Man did I eat my words from a week ago. I think this weeks edition of my PR will show everyone that Major League Baseball can at times, be the most ironic, and sardonic sport on planet earth.
5. San Fransisco Giants (34-21)
Current Standings: 1st place in the NL West
Last 10: 6-4
Run Diff: +62
Most notable stat? The Giants lead MLB with 21 team saves
Hand up, I was wrong about The San Fransisco Giants. Last week I said and quote, “I don’t care how “Hot” the Giants were to start the season, you can not sit here and tell me that they are a better team than the Yankees….you just can’t.” Well, guess what folks. The Giants have made my power rankings this week and the Yankees have not. Shows how much I know about baseball.
After getting served a slice of humble pie a week ago, to the tune of a 3 game home sweep to the Dodgers, I had pretty much assured myself that my early season hypothesis, which stated that Gabe Kaplers squad had been pretenders at best, was coming into fruition. I had convinced myself that the only reason they had experienced any sort of early season success, was because washed up big leaguers such as 33-year old Brandon Belt or 34-year old Buster Posey had found an early groove that would surely cool off with time. And while that may still be true, the Giants continue to surpass my expectations with every game that goes by.
As the saying goes, revenge is a dish best served col…..at Dodgers Stadium. Just 4 days after getting woefully swept at home to the Dodgers, the Giants made their way into Dodgers Stadium, where they took 3 of 4 from the 8 time defending NL West Champs. With the series win, the Giants regained the lead in the division, but more importantly, proved that they belonged in this wildly competitive division race.
Are the Giants the best team in baseball? For sure not. Are they the most talented team in the NL West? I don’t think so. But this is an insanley scrappy bunch who deserves to be in this weeks edition of our Power Rankings.
4. Los Angeles Dodgers (32-23)
Current Standings: 3rd place in the NL West
Last 10: 5-5
Run Diff: +72
Most notable stat? The Dodgers lead baseball in walks (240) and RBIs (273)
Last week, I had the Dodgers ranked as the best team in baseball. And call it the Snyder curse, but since those rankings were published, the Dodgers have gone 2-4.
So is it time to hit the panic button in LA? Of course not. It is important to understand that the Dodgers have began their season riddled with more injuries than almost every other team in Major League baseball. And frankly, the fact that the boys in blue still find themselves just 2 games out of first place in the division, speaks wonders to just how deep and talented they really are. Just wait until Bellinger, Pollock and Seager eventually come back.
One thing that I am really liking about the current state of the Dodgers is the production that they are getting from the bottom of their lineup. When you have guys like Mookie Betts, Justin Turner and Max Muncy leading your charge, it can be very easy to fall into the category of a top heavy lineup. However, thanks to the recent production of bats such as Gavin Lux and Matt Beaty, the Dodgers have become arguably, the most balanced lineup in all of baseball.
3. Tampa Bay Rays (35-21)
Current Standings: 1st place in the AL East
Last 10: 8-2
Run Diff: +61
Most notable stat? The Rays are 20-8 on the road
We now enter our portion of the Power Rankings where we talk about the hottest team in baseball. Now this team may not necessarily be the 3rd best team in baseball, but they are playing way too well to be left off our left.
There is hot…there is really hot….and then there are the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays, who have won 16 of their last 18 games, are playing with a confidence to them that is uncanny. The one thing that really interests me about this Rays squad is that on paper, they are supposed to be mediocre at best. Their payroll is low, their talent is thin and their starting staff is bare after losing 2/5 of their SR from a year ago. But yet, Kevin Cash, who in my opinion is one of baseballs most brilliant minds, has found a way to lead his team to the best record in the majors. Cash takes seemingly unrecognizable names such as Austin Meadows and West Chesters own, Joey Wendle, and molds them into perennial All Stars. The Rays will never beat you in a popularity contest, but their sure as hell will smoke you with their work ethic.
2. Chicago White Sox (33-22)
Current Standings: 1st place in the AL Centeral
Last 10: 7-3
Run Diff: +79
Most notable stat? The White Sox lead the AL Centeral in run differential by 85 runs
Aside from releasing one of the most fire jerseys of all time this week, the White Sox continue to be an absolute machine of a team. When you watch the White Sox play, there are two things that particularly stand out to you. For starters, the Sox do not have a weakness in their lineup. Tim Anderson, who currently has an OBP of .330 and 9 SB leads the tone which is followed by the power bats of José Abreu and rookie sensation, Yermin Mercedes. As you then make you way down the lineup, you are greeted with the balanced stick of Jake Lamb and the known speedster, Billy Hamilton. If this offense can get healthy by October, and welcome back names such as Luis Robert and Eloy Jiminez, they may very well be the best lineup in baseball.
The second thing that is admirable when talking about this White Sox team is the production they get from their arms. As things stand today, the White Sox have two starters (Carlos Rodón and Lance Lynn) who have Sub 2 ERA’s and a closer in Liam Hendriks who is coming off the month of May in which he did not allow a run and acquired 8 saves (Was rewarded AL reliever of the month.) I think its officially pitchin season on the south side.
Are the White Sox the new team to beat in the AL? Only time will tell.
1. San Diego Padres (34-22)
Current Standings: 2nd place in the NL West
Last 10: 5-5
Run Diff: +80
Most notable stat? The Padres are the only team in baseball to hold a sub 3, team ERA (2.79)
Now, before you guys come for my neck for me putting a team who’s in the midst of a 3 game losing streak in our top spot, let me explain. The Padres are easily, and I mean EASILY the most resilient team in baseball. I don’t know what Jayce Tingler is instilling in his ball club, but this team hardly goes down without a full blown fistfight.
I can not begin to tell you how many times I have turned on a Padres game this season with them trailing in the 9th, and have seen them find a way to come back and win almost each and every time. Whether it is a Nando game tying home run onto the railroad tracks in Houston or a Hosmer two out single against the Dodgers, the Padres always come up big in the clutch. If these moments of resilience translate to October, the Padres very well could be looking at their first WS in franchise history.
PS: Another reason why the Padres are kings of this weeks power rankings is because they are host to household names such as Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, Mark Melancon (leagues save leader,) and of course, Fernando Tatís Jr. Talk about a star studded squad.