Welcome to the latest edition of The Arbitrary 30, Bless You Boys' weekly MLB Power Rankings! Please keep in mind The Arbitrary 30 is 25% serious, 75% poking fun at teams and
100% 33.333% biased.
Note from Al: Sorry for missing last week, but a very sick teenager, home repairs and no days off from recapping quashed all my free time. But the power rankings are back, thanks to the teen recovering, the home repairs progressing and getting two days off from recapping!
Detroit Tigers (9): According to Fangraphs, the Tigers are projected to be the best team in baseball and it's not close. Sabermetric-centric Fangraphs is buying into the Tigers? That has to be one of the seven signs of the Apocalypse.
- St. Louis Cardinals (6): Need proof closers can come out of nowhere? Edward Mujica is 9-for-9 since becoming the Cards closer in mid-April. Mujica had four saves total in his first six seasons spent with four different teams.
- San Francisco Giants (3): With Looks like we've seen the last of Tim Lincecum as an elite starting pitcher. Lincecum's ERA over his last 40 regular season games is 5.10, compared to 2.89 over his first 155 starts.
- Boston Red Sox (2): At 37 years of age, David Ortiz is swinging the bat like a young Babe Ruth (.381/.412/.714) since coming off the disabled list. Unlike young Babe, the Red Sox won't be selling Big Papi's contract to the Yankees. Also unlike the Babe, the term "PED" is being tossed around by a Boston sportswriter.
- Texas Rangers (4): With a 14.2 K/9 this season, Yu Darvish is on pace to blow away records.Randy Johnson's 13.4 K/9 in 2001. Darvish is also getting some remarkable run support, five games with six or more runs, all of which he won.
- Baltimore Orioles (15): Having won five of six, the O's have passed the Yankees to share first place in the East with the Red Sox. But Chris Davis, who was the talk of baseball in early April when he hit six home runs in the first nine games, has come crashing back to earth, hitting .176/.326/.324 over the past two weeks.
- Oakland Athletics (7): The A's were robbed of a ninth inning, game tying home run by Angel Hernandez's crew, the only four people on on the planet who thought the replay was "inconclusive." Our good friend Ian Casselberry of The Daily Fungo has a solution, chalk! Place it on either the ball or top of the fence. My solution is simpler. Just fire Angel Hernandez.
Atlanta Braves (1): Since starting the season 13-2, the Braves are a far more mundane 8-11. One of the reasons why is closer Craig Kimbrel has proven to be human, having blown three (his blown save total for all of 2012) of his last five save attempts, posting a 9.64 ERA.
- Washington Nationals (8): Bryce Harper is leading the Nationals in almost every significant offensive category (BA, OBP, SLG, RBI, HR, H, BB, R), making the world forget about Mike Trout (who is having a good season, just not All-World).
New York Yankees (14): The resurrection of Vernon Wells continues unabated, hitting .287/.341/.504. Wells even channeled his inner Don Kelly, playing an error-less inning at third base in a win over the Rockies. Baseball really is a funny game.
- Cincinnati Reds (10): Officially sanctioned memorabilia is spinning out of control. The Reds recently auctioned off a baseball covered with the blood of Chicago Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija. It's no blood stained playoff sock, but the Reds still got got a $130 for it to put toward Joey Votto's paycheck.
- Kansas City Royals (16): The slumping Royals have found the perfect way to use Bruce Chen. Cy Chen pitches once a week on average. He's made five appearances, credited with two wins, two holds and has a 0.00 ERA.
- Cleveland Indians (25): The rampaging Tribe (9-1 in their last ten games) lead the AL in home runs and slugging. Boosting those numbers is ex-Tiger Ryan Raburn (.333/.385/.583), who playing like Second Half Raburn of 2009. I can't figure it out either.
Colorado Rockies (5): More proof relief pitchers are crazy unpredictable - Rafael Betancourt had 27 saves over the first nine seasons of his career. Betancourt has 40 since the start of the 2012 season and is 9-for-9 in 2013.
- Arizona Diamondbacks (12): To steal the title of a Cheech and Chong movie, things are tough all over, bullpen-wise The D-Backs lost closer J.J. Putz to what is believed to be a serious elbow injury. His replacement is Heath Bell, who blew eight saves with a 5.09 ERA closing for the Marlins last season. Of course, Bell got the save in his return to closing Wednesday night.
- Minnesota Twins (13): Wilkin Ramirez (.346/.357/.423 in bench duty) may have finally found a big league home after being given up on by both the Tigers and Braves.
- Pittsburgh Pirates (22): Hovering near the top of the NL Central much in thanks to Starling Marte picking up the slack left by Andrew McCutchen's slow-ish start, hitting .331/.396/.531. from the lead off spot. Let's not forget (as much as Tigers fans tried) Jason Grilli's 13 saves and 0.64 ERA.
- New York Mets (18): Matt Harvey lost a prefect game on a seventh inning infield single, pitched nine shutout innings, allowing just the one hit, yet got stuck with a no-decision. How very New York Mets.
- Milwaukee Brewers (11): Carlos Gomez is hitting like Miguel Cabrera. The 27 year old center fielder leads the NL in both average (.386) and slugging (.675). A career .254/.301/.396 hitter, Gomez is either having a breakout season or is headed for a very big decline. My money is on decline.
- Philadelphia Phillies (20): Turns out Roy Halladay was broken, after all. But can a 36 year old pitcher who averaged 236 innings a season from ages 29-34 (with a high of 250 at age 33) come back from shoulder surgery?
- Tampa Bay Rays (19): Ex-Tiger Matt Joyce is hitting .212/.295/.435 with six home runs and nine RBI. The Tigers traded Joyce after the 2008 season for Edwin Jackson, whom they flipped a year later as part of the Jackson/Coke/Scherzer deal. Talk about trading up, starting with a platoon outfielder and ending up with an elite outfielder and starting pitcher and a solid reliever. There's TV shows made about trading up where the dealing ended far less successfully.
- Chicago White Sox (24): The White Sox are 29th out of 30 teams in batting average and runs scored, and last in OBP. Their worst offender is Adam Dunn, hitting .145/.242/.327. Blame the Sox brass, who wanted the patient Dunn to be more aggressive at the plate, taking away one of the three true outcomes, the walk.
- Seattle Mariners (26): Finally getting a little run support, King Felix Hernandez (and his AL leading 1.53 ERA) has won four straight starts since his no-decision pitcher's duel with Max Scherzer.
- Toronto Blue Jays (21): Another badly under performing team, rivaling the Dodgers and Angels for the biggest bust of 2013. The head injury to J.A. Happ (which could have been far, far worse) was the Baseball Gods just piling on.
- Los Angeles Dodgers (17): Another big payroll team badly under performing. But there's some good news. Carl Crawford has risen from the ashes, playing like he did for the Rays. He's still massively overpaid (the Dodgers are on the hook for $100 million for a player with a career .776 OPS), but at least he's contributing.
- Chicago Cubs (27): Things have gotten so bad for the Cubbies, there's more controversy over the future of Wrigley Field than their lousy play on the field.
- San Diego Padres (28): Carlos Quentin is currently mired in an 0-for-19 slump and hitting .167/.280/.357 since coming off suspension for charging the mound on Zack Greinke. For all the talk of wanting Quentin suspended for the same amount of time Greinke misses, his struggling is a better all-around punishment. Karma is a bitch.
- Los Angeles Angels (23): Their season already over, the Angels are 9 1/2 games out in a week into May. The only team in the AL with a worse record are the woeful Astros, who just took two straight from the Angels. Hoping to help, Albert Pujols has issued a "Vote of Confidence" for manager Mike Scioscia. That always ends well.
- Houston Astros (29): Responded to being swept by the Tigers by designating Rick Ankiel for assignment. Yeah, that'll fix things.
- Miami Marlins (30): Ownership has decreed the upper deck be covered during weeknight games. The rate things are going with this downtrodden franchise, by the time the Tigers end the season in Miami, the lower deck will be covered up as well.