Friday, April 13, 2012

American League Power Rankings: Week 1



Is there anything in sports more pointless than power rankings? Nope, there sure isn't. But there also isn't an easier way to create content that doesn't involve a lot of thought, but is also sure to create some discussion, either. Which is why every Friday during the season you're going to see these American League power rankings on South Side Asylum. I suggest you learn to deal with it.

1. Texas Rangers 5-2: The Rangers get the top spot after the first week of the season, even though they managed to make Alex Rios a hero on opening weekend. What put them over the top of the Tigers was the fact that while their offense hasn't been as scary as Detroit's so far, on the whole their pitching has been much better.

2. Detroit Tigers 5-1: I'm not sure what should be scarier to AL Central opponents right now. The fact that Miguel Cabrera is on pace to hit 81 home runs with 243 RBI, or the fact that they've won five of six against teams like the Red Sox and Rays. Not exactly inferior competition, even if the Red Sox are off to another craptastic start.

3. Tampa Bay Rays 4-2: See, the Rays are good! Even though they just lost two of three to the Tigers, they also swept the Yankees to begin the year. The Rays pitching hasn't been wonderful, but we also must consider the two offenses it's had to face so far.

4. Baltimore Orioles 3-3: The Orioles, statistically, are playing a lot better than their 3-3 record would indicate to start the year. The offense is off to a hot start, as is the pitching. All that being said, the Orioles are the first true "sample size" example of this season's power rankings. I don't expect them to be this high for very long.

5. Toronto Blue Jays 4-2: As someone who owns Jose Bautista in fantasy, I can assure you that the Toronto offense has not been very good to start the season. However, the pitching has been fantastic, and the offense has shown a knack for getting the big hits when it needs them through the first week. Now if Bautista would just start hitting some god damn home runs, I'd be much obliged.

6. Kansas City Royals 3-3: You White Sox fans are going to be pissed at me for this one, I know it. So this is where I tell you I don't do these rankings on opinion but by a compilation of statistics, and right now those statistics say the Royals are more POWERFUL than the White Sox. That being said, this is still a team that was a "Don't Take Cy Chen Out Of The Game" away from sweeping the Angels in Anaheim to start the season.

7. New York Yankees 3-3: How can the Yankees be ranked this far below the Orioles considering that they just swept them in Baltimore? I already told you! Statistics! Statistics and the fact that Yankee pitching just hasn't been very good to start the season, as we enter what feels like roughly the 80th consecutive April of "Is Mariano Rivera washed up?"

8. Chicago White Sox 3-2: There they are! Now while we're all excited by the team's start, let's try not to overlook the fact that Gavin Floyd didn't have a great day against Texas, John Danks looked terrible against Cleveland, and outside of the 10-run game on Wednesday, the offense hasn't been that hot either. Well, unless it's Paul Konerko. I think this weekend's series against Detroit will be a pretty nice barometer.

9. Seattle Mariners 4-4: I've seen quite a bit of the Mariners already this season with the way they started the season in Japan and had late night games back in Oakland, and while this team still isn't all that good, it definitely looks better than it did last season. How long will that last? Well, time will tell.

10. Los Angeles Angels 2-4: Raise your hand if you thought Peter Bourjos would be tied for the team lead in home runs after the first week of the season with Mark Trumbo and Vernon Wells, each having 1. Seriously, they spent all that money on Pujols and he's hitting .217. Though Pujols got off to a slow start last season and the Cardinals were 2-4 after six games but things turned out all right.

11. Oakland Athletics 3-4: So far Oakland's offense seems to be Yoenis Cespedes and, well, that's it. From what I've seen so far it's going to be a long year in Oakland, but don't worry, there are plenty of decent young pitchers around for Billy Beane to trade to Arizona in his never-ending rebuilding process.

12. Cleveland Indians 1-4: Not a very good start to the season in Cleveland, as the team blew games against Toronto in its first two, and then lost two to the White Sox. While I don't think the Indians are as bad as they've played, I don't think they're that good, either. Though that will surely change now that they've signed Johnny Damon. Did you know that Cleveland is Johnny Damon's favorite city? I'm sure he's said that now that he's signed there.

13. Boston Red Sox 1-5: Don't worry, Red Sox fans. As 2011 taught us, you can still afford to get off to a terrible start to the year and recover in time so that you have a 9-game lead to blow in September. If your pitching staff would stop being terrible, though, it'd be a big help.

14. Minnesota Twins 2-4: How are the Twins in last place after taking a series against the Angels? Well, they're dead last in the AL in OBP and slugging, next to last in run differential, and near the bottom in every major pitching category, that's how. Also, as documented above, the Angels are playing like ass right now. For further proof of this, look at how they just managed to lose two of three to the Twins.

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