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May 13, 2015

Cards continue to rule MLB Power Rankings

The St. Louis Cardinals continue to hold the number one ranking in the TSN.ca MLB Power Rankings, ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Kansas City Royals.

Cardinals Celebrate

The St. Louis Cardinals continue to hold the number one ranking in the TSN.ca MLB Power Rankings, ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Kansas City Royals.

Climbing among the leaders this week, the Washington Nationals are riding Bryce Harper's hot streak to climb from eight to four. The Boston Red Sox, from 23 to 14, and Chicago White Sox, from 24 to 16, were big movers.

On the way down, the New York Yankees lose six of seven to fall from five to 11; the Oakland's A's continue to get results worse than their underlying stats, and drop from 18 to 23, and Arizona slides from 21 to 26.

The Toronto Blue Jays are losing ground, too, falling from 15 to 22 as their pitching is undermining the highest-scoring team in baseball.

 

St. Louis Cardinals

This Week: 1 | Last Week: 1 | Record: 26-13

Team Stats

  • RS
    172
  • RA
    120
  • Diff.
    +52
  • OPS
    .740
  • ERA
    2.79

Being strong up the middle is more about defence, but the Cardinals are getting solid productino out of their keystone combination, SS Jhonny Peralta and 2B Kolten Wong, who have combined for a .302 average, 11 home runs, 40 RBI, 40 runs and an .841 OPS.

Key Injuries: LHP Jaime Garcia (shoulder), RHP Adam Wainwright (Achilles).

Los Angeles Dodgers

This Week: 2 | Last Week 4 | Record: 24-14

Team Stats

  • RS
    186
  • RA
    130
  • Diff.
    +56
  • OPS
    .813
  • ERA
    3.23

Closer Kenley Jansen is off the DL and while he's not officially in the closer role, that won't be too far off. Five of the six outs he's recorded since returning to the bigs have been via strikeout.
Key Injuries:  LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (shoulder), RF Yasiel Puig (hamstring), LF Carl Crawford (oblique), RHP Brandon McCarthy (elbow).

Kansas City Royals

This Week: 3 | Last Week: 2 | Record: 25-14

Team Stats

  • RS
    195
  • RA
    137
  • Diff.
    +58
  • OPS
    .772
  • ERA
    3.29

LHP Danny Duffy has run into trouble, giving up 14 earned runs in 9 2/3 innings over his past three starts. One problem is that he's walked 10 in those 9 2/3 innings.

Key Injuries: RF Alex Rios (hand), LHP Jason Vargas (elbow).

Washington Nationals

This Week: 4 | Last Week: 8 | Record: 23-17

Team Stats

  • RS
    202
  • RA
    175
  • Diff.
    +27
  • OPS
    .752
  • ERA
    3.80

10 wins in the past 12 games snaps the Nationals out of their early-season mediocrity and into a tie for top spot in the National League East. It doesn't hurt to have the game's hottest hitter, LF Bryce Harper, leading the way with a 1.503 OPS in May - the best in baseball this month, ahead of Indians 2B Jason Kipnis (1.352) and Brewers OF Gerardo Parra (1.239).
Key Injuries: 3B Anthony Rendon (knee), RHP Doug Fister (forearm), RF Jayson Werth (wrist).

Detroit Tigers

This Week: 5 | Last Week: 3 | Record: 23-17

Team Stats

  • RS
    173
  • RA
    161
  • Diff.
    +12
  • OPS
    .767
  • ERA
    3.74

The Tigers are sitting Victor Martinez down, because he's hobbling, but he also has a .578 OPS and taking a break from that is okay too.

Key Injuries: RHP Justin Verlander (triceps), RHP Joe Nathan (elbow), C Alex Avila (knee), DH Victor Martinez (knee).

Chicago Cubs

This Week: 6 | Last Week: 9 | Record: 21-17

Team Stats

  • RS
    163
  • RA
    164
  • Diff.
    -1
  • OPS
    .718
  • ERA
    3.98

 

There was a lot of hype surrounding 3B Kris Bryant in the preseason, and when he was subsequently demoted to Triple-A, but he's lived up to it, with an .888 OPS and 24 RBI in his first 30 games, but he's also started taking the ball out of the yard, hitting his first four home runs in the past 10 games.

Key Injuries: None.

Tampa Bay Rays

This Week: 7 | Last Week: 10 | Record: 22-18

Team Stats

  • RS
    161
  • RA
    142
  • Diff.
    +19
  • OPS
    .702
  • ERA
    3.43
The Rays are surprisingly competitive, and it's fair to wonder how long it continues with Logan Forsythe leading the team with an .862 OPS.
Key Injuries: LHP Matt Moore (elbow), RHP Alex Cobb (forearm), DH John Jaso (wrist), LHP Drew Smyly (shoulder), LF Desmond Jennings (knee).
Houston Astros

This Week: 8 | Last Week: 6 | Record: 26-14

Team Stats

  • RS
    176
  • RA
    152
  • Diff.
    +24
  • OPS
    .722
  • ERA
    3.56

The Astros are competitive, perhaps a year ahead of schedule, but they've got some surprising pop from 3B Luis Valbuena (10 HR) and LF Colby Rasmus (8 HR).
Key Injuries: SS Jed Lowrie (thumb).

San Francisco Giants

This Week: 9 | Last Week: 11 | Record: 21-18

2014 Team Stats

  • RS
    147
  • RA
    145
  • Diff.
    +2
  • OPS
    .727
  • ERA
    3.51
The Giants have done a lot of manufacturing offence in recent seasons, so they appreciate getting a consistently productive bat like RF Hunter Pence back in the lineup.
Key Injuries: RHP Matt Cain (forearm), RHP Jake Peavy (back).
New York Mets

This Week: 10 | Last Week: 7 | Record: 23-17

Team Stats

  • RS
    153
  • RA
    133
  • Diff.
    +20
  • OPS
    .659
  • ERA
    3.08

It's amazing enough that Bartolo Colon has walked just one batter in 51 1/3 innings this season, but check out the location of the 3-1 pitch in his lone walk this year.
Key Injuries: RHP Zack Wheeler (elbow), RHP Jenrry Mejia (suspension), 3B David Wright (hamstring), C Travis d'Arnaud (hand), RHP Dillon Gee (groin).

New York Yankees

This Week: 11 | Last Week: 5 | Record: 22-18

Team Stats

  • RS
    177
  • RA
    164
  • Diff.
    +13
  • OPS
    .726
  • ERA
    3.70
Six losses in the past seven games halts what had been a terrific start to the season for the Yankees. Losing CF Jacoby Ellsbury for a couple of weeks doesn't make it any easier going forward either. Injuries are inevitable with an old roster like this, but 31-year-old Ellsbury counts as relatively young compared to others in the everyday lineup.
Key Injuries: RHP Ivan Nova (elbow), RHP Masahiro Tanaka (forearm), RHP Chase Whitley (elbow), CF Jacoby Ellsbury (knee).
Minnesota Twins

This Week: 12 | Last Week:12 | Record: 22-17

Team Stats

  • RS
    179
  • RA
    174
  • Diff.
    +5
  • OPS
    .700
  • ERA
    4.25
1B Joe Mauer leads the Twins in RBI, with 23, but hasn't hit a home run and is hitting .282 with a .704 OPS. It's been a quick drop from two years ago, when he hit .324 with an .880 OPS.
Key Injuries: RHP Ervin Santana (suspension), LF Oswaldo Arcia (hip).
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

This Week 13 | Last Week 14 | Record: 20-19

Team Stats

  • RS
    143
  • RA
    141
  • Diff.
    +2
  • OPS
    .645
  • ERA
    3.49

RHP Jered Weaver has put together a couple of quality starts -- a welcome break from getting crushed -- and there has been a slight uptick in his velocity (85 MPH average fastball over last two starts, compared to 83.6 MPH for the season).
Key Injuries: RHP Tyler Skaggs (elbow).

Boston Red Sox

This Week: 14 | Last Week: 23 | Record: 19-20

Team Stats

  • RS
    155
  • RA
    187
  • Diff.
    -32
  • OPS
    .682
  • ERA
    4.60

The Red Sox are making incremental bits of progress, mostly as the pitching becomes adequate, but they still need something more out of 1B Mike Napoli, who is scuffling with a .174 average and .589 OPS.

Key Injuries: C Christian Vazquez (elbow), RF Shane Victorino (hamstring), C Ryan Hanigan (hand), RHP Justin Masterson (shoulder).

San Diego Padres

This Week: 15 | Last Week: 16 | Record: 20-20

Team Stats

  • RS
    179
  • RA
    193
  • Diff.
    -14
  • OPS
    .697
  • ERA
    4.39

Petco Park used to be a safe haven for pitchers, but it's not quite working out that way this season, as the Padres' 4.36 home ERA ranks 22nd in MLB. Is it a change in park effects? Well it hasn't helped San Diego's hitters, who have a .690 OPS at home, ranking 23rd.
Key Injuries: LHP Cory Luebke (elbow), RHP Brandon Morrow (shoulder), 1B Yonder Alonso (shoulder).

Chicago White Sox

This Week: 16 | Last Week: 24 | Record: 18-18

Team Stats

  • RS
    135
  • RA
    165
  • Diff.
    -30
  • OPS
    .671
  • ERA
    4.25

RF Avisail Garcia is still growing into his power, but hitting .336 with an .846 OPS is doing his part for the White Sox.
Key Injuries: None.

Cincinnati Reds

This Week: 17 | Last Week:13 | Record: 18-21

Team Stats

  • RS
    153
  • RA
    174
  • Diff.
    -21
  • OPS
    .705
  • ERA
    4.31

3B Todd Frazier gets his money's worth at the plate, with 19 of his 36 hits going for extra bases. His isolated power ranks sixth in baseball.
Key Injuries: RHP Homer Bailey (elbow), .

Pittsburgh Pirates

This Week: 18 | Last Week: 17 | Record: 18-21

Team Stats

  • RS
    151
  • RA
    141
  • Diff.
    +10
  • OPS
    .671
  • ERA
    3.28

3B Josh Harrison is emerging from his slump; now the Pirates need CF Andrew McCutchen and RF Gregor Polanco to get going offensively if they are going to hold hope of contending.

Key Injuries: RHP Charlie Morton (hip).

Seattle Mariners

This Week: 19 | Last Week: 19 | Record: 17-21

Team Stats

  • RS
    144
  • RA
    161
  • Diff.
    -17
  • OPS
    .702
  • ERA
    3.87
RF Nelson Cruz is getting some offensive help. 1B Logan Morrison (.986 OPS in May) and SS/DH Brad Miller (.888 OPS in May) may not be the most likely candidates, but they're adding much-needed pop. 
Key Injuries: CF Austin Jackson (sprained ankle), RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (lat).
Baltimore Orioles

This Week: 20 | Last Week: 20 | Record: 17-19

Team Stats

  • RS
    165
  • RA
    159
  • Diff.
    +6
  • OPS
    .748
  • ERA
    4.06

It's a story of extremes for the Orioles' starting pitchers. Ubaldo Jimenez, Wei-Yin Chen and Miguel Gonzalez have been great and Bud Norris has been awful. In between it all is Chris Tillman, whose results have been awful, but his underlying numbers paint a more promising picture.
Key Injuries: C Matt Wieters (elbow), 2B Jonathan Schoop (knee), 2B Ryan Flaherty (groin), RHP Kevin Gausman (shoulder), RHP Bud Norris (bronchitis).

Atlanta Braves

This Week: 21 | Last Week: 22 | Record: 18-20

Team Stats

  • RS
    162
  • RA
    167
  • Diff.
    -5
  • OPS
    .702
  • ERA
    4.14
24-year-old RHP Shelby Miller is throwing like an ace, which provides a nice rotation foundation alongside 24-year-olds Alex Wood and Julio Teheran. 
Key Injuries: LHP Mike Minor (shoulder), 3B Chris Johnson (hand).
Toronto Blue Jays

This Week: 22 | Last Week: 15 | Record: 18-23

Team Stats

  • RS
    212
  • RA
    199
  • Diff.
    +13
  • OPS
    .756
  • ERA
    4.76

There's some talk about whether manager John Gibbons or pitching coach Pete Walker will keep their jobs, but it's hard to imagine any manager faring well with a starting rotation that has a 5.24 ERA.
Key Injuries: RHP Marcus Stroman (knee), 2B Maicer Izturis (groin), SS Jose Reyes (rib), DH Dioner Navarro (hamstring), LF Michael Saunders (knee).

Oakland Athletics

This Week: 23 | Last Week: 18 | Record: 14-27

Team Stats

  • RS
    184
  • RA
    190
  • Diff.
    -6
  • OPS
    .720
  • ERA
    3.98

The A's are better than their record, so prime for favourable regression, but they're already 12.5-games out of the AL West, so the climb back is going to be long.

Key Injuries: RHP A.J. Griffin (elbow), RHP Jarrod Parker (elbow), LF Ben Zobrist (knee), RHP Sean Doolittle (shoulder), 1B Ike Davis (quad).
 

Cleveland Indians

This Week: 24 | Last Week: 27 | Record: 15-23

Team Stats

  • RS
    163
  • RA
    182
  • Diff.
    -19
  • OPS
    .721
  • ERA
    4.35

With ace LHP Corey Kluber getting back on track, the Tribe have the makings of a formidable young staff, particularly with Trevor Bauer and Danny Salazar offering high upside.
Key Injuries: 1B Nick Swisher (knee), RHP Gavin Floyd (elbow), C Yan Gomes (knee).

Texas Rangers

This Week: 25 | Last Week: 25 | Record: 16-23

Team Stats

  • RS
    161
  • RA
    182
  • Diff.
    -21
  • OPS
    .695
  • ERA
    4.23
The Rangers are starting to pick up a bit offensively, getting contributions from OF Delino DeShields, 1B/DH Kyle Blanks and RF Carlos Peguero -- maybe not expected sources of offence, but enough to get headed in the right direction.
Key Injuries: RHP Yu Darvish (elbow), LHP Matt Harrison (back), LHP Martin Perez (elbow), LHP Derek Holland (shoulder), LF Ryan Rua (ankle), LF Josh Hamilton (shoulder).
Arizona Diamondbacks

This Week: 26 | Last Week: 21 | Record: 17-21

Team Stats

  • RS
    176
  • RA
    169
  • Diff.
    +7
  • OPS
    .724
  • ERA
    4.27

3B Yasmany Tomas may not field worth a nickel, but he's hitting .342 with an .824 OPS; that will buy some time to work out fielding issues.
Key Injuries: LHP Patrick Corbin (elbow), RHP Bronson Arroyo (elbow), 3B Jake Lamb (foot).

Miami Marlins

This Week: 27 | Last Week: 26 | Record: 16-24

Team Stats

  • RS
    155
  • RA
    166
  • Diff.
    -11
  • OPS
    .684
  • ERA
    4.04

With the Marlins slumping, they switch managers, naming GM Dan Jennings to the post. It might work out, but Jennings has no managerial experience and this is a young enough team that they could probably use someone who knows the job.
Key Injuries: RHP Jose Fernandez (elbow), RHP Jarred Cosart (vertigo).

Philadelphia Phillies

This Week: 28 | Last Week: 29 | Record: 17-24

Team Stats

  • RS
    129
  • RA
    183
  • Diff.
    -54
  • OPS
    .649
  • ERA
    4.06
Had six-game winning streak snapped Tuesday, but where did that come from? Some of their most productive players this month have been Ryan Howard, Grady Sizemore and Jeff Francouer, so maybe they set the time machine for 2007.
Key Injuries: LHP Cliff Lee (elbow), LF Domonic Brown (Achilles), RHP Jonathan Pettitbone (elbow).
Colorado Rockies

This Week: 29 | Last Week: 28 | Record: 14-22

Team Stats

  • RS
    141
  • RA
    188
  • Diff.
    -47
  • OPS
    .724
  • ERA
    5.02
Strange to see RF Carlos Gonzalez struggling to this extent, hitting .203 with a .614 OPS, and it's been even worse (.502 OPS) at home.
Key Injuries: RHP Tyler Chatwood (elbow), RHP Adam Ottavino (triceps), RHP LaTroy Hawkins (biceps), 1B Justin Morneau (concussion), LF Corey Dickerson (foot).
Milwaukee Brewers

This Week: 30 | Last Week: 30 | Record: 15-25

Team Stats

  • RS
    153
  • 134
    201
  • DIFF
    -48
  • OPS
    .672
  • ERA
    4.56

2B Scooter Gennett, who hit .300 through the 2013 and 2014 season, is off to a miserable start, having missed time with injury and hitting .154 through 65 at-bats through this season.
Key Injuries: C Jonathan Lucroy (toe), SS Jean Segura (finger).

Scott Cullen can be reached at scott.cullen@bellmedia.ca