MLB Power Rankings: May 2
It didn't take long for the MLB Power Rankings to go through a big shakeup. In only our second week of computing all the numbers the Philadelphia Phillies have taken over the top spot on the list.
The New York Yankees, last week's No. 1, plummeted down the rankings to No. 9, but it wasn't only because of their on-field performance. New York had a mediocre week going 4-3, but their strength of schedule is what did them in. Before factoring in strength of schedule the Yankees graded out at No. 2 on the rankings. Playing Baltimore, the White Sox, and Toronto back-to-back-to-back will do that.
The Phillies went from No. 5 last week to the top spot mostly because the teams ahead of them took a dive. That's not to say the Phillies aren't worthy of No. 1. The Phillies' pitching staff boasts the second-best ERA in the NL, and Roy Halladay pitched his second complete game of the season. Imagine how good they will be when Cliff Lee (2-2, 3.66) gets going and Chase Utley returns from the DL.
This week's Top 5 all come from the NL, with Atlanta, St. Louis, Florida, and Cincinnati following the Phillies. The two teams we want to spotlight are the Marlins and the Reds.
Florida has gotten off to an amazing start and trail the Phillies in the NL East by only half a game. Making the Marlins' start even more amazing is that they've done it will little contribution from All-Star Hanley Ramirez; he's batting a lame .200 so far with only one home run and 11 RBI. The secret to Florida's success has been their starters, led by Josh Johnson at 3-0 with an 0.88 ERA. Ricky Nolasco (3-0, 3.35) and Anibal Sanchez (1-1, 3.86) are also off to fast starts.
The Reds made such a monstrous rise up the rankings this week we had to double-check the numbers to make sure the computer spit them out right.
Last week the Reds were ranked at No. 18, but they soared up to No. 5 this week due to a big increase in their strength of schedule. The Reds' SOS went from 0.44 to 0.48 after series against Milwaukee and Florida. The Reds could take a hit this week with weak opponents like the Cubs and Houston coming up. Of course, if Cincinnati crushes the Cubs and Astros they may not take as big a fall, and that could happen if Joey Votto continues to mash at the plate. The reigning NL MVP is batting .357 to start the season with five homers and 16 RBI.
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