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Your Monday Morning Power Rankings

May 9, 2011, 11:35 AM EDT

Grady Sizemore, Asdrubal Cabrera

As always, the number in parenthesis was where they stood in last week’s — or two weeks’ ago’s — Power Rankings.

1. Indians (6): Why not? They’ve got the same record as Philly and a better run differential in a harder league.

2. Phillies (1): Brutal May schedule for Philly. Just finished with the Braves, then the Marlins, Braves, Cardinals, Rockies, Rangers, and Reds. If they come through that OK, well, they’re definitely OK.

3. Yankees (3): Starting this weekend they have three against the Red Sox and then two against the Rays, but they would be foolish to look past the three against the Royals starting tomorrow.

4. Rays (14): A 5-1 week, a tie for first place and Evan Longoria is back in the fold. Everything is coming up Ray-y.

5. Marlins (5): A huge series against the Phillies starting tonight after which they could leave Citizens Bank Park they could wind up in first place (note to self: look at schedule first before naming ballparks; the games are in Florida).  Hold your nose for Javier Vazquez vs. Joe Blanton tonight but do whatever you have to in order to see Josh Johnson vs Roy Halladay tomorrow.

6. Cardinals (9): They just keep winning series.

7. Braves (19): The hottest team in baseball. And — with all apologies to Phillies fans — the team with the best rotation in the National League at the moment.

8. Angels (8): After three with Chicago, they get back-to-back-to-back road series with Texas, Oakland and Seattle. By the time that’s over, we’ll know a hell of a lot more about the AL West.

9. Rockies (2): Since his high water mark on April 24th, Troy Tulowitzki has seen his average drop 85 points, his OBP drop 97 points and his slugging drop 184 points.  In that time the Rockies have gone 4-7. As goes Tulo, so go the Rockies.

10. Reds (11): Having Cueto and Bailey return in strong form is huge for them.

11. Royals (7): Here’s what I wrote for the Royals’ entry a couple of weeks ago: “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.” — I’d congratulate myself for my prescience, but I suppose I discounted the value of such prescience in that very comment. Hurm.

12. Giants (13): If they could only play the Rockies all the time.

13. Athletics (17): They took three of four from Texas last weekend. Now they have three on the road against the Rangers starting tonight.

14. Rangers (4): Evan Grant paints a dire picture of the Rangers in the post-Josh Hamilton injury world. They’ve lost six of their last seven series.

15. Pirates (22): It’s nice that they’re at .500, but I bet they get a little tired of getting huzzahs and kudos for merely being adequate.

16. Tigers (12): Two three-hit games in a row for Austin Jackson. If he can figure it out it would definitely help.

17. Red Sox (18): As Pete Abraham notes, Adrian Gonzalez is heating up in a major way. It sort of seems like the Sox are sluggish, but they’re only four back in the East, and the Rays, while impressive, have only played a few games against winning teams.

18. Mariners (30): When last we did a Power Rankings, the M’s were dead last. Then they went on a nice run that would have been better-reflected in their ranking last week, had there been one. Dropping two of three to the White Sox, however, takes the luster off a bit. Sorry for costing you your moment, M’s.

19. Nationals (21): Two of three from the world champs, two of three from the frisky Marlins and three in the toilet against Philly in between. I have a hard time getting a read on this team. Whenever I pay close attention they seem to be a pretty basic last place team. And then, when I’m not really looking, they put together a nice couple of games.

20. Diamondbacks (24): They’re on a string of 14 straight games against the NL West. I’m not saying I’m dying for more Dback games in the early evening back east, but really, I don’t like the unbalanced schedule that much.

21. Blue Jays (15): They’re not playing particularly well, but they are getting healthier.

22. Cubs (20): Two separate stories on the Chicago Tribune’s Cubs page right now describe Mike Quade as “bewildered” and “frustrated.” I love out-of-context stuff that nonetheless explains a lot.

23. Mets (23): They’re on a string of nine straight against the NL West.  Maybe they’ll beat out the Diamondbacks for the early-season division lead.

24. Dodgers (16): A pretty bad week, but with all of the ownership crap floating around it seems like no one is noticing.

25. Brewers (10): The Brewers just finished a 10-game road trip in which they scored 17 runs.

26. Padres (28): To put that Brewers number in perspective, the Padres — one of the worst offensive teams in the game — scored 35 in their last ten.

27. Orioles (25): Is it time for a shakeup? Jeff Zrebiec seems to think so.

28. Astros (27): The Astros rank dead last in all of baseball in 11 pitching categories.

29. Twins (26): To be honest, the Twins seem like the worst overall team, but (a) they beat the White Sox both times they faced them last week; and (b) the Francisco Liriano no-hitter gives them warm-fuzzy points.

30: White Sox (29): Between this past Friday and June 3rd, the Sox will have two games against the division. Just two. That makes it a bit harder to make up a ten game deficit. Then again, so does playing like butt, so maybe it doesn’t matter.

  1. kopy - May 9, 2011 at 11:42 AM

    As a Twins fan, I thank you for not posting rankings last week. Life is fine at twenty-nine!

  2. Phillies Homer - May 9, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    When’s the last time the Braves didn’t have a good pitching rotation? They just know how to churn out pitchers!

    Once Lee gets a little run support and the Phillie arms gets stronger as the season progresses, they will reclaim the best rotation in baseball (not just NL) title. So, enjoy it while it lasts!

    • rebarratige - May 9, 2011 at 1:09 PM

      “When’s the last time the Braves didn’t have a good pitching rotation?”

      2008. Tim Hudson had the highest WAR of all our pitchers, with 3.2. (You’ll recall that this is the self-same Tim Hudson who *missed the last two months of the season* due to Tommy John surgery.) The team was below league average in enough pitching categories that “not good” is probably a compliment.

    • spudchukar - May 9, 2011 at 2:31 PM

      To Date: the collective ERA of the Phab Phour, is 3.25, Bravos top four, 3.26, St. Louis’ best quartet, 3.27.

      • Phillies Homer - May 9, 2011 at 2:39 PM

        Until the Phillies start throwing a four man rotation out there on a weekly basis comparing 4 pitchers to other team’s 4 pitchers won’t hold much water in a “Best Pitching Rotation” debate.

      • spudchukar - May 9, 2011 at 3:42 PM

        At this point in the season it is somewhat difficult to gauge either the Braves or Phils rotation, since it has deviated greatly. I thought I was being kind to both, since they have had to go with a variety of 5th starters. Only the Wainwrightless Cards have sent out a consistent 5 every 5th day.

      • Chris Fiorentino - May 9, 2011 at 3:49 PM

        Look, the fact of the matter is who really cares who the 5th starter is? Come playoff time, if the Cowards are lucky enough to have made it, the top 4 are all that matters. And as much as Lee has had his struggles, he is still better than anybody the Braves throw out there…and he’s not even the Ace of the Phillies staff. The Braves are pitching their asses off and their top 4 are STILL not doing as well as the Phillies top 4.

  3. yankeesfanlen - May 9, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    French Fry and Melky Shake make their triumphant return to New York! Who can look beyond such a star-studded epic?

  4. takemytalentstosoutheuclid - May 9, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    “1. Indians (6): Why not? They’ve got the same record as Philly….” and their starting rotation makes $59,000,000 less than the Phillies starting 5….In fact, their entire 25 man roster makes less than the Phillies starting 5….

    • Chris Fiorentino - May 9, 2011 at 11:56 AM

      Phillies division has 3 of the top 7 teams. Indians division has 1, then 11, then 16, then 29 and 30. When/If the Tigers/Twins/White Sox wake up, the Indians will be in trouble. If those teams do not wake up, we may end up with the first team to win the division under .500 in MLB history. The NL Least is actually playing a little better than I thought…I may only end up splitting on my two total wins bets in Vegas…Marlins over and Braves under.

      • RickyB - May 9, 2011 at 12:16 PM

        If Bud hadn’t allowed the 1994 strike to happen, there would have been a team finish under .500 winning the AL West. How do you think the media would have portrayed that fact in the first year of three divisions per league? This is why Bud let the strike happen … yeah, it’s a conspiracy theory, but I’m stickin’ with it.

  5. rebarratige - May 9, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    The Nats club BABIP is second to last in the NL, Zimmerman isn’t playing, Strasburg isn’t playing, their schedule so far has been long on talented opponents, and yet they’re within sniffing distance of .500. Not exactly an earth-shattering development, and almost certainly not enough to pull them out of 4th or 5th place in the NL East for the year, but still remarkable coming from that team, I think. They’ve only ever finished one season (their first) with a win percentage better than their present .471.

    • natstowngreg - May 9, 2011 at 6:39 PM

      We’re Number 19!

      Not being in the bottom fifth of MLB represents progress, and needs to be celebrated (a little). The starting pitching has been better than expected (granted, that’s clearing a pretty low bar), the defense isn’t as bad (even with Alex Cora & Jerry Hairston at 3B and Rick Ankiel in CF).

      4th place in the NL East would another step in the march toward relevance. If the Mets cooperate, of course.

  6. thevandalen - May 9, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    Adrian Gonzalez ‘heating-up’ link doesn’t work… or was that the point?

    • stoankold - May 9, 2011 at 1:13 PM

      Here’s the link to the Adrian article:

      http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extras/extra_bases/2011/05/wrapping_it_up_20.html

  7. philly56 - May 9, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    Actually the phillies are in Florida for the series, and then Atlanta this weekend.

    • dolphinphan - May 9, 2011 at 12:15 PM

      i cant wait to be there Tuesday night

  8. Jonny 5 - May 9, 2011 at 12:37 PM

    The Baseball team to human analogy…

    The Indians = Charlie Sheen. Sure technically you still are winning, but it’s still just plain crazy.

    Phillies = Chuck Norris after his daughter didn’t come home last night. Sure You’re still a badass, but you feel violated by some young jock with a flashy smile, somehow you must make someone suffer…

    Yankees = Mila Kunis. Hey everyone wants to screw them even if they can kick your a$$.

    • Phillies Homer - May 9, 2011 at 4:17 PM

      The Indians’ analogy was good.

      But, I feel you stretched a bit with the Phillies/Yankees.

  9. sjhaack - May 9, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    With Kyle Kendrick and Vance Worley as of this morning part of the Phillies rotation, I suppose calling the Braves’ the best is technically correct.

    • Kevin S. - May 9, 2011 at 1:51 PM

      With the Braves’ rotation supporting a lower ERA on the season, I suppose calling it the best is actually correct.

    • rebarratige - May 9, 2011 at 2:17 PM

      People get injured and replaced, sometimes temporarily and sometimes permanently. If your original rotation (average age: 31) hasn’t the depth to deal with injury attrition over the course of the season, that’s a problem with your rotation – not a problem with the existence of attrition in the first place.

      The best laid plans…

      (BTW – I am wondering how much credit Kyle Kendrick will get for his solid outing against the Braves on Saturday. Please help this outsider understand – is Kendrick the most hated man in Philadelphia, or just in, like, the top five?)

      • Jonny 5 - May 9, 2011 at 3:24 PM

        Kendrick is not hated by anyone who’s realistic. Only those who expect him to be more than he is hate him. As if the Phillies could afford more top shelf pitching or something. Kendrick does his job, between expected results the guy will shut teams down so I still don’t get the whining about him.

      • Chris Fiorentino - May 9, 2011 at 3:39 PM

        No offense Jonny5, but Kendrick sucks. He dazzles you with an occasional good outing every 5 or 6 starts, but , and I will dust this off since everybody has already given me more thumbs down today than every other day I’ve ever posted…but…

        mark it down

        Kendrick will get ROCKED in Hotlanta this weekend.

        mark. it. down.

      • Jonny 5 - May 9, 2011 at 3:49 PM

        Dude, look at his pay. He’s doing what’s expected of a man at his pay scale. Even better actually. He only sucks when he’s paid too well for his services. Until then he’s just a mediocre pitcher imo.

      • Jonny 5 - May 9, 2011 at 3:50 PM

        LOL!! “mark it down” Is it me or did you just seal up a win for KK??

      • Chris Fiorentino - May 9, 2011 at 3:57 PM

        Yeah, I am trying to use a little reverse jedi mind trick there…it usually works for me…like how this year I am saying “You never know what will happen in the playoffs” when I know, in the back of my mind, that the Phillies are going to go 11-2 this year (oops, I don’t really mean that…they get swept out of the first round by the Reds…I swear…I believe that)

      • Jonny 5 - May 9, 2011 at 4:07 PM

        HA!! nice…. Don’t even try playing it off either…. double nice.

      • Chris Fiorentino - May 9, 2011 at 4:12 PM

        Looks like with Heavy B going tonight, they will probably use Worley over the weekend so I won’t get to see Kendrick lit up. Here’s hoping they DO start Kendrick and that he DOES get lit up(more reverse psychology there…both parts)

      • rebarratige - May 9, 2011 at 4:59 PM

        Nice try, but you gave it away with “Hotlanta.”

        (Shudder.)

  10. usnbrownsfan - May 9, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    finally, the indians get mentioned on this site

  11. marinersnate - May 9, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    WE’RE NUMBER 18!
    WE’RE NUMBER 18!

  12. uyf1950 - May 9, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    I’m going to step outside of my area of expertise on this one. And ask the following question which could also be construed as a comment.

    Why aren’t the Cardinals ranked higher? It seems to me based on the competition they have played they should be placed higher than 6th. And yes that is just my opinion.

    • yankeesfanlen - May 9, 2011 at 5:01 PM

      The Pirates-Cubs-Astros effect? A certain blue-pinstriped team we both know and love would win 120 games a year in that division.

  13. gallaghedj311 - May 9, 2011 at 7:04 PM

    It’s not Heavy B. It’s Sloppy Joe

  14. king3319 - May 10, 2011 at 3:34 AM

    RickyB…not bad!!! Conspiracy theory or not..I like it. Besides I agree with most who stick it to Selig, the guy is a world class F’up!!!

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