The Philadelphia Phillies, with a stacked rotation and significant talent on offense, were expected to be at the top of the baseball world. But heading into this week, it’s the Cleveland Indians that continue to surprise, and sit on top of KP’s first ever MLB Power Rankings poll at The Wife Hates Sports.
This 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. And with that, I give you…
KP’s MLB Power Rankings: May 9, 2011
Note: All stats & records as of Monday morning, and do not reflect the results of night games
1. Cleveland Indians – 22-11 (113 points)
Travis Hafner, averaging less than 90 games per season over the last three years, is off to a torrid start, hitting .347 with a .406 OBP.
2. Philadelphia Phillies – 22-11 (107 points)The question marks on offense are being answered. One example is Placido Polanco, who in 135 AB’s is batting .363 with 8 doubles, 2 HR and 24 RBI.
3. St. Louis Cardinals – 20-15 (107 points)
The Cardinals are batting .285 as a team, 14 points higher than any other roster in baseball. Holliday (.398) and Berkman (.374) are MLB’s top two in batting average.
4. Atlanta Braves – 20-16 (92 points)
Stealing bases is not Atlanta’s strength. Currently, the Braves have just 6 steals, lowest in baseball – and have been caught stealing 11 times.
5. Los Angeles Angels – 20-15 (90 points)
Jered Weaver (6 wins, best in MLB) and Dan Haren (1.87 ERA, 4th in MLB) have arguably been the best 1-2 rotation punch in baseball
6. Tampa Bay Rays – 20-14 (85 points)
After a 1-8 start start to the season, the Rays have rattled off 19 wins in 25 games, including an impressive seven game road win streak.
7. New York Yankees – 19-13 (78 points)
New York’s 54 home runs is the most in baseball, and 14 more than any other team. Curtis Granderson leads the way with 11 long balls.
8. Florida Marlins – 20-13 (71 points)
Marlins 1B Gaby Sanchez leads his team in batting average (.341), HR (6), RBI (23), OBP (.423) and hits (44).
9. Cincinnati Reds – 18-16 (53 points)
Aroldis Chapman may bring heat, but he still needs to sort out some control issues. In 12 2/3 IP this season, Chapman has more walks than innings (13) – and more K’s too (15).
10. Kansas City Royals – 18-16 (49 points)
Don’t underestimate Kansas City’s offense. The Royals lead the majors in doubles (78), triples (10) and stolen bases (42).
11. Oakland Athletics – 18-17 (46 points)
When the season started, I called the A’s pitching staff underrated, and to this point, Oakland’s MLB-leading 2.67 ERA is proving me to be correct.
12. Texas Rangers – 18-17 (41 points)
The Rangers are missing Josh Hamilton and have cooled off since a 9-1 start, going just 9-16 since the opening few weeks.
13. Colorado Rockies – 18-14 (41 points)
A Rockies team expected to be lethal on offense has struggled in recent weeks, managing just a .233 average on the year to date.
14. San Francisco Giants – 18-16 (33 points)
Three aging veterans have really struggled on offense – Aubrey Huff (.207 avg), Pat Burrell (.239 avg) and Miguel Tejada (.195 avg).
15. Pittsburgh Pirates – 17-17 (21 points)
The Pirates have gotten great support from two pitchers in the opening months – Kevin Correja (5-2, 2.91) and Joel Hanrahan (1.42 ERA and 11 saves).
16. Detroit Tigers – 17-18 (17 points)
Who said the Tigers would rely on offense more than pitching? Verlander has 55 K’s and tossed a no-hitter the other day, while Max Scherzer is undefeated in eight starts.
17. Boston Red Sox – 16-18 (13 points)
Is Carl Crawford finally breaking out of his early funk in Boston? His average has jumped to .211, and he now has 9 extra base hits on the season.
18. New York Mets – 15-19 (12 points)
It is no wonder that there are reports that the Giants are eyeing Jose Reyes. The Mets SS is batting .331 with 12 steals on the year to this point.
19. Toronto Blue Jays – 15-19 (10 points)
In his first seven starts as a rookie, Kyle Drabek is 2-2 with a 4.50 ERA, 25 BB and 28 K’s over 38 IP. It is a solid start, but not rookie of the year worthy numbers by any means.
20. San Diego Padres – 14-20 (5 points)
The Padres have been abysmal on offense, but one of the reasons the team climbs this high is its pitching staff, third in all of baseball with a 2.95 ERA.
21. Arizona Diamondbacks – 15-18 (3 points)
In 33 games this season, Justin Upton and Chris Young have a combined 63 strikeouts coupled with just 24 walks. Fortunately, strikeouts don’t count towards the MLB Power Rankings.
22. Chicago Cubs – 15-18 (-1 point)
Alfonso Soriano has had a surprising resurgence in the opening months, hitting 11 HR, which is tied for the most in baseball.
23. Seattle Mariners – 16-19 (-3 points)
Justin Smoak is starting to live up to the hype in Seattle. The 24-year old first basemen is batting .293 with 5 HR and 21 RBI.
24. Washington Nationals – 16-18 (-5 points)
Pricey newcomers Jayson Werth (.227 average in 117 AB’s) and Adam LaRoche (.196 average in 112 AB’s) have really struggled at the plate.
25. Milwaukee Brewers – 14-20 (-5 points)
In their first 35 games of the season, superstar sluggers Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun have combined for 17 HR and 50 RBI.
26. Los Angeles Dodgers – 16-19 (-11 points)
Ethier’s hit streak may be over, but he’s still the spark to LA’s offense – hitting .368 on the year, which is good for 3rd best in all of baseball.
27. Chicago White Sox – 13-22 (-20 points)
What is wrong with Adam Dunn? In 96 AB’s, the Chicago slugger is batting just .167 with only seven extra base hits (3 HR).
28. Houston Astros – 13-21 (-25 points)
The Astros have a major league worst 4.97 ERA, but the offense has been solid, sporting the sixth best batting average in baseball.
29. Baltimore Orioles – 14-19 (-33 points)
The offense continues to sputter, and of the eight regulars with 90+ at-bats, Vlad Guerrero leads the group in batting average, with a skimpy .267 mark.
30. Minnesota Twins – 12-20 (-75 points)
Anyone that thinks the Twins shouldn’t be in the cellar, check the stats: Fewest HR in MLB (15), plus ranked near the bottom in both batting average and team ERA.
Stats courtesy of MLB.com
Hard to argue with that, my friend… definitely the two strongest divisions right now.
I’m with you… don’t think the Jays have the pitching… the O’s have some on both sides, but haven’t been able to put it all together at any point during the season. There’s definitely a good chance that the rookie of the year voting comes down to Hellickson and Britton in the American League, though you could also easily see Pineda, Hosmer and Drabek in the mix, too. A lot of talented kids in the AL this year…
Don’t forget about Nolasco… I think he is solid, too. More lethal is some of the young bats, specifically Stanton, LoMo, among others.
The O’s? Well, they are having trouble hitting to this point… the rotation has been solid at times. If they put it all together, they could make some noise. Still plenty of time left in the season…
The Orioles are getting there. If they start hitting better who knows, they could compete this year. They have some interesting young players. The Jays have the bats, but their pitching is suspect.
I had the Pirates finishing out of the cellar this year, but I don’t think the above .500 situation will hold.
You dropped the Fish? Dude, mad young talent there… too bad they don’t have more money to toss around, or they could be that much better. I like Atlanta, too though… solid baseball team.
I had Florida and Baltimore as the teams that would surprise in each league this year. To this point, the Marlins have played well… Baltimore’s offense has been atrocious.
Cleveland is clearly the story of the year thus far. I had them finishing last in the division this year, because I thought KC would start making strides, and they have. Still a long way to go though, and it’s going to be interesting to see if both the offense and pitching of the Tribe can stay together in the long haul.
Who else do you like at this point?
The Royals are only going to get better too… they have a lot more young stars waiting to come up from the minors.
Three team race, huh? I assume you mean the Rays, Sox and Yanks? What, no Toronto or Baltimore at all? The Orioles’ offense has been a major disappointment so far… they aren’t doing anything…
I would love to believe the Indians can go all the way to winning the AL Central. but I’m not sure they have the ponies to win that race…although nobody else in that division does wither.
The Indians are for real. They can win the A.L. Central.
If the Phillies don’t win the N.L. East with that rotation it has to be considered a major upset.
I expect a tight three team race right down to the wire in the A.L. Beast. Go Rays!