By David Miller @DavidMillerRant on May 5, 2014
The month of May started out as exciting as anything for the Major League Baseball regular season. When it comes to where the teams stack up we have a similar situation in both Eastern divisions where nobody wants to lead the division by more than a half game. Each Central division is a bit extended while the Western divisions have a couple of teams fighting and a couple out of it. The Power Rankings have shaken up quite a bit as well.
There is a real dog fight going on at the bottom now as the Astros have finally claimed the final spot on the rankings. They still appear as if they should be a better team than they were one year ago but the results for the past couple of weeks haven't been too great.
At long last the Dbacks have climbed out of the final spot in the rankings. They have played more games than anyone else and used it to their disadvantage quite effectively. For the past couple of weeks they have played a little better however and it shows in that they finally rank somewhere other than dead last.
For now the Pirates look a good bit better than the bottom two teams but that could change if they keep slipping downward. Their chances in the NL Central don't look too promising if they keep falling either.
The Cubs really look like they would like to fight their way out of the bottom five teams in the Rankings and they proved a little something with wins over teams like the St. Louis Cardinals thus far. We shall see if they can climb out by this time next week.
If any team can possibly look comfortable in the bottom five it is the Padres. They look like a decent team that is tough to play but their results kind of have stunk as well. The biggest problem they have is run differential where they have a large deficit.
For now the Indians are doing little to quiet those who say they overachieved last season. They could catch fire at any time I suppose but for now it looks like they will have to fight to get above .500 this season.
The Royals have definitely began to look a little better of late with the ability to score runs finally showing itself. As they approach the .500 mark, one good week with a blowout win or two could vault them into the middle ten easily.
For most of the season the Blue Jays have been a very interesting team to watch in that their run differential is steadily even. This week it is perfectly even once again. The down side to that is that it doesn't give them any boost in the rankings average.
One of the five teams in the hunt in the AL East, the Rays look about as good as anyone else does in that division. Time will tell if they can distance themselves from the others or just hang in with the rest.
It is fitting of course that three AL East teams are stacked right here together. The Red Sox however being this high in the rankings proves a large move in the right direction as just a few weeks ago they were stapled into the bottom few of the rankings.
In the AL Central the White Sox could be the surprise team of the group but they, like everyone else, appear to be big fans of keeping the Tigers at the top position. At least the rest of the teams in the central, with the exception of the Indians, are bunched however.
Though their position in their division might not look great, fans should hang in there for a while on the Mariners. They are moving in the right direction now after a large swoon to end the month of April dropped them as far down as the bottom five.
Officially mark the Twins as sleepers in the AL Central. They are kind of just hanging around but if their pitching can hit a stride for a few weeks they could be right there with the Tigers for the lead, assuming the Tigers ever make up the half dozen games they have missed and lose a few of them.
There is much talk of the NL East being bunched together with all of the teams over the .500 mark. This could be a pivotal time for the entire seasonal race in the East and the Phillies have themselves positioned close enough to be a part of the fight for sure.
This week sees the Yankees fall down a bit but they still hold a thread-thin lead in the division. This week like all weeks in a close division could prove the one they finally let the division go into the hands of their closest rivals so far.
This is very interesting because the Orioles are actually one half game behind the Yankees in the standings but have a better run differential which puts them above them in the rankings. That could prove to be a foretelling of the O's taking over first place in the AL East sometime this week.
Just like one year ago the Reds have themselves right there against the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central. Unfortunately this year that still puts them and the Cards a ways behind the Brewers. For those who know for sure the Cards are still in this, understand that means the Reds are just as much in it as they are. That is especially of note because the Reds just won two of three from the high ranking Brewers.
The Cardinals have officially started making changes to try and score a few runs finally. The jury is still out on whether the adjustments will be for the better or not but at least they are doing what they can to attempt to catch the Brewers.
The question of who wants to be the team to overtake the lead in the NL East remains unanswered for now because all of the teams are doing well but not great. The Mets lost a couple of tough ones this week that would have placed them into the division lead and higher on this list.
A team like the Rangers can be difficult to figure out from time to time but once again they are looking to be in the fight with the Athletics for the lead in the AL West. Time will tell if they thrive or barely survive in that fight as the weeks drag onward.
If we said raise your hand if you are surprised that the Angels are in the top 10 this week, I would have to raise my own hand as well. Take a look at the standings however and you'll see them just a few games back in the division. Don't look now but they could be official contenders before long. Actually, being in the top ten pretty much means they already are.
If any team wants to know how to climb in the rankings they should take a look at what the Marlins did this week. Two blowout wins where they outscore an opponent about a billion to one will do the trick for sure.
This is a nice ranking for the Nats but they should be kicking themselves for not taking advantage of Braves struggles this week. They should be sitting in the top spot in the division for sure. Now they have once again given the Braves a chance to pull themselves out before losing the division lead.
If you wonder what the best division in MLB is, the NL West should at least get some consideration. The Dodgers rank here and they are the third ranked team from their division in the rankings. That's pretty good for the division I would say.
What a great team the Braves are! They were nice enough to show us all this week the quickest way to plummet from the top spot in the rankings. They played six games, lost all six of them and were outscored 18 – 3 in the first two games of the skid. Actually the fact that they still rank here after such a terrible week shows how strong they were before. They could be back on top or out of the top ten next week depending on their offense.
In case you don't venture over to watch a Rockies game now and then, do yourself a favor and check one out this week. This team is so much fun to watch it is no wonder why they sell out most games. They have a great offense and a good defense. Plus you get to watch Nolan Arenado make a stunning defensive play at third base at least once each game. Take a look.
The Brew Crew was shocked by losing two of three to the underrated Cincinnati Reds over the last two days. Will it drop them out of the top five with a week of struggling or will they rise above it to prove how great they really are right now? Watch this week to know for sure. I would expect a week of about .500 play.
For most of the season the Giants have deployed the 'score just one more run than the other team' strategy but it is working. They have the Rockies and Dodgers nipping at their heels however so they might want to start manufacturing a run or two here or there instead of only relying on home runs.
The A's could appeal this if they want because they are ranked very close behind the top team and have played five more games than they have. What is mainly important is the fact that the A's are staying on top in the AL West for now. They had better keep their house in order however because the Rangers and Angels are right there waiting for one stumble.
If the A's did appeal their current ranking of being only one percentage point back but having one two more games, the Tigers could point to the fact that they have won five straight and eight of their last ten games. Sure they have played fewer games but that doesn't appear to matter right now as they are playing great baseball. Still, their division is not going to be a walk away win like some might think.
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