TSN.ca MLB Power Rankings
Updated: Tuesday, September 09, 2014 3:53 PM
The Dodgers, Cardinals and Pirates rise while the A's, Brewers and White Sox fall in this week's edition of the TSN.ca MLB Power Rankings.
Follow Scott Cullen on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen and e-mail him at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca.
This Week1Last Week1Washington Nationals81-61
19-9 over the last month, the Nationals have established a comfortable lead in the NL East and have reliable starting pitching, with the rotation posting a 3.01 ERA since the All-Star break.
Key Injuries: 3B Ryan Zimmerman (hamstring).
This Week2Last Week6Los Angeles Dodgers82-62
Getting healthy and on a four-game winning streak, the Dodgers are more formidable now that they have OF Matt Kemp crushing baseballs. Kemp had an okay .760 OPS before the All-Star break, but is up to .967 since.
Key Injuries: RHP Chad Billingsley (elbow), RHP Josh Beckett (hip).
This Week3Last Week10St. Louis Cardinals80-64
RHP Michael Wacha is back, C Yadier Molina is back and the Cardinals have surged to the top of the NL Central, winning nine of their last 10 games. As RHP Adam Wainwright has struggled (4.29 ERA in past 10 starts), Lance Lynn and Shelby Miller have picked up the slack in the second half.
Key Injuries: LHP Jaime Garcia (shoulder).
This Week4Last Week3Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim88-55
On results alone -- 21-7 in the past 28 games -- the Angels may warrant the No. 1 ranking, but losing two starting pitchers, including ace Garrett Richards, raises some questions. Those injuries have created room for RHP Matt Shoemaker, who has a 2.02 ERA and 0.84 WHIP in 10 games (nine starts) since the break.
Key Injuries: RHP Tyler Skaggs (elbow), LHP Garrett Richards (knee).
This Week5Last Week2Oakland Athletics80-63
Oakland's collapse, 8-19 in the last 27 games, is threatening to derail what appeared to be a most-promising season. They've added DH Adam Dunn to replace some of the power lost when they dealt Yoenis Cespedes to Boston, but they also need better pitching from RHP Jason Hammel and LHP Scott Kazmir, who have both struggled.
Key Injuries: RHP A.J. Griffin (elbow), RHP Jarrod Parker (elbow), C John Jaso (concussion), RHP Sean Doolittle (intercostal).
This Week6Last Week8Seattle Mariners79-64
The A's collapse, combined with the Mariners going 18-9 in the past 27 games, brings Seattle to within a game of Oakland, as both sit just ahead of Detroit for the Wild Card spot in the American League. Part of the reason for the Mariners' second-half staying power is rookie LHP James Paxton, who is healthy and has a 1.87 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in nine starts this year.
Key Injuries: None.
This Week7Last Week5Baltimore Orioles84-59
23-11 in the last 34 games, the Orioles have pulled away from the AL East, leading the Yankees and Blue Jays by 10 games, and their best starting pitcher, it turns out, is RHP Miguel Gonzalez, who has a 1.86 ERA in eight starts since the All-Star break.
Key Injuries: C Matt Wieters (elbow), 3B Manny Machado (knee).
This Week8Last Week7Detroit Tigers79-65
LHP Kyle Lobstein has given the Tigers some rotation help, with a 2.78 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in his first four major league appearances (including three starts).
Key Injuries: SS Jose Iglesias (shins), LF Andy Dirks (back), RHP Anibal Sanchez (pectoral).
This Week9Last Week14Pittsburgh Pirates75-68
Getting RHP Gerrit Cole and CF Andrew McCutchen back from injuries lifts the Pirates in the rankings, and their 11-6 record in the past 17 games keeps them in the second NL Wild Card spot.
Key Injuries: RHP Charlie Morton (hip).
This Week10Last Week9Kansas City Royals79-63
26-11 in the past 37 games, the Royals are making a strong run towards the postseason, holding off the Tigers in the AL Central, but their hopes will take a major hit if LHP Danny Duffy (2.42 ERA, 1.08 WHIP) can't come back from shoulder soreness.
Key Injuries: LHP Danny Duffy (shoulder).
This Week11Last Week11San Francisco Giants78-65
A 14-7 record in the past 21 games keeps the Giants in the top NL Wild Card slot, as C Buster Posey is raking in the second half, with 10 HR and an MLB-best 1.022 OPS.
Key Injuries: RHP Matt Cain (elbow), 1B Brandon Belt (concussion), 2B Marco Scutaro (back).
This Week12Last Week12New York Yankees73-68
The return of RHP Michael Pineda (1.78 ERA, 0.73 WHIP in five starts since coming off the DL) gives the Pinstripers a fighting chance at a playoff spot, but they're struggling to score and need to make up a five-game gap in the Wild Card race.
Key Injuries: LHP Ivan Nova (elbow), LHP CC Sabathia (knee), RHP Masahiro Tanaka (elbow).
This Week13Last Week13Atlanta Braves74-70
Five losses in seven games this month, covering series with Philadelphia and Miami, puts the Braves in a chase position for a Wild Card spot. They are only 1.5-games out, but they may have too many holes in their lineup (four regulars with a second-half OPS under .610) to stay in the hunt.
Key Injuries: RHP Kris Medlen (elbow), RHP Brandon Beachy (elbow), RHP Gavin Floyd (elbow).
This Week14Last Week4Milwaukee Brewers74-70
Three wins in the past 18 games has taken the Brewers from leading the NL Central to sitting 1.5-games out of the NL Wild Card. Their best hitter in the second half has been 2B Rickie Weeks, who has an .889 OPS, but is a part-timer.
Key Injuries: None.
This Week15Last Week18Cleveland Indians74-68
A 17-9 record in the past 26 games has the Tribe within 4.5-games of a Wild Card playoff spot in the AL. The emergence of young starters Carlos Carrasco and T.J. House has given the Indians some second-half life.
Key Injuries: 1B Nick Swisher (knee).
This Week16Last Week15Toronto Blue Jays74-69
It looked like the Jays were done -- and they still may be -- but an 8-3 record in the past 11 games keeps them within five games of a playoff spot. Credit to RF Jose Bautista, who has slugged 15 homers, with a .967 OPS since the All-Star break, for keeping the Jays alive a little while longer.
Key Injuries: 2B Brett Lawrie (oblique), LF Melky Cabrera (finger).
This Week17Last Week16Cincinnati Reds67-77
Had been underachieving for much of the year already, but 8-21 in the last 29 games seals the Reds' fate and then some. Among many disappointments, RF Jay Bruce -- who had an OPS over .800 in each of the previous four seasons -- posting a .659 OPS has to be up there.
Key Injuries: 1B Joey Votto (quad), RHP Homer Bailey (finger).
This Week18Last Week19Miami Marlins70-72
Since the All-Star break, RF Giancarlo Stanton has 16 homers in 177 at-bats (one per 11.06 AB); the rest of the Marlins? 21 in 1444 at-bats (one every 68.8 AB).
Key Injuries: RHP Jose Fernandez (elbow).
This Week19Last Week17Tampa Bay Rays69-75
LHP Drew Smyly is making it easy for the Rays not to regret dealing David Price. Smyly has a 1.70 ERA and 0.76 WHIP in seven starts for the Rays.
Key Injuries: LHP Matt Moore (elbow).
This Week20Last Week23Philadelphia Phillies66-77
While he couldn't stick in Boston, it's looking like OF Grady Sizemore might have a chance to resurrect his career, putting up an .800 OPS in 47 games with the Phillies.
Key Injuries: LHP Cliff Lee (elbow).
This Week21Last Week22New York Mets69-75
the Mets have been respectable, thanks to impressive pitching, but it's remarkable given that 3B David Wright is having the worst year of his career and ace starter Matt Harvey has been out all year recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Key Injuries: RHP Matt Harvey (elbow), RHP Bobby Parnell (elbow).
This Week22Last Week21San Diego Padres66-77
On a six-game slide, the Padres have been relatively competitive in the season's second half, with journeyman C Rene Rivera providing surprising offence (.771 OPS since the break).
Key Injuries: LHP Cory Luebke (elbow), RHP Josh Johnson (forearm), LHP Robbie Erlin (elbow), RHP Andrew Cashner (shoulder), LF Carlos Quentin (knee), 1B Yonder Alonso (forearm), SS Everth Cabrera (hamstring).
This Week23Last Week20Chicago White Sox64-79
The White Sox are 10-23 in their last 33 games and shipped out DH Adam Dunn. LHP John Danks has allowed 43 earned runs in 49 innings since the break, his season ERA climbing from 3.99 to 5.12.
Key Injuries: RF Avisail Garcia (shoulder).
This Week24Last Week25Chicago Cubs64-80
There's something to be said for hope -- especially when it comes to the Cubs -- and RF Jorge Soler has offered a glimpse into potential stardom, with an 1.157 OPS in his first 10 games.
Key Injuries: None.
This Week25Last Week27Houston Astros63-81
The rebuilding process has hit some bumps in the road, with manager Bo Porter getting canned, but the Astros have made some progress and they're getting power out of LF Chris Carter, who leads the majors with 17 homers in 47 games since the break.
Key Injuries: RF George Springer (quad).
This Week26Last Week26Boston Red Sox63-81
Rookie CF Mookie Betts had a .960 OPS in the minors and has continued to produce when given his chance in the bigs, posting an .825 OPS with Boston, including .860 in the second half of the season.
Key Injuries: RF Shane Victorino (back).
This Week27Last Week24Minnesota Twins61-82
RHP Phil Hughes is still having some success, with a 2.86 ERA in the second half, but no other Twins starting pitcher (with at least two starts) is better than a 4.91 ERA since the break.
Key Injuries: RHP Mike Pelfrey (groin).
This Week28Last Week29Colorado Rockies59-85
Small sample superstar - C Michael McKenry, who has a .926 OPS in 143 at-bats (1.062 in 76 second-half AB) for the Rockies this year, after a .610 with Pittsburgh last season.
Key Injuries: RHP Tyler Chatwood (elbow), SS Troy Tulowitzki (hip), LF Carlos Gonzalez (knee), LHP Brett Anderson (back), RHP Jhoulys Chacin (shoulder).
This Week29Last Week28Arizona Diamondbacks59-84
LF/1B Mark Trumbo had seven homers in 67 at-bats to start the season; has one homer in 192 at-bats since coming off the DL.
Key Injuries: LHP Patrick Corbin (elbow), RHP Bronson Arroyo (elbow), 1B Paul Goldschmidt (hand).
This Week30Last Week30Texas Rangers54-89
11-24 in the past 35 games, the Rangers bid farewell to manager Ron Washington, who resigned from a job he held, with some success, over the past eight seasons.
Key Injuries: 1B Prince Fielder (neck), 2B Jurickson Profar (shoulder), LHP Derek Holland (knee), LHP Matt Harrison (back), LHP Martin Perez (elbow), 1B Mitch Moreland (ankle), RHP Yu Darvish (elbow).