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My 2016 MLB Power Rankings Week 18

Updated on August 8, 2016

MLB Power Ranks

Normally it’s a bad idea to assume something. I’d say we all know that stupid little saying about what happens when you assume, but I’d be assuming that. What I will assume is that you are a baseball fan. If you weren’t, you’d really have no business reading this blog. Since I can safely assume you are a fan of baseball I will also assume you’ve heard that this week marks the end of Alex Rodriguez’s career. Easily one of the most polarizing figures the game has even seen, A-Rod will play his last game Friday night in the Bronx. His exit from the game has already started heated debates on how to define a career and I may even do a separate blog specifically catered to him once he hangs it up for real. Until then, let’s take a look at where A-Rod’s New York Yankees stack up against the other 29 teams out there.

*Note ~ All stats and records are through Sunday’s games.

1. Chicago Cubs (69-41) ~ The Cubs ruled the roost last week and haven’t lost a game since. That’s about as easy a number one ranking as you’ll ever see. (Last Week's Ranking 1)

2. Washington Nationals (66-45) ~ Ryan Zimmerman is back on the disabled list. Washington’s first baseman was injured last week when he was hit in the wrist by a pitch and will be out for at least another week. The oft-injured former All-Star hasn’t played 100 games in a season since 2013. (LWR 2)

3. Texas Rangers (65-47) ~ So far so good for the newbies. In their first week as members of the Texas Rangers Carlos Beltran is hitting .333 and Johnathan Lucroy is hitting .300. Jeremy Jeffress has allowed two runs in three innings but he does have three strikeouts and has yet to walk a batter. (LWR 3)

4. Baltimore Orioles (63-47) ~ The knock on Baltimore all year has been pitching but it seems they may have found help from within. Former top prospect Dylan Bundy has flourished since shifting from the bullpen to the rotation. Over his last four starts the righty has a 1.90 ERA with 29 strikeouts against just three walks. He could be just what the team needs down the stretch in baseball’s toughest division. (LWR 5)

5. San Francisco Giants (63-48) ~ Sunday’s start was the third time this season Madison Bumgarner was saddled with a loss while allowing just one run. His numbers are excellent but his 10-7 record may leave some voters wanting when it comes time to choose a Cy Young award winner. (LWR 4)

6. Toronto Blue Jays (63-49) ~ When Toronto acquired Francisco Liriano at the trade deadline they said they were going to move Aaron Sanchez and his American League-leading ERA to the bullpen. They quickly changed their minds and decided to go with a six-man rotation. If anything that should keep Toronto’s arms fresher as they try and chase down Baltimore while also fending off the Boston Red Sox. (LWR 6)

7. Cleveland Indians (62-47) ~ A week ago the Indians acquired Andrew Miller from the New York Yankees. On Saturday he picked up the save in New York against those Yankees. He received loud cheers from the Bronx crowd so it seems the fanbase understood and accepted the trade. (LWR 8)

8. Boston Red Sox (60-50) ~ Boston leads the bigs in runs (598), batting average (.283), on-base percentage (.350) and slugging (.465) yet they are still three back in the AL East. They say pitching wins championships, not hitting. For Boston’s sake they will hope to prove that saying wrong. (LWR 7)

9. Los Angeles Dodgers (62-49) ~ A lot has been made about the disappearance of Adrian Gonzalez’s power this season, but he did homer last night which was the 300th time he’s done that in his career. It was just his 10th of the year, however, which is a far cry from the 27 and 28 he’s hit the last two seasons respectively. (LWR 9)

10. Detroit Tigers (61-50) ~ Justin Verlander has very quietly returned to the Verlander of old. His 164 strikeouts are his most since 2013 and his 3.52 ERA is his exact career output. The days of him winning the MVP may be gone, but it looks like he’s figured out how to pitch with his slower than normal velocity. (LWR 14)

11. Miami Marlins (59-52) ~ The wait is over. Ichiro became the 30th member of the 3,000 hit club Sunday when he belted a triple off the wall in Coors Field. He became just the fourth foreign-born player to do so and the second to do it with a triple. All we can do is wonder what he would have done had he spent his entire career in Major League Baseball. (LWR 10)

12. New York Mets (57-54) ~ All this nonsense about Yoenis Cespedes and his affinity for golf is exactly that; nonsense. Doctors are on record stating his golfing had nothing to do with his leg injury but that hasn’t stopped the New York tabloids from crushing him for it. As a Braves fan I fondly recall Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz being avid golfer. I’d say it didn’t adversely affect them. (LWR 11)

13. Houston Astros (57-54) ~ If they’re going to catch the Rangers in the AL West they’re going to have to start beating them. They’ve dropped 11 of 13 against Texas which helps explain why they are 7 ½ games back. (LWR 12)

14. St. Louis Cardinals (58-53) ~ Matt Carpenter is back from an oblique strain. The Cards activated the infielder who is second in the National League with a .971 OPS. He trails only Daniel Murphy of the Nationals. Who would’ve guessed they would be 1-2 in the league in OPS? (LWR 13)

15. Seattle Mariners (57-53) ~ For a few years now Taijuan Walker was expected to take the next step and be a big part of the rotation. Now he is headed back to AAA to make room for the recently acquired Arquimedes Caminero. Walker will most likely be back in September when rosters expand but he has not developed as the Seattle hopeful had, um, hoped. (LWR 16)

16. Pittsburgh Pirates (55-54) ~ Pittsburgh has made the postseason three years running, however, that streak appears in serious jeopardy in 2016. While they are just three games back of the second wild card spot, there are two other teams (St. Louis and the Mets) ahead of them. They don’t appear ready to revert to the laughingstock they were for two decades but this Pirates team just doesn’t look like they have enough in them to get back to the playoffs. (LWR 15)

17. Colorado Rockies (55-56) ~ Trevor Story's potential Rookie of the Year award took a major blow when he was lost for the season due to a torn UCL in his thumb. Story will finish up his rookie campaign with 27 home runs and 72 RBI. (LWR 17)

18. New York Yankees (56-55) ~ A-Rod isn’t the only Yankee calling it a career. First baseman Mark Teixeira announced that he will retire at the end of the season. Couple both of those exits with Brian McCann clearing waivers and it is clear the youth movement has begun in New York. (LWR 19)

19. Kansas City Royals (53-58) ~ Since the All-Star break it has been Danny Duffy or bust. The Royals are 5-0 in starts made by Duffy and just 3-15 in games he has not toed the rubber. (LWR 20)

20. Chicago White Sox (53-58) ~ In his most recent start James Shields allowed eight runs in less than two innings. It is the fifth time this season he has allowed at least seven runs in the first three innings of a game. Kind of gives a new meaning to the name Big Game James. (LWR 18)

21. Philadelphia Phillies (52-61) ~ Aaron Nola may be done for the year. He is on the disabled list and hasn't looked like himself over the last two months. After posting a 2.31 ERA in May the righty had a 10.42 ERA in June and followed that up with 6.30 in July. In a season going nowhere it might be wise to simply shut him down. (LWR 21)

22. Los Angeles Angels (49-62) ~ Tim Lincecum's comeback tour is kaput. The Angels DFA'd the struggling starter and if you can't stick in L.A.'s injury ravaged rotation it might just be time to hang it up. (LWR 23)

23. Milwaukee Brewers (49-60) ~ Over the weekend Ryan Braun tied a career-high with seven RBI. He is the second player in franchise history with multiple seven-RBI games. The other? The recently traded Lucroy.

24. Oakland A’s (48-63) ~ To say it has been a lost year in Oakland is to be kind. To say it’s been a lost year for Sonny Gray is an understatement. After finishing third in the Cy Young race last season, Oakland’s ace has looked lost in 2016. His 5.74 ERA is three full runs higher than last season and he is back on the disabled list with a strained right forearm. (LWR 22)

25. San Diego Padres (48-63) ~ While San Diego dumped off their veterans and large contracts, they did hold onto perhaps their best offensive player: Wil Myers. The first baseman is slashing .281/.358/.500 and is a member of the 20-20 club. He is starting to put up numbers many expected when he was a prospect in Kansas City. (LWR 25)

26. Cincinnati Reds (45-65) ~ Billy Hamilton is running wild. Since the All-Star Break the speedy outfielder has 21 steals. That total would put him in a tie for eighth place for the season. (LWR 27)

27. Arizona Diamondbacks (45-66) ~ Zack Greinke is back from the disabled list and will pitch tomorrow night in New York. He has been out since late June with a strained left oblique. The D’backs don’t have anything left to play for this season but at least their fans can come and see their ace every fifth day again. (LWR 26)

28. Tampa Bay Rays (45-65) ~ Evan Longoria has quietly had a nice season in Tampa Bay. The face of the franchise is already up to 25 home runs which is his highest total since he hit 32 back in 2013. (LWR 28)

29. Minnesota Twins (45-66) ~ Where on Earth did Max Kepler come from? The rookie outfielder has mashed 23 home runs and looks like a stud. I'm serious. Where did this guy come from? (LWR 29)

30. Atlanta Braves (41-70) ~ First to 70 losses! (LWR 30)

Questions? Comments? Feel free to leave feedback. I will try and respond as quickly as possible. Want to be like Jose Bautista and follow me on Twitter? @therichwhiteguy


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