By Griffin Hill
30. Chicago White Sox (21-41) Previous Ranking – 26
Chicagoans continue to claim this White Sox squad is built for the future, which I hope has some truth to it; the present isn’t looking to hot… Pitching is the main problem of this ballclub, but it also could be time for some coaching changes. The long season continues for White Sox fans.
29. Baltimore Orioles (19-44) Previous Ranking – 25
Extremely bad baseball, major changes coming this offseason…
28. Kansas City Royals (22-43) Previous Ranking – 27
Nothing improving in Kansas City, Royals still suck…
27. Texas Rangers (27-40) Previous Ranking- 28
The Rangers continue to struggling hitting, pitching fielding, and just about anything-ing the ball… Not much to see here.
26. Miami Marlins (23-41) Previous Ranking- 29
The Marlins have the lowest overall attendance in all of professional sports, and lost their avid fan, “The Marlins Man,” as a season ticket holder. Sitting near the bottom of the league is where the Marlins will spend this year (and many to come), so that’s why they didn’t move much in my rankings.
25. Cincinnati Reds (22-43) Previous Ranking- 30
The Cincinnati Reds started the season absolutely terrible, but have gotten into somewhat of a stride lately, winning seven out of their last ten. Still sitting at dead last in the NL Central, the Reds clearly still have some major work to do. Hopefully in what has been labeled a rebuilding year, the reds can take something positive heading into the summer, but it needs to start with their pitching staff, the forefront of their problems.
24. San Diego Padres (30-36) Previous Ranking – 23
The Padres have showed signs of improvement in the pitching department, but the hitting still lacks. Lots and lots of work to do in San Diego.
23. Los Angeles Dodgers (32-32) Previous Ranking – 12
Very disappointed with a team that has one of the best lineups in baseball… or should. On paper this is a team that should be contending for a World Series, like last year. Failing to meet expectations, I am not sure what the next move is for this franchise, but I do know there are lots of very angry fans in LA.
22. Minnesota Twins (22-29) Previous Ranking – 11
I am disappointed by the twins because I had high expectations for this team, even after a rocky start; however, their division is on their side… The AL Central is awful, plain and simple. The Twins still have hope for a playoff spot by outplaying the Indians the rest of the season.
21. Detroit Tigers (31-35) Previous Ranking – 20
The Tigers are bad, but once again like the twins so is their division. So I guess the Tigers still have hope.
20. San Francisco Giants(32-32) Previous Ranking- 21
The Diamondbacks and Rockies control the AL West, and the Giants need some more help in the hitting department. Time to make some moves!
19. Tampa Bay Rays (29-34) Previous Ranking – 24
The Rays will go out one night and score 10 runs, and pitch the lights out. Then the next they can’t hit and give up double digit runs before the 7th inning stretch. In a division with the Yanks and Sox, playoff chances are slim to none.
18. Oakland Athletics (33-32) Previous Ranking – 15
The Athletics mediocracy is a result of poor pitching and a noticeable amount of infield errors. This young team has a chance to improve throughout the season, but they need to focus on that instead of trying to everything at once.
17. Toronto Blue Jays (29-35) Previous Ranking – 7
Started hot… not so much now. The Jays need to step it up if they want to compete with the powerhouses in New York and Boston.
16. New York Mets (27-34) Previous Ranking – 3
The Mets started off hot and looked to be a frontrunner in the NL, and hell, they sure had me convinced they were legit. After the last couple weeks of play they leave me scared. They aren’t hitting the same way they were early on. Getting back on track needs to happen soon, because the NL East is booming!
15. Cleveland Indians (33-29) Previous Ranking – 6
Thankfully the Indians divison is terrible, because they honestly haven’t performed up to expectations. Sitting right near .500, Cleveland’s bullpen needs to finish games better, especially in the 7th and 8th innings.
14. Philadelphia Phillies (32-30) Previous Ranking- 22
The Phillies are a young team that was supposed to “not be ready yet” but frankly is winning games. Great hitting and fair pitching, especially late in games has gotten the Phillies most of their series this year. In the NL East, which has turned out to be one of the best divisions in baseball, they just need to take advantage of their home field, and battle the Braves and Nationals for the top spot.
13. Los Angeles Angels (37-28) Previous Ranking- 8
The Angels have been impressive, don’t get me wrong, I just don’t trust them to continue this insane hitting streak they are on. They will either come back to reality or prove me to be wrong. Time will tell.
12. St. Louis Cardinals (35-27) Previous Ranking – 14
I have all of the NL Central teams right in a row, (expect the poor reds) because that is truly how close this division is. The Cardinals just need to keep winning division matchups like they have for the last decade and they could outlast the other 3.
11. Chicago Cubs (37-24) Previous Ranking – 9
The Cubs are still my pick to win this tight division, but not if the pitching doesn’t improve. Defensively, and on offense they have played great, the bullpen just lacks. A mid season move for a solid reliever could be a season changing move for the Cubbies, but it will be a tight race to the finish line with their division rivals.
10. Pittsburgh Pirates (31-33) Previous Ranking – 19
Starting the season near the bottom, the Pittsburgh Pirates continue to climb my power rankings. They have simply proved me wrong, and seem to be a legitimate force to be reckoned with in a weak NL conference. The Central is tight, but the Pirates very well could prevail.
9. Milwaukee Brewers (39-25) Previous Ranking – 18
Yes, the Brewers are winning the NL Central right now, but I am not sold on this team just yet. The hitting worries me, and the bullpen has been shaky at times. I still believe the Cubs will win the division, but the Brewers are in position headed into June to prove me wrong.
8. Colorado Rockies (32-32) Previous Ranking – 13
The Rockies have continued to compete in a division that seems to be ran by the Diamondbacks. Colorado fans should have the playoffs to look forward to hopefully, assuming the continue to hit the ball the way they are right now.
7. Seattle Mariners (40-24) Previous Ranking – 16
The Mariners CANOot allow the suspension of Robinson Canó to be their downfall, because what they have going is great thus far. Signs all point to the fact that this is a playoff ready roster, and if a mid-season trade for an elite batter were to take place, I think they could push themselves into the top 5. Don’t sleep on the Mariners… they have surpassed the Astros in the standings, and if that holds, they will pass them in the power rankings as well.
6. Washington Nationals (36-26) Previous Ranking- 10
After a 12-16 start the Nationals are finally doing what I expected them to do… HIT THE BALL. I picked this team from the jump to win the World Series, and while that still seems like a shaky pick, I am starting to see positive signs from the Nats. The NL is extremely weak and my belief is they will continue this surge of hitting and capitalize on inter-conference series.
5. Atlanta Braves (37-27) Previous Ranking – 17
The biggest surprise thus far in the NL, if not the league is the Atlanta Braves. A very young team is doing some things no one expected, and if they can keep it up they will near the top of the NL as they are now. Keep on rolling Atlanta!
4. Arizona Diamondbacks (34-29) Previous Ranking- 4
No other team in the NL can hit like the Diamondbacks, and while they once again find themselves at the 4-spot in my rankings, all three of the teams ahead of them are in the American League. A pennant is a very realistic goal for this group of players, and if they can keep up their consistent 7-10 run outings then they will do nothing but climb to the top.
3. Houston Astros (41-25) Previous Ranking – 1
The Astros still are the favorite to win the World Series in my opinion, but because of the outstanding play of both AL East powerhouses they drop to 3 this time around. Nothing to worry about, Houston is still on top of their game. They will keep rolling right into the summer.
2. Boston Red Sox (44-21) Previous Ranking – 2
Just behind their foes, I place the Red Sox at the 2 spot in this edition of rankings. The Sox are the first team in the league to reach 30 wins this season, and I believe will be the first to reach 100. The hitting and pitching on this Boston roster can compete for a World Series. I Expect the AL East to come down to the last week of the season in a race for the ages, but I give Yankees the slightest of an edge right now. Should be fun to watch.
1. New York Yankees (42-18) Previous Ranking – 5
Like I said before, the top of the power rankings is extremely tight, but I give the Yankees the nudge over the Sox and Astros this edition.The New York Yankees are on an absolute tear as of late. The dominant power hitting lineup that every envisioned is coming into form, and doesn’t look stoppable. Along with the best top top bottom home run hitting batting order I have seen in a decade, the pitching has been nothing less than phenomenal.