Jun 6, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Oakland Athletics catcher Derek Norris (36) hits a solo home run in the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Call to the Pen's MLB Power Rankings: 6/9/2014

Great week in baseball of course, with a lot of great action and change within the standings. I’m here to provide the MLB power rankings for the first time for Call to the Pen. Please make sure to comment and/or debate on the rankings and where you would rank certain teams as well!

30. Tampa Bay Rays (24-40)

Last Week’s Record: 1-6

Not much has gone right for the Rays recently. They’ve mustered an abysmal 1-12 record in the past two weeks, helping them in becoming the first team in the league to 40 losses. This awful performance is surprising to a team that was a clear contender last season, and now this can only accelerate trade talks involving ace David Price, who will now most likely be moved at the trade deadline.

29. Philadelphia Phillies (25-36)

Last Week’s Record: 1-6

For a team that was just a short while ago a perennial contender, amassed a World Series Championship, two Pennants, and five straight playoff appearances, the Phillies are now among the worst in baseball. Perhaps the brightest moment of this past week was drafting LSU pitcher Aaron Nola, because the play on the field has been horrid for Philadelphia. With an aging core in the City of Brotherly Love, the Phillies are expected to be big sellers at the trade deadline.

28. New York Mets (28-35)

Last Week’s Record: 1-6

After getting away with a blowout win against the struggling Phillies, the Mets would be subject to two consecutive three game sweeps at the hands of the Chicago Cubs and the first place San Francisco Giants. Things do not get easier for the Mets as they face the Brewers this upcoming week. Without a strong bullpen or consistent bats, the Mets’ near .500 start at the beginning of the season is quickly drifting away.

27. Chicago Cubs (25-35)

Last Week’s Record: 5-1

The Cubs put up perhaps their best week in the Theo Epstein era with a five-game winning streak and a 5-1 homestand. While the Cubs only stand 6.5 games back of the Wild Card, they unfortunately have too many holes to try to compete this season. This is a very encouraging sign for Cubs fans as there has been clear direction that the Cubs are, indeed, heading on the path of success.

26. Arizona Diamondbacks (28-37)

Last Week’s Record: 5-1

Along with the Cubs, a fellow bottom feeder got off well with an extremely good week. The Snakes swept the lively Rockies and took two out of three from the offensively deprived Braves. Also, like the Cubs, the Diamondbacks are really not out of the Wild Card race, but it will take a lot more to bring Arizona back in. If the D-Backs can do well in gaining front-end prospects at the deadline, the return of Patrick Corbin next season will make Arizona a force to be reckoned with in the competitive NL West.

25. San Diego Padres (28-35)

Last Week’s Record: 2-4

As there is a theme with the NL being much weaker than the AL, it continues in what comprises the bottom tier of the league. The Padres possess the most depleted offense in the MLB, and outside of Seth Smith, the Pads have been painfully bad with hitting. The Padres will look to pick up hitting sometime soon, but playing in a pitcher’s park and struggling with money, the Padres have been and are stuck in neutral.

24. Colorado Rockies (29-33)

Last Week’s Record: 1-5

While the Rockies continue to have the most dynamic offense in baseball, the lack of a true ace and injuries have set back the Rockies very far and away from their high expectations at the beginning of the season. This was to be expected, but if the Rockies want to stay in this race, picking up pitching at the deadline is a must. Perhaps some interest in David Price may arise to bring the Rockies back into contention this year.

23. Houston Astros (28-36)

Last Week’s Record: 4-2

Finally! An AL team! After three years of horrible futility, the Astros are back, and are finally showing a strong amount of potential. Granted, they are far out of contention this year, but with the rising of young stars such as George Springer and Jonathan Singleton, the Astros may very well be contending as soon as next year in a rapidly changing AL West.

22. Boston Red Sox (28-34)

Last Week’s Record: 1-5

The defending World Champions have been the most inconsistent team in baseball thus far, and that trend continues to follow suit. After losing 10 straight, the BoSox would win seven straight, and then lose their next five, after finally winning last night. At six games under .500, it will take a lot to get Boston back into contention this season.

21. Pittsburgh Pirates (29-33)

Last Week’s Record: 3-3

Everything seemed to be on the rise for the Pirates, but small market dreams can only last so long. While not a horrible week for the Pirates, it is going to take much more to put them back into division contention, a fate they would prefer over both Wild Card and missing the postseason all together. After losing two out of three to the division-leading Brewers, the Pirates have four games against the streaking Chicago Cubs, which may give them a chance to get back into the NL Central race.

20. Minnesota Twins (29-32)

Last Week’s Record: 3-4

The Twins are still stuck with some of the worst pitching in baseball, but in the extremely tight AL Central, the Twins are doing just enough to hang in the race as they sit just five games out of first place. The Twins, despite the 3-4 week record, should be very satisfied with splitting the season set against the first place Milwaukee Brewers, a feat that is not easily accomplished against one of the league’s top teams.

19. Chicago White Sox (31-33)

Last Week’s Record: 2-4

Similar to the Rockies, the White Sox possess one of the most dynamic offenses in the league accompanied by horrible pitching. The week started out great for the ChiSox, highlighted by the return of Jose Abreu and the drafting of North Carolina State right hander Carlos Rodon. The Sox would have a rough weekend however, being swept by the Angels, and also having an awful meltdown, including a very rough inning from ace Chris Sale.

18. New York Yankees (31-31)

Last Week’s Record: 2-4

Once again the biggest spenders in the offseason, sitting around the .500 mark in early June was certainly not the intention of the New York Yankees. After being clobbered by the Mariners in a makeup game, the Yankees lost two of three to both the A’s and the Royals. They now find themselves heading into next week facing the Mariners and the A’s again. Yet this time, it’s on the road. The Yanks are in need of a big week to rise above the .500 mark.

17. Cincinnati Reds (29-32)

Last Week’s Record: 3-3

Another average week for the Reds, who have been struggling with injuries in their awfully mediocre 2014 campaign thus far. The Reds dropped two of three to the NL leading Giants and would then take two of three from the horrid Phillies, results which may have been expected by most. The Reds will have a big test this week. They will clash with the Dodgers for four games at home, followed by three against the first place Brewers in Milwaukee. This week may very well make or break the season for Cincinnati.

16. Texas Rangers (31-32)

Last Week’s Record: 2-4

Not the ideal week, or season, for the Rangers for that matter. Since losing Prince Fielder to injury, the Rangers have had to improvise on how to get themselves back into contention. A true lack of consistent pitching is a large reason as to why the Rangers are hovering around .500. Losing two of three to the struggling Orioles was not of help to Texas this week, and a series loss to the Indians has escalated Cleveland back into contention. The Rangers are stuck in a very competitive division, which means that they must adjust soon to put themselves back in the race.

15. Baltimore Orioles (31-30) 

Last Week’s Record: 3-3

An up and down season, and an up and down week for the O’s. A lot of drama has ensued within Baltimore recently due to the issues regarding Manny Machado and him allegedly intentionally throwing his bat, which may be grounds for suspension. Other than that mishap, the O’s took two of three from the Rangers and lost two of three to the dynamic A’s in Baltimore, leaving them 5.5 games outside of first place, and putting them in need of pitching in order to contend.

14. Kansas City Royals (31-32)

Last Week’s Record: 5-2

A very successful week for the Royals, who for once had the upper hand on their cross state rival Cardinals, taking three of four in the annual “Show Me State” series. The Royals would proceed to take two of three from the Yankees, and are now beginning to look like the team many expected. The Royals are in need of a big bat at the deadline, and will most likely begin negotiating for a power bat, as they are last in the MLB in home runs.

13. St. Louis Cardinals (33-31)

Last Week’s Record: 3-4

It started off bad for the Redbirds, as they lost three of four to the Royals, but their week ended on a bright spot taking two of three from the extremely powerful Toronto Blue Jays. The Cardinals have lacked a lot of the clutch hitting that they benefited from last year. The Cards have just five games this week, two of which are against the MLB bottom feeder Rays, who should help St. Louis build themselves back up to preseason expectations.

12. Miami Marlins (33-30)

Last Week’s Record: 5-2

The Marlins easily handled the last place Rays, sweeping a four game home and home set, looking virtually unbeatable to their cross state rivals. The Marlins would then lose two of three to the Cubs, who have had an extremely good week themselves, which may lessen the blow that is losing to the Cubs to begin with. Miami has just five games this week, which is composed of Texas and Pittsburgh, a very feasible set for the surprisingly successful Marlins.

11. Los Angeles Dodgers (33-31)

Last Week’s Record: 3-3

Another mediocre week for the underperforming Dodgers, who had dropped two of three to the White Sox before taking two of three against the division rival Rockies. The Dodgers have four games in Cincinnati, and may really need them to be able to compete with the Giants, who have been nothing short of overwhelming in the NL West to this point in 2014.

10. Atlanta Braves (32-29)

Last Week’s Record: 1-4

The Braves are trying to cling on to a very slim NL East division lead, and with a horribly deprived offense, not much is going in the Braves’ favor right now. After losing two of three to Arizona this past week, the Braves are in desperate need of hitting and are on the verge of completely falling apart. With four games against the Rockies this week, they have their chance to revive the bats in Denver.

9. Washington Nationals (32-29)

Last Week’s Record: 5-1

A very good week for the Nationals, who are catching fire in anticipation of the return of Bryce Harper. After a sweep of the Phillies and taking two of three from the Padres, the Nationals are finally moving back into the race for the NL East crown, and are currently tied for first. A +38 run differential suggests that they will emerge as the best in the division, and with four games in San Francisco this week, they will truly find out how good they really are.

8. Seattle Mariners (33-29)

Last Week’s Record: 5-1

Another big spender in the offseason is finally reaping the benefits of their moves. The Mariners are coming off of a fantastic week, which included sweeping the Braves in a two game set and annihilating the Yankees in a makeup game. The M’s are still just four games above the .500 mark, and they will need quite a bit more to ensure an AL Wild Card spot. Seattle has a chance to gain more in the division this upcoming weekend as well, with three against the Rangers.

7. Cleveland Indians (32-31)

Last Week’s Record: 5-1

Despite underperforming for most of this season, the Indians have woken up and came back with a vengeance. Going 8-2 in their last 10, the Indians now find themselves back in the heat of the playoff race, which is great for a team that deeply struggles in attendance. The Indians can dictate a lot of the AL Central race, and with a week consisting of Kansas City and Boston on the road, the Indians have a grand opportunity to capitalize even more on their hot streak.

6. Detroit Tigers (33-26)

Last Week’s Record: 2-4

The Tigers are still clinging on to an AL Central lead, but getting swept by the Blue Jays this week hurt Detroit in what was a big test for them, playing a fellow American League power. The Tigers have plenty to figure out, most revolving around their closer situation, and the struggles of Joe Nathan, who has a 7.04 ERA, abysmal for a closer, or reliever in general. The Tigers have four against the White Sox on the road to start this week, and will look to capitalize on the recent struggles of the ChiSox.

5. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (34-28)

Last Week’s Record: 4-2

The Angels have shown struggles against the Astros these past few years, and that once again came to fruition, as they lost two of three to Houston. After sweeping the White Sox, however, the Angels continue to find new life, and find themselves six games over .500, and may finally be poised for a playoff run. While the AL West is full of contenders, the Angels are a true contender in the AL, at the very least for the Wild Card. The Angels have three games at home against Oakland this week, which will be a great series, and a very meaningful one for both teams.

4. Milwaukee Brewers (38-26)

Last Week’s Record: 4-3

The Brewers struggled a bit with the Twins, splitting the four game home and home set, and would go on to take two of three from the Pirates in Pittsburgh, making quite a statement for the hopeful contenders. The Brew Crew have a much easier week ahead, which includes the Mets and the Reds. A good week this week can help the Brewers continue to run away with the rather dead NL Central.

3. Toronto Blue Jays (38-26)

Last Week’s Record: 4-2

A year after virtually buying a team, the Blue Jays finally see a true contender. Leading the MLB in homers, the Jays are one of the most intimidating teams of recent memory, and continue to wreak havoc on an otherwise weak AL East. Toronto swept the Tigers in Detroit, making a huge statement, then dropped two of three to St. Louis at home, having a less than desirable finish to their week. Toronto will face Minnesota north of the border to start the week, giving them a great opportunity to get going in a full seven game week.

2. San Francisco Giants (42-21)

Last Week’s Record: 5-1

The Giants have been so far and above what the rest of the NL has produced, and it seems that on even-numbered years, the Giants dominate (2010, 2012, they have something in common). Regardless, the Giants took two of three from Cincinnati before sweeping the Mets, making them perhaps the hottest team in baseball right now. The Giants have the Nationals and Rockies at home this week, and will likely continue to dominate.

1. Oakland Athletics (39-24)

Last Week’s Record: 4-2

I think the ridiculous +128 run differential should do most of the talking, but other than that, the A’s really are just that good. While the Giants have perhaps been more dominant overall, the A’s have done it in a substantially tougher league with the most complete team in baseball. The A’s took two of three from the Yankees and Orioles this week, and look to extend their season long hot streak on the Angels and Yankees this upcoming week. Battle from the Bay? Very possible.

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Tags: AL Central AL East AL West MLB Power Rankings NL Central NL East NL West

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