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 felt having a top 3 ERA in the AL wasn’t good enough, so they added Roy Oswalt. He’s about a month away, but having a veteran starter like Oswalt in the playoffs is a nice weapon to have. It’ll be a shock if they ever give up the #1 spot in our MLB Power Rankings.
Chicago White Sox (This Week: 2, Last Week N/A) - I know what you’re thinking – how did the White Sox go from not even being on our radar to the #2 spot on our MLB Power Rankings? Well, a 9 game win streak against the former first place Cleveland Indians and the current first place Tampa Bay Rays made us sit up and take notice. Paul Konerko continues his resurgence as one of the best first baseman in the game, hitting an unbelievable 376/456/635. This team is very dangerous, and it’s time we took notice of them.
Tampa Bay Rays (This Week: 3, Last Week: 4) -They currently lead the AL East, and despite a minor hiccup against the Chicago White Sox, they remain one of the top teams in the game. Evan Longoria is expected to return towards the end of the month, and if the Rays still hold a lead at that point we might be looking at the likely AL East division winner.
Washington Nationals (This Week: 4, Last Week: 5) - The Nats finally get a player back off the disabled list. This time, it’s slugger Mike Morse, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. The Braves are looking for a rematch against the Nats, and Washington will need Morse now more than ever.
Cincinnati Reds (This week: 5, Last Week: 7) - With a 2.5 game lead they’ve taken the lead in the NL Central and haven’t looked back. Given the struggles of mega prospect Devin Mesoraco, how important has Ryan Hanigan been to the Reds? With his strong on base skills and fantastic defence, it’s been a shame he’s never been given a full time spot. If Mesoraco’s struggles continue in June, it might be time to send him down and let Hanigan play everyday.
Los Angeles Dodgers (This Week: 6, Last Week: 2) - Matt Kemp goes back on the disabled list, and his inability to stay on the field has really hurt the Dodgers. They’re on a 5 game losing streak, and that’s a big reason why they take a massive drop in our MLB Power Rankings. Their lead was once 7 games over the San Francisco Giants, and as of today it’s down to 4.
New York Yankees (This Week: 7, Last Week: 9) - They struggled a bit this week, failing to take advantage of the O’s collapse. But they’re hanging in there, just a game and a half back of the Rays. It’s tough to count the Yanks out, and you always get the feeling there is that ability to take it to the next level in the second half. Definitely a team worth watching, even if they haven’t dominated like we expected them to.
Baltimore Orioles (This week: 8, Last Week: 3) - It’s too early to suggest the season is over with the O’s trailing by a game. But after a 6 game losing streak and an injury to Nick Markakis it is looking like the O’s are coming back to Earth. And who knew Jason Hammel was such a sore loser?
St. Louis Cardinals (This Week: 9, Last Week: Eight) - A few weeks ago they were one of the best teams in baseball. Now they’re struggling to find a spot on our MLB Power Rankings. The Cards are 2 games above 500, and 2.5 back of the NL Central leading Reds. They have the ability to win the division, but lately they have struggled against some of the better teams in the NL.
Atlanta Braves (This Week: 10, Last Week: 6) - It’s too early to count the Braves out of our MLB Power Rankings. Despite being fourth in the division, they still have the talent to win. And they have a great chance of making up some ground with a big series against the Washington Nationals. This will go a long way to decide if the Braves can hack it in the NL East.