MLB Power Rankings: Surprises in the Top 10

Ethan ArnoldCorrespondent IAugust 22, 2012

Aroldis Chapman has been one of the most dominant pitchers the baseball world has seen in years.
Aroldis Chapman has been one of the most dominant pitchers the baseball world has seen in years.Andy Lyons/Getty Images

2012 has provided the baseball world with another invigorating season.

Teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals have been a pleasant surprise for many, while the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers have continued their winning ways from previous seasons.

With just over a month of the season left to play, here is how the MLB Power Rankings stack up.

10. Detroit Tigers (65-57)

Although the Tigers are the No. 10 team, they are conceivably one of the biggest disappointments in the 2012 MLB season.

After adding Prince Fielder to the Tigers' already potent offense, baseball fans looked to the Detroit Tigers to be the World Series favorites. Detroit is still just one game back in the wild card race and have all the tools to make a run in the playoffs. 

9. San Francisco Giants (67-55)

The Giants have had a quality season to date, but with the loss of Melky Cabrera to a 50-game PED suspension, San Francisco will need somebody to step up. Tim Lincecum is that guy.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner has really struggled in 2012 with a 6-13 record and a 5.29 ERA. Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain have had stellar seasons so far and if Lincecum is able to put it together then look for the Giants to give opposing teams trouble in the playoffs.

8. Chicago White Sox (67-55)

Adam Dunn has really turned things around from a year ago, compiling 36 home runs so far this season compared to just 11 last year.

The one thing that White Sox fans are probably dreading is the early end to Chris Sale's season. In his first full season in the MLB as a starter, Sale will more than likely be shut down sometime in May to avoid any type of work overload on his young arm. 

7. Tampa Bay Rays (68-55)

Just as they seem to do every year, the Rays and Joe Maddon have been able to muster up another solid season. It hasn't been the offense that has impressed, but the pitching.

David Price is making a strong case for the AL Cy Young Award, while young guns Matt Moore and Jeremy Hellickson have been nearly as efficient. The Rays could be one of the surprise teams come playoff time.

6. Pittsburgh Pirates (67-55)

After 19 consecutive losing seasons, the Pittsburgh Pirates look prime to not only have a winning season but to qualify for a playoff bid, thanks in no small part to centerfielder, Andrew McCutchen.  

McCutchen is easily the leading candidate for the NL MVP Award to date, posting a .350 average with 24 home runs and 76 RBI. The Pirates' success will depend on their pitching in the last month of the season as well as McCutchen's bat.

5. Atlanta Braves (70-53)

Chipper Jones has been playing the 2012 season like it's his last—because it is. The 40-year old has put together another solid season to add to his Hall of Fame resume, hitting .311 with 13 home runs and 54 RBI.

The Braves' hitting has been inconsistent, but pitching is one area the Braves have excelled in. Both the rotation and bullpen have been efficient throughout the year, which could take Atlanta a long ways when the playoffs roll around.

4. Texas Rangers (71-51)

Once again, Texas has strung together another impressive season, and don't be surprised if it makes a third straight World Series appearance in the 2012 MLB playoffs.

The Rangers' offense is as good as ever but the big question is if the entire roster will remain healthy for the remainder of the season.

3. New York Yankees (72-51)

Many speculated after Derek Jeter's subpar 2011 season that his career was at its end, but with a .324 average, 12 home runs, and 42 RBI, Jeter is well on his way to his eighth career 200-hit season.

With the return of C.C. Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees will be as good as ever come playoff time.

2. Washington Nationals (77-46)

The Washington Nationals have been the most surprising team in all of Major League Baseball. Yes, they have the best record, but their most effective starting pitcher, Stephen Strasburg, will more than likely be shut down before the playoffs in an attempt to preserve his young, fragile arm.

1. Cincinnati Reds (75-49)

The Cincinnati Reds have been one of the most (if not the most) impressive teams in all of baseball. With Joey Votto on the disabled list, the Reds are 25-11 without him in the lineup. Arguably the best hitter in baseball, Votto is due to return before season's end and will only make the Reds better. 


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