his list takes what’s happened in the past into consideration your reply isn’t germane to the list as posted.

  8. beantownsports247 - Apr 25, 2011 at 12:42 PM

    Sorry my bad , not .84 .

    The Red Sox extended their streak to nine consecutive games in which their starting pitcher has gone at least five innings and allowed fewer than three runs. The rotation, which has a 0.88 ERA during this stretch, tied the longest such streak in franchise history, set in 1946. – Espn

  9. beantownsports247 - Apr 25, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    uyf , no need to be hostile , i gave your yankees plenty of credit , just stating the facts. No one expected the Red Sox pitching staff to pitch like this. The Yankees offense is on fire right now , but the pitching staff , not so much .

  10. uyf1950 - Apr 25, 2011 at 3:17 PM

    I wasn’t being hostile. I was merely being honest. Look at the first line of your post earlier today at 12:24pm directed at Craig, that’s what I would consider hostile.

  11. beantownsports247 - Apr 25, 2011 at 3:23 PM

    Okay , I agree , just found it a little bit odd that he would put the Jays and the Angels ( teams who the Red Sox just torched ) ahead of them . That is all.

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