Despite injuries to some key hitters and a slumping Albert Pujols the St. Louis Cardinals have regained the top spot in the MLB Power Rankings.
The Cardinals are 6-1 in their last seven games thanks to some solid pitching from their rotation and their bullpen. St. Louis scored only 26 runs in those seven games but they only allowed 13 runs, leading to a 6-1 UNDER record for totals bettors. The Cardinals' strong pitching has allowed them to keep winning despite injuries to Lance Berkman (wrist) and Matt Holliday (quad) and a lack of production from Albert Pujols. In his last 11 games Pujols has only one RBI.
St. Louis' pitching staff has relied heavily on Jaime Garcia and Kyle McClellan so far this season, but Jake Westbrook has been their best starter during their recent surge. Westbrook, who had been a disappointment this season, recorded two wins and allowed only one run in 15 innings against the Phillies and Royals.
Following the Cardinals in the rankings at No. 2 are the Phillies, while last week's No. 1, the Braves, have fallen to No. 3. Atlanta had a rough week, going 1-4 in their last five, and they had to put outfielder Jason Heyward on the DL with an inflamed right shoulder. Atlanta has also lost Tim Hudson for at least one start as he heads back to Atlanta to have his sore back examined.
The biggest losers on the rankings this week were the Los Angeles Angels and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Angels dropped eight spots to No. 14 this week, while the Dodgers plummeted nine spots to land at No. 24. The Angels have won twice in their last eight games, while the Dodgers have only two wins in their last nine games.
Both the Angels and Dodgers have run into injury problems lately that could extend their recent struggles. The Angels have already lost slugger Kendrys Morales for the season and now Vernon Wells and Francisco Rodriguez have joined him on the DL, while Howie Kendrick is dealing with a bad hamstring. For the Dodgers, Casey Blake and Jonathan Broxton have been on the DL for a few weeks, and Andre Ethier could be joining them after hurting his elbow, back, and left big toe in a collision with the fence over the weekend.
While the Dodgers and Angels are falling down the rankings, the Red Sox are on the rise. Boston is finally living up to its preseason potential with eight wins in its last nine games. Adrian Gonzalez is raking at the plate and in the month on May he's hitting .376 with eight home runs and 26 RBI.
Boston's rotation is down two men with Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lackey both on the DL, but the Red Sox haven't missed a beat yet thanks to an offense that has scored 64 runs in their last nine games.
|Chi White Sox||130.91||0.49||64.75|