MLB Power Rankings: Week 8

May 21, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Daniel Descalso (33) celebrates with teammates after a win against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. The Cardinals won 10-2. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

There was a change at the top, as the Cardinals switched places with the Rangers.  The Royals and Indians continued to sink, and the Angels made a huge jump.

 

Here are the rankings for Week 8:

RANKING/TEAM/RECORD
LAST WK/CHANGE
THOUGHTS
1. St. Louis Cardinals (32-17)
2        ^ 1 Backed by their stellar pitching, St. Louis continues to roll along.  They’re 1st in the majors in ERA, 3rd in WHIP, and 4th in quality starts.  The Cards have also been a tremendous road team, going 18-9 thus far away from home.
2. Texas Rangers (32-18)
1         – 1 Since being called up, rookie Jurickson Profar is 5 for 19 with 4 RBI’s.  He hit his first homer of the year yesterday.
3. Cincinnati Reds (31-19)
3         – The Reds are 6th in baseball with 241 runs scored, and their pitching has been tremendous as well.  They’re in the top 5 in the majors in ERA, WHIP, BAA, and quality starts.
4. Boston Red Sox (31-20)
5        ^ 1 Boston has won 3 in a row and 7 of their last 10, but they’ll be without Clay Buchholz for at least 1 start (he was scratched due to a sore collarbone).
5. New York Yankees (30-19)
4         - 1
The bad news: After finally getting Curtis Granderson back, the Yankees lost him for another few months due to a fractured pinky.  The good news: Mark Teixeira, who’s been out all season, is close to returning.
6. Atlanta Braves (30-19)
6          – The Braves are 8-2 over their last 10, powered by their tremendous pitching (3rd in the bigs in ERA, WHIP, and quality starts).  If there’s a concern, it’s the ridiculous amount of times their hitters strike out (Justin Upton is on pace for 179 K’s, B.J. Upton 198, and Dan Uggla 202).
7. Detroit Tigers (28-20) 7          – Detroit is tied with St. Louis for the best run differential in the majors (+ 66)
8. Pittsburgh Pirates (31-19)


9        ^ 1 The Pirates completed the recent soft portion of their schedule with a 5-1 week.  Now, things get tough, with their next 10 games against Detroit, Cincinnati, and Atlanta.
9. San Francisco Giants (28-22)
10      ^ 1 San Francisco is 25th in the majors in quality starts, and recently lost the struggling Ryan Vogelsong for a few months after he broke his hand.
10. Oakland Athletics (28-23)
16      ^ 6

The A’s had a 5-1 week (3 games against Houston helped), and are 8-2 over their last 10 games.

11. Arizona Diamondbacks (28-22) 11       – Paul Goldschmidt is having an incredible year, and so is young starting pitcher Patrick Corbin.  He’s 8-0 with a 1.71 ERA.
12. Cleveland Indians (27-22)
8         – 4 After winning 4 in a row to vault to the top of the A.L. Central, the Indians had a 2-5 week that caused them to drop 1.5 games behind the Tigers.
13. Baltimore Orioles (27-23) 14      ^ 1 Despite numerous implosions by closer Jim Johnson, the Orioles managed to have a 4-3 week.
14. Colorado Rockies (27-23)
13      – 1 Colorado held serve this week to remain just a game behind San Francisco and Arizona in the N.L. West.
15. Tampa Bay Rays (25-24) 12      – 3 The Rays, who are 5 games back in the A.L. East, are getting a great Memorial Day gift: 4 games against their natural rivals, the Marlins.
16. Washington Nationals (26-24)
15      – 1 It’s been written every week, but the Nats are still having trouble scoring runs (173, 3rd worst in the majors), and they’re still the only team with a negative run differential (-20) who are above .500.  Making matters worse, Bryce Harper experienced soreness in his left knee over the weekend and will likely miss several games.
17. Chicago White Sox (24-24)
20     ^ 3 Winners of 9 of their last 12, the Sox are showing signs of life despite their still woeful offense.  They swept the hapless Marlins over the weekend, and now get set to play their crosstown rival Cubs 4 straight.
18. Los Angeles Angels (23-27)
27     ^ 9 The Angels have resurrected their season with 8 wins in a row.  Mike Trout is on fire, and ace Jered Weaver is set to be activated from the DL on Wednesday.
19. Philadelphia Phillies (24-26)
18      – 1 The Phillies lost second baseman Chase Utley to the disabled list due to an oblique strain, and watched Cole Hamels fall to 1-8 after getting smacked around by the Nats yesterday.
20. Kansas City Royals (21-26)
17      – 3 Kansas City had a 1-6 week, and are 1-9 over their last 10.  With their next 7 games against St. Louis and Texas, the Royals’ season might slip away completely if they’re not careful.
21. San Diego Padres (22-27)
19      – 2 Losers of 4 of 5, the Padres’ next 10 games are against the similarly struggling Mariners, Blue Jays, and Dodgers.
22. Toronto Blue Jays (21-29)
28     ^ 6 The Blue Jays have been playing a bit better, but their pitching is still a mess.  They’re in the bottom 5 in baseball in ERA, WHIP, quality starts, and BAA.
23. Los Angeles Dodgers (20-28) 26      ^ 3 After Don Mattingly called out his team, the Dodgers responded with a 3-3 week to temporarily cool the fire.
24. Seattle Mariners (21-29)
21      – 3 Felix Hernandez was pounded Saturday before Seattle walked off with a win yesterday in the 13th inning.  Only Houston and Miami have worse records on the road than the M’s (9-18).
25. Minnesota Twins (19-28)
22      – 3 The Twins are 1-11 over their last 12 as they continue to slide after a solid start to the season.  Minnesota was 18-17 on May 13th.
26. New York Mets (18-29) 23      – 3 After a decent road trip, the Mets lost 5 straight at home before rallying late against the Braves to salvage last night’s game. With his hits last night, first baseman Ike Davis likely saved himself a demotion to AAA.
27. Milwaukee Brewers (19-29)
25      – 2 The Brewers have gone 3-9 over their last 12 games, scoring just 35 runs in the process (a shade under 3 per game).
28. Chicago Cubs (19-30) 24      – 4 After a 1-5 week, the Cubs slid 4 spots in the rankings.  Next up? 4 games against their South Side rivals, the White Sox.
29. Miami Marlins (13-37)
29      
The Marlins, losers of 5 in a row, have scored the least runs in baseball (132). The team that’s scored the second fewest?  That would be the Dodgers, who’ve scored 164.
30. Houston Astros (14-36)

30       – Houston has given up a major league worst 297 runs this season, 36 more than the 2nd worst team (Toronto).  Their run differential is an eye popping -100.
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