Monday, April 4, 2011

MLB Power Rankings 4-4-2011

Well Opening Weekend has passed, and what did we learn? Not much really. The Rangers can mash, which we already knew. The Phillies can pitch, which we already knew. The Pirates actually look like professionals when they play at Wrigley, which we already knew. And while it's always fun to imagine the possibilities if every game played out like the first (imagine if Albert Pujols hit into 486 double plays this year), it doesn't take long for the realization of the marathon to set in.

As I sat down to rank the MLB teams after one weekend, I felt like when "my friend" was training for a marathon and wondered halfway through his training why he felt the need to just run. The Power Rankings took more time and energy than I thought. Hopefully the Rankings stick around for the whole season, unlike my, I mean "my friend's" marathon training.

1. Philadelphia Phillies - Yeah they played a bad team, but until they prove otherwise they will be at the top spot.

2. Texas Rangers - 11 homeruns in the first three games. Two players with 3 each. Nelson Cruz became just the 2nd righty to reach the upper deck of the HR Porch. Ian Kinsler with HRs in his first official AB of each game. Eventually Boston just beaned him and saved the pitch count. The reigning AL Champs showed that they aren't going to just hand the title over to Boston.

3. Cincinnati Reds - The come-from-behind walkoff on Opening Day showed that they won't go away easily in the NL Central.

4. New York Yankees - When you get Mark Teixeira to actually hit before June, things are going your way, even if Amanda Whurlitzer is on speed dial.

5. Los Angeles Dodgers - There's a lot going on with these guys but they won 3 out of 4 against the World Series Champs. And Jonathan Broxton got 3 saves....which is nice. Oh, he's given up 2 homeruns? BUT HE GOT THE SAVE!!! It's such an important stat!

6. Toronto Blue Jays - Nice start to the season by drubbing Minnesota twice. They won't end up higher than 3rd in the East, but this was a nice showing.

7. Atlanta Braves - They played Washington and won twice. That will happen to Washington a lot. But they got a shutout on opening day and a blowout in the rubber match.

8. Chicago White Sox - They made a 14-0 lead get at least somewhat dicey on Opening Day. Adam Dunn looks good so far.

9. Colorado Rockies - Heartbreaker in the opener, but they got the win in Game 2 before Sunday's game was postponed because of snow. They were playing Arizona. WHY WAS THIS SERIES NOT SCHEDULED TO BE PLAYED IN ARIZONA?!?! They play in a dome! It doesn't rain or snow there! MLB...Where we're still using first generation iPhones.

10. San Diego Padres - They took 2 out of 3 in St. Louis with one win coming in extra innings, one by way of a blowout, and then getting shut out. OK.

11. Baltimore Orioles - A 3-0 start is a 3-0 start, but it came against Tampa Bay (see below...keep going). I think Buck Showalter will scare these guys into a decent season (think of the 2004 Texas Rangers) but I still think they finish 4th.  Out of principal, though, this week I couldn't place them below the...

12. Boston Red Sox - What an awful way to start the season.  Have you ever been on a good softball team and then you show up one day and the other team won't stop teeing off on you?  And you wonder, what happened, I thought we were good.  That's how this weekend had to have felt for Boston.  The good news is that Lester and Buchholz probably won't be that shaky again this season.  The bad news is that John Lackey will. 

13. Detroit Tigers - Tough way to start the season, having to go to Yankee Stadium.  But they salvaged Game 3.  The jury's still out on them.

14. San Francisco Giants - They won't go from World Series winners to below .500 will they?  Will they?  Think Aubrey Huff was wishing he could be dancing on the infield of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington again instead of losing flyballs?

15. New York Mets - They played Florida and won twice.  Know what that gets you?  A spot at #15!

16. Seattle Mariners - Not a bad way to start the season.  Not a bad way to start at all.  Oakland seems to be the hot pick to supplant the Rangers in the AL West if anyone is going to do it.  Seattle said, that's nice, we'll take the first 2 and then let you hit against Doug Fister on Sunday.

17. Oakland A's  - But Seattle's not really better than Oakland, so the A's will be one spot below them today, but I doubt it will be for long.

18. Kansas City Royals - Very nice series for KC to start the season, going 3-1 against the Angels, including 2 walkoffs, including one from the immortal Matt Treanor.  Imagine where the Rangers would be now if they hadn't traded him.  Oh.  Maybe backup catchers who hit .211 aren't that big of a deal.

19. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim - The bright side is that they easily could have swept the series against the Royals.  The bad news is that they didn't and that Scott Kazmir gets to play.  As an aside, I love it now that the Angels are the ones having to search for a bright side.

20. Cleveland Indians - They're not a good team and they had to start against a good team.  They got one win though.

21. St. Louis Cardinals - I don't know what to make of them.  Hopefully for their sake the Albert contract situation doesn't loom.  Part of me wants them to tank just to see what kind of ransom they could get for him.

22. Minnesota Twins - Ouch.  I would give them the benefit of the doubt and put them higher, but that was an awful way to start the season. 

23. Arizona Diamondbacks - They won the opener thanks to a wild pitch.  AND WHY WAS THIS SERIES NOT PLAYED IN ARIZONA?!

24. Florida Marlins - Josh Johnson looked good and John Buck will be a nice pick up.  They're still the Marlins though.

25. Pittsburgh Pirates - They won the series in Chicago.  But they always win in Chicago.  It's just about the only place they can win.  I think the world is a better place when the Pirates are good, but it's been so long, who knows?

26. Chicago Cubs - Ugh.  The Cubs. 

27. Washington Nationals - Stephen Strasburg still plays for them!

28. Milwaukee Brewers - Rickie Weeks is doing his best Ian Kinsler impression, but they got swept and their best pitcher likes playing pickup basketball.

29. Houston Astros - Remember the days when the Astros were the talk of Texas and the Rangers sucked?  Nope, I've wiped that from my memory.

30. Tampa Bay Rays - Wow, how the mighty have fallen.  3 runs in 3 games against Baltimore.  At home.  Without selling out Opening Day.  This team won the most games in the American League last year.  If the Rangers hadn't traded for Cliff Lee, the Rays may have been in the World Series.  Wow.


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