In this week’s MLB Power Rankings, we take a look at how the Los Angeles Dodgers are leaving little doubt in their prowess and why the San Francisco Giants aren’t so big.
Teams have now played more than half of their seasons. Who are they? What are they? The MLB Power Rankings can help tell a story the standings cannot define.
Each week, the MLB Power Rankings are like a deck of poorly-shuffled cards. Many clubs stay in relatively the same place. Once in a while, a team finds itself nearer to the top or bottom of the deck. That happened last week on the Fourth of July. It’s happening again as we get closer to the middle of the month.
As some teams celebrate All-Star selections and whatnot here in the middle of July, others are more focused on winning. Who’s looking powerful this week and which teams are frail?
30) MLB Power Rankings: Washington Nationals
The Washington Nationals have the distinction of finishing in last-place in this week’s MLB Power Rankings. At best, it’s only fair to move them up a single spot.
The strange thing about the Nationals this year is that their offense isn’t terrible. Add in two more productive bats and they’re a much more average team at the plate. Pitching has been their weakness. Their pitchers have gotten shelled all season. Only recently has Patrick Corbin’s ERA dipped below 6.00.
29) MLB Power Rankings: Oakland Athletics
Don’t throw a party yet, Oakland Athletics fans. Just because you’ve moved up a spot in the MLB Power Rankings doesn’t mean things are going to start going your way. The Athletics have a whole lot of losing ahead of them. It’ll only get worse as they begin to subtract talent from their roster.
Oakland has a different problem going on than Washington does—the Nationals, not the government. They have some pitchers piecing together solid seasons both in the rotation and the bullpen. At the plate, they simply can’t score. It’s quite possible they don’t have a single player reach 20 home runs or 60 RBI. Sean Murphy and Seth Brown are the best chance at these low milestones but they haven’t been particularly exceptional.
28) MLB Power Rankings: Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates managed to lose yet another blowout this week. It is a weekly tradition for them. Being able to get obliterated so poorly on such a routine basis is going to lose you some points on this list.
The Pirates have gotten what we can consider “kind of” healthy. Injuries were one reason why they were struggling but hardly the main factor. This team just isn’t all that good. However, they do have some young players in the lineup worth watching. The Staind song “It’s Been Awhile” is perfect for the Pirates not only because it has already been awhile but it’ll be awhile more before they are winning consistently again.
27) MLB Power Rankings: Cincinnati Reds
Even if they are behind the Pirates in the standings, the Cincinnati Reds look like a better team than them far too often. Does Cincinnati have its issues? You bet they do. This remains a poorly constructed team giving a lot of veterans, outcasts, and unproven players a chance to take the field regularly.
The Reds are in a far better situation than the Pirates but maybe that’s because they actually have some pitching. Hunter Greene is getting a chance to go through his growing pains without fear of losing. He’ll be good, eventually, and it’s one of those hopes that keeps the fans coming back.
26) MLB Power Rankings: Kansas City Royals
There isn’t much going on for the Kansas City Royals this season. They have a mix of weaknesses. It’s really unclear what their plan will be because of the recent transactions they’ve been in the past offseasons. Are they trying to win or does their front office believe there is, in fact, a salary floor which is why they have signed guys like Zack Greinke?
The Royals are fading quickly. Only with the benefit of playing in the American League Central have they not been fully buried above their head. However, over the last week, the rest of the division has pulled away from them. Things will get worse before they get better.