Power Rankings: Griff's 2023 Power Rankings #6
May 12, 2023
It’s amazing how quickly the power rankings can shift in MLB. By comparison, regarding the NFL, with only one game played every week, the rankings remain relatively stable, week-to-week. But in baseball, you can be swept in a series and have fans all atwitter, jumping off the bandwagon like lemmings off a cliff, but by the end of the week, the same team has bounced back with an overall winning record over that 7-day period. Baseball is also, no doubt, the most evenly balanced of the major sports in terms of top-to-bottom winning percentage (except for this year’s A’s). Consider that through Thursday’s games, there were five teams over a .600 win percentage, four teams under .400 and 21 teams in the .401-.600 range. In baseball, momentum in baseball remains tomorrow’s starting pitcher.
Numbers in parentheses are from Edition 5 power rankings.
Griff’s Power Rankings – Edition 6
RH Spencer Strider has stepped up as Cy candidate even in the absence to the IL of LH Max Fried. CDN RH Mike Soroka has his Triple-A start scheduled Sunday which fits into a possible return to the majors at Rogers Centre.
With No. 1 LH Shane McLanahan pitching like a true No. 1 and with SS Wander Franco and LF Randy Arozarena powering the offence, Rays are still only averaging 17,819 in 22 home games. The players deserve better support.
The five-man rotation of Gibson, Wells, Bradish, Rodriguez and Kremer sounds like a firm of Baltimore injury attorneys, but the bullpen, oh the bullpen – 163 Ks in 136.1 IP. O’s what a relief it is. CL Felix Bautista with 30 Ks in 17 IP.
MGR Bruce Bochy has been around long enough that he wouldn’t take this job if he didn’t think they could contend. He’s been right so far. Nobody wants to play this team right now. 2B Marcus Semien is again becoming Mr. May.
A slow start was always going to be corrected. LH Clayton Kershaw is solidifying his Hall-of-Fame first ballot status. RF Mookie Betts is most important. 3B Max Muncy most valuable. Payroll makes them a constant contender.
6-Blue Jays (3)
Regarding talent and evaluating this team objectively, should be higher. The last road trip with a 3-6 record featured stumbling defence and a “who me?” bullpen. The 25 of 37 games on the road through Philly allows for benefit of the doubt. They’re good.
The offence is built around DH Yordan Alvarez, but the infield is the key to contending and 1B Jose Abreu, SS Jeremy Pena and 3B Alex Bregman have not produced. They will, which means this team is ratcheting upward.
8-Red Sox (18)
The back end of the bullpen, in most Red Sox games has been laughable since last year … that is until the recent return of CL Kenley Jansen, who has been sublime. Sox swept four from the Jays as part of a 9-2 run.
Bombers are never judged on their overachievement, but always derided for the underachievement of a team paying for great talent and depth. Just win, baby. RH Gerrit Cole is the exception. This team will never go away from wild-card hunt.
Offensive help for CF Mike Trout and DH Shohei Ohtani is coming from RF Hunter Renfroe and others and the Halos seem to have found a closer in RH Carlos Estevez. Will be tough to maintain place in AL West with M’s and Astros closing in.
RH Sonny Gray, RH Joe Ryan and RH Pablo Lopez form an impressive Top 3 in the rotation, but expectations have not been met by free-agent SS Carlos Correa and rebounding DH Byron Buxton.
The task of replacing CL Edwin Diaz has been met by 38-year-old RH David Robertson with 0.59 ERA and seven saves in 14 games. History shows that as unsustainable. Offence led by CF Brandon Nimmo and 1B Pete Alonso.
Have been treading water, bouncing between +3 and -3 of .500 and never more than 3.5 games out of division lead while waiting for stars to heat up. LH Blake Snell is 1-5 in 7 starts. CL Josh Hader with 11 saves and a 1.06 ERA.
Just the fact of having DH Bryce Harper back in the lineup has brought life to the offence. CF Brandon Marsh and RF Nick Castellanos have carried them thus far. Pitching has been shaky at best, with RH Zack Wheeler the ace.
The Bucs were 1-9 in their last 10 games through Thursday, but only lost one game in their NL Central lead over the Brewers. 2B Ji Hwan Bae has 14 steals, but the offence has struggled in the past 10 days to score runs.
Were 2-8 in their last 10 through Thursday and badly fumbled a chance to take over the NL Central lead. A once vaunted rotation has become pedestrian and misses RH Brandon Woodruff.
RH Zac Gallen has allowed just four earned runs in his last 39 innings and joins RH Merrill Kelly for a fine 1-2 starting combo. The trade with the Jays for LF Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and C Gabby Moreno is working out well for both teams.
The team’s 1-2 starters LH Justin Steele and RH Marcus Stroman are fine, but the bullpen is looking for saves, with just five total, led by CL Brad Boxberger with 2. CF Cody Bellinger and 3B Patrick Wisdom lead the way on offence.
Have a balanced offence with 33 homers and 31 steals. 2B Luis Arraez leads the NL in hits. CF Jazz Chisolm has 50 Ks in 136 at-bats. Cy guy RH Sandy Alcantara will eventually straighten himself out.
Much more was expected from CF Julio Rodriguez, RF Teoscar Hernandez and 3B Eugenio Suarez, while C Cal Raleigh seems to be an all-star … only vs. the Jays. Are 7-3 since being swept in Toronto.
Expected to feature a balanced, relentless offence, only 3B Jose Ramirez has an OPS over .700. 1B Josh Naylor has been disappointing. A deep bullpen led by CL Emmanuel Clase with 13 saves and a 1.86 ERA.
Are 2-14 vs. AL East and 15-5 against the rest of MLB. Tigers have won 7 of last 9, with LH Eduardo Rodriguez finding himself (4-2, 1.57 ERA) at the age of 30.
The offence is ahead of the pitching in the Mile High city. Surprising veteran C Elias Diaz and rebounding RF Kris Bryant lead the way. Rox quietly have allowed just 28 runs in past 10 games.
A nice bounce-back by 2B Jonathan India and breakout for CF TJ Friedl. RH Hunter Greene with his shiny new contract has yet to record a win, but is still worth the price of admission. Still waiting on health for 1B Joey Votto.
Best team in the Bay Area, but one of the big disappointments in MLB. 2B Thairo Estrada has been carrying the offence, while RF Michael Conforto has been a disappointment. Ace RH Logan Webb beginning to re-establish his webb site.
Not one name on this roster that as a fan you would pay to see. At the top of the rotation, RH Josiah Gray is stepping up. On the offensive side, choose between RF Lane Thomas and DH/1B Joey Meneses. Mehh! Team still is not good.
What is going on in the Gateway city? The Cards’ prized free-agent signing C Willson Contreras, who was expected to replace Yadier Molina is being blamed for the poor pitching and will no longer catch. How long will that last? A mess.
28-White Sox (27)
Another very disappointing team that was expected to contend. The jolt of feel-good news would be if they could get CL Liam Hendriks back healthy. The touted rotation led by RH Dylan Cease (2-2, 5.58 ERA) has no one with a winning record.
Still fun to watch with all their young hitters. SS Bobby Witt Jr. is a special talent, with 6 HR and 10 SB. RH Zack Greinke at 39 may be about done and RH Brady Singer has yet to find himself.
The A’s are currently on pace for 33 wins and 129 losses and thus will have a lock on the 30 for the foreseeable future. Las Vegas is all in to bring this franchise to Sin City next year. We assume the featured table game for the new stadium is likely Craps.