Free MLB Picks: 2012 MLB Power Rankings (Updated 8/26/12)
MLB Power Ratings
Our staff has developed MLB baseball power ratings with up to date rankings and how we as handicappers see these teams. We will list our MLB team rankings on a week by week basis and as much as possible. You can check this page for up to date MLB power ratings from Cappersinfo Sports Handicapping. Thanks for visiting and don't forget to check out all the free sports picks in the forums and free picks monitor, other sports betting information, and MLB baseball predictions for sports handicappers!
CappersInfo Current MLB Power Rankings
(Through Games Completed 8/25/12)
1: Texas Rangers (75-51) – The Rangers are clearly one of the best teams in baseball still, and they are amongst the favorites in the American League to get back to the World Series for a third straight year. If they don’t get some more consistent pitching at the top of their rotation, it’s going to be quite tough to do so, but in the end, we think that they’ll figure it out and at least challenge for a spot in the Fall Classic. By advanced stats, it isn’t even close. This is the top team in the game.
2: Washington Nationals (77-49) – And here is the age old question. Should the Nationals shut down Stephen Strasburg? If they do, they are going to be chastised if they do anything but go on to win the World Series. If they don’t win it all, they are going to be under just a ton of scrutiny, especially if it is a starting pitcher that lets the team down. That being said, this is still one of the best teams in baseball, and it isn’t a mistake that the Nats have the best mark in the league at this point. They remind us a heck of a lot of the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays, who went on to make it to the Fall Classic.
3: New York Yankees (73-53) – There are times that the Yankees are overrated. This is one of those rare times though, that we think they are underrated. Manager Joe Girardi has a tough job, and he has a lot of expectations on his back. Names like Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, and the likes only come together so often in a lifetime, and championships are expected to come from it. The pitching staff has been a potential wreck all year with Mariano Rivera out of the fold for the first time in over a decade, and CC Sabathia recently spending some time on the DL. And yet with all of those problems, the boys in pinstripes still have the second best record in the American League and are well on their way to the second season again.
4: Los Angeles Dodgers (69-58) – Maybe we are overrating the Dodgers just a bit at this point, but we think that their move to get Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett is the move that might put them over the top. They’re the real deal, and if they can gel with this team over the course of the next six weeks or so and get into the playoffs, they are going to be a team to watch for the rest of the campaign. GM Ned Colletti might have finally pushed enough buttons to bring himself a championship now that he basically has an unlimited budget to work with.
5: Tampa Bay Rays (70-57) – The Rays are legit once again, and they have been playing great baseball in spite of the fact that Evan Longoria missed a good chunk of the season for the second straight year. This is a team that pitches well and gets timely hitting, and there is just nothing else that could be asked from Manager Joe Maddon considering just how small the resource pool is in the Sunshine State at this point. Don’t be shocked if the Little Engines That Could end up back in the second season, making life a living hell for the rest of the teams that are spending money hand over fist.
6: Cincinnati Reds (77-51) – It’s really hard to say that the Reds have the sixth best team in baseball when they are tied for the most wins in the game, but we just don’t see how this team is going to have the goods in the postseason. The bullpen is stocked, yes, but starting pitchers have to get these games into at least the seventh inning for that to make a different. Remember when the Reds supposedly had one of the best teams in the game a few years ago, only to get swept out of the postseason? That’s more or less what it feels like again with Manager Dusty Baker running the ship.
7: Los Angeles Angels (66-61) – We just can’t figure out why the Angels can’t get into the playoffs in the American League. They have three studs in the batting order, including one of the phenoms of the future, Mike Trout, and Albert Pujols has figured out how to hit the baseball again. If this team gets in though, look out! The starting rotation features Jered Weaver, Zack Greinke, Dan Haren, Ervin Santana, and CJ Wilson. Needless to say, that’s a heck of a lot of great arms to be throwing out there for a short series, and few teams can match what the Halos would be bringing to the table. Getting into the dance though, is the significantly different question.
8: Chicago White Sox (70-55) – Can you believe that the White Sox are going to potentially have the league’s MVP (Adam Dunn), one of the top hitters in the league (Paul Konerko), potentially five guys hit 20+ home runs (these two plus Kevin Youkilis, Alex Rios, and Dayan Viciedo), the Rookie of the Year (Chris Sale), and the Cy Young winner (Sale again)? Okay, so it might not all happen, but it is a testament to just how good this team really is from top to bottom. You don’t think of the White Sox that way, but Manager Robin Ventura has done a heck of a job with this team this year.
9: Atlanta Braves (72-55) – The memories of last season are hurting the Braves for hurt, and they have to hope that this year doesn’t feature yet another collapse. Pitching wins championships though, and this is a team with a lot of it. Tim Hudson is still throwing like an ace, and it feels like everything that Atlanta touches turns to gold, including Ben Sheets, who came out of nowhere to be relatively serviceable. Can the bats keep up, though? Scoring 582 runs this year is the second most in the National League, but it just doesn’t feel like the Braves really have it in them when it really counts in October.
10: Detroit Tigers (68-58) – The argument could be made that the Tigers are one of the best teams in baseball, but they just haven’t put it together quite yet either. It almost seems like the combination of Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera has been silenced in Motown, and save for Justin Verlander, who he, too, has been shaky by his own standards, this rotation just hasn’t had the “it factor” needed to get into the playoffs. It’s going to be quite a climb just to get into the postseason, though if it happens, we know that the experience of this club will come in quite handy.
11: St. Louis Cardinals (69-57) – They lost Albert Pujols in the offseason, and they’re still pretty likely to get into the playoffs this year. Yes, the Redbirds are outstanding, and they have the best run differential in baseball at +120. They’re reaching their height at the right time of the season, and as we found out last year, they have a degree of magic that no bad management or hot pitcher can seem to break. St. Louis will be a dangerous team in the playoffs assuming that it gets there.
12: San Francisco Giants (71-56) – Tim Lincecum has an ERA in the low-3.00s since the All-Star Break, but he and Matt Cain still just don’t feel like the same type of dangerous tandem that the Giants have had in recent years. The bats are producing more runs now with Buster Posey and Melky Cabrera doing damage. Cabrera though, is out for basically the rest of the regular season after testing positive for a banned substance, and the newly acquired Hunter Pence is batting .191 since coming over to the team. San Fran needs some help to get in, in spite of the fact that it currently leads the NL West by two games.
13: Oakland Athletics (69-57) – You might be looking up and down the lineup and the rotation for the A’s and asking yourself, “Who?” a whole bunch of times, but this is Billy Beane’s Moneyball at its finest. The young players that are up in the bigs for the Athletics are all players that fit the mold of a small market team trying to strike it big, and it is working to perfection. Losing Bartolo Colon to a drug suspension for basically the rest of the regular season is going to hurt dramatically, but this is another one of these teams that just isn’t going away under any circumstance right now and should be in it til the end.
14: Baltimore Orioles (69-57) – Just like the Orioles! Baltimore has done it with a relatively young pitching staff that has more or less been cut and paste together over the course of the last several years. Adam Jones is the face of the franchise now, and that is something that the O’s can look forward to for years to come. Perhaps parting with Erik Bedard was a great move after all! Manager Buck Showalter is one of the best in the game, and he’ll have his boys on the up and up over the course of the rest of the year on the march towards October.
15: Arizona Diamondbacks (64-63) – The D’Backs are right on the fringe of the playoff picture in the National League, and we think that they are going to officially be out of it here in another week or two. Still, in terms of talent, there is plenty of it, though the rotation that pitched the team into the playoffs last year looks nothing of the sorts any longer. That has been the true let down for the team this year and why the Diamondbacks will be watching the playoffs this year.
16: Pittsburgh Pirates (68-58) – Sorry, Pirates. We just don’t buy what you’re selling quite yet. The Bucs are going to break the dastardly streak of 19 consecutive seasons without a winning record, but that doesn’t mean that they are going to get into the playoffs for the first time since 1992 as well. They have done all of the little things right, but they were recently swept by the San Diego Padres(!!!), and that’s the type of series sweep that you just don’t get up off the mat from. The starting pitching still needs a lot of work behind AJ Burnett and James McDonald, and that isn’t happening overnight.
17: Philadelphia Phillies (60-67) – It’s still amazing that a rotation featuring Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, and Cole Hamels not being able to win more games than this. The season has been a certified disaster for the Phillies, and they know that they have a lot of work to do in the offseason to be able to get back on track and back in the race in what has proven to be a remarkable NL East this year.
18: Toronto Blue Jays (56-70) – Sure, we have the Jays higher on this list than most would, but we know that this is a team that has some talent available to it. Jose Bautista has missed too many games this year, and Colby Rasmus has been a major disappointment. Still, those two and Edwin Encarnacion can really bash the baseball, and the day will come again when Ricky Romero and the rest of this starting rotation get back on track.
19: Seattle Mariners (61-66) – Sure, the M’s let Ichiro Suzuki go to the New York Yankees at the trade deadline, but they have done a nice job this year building up for the future. The bats are clearly in place for 2013 and beyond, and Felix Hernandez had the highlight of the season by throwing the franchise’s first perfect game against Tampa Bay in a home game a few weeks ago. Finishing with 75 wins or so wouldn’t be that brutal of a disappointment for a team that is going in the right direction.
20: New York Mets (58-69) – Johan Santana’s no hitter was the highlight of the year, but it might have turned out to be the devastating moment in the team’s season as well. Santana was just never the same from that point forward, and he was just shut down for the season. About the only question left is whether R.A. Dickey can win the Cy Young Award or not, and though we think that he is going to finish second to Strasburg, he has a legitimate gripe as potentially the NL’s only 20-game winner.
21: Boston Red Sox (60-67) – And the white flag of surrender is officially up for the Red Sox for at least the next two seasons, one would think. Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Youkilis, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and several others have been traded over the course of the last few months, and team management is apparently hitching its wagon to Manager Bobby Valentine. Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia have to be wondering what in the heck just went on to the team that should have been in the playoffs a year ago if not for an epic collapse. Now, the Sox look nothing like they did a few years ago when they won the World Series, and this will be the third straight year in which they don’t make the playoffs.
22: Kansas City Royals (56-69) – Look out for the Royals in the future. Billy Butler, Alcides Escobar, Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas, and Eric Hosmer are the future of this franchise, and this core of players is going to be together once again next year. If the pitching can just get a bit more in the way of depth and the bullpen can find some anchors, KC might be on the verge of competing for the first time in quite some time.
23: Miami Marlins (57-71) – The Marlins sold the city of Miami on a new team with a new stadium and a lot of money spent, but all of a sudden, a lot of that money went out the door in the Hanley Ramirez trade. Now, this looks like the same old team that hasn’t done a heck of a lot to improve itself. It’s Jose Reyes and a bunch of nobodies in the lineup for the most part, and the pitching rotation features an over the hill Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson, who was rumored to be on the trading block right up until July 31st.
24: Milwaukee Brewers (58-67) – We should have known that the Brewers were in trouble this year when they had to deal with the escapades of Ryan Braun and his steroid test in the offseason. Prince Fielder is gone, and apparently, so is the bullpen. John Axford and Francisco Rodriguez have taken turns blowing saves left and right this year, and it just isn’t palatable any longer. Had even four of those save opportunities been converted that were blown, the Brew Crew would be 62-63, not 58-67, and we would be talking about them as a potential dark horse team to sneak into the back end of the playoffs. You’ve got to have a bullpen to succeed though, and that’s something that the Brewers just don’t have.
25: San Diego Padres (58-70) – For a team that really doesn’t have all that much in the way of talent, the Padres have done well for themselves this year. The batting lineup is, not surprisingly terrible, but teh pitchers have had some amazing stats. Huston Street hasn’t blown a save opportunity this season, and Luke Gregerson is one of the best hold men in the game. Clayton Richard and Edinson Volquez would both have the potential to be 15-game winners on better teams with the ways that they have pitched this year as well.
26: Cleveland Indians (55-71) – The Tribe figured that they were going to be building their team around the core of players that they got back in the deal that sent CC Sabathia to the Brewers a few years ago. Unfortunately, none of that has panned out, and in the end, missing on prospects has really cost this team a chance to compete at any point in the next four or five seasons in all likelihood. The only godsend is that the AL Central is atrocious beyond Chicago and Detroit.
27: Colorado Rockies (51-74) – Quick! Name three players on the Rockies. Can’t do it? Neither can we. There’s a reason that this team is mired at the bottom of baseball and will threaten to fail to reach the 70-win mark this year.
28: Minnesota Twins (51-75) – The question really has to be asked as to whether Manager Rod Gardenhire should be fired or not from his post. This is a man that figured to have job security of the rest of his career after taking the Twins to greatness for several years behind Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. That just isn’t the case any longer, and the team needs a new direction to turn in. Maybe booting Gardenhire would be the first step towards some new momentum at Target Field, a place where the Twins really haven’t won all that much since moving in.
29: Chicago Cubs (48-77) – The Cubbies are going to lose 100 games this year in all likelihood, and that just can’t sit well with Theo Epstein. This is going to be a struggle though, and he knew that when he took the job. Chicago has a few years before it can compete once again, though at least there have been some young kids that look like they can play in this league on display.
30: Houston Astros (40-87) – Not only are they bad. The Astros might be epically bad this year. They are on a pace to go just 51-111, and if they work a little harder, they might be able to break the record set by the 1962 New York Mets of going just 40-120. Take out the nine games that the Cubs and Astros have played against each other this year, and these two teams at the foot of the NL Central are a combined 79-155, a winning percentage of just .338.
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Lou PalumboLou Palumbo is the founder and part owner of the Cappersinfo.com Sports Handicapping Community. He's been writing and posting free picks and sports handicapping strategies on the Cappersinfo forums and website for 15 years now. He enjoys handicapping just as much as he did from the very first day he built the original Cappersinfo website.
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