Another week means another new No.1 on the MLB Power Rankings, as the Atlanta Braves have taken over the top spot.
The Braves were right behind St. Louis on last week's rankings chart, and thanks to their strength of schedule they have overtaken the Cardinals this week. Atlanta has also been getting it done on the field with three wins in their last four games, which includes two victories over NL East rival Philadelphia.
It hasn't been all good news for the Braves, though, as rookie starter Brandon Beachy was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained left oblique and veteran Chipper Jones is dealing with a meniscus tear in his knee. Atlanta may be able to ride out the storm, though, if Martin Prado keeps hitting like he has been. In his last six games Prado is 12-for-26 with three home runs, eight RBI, and seven runs scored.
Following the Braves on the rankings are the Philadelphia Phillies at No. 2 and last week's No. 1, the Cardinals, at No. 3. The Phillies actually have the top unadjusted power ranking, but when you add in strength of schedule the Braves squeak past them. The Phillies could have an even better ranking if their offense had been matching their strong pitching lately. The Phillies have scored more than five runs only once in their last nine games, during which they are 4-5. That's one reason Roy Halladay is 0-2 in his last two starts despite going the distance both times and allowing three or fewer runs.
Rounding out the rest of the Top 5 this week are Florida at No. 4 for the second week in a row, and Toronto at No. 5 - up from No. 7. The Blue Jays could be a team to watch on the rankings after winning their last five games. Behind slugger Jose Bautista the Jays' offense has been smoking the ball during their streak with 38 runs in the five victories. Bautista has proven last year's power outburst wasn't a fluke with a league-leading 16 home runs, including five in his last three games.
The biggest loser on this week's rankings were the Arizona Diamondbacks, who plummeted 11 spots to No. 25 from No. 14 a week ago. Arizona finished the week with a couple wins, but before that they had lost five straight. The D-Backs have also been having trouble putting runs on the board lately, and in their last 10 games they've scored more than four runs only once. Not surprisingly, Arizona is 10-3-2 UNDER in their last 15 games.
|Chi White Sox||126.14||0.51||63.87|