MLB Power Rankings: Week 12By Steve Merril - Covers Expert
The Houston Astros continue to hold on to the top spot in our MLB Power Rankings for another week, but the red-hot Colorado Rockies are right behind and have the No. 1 spot in their sights. The big risers this week are the Kansas City Royals who jump eight spots up to No. 15. The biggest slips are the Cincinnati Reds and the St. Louis Cardinals who fall six and five spots respectively.
MLB Power Rankings
|Rank||Last Week||Change||Team||W-L (ATS)||Power Rating||Team Comments|
The Astros still maintain the top spot even though they have lost five of their last seven games. Houston just completed a turn through the rotation with Brad Peacock, Francis Marte, Michael Fiers, David Paulino and Joe Musgrove starting. They head West to begin a road trip through Oakland and Seattle next.
Colorado has won five straight including a four-game home sweep of the Giants. They capped it off with a walk-off homer by Nolan Arenado which got him the cycle. Jake McGee blew the 9th inning on Sunday, but the team came back to pick up their 11th win out of the bullpen. Of note, the bullpen has not lost at home.
LA has won nine of their last 10 with eight of those going Over the total. The offense is one of the reasons why as they've scored five runs or more in eight of their last nine. Cody Bellinger has 19 homers in 50 games with six of those coming in his last seven contests. The Dodgers return home for four against the Mets before the Rockies come to town.
Not quite sure why Joe Ross continues to get starts for Washington. After Sunday's loss he fell to 3-3 with a 5.98 ERA on the season. The bullpen has some weird road statistics with a 5.92 ERA, but only five losses and three blown saves. Max Scherzer is on an incredible roll right now and is making a case as the best pitcher in baseball.
New York has lost six straight, winning just one game of their West Coast road trip. We talk about how good this team's bullpen is, yet the group has 10 losses and 12 blown saves with nine of them coming away from home. Aroldis Chapman is back, throwing a scoreless inning on Sunday. The Yankees get the Angels and Rangers at home this week.
The Snakes are on a seven-game win streak and now begin a series in Colorado against the Rockies. Entering Sunday, they were hitting .262 over the past seven games. Paul Goldschmidt has a six-game hit streak and is now in the top 10 of seven categories of the National League. The first baseman leads the league in runs scored and walks while checking in 2nd in OPS.
Boston has won six of their past nine games, including two wins in Houston. The one loss came Saturday with Rick Porcello who has now made eight straight starts where he's allowed eight hits or more. The former Cy Young winner has an ugly 5.05 ERA. Mookie Betts is hot right now with 13 hits in his last 31 at-bats. The leadoff hitter has 12 HRs.
After some brief struggles, the Tribe has won five straight. They scored 28 runs over a four game sweep of the Twins in Minnesota. Corey Kluber has allowed just five runs over his last 19 innings and has seemingly returned to his ace form. Andrew Miller is glad the Dodgers are gone after the southpaw gave up five of his seven runs over a two-day span.
The Over has hit in eight of Milwaukee's last 11 games. Even after Sunday's win, the Brewers are still just 19-20 SU at home. Corey Knebel has been really good since taking over as closer. He's had eight straight scoreless appearances and only three blown saves in 13 chances. Next up is four at home against Pittsburgh followed by three at Atlanta.
Jacob Faria has been a revelation for Tampa winning all three of his starts. In each outing, the righty held his opponents to one run and was able to limit his walks. Pair him with Chris Archer and you've got a real good 1-2 punch. The Rays are averaging over five runs per game against right-handed starting pitching. They've also gone Over in nine of their last 11.
The Cubs continue to underachieve as they finished a road trip through New York and Pittsburgh at just 3-3. Jake Arrieta and John Lackey have been disappointments in the rotation while Kyle Schwarber is still scuffling at the plate. Despite all of the issues, Chicago is only 2.5 games out of first place. They will look for revenge as San Diego is in Wrigley this week. The Padres swept the Cubs in San Diego last month.
Minnesota is trending downward because they've lost four straight and five of their last six. They were outclassed by Cleveland this past weekend. Vegas has set totals of 10 or more in eight straight with the Over hitting in three of those contests. For the fourth time in the past month, Ervin Santana allowed five runs or more.
Ubaldo Jimenez's return to the rotation on Sunday yielded him a victory over the Cardinals. The righty held them to two runs and four hits over seven innings. Chris Tillman lost his fifth straight start earlier in the week and now has an unsightly 8.07 ERA. Baltimore's offense still comes and goes depending on home runs. They get a four game set with Cleveland at home starting Monday.
The Jays have cooled off a bit, losing three of their last five. Outside of his last start, Joe Biagini's move to the rotation has been pretty good. He is only 1-6 overall, but Toronto has scored just 21 runs for him as a starter. Jose Bautista has just six hits over his last 35 at-bats. Next up is a road trip through Texas and Kansas City.
KC is the big mover of the week because they've won seven of their last eight. It's no coincidence that the wins have started to come as the offense has started to hit. Salvador Perez has a 10-game hit streak and is batting .362 this month. Kelvin Herrera has converted 16 of his 18 save chances. He's most likely auditioning for other teams.
Texas has won three straight series and took two of three games from Seattle over the weekend. Texas scored 23 runs in the set and are figuring things out after a slow start to the season. Adrian Beltre moved past Wee Willie Keeler this week in all-time hits. Beltre's lacked some power though with just one dinger on the year.
The Angels lost three of four to the Royals after beating the Yankees twice in their three game series. JC Ramirez has been pretty bad over his last four starts giving up 18 runs and 28 hits. LAA's bullpen has been an issue with 10 losses and 10 blown saves. Next up is three in New York against the Yankees followed by three in Boston.
A road trip through Minnesota and Texas produced three wins and four losses for the Mariners. Sam Gaviglio gets the call on Monday for Seattle and he's 3-1 with a 3.41 ERA. The righty has won three straight decisions and has posted several good outings in a row. Edwin Diaz has been very good since becoming the closer once again.
After praising Buck Farmer last week for his good start, the pitcher allowed 13 runs and 14 hits to the Rays and Diamondbacks at home. Justin Verlander has not won in almost a month for Detroit. The Tigers have lost four of their last six, but are only 4.5 games out in the division. They begin a four-game series in Seattle on Monday.
The Cardinals made Ubaldo Jimenez look competent which is always scary. St. Louis has lost five of their last six after a four-game win streak. They are now 13-19 on the road and 3-8 in interleague play. Carlos Martinez continues to be dominant with a 6-5 record and a 2.86 ERA. He's allowed just nine runs over his last 36.2 innings.
The Mets were using a six-man rotation up until Matt Harvey's injury. Jacob deGrom has won two straight starts since getting rocked by the Rangers and Brewers. He managed to hold the Cubs and Nationals to just one earned run and eight hits over 17 innings. Yoenis Cespedes had four hits on Saturday and is working his way back to being healthy.
Miami spent a lot of money this offseason to sure up the bullpen, but that's been one of their biggest problem areas. The unit has 13 losses and 10 blown saves. Closer AJ Ramos has just one of those blown saves and it came on Saturday down in Atlanta. The offense should continue to flourish now that Justin Bour is off the disabled list.
Pittsburgh has won five of their last eight. The best story of the week was the return of Jameson Taillon from testicular cancer. He pitched well against the Rockies, before losing to the Cubs on Sunday. The Pirates can close the gap a bit in the division this week with road games at the Brewers and Cardinals.
Two starts in, Sean Newcomb has proved to be a decent pitcher. Newcomb has allowed just four runs and nine hits in 12.1 innings of work. Dansby Swanson has been struggling all year to get much traction on offense. He has just five hits in his last 21 at-bats. Closer Jim Johnson is 5-1 with 13 saves in 17 opportunities.
Chi. White Sox
James Shields returned on Sunday with mixed results. He gave up three runs and seven hits in just over five innings against the Blue Jays. Carlos Rodon is close to getting back into the rotation after the team announced he still needed one more rehab start. Chicago took two of three in Toronto over the weekend.
Oakland is flying high after sweeping the Yankees in a four-game set. They've scored 30 runs over their last five games. We'll see if they can keep the momentum against the Astros who come to Oakland next. Ironically, Houston has shown interest in acquiring ace Sonny Gray. They'll face him on Tuesday.
Cincy has lost nine straight games. They do not pitch well, and now the offense has dried up. The Reds scored three runs or less six times during this losing streak. The wins don't figure to come this week with a tough road trip through Tampa Bay and Washington. The best news of the week was the selection of Hunter Greene in the draft.
San Francisco has lost six straight and eight of their last nine. Madison Bumgarner is scheduled to throw another simulated game later this week. Matt Moore is 0-4 with a 9.24 ERA in eight road starts. Lefties are hitting .387 against him. The Giants are now 19.5 games out in the NL West division which ties the Phillies for the worst division deficit in the league.
San Diego is 11-24 on the road this season where they are allowing nearly six runs per contest. It's hard to believe that this team is missing Manuel Margot offensively. The slugger could start a rehab assignment Monday or Tuesday and return by the end of the month. Next up is a trip to Wrigley Field, followed by a home set against the Tigers.
The Phillies have the worst record in baseball at 22-46 and they have been swept eight times and have 17 one-run losses. Hector Neris blew the save on Sunday giving the bullpen their 16th loss and 12th blown save. The offense has managed just 16 runs over their last six games. Philadelphia is 1-11 in their past twelve games with their only win coming in a 1-0 game when Nick Pivetta outdueled Chris Sale and the Red Sox.
Power Ratings compute offensive and defensive statistics into one number for each team, while accounting for factors like recent performances and strength of schedule. Power Ratings can be used as a baseline for relative spread index to compare current or future match-ups between two teams. The relative spread does not account for non-statistical factors like home-field advantage, recent injuries, game time decisions, rivalries, publicity, and weather.