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My 2016 MLB Power Rankings Week 7

Updated on May 23, 2016

MLB Power Ranks

If you had Fredi Gonzalez as the first manager to get fired this year, well, join the club and collect your winnings. I’m sure they’re modest as it should come as no surprise. The Braves futility was expected this season and while it may not be fair to blame it all on Gonzalez it’s not like he was the best at managing the good teams he has overseen. Brian Snitker will handle things in the interim as they play out the string at Turner Field. It isn’t often I lead things off talking about the worst team in the bigs but they’re my team through good times and bad.

*Note ~ Records and stats are though Sundays games. They do not include today’s afternoon tilt between Pittsburgh and Colorado.

1. Chicago Cubs (29-13) ~ Ben Zobrist became just the 2nd Cubs player to hit a home run into McCovey Cove in San Francisco. Can you guess the other? And it’s not Sammy Sosa. The answer is Corey Patterson who would not have been among my top 100 guesses. (Last week’s ranking 1)

2. Washington Nationals (27-17) ~ What do Max Scherzer and Cosmo Kramer have in common? Well, maybe not much. But you can call them both the K Man. Scherzer fanned another eight batters in his last outing bringing his season total up to 84 in just 66 1/3 innings. He trails only Clayton Kershaw (88) in punchouts but Kershaw has pitched 13 2/3 more innings. (LWR 3)

3. Boston Red Sox (27-17) ~ The home run barrage continues. Boston has hit at least one home run in a club-record 22 straight games. The Atlanta Braves have hit 18 home runs all year. (LWR 4)

4. Chicago White Sox (26-18) ~ Third base was a power graveyard for the White Sox last year. They addressed that in the offseason by acquiring Todd Frazier from the Cincinnati Reds and he has not disappointed. Frazier launched his 13th home run over the weekend tying the total the White Sox got combined from their third basemen in all of 2015. (LWR 2)

5. Baltimore Orioles (26-16) ~ Chris Davis hit his 10th home run of the season making him the third Baltimore player to reach double-digits so far. With all the boppers on this club I wouldn’t be surprised to see that number double before the All-Star Break. (LWR 5)

6. San Francisco Giants (27-19) ~ The Giants have won 10 of their last 11 with the only loss coming against the machine that is Jake Arieta. Looks like that even year mojo is starting to show in full force. (LWR 7)

7. New York Mets (25-18) ~ Despite Matt Harvey’s struggles (5.77 ERA and 1.65 WHIP) the Mets pitching staff still rates out among the best. Their collective 3.10 ERA is third in all of baseball and they are sixth in quality starts (27). If he gets things turned around they could easily be the best in the business. (LWR 6)

8. Pittsburgh Pirates (23-19) ~ John Jaso has been a godsend in the Burgh. Taking over for the departed Pedro Alvarez, Jaso is slashing an impressive .312/.380/.468. More importantly he has committed just two errors in 38 games. Last year Alvarez has 23 in 124 games. (LWR 9)

9. Seattle Mariners (26-17) ~ With a weekend sweep in Cincinnati the Mariners improved baseball’s best road record to 18-7. They have yet to lose a series on the road this year. (LWR 11)

10. Texas Rangers (25-19) ~ It appears that the Rangers are in the market for a new stadium. Their current lease is not up until 2024 but they can opt out a year earlier. That said, this has to be a total shock because their current ballpark is only 20 years old. I mean, what self-respecting franchise *cough Atlanta Braves cough cough* would open a new stadium when their current home is still so new? (LWR 8)

11. St. Louis Cardinals (23-21) Their +50 run differential is fourth best in all of baseball yet they have just the seventh best record in the National League. That would seem to put some pressure on the pitching staff to improve, no? (LWR 12)

12. Los Angeles Dodgers (22-23) ~ After allowing just one earned run over his first four starts Kenta Maeda has allowed four earned runs in four of his last five starts. Has the league caught up with him already? (LWR 10)

13. Kansas City Royals (22-21) ~ I finally stopped giving them the benefit of the doubt and then they won back-to-back series against the Sox. That’s both the Red and the White. Are they ready to emerge from their World Series hangover? (LWR 14)

14. Cleveland Indians (22-19) ~ Their offense exploded for 43 runs in the four-game sweep of the Reds. In their other 37 games Cleveland is averaging a hair over four runs per game. Now they just need to spread it around a little more. (LWR 18)

15. Philadelphia Phillies (25-19) ~ They are still just two games out of first place but that run differential is going to catch up with them at some point. Their -31 is right in line with what the Houston Astros and San Diego Padres have done thus far. They haven’t exactly been world beaters. (LWR 15)

16. Toronto Blue Jays (22-24) ~ Manager John Gibbons has been ejected three times over the past eight games. Could frustration be setting in as the disappointing Jays sit in last place in the American League East just a year after winning the division title? (LWR 13)

17. Miami Marlins (22-21) ~ Ichiro Suzuki went 4-for-4 on Saturday making him the oldest player to do so since Pete Rose. He now sits just 44 hits shy of 3,000 for his MLB career. (LWR 16)

18. Tampa Bay Rays (20-21) ~ Kevin Kiermaier is our four-to-six weeks due to a broken left wrist. For a team that typically struggles to score runs, losing possibly the best defender in the game, will not help their cause. Pay attention to their run prevention while Kiermaier is out. (LWR 20)

19. Colorado Rockies (21-21) ~ Mark Reynolds is enjoying life in Colorado. The veteran first baseman who is not known for his on-base skills, is slashing .323/.384/.460 which is a mile high above his career line of .232/.325/.452. He has just two home runs but the power will come. It always does with Reynolds. (LWR 17)

20. New York Yankees (21-22) ~ When Aroldis Chapman made his season debut on May 9th the veteran closer gave up two hits and a run. It is understandable to think he had to shake off some rust or maybe even some nerves as it was his Yankees debut as well. Whatever it was he has certainly shaken it off because over his next six appearances he has allowed just one hit and one walk in six innings while striking out seven and picking up a save each time. It’s safe to say he is back. (LWR 21)

21. Oakland A’s (19-26) ~ Adding injury to insult the A’s lost outfielder Josh Reddick for the next six weeks due to a fractured thumb. He injured himself Thursday night while trying to steal second base amidst a four-game home sweep at the hands of the New York Yankees. Reddick was hitting .322/.394/.466 with five home runs and 18 RBI in 165 plate appearances. (LWR 19)

22. Detroit Tigers (21-22) ~ Speaking of managers getting tossed, Detroit’s Brad Ausmus lost his cool on Monday and was ejected. Counting that game the Tigers have won five of six since the ejection. (LWR 23)

23. Arizona Diamondbacks (21-25) ~ Zack Greinke seems to be rounding into form. The ace who signed a massive deal with Arizona in the offseason started shaky with a 2-2 record and 6.16 ERA through his first five starts. Over his last five, however, Greinke is 3-1 with a 3.18 ERA. That’s more like what the Snakes expected when they pried him away from the rival Dodgers. (LWR 22)

24. Los Angeles Angels (20-24) ~ Tim Lincecum has a team. The former two time National League Cy Young award winner signed a deal with the injury-stricken Angels. He will need about a month to round into game shape but we could see Big Time Timmy Jim in a new uniform sooner rather than later. (LWR 26)

25. Houston Astros (17-28) ~ Last season Dallas Keuchel led the league in innings pitched (232), shutouts (2) and WHIP (1.017). This year he leads the league in earned runs having given up 41 in just 62 1/3 innings. (LWR 24)

26. Milwaukee Brewers (18-26) ~ Chase Anderson and Junior Guerra spearheaded a Milwaukee effort that saw them take a series from the best team in baseball – the Chicago Cubs. Anderson flirted with a no-no and Guerra fanned 11. Two more reasons why baseball is so much fun. (LWR 27)

27. San Diego Padres (19-26) ~ Believe it or not Melvin Upton Jr is showing signs of life in San Diego. His six home runs is one more than he had all of last year and his nine stolen bases match last season’s total. His .341 OBP leads the team. As a Braves fan this hurts just a little. (LWR 25)

28. Cincinnati Reds (15-29) ~ That’s 10 losses in their last 11 games. If the Reds don’t watch out, they will soon be lumped into the same group as the only two teams they rank higher than. (LWR 28)

29. Minnesota Twins (11-32) ~ Phil Hughes is stinking up the joint. In 2014, his first year in Minnesota, the former Yankee looked like the star he never was in New York winning 16 games with a 3.52 ERA. Fast forward to 2016 and he is leading the league in losses (7) while sporting a 5.55 ERA. Oof. (LWR 29)

30. Atlanta Braves (12-31) ~ Their 2-1 series win this weekend over the Phillies was just the second series win of the season for Atlanta. (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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