Patterson’s MLB Power Rankings Week 1

The first week of the Major League Baseball season has come and gone.  To say that things haven’t gone as expected would be a vast understatement.  The Red Sox are tied for last place with just one win with the Rays.  The Orioles sit a top the American League East.  The Indians and Royals are tied for first in the AL Central while the Tigers and Twins are in the cellar.  Out west the Rangers are destroying their opposition with ease.  In the National League, the Phillies, as expected sit a top the NL East.  The Reds and Rockies lead their divisions one week into the season.

As I mentioned in my preview, I am going to feature a Power Rankings once week (most likely on Sundays).  These rankings will show who I think has the best chance to win the World Series 1-30. While the Orioles have had a great week, I am not ready to put them in playoff contention yet.  So don’t argue with me that I am blind when I have the Orioles in the mid to lower end of the spectrum.

Here we go:

1) Philadelphia Phillies

Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels were both shelled this week but the Phillies overcame that and got off to a hot start.  What is lost in the “4 Aces” talk is the Phillies have a damn good offense with or without Chase Utley.

2) Texas Rangers

The Rangers are off to a red-hot start and boast the most powerful lineup in baseball.  Just ask the Red Sox.  Nelson Cruz already 5 home runs and 10 rbi’s.  Derek Holland and Alexi Ogando have also looked very good in the beginning of the season.

3) New York Yankees

Yankee faithful will have to concerned about the ineffectiveness of Phil Hughes but are excited about Mark Teixeira’s hot start.  He has 4 home runs and 10 runs batted in.  Last April he hit .200 and had only 2 home runs.

4) Cincinnati Reds

Bronson Arroyo is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in the first week of the season.  Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto are off to hot starts hitting .375 and .393 respectively.  From the “is he for real” department, shortstop Paul Janish is hitting .462.

5) Colorado Rockies

The Rockies are doing just fine without staff ace Ubaldo Jimenez who has started the year on the DL.  Jorge De La Rosa and Jhoulys Chacin have picked up the duties with early season wins and Carlos Gonzalez is hitting .323.

6) Toronto Blue Jays

I was laughed at for how high I had the Blue Jays in my preview.  Jose Bautista has continued right where he left off last season hitting .421 through the first week of the season.  Ricky Romero and Kyle Drabek also each had 2 great starts to kick off their 2011 campaign.  Watch out for the Jays.

7) Boston Red Sox

Yes, they are 1-7.  Yes their pitching has been worse than a Keanu Reeves film.  Yes, they have been frustrating to watch.  But the Red Sox have way to much talent not to be contenders this season.  a 162 game schedule is a marathon not a sprint.

8) Los Angeles Dodgers

This is the year Clayton Kershaw makes the leap to Lincecum’s class.  Matt Kemp also off to a hot start hitting .429 and has five stolen bases.  If he can free his mind of the Rihanna drama (when I started this post they were back together, don’t know where they are at now) he can put together an MVP type season.

9) Chicago White Sox

Paul Konerko leads the team in average (.400), home runs (3), runs batted in (11), OBP (.463), and hits (14).  Putting him in a lineup with a healthy Carlos Quentin and a healthy Adam Dunn could be very dangerous.  Now if they can find some pitching.

10) Atlanta Braves

I was roundly criticized for not having the Braves making the playoffs in my preview.  Why? I don’t have the slightest idea.  Tim Hudson and Derek Lowe are nice and all but Tommy Hanson has been a bust and their lineup doesn’t scare me.  As sure as my name is Scott, the Braves will not make the playoffs.

11) Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers have to be concerned about Shaun Marcum’s inability to reach 89 on the radar gun.  He was a nice under the…radar pick for up for Milwaukee and I honestly thought he was a candidate to win 17 games.  But anytime you have a lineup with Weeks, Braun, and Fielder you are always in the game.

12) San Francisco Giants

The defending champions have been bitten by the injury bug early in the season.  Brian Wilson started the season on the DL and then promptly blew first his first 2 save opportunities.  Apparently, the Cardinals and Padres don’t fear the beard.  Rookie of the year candidate Brandon Belt has also disappointed through the first week of the season.

13) Minnesota Twins

Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer are yet to get it going this season.  In fact none of the Twins are hitting as the highest batting average on the team belongs to Jason Kubel at .300.  The Twins have never been a fast starting team.  I am willing to bet we will be hearing more about them come August.

14) Florida Marlins

The Marlins are a team that no one wants to face.  They are young and can be dangerous. I don’t expect them to compete with the Phillies but they will be a team that could sneak into the Wild Card.  Hanley Ramirez is hitting just .207 and they are still 5-3.

15) Detroit Tigers

Miguel Cabrera likes to drink.  But he also likes to hit the bejeezus out of the baseball.  He is hitting .355 with 4 home runs and is giving me second thoughts on by passing him in my fantasy baseball draft.  Outside Verlander and Scherzer, the Tigers pitching is and has been very week.

16) California Angels

Remember when Howie Kendrick was the next hot prospect in baseball?  It has been awhile, but Kendrick is starting to show flashes of why scouts were high on him.  He is off to a .412 start with 4 home runs.  And somewhere the Jays are wetting themselves with laughter because Vernon Wells is hitting .111.

17) Baltimore Orioles

No one could have predicted the unbelievable start the Orioles got off to in 2011.  Buck Showalter had the O’s playing competitive baseball at the end of last season and he has them playing hard again this year.  In a division where they have no shot, they are in first place.  It is only a matter of time before the O’s and their young arms (Tillman, Britton, and Guthrie,) come back down to earth.

18) Chicago Cubs

Remember Alfonso Soriano? He is trying to put himself back on the map apparently as he has four home runs on the young season.  The only real reason to watch the Cubs however, is to watch young shortstop Starlin Castro.  The kid can play and will be very good one day.  Just to illustrate the Cubs’ troubles: Carlos Zambrano has the best ERA of any starter at 5.25.

19) Kansas City Royals

The Royals were my preseason pick to surprise some people.  I really like their young core.  Jeff Francis is showing that he is happy to be out of Colorado with a 1.98 ERA.  And maybe this is the year Alex Gordon proves that he wasn’t a bust 3 years ago when he was a consensus preseason Rookie of the Year.  He is hitting .357.

20) Cleveland Indians

The Indians had the advantage of playing a weak schedule as they swept the woeful Boston Red Sox.  The Indians should be expecting Grady Sizemore back soon which is good news.  Travis Hafner is also playing his best so he will be a valuable trade chip for the Tribe come July.

21) Pittsburgh Pirates

I joked in my preview that the only interesting thing about the Pirates was how their young prospects would develop.  Well Jose Tabata, Neil Walker, and Andrew McCutcheon have all played very well through the first week of the season and Kevin Correia has been outstanding in his two starts.  Will it last? Nope.

22) Oakland A’s

The A’s have gotten solid pitching from Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez.  They were smart in locking up Cahill long-term earlier this week.  But where oh where will they get offense?  Coco Crisp currently leads the team with a .265 average.  Yes, Coco Crisp.

23) New York Mets

Mike Pelfrey is not an ace.  If Mets fans believe that he is, then they are a bit more messed up than I previously thought.  The only bright spot in the Mets season has been, is, and will continue to be the development of Ike Davis.  Any thoughts of being in contention past Memorial Day is a pipe dream.

24) St. Louis Cardinals

Once Adam Wainwright went down in spring training, the Cardinals main concern wasn’t the 2011 season.  The main concern is to bring Pujols back to St. Louis.  Until that situation is resolved, the Cardinals will do nothing this season. For what it is worth, at this time next year, in my opinion, Albert Pujols will be a Chicago Cub.

25) Arizona Diamondbacks

The only positive to speak of with the DBacks is the emergence of their young catcher Miguel Monteiro.  He was simply on fire through the first week of the season, and he could be a piece that the Diamondbacks could build around along with Justin Upton.

26) San Diego Padres

As expected the Padres are 25th in runs, 28 in batting average, 21st in on base, and 27th in slugging.  As a franchise the Padres are in that stretch where they will wait for their prospects to develop and go from there.  As for this year, this is the closest to first place they will ever get.

27) Washington Nationals

Jayson Werth will be playing under a microscope all season after the contract he signed that brought him to the nation’s capital.  Well, through 1 week .200, 1 home run, 1 run batted in.  Ouch.

28) Seattle Mariners

The Mariners problem last year was scoring runs.  The Mariners problem through the first week of the season? Scoring runs.  Just 25 through 9 games.

29) Tampa Bay Rays

Once again, I was roundly criticized for having the Rays ranked so low in my preview.  Well, I hate to say I told you so, but…

30) Houston Astros

All that needs to be said about the Astros: They had Roy Halladay beat on Opening Day.  The Brandon Lyon gave up six straight hits to blow the save and the win.  Houston you have problems.

I can be followed on Twitter @ ScottieNtcf


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