The Designated 15: AL Power Rankings – Week 3

Throughout the season I’m separately assessing the fortunes of teams in the NL and AL, and ranking them accordingly. Standings aren’t dependent on record alone and factor in such elements as injuries, strength of competition, and acquisitions, amongst other things. Yesterday, in The Senior Class: Week 3, I ordered the NL. Today, it’s the turn of the AL. It’s The Designated 15 – Week 3! (All records correct as of Sunday morning).

  1. Oakland Athletics (7-0 last week, 12-5 overall) ↑ As much as I want to make a ‘there’s something in the water’ joke here, I have no grounds to do it – Oakland, much like the top-ranked Braves in the NL, are defying the cruel bite of the injury bug and winning legitimately behind their starting pitching. Jesse Chavez, Scott Kazmir, and Sonny Gray have been brilliant in masking the losses of Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin, the trio not only having accounted for 11 of the team’s 14 quality starts, but also largely responsible for Oakland ranking 1st across the ML in both WHIP and BAA. In off-the-field news, the A’s also this week finalized a five-year deal with Sean Doolittle – after their offseason addition of Jim Johnson, perhaps it’s another sign that expensive relievers are the new market inefficiency?!
  2. Detroit Tigers (2-3, 8-6) After going just 5 for 30 in a Tigers uniform, Detroit yesterday released their 37-year-old Opening Day shortstop, Alex Gonzalez, and purchased the contract of Danny Worth from Triple-A Toledo. I give it a further two weeks before Mike Ilitch’s pizza money brings Stephen Drew into the fold.
  3. Tampa Bay Rays (2-4, 9-9) 
  4. Kansas City Royals (5-2, 9-7) ↑ The Royals have taken five straight, but their streak has benefitted from an extremely light schedule (Astros and Twins). Yordano Ventura takes to the mound today, so adjust your schedule accordingly. 
  5. New York Yankees (4-2, 10-8) ↑ The Yankees continue to baffle me. Behind Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda, they held the Cubs scoreless for 18 innings of doubleheader baseball in the Bronx on Wednesday, before taking it to David Price the following day – a win in which they turned their third triple play behind C.C. Sabathia since 2010. Over the past two games however, Tampa outscored them 27-6, and Ivan Nova was forced to the DL with a partial UCL tear. Talk about a Jekyll and Hyde week.
  6. Boston Red Sox (3-3, 8-10) ↓ 
  7. Texas Rangers (6-1, 11-7) ↑ Injuries, schminjuries – even after officially losing Adrian Beltre, the Rangers mercilessly beat up the White Sox and Mariners over the past week, remedying their various ailments with a strong dose of victory. Shin-Soo Choo and Prince Fielder both hit their first jacks in Texas uniforms (though Fielder is still hitting at a sub-Mendoza level), but it was Kevin Kouzmanoff who was the (Lone) Star of the Rangers’ week, batting .414 over the past seven days. Texas will face Oakland 6 times in the next 1o days – a crucial stretch not just in determining where Texas really stand as a squad, but in the ultimate complexion of the AL West.
  8. Toronto Blue Jays (4-2, 10-8)  I’m pretty sure Mark Buehrle (boasting a 0.64 ERA through four starts) could pitch effectively well into his 40s, á la Jamie Moyer
  9. Baltimore Orioles (3-2, 8-8) 
  10. Los Angeles Angels (3-3, 8-9) ↑ Another member of the Angels’ outfield joined Josh Hamilton on the DL this week, but thankfully it wasn’t Mike Trout. Kole Calhoun‘s ankle injury did have its silver lining however; his replacement J.B. Shuck‘s home run trot amusingly felled a FOX cameraman. 
  11. Cleveland Indians (1-4, 7-10) 
  12. Seattle Mariners (1-6, 7-10) ↓ Congratulations to Robinson Cano on hitting his first home run as a Mariner. I’m sure the $240 million is making watching Blake Beavan pitch a lot more bearable. 
  13. Chicago White Sox (2-4, 8-10) ↓ The Pale Hose got a tremendous effort from Chris Sale against the Red Sox on Thursday, but Robin Ventura‘s decision to leave his ace out there for a career-high 127 pitches in April was a questionable one.
  14. Minnesota Twins (3-3, 8-9) →  I hate to break it to Twins fans, but Kyle Gibson‘s smoke-and-mirrors act can’t continue much longer, nor is it likely Chris Colabello continues to rake. Enjoy them while you still can.
  15. Houston Astros (0-6, 5-13) → George Springer made it to the majors, not that it helped much; in losing 6 straight, the Astros dropped their run differential by an additional 18 to a hideous overall figure of -38.

 

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One comment

  1. Pingback: Given the chance, Jesse Chavez has nailed it as a starter « The Dugout Perspective

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