It is time to continue our MLB Power Rankings for the 2012 season, which will continue to focus on the top 10 teams in the majors.
Texas Rangers (This Week: 1, Last Week: 1) - The Rangers had struggled to score runs over the past week, but they more than made up for it against the Toronto Blue Jays. Josh Hamilton hit another homer, and the Rangers cruised to a 14-3 victory. Games like these are why the Rangers remain #1 on our MLB Power Rankings.
Los Angeles Dodgers (This Week: 2, Last Week: 3) - Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw get most of the attention, but how about the season by AJ Ellis? He’s got a 944 OPS with an insane 444 OBP, and he’s transformed himself into one of the best catchers in the game. He won’t keep hitting like this, but Ellis is one of the driving forces behind the Dodgers surprising best record in the majors.
Baltimore Orioles (This week: 3, Last Week: 4) - Adam Jones gets his extension and drives in a pair of runs. With Jason Hammel close to free agency he has to be next on the Orioles list. At 29-17, the Orioles are one of the best team in the majors, and remain in the top 3 for our MLB Power Rankings.
Tampa Bay Rays (This Week: 4, Last Week: 7) - It’s amazing that they’re a game out of first without Evan Longoria. Alex Cobb has done a fantastic job filling in for the injured Jeff Niemann, winning both of the games he has pitched so far.
Washington Nationals (This Week: 5, Last Week: 6) - Their offence is one of the worst in the majors, but at least Bryce Harper is starting to hit again. They took game one of a big series against the Atlanta Braves, who are in a freefall right now.
Atlanta Braves (This Week: 6, Last Week: 2) - They got swept by the Reds in a four game series, and now they have to beat Stephen Strasburg in order to stay close to the Nats. Chipper Jones went back on the disabled list, and nothing is going right for the Braves anymore. Given how tight the NL East is, another loss could put them in fourth. A bad week might push them out of the top 10 of our MLB Power Rankings.
Cincinnati Reds (This week: 7, Last Week: N/A) - A sweep of the Braves and a surprising lead of the NL Central puts them back on our MLB Power Rankings. They’re winning with good pitching and the continued MVP calibre production of Joey Votto. He’s been one of the best players in the National League, and if the Reds make the playoffs don’t be surprised if Votto takes home his second MVP award.
St. Louis Cardinals (This Week: 8, Last Week: 5) - What a difference a week makes. Last week the Cardinals were unstoppable, and now they trail the Reds by half a game. They got swept by the Dodgers and lost 2/3 to the Philadelphia Phillies. They’ve lost Lance Berkman for another 8-10 weeks, and then they lost his replacement Matt Carpenter. Next week doesn’t get any easier, as they face Atlanta for a 3 game set.
New York Yankees (This Week: 9, Last Week: 9) - With the victory last night they’re back in third place in the AL East. Which doesn’t sound very impressive, but right now that’s good enough to be the second wild card team. How about the season by Curtis Granderson? 14 homers, 25 RBI, and a 912 OPS. Everybody talks about the successful seasons of Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, but somehow Granderson always flies under the radar. It’s a shame too, because he’s one of the best players on a loaded Yankees squad.
Cleveland Indians (This week: 10, Last Week: 10) - Is it too early to say Shin-Soo Choo is back? With a 900 OPS in May, one of the best all around outfielders in the game is starting to heat up after a forgettable 2011 season. And Cleveland couldn’t be any happier with the timing, as their lead is down to 2.5 games over the Chicago White Sox.