By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)
Week 9 MLB Power Rankings
1.) St Louis Cardinals (37-19) – The Cardinals are certainly looking like the best team in baseball with a run differential of +84. It doesn’t seem to matter who the Cards use in the starting rotation, but they all have success, with a majors best team ERA of 2.99.
2.) Texas Rangers (35-21) – Texas looks good once again this year, as Yu Darvish is having a great sophomore season. Darvish is (7-2), with a ERA of 2.77, and a ridiculous 111 strikeouts already. Having an ace like Darvish should keep the Rangers high in the rankings from here on out.
3.) Cincinnati Reds (35-22) – Considering they play in one of the more hitter friendly ballparks in all of baseball it is amazing that the Reds have the third best team ERA in baseball. Good pitching and a talented lineup is the Reds recipe for playing so well thus far.
4.) Pittsburgh Pirates (35-22) – The Pirates started the week with an impressive series win over the Tigers taking three out of four games, and they finished the week with a thrilling extra-innings win over the Reds, as their bullpen went 10 scoreless innings in relief. The Pirates are 13 games over .500, and seem like a real threat to the Cardinals and Reds in the NL Central.
5.) Oakland Athletics (34-24) – The young arms for the Athletics seem to be looking like they did last year, which is why they have one nine out of their 10 ball games. The great stretch of baseball the Athletics have been on has put them right back behind Texas for the division lead.
6.) Boston Red Sox (35-23) – Clay Buchholz returned to the rotation to win the rubber game of the series against the Yankees, as he is now (8-0) on the season, and has a MLB best 1.64 ERA. The offense has also came alive lately, and the Red Sox now have the most runs scored in all of baseball.
7.) Atlanta Braves (34-22) – A walk off hit on Saturday night against the Nationals for B.J. Upton had to be a welcomed sight for him and the Braves, as his first year in Atlanta has not gone the way he would have liked, but maybe a game-winning hit cant turn things around for Upton.
8.) Arizona Diamondbacks (32-24) – Patrick Corban is (9-0) leading the Dbacks rotation, but Wade Miley has struggled lately losing four starts in a row, while given up 23 runs. The NL West doesn’t seem to be too difficult with the Giants struggling right now, so Diamondbacks might be able to extend their division lead if Miley figures it out.
9.) Baltimore Orioles (32-25) – The Orioles had a very impressive week winning their inter-league series with the Nationals, and then taking two out of three from the Tigers, with the two wins being in come from behind fashion. Chris Davis leads the majors with 20 homeruns to lead a young, talented Orioles lineup.
10.) Tampa Bay Rays (31-25) – The Rays had the best record in May for the AL, without David Price for the most part. With the pitching not being up to what we have come to expect from the Ray, the offense has picked up the slack ranking fourth in baseball in runs scored.
11.) New York Yankees (31-25) – The injuries have finally seemed to take its toll on the Yankees lineup, as in five of the last seven games they have scored one run or less. Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis have just came back so that should help the Yankees score some more runs.
12.) Detroit Tigers (30-25) – Miguel Cabrera continues his hunt for a second straight triple-crown, leading in batting average and RBIs, but even Cabrera playing great couldn’t help the Tigers this week, as they lost five out of seven games.
13.) Cleveland Indians (30-26) – the Indians lineup has been very good this year, but besides Justin Masterson they have struggled pitching. Ubaldo Jimenez has been up and down this season, and the Indians need more consistency from him if they want to challenge the Tigers for the Division.
14.) Colorado Rockies (30-27) – After losing the series to the Astros to start the week the Rockies bounced back winning the series against the Dodgers. A ten-game home stand will be starting for the Rockies this coming weekend, which will give them a good chance to gain ground in the NL West.
15.) San Francisco Giants (30-27) – The Giants despite being over .500 have a negative run differential. Poor pitching and injuries are starting to mount for the defending champs. A tough road-trip is coming against the Diamondbacks, Pirates, and Braves, which might put the Giants under .500 if the pitching doesn’t improve.
16.) Washington Nationals (28-29) - The Nationals, who were a popular pick to win the NL East and possibly to make a run at the World Series are now under .500. Bryce Harper is on the DL and Stephen Strasburg has a strained lat muscle, which wont help the Nationals get back over the .500 mark.
17.) San Diego Padres (26-30) – San Diego is hanging tough in the NL with two of their best hitters in Carlos Quentin and Chase Headley both batting under .240. If one or both of them can get going it would certainly help the Padres get to the .500 mark.
18.) Philadelphia Phillies (27-30) – Domonic Brown had one of the better weeks we will see in baseball all season probably, as he hit .444 with seven homeruns and 13 RBIs. Even with Brown's great week the Phillies still had a losing week however.
19.) Minnesota Twins (25-29) – After a tough week, the Twins were able to bounce back with a nice week, winning six out of seven games against the Brewers and Mariners.
20.) Los Angeles Angels (25-32) – A week that looked like it could turn the Angels season around against the Dodgers and the Astros turned into a (2-5) week with a game on Monday against the Astros maybe being a must win to avoid what would be a devastating four-game sweep to the Astros.
21.) Chicago White Sox (24-30) – A win less week for the White Sox has moved them for the .500 mark last week to six games under this week. The White Sox offense is now ranked 29th in runs scored, which just simply wont win them many games.
22.) Chicago Cubs (23-32) – The weather has warmed up in Chicago and so have the Cubs going on a five-game winning streak this week, which is their longest winning-streak since 2011. The warm weather has heated up the Cubs bats, as they have scored four or more runs in every game this past week.
23.) Kansas City Royals (23-31) – A good start to the season seems like a lifetime ago for the Royals, as they have lost 21 of their last 27 games. The offense has been the main problem for the Royals, as they have not scored more than 4 runs in the last 12 games, which has led to George Brett becoming the new hitting coach.
24.) Seattle Mariners (24-33) – Mariners Closer Tom Wilhelmsen had a tough week blowing two saves, which led to two losses, and cost the Mariners a winning week. Nick Franklin hit two home runs in his first week in the majors to provide a bit of offense.
25.) Toronto Blue Jays (24-33) – Blue Jays have had a ton of injuries this season, which has made their climb to .500 that much harder. Josh Johnson will be making his return on Monday to the rotation against the Giants.
26.) Los Angeles Dodgers (23-32) – Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford are heading to the DL, which I not good for the Dodger who have been struggling to score runs. Yasil Puig has been called-up to fill in for the injured Outfielders, and hopefully provide a spark to the lineup.
27.) New York Mets (22-32) – The Mets started the week sweeping the Subway Series against the Yankees, but then headed to Miami to play the Marlins, with a chance to move up in the NL East the Mets suffered a sweep at the hands of the Marlins costing themselves a good chance to move closer to .500.
28.) Houston Astros (20-37) – The Astros are riding a five-game winning-streak something that would have been hard to believe to start the season. Monday is a big day for the Astros, as they will look to sweep the Angels on the road.
29.) Milwaukee Brewers (21-34) – May was very unkind to the Brewers only winning six games, as their pitching has been one of the worst in all of baseball. The Brewers will hope June is more kind to them than May was.
30.) Miami Marlins (16-41) – The Marlins finished off the week knocking around Matt Harvey, as without Giancarlo Stanton in the lineup it has led to Marcell Ozuna emerging into a player to watch, as he's hitting .333 so far this season.