By: Zac Fluewelling
These rankings are based on a 300 point system, 150 for offensive production and 150 for pitching production. 30 points (1 point for each team) is the most points any team can get in a given category. For instance if the Rays lead the league in HR’s they will get 30 points for that category. The 5 offensive categories used: HR’s, RBI’s, Runs, Average, and SB’s. The 5 pitching categories used: Wins, Saves, WHIP, ERA, and K’s.
1.(↔) Tampa Bay Rays (18-7): The Rays are a potent bunch, looking at their roster it is tough to find a player who is not fantasy relevant. Tampa Bay is 7-3 in their last 10 and they look like the best team in baseball. This could be their year as they have the least amount of weaknesses of any team.
2.(↔) New York Yankees (16-8): The Yankees led the league in FPR offensive points and are in the top 5 in each category used for hitting. However, there are some concerns here. Curtis Granderson was put on the DL and could be out a month, while the other big offseason acquisition, Javier Vazquez looks nothing like he did last year with the Braves.
3. (↑1) San Diego Padres (16-9): San Diego holds the top spot as the best pitching team in the FPR (131). They are by far the biggest surprise this year and those teams who were looking at obtaining the services of Adrian Gonzalez may want to come up with a new game-plan. The Padres are a good, young team and will surely go through a rough-steak but for now they lead the NL West by 1.5 games over the Giants.
4.(↓1) Minnesota Twins (16-9): The AL Central leading Twins avoided a scared with Justin Morneau’s back but now must deal with Joe Mauer’s heal. The Twins call the injury a “week-to-week” issue that will certainly make Twins fans nervous. The Twins have been good this year, but how long can they deal with their stars being injured?
5.(↔) Chicago Cubs (13-13): The Cubs finished last week with a three-game win streak and begin the week with a series against the porous Pirates team. Alfonso Soriano went deep twice yesterday and seems to be settling in this year. Chicago is in the top 5 in four of the five offensive categories (Avg., R, RBI, HR).
6. (↔) St. Louis Cardinals (17-8): St. Louis is being carried by their pitching staff (125 of 150) right now while they have won 7 of their last 10. The Cardinals, while not in the bottom 10 of any offensive category, need to figure out a way to get more runners on base and drive them in.
7. (↑5) Toronto Blue Jays (13-13): After writing off the Blue Jays last week, the Blue Jays surprised me by moving back up 5 spots this week. I still don’t believe this team can maintain a .500 record this year. Too many young pitchers lead me to believe the Jays won’t remain in the top 10 in four of the five pitching categories (W, S, WHIP, K) for much longer.
8. (↑13) Detroit Tigers (16-10): The Tigers capitalized on playing a slumping Angels team by picking up a sweep and moving their winning streak to five games. The Tigers are the biggest movers of the week, I believe the recent success to be linked to the play of Austin Jackson (.455/11/1/3/2 in his last 10).
9. (↑1) San Francisco Giants (14-10): The Giants stand second in pitching production (127 of 150) at week’s end to only the Padres. San Francisco’s offense is starting to go backwards, but I look for the pitching staff to carry them in their hopes of making a playoff run and in staying in the top 10 of the FPR.
10. (↑3) Florida Marlins (13-12): Florida rounds off the top 10 this week while sitting just 1.5 games back of the Phillies in the NL East. As I mentioned last week the Marlins are a balanced team and should remain around the top 10 all year. They have enough fantasy studs to be relevant but not enough to be great.
11. (↑3) Colorado Rockies (12-13): Colorado sits below .500 and have a tough week ahead with three game series against the Padres and the Dodgers.
12. (↓4) Los Angeles Dodgers (11-14): The Dodgers put up the third most offensive points (121 of 150) behind the Rays and Yankees. Los Angeles has just one save this year.
13. (↑7) Texas Rangers (13-12): Texas finished the week with a sweep against the Mariners and have won 7 of their last 10 helping them move up 7 spots from last week.
14. (↑2) Arizona Diamondbacks (11-14): Arizona has plenty of power in the lineup, especially with the pleasant surprise of Kelly Johnson. Johnson and Mark Reynolds are tied for second in the MLB with 9 HR’s each.
15. (↔) Milwaukee Brewers (10-15): The Brewers offense (111 pts.) received little help from its pitching (47 pts.) this week. Pitching is the reason they went 2-8 in their last 10.
16. (↑6) Boston Red Sox (11-14): For a team who needs to have great pitching to compete in the AL East, the Red Sox sure are a ways a way. The third worst ERA (4.78) in the AL just won’t cut it.
17. (↓8) Oakland Athletics (13-13): Oakland’s offense is starting to settle in right about where they should be (69 pts.). Inflammation in Brett Anderson’s left arm will hurt the A’s rotation.
18. (↑6) New York Mets (14-11): Before the series loss to the Phillies, the Mets were one of the hottest teams in baseball (8-2 in last 10). It looks like they are starting to get it together.
19. (↓12) Philadelphia Phillies (14-10): The Phillies have nothing to worry about. This will probably be the lowest they fall all year. Ace, Roy Halladay will be a workhorse all year stopping any extended losing streaks.
20. (↓3) Cincinnati Reds (12-13): Jay Bruce has been feeling it over the last 10 games (.343/2/6) and has helped the Reds get within one game of .500.
21. (↓2) Washington Nationals (13-12): The Nationals are still above .500 and although they probably won’t finish this way, I think they will stay close.
22. (↓4) Chicago White Sox (10-15): If you take Paul Konerko and his league leading 12 homeruns off this team they would be in the bottom 5 of nearly every offensive category…not good!
23. (↔) Kansas City Royals (10-15): Greinke pitched a complete game on Sunday with giving up just one run, and still has yet to record a win.
24. (↓13) Los Angeles Angels (12-14): The Angels are the biggest fallers as they finish the week with being swept by the Tigers. The pitching staff is the worst it’s been in a long time.
25. (↔) Seattle Mariners (11-14): Seattle just cannot hit. They have no worthy power hitters and although they have plenty of speed, no one can knock runs in.
26. (↑1) Atlanta Braves (11-14): My preseason wildcard choice have won three in a row, unfortunately for Atlanta fans that is all they have won in their last 10.
27. (↑2) Baltimore Orioles (7-18): Baltimore is a balanced team, 40 offensive points matched by 47 pitching points will keep the Orioles in the bottom 5 all season.
28. (↓2) Houston Astros (8-16): Carlos Lee has a stat-line of .191/0/5. “El Caballo” (the horse), should change his name to la broma (the joke) for the prank he is playing on his fantasy owners this year.
29. (↑1) Pittsburgh Pirates (10-15): I will say one positive thing about the Pirates, they are much more fun to watch this year than in years past. With that being said they have lost three in a row and 7 of their last 10.
30. (↓2) Cleveland Indians (10-14): The Indians are in third place in the AL Central while sitting 5.5 games back. This number will easily grow larger with the kind of production (67 of 300 possible points) the Indians are giving.
Best Offense: (133) New York Yankees
Best Pitching: (131) San Diego Padres
Worst Offense: (22) Houston Astros
Worst Pitching: (23) Pittsburgh Pirates