Saturday, March 12, 2011

MLB Power Rankings - March edition

This is my last preseason power rankings.  I will update these near the beginning of each month throughout the season.  I will also update my preseason predictions before the season starts.

Numbers in brackets are movement from last month, and their high/low rank for the season.  Look at previous rankings(here for the initial January ones, and here for February) for explanations of how the team got to where they were - any explanation here just reflects recent changes.

#1 - Boston ( --, 1/1) They haven't done anything to drop from the top of the rankings.

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#2 - Philadelphia (--, 2/2)  Some injuries may make them less formidable, but along with Boston they are still the only other team likely to win 95 games.
#3 - Minnesota (--, 3/5) Beating up on weak division opponents will help their win total.
#4 - Colorado (+1, 4/6)
#5 - Giants (+1, 3/6) Should be a good battle with the Rockies all season
#6 - Oakland (-2, 4/6) Good young pitching and have added some bats. I might have ranked them too high initially, but still think they'll hold off Texas in the West.
#7 - Texas (+2, 7/10) Will Adrian Beltre continue to blossom in this hitter's park, and help their pitcher's ERA with his glove, or will he take it easy knowing he doesn't have to play for a contract anytime soon?
#8 - Tampa Bay (-1, 7/8) Don't count them out yet.
#9 - New York Yankees (+1, 9/10) Still a scary offense.  CC is a great #1 pitcher.   They'll need to score lots of runs when he's not on the mound.
#10 - Detroit (+1, 10/11) If Twins get some injuries, Detroit could win this division.  With less than 90 wins.
#11 - Atlanta (+4, 11/15) Philly injuries are closing the gap, but more likely to contend for the wildcard.
#12 - Cubs (+2, 12/16) Divisional opponents keep getting weaker.  Will 85 wins be enough to make the playoffs?
#13 - Milwaukee (-5, 7/13) Was much higher on them previously.  Greinke injury and a closer look at their infield has convinced be that they are more likely to be pretenders than contenders.
#14 - Cincinatti (+2, 14/16) Cardinal and Brewer injuries may make the Reds a contender for the division again.
#15 - Cardinals (-3, 12/15) News just keeps getting worse for them.  Could be one of 4 teams who end up between 80 and 88 wins in this division.
#16 - White Sox (+1, 15/17) Can hover near .500 by beating up KC and Cleveland.
#17 - Toronto (-4, 13/20) Keep making some good moves and their future keeps getting brighter.  But it's not quite here yet.

Not much movement in the rankings for the rest of the teams, so I'll keep the commentary to a minimum.
#18 - Florida  (+1, 18/19)
#19 - San Diego (-1, 17/19)
#20 - LA Dodgers (+, 20/21)
#21 - Baltimore (-1, 20/23)
#22 - LA Angels (--, 18/22) I said it in my previous preview, but I'll repeat it again - What were they thinking?? Mike Scioscia may be looking for a new job sooner rather than later.
#23 - Mets (--, 22/23)
#24 - Washington (+1, 24/25)
#25 - Arizona (+2, 25/27)
#26 - Kansas City (-2, 24/26)
#27 - Seattle (-1, 26/27)
#28 - Pittsburgh (--, 28,29)
#29 - Houston (--, 28, 29)
#30 - Cleveland (--, 30, 30)


  1. Ruben
    Thanks for putting up a link for me on your site. Good to know the Red Sox have dedicated fans up north! I've put up a link for you on my site as well.

    All the best
    John Quinn
    The Mighty Quinn Media Machine

  2. Had the following conversation on twitter regarding these rankings, and thought I'd post it here, so all my readers can see and comment on this.
    SG: The Cubs as the highest ranked NLC team?!? HA!
    Me: ha, ha. Next week I'll post final preseason predictions. I expect a 4 way race in NL central.
    SG: I don't see how the Cubs would be above the Reds, Brewers and Cardinals. Doesn't make much sense. How did they improve THAT MUCH?
    Me: They were 24-13 after dropping Pinella. I see them winning about 85-88 games... same as the rest of the gang.
    SG: The Cubs failed to come close to having a winning record against Cin, Hou and Pit. What did they do to change that?

    My reply... which won't fit on twitter:
    Improved pitching:
    Matt Garza - he had an ERA of almost 6.10 against Boston and the Yankees. 3.17 against rest of league. Any pitcher moving from the AL East to the NL (particularly the Central) always performs better.
    Bullpen - getting Kerry Wood for setup moves everybody down 1 in the pen, improving every position.
    Improved Hitting:
    Carlos Pena - even in an off year, he had same OBP as Derrek Lee, much higher slugging and better productivity overall.
    Blake Dewitt - will be available for the whole season.
    Aramis Ramirez - after 6 years of putting up about a 130 OPS+, he was a below average 92. Expect some bounce back. His age may keep him from getting back to his career norms, but a regular career progression, even on the downside of 30, should see his numbers improve.
    Improved Managing:
    ANYONE is better than Lou Piniella. Look at the original rankings from January, where I pointed out that Mike Quade led them to a 24-13 record (.649) vs Lou’s .408 winning percentage.

    Look - this is NOT a 100 win team. Or even a 90. But with these few improvements they could win 85 games, and if they get a break or two, maybe a couple more. That should be plenty to win this division. I expect 4 teams to be within 5 games of each other when the dust settles. The Cubs could end up in 4th place just as easily as first.