Okay, so this isn’t your average run-of-the-mill power rankings.


We don’t rank teams simply based off of their recent performance…because, well, anyone can do that.

We take into consideration how these teams were expected to perform before the season started and rank them accordingly because baseball is a marathon and doesn’t deserve simply numerical rankings.

There are four categories teams can fall into, and throughout the year they will fall in and out of them. Top performers, under-performers, over-performers, and teams that are right where they are supposed to be. 

Well, have at it, don’t be shy.


Top Performers


1) Tampa Bay (18-7)

Wade Davis defeated Zach Greinke? Wait a second…what’s their team ERA again? 3.01? That’s like, best in the American League! Interesting how one of the most potent lineups in baseball is also leading the league in runs scored.

Hmmm…the lowest ERA, the most runs scored…no wonder they’re the best team in baseball. They’ve scored 67 more runs than their opponents. Oh, one more thing, that hoodie makes Joe Madden the coolest guy in baseball. He drinks Merlot after every game, listens to classical music, and sports an unconventional uniform? Forget Michael Jordan, I want my son to be like Joe Madden!

Philadelphia (14-10)

Here’s the thing about a 14-10 team being the second most impressive team in baseball. It’s the fact that they single-handedly destroyed Johan Santana on Sunday night…in one inning. There’s something to be said about a team that can score 10 runs off of “the best pitcher in the NL East.”

There’s also something to be said about a team that has Roy Halladay. There’s another thing to be said about a team that just announced that they love the position the team is currently in that they decided to dish out $125 million to our oversized first baseman. Who’s worried? Even Jamie Moyer will win 12 games for this club, and he’s almost as old as his manager.


3) St. Louis (17-8)

This is such a quiet team that it’s almost scary to think about how good they are. On paper, they don’t score a lot of runs, they don’t hit for a high average, and they don’t steal a lot of bases. They’re average.

Wait, oh I forgot the pitching. The team has an ERA of 2.56. They’ve thrown four shutouts, and sport two of the best pitchers in the game. That’s why…just wait until Matt Holliday starts hitting.


4) New York AL (16-8)

When you pull your under-performing cleanup hitter out of the lineup for a bit of rest (as they did with Alex Rodriguez on Sunday) and the replacement goes 3-for-4 with a homer and a pair of RBI (as Nick Swisher did), what more do you want? Well, how about asking your number five starter (Phil Hughes) to improve to 3-0 with an ERA of 1.44 and a WHIP of 0.88? Or your 37-year-old lefty (Andy Pettitte) to win the same number of games and post an ERA of 2.12?

5) Minnesota (16-9)

Joe Mauer hurt? Just bring up Wilson Ramos to replace him. You’ll get, what, four hits in his major league debut?  Jon Rauch has blown one save all year, Francisco Liriano looks better than he did in 2006, and the rest of the rotation looks like they could all be number two starters on any other ballclub. The M and M boys are nearly hitting a combined .350 and Jim Thome looks right at home.


6) Detroit (16-10)

If there was a stat for average hits/strikeouts per game, Austin Jackson would be the league leader. Because there’s not, due to the fact that something like that makes no sense at all, he leads the American League in both individual categories.

But, I think most ML managers would take that in stride. What can you really do to change a leadoff hitter (who is a rookie, by the way) who is leading the league in hits and has an OBP of .420? Wait for his hits to start getting caught, then tell him to be a little more patient.

Before that, don’t say a word. On another note, Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander look better than ever. This might be the year that the Wild Card comes out of the AL Central. Hmmm, just like 2006.


7) San Francisco (14-10)

Pitching. Pitching. Pitching. The team has given up the fewest amount of hits (166) and ranks first in WHIP (1.12), batting average against (.210), and second in quality starts (17 in 24 games), and ERA (2.67).

The only problem is the hitting, hitting, hitting. Well, situational hitting. They rank first in the NL with a .282 average and second with a .348 OBP but fall to 10th in runs scored. That big bopper is all they need to dominate. Who’s out there other than Lance Berkman or Carlos Lee?


Under Performing


1) Boston (11-14)

When I saw them hit .500 last week I shook my head. People were worried? Oh ye of little faith! What’re you called Red Sox Nation for? With the Sox preparing to face the pro bono worst team in baseball, the Baltimore Orioles, you could seriously see a 14-11 team emerge Monday morning.

Well, a sweep did occur. It was just the Red Sox on the wrong end of it. Enough said. This team has some major age and durability issues and it may be too late to address them this year.


2) Baltimore (7-18)

Well the aforementioned sweep of Boston did wonders for this team and got them brownie points and major consideration to send them further down the list of “biggest under-performing teams” in baseball. Just not yet. A three-game series may be big, but when it comes against the other huge under performer, you have to just swallow the reality. Baltimore has stolen six bases this year. Twenty-one MLB players have that, or more, so far…


3) Los Angeles NL (11-14)

As expected, their hitting is leading the National League in hitting, and their pitching is ranked near last in ERA. They’ve also walked the second most batters in the league. With all the talent they have, don’t you think they should be at least around .500 by now? Pedro Martinez anyone?


4) Chicago AL (10-15)

The pitching could be so dominating they don’t really need a powerful lineup, so then, how on earth is Paul Konerko leading the majors in home runs? How on earth is their team ERA nearly 5.00 a game? These are questions that make no sense and so there are no answers. Yet.  

5) Los Angeles AL (12-14)

The Angels are streaky. They can look dominating one night and look like they can’t field two players who can walk sideways the next. We’re not sure what this team is made of, and the only reason you can’t write them off is because of Mike Scioscia. Imagine where the Dodgers would be if he never left after 1999.


6) Colorado (12-13)

Another streaky team, but this one is just waiting for the weather to warm up. It’s hard to believe (but that’s the beauty of baseball) that the NL West and AL Central were two of the weakest divisions five years ago, but now should be two of the strongest (besides the AL East). Ubaldo Jimenez could win a Cy Young in the next five years. How do you like those Mile High Apples?


7) Atlanta (11-14)

Jason Heyward is proving every single game that he is an incredible player. He will win at least two MVP awards in the next five years and dominate the league for the next 15. The only problem is…will Atlanta? The Bobby Cox era is ending and so perhaps is a dynasty. We were so high on this team during spring training that this just doesn’t make sense.


8) Milwaukee (10-15)

It’s hardly a surprise they are here on this list, but in reality they might be exactly where their talent suggests. They have old arms and that’s all there is to say. Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder are this team, and at the rate they are going, they’ll both be gone in five years. It’s sad but true.


Over Performing


1) San Diego (16-9)

It won’t be long before the Padres move out of here and into the top performers. They are the real deal, and with Adrian Gonzalez and rookie Kyle Blanks solidifying the power punch in an apparent “weak” lineup, Will Venable and Chase Headley as two of the most underrated hitters in the game, and a group of unproven pitchers showing that they mean business, this team could stay at the top of the division all year. One more solid week and they’ll move up.


2) Washington (13-12)

It seems weird to put a team that’s fourth in their division in a short list of over performing teams. But when you consider last year after 25 games they were 8-17, you’ve got to give them a little slack.

It is pretty impressive. While they may be in fourth, they’re really only 1.5 games back. Brign up Stephen Strasburg and really get a story going! How much would the media love S.S. in a pennant race?


Right Where They Are Supposed to Be


1) Texas (13-12)

In possibly the weakest—but most intriguing—division in baseball the Rangers are currently leading. If they can get off on a hot streak, they’ve move up into the most impressive. They’ve got fantastic pitching and a great lineup, they’ve just had a difficult April schedule.


2) New York NL (14-11)

They were 13-9 coming into the weekend against Philadelphia and won 9-1 on the last day of April. Then they faced Roy Halladay on Saturday and promptly got the eight game winning streak beat out of them (they probably don’t want me to mention Sunday…) The team looks good and can only get better when Carlos Beltran gets back.


3) Florida (14-11)

Josh Johnson and Hanley Ramirez are the same as usual. This team has talent but is going nowhere but down in an extremely competitive NL East.


4) Chicago NL (13-13)

The bottom line is that Lou Piniella is one of the smartest managers in the game. However, they are aging under everyone’s eyes and something has to give.


5) Oakland (13-13)

They’ve fallen to earth over the past week but there’s no reason they shouldn’t stay right around .500. The only trouble is they lost Brett Anderson and Kurt Suzuki. Most teams can’t compete when their Ace and starting catcher are on the disabled list and this is one of those teams.

6) Toronto (13-13)

It’s amazing that they are staying afloat now that Roy Halladay is gone. But, Ricky Romero is really impressive and Vernon Wells has taken over as the de facto leader on the team that is leading the majors in home runs.

7) Seattle (11-14)

They’ve only hit nine home runs and scored a mere 86 runs so far. It’s to be expected. But it’s also why Cliff Lee doesn’t have a chance at coming back and they’re very lucky that they signed Felix Hernandez. With all that, you have to imagine they’ll get a power bat sometime soon in a division that’s wide, wide, wide open.


8) Cincinnati (12-13)

For a team that is so inconstant it’s nice to see that they are taking their time with Aroldis Chapman. Dusty Baker is known for destroying his arms (see Wood, Kerry and Prior, Mark) so perhaps upper management is making sure he doesn’t get his paws on their $36 million dollar left arm.


9) Arizona (11-14)

It’s hard to believe but Justin Upton has more strikeouts than Mark Reynolds. Edwin Jackson just looks like the mess that Detroit knew about. Smart move for the Motor City; not so much for Arizona.


10) Kansas City (10-15)

Zach Greinke can’t even get a win here. Literally. He’s 0-3 with an ERA of 2.27.


11) Pittsburgh (10-15)

Andrew McCutchen is the only bright spot on this team. Wonder how long he’ll last.


12) Houston (8-16)

Team stats for April: Nine home runs, 70 RBI, 44 walks. Enough said. (That’s really bad, if you didn’t know).


13) Cleveland (10-14)

We had to put them last since they apparently screw their fans over so much that they are the most hated team in baseball.


Joshua David Worn  is an editor, journalist, and sportswriter who spends way too much of his time studying major league baseball box scores. He has been published or linked on The San Francisco Chronicle and CBS Sports, among others. He publishes The Most Interesting Column in Sports on his website, tmicolumn.com . Contact him at thebaseballglutton@comcast.net .


Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com