it's may 1st so we're through the first month of baseball season. only 5 more to go. time to run through the mlb power rankings up-to-date.
1. texas rangers (17-6, +56 runs)
yu darvish is 4-0 with a 2.18 era. after a shaky beginning to his mlb career he's adjusted just fine and is anchoring a pitching staff that has let up the least amount of runs in the AL. on top of that, their lineup has scored the 2nd most runs in the AL. they are 6.5 games up their nearest competitor in the AL west and 9 up on the la angels.
2. st. louis cardinals (14-8, + 53 runs)
the cardinals have given up the 2nd fewest runs in the NL and are 2nd in runs scored. it's a good formula for success. their rotation is without chris carpenter and with adam wainwright coming back from tommy john surgery to the tune of a 7.32 era, but the groundball legacy of former pitching coach dave duncan is still alive and strong.
3. atlanta braves (14-9, +21 runs)
their team is deep and balanced with veterans and youth. they have jason heyward back to form and batting 7th. most of the rest of the lineup is underperforming which is a scary thought. the rotation with hudson, hanson, beachy, minor and a bunch of top prospects should be more than adequate to win this division given health.
4. washington nationals (14-8, +15 runs)
my preseason pick to win the NL east and the NL pennant, the nationals are 1st in preventing runs after april. i picked them for success this year because i love their rotation of strasburg, zimmerman, gonzalez and jackson. they have a 1.13, 1.33, 1.82, 3.16 eras, respectively. ryan zimmerman will be back soon and hopefully so will michael morse. uber-prospect bryce harper has just been called up and could add some much needed firepower in the meantime.
5. new york yankees (13-9, + 18 runs)
the next five teams will all be from the AL east and the yanks top that list, although they currently sit in 3rd in that division. it's because they have the 3rd best offense in the AL and are +18 even with all their pitching issues. the loss of michael pineda is big but the return of andy pettite should help a little. they'll need to make it work for the time being because their top pitching prospects are all having bad years in the minors.
6. boston red sox (11-11, +3 runs)
i know this seems like a mistake but consider that even with all the drama thus far, the red sox are only 3.5 games back of 1st in the AL east and 2 games back of the playoffs. they are 1st in runs scored with a league worst runs allowed. at some point dice-k and andrew bailey will return providing a little more depth to a thin pitching staff. plus, it can't get any worse.
7. tampa bay rays (15-8, +8 runs)
i would have had them higher if not for the injury to their best player, evan longoria. he could be out for two months which could really put a damper on their playoff chances. still though, their pitching staff and incredible front office will at least keep them in the race for the time being.
8. toronto blue jays (12-11, +9 runs)
edwin encarnacion could be the next jose bautista with his legitimate 1.050 ops (not babip supported). their lineup is strong and could be stronger with a call up for travis snider who is sporting a nearly 1.200 ops in triple-a. their staff is solid and young as well.
9. baltimore orioles (14-9, +12 runs)
of all the AL east teams, this is the one that is most likely to fall fast in the rankings but for the time being, they deserve this spot. playing the hardest division maybe in sports history, they are currently sitting in 2nd place. adam jones, nolan reimold, matt weiters and chris davis are all looking like they have finally all reached their potential... at the same time.
10. la dodgers (16-7, + 12 runs)
matt kemp has a 1.400 ops with 12 hrs, 24 runs and 25 rbis. he's on pace for like 70 hrs, 150 runs/rbis. unfortunately, the team is essentially the matt kemp/clayton kershaw show. chad billingsley has returned to form but it won't be enough to sustain them all year long. still though, it's a nice start for a team desperately in need of a good story after the frank mccourt drama over the last few years.
11. san francisco giants (12-10, + 4 runs)
the return of buster posey has been great to see. the treatment of brandon belt has not been as great. they are my pick to win the division so i'll assume tim lincecum returns to form as the weather gets warmer.
12. arizona diamondbacks (12-11, + 2 runs)
stephen drew is close to returning which will help create some depth in the lineup. the addition of jason kubel has really benefitted them with a slow start from justin upton. collmenter has finally been pushed out of the starting rotation but when will we see the incredible pitching trio of trevor bauer, tyler skaggs, or archie bradley?
13. colorado rockies (11-11, + 1 runs)
i guess i like grouping divisional teams together.
14. detroit tigers (11-11, -10 runs)
we finally get our first team with a negative run differential. the tigers are suffering from a very apparent problem... the lack of balance. they are a team that relies on 3 stars and a bunch of other unreliable pieces. unfortunately those unreliable pieces are doing the only thing we can rely on them to do... be unreliable.
15. ny mets (13-10, -20 runs)
they are 9-2 in 1 or 2 run games which accounts for their good record despite their awful run differential. it's been a fun story so far so i'll find solace in that while i wait for the eventual disappointment to come. at least i get to watch johan santana every fifth day.
16. philadelphia phillies (11-12, -2 runs)
the phillies are 13th in the NL in offense in one of the best hitter's parks in baseball. are an aging and injured utley and an aging and declining ryan howard the answer? probably not.
17. cincinnati reds (11-11, -3 runs)
even though he's posting a 300/389/433 triple slash, devin mesoraco has only played in half the reds games thus far. this team is only held back by the idiocy that is dusty baker.
18. cleveland indians (11-9, -1 runs)
19. milwaukee brewers (11-12, -20 runs)
they are lucky to be 1 game under 500 with a -20 run differential. greinke, gallardo and marcum should get better which will even things out eventually.
20. chicago white sox (11-11, + 3 runs)
adam dunn is not as awful as he was last year. peavy looks about ready to be traded. if you're a white sox fan, enjoy this while it lasts because you're looking at years of irrelevancy.
21. houston astros (9-14, + 4 runs)
the last of the positive run differential teams. it's sad really though because the astros are going to be terrible so while they are +4 runs, it would be nice to have a few more wins.
22. los angeles angels (8-15, - 14 runs)
it can't get any worse, can it? is albert pujols really 40 years old? i always assumed he lied about his age but the more you analyze his declining performance the more you have to question it. not sure why they cut bobby abreu (and not vernon wells) to call up mike trout but at least he's here and will play. they can probably kiss the division goodbye but should have enough to compete for one of the two wildcard spots.
23. miami marlins (8-14, -14 runs)
they have the worst offense in baseball. my theory is this: the home run statue in the new ball park is so frightening and confusing that player don't want to hit home runs anymore.
24. pittsburgh pirates (10-12, - 8 runs)
they were everyone's darling for the first couple months last year. they are 3rd in run prevention this year in the NL but haven't scored 5 runs yet this season. pedro alvarez looks ready to bust out for 25+ hrs this year so maybe he can help stop the streak.
25. seattle mariners (11-13, -9 runs)
they probably should have been higher but who really cares.
26. kansas city royals (6-15, -19 runs)
this is what happens when your prospects don't pan out as quickly as expected.
27. oakland athletics (11-13, -19 runs)
jarrod parker looks promising. and yoenis cespedes is by far the most entertaining player to watch in baseball.
28. chicago cubs (8-15, -21 runs)
bryan lahair is batting cleanup. never heard of him? maybe it's because he's a 29 year old who's played in 65 major league games prior to this year.
29. san diego padres (7-17, -24 runs)
i really know nothing about this team.
30. minnesota twins (6-16, -37 runs)
there's no way they end the year in this spot. i think i picked them to finish 2nd in the AL central which may have been a little optimistic but they can't be this bad. they can't. seriously, no way.