Thursday, July 18, 2024
    HomeSportMLB Power Rankings: Airing grievances about baseball's most disappointing teams; Mets jump...

    MLB Power Rankings: Airing grievances about baseball’s most disappointing teams; Mets jump Dodgers

    You’ve heard of Christmas in July. For whatever reason, I’m feeling a bit feisty at the moment, so we’re going to draw from that inspiration but go in the opposite direction. Here before we get to the ranking, it’s Festivus in June. 

    That is to say, there are a few teams here that are going to hear about how they’ve disappointed me in the 2022 season. 

    Maybe things have turned a corner? Oh man did they bottom out, though. The Phillies had lost 10 of their last 13 games before firing Joe Girardi on Friday. They sat at 21-29 with one of the highest payrolls in baseball, and this was team that entered the season with an 85.5 over/under win total. Lots of players have disappointed, such as Rhys Hoskins and J.T. Realmuto. Their defense as a whole is terrible. This is (was?) simply unacceptable! 

    The Tigers’ gambling total before the season was 78.5 wins. Basically, they were a credible threat to play around .500 ball and maybe even get into the playoffs or push for the AL Central title. They were surprisingly competitive last season, especially from late May to the end of the season, and then added some strong veterans in the offseason. Instead, they’ve been one of the worst teams in baseball. Weak follow-up effort here, guys. 

    The Mariners won 90 games last season and were relatively busy in the offseason. They were supposed to finally end the longest playoff drought in baseball (I’m not gonna say it’s been a long time, but Jamie Moyer wasn’t even 40 yet). Instead, they haven’t looked like a contender for more than a few games and have more resembled one of the worst teams in baseball. They’ve been as many as nine games under .500 and 11 1/2 games out of first. My only conclusion is they hate their fans. 

    “Earning” a seven seed on the strength of a bunch of seven-inning wins doesn’t really do much for me, so the Marlins haven’t actually been relevant since … 2003? Maybe like 2008 or 2009? They were supposedly a breakout candidate this season. Instead, they lost 19 games in May and are playing at a pace that will top 90 losses in the season. Continuing to stave off relevance isn’t admirable. 

    Who knew there were Geography Gods, ready to spring into action with unconscionable wrath. And yet, just about when the whole “the New York and Los Angeles teams” stuff from last month started to drive pretty much everyone crazy, the Angels have totally fallen apart. It simply has to be the work of an aggrieved Geographer (yes, we know the Angels don’t play in Los Angeles; no, we don’t really care and will keep going with their brand; no, it isn’t true to say “it’s not even close to L.A.,” as it’s absolutely close).  

    Less than two weeks ago, the Angels were 10 games over .500 and only a game out of first place. They were one of the best teams in the league. They were threatening to finally let people see them play meaningful baseball late in the season. 

    No more. They haven’t won since. That’s 11 losses in a row and they are now under .500. Pitiful. 

    Biggest Movers








    They are on pace for 117 wins. I know it’s early, but it’s not *that* early. 1 39-15



    A 6-0 homestand followed by splitting four games in Los Angeles? This is quite a team. A team with two aces on the injured list. 1 37-19



    While I’m on the subject of personal grievances, Dave Roberts tried to use a position player as a pitcher in a game in which his team trailed by only five runs. What a bunch of garbage. We’ve seen teams come back from that and the Dodgers have a high-powered offense. Ridiculous. 2 35-19



    Now that the Angels have fallen apart, we can safely award the AL West to the Astros. That’ll be five straight full-season division titles. 2 35-19



    There’s an obvious top four and then a large grouping of teams beneath. The Cardinals swept the Padres, who took two of three from the Brewers. The Twins lost four of five to the Tigers, but then took two of three from the Blue Jays. See the thought process for 5-9 when they are all really close? It’s not rocket science. 5 32-23



    There has only been one league MVP in Padres history (Ken Caminiti, 1996). You hear that, Manny? 1 33-21



    They’ve now lost five of six and two of their three All-Star starting pitchers from last season are hurt. 3 33-23



    Huge week on tap for the Twins in terms of showing their stuff against potential playoff foes, as they host the Yankees and Rays for three-game series. 1 32-24


    Blue Jays

    The eight-game winning streak got them back in the top-five conversation. And now their next 10 games are against the Royals, Tigers and Orioles. 31-22



    Tough stretch: The Rays only play teams ranked above them for the next nine games. 2 31-23



    Is Jacob Junis their latest successful project? He had a 5.36 ERA the last three years with the Royals. Through eight appearances (six starts) for the Giants, he has a 2.51 ERA and 0.93 WHIP. 1 29-24


    Red Sox

    The Red Sox are now over .500 for the first time since they were 6-5. They’ve won 16 of 23. 1 27-27



    Last week I said maybe now is the time for a Braves’ hot streak. They’ve won five in a row. I know things. 3 28-27


    White Sox

    Leury Garcia has hit leadoff two of the last three games. He’s hitting .189 with a .199 on-base percentage. I promise you, Tony, it doesn’t have to be this way. 25-27



    Have they righted the ship? That’s a 5-1 week. Terrible competition, sure, but taking care of business is key for those who wish to contend. 4 24-25



    They battled their way back to .500 and looked like a contender, but then dropped four of their next five. Of course, in looking at the makeup of the team, inconsistency isn’t surprising. 1 25-28



    I don’t think Joe Girardi was *the* problem, but he certainly was *a* problem. If the players rally together now, that firing might have been a turning point. 25-29



    Even if it’s not necessarily his fault, sometimes firing the manager jars something loose. Joe Maddon’s already accomplished a ton and made a lot of money in baseball anyway. 7 27-28



    Among NL teams, only the Pirates have scored fewer runs. The D-Backs rank last in average and near the bottom in OPS, too. 1 26-29



    Everything above in the intro notwithstanding, the Mariners are actually in a decent little stretch here, as they’ve won exactly two of three in three straight series. Most importantly — since they’ve been brutal away from home — two of those series were on the road. 2 24-30



    Other than Friday’s blowout loss, the Cubs stood toe-to-toe with the Brewers and Cardinals in a nine-game week. Of course, they should have been past these types of moral victories about, oh, seven years ago. 3 23-32



    One of the most enduring “you can’t predict baseball” things the season will be that the Pirates absolutely OWNED the Dodgers. They took five of six! 7 24-28



    They are now exactly .500 (16-16) at home. You can officially no longer count on them in Coors for wagering purposes. It’s a sad day. 23-31



    Did you see Edward Cabrera’s 96-mph changeup? Possibly related: There are still people out there who think they get to tell MLB hitters to “just hit it” wherever they want. 4 22-30



    Here’s a fun nugget: Trey Mancini has 19 multi-hit games this season. The only players with more are Mookie Betts, Paul Goldschmidt, Rafael Devers, Tim Anderson and … Ty France! 4 23-33



    Fun oddity: Last season, Cesar Hernandez had 21 doubles and 21 homers. Right now he’s on pace for 41 doubles and zero home runs in 2022. 21-35



    The Tigers had won nine of 12 before the massacre in the Bronx. But the Yankees are beating everyone. Maybe the Tigers really have gotten things in order. 21-33



    Possible throwback? Rookie starter Graham Ashcroft has a 1.53 ERA through three starts and he’s only struck out nine in 17 2/3 innings. Crash Davis would be pleased. 18-35



    They just closed down a 1-9 homestand. At least only dozens of people are subjecting themselves to it in person. (And to be clear, I don’t blame A’s fans who are staying away. They should be essentially boycotting the games to punish ownership). 4 20-36



    They’ve now lost 13 of 16. 17-35



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