Holding steady in recent weeks, this week’s MLB Power Rankings instead saw some significant shakeup this week, starting at the top, where the Philadelphia Phillies not only regained the top position, but also built quite a commanding lead, too.
Elsewhere, the red-hot Detroit Tigers cracked the top five for the first time this season. But the Tigers are not the only team shifting in the top 10, as the freefalling Red Sox nearly lost its grasp on third place and the slumping Atlanta Braves fell four spots to tenth place.
Here is KP’s latest list, which features a hefty helping of team stats, too.
KP’s MLB Power Rankings: September 12, 2011
NOTE: Point totals as of Monday morning (Do NOT include games on 9/12)
1. Philadelphia Phillies – 94-49 (247 points) – Last Week: #2
When facing a full count, the Phillies are batting a sub-par .209 in 444 AB’s, but have also swatted 17 HR’s, which is good for most in the National League.
2. New York Yankees – 88-57 (221 points) – Last Week: #1
Similar to the Phillies, the Yankees are batting just .211 when facing a full count, but have hit 24 HR’s, which is tied for the most in baseball.
3. Boston Red Sox – 85-61 (158 points) – Last Week: #3
Boston’s Wild Card lead is shrinking. But even in their struggles, the Red Sox continue to have the best average (.304) in the AL out of the leadoff spot.
4. Texas Rangers – 83-64 (157 points) – Last Week: #4
As a team, the Rangers are batting .285 with runners in scoring position on the year, which is currently the best average in the American League.
5. Detroit Tigers – 84-62 (124 points) – Last Week: #9
The Tigers have the best average in baseball out of the cleanup spot, batting .331 with 27 HR’s and 99 RBI’s in 529 AB’s.
6. Milwaukee Brewers – 86-62 (115 points) – Last Week: #5
Clutch hitting is one reason for Milwaukee’s success. The Brewers are batting .272 as a team during the 9th inning or later, which is tied for the best average in baseball.
7. Tampa Bay Rays – 81-64 (112 points) – Last Week: #8
The Rays are making a late charge at the Wild Card, but with little assistance from the cleanup spot this season. In 561 AB’s, Tampa Bay cleanup hitters are batting .230 (28th in MLB).
8. Arizona Diamondbacks – 85-62 (109 points) – Last Week: #7
As good as the D’Backs have been this year, the offense is batting just .161 with two strikes in the count – which is tied for the worst average sin baseball.
9. St. Louis Cardinals – 79-67 (102 points) – Last Week: #10
The Cardinals’ .378 average with the bases loaded is better than any other team in Major League Baseball this season.
10. Atlanta Braves – 84-63 (99 points) – Last Week: #6
The freefalling Braves have had their share of struggles offensively. However, out of the cleanup spot, Atlanta’s .312 average is better than any team in the National League.
11. Los Angeles Angels – 80-66 (86 points) – Last Week: #11
In ten September games, the Angels have held opponents to a .210 batting average, which is the best in baseball to this point.
12. Los Angeles Dodgers – 72-73 (47 points) – Last Week: #12
The Dodgers have scored just 246 runs in 71 home games this season. Only the Mariners, Padres and Giants have scored fewer at home.
13. Chicago White Sox – 73-72 (31 points) – Last Week: #16
The Chicago pitching staff is not helping the team close the gap on the Tigers. In eleven September games, White Sox pitchers have posted a 5.40 ERA.
14. San Francisco Giants – 76-70 (29 points) – Last Week: #15
When facing a full count, the San Francisco offense is batting .183 in 475 AB’s, which is 28th in baseball and worst in the National League.
15. Cincinnati Reds – 71-75 (25 points) – Last Week: #14
Cincinnati starting pitchers have allowed 123 home runs on the year, which is the most in Major League Baseball to date.
16. Toronto Blue Jays – 74-73 (21 points) – Last Week: #18
The Toronto pitching staff has posted a 4.72 ERA in 74 home games. Only the Baltimore Orioles have a worse ERA at home.
17. New York Mets – 71-75 (21 points) – Last Week: #13
Out of the ninth slot in the order, the Mets are batting just .152, by far the worst in baseball – but obviously hard to compare to AL teams that have a DH in the order.
18. Colorado Rockies – 69-77 (-5 points) – Last Week: #19
The Colorado pitching staff has posted a 5.41 ERA in 193 innings on Sundays, which is the worst in all of baseball.
19. Cleveland Indians – 72-72 (-6 points) – Last Week: #17
The Indians pitching staff has a 4.71 ERA during day games this season, which is by far the worst in baseball to this point.
20. Florida Marlins – 66-79 (-19 points) – Last Week: #24
In 138 AB’s with the bases loaded this season, the Marlins have struck out 37 times, which is more than any other team in baseball.
21. San Diego Padres – 63-84 (-30 points) – Last Week: #21
The Padres have drawn 15 walks with the bases loaded this season, which is more than any other team in baseball.
22. Oakland Athletics – 66-80 (-33 points) – Last Week: #20
Oakland starting pitchers have allowed 83 home runs on the season, which is the fewest in the American League to date.
23. Washington Nationals – 67-77 (-38 points) – Last Week: #23
Even with the return of Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals’ pitching staff has posted a National League-worst 5.14 ERA in September.
24. Pittsburgh Pirates – 66-80 (-47 points) – Last Week: #22
The Pirates offense has hit 51 HR’s on the road this season, which is good for 27th in baseball. Only Seattle, Houston and San Diego have hit fewer.
25. Kansas City Royals – 62-86 (-62 points) – Last Week: #25
Kansas City hitters have had 106 AB’s with the bases loaded this season. During those attempts, the Royals have struck out the fewest times in MLB (15), but just have a .217 average (28th)
26. Chicago Cubs – 64-82 (-68 points) – Last Week: #26
Opposing batters are hitting .280 against Cubs starting pitching this season, which is the worst in the National League to date.
27. Seattle Mariners – 61-85 (-99 points) – Last Week: #27
Not surprisingly, Seattle hitters have a major league worst .209 batting average out of the cleanup spot. The figure is eleven points lower than any other team.
28. Baltimore Orioles – 58-87 (-132 points) – Last Week: #29
Surprise, surprise – the Orioles have the best batting average out of the ninth slot, posting a .275 mark that is eleven points better than any other team in baseball.
29. Minnesota Twins – 59-87 (-140 points) – Last Week: #28
The Twins offense has hit 57 HR’s in night games this season, which is the fewest in the American League to date.
30. Houston Astros – 49-97 (-171 points) – Last Week: #30
Surprisingly, Houston leads MLB in a positive stat. In tie games this year, the Astros have hit 51 HR’s, which is the most in baseball.
* 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.