Tagged: power rankings

The Literal Power Rankings: April 15th, 2013

Upton HRWe like to mix it up a bit here at Three Up, Three Down. And we figured having a traditional power ranking every week wasn’t enough. We wanted to give you a source for finding the most powerful teams each week as well.

So here, in all its glory, is our first weekly installation of the “literal” power rankings. Which team has bashed the most home runs so far in the 2013 regular season?

The list might surprise you:

1. Colorado Rockies (21) — Leader: Dexter Fowler (6)

This is no surprise. The ball really carries in Denver. I heard Todd Helton once hit a wiffle ball into the upper deck at Coors Field.

2. Atlanta Braves (20) — Leader: Justin Upton (7)

For some reason, Upton decided to take out all of his aggression from his Arizona days in the first week and a half of 2013. Wrensanity, anyone?

3. Oakland A’s (19) — Leader: Coco Crisp (4)

That is the most “A’s” thing ever. Your home run leader is a speedy lead-off hitter who’s already on the shelf and forever on the trading block.

4. New York Yankees (18) — Leaders: Robinson Cano (3), Travis Hafner (3), Vernon Wells (3)

Now, Cano I can understand. But newly-signed Hafner and Wells pitching in a trey each? That short porch in right field must be really short.

5. Washington Nationals (17) — Leader: Bryce Harper (5)

Things are going to get a little awkward for all the Harper haters when he drops 40 this year. The defending NL Rookie of the Year is on fire to start the season.

6. Chicago White Sox (16) — Leader: Alex Rios (4)

So…you mean…Rios IS for real? That’s great for White Sox fans, but I’m sure Adam Dunn will be leading the pack here when all is said and done.

6. Cincinnati Reds (16) — Leader: Brandon Phillips (4)

A hot start to the season for Phillips could mean big things for Cincy. Except that they are under .500. Where is the rest of the pop?

6. Seattle Mariners (16) — Leader: Michael Morse (6)

This is the section where Jeremy gets to gloat. “Morse won’t do anything,” they said. “He’s overrated,” they said. Told. You. So.

9. Baltimore Orioles (15) — Leader: Chris Davis (6)

It’s weird — my cell phone keeps auto-correcting “Davis” to “Ruth” when I try to text or tweet about him. Maybe his .366 average and 19 RBI have something to do with it.

9. Cleveland Indians (15) — Leader: Mark Reynolds (5)

Naturally. If he wasn’t leading this category, Reynolds would be completely worthless. Believe it or not, though, Reynolds has only K’d 10 times in 10 games so far.

9. New York Mets (15) — Leader: John Buck (6)

That name atop the team’s leader board is preposterous, but this is baseball. Anything can happen. Buck is hitting over .300 with 19 RBI and is sure to reach his quota soon.

12. Chicago Cubs (14) — Leader: Anthony Rizzo (3)

Unfortunately for Cubs fans (really, what sentence about them hasn’t started that way since about 1908?), Rizzo’s three homers account for almost half of his hits (7).

12. Toronto Blue Jays (14) — Leaders: J.P. Arencibia (3), Jose Bautista (3), Colby Rasmus (3)

It’s a low number for the Canadian Yankees so far, but by the end of the year this team will be near the top of these rankings and Rogers Centre will be battered and bruised.

14. Arizona Diamondbacks (13) — Leaders: Paul Goldschmidt (2), Aaron Hill (2), Jason Kubel (2), A.J. Pollock (2), Martin Prado (2)

Really? You’re going to make me type out five names, D’Backs? That’s cute to share and all, but how about someone take the initiative here?

15. Boston Red Sox (12) — Leader: Will Middlebrooks (4)

Hey, I would have four home runs too if I jacked three in one game. Or something. Good for you, kid. Let’s just move on.

15. Houston Astros (12) — Leader: Chris Carter (4)

This is why they traded for Carter. He has unreal strength and could touch 30 jacks this year if he stays healthy. Oh, he has 19 strikeouts, too. But who doesn’t on the Astros?

15. Texas Rangers (12) — Leader: Ian Kinsler (4)

Not buying that Kinsler’s career isn’t dead. Jurickson Profar is hitting in a Kinsler costume.

18. Los Angeles Angels (11) — Leaders: Josh Hamilton (2), Chris Iannetta (2), Albert Pujols (2)

Ah, yes. Just the three names I expected to see leading this team in home runs!

18. Philadelphia Phillies (11) — Leaders: Dominic Brown (2), Laynce Nix (2), Chase Utley (2)

Ryan Howard conspicuously missing from this list. I will pat myself on the back for drafting Brown and Utley in my fantasy league. Brown’s hitting .244? Nevermind.

18. St. Louis Cardinals (11) — Leader: Matt Adams (3)

I don’t know how long Mike Matheny can keep Adams out of the lineup. Everything he touches turns to gold.

21. Detroit Tigers (10) — Leader: Prince Fielder (4)

Obviously. The big boy has been on a tear to start the year, and won’t be slowing down anytime soon.

22. Los Angeles Dodgers (9) — Leaders: Adrian Gonzalez (2), Juan Uribe (2)

Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and Clayton Kershaw have combined to hit as many homers as Uribe. Ethier has one and Kemp has zero. You do the math.

23. Milwaukee Brewers (7) — Leader: Ryan Braun (2)

At least it’s the right guy leading the way for the Brewers. But every homer he hits is nullified by a blown save, methinks.

23. Minnesota Twins (7) — Leader: Josh Willingham (2)

One of the Killer J’s is doing his job, but why don’t I see Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau on this list?

23. San Francisco Giants (7) — Leader: Hunter Pence (4)

I called this, unfortunately. The Giants have a really underrated power presence in their lineup for a full year now. It might be their only power presence though.

26. Pittsburgh Pirates (6) — Leaders: Andrew McCutchen (2), Michael McKenry (2)

McKenry heard we were putting this list together today and really wanted to be on it. So he hit two yesterday.

26. San Diego Padres (6) — Leaders: Yonder Alonso (2), Will Venable (2)

Carlos Quentin almost cracks this list with one home run and one mound charge. Doesn’t that count for something?

28. Kansas City Royals (4) — Leader: Billy Butler (2)

Surprisingly, the Royals are in second place because of their pitching so far! Who woulda thunk it? (Raises hand)

28. Tampa Bay Rays (4) — Leaders: Shelley Duncan (1), Kelly Johnson (1), Matt Joyce (1), Ben Zobrist (1)

Zobrist is the best player on this list, but Joyce has the best home run so far (a walk-off against the Orioles on April 3rd).

30. Miami Marlins (2) — Leaders:  Greg Dobbs (1), Justin Ruggiano (1)

Oh, Stanton where art thou? This is probably for the best, as nobody should be subjected to seeing the god-awful home run structure at Marlins Park light up.

– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)

Tune in next week for the “literal” power rankings. You can follow @3u3d on Twitter and like Three Up, Three Down on Facebook.

Advertisements

Power Ranking Every MLB Team’s Playoff Hash Tag

Something new is happening in MLB this year. Instead of your typical four-team format in each league, we’ve added an extra Wild Card team to make five in each league and ten total. Something else new to life in general is the popularity of social media, specifically Twitter.

Twitter and baseball go together like pancakes and syrup. Or Brad Pitt and goatees. Bobby V and the Red S– oh…wait. Too soon?

And now each team has their own designated hash tag on Twitter to make sure their October quests get trending among the fan base. Some teams are handed easy ones (i.e. the Colorado Rockies’ “Rocktober”). Some have to stretch for it (i.e. the Milwaukee Brewers’ potential “OctoBrewfest”).

So without further adieu, here is the Three Up, Three Down power ranking of every MLB team’s playoff hash tag:

10. San Francisco Giants – #OrangeOctober

I don’t care if anyone calls me biased for this one. My goodness, this is a bland, boring, unoriginal hash tag. The Giants have the benefit of winning the World Series two years ago, so they don’t have to try to impress the Twittersphere anymore. But making your pump-up hash tag for the playoffs simply #OrangeOctober is a pretty big cop out. First of all, yes, they wear orange. Yes, the O’s roll off the tongue together nicely. But of course October is orange. Come on, are we all too old to have forgotten about Halloween? That is a straight up robbery of America’s sugariest holiday.

9. Texas Rangers – #TexasLegends

What? Are the Rangers implying that they, themselves, are legendary? Because unless choking away two straight World Series titles and then collapsing under the pressure of a pennant race in 2012 is considered “legendary,” I’m missing something. I know that everything, including egos, can be bigger in Texas but this is just ridiculous. Besides, it’s not a cool hash tag. I thought it was a minor league affiliate of the Rangers. Geez, that was harsh. Sorry, Brian!

8. Detroit Tigers – #EveryGameCounts

Yes, yes it does. And the Tigers really should have had a couple week’s worth of games that actually didn’t matter. But they brought it down to the bitter end anyway. Detroit loses points for dominating their Twitter timeline with #TripleCrown. I understand why, as the achievement should be celebrated heavily. But the ultimate goal is to win the World Series and I’m sure Miguel Cabrera would gladly trade his Triple Crown for a ring.

7. New York Yankees – #27AndCounting

You can’t really argue this hash tag. The Yankees can pretty much hash tag whatever they want and get a free pass because they are the Yankees. It doesn’t make sense and it is incredibly frustrating, but it’s true. That being said, in terms of pure originality, the guy or gal in charge of the team’s account is clearly one of those people who enjoys time spent over a term paper in the library on a Friday night.

6. Washington Nationals – #Natitude

Normally, I’d rank this a bit higher. Unfortunately, the Nationals have been freakin’ bombarding us Twits with that hash tag since Opening Day and frankly…we’re tired of it. And usually it was in all caps. Why are they yelling? It’s clever and it accurately portrays the way the team plays, but after a while you just want to yell “SHUT UP!” I think the Nats could have geared their very important hash tag playoff campaign towards something with the color red or involving America, since they are in the nation’s capitol. #Natitude just leaves a lot to be desired.

5. Cincinnati Reds – #RedsOctober

Boring? Sure. Bland? Definitely. Unoriginal? Cha. But there are a couple of reasons that the #RedsOctober hash tag cracks the top five for me. First of all, the Reds are a funky, old-school, boring team. They always have been. The franchise has been around since the world started spinning (sorry – in my mind, that’s the day that baseball officially was born…yeah, we’re nerds) and they’ve been very successful over that time span. The Reds seem like the most focused, confident team in the playoffs right now, just like their hash tag. And second, I like the vague reference to The Hunt for Red October.

4. St. Louis Cardinals – #12In12

It’s like when you see the clock on 11:11 and yell “MAKE A WISH!” Well, the Cardinals’ wish came true in 2011, and they are trying to repeat in 2012. I’m convinced that they purposely waited until 2011 to win their 11th world title, just so they could troll the crap out of Twitterville for years to come with an annoyingly clever hash tag like #12In12, #13In13, and so on. Of course to continue the trend of this type of hash tag, the Cardinals will have to make another crazy run. Don’t put it past them.

3. Baltimore Orioles – #BUCKleUp

Hah! HAHA! GET IT?! Because their manager’s name is BUCK Showalter?!?! I promise I’m not even mocking them – I actually laughed out loud when I first saw that hash tag. It’s caught fire among Baltimore fans, as it should. Not only does it emphasize one of the most important individuals to the team, but it acknowledges that it’s going to be a bumpy ride. If the O’s are going to do the improbable and win the World Series in 2012, it’s going to be a panic-filled roller coaster ride just like their regular season was.

2. Atlanta Braves – #OctoberIsWhyWeChop (#Choptober for short)

The Braves probably would have slid down the list a little bit for sheer character volume if they didn’t have that cute little #Choptober nickname to fall back on. Regardless of how possibly offensive the whole chopping deal is, it has become a symbol of unity and hope for a dedicated Braves fan base. They chop for everything and everyone, and what better reason than for a World Series ring in Chipper Jones’ final season? Oh, and “Choptober” sounds like “October” if you say it really fast. Clever points!

1. Oakland A’s – #OctoBERNIE

This is not only the best hash tag on the list, but might be the greatest hash tag ever created in the history of the Twitter world…ever…of all time. If you don’t know yet what the “Bernie” is, then grab your nearest YouTube and type it in. You’ll find Weekend at Bernie clips, some pretty bad, hilarious hip-hop videos and a lot of green and gold crazies in the right field bleachers. The A’s have reinvigorated the Bernie movement and reinvented the October hash tag, all by simply adding an “N-I-E” to the end. There is no denying the magic that the world’s easiest, laziest dance move has brought to MLB’s best story in 2012.

Comment below if you think this order is just whack! And don’t forget to vote for your favorite postseason team hash tag in the poll below. If you like what you read, follow @3u3d on Twitter and like Three Up, Three Down on Facebook!

– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)

2012 Power Rankings: Monday, August 13th

Last week in MLB, things started to even out a little bit. The Reds came back to Earth, the Angels took a small step backwards, and the Diamondbacks also recovered to normalcy.

All is right in the AL East, as the Yankees have put some distance between themselves and the rest of the division. In the AL Central and NL West, two teams are vying for first place in each and the races are as tight as we left them last week.

And despite another week of games, seemingly everyone outside of Colorado and Houston are still in the playoff race. That being said, here are this week’s official Three Up, Three Down MLB Power Rankings:

30. Houston Astros (38-78, 2-4 record last week, ranking last week: 30)

I’ll give the ‘Stros this: the two wins they were able to muster since we last met here were pretty awesome. Back-to-back walk-off wins against the Brewers at home is exciting, no matter how bad the team is. That being said, it took over 100 games to get their first walk-off? Eh…

29. Colorado Rockies (41-71, 3-3, 29)

The Rockies had to play the Giants and Dodgers, the leaders of the NL West, on the road for three games apiece. Splitting six is actually a huge moral victory for a team that is playing with half its normal roster right now. Colorado would be a player again if they could get some arms. In related news, breathing is good for you.

28. Chicago Cubs (44-69, 1-5, 28)

So, remember those cool top prospects I told you were coming up last week for the Cubs? Well Brett Jackson got three hits in his debut, then pretty much struck out the rest of the week. Josh Vitters hasn’t done anything on the offensive end. And the Cubs went 1-5. Whoops.

27. Minnesota Twins (49-65, 1-5, 21) 

And they were doing so well. A 1-5 week will slide you the wrong way in the rankings, and despite the surprisingly efficient lineup, this pitching staff is in need of major work. Honestly, none of the young starters they’ve used in 2012 show a lot of promise.

26. Kansas City Royals (49-65, 4-2, 27)

I TOLD YOU THE ROYALS WERE GOOD! If only this was the first week of the season. As long as one of my main man crushes Billy Butler is leading the way, I will always have a soft spot for the Royals. That being said, despite moving up in the rankings, they are really, awfully terrible.

25. Cleveland Indians (53-62, 3-3, 25)

Remember when the Indians were in first place? Er…a good team? Er…even above .500? Those days are long gone. Considering the Tribe had an 0h-fer last week, this is a huge improvement. The best thing I can write about Cleveland is that they don’t have the distinction of the down arrow this week. It’s the small victories sometimes.

24. San Diego Padres (51-65, 5-1, 26) 

Stay classy, San Diego. The Padres are in sole possession of fourth place in the NL West now, thanks to a five-game winning streak! Good job, Padres. Good hustle. Good effort. I really have nothing exciting to say about this team. Can you tell? Moving on…

23. Toronto Blue Jays (54-60, 1-5, 20) 

Another long, Jose Bautista-less week for the lone Canadian survivor in MLB. At least they have good, young pitching. Oh, wait. Er…at least they have Brett Lawrie. No? Damn. At least they have Joe Cart–what do you mean that was 20 years ago? Hmm…oh! AT LEAST THEY HAVE CALL ME MAYBE!

22. Miami Marlins (52-63, 3-3, 23)

Getting Giancarlo Stanton back means only one thing for the Marlins: their losses are going to be way cooler. Stanton has already made a huge impact back in the lineup, but Miami might still be looking at a last-place finish. What a poor choice for HBO’s “The Franchise.”

21. Philadelphia Phillies (52-62, 3-3, 24)

Honestly, the Phillies continue to play better since trading away Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence and Joe Blanton, but that’s probably more because Ryan Howard and Chase Utley are back than anything else. The annoying thing is that with a full healthy season from those two, the Phillies are still a legit playoff team, even after the mini fire sale.

20. Milwaukee Brewers (52-61, 3-3, 22)

The fact that the Brew Crew lost on two straight walk off hits against the Astros is reason enough to give this team their first big, red down arrow. Alas, they are spared, but the bullpen is truly atrocious. Please make sure you aren’t talking to a Milwaukee fan before complaining about your team’s bullpen.

19. New York Mets (55-60, 2-4, 18)

I don’t know why I bought into the 2012 version of the Mets any more than I did the 2010 or 2011. All three teams had solid first halves only to be a massive disappointment in the second halves. Even their coolest moment, a no-hitter by Johan Santana, was lame because of a blown call.

18. Boston Red Sox (57-59, 2-4, 17)

Jon Lester is finally coming around and Adrian Gonzalez is absolutely tearing it up, but it’s probably too little too late for the Red Sox. Despite ESPN’s best efforts at convincing you otherwise, the roster in Beantown just isn’t good enough to overcome a six-game Wild Card deficit.

17. Seattle Mariners (53-63, 3-3, 19) 

You might see the record at ten games  below .500 and think the M’s season has failed. Considering the low expectations and that pretty much everyone left on the roster is a rookie, this has been a very successful season in Seattle. Building on it and maintaining it are the next steps.

16.  Arizona Diamondbacks (58-57,  3-3, 16)

How about a round of applause for NL Rookie of the Year front-runner Wade Miley and his young pal Patrick Corbin? If not for these two hot shots, the D’Backs aren’t even in the hunt right now. Ian Kennedy and Justin Upton have struggled, but somehow they are hanging tough still.

15. Los Angeles Angels (60-55, 2-4, 12) 

I excused the Angels last week for stumbling, because they played two first place teams on the road and three of their four losses were in extras. This past week, they played the A’s and Mariners. And went 2-4. These are the divisional games L.A. must win to be taken seriously.

14. Oakland A’s (61-53, 3-3, 13) 

Oakland is learning that living life in the fast line is harder than advertised. Despite continuing to play good baseball, some of their young stars are starting to crack. Plus, it doesn’t help that the Rangers went and took off. All that aside, they are still ahead of the Angels, which is a victory in itself.

13. Los Angeles Dodgers (62-53, 3-3, 10)

Don’t put Hanley in a corner, Ozzie Guillen! He will do mean things to your team. After Guillen either intentionally walked batters in front of Ramirez or neglected to walk him in situations that called for it, Ramirez picked the pitching of his former teammates apart. If he’s heating up, we’re talking about a two-horse race in this division.

12. Baltimore Orioles (62-53, 4-2, 14)

The Orioles are like the anti-Mets. A great first half story that is actually…still good in the second half? Weird. I don’t think most baseball fans are realizing how incredible the work is that Buck Showalter has done in Baltimore. Credit the offense and some of the pitching too, but Showalter has quietly turned this team into a formidable contender.

11. Tampa Bay Rays (62-52, 6-0, 15) 

The Rays get knocked down, they get up again, you neverrrrr gonna keep them down. Okay, sorry – still upset that Chumbawumba wasn’t one of the British artists to make an appearance at the Olympic Closing Ceremonies last night. Huge snub. Bigger snub than forgetting how good the Rays really are. Oh, right. Evan Longoria is back. Can you tell?

10. Detroit Tigers (61-54, 2-4, 9)

I’m still confused as to why the Tigers are two games behind the White Sox in the division. I figured they’d be making reservations for October by now. There’s one tiny problem for anyone who plays Detroit in the coming weeks: Miguel Cabrera is in absolute beast mode. Poor pitchers.

9. San Francisco Giants (63-52, 4-2, 11) 

The Giants put up 15 runs on the Cardinals in St. Louis last week. They split two on the road, then came home and dismantled the Rockies on Friday and Sunday. If Hunter Pence is settling in, this is probably the team to beat in the NL West. Ruh-roh!

8. St. Louis Cardinals (62-53, 2-4, 7) 

After jumping six spots to the top ten last week, the Cards had a bit of a rough go this week. Splitting with the Giants at home isn’t terrible, but dropping two of three over the weekend to the Phillies is bad. Especially considering how tight the NL Central is. There is not a lot of room for error this late.

7. Chicago White Sox (62-51, 3-3, 8)

If the Tigers continue to play below their abilities, the Sox will be beneficiaries. I know they made some minor moves at the deadline, like bringing in Francisco Liriano and Brett Myers, but those moves will pay off. Speaking of obscure players lighting it up in Chicago, what is Alex Rios doing hitting over .300? What did you put in my water?

6. Pittsburgh Pirates (64-50, 2-4, 6)

With about 40 games left, the Pirates need to win 17 more to reach .500 for the first time since I was in diapers. I believe they will do it, but they have their sights set higher. A 2-4 week means no distance added between them and the third-place Cardinals. A 2-4 week also means a bigger deficit behind the first-place Reds.

5. New York Yankees (67-47, 4-2, 4)

New York is 20 games over .500 and it ain’t no thang. Forget that Mark Teixeira missed time and both Alex Rodriguez and C.C. Sabathia are on the DL. The gaps just get filled and there is more than enough offensive firepower to outscore other teams. One thing for sure will be strange: Derek Lowe in a Yankees uniform.

4. Atlanta Braves (66-48, 4-2, 3) 

It must be immensely frustrating to be a Braves fan. Forget that they won a million straight division titles but only one World Series. Now they are playing unbelievably well and are still 4.5 games back in their own division. The pesky Nats aren’t going anywhere, so the Braves need to step it up even harder than usual. Yickitty!

3. Texas Rangers (67-46, 5-1, 5)

The world is not ending in Arlington after all. The Rangers are back, and with them come its star pupil, Josh Hamilton. The big lefty is back in the swing of things, and Texas took down some big opponents over the last week. This is going to be a scary team (again) in October.

2. Cincinnati Reds (69-46, 3-3, 1)

The good news: Cincinnati widened their lead on St. Louis and Pittsburgh by a full game, despite playing to a .500 clip last week. The bad news: Joey Votto needs another knee surgery. No big deal for now, considering how well they’ve played with him shelved, but when the playoffs roll around they need their star first baseman at full strength.

1. Washington Nationals (71-44, 5-1, 2)

Believe it. The Nationals are the best team in baseball. First to 70 wins and they earned every inch of it. Washington has two huge series coming up against the Giants in San Francisco this week and three at home against Atlanta to start next week. If they win four of those six, it might seal the division for them.

*Records current as play began on Monday, August 13th, 2012*

Do you agree with the rankings? Disagree? Want to punch us in the baseballs? 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)

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)

2012 Power Rankings: Monday, July 30th

This is the time of year when contenders start to pull away from the pretenders. The trade deadline is TOMORROW, and there should be a lot of frantic activity in the next 24 hours that will change the standings. In turn, our rankings will look completely different in a week.

That being said, teams like the New York Mets are falling fast after the All-Star Break, while their polar opposites rise to the Wild Card lead in Oakland. Speaking of the A’s, they are one of our “Stock Up” teams. Look for the up or down arrow next to six teams – teams you should buy into and take seriously versus three teams you need to start worrying about.

You know what they say – better late than never. So here is the official Three Up, Three Down MLB Power Rankings:

30. Houston Astros (35-68, 1-9 in last 10)

Astros’ GM Jeff Lunhow’s wish list: Trade Carlos Lee. Check! Trade J.A. Happ. Check! Trade Brandon Lyon. Check! Brett Myers, Wandy Rodriguez, and Chris Johnson. Check! Check!  And Check! You get the point. This is why the Astros can’t have nice things.

29. Colorado Rockies (37-63, 2-8)

The Rockies are good for one insane, late-season run every year. Unfortunately for 2012, they could win out and still miss the Wild Card by double digits. How long will Michael Cuddyer be wearing purple and black?

28. Kansas City Royals (41-60, 2-8)

K.C. played me like a fool this winter – I refused to take heed in an inexperienced, well below average rotation and fell in love with the big bats in the lineup. “No Jeremy,” they said. “We won’t take the second A.L. Wild Card. You idiot.”

27. Chicago Cubs (42-58, 5-5)

Raise your hand if you are surprised! Even the most loyal Cub fan knew this would be a long season. They seem headed in the right direction, it will just take a few years. As if 104 of them isn’t enough.

26. Milwaukee Brewers (45-56, 1-9)

Proof positive that Prince Fielder would be, will be and IS missed in Milwaukee. With a paper-thin bullpen and nobody not named Braun that scares an opposing pitcher, the Brew Crew are bad and getting worse.

25. Minnesota Twins (43-58, 5-5)

I think the front office of the Twins is still laughing at 29 other GMs for missing out on Josh Willingham. That being said, this club is a lot of pitching away from returning to the top of their division.

24. San Diego Padres (43-60, 5-5)

Huston Street locked up for two years. Carlos Quentin extended for three. Tons of young, talented players under team control. Johnny Cueto turning things around. Well done, Padres. Well done. Just not enough. Not yet, at least.

23. Philadelphia Phillies (45-57, 4-6)

Injuries aside, how does a club with the best rotation in baseball fall from grace so quickly? Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay have not been themselves this year, but I have to admit it’s nice seeing a different name atop this division for once.

22. Seattle Marines (47-57, 7-3)

I have one piece of advice for Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik: DON’T TRADE KING FELIX. I know his stock is high and the M’s could use some more offense. But relying on three top prospects to hold down the future rotation? Not smart.

21. Miami Marlins (47-54, 3-7)

Established closer: $27 million. Left-handed starter: $56 million. New shortstop: $106 million. Idiot manager leading an exceptionally talented team into the abyss? Priceless. Wait…it doesn’t work that way. Fire sale time again in Miami!

20. New York Mets (49-53, 2-8)

The Metropolitans just can’t win post -All-Star Break. This is the curse that has plagued them since 2010. Add another quality arm, re-work the bullpen and get one more good bat. That’s all. Okay, that’s a lot. But something must change.

19. Boston Red Sox (51-51, 4-6)

The Sox are still hanging around somehow, despite any semblance of a starting rotation and a very slow start from Adrian Gonzalez. With Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury back in the fold, they have a chance to make a late run.

18. Toronto Blue Jays (51-50, 6-4)

Toronto, a.k.a. TommyJohn-to, is where starting pitchers’ arms go to die. It seems like the entire rotation has hit the shelf this year, leaving Edwin Encarnacion and Joey Bats to shoulder the load. They are headed in the right direction; just need to stay healthy.

17. Cleveland Indians (50-52, 3-7)

The Tribe had such a promising start to the season (again), but much like the Mets, just crashed and burned around the All-Star Break. They aren’t completely out of it, but with Ubaldo Jimenez and Derek Lowe as two of your star pitchers…well…

16.  Arizona Diamondbacks (51-51, 7-3)

Shhh…don’t tell anyone. But the D’Backs are only 4.5 games back in the West. That is absolutely terrifying, knowing the defending division champs are lurking that close and they haven’t even hit full stride yet. Can L.A. and S.F. fend them off?

15. Baltimore Orioles (53-49, 5-5)

Oh, the O’s. The little engine that could, still can, and just might make the playoffs. Buck Showalter has done an incredible job getting the most out of this lineup, which really doesn’t have any stars besides Adam Jones.

14. Tampa Bay Rays (53-49, 6-4)

The original little engine is the Rays, who are at it again. They aren’t holding down a playoff spot right now, but aren’t far out. And they are still in the market for a bat to help that offense. I, for one, have learned to never count them out.

13. St. Louis Cardinals (54-48, 7-3)

I thought I’d never feel bad for the defending champs after all the glory last October. But no matter how well they play, the Reds and Pirates just…won’t…lose. Like the Rays though, this team is too good to quit on.

12. Detroit Tigers (54-48, 6-4)

Wait, did you see that flash of light? It was the Tigers finally holding first place! And just like that, the White Sox pulled the rug right out from under them. Still, Detroit is a stronger team than last year and should make the playoffs.

11. Chicago White Sox (55-46, 5-5)

Speak of the devil – the Sox have really performed well under first-year manager Robin Ventura (isn’t it nice that we don’t have to associate White Sox post games with Ozzie anymore?). I picked them to finish last in the Central back in March. OOPS.

10. Los Angeles Angels (55-47, 5-5)

Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson came in to solidify a slowly declining team with huge off-season contracts. They have performed well, but Mark Trumbo and Rookie of the Year/MVP double threat Mike Trout have stolen the show.

9. San Francisco Giants (55-46, 4-6)

I’ll try to remain impartial here. The Giants continue to get ridiculous production from Melky Cabrera and Buster Posey and good starting pitching from guys not named Tim. But with Sandoval injured and Pagan struggling, they need to add another bat because…

8. Los Angeles Dodgers (56-47, 7-3)

…the rival Dodgers just came into town and did WORK in three games. A road sweep to move back into a virtual first-place division tie capped off a 7-3 road trip. And yes…Hanley Ramirez is good. And yes, the trade was smart. Don’t let anyone make you think otherwise.

7. Oakland A’s (55-46, 8-2)

Raise your hand if you thought the A’s would be leading the Wild Card on July 30th of the 2012 season! DON’T LIE AND PUT YOUR HAND DOWN RIGHT NOW. Billy Beane’s team has become the best story in baseball, and show no signs of slowing down.

6. Pittsburgh Pirates (58-43, 7-3)

If the season ended right now, Andrew McCutchen is likely your National League MVP. The guy has been playing out of his mind in Pittsburgh (and everywhere else for that matter) and with 23 more wins, the Bucs will finally reach a .500 season!

5. Atlanta Braves (57-44, 7-3)

The Atlanta scouting department and front office look like absolute geniuses after signing Ben Sheets mid-season. He’s been much better than the other mid-season pick up (Roy Oswalt) and might be just what they needed to solidify the rotation.

4. Texas Rangers (59-41, 4-6)

When Pitchers Injure Everything. How to Trade for Any Player Anywhere. Where Lightning Strikes Thrice. Just some titles I’m brainstorming to describe the recent woes of the Rangers. When Ham-ilton Goes Bad. Okay, that one sucked. Sorry.

3. New York Yankees (60-41, 3-7)

The Yankees have absolutely nothing to worry about in the AL East. The division is won. But with A-Rod injured, C.C. Sabathia struggling and being swept in a four-game set by the mighty A’s? The Bronx should be a little worried in October.

2. Washington Nationals (61-40, 8-2)

I picked them to win the division, and they are coming through for me right now. This team is way too much fun to watch – from Bryce Harper and other young sluggers on offense, to Stephen Strasburg and the electric pitching staff. Can’t…help…rooting…for…the Nats!

1. Cincinnati Reds (61-40, 10-0)

Remember how the Cardinals couldn’t catch up in the Central? That’s because the Reds said, “No Votto? No problem!” over the past couple weeks. They have literally been unbeatable. They are a scary, scary postseason team.

*Records current as play began on Monday, July 30th, 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)