Friday, June 8, 2012

American League Power Rankings: Week 9

The A's were one of only two AL teams with a winning record this week
The Rangers keep coming back to Earth, having gone 19-21 in their last 40 games after starting the season 14-4. Though that has done nothing as far as removing them from the top spot in the rankings. It's just making the gap between them and second place a little smaller every week.

Though I don't expect anybody to overcome them any time soon.

1. Texas Rangers (33-25): As I already pointed out above, the Rangers are basically an average team over their last 40 games, but that doesn't change the fact they lead just about every offensive category in the American League. As for their pitching, it's not as dominant as it was to begin the season, but Texas still has one of the best staffs in the league. (1)

2. Chicago White Sox (32-25): The Sox winning streak came to an end, and they only went 3-3 since last week's rankings, but they've still got a pretty strong hold on second place. They're not amazing at anything, really, but they're in the top third in ever major statistical category, and that's what is keeping them above the teams below them who may have similar records, but aren't as consistent across the board. (2)

3. Tampa Bay Rays (32-25): The Rays are tied with the Orioles for first in the AL East, and they're doing it largely on their pitching. They have the best staff ERA in the American League right now. They'd be higher if the offense had a bit more pop, but when you lose an Evan Longoria from the middle of your lineup, you're going to lose some power. (3)

4. New York Yankees (31-25): The Yankees are currently in third place in the AL East, but they're only a half-game out of first. The offense continues to be one of the best in the league, and their pitching is getting better thanks to 100-year old Andy Pettite who is making a career out of retiring and returning and still being just as good as before. (5)

5. Baltimore Orioles (32-25): The Orioles lost two of three in Tampa, but quickly bounced back by winning two of three in Boston. They're still pitching well, and they still have plenty of power in the lineup, but until this offense starts hitting consistently, I'm just not sure this team can last in the AL East. (4)

6. Toronto Blue Jays (30-27): The run of AL East teams continue. This division is good apparently! As Sox fans, we're all well aware of what Toronto has done recently, taking a series from the Sox. Had they not lost two of three at home against Boston before that, they'd likely have climbed higher than Baltimore. (7)

7. Los Angeles Angels (29-29): They're still only a .500 team, but considering how things started, that's not bad. A team that already looked buried in the AL West before May got here is suddenly only four games behind Texas in the division, and Albert Pujols is finally starting to look like Albert Pujols. (6)

8. Boston Red Sox (29-28): The Red Sox, like everybody above them on this list except for Texas, went 3-3 on the week. Not much has changed here as Boston can still hit and score runs, it just can't keep opponents from doing the same thing. (8)

9. Cleveland Indians (30-26): Any Indians fans who reads this is going to think I'm just biased, and though I am, that's not why the Indians are this low. Remember, I don't do these on opinion but on a formula using actual statistics. So when you have the second-worst ERA in the league and a run differential better than only Kansas City and Minnesota, this is what is going to happen. (9)

10. Detroit Tigers (26-31): I keep telling myself that Detroit is going to get better, but we're through the first week of June now and I haven't seen any improvement. The offense has been good, but not very consistent, and the pitching has been some of the worst in the league. (10)

11. Oakland Athletics (26-32): We had to get to eleventh place to find the first team in the league with a winning record over the last week, as Oakland went 4-3. Unfortunately for Oakland, while the pitching has been pretty good, it seems like this team can only when when it's pitching is great and guys like Jarrod Parker nearly throw no-hitters. (12)

12. Seattle Mariners (26-33): What I find truly odd about Seattle is that they really can't hit, and their pitching is just all right, yet they have a better run differential (-2) than teams like Baltimore, Detroit and Cleveland. Then I remember them putting 21 on the board against Texas and it all makes sense. (11)

13. Kansas City Royals (24-31): Like just about everybody else, Kansas City went 3-3 last week. While that's better than they have been playing, it's not good enough to actually start climbing in the rankings.  (13)

14. Minnesota Twins (22-34): The only other team besides Oakland to have a winning week? The Twins at 4-2. This does nothing to change the fact they're terrible. If you actually watch their three-game series with the Cubs this weekend then you either hate yourself or baseball. Likely both.

Last week's rankings can be found here.

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