By Zach Morrison @Zach_Morrison1 on June 17, 2014
With week 12 upon us, the baseball season can finally no longer be considered early anymore. With a little over a month until the MLB trade deadline, this is a big month for teams on the edge of being sellers or buyers. Here are the Rant Sports MLB Power Rankings for Week 12.
The Padres have the worst run differential in baseball (-61 runs) and are 2-8 in their last 10 games, leaving them with the third-worst record in MLB.
The Diamondbacks score a lot of runs, but they simply can’t get enough outs to win ballgames. Their 4.48 ERA ranks third-worst in baseball and they have the second-worst record in the game.
Hey, they have to start somewhere I suppose. The Rays went 5-5 in their last 10 games and are on a two-game winning streak, moving them up to 28 in the rankings. Unfortunately, their brief success probably won’t last and they will almost certainly move David Price at the trade deadline.
The Cubs will probably be the most interesting team at the trade deadline, with several players possibly on the move, and they had a decent Week 11, too. They are 5-5 in their last 10 and are on a two-game winning streak.
I foolishly expected the Mets to be a sleeper team in 2014, but so far I look like a buffoon. The Mets are 3-7 in their previous 10 games and have significant trouble scoring runs.
The Phillies have been surprisingly healthy this year, which makes their 30-38 start even more concerning. For once, they can’t blame injuries for their struggles. Regardless of their overall record, the Phillies are trending upward, with six wins in their past 10 games.
It looks like Jeff Luhnow’s genius experiment is working faster than anyone expected it to. The Astros are playing surprisingly competitive baseball in a deadly AL West, going 6-4 in their past 10 games.
Despite having a large payroll, the Red Sox are definitely struggling this season. They have one of the worst offenses in baseball, hitting for a mere .245/.327/.371 triple-slash line. They have basically treaded water lately, going 5-5 in their past 10 games.
Remember when the White Sox were a cool story, with Jose Abreu mashing baseballs and people talking about them being surprise playoff contenders? Well, the Sox are coming off of four straight losses and have won just three of their past 10 games. It looks like their decent start was just a mirage.
The AL Central is a surprisingly-decent division this year, with even the Twins and White Sox playing relatively competitive baseball. The Twins are 4-6 in their last 10 and are on a three-game losing streak at the moment.
It was only a matter of time before the Rockies realized they couldn’t compete in the brutal NL West. Sure, their offense is elite (thanks in large part to Coors Field), with the second-most runs in baseball with 356, but they’ve also allowed the second-most runs with 344.
While the Rockies are trending down, the Reds are the complete opposite. They are 6-4 in their last 10 and are finally getting healthy. Joey Votto, Mat Latos and Jay Bruce are all back in the fold for the Reds and it’s just a matter of time before they start to make up some ground in the NL Central.
The Pirates got off to a horrid start to the 2014 season, but have played very well in June. They have one of the best offenses in baseball; if their pitching decides to show up anytime soon, the Bucs could move up these rankings in a hurry.
Teams can’t often use injuries as an excuse, but the 2014 Texas Rangers could and I would be completely fine with it. Jurickson Profar, Martin Perez, Matt Harrison and Prince Fielder have either not played yet or will miss the rest of the season. I would continue to list the Rangers’ injuries, but nobody has time to read through all of it.
Much like the Pirates, the Indians got off to a rough start in 2014. However, they have played better lately, winning six of their past 10 games while winning three straight games. They have a very good offense, but their pitching hasn’t done its part. If the pitching can turn things around, the Indians could be a scary team in the AL Central.
The Marlins are 4-6 in the past 10 games and are on a one-game losing streak. It remains to be seen if the Fish can stay in contention without Jose Fernandez, but so far they are doing a decent job. Adding an ace like Jeff Samardzija would be a great help.
The Mariners wanted to contend and they made that clear by signing Robinson Cano to a 10-year, $240 million deal over the offseason. It’s too bad they are in the AL West; if they were in any other AL division, they would have a decent shot at contending.
The O’s received some bad news on Monday when they heard their catcher, Matt Weiters, will miss the rest of 2014 with Tommy John surgery. Their starting rotation is mediocre, but they have a lock-down bullpen that shuts down the opponent after the seventh inning. If they can upgrade their rotation, and possibly acquire a catcher, they will be scary down the stretch.
Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann, Masahiro Tanaka and Jacoby Ellsbury. The Yankees had a busy offseason. So far, just two games above .500, the Yankees probably aren’t pleased with the state of their team. They currently have a 17.7 percent shot at the playoffs, and if they don’t make the postseason, their offseason will be considered a failure.
Just when we think the Nationals are finally living up to their annual preseason hype, they lose four straight games. The Nats were picked by many to win the NL East, but they have underachieved this season. Injury problems have hindered their progress, but their pitching should be good enough to carry them to the postseason.
The Braves have a lot of talent on their roster and an excellent pitching staff. However, they are 4-6 in their last 10 games and just three games north of .500. They will make the postseason; it just comes down to whether it is as a division winner or a Wild Card team.
$240 million, or something close to that, is a crazy payroll. Being just four games above the .500 mark is inexcusable in my opinion with that kind of payroll. They are 6-4 in their past 10 games and it seems like the Dodgers could go on a crazy winning streak starting any day now. There’s just too much pitching for them to hover around .500 all year.
If you would have told me I would rank the Angels higher than the Dodgers in the Week 12 power rankings, I would have slapped you, but here I am. The Angels have played very well this season, with a decent balance of pitching and offense. Their +30 run differential ranks among the best in baseball.
The Tigers are going to win the AL Central, but for now, they aren’t even the best team in their division. Their record says they are, but they aren’t playing like it. They are just 5-5 in their previous 10 games and they have just a +5 run differential.
I’m not crazy. The Blue Jays are the sixth best team in baseball this week. They had a crazy hot streak a few weeks ago but have since fallen back to Earth. They are 4-6 in their past 10 games and still struggle to pitch well consistently. They can mash the ball on offense, but it always comes down to pitching in baseball.
The Royals are baseball’s hottest team, winning eight straight games and going 9-1 in their past 10 games. They probably aren’t going to stay the fifth best team in baseball, but it’s hard to argue against them right now.
Going 7-3 in their last 10 games with a four-game winning streak, the Cardinals are finally playing to their potential. This is bad news for the Brewers, Pirates and Reds.
The Cardinals could easily pass the Brewers in next week’s power rankings, but not yet. The Brew Crew still haven’t cooled off, and at this point, they are probably here to stay. They have an excellent balance of pitching and offense. If their rotation can continue to pitch well, they will continue to be a dominant force in the NL Central.
They have the best record in baseball, but they are 4-6 in their past 10 games and are currently on a three-game losing streak. They have a run differential of +54 which is very good, but it’s not even on the same level as the number-one team in this week’s power rankings.
The Athletics are by far the best team in baseball. Their run differential of +126 is simply incredible. They have the most runs scored (359) and the fewest runs allowed (233). At this point, the A’s are the clear World Series favorite.
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