The Detroit Tigers – fueled by an offense that has an MLB-best .281 batting average – sit on top of KP’s MLB Power Rankings for the second consecutive week. The Atlanta Braves – owners of baseball’s best record – switch spots with the St. Louis Cardinals, taking over second place.
Elsewhere, two of the league’s hottest teams – the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers – made big moves, posting two of the biggest ratings jumps in the latest poll. The Dodgers, winners of six straight, continued to move up the charts, cracking the top five for the first time this season. The Rangers, meanwhile, posted a 42-point rankings boost, climbing three spots and into sixth place. Here are the five teams with the biggest ratings gain over the last week:
Texas Rangers: +42 points
New York Mets: +24 points
Los Angeles Dodgers: +23 points
Cincinnati Reds: +23 points
Baltimore Orioles: +23 points
On the other side of the spectrum, the San Diego Padres and Cleveland Indians each posted the worst week, dropping 36 ratings points, and overall, here are the five clubs that saw the biggest decline:
San Diego Padres: -36 points
Cleveland Indians: -36 points
Tampa Bay Rays: -34 points
Miami Marlins: -34 points
Houston Astros: -24 points
The full list is as follows, featuring some various notes and statistics for every team in baseball:
KP’s MLB Power Rankings: August 13, 2013
Note: Statistics and point totals as of Tuesday morning (8/13/13) and do not include night games
1. Detroit Tigers (181 points) – Last Week: #1 (+3)
As previously mentioned, the Tigers have been sparked by its offense, but it’s also important to note that Detroit’s pitching staff has a Major League leading 79 quality starts this season.
2. Atlanta Braves (168 points) – Last Week: #3 (+4)
The pitching staff has been this team’s life force, holding opposing hitters to a .185 batting average so far in August – and yes, that’s by far the best mark in baseball for the month.
3. St. Louis Cardinals (159 points) – Last Week: #2 (-5)
The offense continues to churn out big games, posting an MLB-best .823 OPS so far this month.
4. Boston Red Sox (143 points) – Last Week: #4 (-6)
A major concern: Since the All-Star break, opposing hitters have batted .273 against Boston’s pitching staff. Only four teams have a worse mark than the Red Sox.
5. Los Angeles Dodgers (135 points) – Last Week: #7 (+23)
Look first to the team’s pitching staff, which has posted an incredible 11-1 record, 1.85 ERA and 100 strikeouts so far in the month of August. On top of that, the offense has also been lights out, posting an MLB-best .302 batting average so far this month.
6. Texas Rangers (134 points) – Last Week: #9 (+42)
It’s an easy argument to say that the Rangers have been the biggest winners in the trade market (Matt Garza and Alex Rios), and the team’s current eight game winning streak is proof of that.
7. Pittsburgh Pirates (112 points) – Last Week: #5 (-12)
Pittsburgh’s pitching staff continues to quietly put together a fantastic season, currently holding onto the best team ERA (3.14) and best BAA (.231) in all of baseball.
8. Cincinnati Reds (104 points) – Last Week: #10 (+23)
The Reds are batting just .207 in August, and the team will hope to get a bit of a boost from Ryan Ludwick, who is set to return to the big league club.
9. Oakland Athletics (97 points) – Last Week: #8 (-1)
As a team, the A’s are 9th in baseball in total runs (523), yet 22nd in total hits (976).
10. Tampa Bay Rays (85 points) – Last Week: #6 (-34)
The Rays have seen a boost offensively, thanks to players like rookie Wil Myers, but in the end, this team will live and die by its pitching – and in August, it’s dying to this point (2-6, 5.40 ERA).
11. Kansas City Royals (85 points) – Last Week: #11 (+7)
When talking Royals baseball, this tweet by @ESPNStatsInfo says it all:
Royals 17-3 since July 23, best record in AL over span. Have not finished with winning record since 2003 & no playoffs since 1985 (won WS)
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 13, 2013
12. Baltimore Orioles (76 points) – Last Week: #13 (+23)
Win with defense: Baltimore’s 36 errors are the fewest in baseball this season.
13. Cleveland Indians (38 points) – Last Week: #12 (-36)
The Indians may be the streakiest team in baseball and I can honestly say that I’ve had Terry Francona in and out as Manager of the Year about a dozen times.
14. Arizona Diamondbacks (37 points) – Last Week: #14 (+6)
Aaron Hill (.304, 8 HR, 29 RBI in 181 AB’s) is proving that his one bad season in Toronto was a fluke, and the Diamondbacks are lucky to have him back from injury.
15. New York Yankees (8 points) – Last Week: #15 (-4)
Aside from Hiroki Kuroda, New York’s pitching staff has mostly struggled. In fact, opposing hitters are batting .308 against the Yankees so far in the month of August.
16. Washington Nationals (1 point) – Last Week: #17 (+9)
Bryce Harper’s season has been a rollercoaster ride, with numerous ups and downs. Considering his blistering start, his .262 average and 17 HR should be considered a slight disappointment.
17. New York Mets (0 points) – Last Week: #21 (+24)
Matt Harvey (9-3, 2.09 ERA and 178 K’s) has been a beast this year, and deserving of Cy Young chatter. But it’s also likely that the Mets will choose to shut him down a bit early (to protect his arm).
18. Colorado Rockies (-6 points) – Last Week: #19 (+15)
Colorado’s 51 quality starts are the fewest in the National League this season.
19. Los Angeles Angels (-12 points) – Last Week: #16 (-7)
Since the All-Star break, the Angels’ pitching staff is 9-15 with a 4.52 ERA, including an abysmal 5-for-12 in save opportunities.
20. Toronto Blue Jays (-30 points) – Last Week: #18 (-12)
It’s been more of the same for the Jays in August, as the pitching staff (5.87 so far this month) continues to struggle to get hitters out.
21. Chicago Cubs (-33 points) – Last Week: #20 (-9)
For the Cubs, there has been an issue with getting clutch hits this season. Chicago’s .224 average with runners in scoring position is the currently worst mark in baseball.
22. Milwaukee Brewers (-36 points) – Last Week: #25 (+15)
Milwaukee’s 89 errors (in 118 games – yikes) are the most in baseball this season.
23. Minnesota Twins (-39 points) – Last Week: #26 (+22)
Here’s a bright spot, Twins fans: In his first two starts, Andrew Albers is 2-0, while pitching 17 1/3 innings and giving up no runs and just six hits.
24. San Francisco Giants (-42 points) – Last Week: #22 (-13)
Matt Cain (7-8, 4.44 ERA) is more than one run above his career ERA of 3.38.
25. Seattle Mariners (-46 points) – Last Week: #24 (-7)
Felix Hernandez (12-5, 2.28 ERA, 19 quality starts and 178 K’s) once again finds himself right in the thick of another American League Cy Young race.
26. San Diego Padres (-66 points) – Last Week: #23 (-36)
Tyson Ross has been a bright spot for the struggling Padres, winning three of four starts since joining the rotation, while allowing just four earned runs over 27 innings during that span.
27. Philadelphia Phillies (-68 points) – Last Week: #27 (-2)
Cole Hamels may have just five wins this season, but he’s managed to pitch at least seven innings, while allowing two earned runs or less, in seven of his last eight starts with the Phillies.
28. Chicago White Sox (-83 points) – Last Week: #29 (+15)
Talented OF Avisail Garcia is getting a chance to play, after the departure of Alex Rios (to Texas). But he’s off to a slow start, connecting on just two hits in his last 13 at-bats.
29. Miami Marlins (-112 points) – Last Week: #28 (-34)
Miami’s offense is suffering through another power outage, with just 1 HR in 11 games this month.
30. Houston Astros (-186 points) – Last Week: #30 (-24)
As a team, the Astros are batting just .211 during day games this season, and yes, that’s by far the worst mark in Major League 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.