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MLB Power Rankings – May 2015

a   bryce harper 2

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The number one team in the game right now is the Washington Nationals. They have won 18 of 22 games, and have the best hitter and pitcher in the National League right now, with Bryce Harper (11 HRs n May so far, that includes being kicked out of 2 games early, and a couple of off days.)

Really, the Nats haven’t had much from Stephen Strasburg, Doug Fister, and throw in an injured Jayson Werth, and it should mean the team is struggling.

The underrated Denard Span, and Yunel Escobar of all guys, are really playing superb at the top of the lineup.  Ryan Zimmerman always has a ton of runners on, and is on pace for 120 RBI with just a mid .200 Average.

Washington also should beat up on the National League East for the remainder of the year.  With the exception of the Mets, the Phillies, Marlins and Braves should all provide the proverbial speedbag position, for this club to beat up on.

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Rankings 1 – 30

#1 – Washington Nationals – These guys are hitting their stride with Bryce Harper exploding in the last 2 weeks, only if he keep that not at the umpires.  This club has won 12 of their last 14, without Jayson Werth, significant contributions from either Stephen Strasburg or Doug Fister.  If healthy, no one touches this club.

#2 – LA Dodgers – Shutout 3 times by their division rival Giants is enough to be usurped out of 1st place.  This team has also fought injuries, and haven’t hit full stride yet.  They have received incredible production from guys like Joc Pederson, Alex Guerrero, Andre Ethier and super utility men in Scott Van Slyke and Justin Turner. Now they just have to beat San Francisco.

#3 – St. Louis Cardinals – Their depth is starting to crack a little with losing Adam Wainwright, and still reeling from the loss of Oscar Taveras.  This team is solid though and always will play a factor.  Yadier Molina is the biggest key to this club.  They will need Jason Heyward to be at his top rate of play to win long term.

T#4 – Detroit Tigers – Despite losing a series recently to the Kansas City, I still like the Motown Boys better than KC in the long run.  Miguel Cabrera is his old self, and the lineup is super deep.  Nick Castellanos and J.D. Martinez starting to hit recently is a great sign.  Anthony Gose hitting .325, who would have thought that trade would benefit each club so well?  Joakim Soria has only blown one Save, and the bullpen is faring better than thought.

T#4 – Kansas City Royals – The whole team is hitting over .300 pretty much – but how long can they keep this up? Is this really the norm?  Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer are parlaying the World Series of 2014 into brilliant 1st half play this year. 

I still think they don’t have as much depth as last year, and they 2nd half will catch up to them with pitching, but there is no doubt these guys are bonafide contenders.

#6 – New York Mets – Matt Harvey ha given this team that swagger needed to remain in the top of the NL rankings.  It is too bad they are in th same division as the Nationals, otherwise they would be higher. 

The fielding is killing them, and can we put an APB out to find out where David Wright is? His career seems to be ten seconds from a toe-tag, considering how hurt he has been recently.  It is a good thing they walked away fro Jose Reyes when they did.

#7 – SF Giants – Hunter Pence coming back has rallied the team.  Tim Lincecum and Tim Hudson have joined Madison Bumgarner this week for Shutouts, and have pitched far better than they did at the end of 2014.  This has made up for the loss of Pablo Sandoval.  Improvements internally from Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt have helped.

#8 – Chicago Cubs – Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo continue to improve each game, and they are becoming more complete.  The team is solid through and through.  With the Pirates struggling, and the Cardinals a bit older, they may have a chance to win the Division this year.

#9 – Houston Astros – They have used the 2012 Oakland A’s formula perfectly.  Great young pitching, and an abundance of HR power to outbash every club.  It makes for some painful losses, and pitiful batting averages.  Jose Altuve is still criminally underrated.

#10 – Tampa Bay Rays – This team is playing like they have the last 7 years, and it is mind-boggling.  No offensive players is standing out, and Drew Smyly and Alex Cobb are gone for the year.   How are they doing this?  Timely hitting and great pitching.

#11 – Los Angeles Angels – Seriously, I have to bash Mike Scioscia for hittting Erick Aybar 4th.  At least hit a David Freese or C.J. Cron in the cleanup spot.  At least he is smart enough to hit his top 3 batters 1,2 and 3.  The club has looked a lot better with the return of Garrett Richards.  They should be able to run down the Houston club soon.

#12 – New York Yankees – This may be the last week they are in the top 15.  A pivotal stretch of 19 out of 31 games at home is paramount to stay afloat in the AL East.

#13 – Minnesota Twins – Torii Hunter and Joe Mauer providing great leadership for the youth.  Hot start should keep them round for a lot longer than anyone would have ever expected

#14 – Chicago White Sox – Chris Sale shaking off his early season doldrums again.  This team is beginning to come alive.  They are poised for a move right now.

#15 –  Seattle Mariners – Felix Hernandez and Nelson Cruz have been as advertised.  Robinson Cano needs to see his power return, but he always picks it up as the year goes on.  Pitching is coming around a little bit more of late.  They had a tough schedule in the last month, and have a pile of home games coming up.

#16 – Atlanta Braves – Shelby Mlller is looking fantastic in a Brave uniform, and he is making people forget about Jason Heyward.  They have slowed down in the standings of recent weeks, and may have a tough time running down the Nats and Mets.

#17 – Pittsburgh Pirates – Andrew McCutchen needs to grow his hair out again.  No,  take that out of the equation, as soon as he hits the way he has the last few years, this tea will be deep again.

#18 – Baltimore Orioles – Johnny Paredes emerging quickly.  Adam Jones is the best all around CF in the AL, and the pitching has turned in a good week.  The club has won 4 of 5, and are dangerously sniffing near the top of the AL East.

#19 – Boston Red Sox – This is more a slight on the AL East as a whole.  The ‘Beantowners’ have under performed thus far in 2015, but I still firmly believe they are better than near. 500.  David Ortiz and Mike Napoli need to pick it up.  It is also time to pull the trigger for an ace.  The Starting Pitching is killing them.

#20. – San Diego Padres – Pop gun offense not helped by Wil Myers going on the DL – and Matt Kemp clubbing just one jack so far.  Wasting a brilliant early starts by James Shields.

#21 – Arizona D’Backs – Paul Goldschmidt is not a swear word.  This guy and Andrew McCutchen are the best value contracts in the game right now.  This club is pesky at near .500, but they should retreat here pretty soon.

#22 – Cincinnati Reds – Sliding fast, and hot starts for the offense is all for not without the great pitching they had last year from the starting staff.  Career year for Devin Mesoraco seems a lot longer than one year ago.

#23 –  Cleveland Indians – Starting to pull out of it.  The bad news, they are in last in the Division, with the top 3 clubs currently in a position for the playoffs.  They have the talent to climb here.

#24 – Toronto  Blue Jays – Why is no one calling for John Gibbons to be fired?  Seriously, sum of the parts here is not performing to their talent level.  Need to trade for another Starting Pitcher.  This may be the last year or two this franchise is viable if they don’t cash in on the opportunity.  Trade all young talent and go for it right now.  Damn lucky they are only 5.5 Games behind Division Leaders

#25- Texas Rangers – Prince Fielder, now there is a guy to consider for “Comeback Player of the Year.’  At 19 – 23, they aren’t that bad, still don’t have great confidence in the talent.

#26 – Miami Marlins – Coaching carousel comes calling again.  I had just as much experience as Dan Jennings, and I am sure as hell a better prognosticator!  Giancarlo Stanton may regret inking his name to that contract after all.  Heck, I would not be surprised if he ends us managing the Fish this year, a the first player/coach since Pete Rose.

#27 – Philadelphia Phillies – Reeled off a nice 6 game winning streak.  Anyone care to notice that Ryan Howard is putting a nice little season together so far?  He is on pace for about 30 bombs.  Chase Utley is finally hitting, but it is much too late. Trade all that is not nailed down, as our lead personality Sully often says.

#28 – Milwaukee Brewers – Starting to play better, but a god awful start has them buried in a rough and tough NL Central.  Read our latest column by Jordan Gluck for a full assessment where the team is.

#29- Oakland A’s – Coco Crisp looks like his career is ten seconds from a toe-tag.  This team is missing that pinache they had with players like Yoenis Cespedes, Josh Donaldson and Brandon Moss, talk about trading away your heart of the lineup.

#30 – Colorado Rockies – This is a bad squad not being helped by long-term injuries either. How safe is Walt Weiss?

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*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***

A Big thanks goes out to our chief writer Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s feature post.

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