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MLB power rankings: Phillies keep the top

By Gordy Stillman

Section: Sports

April 8, 2011

1. Philadelphia Phillies (5-1): The Phillies got off to a great start with a 3-0 sweep hosting the Astros. The pitching rotation, dubbed “R2C2” seems to be unstoppable, but they’ll need to win games on the road to confirm it.

2. Texas Rangers (6-0): The defending AL champions swept the Red Sox last weekend. Their pitching seems to be managing fine without Cliff Lee.

3. Cincinnati Reds (5-1): The Reds are the first team on this list to have swept a division foe, the Milwaukee Brewers. This makes the sweep extra sweet because wins against division rivals are particularly helpful near the end of the season.

4. Chicago White Sox (4-2): The White Sox have been busy against division rivals too. They may have lost a game to Cleveland, but this week’s games against the Royals gave the Sox a chance to take the top of the AL Central.

5. Baltimore Orioles (5-1): This may be the biggest surprise of the opening week. The Orioles started off their season 4-0 leading the AL East.

6. New York Yankees (4-2): The Yankees are doing better than many expected. Perhaps this is because they have yet to travel and have not yet gone through their rotation a few times.

7. Atlanta Braves (3-4): The Braves have been doing very well while traveling. Taking a loss against the Nationals, however, lowers them a bit.

8. Minnesota Twins (2-4): This year marks the third straight year that the Twins have lost their first game. In the last two they followed by winning their division, “arguably the most competitive division in the AL” according to MLB.com.

9. Los Angeles Dodgers (3-3): The Dodgers did well beating the defending world champions in their opening series. Unfortunately their fans haven’t been acting so well.

10. San Francisco Giants (2-4): The Giants managed one win against their hosts, the Dodgers. It’s quite a shame though that a fan was beaten outside the stadium following their opening-day loss to the Dodgers.

11. San Diego Padres (3-2): With wins against Albert Pujols on the road, the Padres have shown promise for the season. Winning against the Giants doesn’t hurt either.

12. Toronto Blue Jays (4-2): The Blue Jays got two great wins against the Twins this past weekend. It’s too bad for the Blue Jays that they got the distinction of handing Joe Nathan his first save since 2009.

13. Boston Red Sox (0-6): The Sox may be winless and this may seem hopeful, but it’s just a little too early to call the season lost.

14. Detroit Tigers (2-4): The Tigers’ first win is also the Yankees’ first loss of the season. The Tigers are in good company though, sharing the bottom of the AL Central with rivals the Twins.

15. Pittsburgh Pirates (4-3): The Pirates haven’t done well in a long time. Surprising many, they’ve started off this season strong in the only six-team division in the major leagues.

16. Kansas City Royals (4-2): The Royals are momentarily atop the AL Central. White Sox, Tigers and Twins fans can remember the Royals haven’t been to the playoffs since 1985, and they’d need a lot of luck to keep this up.

17. Seattle Mariners (2-4): The Mariners have been busy traveling to their AL West rivals. They won their series against the A’s but turned around and got swept by the Rangers.

18. New York Mets (3-3): The Mets at the top of their division? The Mets served the Phillies their first loss of the season; it was a Phillies home game.

19. Chicago Cubs (3-3): The Cubs record may be deceptive. They won a game against the Pirates, a historically bad team, and have wins against the Diamondbacks, another relatively weak team.

20. Colorado Rockies (4-1): The Rockies may be deceptively low in the rankings. Their games played has been deflated by a postponed game against Arizona and two days off in the first week.

21. St. Louis Cardinals (2-4): At least the Cardinals have not been swept. It’s too early to tell if this will be a truly disappointing season.

22. Washington Nationals (2-4): The main thing to buoy the Nats’ ranking is their win against the Braves. They’ll need to start putting wins on the board if they hope to avoid falling.

23. Oakland Athletics (2-4): The Athletics have been struggling to say the least. They lost a home series against division rivals the Mariners and have not been doing any better on their trip to Toronto.

24. Cleveland Indians (4-2): It’s too early to tell whether Cleveland is deceptively low or doing deceptively well. With the uncertainty of this year’s Red Sox, it’s hard to judge whether these wins have been flukes or signs of things to come.

25. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (3-3): All of the Angels’ losses have been to the Royals. The Angels may make some huge leaps if they can shake off these losses and get to work.

26. Milwaukee Brewers (3-4): The Brewers started off 0-4. Not even a win against the Braves can fully recover that in one week alone.

27. Tampa Bay Rays (0-6): Unlike the Brewers, the Rays have not even had a win to redeem their 0-4 start

28. Florida Marlins (3-3): The Marlins may be in a position to rise. They’ve already had two games go to extra innings and even won a game against the Mets.

29. Arizona Diamondbacks (2-3): Perennial losers may be a title to drop this year. They beat the Rockies in extra innings in their first game and have been losing to the surprisingly good Cubs.

30. Houston Astros (1-5): Getting swept by the Phillies and losing to the Reds is never a good thing.

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