Posted on: April 20, 2009 4:12 am

Week 2 National League Power Rankings

Every Tom, Dick, and Harry have decided to make thier own power rankings, and I am no different.  I will, however, stick to the National League, as I really only see the NL play on a (nearly) everyday basis.  This also eliminates me from tedious Boston-New York arguments that absolutely dominate this board and ESPN.  So without further ado.....



1. Los Angeles Dodgers (LW --) Week 2 record (7-0)

This team demolished the Rockies and the Giants at home, en route to a 6-0 home record to begin the season.  All the attention is on Manny Ramirez, but fantasy owners know that Matt Kemp had a monster week including a monster two home run game Sunday.  This team's offense has been scary, and they lead the National League in both Runs (82) and Runs allowed (40)

2. Florida Marlins (LW --) Week 2 record (7-0)

The mainstream media is quick to point out that the Marlins 11-1 record comes with an asterisk of beating the Nationals 6 times, but this team has also swept the Atlanta Braves and lost only once to the Mets.  Next week starts off good for the fish with a series against the buccos, but toughens up quickly with New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago.

3. San Diego Padres (LW --) Week 2 record (5-2)

When this team swept the Giants last week, I thought that was a nice way to start the season, but reality is to hit them in the face in New York.  I was wrong.  This team has travelled across the country and smacked both the defending champs and the (in many worlds) NL east favorites, the Mets around.  Bullpen is still shaky, but Heath Bell looks like he's the real deal, with a perfect save percentage.

4. St. Louis Cardinals (LW --) Week 2 record (3-3)

Tony LaRussa fans aren't surprised by their hot start, but as a midwest teams (despite the history) they are often overlooked, as is he.  The patchwork infield, rotation, and just about everything else on this team just seems to work.  Albert Pujols continues to absolutely dominate.  The series with the Cubs was one to keep an eye on, and we're lucky enough to have the same two go at it next week in the Lou.

5. Chicago Cubs (LW --) Week 2 record (3-2)

Aramis Ramirez' walk-off HR was huge for a team that has achieved essentially what folks expected from them, in a weak division.  Still, they're tied for first with the Cardinals and their schedule is favorable, with series against the Natty and Arizona.  The +10 differential (vs St. Louis +21) is the big reason why they're here.

6. New York Mets (LW --) Week 2 record (3-3 )

The bullpen certainly looks better, but this team really needs some help offensively.  When you've scored exactly 1 more run this season than the lowly Nationals, you have some work to do.  Luis Castillo leads this team in batting average, which is not a good sign.  This team will come around, but from the looks of it, Citi field will deflate many of their slugger's numbers.

7. Philadelphia Phillies (LW --) Week 2 record (2-3)

Having Harry Kalas pass away gives them a bit of slack, along with facing a hot San Diego team.  With Raul Ibanez' walkoff HR, I expect this team to get on a roll and start playing like defending champs.  Ryan Howard is going oppo which, to Philles fans, is a sight for sore eyes.

8. Cincinnati Reds (LW --) Week 2 record  (4-2)

Have to love what you've seen from their pitching staff, with good starts from Aaron Harang, Edison Volquez, and Bronson Arroyo.  The young hitting nucleus of Jay Bruce and Joey Votto will carry them throughout the season.  Underappreciated pickup in Ramon Hernandez, who has produced offensively everywhere he's been.  Would love to see more consistency from this team, but that's to be expected with a young squad.

9. Pittsburgh Pirates (LW --) Week 2 record (3-3)

How about them bucs?  Nice to see them looking decent for the time being.  That pitching staff (pinch me if you've heard this for a number of years) looks like it could develop into one of the league's best.  Nearly swept the slumping Braves, but get a real taste of competition when they face our # 2 team and #3 team.

10. Atlanta Braves (LW --) Week 2 record (1-5)

This ranking is more reflective of how poorly they played this week than it is their entire body of work.  A 6-6 record isn't bad in such a tough division, but when being swept by the Marlins and nearly swept by the aforementioned Pirates, they do not get a pass.  This team is filled with talent and this is supposed to be the year they compete again, but their offense must get it going.  The return of Chipper Jones should help matters, but I don't expect him to be healthy for long stretches of time.

11. Colorado Rockies (LW --) Week 2 record (1-4)

This team is in need of an identity and some home cooking (and maybe another Cole Hamels start).  Every game of theirs was on the road this week, including an embarrassment of a series against the Dodgers.  They will be on the road some more next week with a rematch of the 07 NLCS, and they've fared well against the D'Backs of late.  They have another shot at the Dodgers next week, but this time after spending the night in their own beds.

12. Milwaukee Brewers (LW --) Week 2 record (2-4)

Tough week for this team with a trip to New York and a scrappy Reds team that came to Miller Park with something to prove.  The offense is there, but the pitching is suspect at best.  Yovani Gallardo has alternated good starts, but after that the rotation has been dissapointing.  Rumors they might go after Jake Peavy will quickly fizzle after this team sinks lower in the central.  Help is on the way, however, with series against Arizona, Pittsburgh, and Houston.

13. Houston Astros (LW --) Week 2 record (3-3)

Much better showing this week than in week 1, a series win over the surprising Pirates.  Somehow Cecil Cooper has earned an extension, but this team seems to be a shell of itself from the dominance in the middle of this decade.  Michael Bourne is a pleasure to watch in center.

14. Arizona Diamondbacks (LW --) Week 2 record (2-4)

Only one team has a worse offense than the DBacks, and they just finished beating them 2 of 3 in a series.  This team was nearly no-hit by the 57 year-old Randy Johnson.  They strike out way too much and can't deliver any timely hitting so far.  I don't think this team will stay down here for the majority of the season, but when you go to SF and only score 2 runs in 3 games, you have concerns. 

15. San Francisco Giants (LW --) Week 2 record (2-4)

Another year, another miserable Giants offense.  Wholloped in LA including losses of 7-2 and 11-1, they bounced back with stellar performances on the mound against Arizona.  They have an opportunity to avenge two road sweeps when they face the Padres and Dodgers in the next few days.  Tim Lincecum looks like his mechanics are a back, and that's a great sign for all fans of baseball.

16. Washington Nationals (LW --) Week 2 record (1-4)

Absolutley dreadful.  Manny Acta says he's going to blow up the bullpen and he should before the Nats brass decide to hand him his walking papers.



My first crack at this and I promise to get better.



Posted on: April 2, 2008 5:16 pm
Edited on: April 2, 2008 6:59 pm

How the West will win.

This is my mediocre attempt at putting together an actual blog. Now, there have only been a handful of games played as of 2:00pm on 4/2, but there are significant trends that have developed. I will try to put some effort into the American League, but truthfully I don't care much for it.

The NL West already has a significant edge over the NL East and Central as far as records.

NL West Winning Pct. .750

NL Central Winning Pct. .286

NL East Winning Pct. .444

If you include runs against, the pitching in the NL West has absolutely dominated.

NL West Runs Against - 14

NL Central Runs Against - 20

NL East Runs Against - 52

Or, in other terms, the entire NL West has given up less runs than the Atlanta Braves.

Now, there have only been a couple games played, and this I'm well aware of. But I will keep track of information such as this, as our mainstream media outlets (ESPN, SI, CBS) will not. They will instead talk about Manny having a hangnail for 20 minutes.

Other News/Notes/Observations

Jake Peavy can pitch - The guy is lights-out. Petco Park is largely a pitcher's park, and being a resident of San Diego, I get to follow the Padres a little closer than your average Dodgers fan. With that said, Peavy is the only pitcher the Padres have who is just as consistent at Petco as he is on the road. The guys is an amazing pitcher and will beat out Johan Santana for Cy Young.

The Tigers bullpen is really bad - They have murderer's row in their lineup (even though they were shut out today by the Royals) but will suffer in 1-run games. My bet is they end up -10 games at the end of the season in 1 run games. In the playoffs they will be in huge trouble if they can not find a way to shore up the bullpen.

The Dodgers have Fire - This team has shown more emotion in the last 2 games than they did in a month's worth of baseball last year. Larry Bowa is a nutjob who will fill Tommy Lasorda's void. Joe Torre has already managed the Dodgers better than Grady Little has, and they've got out to a quick 2-0 start by fattening up on the terrible Giants (who's bullpen and lineup might be the worst I've ever seen).

The White Sox and Cardinals need a CF - Rick Ankiel and Nick Swisher have no business roaming center. Juan Pierre anybody?

The Marlins are better than advertised - They will give teams such as the Mets and Braves fits in the East, and also show fans of those teams how brittle and old their teams are.
Posted on: January 18, 2008 3:11 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2008 3:33 pm

ESPN needs real competition.

I'm over ESPN.

Fox Sports is too regional, and frankly, I can't remember what channel they are on DirecTV.  Somewhere lost in the 500s or so.  I remember Prime Sports as a kid, fondly, but I also remember when no Dodgers home games were on TV.

In my mind, watching an episode of Sportscenter is very educational on all New York and Boston.  The unconditional love for Boston College, the Celtics, the Red Sox, Yankees, Mets, and Rutgers is enough to make me turn off the tube.  The Lakers are leading the Pacific Division, but I have to endure a 20 minute vignette about how the Celtics are chasing history.

To be fair, New England is on a roll.  With the Red Sox and Patriots atop their respective sports, and the Celtics doing well, I don't blame them entirely for the coverage.  I also know it is ratings driven, and the Red Sox pull audiences like no other (save the Yankees or Dodgers). 

If I were the head of ESPN, I would eliminate an episode or two of the late-night Sportscenters and replace them with a West Coast version.  Imagine for a second, in depth coverage of the Kings, Sharks, Lakers, Dodgers, Angels, Chargers, and Diamondbacks.  I would show the PAC-10 as often as ESPN shows the ACC and Big East.  Mountain West games would actually be on TV, and perhaps with the influnence of watching great football programs like Utah, Air Force, and TCU, the MWC could become BCS.  We would turn MWC basketball into something like the love affair ESPN has with the Ohio Valley.

Maybe the weather is too good, maybe there's too much to do.  But the amount of talent that comes out of Oregon, Washington, California, and Arizona deserves to have more exposure.  The type of baseball coming from the Dodgers-Giants, Dodgers-Padres, Angels-A's or Angels-Mariners deserves a home.  The Raiders should be covered more along with the 49ers.  The Chargers should be recongnized for thier gutsy GM who nobody liked until he turned the team into a perrenial contender.  Instead of focusing on a quaterback who likes to be himeself.

And Russell Martin should have more endorsement deals.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com