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Culture Shock

MLB Power Rankings Week 9

1. St. Louis Cardinals

This is a no-brainer putting the Cardinals at No. 1 this week. The Cards own the best record in Major League Baseball at 38-21. They have the largest lead over a second place team at 6.5 games. Perhaps the most amazing thing about the Cardinals success is that they are doing this all without their No. 1 starter Adam Wainwright, first basemen Matt Adams and top setup man Jordan Walden as they are all out with injuries. St. Louis churned out another impressive performance this past week as they took two of three from the Brewers and went into Dodger Stadium and took three of four from the Dodgers. The Cardinals will continue their west coast swing this week with a series with at the Rockies, then they will come home for a weekend series with the Kansas City Royals.

2. Houston Astros

Although the Astros have lost six in a row, they are still tied for the second best record in the American League and first place in the AL West. Houston should receive a shot in the arm as they recently called up their top prospect Carlos Correa. Correa’s game has been compared to Troy Tulowitzki’s of the Colorado Rockies. He will be a name to keep your eye on as the season progresses. Houston will finish off its road trip this week with a three-game set with the White Sox and then they’ll return home to face a struggling Seattle Mariners team.

3. Minnesota Twins

Now the Twins are probably even more a surprise than the Astros. Coming into the season most predictions had the Twins finishing in last place, but they have proven everyone wrong thus far. They are also tied for the second best record in the American League. Minnesota might not have that one hitter that's going to hit 40 homers and drive in 100 runs, but it has a lineup that is well balanced and comes through in the clutch. Minnesota is batting .294 with runners in scoring position this season, which is among the tops in baseball. The Twins have been a pleasant surprise, and I do think they will be in the race throughout the season, but their starting staff does raises some questions for me. They will get Ervin Santana back from suspension in the middle season, but even then I think the Twins will need to acquire another. Minnesota has a big series this week, as they will host the second place Kansas City Royals at Target Field. Then it will be off to Texas to face a hot-hitting Rangers team.

4. San Francisco Giants

The Dodgers might be in first place in the NL West, but I think the Giants are the better team in the division. San Francisco was scuffling through mid-May until Hunter Pence rejoined the Giants’ lineup. Since Pence has rejoined the lineup the Giants are 15-8 and put themselves right back into the race in the NL West. He has been a spark plug for a lineup that was really struggling when he was gone. A sign of good things to come is that the Giants have owned their rivals, the Dodgers, this year. San Francisco owns a 7-2 record over the Dodgers. There might not be anything flashy about the Giants, but they know how to win. They’re going to be in the race, and it would not surprise me if they make another postseason appearance. San Francisco will wrap up its East Coast road trip this week with a three-game set in New York against the Mets, and then they’ll come home for a series against the Diamondbacks.

5. Pittsburgh Pirates

Everyone has been waiting for the Pirates to catch fire, and they finally have. The Bucs have won five of their last eight, and 13 of their last 18. Gerrit Cole has been absolutely lights out for Pittsburgh this season. Cole owns a Major League best nine wins. He also has a 1.73 ERA, which is also among the tops in the league. He is definitely among the frontrunners to start the All Star Game for the National League. The Bucs will come home this week for a three-game sets against the Milwaukee Brewers and the Philadelphia Phillies.

6. Los Angeles Dodgers

7. Kansas City Royals

8. New York Yankees

9. Tampa Bay Rays

10. Washington Nationals

11. Texas Rangers

12. New York Mets

13. Chicago Cubs

14. Detroit Tigers

15. Toronto Blue Jays

16. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

17. San Diego Padres

18. Atlanta Braves

19. Cleveland Indians

20. Boston Red Sox

21. Arizona Diamondbacks

22. Chicago White Sox

23. Baltimore Orioles

24. Cincinnati Reds

25. Colorado Rockies

26. Seattle Mariners

27. Oakland A’s

28. Miami Marlins

29. Milwaukee Brewers

30. Philadelphia Phillies

Follow Bobby on Twitter @RENorell_III


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