Friday, April 20, 2012

American League Power Rankings: Week 2

Let's talk about how everybody but us sucks
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 (11-2): Yeah, and it's not even close right now. The Rangers have only lost twice this season, and both times it's been Joe Nathan's fault. In other words, if not for Joe Nathan, they'd be undefeated, but they shouldn't blame Joe Nathan for it because when you sign Joe Nathan these days and make him your closer, this is what you get. But, seriously, the Rangers lead the American League in everything. Whether it's hitting or pitching. (Last Week: 1)

2. Detroit Tigers (9-4): This Tigers team isn't perfect, and to be honest, over the last week the offense hasn't been as great as it was during the first week. There's also some big question marks in the bullpen at the moment, but at the end of the day there's enough talent between Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Justin Verlander to keep this team near the top of the league on their own. (2)

3. New York Yankees (7-6): The Yankees are only a game over .500 so far, and the pitching has been suspect (giving up 22 runs to the Twins in four games) but the offense has been strong enough on its own to get them this high in the rankings right now. (7)

4. Baltimore Orioles (8-5): As we're very much aware of in Chicago right now, while this team is horrible on defense, its offense can put a lot of baseballs in the seats, and its pitching staff has been surprisingly strong to start the year. We're only two weeks into the season, so I'm not ready to pronounce this team is good just yet, but they just might be better than anyone expected. (4)

5. Chicago White Sox (6-6): Not going to lie, I was really surprised to see the White Sox this high given the record, but there aren't a lot of teams over .500 in the AL right now.  As for the rest of it, let's just say the Sox are lucky I don't include number of strikeouts in the formula and that the pitching has been strong enough to get them this high. (8)

6. Toronto Blue Jays (6-6): Okay, so my fantasy team is still waiting for Jose Bautista to show up in 2012, and so are the Blue Jays as they continue to tread water in the AL East. I mean, the Yankees, Rays and Red Sox are all off to mediocre starts, giving Toronto its chance to jump to the top of the division, and instead they've been mediocre as well and the freaking Orioles are in first place. This sport makes no damn sense! (5)

7. Cleveland Indians (6-5): After getting off to a 1-4 start to the season the Tribe have won five of their last six and are looking a lot better. That said, the pitching has still been pretty terrible even during this recent run, but the offense has been hot enough to cover for it. Something tells me this can't last. (12)

8. Tampa Bay Rays (7-6): The last week was not kind to the Rays, as they lost three of four in Boston but did manage to take two of three from Toronto. The good news for Tampa is that they now get a series with the Twins, and have won their last two, so I'd expect them to climb back up these rankings next week. If they can lower that 5.35 team ERA anyway.

9. Oakland Athletics (7-7): It's the same story as always with the Athletics so far this season. The offense is anemic outside of the occasional Yoenis Cespedes moonshot, but the pitching has been pretty damn impressive. Which I'm pretty sure is how Moneyball works, right? (11)

10. Seattle Mariners (7-7): I could basically say the exact same thing about Seattle that I just did about Oakland, except that the pitching hasn't been quite as good. Still, it shouldn't be a surprise that these two teams are so similar considering they've played each other roughly 30 times already this season. (9)

11. Boston Red Sox (4-8): Here's how you can sum up Boston's season so far: They're 3-1 against Tampa Bay and 1-7 against everybody else. Oh, and half the clubhouse and just about all the fans already hate Bobby Valentine. Thankfully they've banned beer in the clubhouse, though, cuz it sure would be a shame if Valentine and Kevin Youkilis talked things out over a beer or two. (13)

12. Los Angeles Angels (4-9): Arte Moreno continues tearing through his house and Angels Stadium trying to find his receipt. I don't expect the Angels to be this bad all season, but it already looks like it's going to come down to one of the wild card spots as they're already seven games behind Texas in only two weeks. (10)

13. Kansas City Royals (3-9): The Royals have the worst record in the league, but their pitching has been decent enough to keep them out of the basement in the power rankings. Not that I mean that as a testament to the Royals pitching staff as much as I do a testament to how terrible the Twins have been. (6)

14. Minnesota Twins (4-9): The good news for the Twins is that Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau seem to be getting back to the Mauer and Morneau of old, which can only mean good things. The bad news is OH MY GOD THE PITCHING. Thirteen games into the season and the Twins have only two quality starts and opponents are hitting nearly .300 against them. (14)

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