The Texas Rangers struggled through a six-game losing streak that resulted in the biggest drop in the rankings last week (-35 points). This week, Texas rebounded with five straight victories, including two against division rival Oakland and a three-game sweep in St. Louis. The stretch not only pushed the Rangers back into first place in the AL West, but also resulted in an MLB-best thirty point ratings gain and a return to the top five in this week’s edition of MLB Power Rankings at TWHS.
The Cardinals, despite the sweep, maintained a stranglehold on first place in the rankings. The top three remained the same, with the Tigers in second and the Red Sox in third. The aforementioned Rangers jumped three spots to fourth, bumping the Reds down to fifth place. This week’s biggest gainers are as follows:
Texas Rangers: +30 points
Cleveland Indians: +24 points
New York Mets: +24 points
Pittsburgh Pirates: +22 points
Toronto Blue Jays: +18 points
Kansas City posted the worst week, dropping 23 ratings points, and here are the five teams that saw the biggest decline over the last seven days:
Kansas City Royals: -23 points
Oakland Athletics: -22 points
Colorado Rockies: -16 points
Cincinnati Reds: -16 points
Baltimore Orioles: -13 points
The entire list of Power Rankings are as follows, featuring stats or tidbits for each of the thirty teams, while highlighting the clubs that had positive or negative jumps in the latest poll:
KP’s MLB Power Rankings: June 25, 2013
Note: Statistics and point totals as of Tuesday morning (6/25/13) and do not include night games
1. St. Louis Cardinals (161 points) – Last Week: #1 (-8)
Adam Wainwright (10-5, 2.31 ERA), Shelby Miller (8-5, 2.35 ERA) and Lance Lynn (10-1, 3.42 ERA) have developed into a “Big 3” that will be tough to stop if St. Louis makes a postseason run.
2. Detroit Tigers (118 points) – Last Week: #2 (-9)
Miguel Cabrera continues to lead the Tigers – and in some cases, all of baseball – in all major batting categories: batting average (.370), HR (20), RBI (75), OBP (.462) and hits (108).
3. Boston Red Sox (106 points) – Last Week: #3 (-12)
Newly announced closer Koji Uehara (2.10 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 42 K’s in 30 IP) has been stellar this season for the Red Sox.
4. Texas Rangers (97 points) – Last Week: #7 (+30)
The offensive production coming from Nelson Cruz (.271 average, 19 HR, 55 RBI) has been one major key to the Rangers’ success this season.
5. Cincinnati Reds (95 points) – Last Week: #4 (-16)
Of Cincinnati’s five starting pitchers, no one has an ERA above the 4.00 mark, and Homer Bailey’s 3.75 ERA is the highest of the group.
6. Pittsburgh Pirates (89 points) – Last Week: #8 (+22)
Often not mentioned amongst the top performers, Jeff Locke leads all starters in the National League with a 2.01 ERA, and is second in all of baseball, among qualifying pitchers.
7. Atlanta Braves (88 points) – Last Week: #5 (-12)
Justin Upton had the Major League lead in home runs during the month of April, but now his 15 long balls are barely ahead of Evan Gattis and Dan Uggla for the team lead.
8. Arizona Diamondbacks (77 points) – Last Week: #12 (+18)
Paul Goldschmidt (.306 average, .384 OBP, 17 doubles, 19 HR, 65 RBI in 74 games) is putting up MVP-like numbers so far this season.
9. Oakland Athletics (68 points) – Last Week: #6 (-22)
Bartolo Colon (10-2, 2.93 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 12 quality starts) deserves to be included in the American League Cy Young conversation.
10. Baltimore Orioles (49 points) – Last Week: #11 (-13)
Chris Davis, Manny Machado and Adam Jones have combined to hit 80 doubles so far this season.
11. Colorado Rockies (48 points) – Last Week: #9 (-16)
The Rockies have five players with ten or more home runs this season: Troy Tulowitzki (16), Michael Cuddyer (11), Carlos Gonzalez (21), Dexter Fowler (10) and Wilin Rosario (11).
12. Kansas City Royals (41 points) – Last Week: #10 (-23)
No one is suffering from a lack of run support more than James Shields. Just look at the numbers: 2-6 record, with 13 quality starts and a 2.92 ERA.
13. Cleveland Indians (39 points) – Last Week: #18 (+24)
Mark Reynolds continues to lead the Indians with 14 HR and 44 RBI, but his K totals (88 in 253 AB’s) are rapidly rising, as they often do.
14. Toronto Blue Jays (36 points) – Last Week: #17 (+18)
Edwin Encarnacion continues to be a pivotal piece to Toronto’s success, currently sitting second in the AL in home runs (21) and third in RBI (63).
15. New York Yankees (36 points) – Last Week: #13 (-5)
As he continues to struggle in New York, it’s becoming quite clear that Phil Hughes (3-6, 5.09 ERA, 1.42 WHIP) might benefit from a change of scenery.
16. Tampa Bay Rays (34 points) – Last Week: #14 (+4)
In his first eight games at the big league level, Wil Myers is batting .294, with one double, two homers, seven RBI and ten hits over 34 AB’s. He has yet to draw a walk.
17. San Francisco Giants (14 points) – Last Week: #15 (-8)
Tim Lincecum (4.52 ERA) and Matt Cain (4.54 ERA) have combined to give up 25 home runs, while walking 69 batters over 31 total starts.
18. San Diego Padres (10 points) – Last Week: #16 (-10)
Kyle Blanks has one hundred fewer at bats (165) than some of his teammates, yet leads the Padres in runs batted in, with 30 on the season.
19. Washington Nationals (1 point) – Last Week: #20 (-2)
To drive home just how good Ian Desmond has been, check the stats, where the Nats’ shortstop leads the team in batting average (.280), home runs (12), RBI (40) and hits (78).
20. Los Angeles Angels (-4 points) – Last Week: #19 (-9)
Likely to get voted as the biggest disappointment of the season, Josh Hamilton (.207 average, 10 HR, 25 RBI, 76 strikeouts in 275 AB’s) continues to struggle in Anaheim.
21. Los Angeles Dodgers (-7 points) – Last Week: #24 (+12)
Adrian Gonzalez leads the team in all major batting categories: batting average (.297), home runs (10), RBI (47), OBP (.353) and hits (78).
22. Chicago Cubs (-8 points) – Last Week: #21 (+3)
Often not spoken about, Travis Wood has a quality start in 14 of his 15 outings, posting a 2.85 ERA and 1.00 WHIP during that span.
23. Minnesota Twins (-10 points) – Last Week: #22 (+5)
Joe Mauer (.330 average, .413 OBP, 91 hits in 68 games and 276 AB’s) continues to quietly post top notch offensive numbers this season.
24. New York Mets (-25 points) – Last Week: #28 (+24)
After seeing Zack Wheeler post six shutout innings and seven strikeouts in his first start with the big club, Mets fans have to be quite excited about its future 1-2 punch of Harvey and Wheeler.
25. Philadelphia Phillies (-26 points) – Last Week: #23 (-7)
Ryan Howard’s 83 strikeouts (in 255 AB’s) are 24 more than any other player on the Phillies’ roster.
26. Milwaukee Brewers (-26 points) – Last Week: #25 (-7)
Listed by many as a potential trade deadline candidate, Yovani Gallardo has pitched well, posting a team high six wins, along with 75 strikeouts and a 4.09 ERA over 16 starts.
27. Chicago White Sox (-28 points) – Last Week: #26 (-7)
Chris Sale (2.67 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 10 quality starts and 91 K’s) appears destined to be Chicago’s lone All-Star representative this season.
28. Seattle Mariners (-43 points) – Last Week: #27 (-3)
Rookie Nick Franklin has provided a boost to the team’s offense, batting .283 in his first 26 games at the Major League level, with 11 extra base hits (7 2B and 4 HR).
29. Houston Astros (-77 points) – Last Week: #29 (+5)
Jose Altuve is having another steady offensive season for the Astros, posting a .296 average, with 87 hits, 14 doubles, 3 HR, 27 RBI and 17 steals in 71 games.
30. Miami Marlins (-81 points) – Last Week: #30 (+5)
Miami’s biggest trade chip for the deadline is likely to be starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco (4-7, 3.68 ERA, 77 K’s, 9 quality starts), who is already drawing interest from multiple teams.
* All stats per MLB.com
Note: RED = Falling 3+ spots from last week, GREEN = Rising 3+ spots from last week
The Wife Hates Sports’ MLB Power Rankings system has a method to its madness, attempting to be different and not just rank by popularity and record. It mixes a secret formula of six completely different categories, meshed into a points system. The categories don’t just include team results regarding record, but how each team has performed recently, as well as incorporating some statistics on both a team’s offense and pitching staff, too.