By Zach Morrison @Zach_Morrison1 on June 30, 2014
Week 13 of the MLB season was certainly interesting. San Francisco Giants starter Tim Lincecum threw his second career no-hitter, and lots of teams made big jumps and falls in the Week 14 Rant Sports MLB Power Rankings. Where is your favorite team slotted this week?
If only the Padres had an offense, right? Their pitching is only slightly below average with a 3.36 team ERA, but their offense is virtually nonexistent. As a team, the Friars are hitting .213/.272/.334 with a wRC+ of just 72.
The Rockies are the exact opposite of the Padres, and if that teaches us anything, it's that teams can't win when they are heavy on just pitching or offense. The Rockies are hitting .283/.335/.457 with a 105 wRC+, but they can't get enough outs to win games. Their pitching staff has an ERA of 4.96.
Losers of their last five games, the Minnesota Twins are quickly gunning for last place in the rankings. It isn't difficult to understand why the Twins struggle to win baseball games when one sees the 4.41 ERA that their pitching staff possesses.
Despite playing at Chase Field, a significant hitter's park, the Diamondbacks' offense really isn't that good. They have a collective .254/.307/.393 triple-slash line with a 90 wRC+. They also have one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball, with a 4.38 ERA.
The Rays are in the middle of the pack in terms of both offense and pitching, so why they are so bad at winning games this year is sort of puzzling. Regardless, the Rays do have the worst record in baseball, but they have gone 6-4 in their last 10 games, so a move up in this week's rankings is deserved.
Owners of MLB's fourth-worst run differential, the Astros are also 3-7 in their last 10 games. GM Jeff Luhnow has the 'Stros headed in the right direction, but it's going to be a few years before his plan comes to fruition.
The Phillies ended their mini hot streak and lost four straight games following their decent week. To be honest, a long losing streak is exactly what the Phillies need. They need to be completely convinced that a rebuild is necessary, because they don't already seem to think so for whatever reason.
Despite having a run differential of just -14, the Cubs somehow have the fourth-worst record in baseball. Even though they have two very good pitchers in their rotation, the rest of their staff has struggled to a 3.56 ERA. Their offense has the second-lowest wRC+ in all of baseball and a line of just .232/.293/.370.
Before the season, no one expected the Rangers to be the same dominant team they had been in the past, but I'm not sure anyone would have expected them to be this terrible either. They are just 2-8 in their last 10 games and have the third-worst run differential in baseball.
The Red Sox spend a lot of money, but as we've learned many times, money doesn't equal championships -- or even a .500 record. It's hard to believe based on the names in their lineup, but the Red Sox actually have the sixth-fewest homers in baseball with just 61.
The Mets are playing better than their record would indicate, believe it or not. Despite their 37-44 record, they actually have a positive run differential. The Mets are close to being a contending team, but this year just isn't meant to be.
The White Sox are 4-6 in their last 10 games, but they look to be getting on a bit of a hot streak all of a sudden after winning three straight games. Offense isn't a problem for the Sox; the problem is that other than Chris Sale and Jose Quintana, their rotation is a large question mark.
The Marlins' freefall since losing Jose Fernandez continued in Week 12, and they are now 3-7 in the last 10, including a three-game losing streak. A team that looked like buyers a few weeks ago will probably have to sell once again, or at the very least stand pat.
After a surprise postseason appearance in 2013, it doesn't look like the Indians will be returning this season. Their offense is among the best in the AL, but their pitching is among the worst. This isn't a problem that acquiring one starter or reliever would fix. The Indians should focus on putting a winning team on the field in 2015, because it isn't happening this year.
Remember when the Royals were one of the hottest teams in baseball way back in Week 11? Since then, things haven't been so great for them. In their last 10, the Royals are just 3-7. On the season, the Royals are last in homers with just 46 as a team.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have been one of the best baseball teams over the past month, and they weren't any different over the past week. Over their last 10 games, the Bucs are 7-3. The Pirates' 104 wRC+ is the eighth-best in baseball, and they have a .257/.332/.385 line as a team.
The Orioles are a team that relies heavily on the home run ball to score runs. Luckily, they have the third-most homers in baseball with 94. If they really want to contend, they could use an upgrade or two in the starting rotation.
The New York Yankees have a decent record, but they aren't as good as one would think. They have a significantly negative run differential (-29) and they have an offense that is well below average.
The Blue Jays continue to fall in the standings after a really hot start to 2014. According to their 112 wRC+, the Jays still have the best offense in baseball. Like many teams that start off hot and then begin to fall out of the race, the Blue Jays simply don't have enough pitching.
Injuries to the starting rotation have slowed the Cardinals a bit, but they will certainly get their feet back on the ground. The organization is just far too deep and talented to continue struggling. In their past 10 games, the Cards have played just .500 ball and currently have a two-game losing streak.
Remember all those teams that could mash the ball on offense but couldn't get outs? The Nationals are the exact opposite. They have the best staff ERA in baseball, and despite their middle-of-the-pack offense, their pitching could easily carry them to the postseason.
The San Francisco Giants haven't won a game since the Tim Lincecum no-hitter early in Week 12. They are a slumping team, having lost four straight games and 3-7 in their last 10 games. Despite their current slump, the Giants have more than enough pitching to carry them through the marathon that is the baseball season.
A lot of teams at the top of the standings have the same thing in common: they can all pitch. This is no different for the Mariners, who have won seven of their past 10 games. The M's have a 3.28 ERA, good for fifth-best in all of baseball.
Not many teams have been hotter of late than the Reds and Pirates, both from the NL Central. The Reds have won five straight games and are 8-2 in their last 10 games. All the Reds needed was to get healthy, apparently, because they look like an unstoppable force right now.
Another team that struggles at times offensively, the Braves just continue to churn out good pitchers that carry them to victories more often than not. Between a lack of offense and several injuries to their pitching staff, the Braves are proving the depth that their organization has.
Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dan Haren and Josh Beckett -- what more needs to be said about the 2014 Dodgers? With a staff like that, the Dodgers won't be seeing many extended losing streaks this year.
According to wRC+, the Angels are tied with the Blue Jays for the best offense in baseball. The difference between the two teams is that the Angels are a better pitching team that the Jays, leading me to believe that they have more staying power at the top of the standings.
The Tigers, Angels, Dodgers and Braves could all be flip-flopped in any order, to be honest. They are all playing so well at the moment, and they clearly are the second-tier of good baseball teams. The Tigers have one of the best offenses in baseball, particularly when it comes to extra-base hits. Other than the Rockies, the Tigers have the second-highest slugging percentage.
The Brewers are a complete team. They win at home, and on the road; they can win with power and with speed, and they can sometimes out-pitch their opponent. They are clearly the second-best team in baseball at this point in time.
For a third straight week, the Athletics are the best team in the rankings. Like last week, the reasons are fairly obvious. For instance, they have the best record overall. Also, their +135 run differential is absolutely ridiculous. Behind them, the second-best differential is +54.
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