MLB Playoff Power Rankings, ALDS & NLDS: Can NY Yankees Win #28?
MLB Power Rankings (Playoffs Edition – ALDS, NLDS): Can New York Yankees Win #28? Tigers, Athletics Orioles, Reds, Giants, Nationals, Cardinals
MLB Power Rankings are always fun, especially when you can weed out the bottom 22 teams. Eventually, it stops being funny picking on the Houston Astros for pretending to field a baseball team. The MLB Playoffs are upon us, and it’s time to rank the remaining eight teams in the ALDS and NLDS round.
1. New York Yankees – They’ve been there before and likely have the best lineup in baseball. As was the case in 2009, they’ve set out to prove that you can buy a championship without any pitching. This time, they’ll have to do it without the greatest closer that ever lived.
2. Cincinnati Reds – The Reds have the deepest lineup in the National League, but they’re inconsistent. If pitching holds up they’ve got a chance to run through a mediocre National League field. Great bullpen, good bats, and strong pitching is a winning formula for Cincy this year.
3. Washington Nationals – They shut down their ace for the season due to innings limits because the Nationals seem to believe winning in April is more important than winning in October. They’re young and unafraid – that might be enough to shock the world.
4. Oakland Athletics – The Oakland Athletics have the best pitching in baseball. Their young, talented arms comprise an impressive rotation and powerful bullpen. Can they hit? No, not really. But as the autumn chill cools even the hottest bats, the Athletics will be in games because of their excellent pitching.
5. Detroit Tigers – Beyond Miggy’s triple crown and Justin Verlander’s Cy Young bid, I’m not sure the tigers have enough for a deep postseason run. Their pitching is inconsistent and extremely top-heavy, their lineup is based almost entirely around two players, they’re sloppy defensively, and they’ve got a tough path through the American League
6. Baltimore Orioles – Buck Schowalter’s O’s Magic is in full swing and they’re one of the hottest teams in baseball right now. They draw the Yankees, though, and they lack the pitching to matchup with New York’s lineup.
7. San Francisco Giants – The Giants have the postseason experience to make a run, and their pitching has proven capable of carrying them through the playoffs. Still, Matt Cain is the only Giants pitcher to finish the season strong. Tim Lincecum is having an off year, and Bumgarner and Vogelsong showed signs of fatigeu down the stretch. With the weakest lineup in the postseason, they’ll need their pitchers to carry them. I’m not sure they have enough juice left.
8. St. Louis Cardinals – They’ve been here before and are playing with nothing to lose. The lineup is weak, the bullpen is atrocious, but pitching and experience tend to loom very large in the postseason. Still, I look for them to lose games late and they lack the bats to ever really be comfortable with this bullpen. It’s going to take some incredible pitching performances from Lohse, Carpenter, and Wainwright – but they started off on the right foot in the Wild Card game.
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