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First off, happy Memorial Day to everyone and a special thanks to everyone in our military. God bless America.
Moving on, this weeks Powerless Rankings see little mix up in regards to who made the cut (that applies to the Power Rankings as well). However there was a shakeup in the actual ranking of the teams. We’re beginning to see the same faces (or logos if you will) on either side of the rankings, so it appears we’ve finally moved past the ‘season is still early’ defense. We're almost a third of the way through the season for goodness sake!
26. Colorado Rockies (20-30, LW: MM)
The Colorado Rockies have been struggling to stay afloat but they keep on being hit by the injury bug. The biggest of which, Troy Tulowitzki, is out until at least the All Star break. Other key injuries to their roster include (but are not limited to) Clint Barmes, Luis Vizcaino, Brad Hawpe and Matt Holliday. Considering all their injuries, it’s actually a testament to the overall skill level of the team that they have the record that they do.
Prognosis: Once they have everyone healthy, they should be back on track. The only problem is, when will that be?
Team LVP: Manny Corpas, who has a 6.20 ERA and a mere 4 saves, an extreme turnaround from last year.
27. Kansas City Royals (21-29, LW: NR )
The Royals finally did what they’ve been threatening to do all year: go on a ridiculously long losing streak. At the moment, K.C. is sitting on 7 losses in a row. If they keep it up, they will surely be a perfect example of why April and early May performances don’t mean much in regards to how a team will do for the whole season.
Prognosis: The team has talent, they’re just a few years away from being a contender.
Team LVP: Tony Pena Jr. who is hitting .165 with 7 ribbies (in 139 at bats). Yes, that’s it.
28. San Francisco Giants (20-31, LW: 30)
Just when the Giants go on a winning streak (3 games), their next game gets postponed and they drop both games in a double header. This team just can’t catch a break. The team’s pitching (save for Tim Lincecum and a couple of players in the bullpen) is starting to play like the offense. A la, horrible.
Prognosis: Now that pitching is starting to play on par with the offense -- barring an unlikely turnaround, this team is done.
Team LVP: Barry Zito, who finally got his first win on Friday night. Even so, he’s 1-8 and it’s going to take a lot more wins to pardon him from this award.
29. San Diego Padres (19-33, LW: 29)
The Padres have the second worst team in the MLB in runs scored. There pitching is a bit worse than middle of the road, ranking 18th in the league in ERA. I know I don’t have to tell you this, but if you have one of the two worst offenses in the league and a mediocre at best pitching staff, your not going to be good. At all. All season. Like the Giants, barring something crazy happening, the Padres season doesn’t look too good.
Prognosis: To make matters worse, their best pitcher, Jake Peavy, who was almost single handedly keeping the Padres alive is on the disabled list. Not good, not good at all.
Team LVP: Khalil Greene, whose .221 average, 5 home runs and 3 stolen bases would be good if it were April. Unfortunately for him (and us, especially if he’s on your fantasy team like me) it’s not.
And the loser is…
30. Seattle Mariners (18-33, LW: 27)
Both sides of Seattle’s team are ranked in the bottom third of the league, with their pitching staff the second worst in the entire league. The offense isn’t much better, ranking an unimpressive 23rd. The Mariners are on a 6 game losing streak and have Boston coming into town for a 3 game set.
Prognosis: The Mariners will be lucky to win one of their upcoming 3 games against the Red Sox. If they don’t take today’s game against a rehabbing Bartolo Colon (with their ace Felix Hernandez going up against him), don’t expect them to win any at all.
Team LVP: Jarrod Washburn, whose 6.54 ERA and 32 strikeouts help explain why he only has 2 wins in 10 starts.
5. Chicago Cubs (29-21, LW: 1)
Just when the Cubs looked at the top of their game, ranking number one in the power rankings, they go 1-4 over their next 5. All of those losses came against two gritty teams in Pittsburgh and Houston, so we’ll chalk the slump up to a bad week.
Team MVP: It’s still Derrek Lee who is playing out of his mind. A .301 average with 11 HR’s, 34 RBI’s and a .364 OBP? Forget being the Cubs MVP, Lee is making a strong case for the league MVP.
4. Boston Red Sox (31-22, LW: 2)
The Red Sox have dropped three straight and given up sole possession of first place to the Rays. With a three game set up ahead against the Mariners however, expect them to right the ship.
Team MVP: Kevin Youkilis who is batting .306 with 9 HR’s and 35 RBI’s.
3. Arizona Diamondbacks (30-20, LW: 3)
Even though they’ve taken two of three from the Braves and are tied for the best record in the league, the Diamondbacks were swept by the Marlins in a three game set this past week. Luckily for them, the previous two teams had similar (albeit a bit worse) slumps.
Team MVP: Brandon Webb who is 9-1 with a 2.69 ERA and 56 strikeouts. He is the front runner in the NL Cy Young race and was the major piece of an early season fantasy trade that has had me lamenting even thinking of trading him. If your wondering I got Michael Bourn, Takashi Saito and Dana Eveland in return. And yes, I know I’m a dumb ass.
2. Florida Marlins (29-20, LW: HM)
The Marlins have been knocking at the Power Ranking door for the past couple of weeks, consistently getting at least an honorable mention. They’ve finally fought their way in. A sweep of the skilled Diamondbacks was the kicker.
Team MVP: Dan Uggla who in my mind is the front runner in the NL MVP race. Out of his 16 home runs, 12 were in May which is tied for fourth best all time.
And the winner is...
1. Tampa Bay Rays (30-20, LW: 5)
Okay, it’s finally happened. We can all officially stop being surprised as the Rays continue to win. They are a good, nay -- great team. They have all the makings of a contender and could be the Cinderella story of the season. So seriously everyone, let’s just come to grips with the fact that they’re a winner. It’s almost June.
Team MVP: Uber-prospect Evan Longoria already has two walk off hits in what is his first full season in the majors. Add to that 7 home runs, 27 ribbies, 3 stolen bases and a .319 OBP and what you’ve got is the makings of a super-duper star.
Again, Happy Memorial Day and please do take a moment to remember all that have died for our rights including the free speech that we so enjoy.