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Baseball Power Poll: Marlins and Rays crack the top 10

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Every week, I write a poll, and every week, I get 10 or so letters complaining about where I've ranked certain teams. So it goes, and so it shall go, I figure, throughout the year. But you should know, I do consider different factors when ranking these teams.


Overall play (this is about 10 percent of my ranking). How good is the team's record, how has it played against good teams, how has it played against bad teams? Has the team played particularly well lately? Has the team benefitted from an inordinate number of one-run wins or an easy schedule? What's the team's run-differential?


Uniforms. These factor heavily in my choices. They should be cool, and that means no powder blue. Stability is good, because I don't like it when teams change uniforms every year (I am looking at you, Tampa Bay). Pinstripes are a plus. They're slimming. Throwbacks are a definite negativeyeah, yeah, we get it, you used to play in 1962. Yippee.


EqABTiZL#. This is a stat I use to help me rank teams. It is a very progressive stat, one beyond the comprehension of most fans and even beyond the comprehension of the computers of most fans (assuming most fans use Commodore 64s, like me). Think of it this way: If VORP and PECOTA had a child, it would need to be 10 times smarter to be EqABTiZL#.


Gut. Much of my ranking system involves my gut feeling. Before you proceed, I should warn you, it was taco night at Casa Deveney.


My anti-you bias. Whatever team you like, I dislike it from the darkest pit of my soul and rank it unfairly every week. But you knew that already.


Hope that explains it.


On to the poll


1. Arizona Diamondbacks. Is there a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than watching Brandon Webb outduel Jake Peavy in a 2-1 pitcher's paradise?


2. Los Angeles Angels. Sure, the Angels overpaid for Torii Hunter. But the way I look at it, I overpaid for the one Brooks Brothers tie I own. But it's the only tie that doesn't have a mustard stain, so as I see it, it's worth it. Like Hunter.


3. Chicago Cubs. Stick Kosuke Fukudome into what is, essentially, the same group of players from last season and the OBP goes from .333 to .367.


4. Chicago White Sox. Nabbing Carlos Quentin from the Diamondbacks ranks as one of the most underappreciated moves of the offseason.


5. Boston Red Sox. Egads! Five straight losses! A few home games against the Blue Jays should help fix that.


6. Cleveland Indians. It has been nice to see C.C. look like C.C. again. And it has been nice to see Cliff Lee look like Sandy Koufax.


7. Oakland Athletics. Ever think we might be sitting around in September, shrugging and saying the A's are a five-month fluke?


8. New York Mets. One of the positives of batting .186 is that when you get two hits, your average jumps to .205. This is Carlos Delgado's world.


9. Tampa Bay Rays. Tampa Bay has allowed the third-fewest runs in the American League. And Scott Kazmir has yet to pitch an inning for them.


10. Florida Marlins. The no-name pitching staff posted a 1.61 ERA in taking two of three from Milwaukee.


11. St. Louis Cardinals. So maybe next winter Kyle Lohse and his 2.36 ERA will get that four-year, $40 million deal, after all. What a happy ending that'd be.


12. Philadelphia Phillies. Last spring, one of the big questions was whether Pat Burrell could protect Ryan Howard in the lineup. When should we start asking whether Howard can protect Burrell?


13. New York Yankees. Chien-Ming Wang is now 5-0 with a 3.23 ERA. The team's four other starters are 5-10 with a 5.53 ERA.


14. Detroit Tigers. Guess who their leaders in wins are? That's right: Armando Galarraga, Aquilino Lopez and Clay Rapada.


15. Baltimore Orioles. Tied for No. 1 in the AL East, but No. 15 in the poll. It's tough to be an Oriole these days.


16. Milwaukee Brewers. Putting a tong-full of sauerkraut on a bratwurst is, we can all agree, a little slice of heaven. But, put that same tong-full on a peanut butter sandwich and everyone gets all freaked out.


17. Atlanta Braves. They have the third-best run-differential in the National League, which means they should be pretty good. And yet, they're not.


18. Los Angeles Dodgers. Now, there's no point booing Andruw Jones, fans. He is a better hitter than at least half the fans at Dodger Stadium.


19. Seattle Mariners. The logic for not making a bid for Frank Thomas was interesting. If they signed him, where would they stick Jose Vidro? With him hitting .195, it shouldn't be hard to think of some places to stick him.


20. Toronto Blue Jays. This team has already become one of the least interesting in the league.


21. Minnesota Twins. Just after I write about what a fabulous bargain Livan Hernandez has been, the guy goes and gives up 11 earned runs in his next 8 2/3 innings.


22. Kansas City Royals. The pitching staff has been outstanding and you figure, eventually, these guys are going to hit. You know, in 2011 or so.


23. Cincinnati Reds. Nothing against Walt Jocketty, but if the Reds turn things around and he gets all kinds of credit for it, well, that would just be plain unfair.


24. Houston Astros. I can't help but notice that Miguel Tejada has batted .391 and driven in 10 runs since the little age discrepancy incident. If it turns out he is really 46, then look out!


25. Colorado Rockies. Of the many closers who have completely flamed out in the first month of the season, Manny Corpas' decline makes the least sense.


26. San Diego Padres. In the interest of national security and for the health and well-being of America's children, the Padres' offensive numbers have been declared classified information.


27. San Francisco Giants. Before Barry Zito, the last pitcher to go 0-6 to start the season was Mike Maroth in 2003. And he wound up 9-21.


28. Pittsburgh Pirates. Sometimes I confuse Adam LaRoche and Lyndon LaRouche, but then I remember that Lyndon hits lefties better.


29. Washington Nationals. Just when you think you've seen a guy who is really struggling at the plate, the next guy comes up and he's struggling even more.


30. Texas Rangers. The pitchers have allowed seven or more runs in 10 of 20 games. It's hard to win that way.


Sean Deveney is a writer for Sporting News. E-mail him at [email protected].



*rubs eyes* Is this real?


What I bolded sounds like us :)



Royals, and Nats ones are funny.

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