MLB Power Rankings: 2014 Week 5

MLB Power Rankings: 2014 Week 5
May 5, 2014, 8:15 pm
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Tony Andracki and JJ Stankevitz

We're five weeks into the season and apart from a handful of teams, nobody is really running away with it yet. There's about 15 teams clumped up in the middle of the pack; anywhere from the 10th to the 25th spot in the rankings are interchangeable. Even the Marlins are good. The entire NL East entered play Monday over .500 while the AL East didn't have one team with a run differential above .500.

Baseball is a weird, weird game.

It's Monday, which means the time for the weekly MLB Power Rankings from CSNChicago.com's Tony Andracki and JJ Stankevitz. Stay tuned for updated rankings every Monday throughout the 2014 campaign. And no, we don't need Tommy John surgery (yet).

Past rankings: Preseason | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4

Rank J.J.  
Tony Comment
1 Brewers Brewers

JJ: Jonathan Lucroy seems like one of baseball's best-kept secrets: 7.2 WAR in last two years, has a .380 OBP so far in 2014.

Tony: Recent string of bad-luck injuries could begin free fall.

2 Giants Giants

JJ: As Tony pointed out to me, Tim Hudson -- who turns 39 in July -- has two walks in 45 2/3 innings this year.

Tony: Hottest team in the league and they're doing it with a 2.99 team ERA.
3 A's Tigers

JJ: At this rate, maybe we'll see another Bay Area World Series?

Tony: Tied with Giants with 5-game win streak entering play Monday.
4 Tigers A's

JJ: Kind of baffling Miguel Cabrera only has two home runs entering the week, but maybe he's just getting his bad month out of the way early.

Tony: Owners of best run differential in the league (+51), 20 more than any other team.
5 Dodgers Rangers

JJ: Clayton Kershaw's return on Tuesday should be a big boost.

Tony: Still not playing inspired baseball, but grinding out wins.
6 Rangers Braves

JJ: Shin-Soo Choo has a .482 OBP and an 18 percent walk rate. #TurnDownForWalks

Tony: A legit contender for No. 1 spot before string of 6 straight losses.
7 Nationals Dodgers

JJ: AdamLaRoche, Jayson Werth and Anthony Rendon picking up the offense without Bryce Harper.

Tony: Once again, it's Yasiel Puig keying Dodgers' hot stretch.
8 Braves Nationals

JJ: Crashed back to earth in spectacular fashion with six straight losses last week.

Tony: Anthony Rendon is emerging as a real nice piece.
9 Rockies Rockies

JJ: Gonna have to do better than a 4.32 staff ERA to contend with the Giants and Dodgers.

Tony: Rank 1st in MLB in runs, AVG, OBP, SLG, thanks to Tulo's ridiculous 1.230 OPS.
10 Angels Cardinals

JJ: Watch out for these guys. Only at .500 entering the week but have a +28 run differential.

Tony: These just don't look like the same fundamentally solid Cardinals. What's up?
11 Cardinals Angels

JJ: A year after hitting .330 with runners in scoring position, they're hitting just .227 w/RISP.

Tony: Second-best run differential in AL.
12 Yankees Reds

JJ: AL East's leading team has the division's worst run differential, because early-season numbers are often confusing.

Tony: At the top of cluster of teams in the middle.
13 Reds Rays

JJ: Playing some fine ball lately, though losing Jay Bruce for a month hurts.

Tony: Are they the best of the AL East teams? 
14 Orioles Orioles

JJ: Nelson Cruz has been an excellent addition so far: 9 HR, .294/.369/.596 slash line.

Tony: O's playing the best in the East lately, but...
15 Marlins Red Sox

JJ: Entering the week, they're 16-15 and have the NL East's best run differential. No, seriously.

Tony: Red Sox should right the ship. They are the reigning champs, after all.
16 Red Sox Yankees

JJ: Only Cincinanti has more one-run losses than the Red Sox (3-8).

Tony: Though the Yankees still hold 1st place, despite -16 run differential.
17 Rays White Sox

JJ: After bottoming out with a .192 average on April 17, Wil Myers has a .868 OPS and four home runs in his last 16 games.

Tony: Honestly, I put them here just to mess with AL East teams, but they're fading after strong start.
18 White Sox Blue Jays

JJ: I'll say it: Jose Abreu is Chicago's No. 1 must-watch athlete (until Rose returns). More than Cutler, Marshall, Kane and Toews.

Tony: Normally, I'd say they can't afford to fall even further back, but this isn't the same AL East anymore.
19 Royals Royals

JJ: Bill Butler's hitting 57 percent of his balls in play on the ground, which may explain some of his strangely-cold start (.609 OPS, 6 XBH).

Tony: Only Houston has scored fewer runs in AL.
20 Blue Jays Mets

JJ: Edwin Encarnacion has averaged a homer every 16 PA over the last two years. This year: 2 HR in 137 PA (one every 68 1/2 PA).

Tony: Chris Young has been a much better OF pickup than Granderson.
21 Mets Marlins

JJ: Thought Bobby Abreu was retired? Well, you were wrong.

Tony: They have a .922 team OPS in the last week. Unreal.
22 Twins Twins

JJ: Pretty incredible they enter the week fifth in runs scored...and Joe Mauer has been their third-best position player.

Tony: I'm becoming a big Brian Dozier fan for what he can do atop that order.
23 Phillies Phillies

JJ: They could easily be about 10 spots higher -- very little separates them from, say, the Yankees.

Tony: Surprising they're above .500 right now.
24 Mariners Mariners

JJ: Getting Hisashi Iwakuma back is a boost, but may not be enough to jump ahead of Oakland/Texas/Los Angeles.

Tony: Proving even with $$ thrown at Cano, they're still just a middle-of-the-road team.
25 Pirates Pirates

JJ: Ike Davis since joining the Pirates: .190/.277/.310.

Tony: What's happened to them? I just feel bad for Pirates fans right now.
26 Indians Indians

JJ: Perhaps a cause for optimism is a 3.44 FIP, well below their staff 4.08 ERA.

Tony: Lead the majors with 11 road losses. That can't happen.
27 Padres Padres

JJ: Not gonna do much when Yonder Alonso, Jedd Gyorko and Will Venable have combined for -1.8 WAR.

Tony: Leads MLB with 1.71 bullpen ERA, but have scored 15 fewer runs than next closest team.
28 Cubs Cubs

JJ: Played the Cardinals well over the weekend and showing some fight lately.

Tony: Been playing some competitive ball of late. Can they hold on to Crosstown Cup? (Does anybody even care about the Cup?)
29 Diamondbacks Astros

JJ: Bronson Arroyo, who's been fairly reliable in the last decade, has a 6.06 ERA in six starts so far.

Tony: Tempted to put them last, but gave it to...
30 Astros Diamondbacks

JJ: If L.J. Hoes (.136 batting average) keeps this up Houston might have to send him to another area code.

Tony: ...for just one more week. Think Houston takes this spot and runs with it from Week 6 on.