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My 2016 MLB Power Rankings Week 5

Updated on May 9, 2016

MLB Power Ranks

The Pittsburgh Pirates and Miami Marlins were slated to play a two-game series in Puerto Rico this year. Due to concerns from the players about the Zika virus that series has been postponed. Puerto Rico’s officials have gone on record calling it “an act of touristic terrorism” which isn’t in any way extreme. That’s a completely sane statement. In case you are new here I’m being sarcastic. It’s kind of what I do. While those games are still in the future let’s take a look at some that did happen which may or may not have had an effect on my rankings. Your call.

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

1. Chicago Cubs (24-6) ~ In a matchup between two of the top teams in the National League, the Cubbies swept away Washington in a four-game series. Their 24-6 start is the best in baseball since 1984. Could this year finally be the year for the Cubs? (Last Week's Ranking 1)

2. Chicago White Sox (22-10) ~ Chris Sale gets all the fanfare but Jose Quintana is pretty freakin’ fantastic in his own right. He threw another gem this weekend and now sits at 5-1 with a 1.38 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. Sale, meanwhile, is 7-0 with a 1.79 ERA and 0.77 WHIP. There’s some good ball being played in Chicago if you haven’t noticed. (LWR 3)

3. New York Mets (19-11) ~ In case you hadn’t heard, Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon hit the first home run of his career this past weekend. He will turn 43 later this month making him the oldest player in MLB history when clubbing their first home run. Colon continues to be one of the more fun players to watch in the game. (LWR 5)

4. Washington Nationals (19-12) ~ Bryce Harper played 13 innings in Sunday’s game yet his batting average did not change. Harper walked six times and was hit by a pitch making him potentially the first player ever to reach base seven times in a game without an official at-bat or the aid of an error. On the flipside of this is Ryan Zimmerman, who batted behind Haper, left 14 runners on base thus setting a new MLB record. (LWR 2)

5. Pittsburgh Pirates (17-14) ~ Jung Ho Kang is back baby! The Buccos infielder returned to the lineup this week after rehabbing from a gruesome knee injury suffered last year. What did he do for his big return? How about two home runs? That’s more than fill-in third baseman David Freese has had all season. Manager Clint Hurdle said he will be eased back into things but Pittsburgh’s already potent offense just got a little better. (LWR 6)

6. Kansas City Royals (15-15) ~ Third baseman Mike Moustakas and his team-leading seven home runs have landed on the disabled list due to a fractured thumb. I’m not a doctor but that seems like something that might take longer than the typical 15 days. (LWR 4)

7. San Francisco Giants (17-16) ~ Johnny Cueto is looking like himself again. After a lost half-season in Kansas City (although he did pick up a World Series championship so I don’t know how lost it could really be) Cueto is back to pitching like the ace he was in Cincinnati. He had two bad starts allowing six earned in each but he has allowed just five total earned runs in his other five starts which makes for a shiny 3.02 ERA. He will be a key piece for San Francisco if they plan to continue their streak of winning it all every other year. (LWR 8)

8. Texas Rangers (18-14) ~ What is wrong with Prince Fielder? The veteran first baseman has a puke-worthy slash line of .190/.235/.281. He has just two home runs and doesn’t look anything like the player who hit .305/.378/.463 just a year ago. (LWR 9)

9 Los Angeles Dodgers (16-15) ~ With all the focus on the Cubs and Jake Arrieta is it easy to forget about Clayton Kershaw? He’s doing his best to remind everyone he is still one of the best in the business as evidenced by his eye-popping 64:3 K:BB in 53 innings this year. He has whiffed at least 10 batters in four straight outings. (LWR 7)

10. Boston Red Sox (18-13) ~ David Ortiz continues to climb up the ranks of the all-time home run list in this, his final season. His two blasts Sunday night in the Bronx bring his total to 512 which ties him for 22nd on the all-time list with Eddie Mathews and Ernie Banks. You may have heard of them before. (LWR 10)

11. Baltimore Orioles (18-12) ~ Coming into the season Baltimore’s rotation looked to be an extreme weak spot. Some help may have already arrived, however, in the form of Kevin Gausman. He was injured to start the season but over his first three starts he has allowed just three earned runs and struck out 14 batters to just three walks. He will try to keep that hot start going tonight against Minnesota where he will also try and pick up his first win of the year. (LWR 11)

12. Seattle Mariners (18-13) ~ Taijuan Walker was forced to leave his last start due to neck spasms but Seattle’s starter is already back throwing from flat ground. They will need him if they want to remain atop the American League West. Walker has been money so far this season having yet to allow more than two earned runs in any of his six starts. (LWR 18)

13. Toronto Blue Jays (16-17) ~ Last year it was all about the offense (or offence for you Canadian readers). This year it’s the pitching that is carrying Toronto thus far. Did you know the Blue Jays have the most quality starts (23) in all of baseball? It’s true. I wouldn’t lie to you. (LWR 14)

14. St. Louis Cardinals (16-16) ~ For the first time in his young career Michael Wacha has picked up a loss in three straight games. His numbers in almost every category are right in line where they were last year when he won 17 games so this should just be a blip on the radar. (LWR 13)

15. Miami Marlins (16-14) ~ Remember when the Marlins got off to that 5-11 start and everyone chalked it up as typical Miami? No more. They have won 11 of their last 14 and they are back in the National League East race. It’s safe to say they are no longer floundering. I’ll show myself out. (LWR 20)

16. Philadelphia Phillies (18-14) ~ The Phils are just two games out of the division lead and get a three-game set against the woeful Atlanta Braves. Everyone sweeps Atlanta and if the Phillies do just that they have a chance to walk out of there as division leaders. Not even the most optimistic Phillies fans could have imagined this. (LWR 15)

17. Cleveland Indians (15-13) ~ Nobody can beat Josh Tomlin. Who? Don’t worry. I thought the same thing. Tomlin has spent his entire seven year career in Cleveland and has never won more than 12 games which he did back in 2011. So far this year he has picked up the W in all five of his starts. That’s also a third of Cleveland’s victories on the season. Where would the Indians be without Tomlin is probably not something most Cleveland fans thought would be a legit question in May. (LWR 23)

18. Detroit Tigers (14-16) ~ Is anyone paying attention to Nick Castellanos? The third baseman is putting on an impressive offensive display as he ranks in the top six in the AL in Batting Average (.375), RBI (24), Slugging (.596) and OPS (.989). His .472 BABIP may be unsustainable but this could be the breakout year the Tigers were waiting for. (LWR 12)

19. Colorado Rockies (15-16) ~ Word on the street is that the penalty for Colorado shortstop Jose Reyes will be leveled soon. As a refresher Reyes is out on indefinite leave stemming from an offseason domestic violence incident involving his wife. Early reports say the suspension will be at least 60 games and potentially a lot longer. That would be at least twice as long as someone else’s suspension that I will touch on in a bit. (LWR 17)

20. Tampa Bay Rays (15-14) ~ A four-game win streak has Tampa back over the .500 mark but I’m sure more people in that area are concerned with another Tampa team and four wins. The NHL’s Lightning are four wins away from making it back to the Stanley Cup Finals. The Rays have enough trouble with attendance and I’m sure the hockey team’s success isn’t helping. (LWR 21)

21. Oakland A’s (14-18) ~ Coming into the season the A’s were Sonny Gray and not much else. A month into the season they aren’t even that. Gray has struggled mightily this year posting a 4.84 ERA and 1.44 WHIP. In his three previous seasons he hasn’t posted an ERA above 3.08. (LWR 16)

22. Arizona Diamondbacks (15-18) ~ Arizona had lost eight of nine before traveling to Atlanta. They left having won three straight. Did I mention everyone sweeps Atlanta? (LWR 19)

23. Houston Astros (12-20) ~ It took until the first week of May before the Astros won back-to-back games. I have a feeling they will do that more frequently from here on out. (LWR 24)

24. Los Angeles Angels (13-18) ~ Ace Garret Richards has been lost for the year as he will need Tommy John surgery. Young pitching phenom Andrew Heaney also has damage to his UCL though he will try the rest and rehab route. The Angels already thin rotation is now at critical breaking point. Any unsigned veteran free agents should be by their phones. Here’s looking at you Kyle Lohse and Tim Lincecum. (LWR 22)

25. New York Yankees (11-18) ~ Aroldis Chapman is back after serving a 30-game suspension due to a domestic violence dispute during the offseason. Manager Joe Girardi has already stated Chapman will take over the closer role pushing Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances back an inning. Yankee starters really only need to make it through six innings now because if those three are coming out of the pen it will be hard to push any runs across the plate late in games. (LWR 25)

26. San Diego Padres (13-19) ~ Wil Myers is finally healthy and is showing flashes of the offense he promised during his rookie season. His six home runs and 16 RBI are second on the team behind Matt Kemp and he’s already played in 32 games. He has yet to top the 88 games he played in as a rookie in 2013. (LWR 28)

27. Cincinnati Reds (13-19) ~ The streak is over. Cincinnati’s historically bad bullpen finally had a scoreless night Friday against Milwaukee ending their MLB record streak of 23 consecutive games allowing at least one run. Think they miss Aroldis Chapman? (LWR 26)

28. Milwaukee Brewers (13-18) ~ Milwaukee is tied for eighth in all of baseball in runs scored (143) but they are getting no help from their pitching staff which is last in all of baseball in ERA, WHIP, .BAA and quality starts. To say the pitching staff is a tire fire is an insult to tire fires everywhere. (LWR 27)

29. Minnesota Twins (8-23) ~ There’s no place like home. The Twinkies are an abysmal 2-15 away from home. They are just two games under .500 at home. (LWR 29)

30. Atlanta Braves (7-23) ~ The Braves have won almost as many home games on their field that isn’t even built (zero) than they have this year at Turner Field (one). That 1-15 home record is far and away the worst in the bigs. (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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