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Culture Shock

MLB Power Rankings Week 7

1. Kansas City Royals (Last week #3)

The Royals continue to roll as they swept the Reds and took two of three against last week’s No. 1 team the St. Louis Cardinals. I believe the Royals are the most complete team in all of baseball. They possess a great pitching staff, a lockdown bullpen, a potent offense and a rock-solid defense, all of which are key components to winning teams. They continue to prove last year’s run to the postseason was not a fluke. Kansas City’s schedule doesn’t get any weaker this week as they travel to the Bronx to take on the Yankees and then on to the north side of Chicago to take on the Cubs.

2. Houston Astros (#2)

As the Astros schedule got tougher last week, so did they. Houston went into Detroit last weekend and split a series with the Tigers. Through their last 10 games the Astros are 6-4. Dallas Kuechel is leading their pitching staff with a Cy Young caliber series. Kuechel is 6-0 with a 1.83 ERA. He has to be the early favorite to start the All-Star game for the American League. Houston’s schedule takes a step back in competition this week as the ‘Stros will take on the Orioles and White Sox.

3. St. Louis Cardinals (#1)

For the first time three weeks the Cardinals are not the No. 1 team in the power rankings. St. Louis has been playing .500 ball of late, but to its credit it has played some pretty good teams in the Tigers, Mets and Royals. I still believe they do need to acquire another starter and another bullpen man, but they are still one of the best teams in the National League. The Cards will welcome two NL West foes to Busch Stadium this week in the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers.

4. Washington Nationals (#6)

The Nats crack the top five for the first time all season in this week’s power rankings. The Nationals are finally starting to play up to their potential. They are 7-1 in their last eight games and recently just took over first place in the NL East. Bryce Harper is having an MVP-caliber season and is leading the charge for Washington. Harper is batting .333 with 16 homers, 41 RBIs and slugging .471. He is finally coming into his own in his age 22 season, his fourth in the majors. The Nats are starting to put it all together, and I don’t see the Nats falling out of the top 10 for the rest of the season. (They were my preseason pick to win the World Series) The Nationals will go on the road this week to take on the Cubs and the Reds.

5. Los Angeles Dodgers (#4)

Los Angeles had a tough week last week when rival San Francisco swept them. The Dodgers are just 2-7 against the Giants this season. Zack Greinke has carried the pitching staff so far, and Clayton Kershaw has not enjoyed a Kershaw-like season to date. Kershaw is just 2-3 with a 4.32 ERA this season. He will surely need to step up his game as the Giants are right on the Dodgers’ heels in the NL West. LA will welcome the Atlanta Braves into Dodger Stadium to begin the week, and then it will be off to St. Louis for a showdown with one of baseball’s best, the Cardinals.

6. Minnesota Twins (#8)

7. San Francisco Giants (#11)

8. Detroit Tigers (#5)

9. Tampa Bay Rays (#11)

10. Chicago Cubs (#10)

11. New York Mets (#9)

12. Atlanta Braves (#16)

13. New York Yankees (#7)

14. Pittsburgh Pirates (#17)

15. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (#13)

16. Boston Red Sox (#16)

17. Toronto Blue Jays (#22)

18. Cleveland Indians (#16)

19. Seattle Mariners (#19)

20. San Diego Padres (#14)

21. Texas Rangers (#25)

22. Chicago White Sox (#15)

23. Baltimore Orioles (#20)

24. Arizona Diamondbacks (#27)
25. Philadelphia Phillies (#25)

26. Miami Marlins (#21)

27. Cincinnati Reds (#23)

28. Milwaukee Brewers (#28)

29. Colorado Rockies (#30)

30. Oakland Athletics (#29)

Follow Bobby on Twitter @RENorell_III


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