The Tigers, Cardinals, and Giants are streaking, while some other “favorites” (Angels and Dodgers) continue to struggle. See if your team made the cut this week: Here is your week 5 top 10:
#1 Texas Rangers
It’s kind of hard to put anyone else at #1 this week. The Rangers are tied for the best record in baseball with the team they just swept, the Boston Red Sox. Not only that, but the Rangers are 11-5 against their own division and are winning the close games (7-2 in one run games). Side note: possibly the most surprising stat in baseball, is that the Rangers have the lowest team ERA in baseball.
#2 St. Louis Cardinals
If the Cardinals had turned the closer role over to Edward Mujica on Opening day, this team would have the best record in baseball…BY FAR. Everything is going right for the Cardinals at the moment. Winners of 6 in a row the Cardinals have stretched their division lead to 2.5 games. Now, the Cardinals are going to have more struggles at some point, but as long as they can stay healthy, the struggles shouldn’t last too long.
#3 Boston Red Sox
Even though they are still tied for the league’s best record, the Red Sox just finished getting swept by the Texas Rangers. During which, they were outscored 16-4. The Red Sox could be back in the #1 spot very soon though; their next 23 games are against teams that don’t currently have a winning record.
#4 Detroit Tigers
Tigers have won 9 of 10 and 4 in a row. I firmly believe this team will be the first to clinch a playoff spot. They play in a weak division, the lineup can mash, and their starting pitching is 2nd in quality starts. By the way, should we just go ahead and give Cabrera the batting title? Man, that guy can mash.
#5 Atlanta Braves
Yes, the Braves are struggling after getting off to such a hot start. However, they are getting Brian McCann back today and Jason Heyward should be back before the end of the month. Plus, they have still managed to keep a 2 game lead in the division despite all their offensive struggles. The pitching has been there, so if the lineup heats back up, this team will get hot again.
#6 Kansas City Royals
I really really hope this Royals start is for real. Having the Royals be competitive again would be good for baseball. Plus, the fans in Kansas City deserve it. The Royals have won 4 in a row and are playing really well at home (10-4) while the pitching staff has been better than expected (4th best ERA).
#7 San Francisco Giants
I have to admit that the Giants have surprised me with this 6 game winning streak they are on. However, they still don’t have a real strength and their rotation has not been what it usually is. As a matter of fact, Bumgarner is the only one in the rotation with a positive WAR (wins above replacement).
#8 Cincinnati Reds
The Reds are coming off a big sweep of the Cubs as they try to keep pace with the Cardinals. This team really has no glaring weakness and after their series with the Braves, they have 6 straight series against teams with a record of .500 or worse.
#9 Washington Nationals
Stephen Strasburg hasn’t won since opening day and the offense has been miserable. I have the Nats at #9 though, because this team still has the potential to go on a really hot stretch with the rotation they have. However, they haven’t shown any signs of the dominance people expected from this team…so far.
#10 New York Yankees
Even though the Yankees have been much better than expected with all the injuries they have had to overcome, their start can be deceiving. The Yankees have played only 11 road games and 4 of their last 5 series have been against teams with losing records. Not to take anything away from what they have done, it has been nothing short of miraculous. That is just why I currently have them at #10.
P.S. I LOVE what the Orioles and A’s are doing, but there just wasn’t room this week.
Follow Cole Stevenson on twitter: @Cole_Stevenson