MLB Power Rankings: Week 16By Steve Merril - Covers Expert
Not much in the way of changes at the top of our MLB Power Rankings for Week 16. The Dodgers, Astros, and Nationals continue to make up our top three with the Diamondbacks and Red Sox not far behind. Our biggest risers this week are the Atlanta Braves who jump five spots up to No. 14. The honor of being the largest drop of the week is shared by the Reds, Cardinals, and Angels who all tumble three spots in the rankings.
MLB Power Rankings
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The break did nothing to slow down Los Angeles who picked up their 11th sweep this season over the weekend in Miami. The Dodgers held the Marlins to just seven runs in the series and did so without Clayton Kershaw. Cody Bellinger is the youngest player to hit for the cycle since Mike Trout in 2013. LA is in Chicago to play the White Sox for two followed by four at home against Atlanta.
Houston took two of three from Minnesota at home. Mike Fiers moved to 6-4 on the season after he struck out 11 Twins over seven innings on Sunday. He's starting to pitch better which is important because the team needs a number three behind Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers. They host Seattle for three before a trip to Baltimore this weekend.
Washington scored 24 runs in their last two games against the Reds. The Nats brought over Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle from Oakland to help out the bullpen which has 13 losses and 13 blown saves on the season. Tanner Roark snapped a four decision losing streak on Sunday after allowing three unearned runs to the Reds over six innings.
Arizona has now lost five straight after being swept down in Atlanta. The bullpen coughed up leads in the first two games before losing 7-1 on Sunday. Ironically, we can't even blame Fernando Rodney for either loss because he didn't even get a chance to come in. The Diamondbacks have three in Cincy before heading home to host the Nationals.
Boston has lost six of their last nine games. The offense has scored just 12 runs over their last six contests. Eduardo Rodriguez is scheduled to return to the rotation on Monday in Toronto after making three minor league rehab starts. Mookie Betts came out of the All-Star break with just three hits in his first 14 at-bats before going 3-for-4 on Sunday night.
Colorado salvaged the last game of their series in New York against the Mets. Tyler Chatwood has landed on the disabled list after dealing with a calf injury during his start on Saturday. He was the veteran of the rotation so we'll see if there is a trickle down effect at all. Ian Desmond did return which will help the lineup. The Rockies are home to host the Padres and Pirates this week.
Milwaukee took two of three from the Phillies which is important because they are back on the road this week at Pittsburgh and Philly. Matt Garza is returning to form allowing three runs and 14 hits over his last 16.1 innings of work. Craig Counsell said Saturday that Ryan Braun is still struggling with his calf injury and will be day-to-day the rest of the season.
The bullpen is still a roller coaster, but the team managed to split their four-game series in Boston. Aroldis Chapman has allowed a hit or a walk in four straight and seven of his last eight appearances. Joe Girardi has said he thinks that his usage last year by Chicago is catching up to him. The team dealt for Garrett Cooper in hopes that he's the answer at first base. He's 1-for-10 so far with five strikeouts.
Tampa saw their four-game win streak snapped on Sunday in Anaheim. Jacob Faria has allowed one run or less in five of his seven starts this season. The rookie is 4-0 with a 2.00 ERA and has not slowed down at all. Steven Souza Jr has three multi-hit games over his last six starts. He's complemented Corey Dickerson well in the lineup. Next up is three in Oakland before they host the Rangers.
It was a rough series in Oakland as the Tribe was swept by the A's. The offense has scored just 13 runs over their last five games as several hitters have gone cold. Edwin Encarnacion has just three hits over his last 22 at-bats. Jason Kipnis may have been struggling at the plate, but it's not good for Cleveland that he'll be out a few weeks with a hamstring injury.
Jose Quintana made a good first impression with the Cubs holding the Orioles to three hits while striking out 12 over seven innings of work. The price may have been steep, but the rotation needed an infusion of talent. Kyle Hendricks is getting close to return after he makes a start in Double-A on Monday. Chicago's offense got healthy scoring 27 runs over the three-game sweep of Baltimore. They hit Atlanta for three games before hosting St. Louis this weekend.
Minnesota lost two of three in Houston, but Ervin Santana picked up the win on Saturday. They get the Yankees and Tigers at home this week so we'll see if they can pick up the momentum in front of their fans. The team still has been outscored by 65 runs for the season which is a concern. Miguel Sano had just one hit in the series after appearing in the Home Run Derby finals last week.
The Royals have lost five of their last six games despite some good pitching from their starters. They've gone Under in five of their last six with the sixth tilt being a push. After a rough start to his season, Ian Kennedy has bounced back giving up three runs or less in four straight starts. He's won three straight decisions after beginning 0-6.
The Braves swept Arizona and have now scored four runs or more in 11 straight games. Since May 12th, they have gone 34-25 SU. The 34 wins are tied for the second most in the National League. Brandon Phillips had seven hits in 12 at-bats against the Diamondbacks this past weekend. Things toughen up considerably with the Cubs in Atlanta for three games followed by a trip to Los Angeles to play the Dodgers.
Seattle came out of the break with a road sweep of the White Sox. Felix Hernandez has bounced back nicely winning his last two outings. King Felix has allowed just one earned run over his last 11 innings. At one time there was concern about Edwin Diaz as closer, but he took care of business in all three appearances in Chicago.
Cole Hamels is back for Texas and has now gone two straight starts without allowing a run. The southpaw is 4-0 with a 3.05 ERA for the Rangers. The bullpen lost it's 19th game on Sunday and is converting save opportunities at only a 48% clip. The road trip continues with four games in Baltimore followed by three in Tampa Bay.
Mike Trout's thumb injury didn't seem to hinder him much as he picked up a hit in each of the three contests against the Rays. Still, the wins didn't come as they lost two of three at home against Tampa Bay. Albert Pujols has a four-game hit streak and is now hitting .306 in the month of July. Next up is a two-game series with the Nationals before hosting Boston as well.
St. Louis has gone Under in five straight games. Carlos Martinez pitched well enough to win on Sunday holding the Pirates to two runs and five hits in seven innings. It was a much needed outing after he allowed five runs in five innings to both the Nationals and the Mets. Still, he's lost three straight decisions.
The Pirates took two of three games from the Cardinals and have now won three straight series. We'll see if they can keep that going in a four-game series against the Brewers beginning Monday. The last time Ivan Nova faced Milwaukee he allowed four runs and 11 hits in seven innings back on June 22nd.
Baltimore was swept by the Cubs at home and has now lost eight of their last 10 games. The Orioles rotation has the worst ERA in baseball approaching 6.00 as a group. Hitters have a .293 batting average against the likes of Wade Miley, Kevin Gausman and Ubaldo Jimenez. The team has said that they will make several of their relievers available via trade.
The Mets took two of three from the Rockies and have put themselves 9.5 games out of the wild card. We'll see if a win streak turns this team into buyers instead of sellers. Next up is a four-game series at home against the Cardinals before the A's come to New York. Zack Wheeler has lost four straight decisions and will look to turn things around on Monday.
Toronto's pitching failed them in Detroit, losing two of three games. Marco Estrada is 4-6 with a 5.33 ERA in 19 starts. He's seen his ERA rise over two runs over his last ten starts. Francisco Liriano left his last start with tightness on the right side of his neck. The southpaw is 5-5 with a 6.04 ERA. They've got four games in Boston followed by three in Cleveland.
Miami's return from the All-Star break was pretty bad as they were swept by the Dodgers. Next up is three straight games at home against the Phillies. Edinson Volquez was supposed to start on Sunday, but was scratched due to patellar tendinitis. Chris O'Grady has made two fill-in starts and was alright allowed three runs and five hits to the Dodgers and Giants each.
Anibal Sanchez has actually been a decent starting pitcher for Detroit. He's allowed 14 runs and 25 hits over 29.1 innings of work. The Tigers have won three of their last four games and will now travel to Kansas City for four contests followed by three more in Minnesota. There is talk of a couple of teams being interested in trading for J.D. Martinez.
Sean Manaea has won six of his last eight decisions. The southpaw has allowed three runs or less in five straight starts. Oakland began selling with Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle going to Washington. The team swept Cleveland over the weekend and will look to do the same to the Rays.
San Diego extended their streak to three straight series won after taking two of three games from the Giants. Trevor Cahill has been a good pick up going 4-3 with a 3.14 ERA. Manuel Margot has cooled off a bit with four hits in his last 30 at-bats. Next up are road trips to Colorado and San Francisco.
The Reds are right up there with the Orioles in terms of having the worst ERA from their starting pitchers. Cincy's rotation has produced just 25 wins this season. Jesse Winker has made 16 at-bats for the Reds and has just four hits. He's only made two starts when the team needed a designated hitter in Tampa Bay.
Chi. White Sox
Chicago has lost four straight and seven of their last eight games. Things figure to get worse as they are scheduled to face Clayton Kershaw in Chicago on Tuesday. It looks like Miguel Gonzalez and his 5.15 ERA are going to replace Jose Quintana in the rotation. They may be busy in the coming weeks making trades before the deadline.
Rare good news for the Giants who got a stellar effort from Madison Bumgarner on Saturday. The southpaw gave up three runs and four hits in seven innings to the Padres after being away for almost three months due to injury. Johnny Cueto went on the disabled list on Saturday due to blisters, but is only going to miss two turns through the rotation.
Nick Williams had a big grand slam for Philly as they staved off a sweep in Milwaukee over the weekend. The prospect is hitting .279 with 2 home runs and 6 RBI. Vince Velasquez could make his return to the majors on Tuesday against Miami. He's been out since May 30th due to an elbow injury.
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.