2012 Power Rankings: Monday, August 6th

Another week in the books and we saw some major shuffling, but mostly static across the board. The trade whirlwind is over, but moves are still being made through waivers. The Giants picked up Jose Mijares from the Royals, and the Dodgers snagged Joe Blanton from Philly.

Does those transactions move them up in the rankings? I’ll tell you one thing. The Tribe will continue its downward spiral. An 0-10 stretch and a punch less overall team will send a team nowhere but down. And how bout an 8-2 previous 10 for Atlanta, who climbs way up, despite being a Wild Card team.

As always, look for the three big, red down arrows for our biggest losers and the three big, green arrows for the biggest winners. Here are this week’s official Three Up, Three Down MLB Power Rankings:

30. Houston Astros (36-74, 2-8 in last 10, last week: 30)

The Astros have lost 30 of their last 34 games. Do I even need to say anything else? They are so by far the worst team in baseball, it’s almost funny. But then you feel bad for laughing. It’s just really awkward. The ‘Stros are a legitimate “threat” to lose 110 games.

29. Colorado Rockies (39-68, 2-8, 29)

Things are getting rockier and rockier (see what I did there?) in Colorado. They’ve had enough pitching woes as it is, but now Jonathan Sanchez and Christian Friedrich are down with injuries, joining their buddies Todd Helton and Michael Cuddyer on the DL.

28. Chicago Cubs (43-64, 3-7, 27)

Believe it or not, games are about to get more exciting in Chicago despite the constant losing. Top prospects Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson were called up recently, and Cubs fans have to be interested in seeing what this new, young dynamic lineup can put together.

27. Kansas City Royals (45-63, 4-6, 28)

Every time the Royals lose a game, I cry a tiny bit. I can’t decide if I’m more just depressed for the fans of Kansas City who had a promising team on paper for once, or embarrassed at my own failed prediction. At least Billy Butler is still awesome.

26. San Diego Padres (47-64, 4-6, 24)

So, how does a team that goes 4-6 over the last 10 games jump two spots in the power rankings? Um…have you SEEN the San Diego beaches? Sorry, other states. The Friars still need a lot of help, but maybe them selling the team for $800 million is a good starting point.

25. Cleveland Indians (50-59, 0-10, 17)

That big old zero is not a good thing. It means the Indians have gone on to the field and looked more like the team at the beginning of the movie Major League more than a real, live baseball team. Out with Derek Lowe and Johnny Damon, in with the new, they say!

24. Philadelphia Phillies (49-60, 4-6, 23)

Philadelphia sold away half their roster at the trade deadline, then immediately won the first two games in August. And then they sucked again. Well, then…wasn’t that fun? Carlos Ruiz hit the DL, officially ending any comeback talk that might have been creeping out of Philly.

23. Miami Marlins (49-60, 4-6, 21)

Remember when the Marlins and Phillies were going to pit their fancy, expensive players against each other in a 162-game battle for NL East supremacy? I have to brag – I never fully bought into the hype. And it’s making me look dang good.

22. Milwaukee Brewers (49-59, 5-5, 26)

Ho-hum, the Brewers were average, and Ryan Braun did some cool things and Michael Fiers continued to be the most unknown rookie sensation this side of Saturn, and the bullpen is still terrible, and Milwaukee brews good beer and ten games under .500 means no playoffs.

21. Minnesota Twins (48-61, 7-3, 25)

The Twins have been surprisingly adept on offense since last week. Granted, playing the Indians will do that to you these days. But Ben Revere, Denard Span, Joe Mauer, Josh Willingham – these guys aren’t as bad as we originally though. With a pitching upgrade, they are a sneaky pick in 2013.

20. Toronto Blue Jays (53-55, 4-6, 18) 

Womp womp! This just shows how incredibly valuable Jose Bautista is to the Jays. That being said, role players are showing some resiliency for this team. Against A’s closer Ryan Cook over the weekend, they hit game-tying homers in the top of the 9th. Two games in a row.

19. Seattle Mariners (51-60, 7-3, 22) 

For the second straight week, the M’s are moving up in the world. I really like the make up and young talent on this team. I have a feeling they will be in contention in about two years, right when King Felix’s contract ends. When did the AL West become such a good division?

18. New York Mets (53-56, 5-5, 20)

After a horrendous first week in the rankings, the Mets climbed back a couple of spots to respectability with a 5-5 stretch over their last 10. The second half slide continues in general, but at least they aren’t so god-awful to watch lately.

17. Boston Red Sox (55-55, 6-4, 19)

I’m not necessarily on the bandwagon, but if the Red Sox reel off a 7-3 or 8-2 stretch of 10, you may see me chasing after it trying to jump on. We know the pitching is bad, but so what? They have offense for miles, even with Big Papi on the DL for a couple of weeks.

16.  Arizona Diamondbacks (55-54, 6-4, 16)

I truly thought the D’Backs were going to come in and stay hot for this week. But aside from a (very disheartening for me, I might add) sweep on the road against my Dodgers, they haven’t done much to allow total faith in this team. They are very, very close though.

15. Tampa Bay Rays (56-52, 5-5, 14)

While Jered Weaver, Justin Verlander and Chris Sale continue to grab the headlines, David Price will continue to be the other best pitcher in the league and lead his offensively passive squad to a potential playoff berth. Hipster, tilted sideways hat and all.

14. Baltimore Orioles (58-51, 6-4, 15)

I hate being that guy, but I just don’t believe the O’s can carry this into the postseason. That being said, I AM definitely in the “let’s see them get a winning season” camp. Both goals are lofty, but 24 more wins will seal it! Come on Adam Jones, keep it up!

13. Oakland A’s (58-51, 4-6, 7) 

Not quite a complete fall from grace, but the A’s are showing that they are, in fact, beatable. Rookie (obviously) starter A.J. Jenkins hits the DL. Rookie (obviously) starter Dan Straily slides in without missing a beat. So much pitching, so little veteran experience. That will be their undoing.

12. Los Angeles Angels (59-51, 4-6, 10)

I dropped the Angels a couple of spots, mostly because the teams that passed them were a little bit better last week. They lost a couple tough ones in Arlington, but remain close in the division. Albert Pujols is still really, really good by the way. And don’t you forget it!

11. San Francisco Giants (59-50, 4-6, 9)

The Giants’ slide seemingly came out of nowhere. But the normally reliable starting pitching has faltered, and Hunter Pence hasn’t quite yet become accustomed to the new digs. San Francisco could be in big trouble playing the Cardinals on the road this week.

10. Los Angeles Dodgers (59-51, 6-4, 8)

My Dodgers have hung around a half game out, and get the benefit of the doubt for two reasons here: First, it’s my favorite team. That’s how I roll. But in all seriousness, the Dodgers have been a slightly better offensive team over the last seven days than their rival Giants.

9. Detroit Tigers (59-50, 6-4, 12)

Justin Verlander just struck out 14 batters in a game. Still think they REALLY won’t win the AL Central? Come on, people. If Mike Trout doesn’t win MVP, there’s really only one other guy it could be. He goes by Miguel Cabrera and he likes to hit baseballs very far.

8. Chicago White Sox (60-48, 7-3, 11)

That being said, the Sox have done pretty dang well for themselves. Most teams crumble under my massive expectations, but the Youk-stah is helping keep them on top. For now. Wait until the soft middle of the August schedule is over before we get a real look at this team.

7. St. Louis Cardinals (60-49, 7-3, 13) 

One of our biggest movers is St. Louis, who just keeps winning. Unfortunately for them, so does Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, the two teams they are trailing in the division. But the Cards have the best offense in the Majors and continue to be buoyed by quality starting pitching.

6. Pittsburgh Pirates (62-46, 6-4, 6)

Here’s our weekly “countdown to a winning season” team. The awesome, cuddly story that is Andrew McCutchen and his wild band of Buccos is now only 19 games away from that coveted .500 mark! If they don’t get there, it would be truly one of the biggest disappointments in sports history at this point.

5. Texas Rangers (63-45, 5-5, 4)

Ryan Dempster, Shmyan Shmempster. I still don’t understand the concept behind that weird speech style, but Dempster got shelled in his first American League start. Hopefully that’s not a harbinger of things to come, because Roy Oswalt is already a failed signing.

4. New York Yankees (63-45, 4-6, 3)

The Yankees continue to play average baseball with Alex Rodriguez on the DL. And you all thought he didn’t matter anymore! Just kidding. But Ivan Nova needs to step his game up, though I don’t think anyone is doubting them for winning the East again.

3. Atlanta Braves (63-46, 8-2, 5) 

Big movers here, and it might be a surprise. I promise this isn’t just to get in our host Mapes’ good graces. The Braves really have been that good. Apparently as soon as Chipper Jones gets on Twitter, the bats start lighting up in Atlanta. By the way, what a MOVE getting Ben Sheets, huh?

2. Washington Nationals (66-43, 7-3, 2)

The team leading the Braves in the standings is none other than the Washington Nationals. Bryce Harper has kind of faded away, but the pitching is still fantastic and Michael Morse is taking his turn manning the reigns of the offense. Hashtag, Natitude!

1. Cincinnati Reds (66-43, 7-3, 1)

My girlfriend currently hates me because I told her in March that no matter what she said about her beloved Cardinals, I was sticking with my preseason NL Central pick. And here they are, deserving of the top spot in the MLB Power Rankings for the second straight week. And yes, I’m sleeping on the couch.

*Records current as play began on Monday, August 6th, 2012*

Do you agree with the rankings? Disagree? Want to punch us in the balls? Comment below to let us know how you really feel! And while you’re at it, follow us on Twitter @3u3d and LIKE Three Up, Three Down on Facebook.

– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)

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