Monday, 6 August 2007

MLB Power Rankings

First off, I apologize for such a long break in between posts. But if it's any consolation I had a fabulous weekend and don't have any regrets that I wasn't able to spend more time at the computer! So I have that going for me, which is nice.

As always, these rankings reflect how good I think these teams are at the moment, not who has accomplished most so far this year. Thus, they aren't based strictly on W-L records so far, because that would be boring.

1. Boston Red Sox - The Yankees have made a nice run lately, but the Sox have stayed pretty hot themselves. Their W-L record is easily the best in baseball right now, and their Pythagorean record suggests they might be even better than that. They continue to look like the best team in baseball.

2. New York Yankees - In past power rankings and in my bold prediction post I suggested that the Yankees have been the unluckiest team in baseball and their luck would be turning around quickly. Right now, that is happening, as they have won 4 straight and 18 of 24. Their run differential thinks that this correction should continue to occur, which is partly why I still think they'll have a pretty decent shot of winning the division, especially if the Red Sox ever slow down a little.

3. Los Angeles Angels - The Angels are following the "play .500 on the road and win a lot at home" style perfectly. They are nearly 20 games over .500 at home, and about at .500 on the road. That puts them #3 in my power rankings.

4. Cleveland Indians - Cleveland continues to be in a dogfight in the Central, but they were helped by Detroit's little losing streak. They hold a half game lead over Detroit and 5.5 game lead on the Twins right now.

5. New York Mets - They've created a bit of a separation from the rest of the NL East, and right now look like the best team in the National League. They should also get a big boost if Pedro Martinez can come back and be anything close to his old self.

6. Detroit Tigers - The Tigers are slumping, having lost 8 of their last 10. Still, they're 62-49 and right in both the division and Wildcard race. 2 of the Tigers superb outfielders, Gary Sheffield and Curtis Granderson, have struggled a lot lately, which has been part of the problem. But so has the fact that they've given up 67 runs in their last 10 games, including 7 or more runs 6 times. That's not good.

7. Chicago Cubs - I know they're 1 game out of first right now, but I kind of think they're the best team in the Central, though the loss of Soriano for a couple of weeks doesn't help. They were actually tied with the Brewers at one point in the weekend. Like the Yankees, they're a team that has played beneath their Pythagorean record all year long, and while they've gotten closer to evening that out, there is still a little ways to go. Which is why I still think they'll win the Central.

8. Arizona Diamondbacks - Every time I do this or every time I look at the standings I think the Diamondbacks' record is a bit fluky and they'll fall off. I still do think they will start to slide at some point, but until they do it's hard to ignore what they're doing. They're one of the hottest teams in baseball, and are slowly eyeing the Mets for the best record in the NL. And yet their run differential suggests they're about 10 games worse than their record. Like I said, I have a hard time seeing this success continue, but who knows.

9. Seattle Mariners - These are the AL version of the Diamondbacks. Their run differential suggests they shouldn't be this good, but they continue to hang around, 3 or 4 games behind the Angels (the game is not over at the time of this writing). The callup of Adam Jones might be a nice spark.

10. San Diego Padres - Unlike the previous 2 teams, these guys continue to play a little worse than the runs would suggest. I keep thinking these guys will eventually pull away a little bit and take a lead in the West, but it just hasn't happened. If I was a betting man I'd still say they'll win the West. But I'm not really a betting man.

Just missing this week is Milwaukee (they would be #11)(side note: how good is Ryan Braun? Seriously? WOW.), Atlanta/Philadelphia (tough to separate these teams right now), and Minnesota.

What changes would you make?