Almanac Baseball – Ruminating on Rankings


Statistics is a central feature of baseball. Like many fans, I take time out throughout the season to review the stats that indicate where teams and players are placed at any given time. I then project forward to the inevitability of the Red Sox winning the World Series. If only!


Although this year the Sox are well placed according to the MLB Power Rankings, there are 29 other teams between them and the mountaintop. So what does the statistical model used for the rankings tell us about the various teams a month into a six month season?


If we first look at the teams we can safely say aren’t a threat, we have some familiar names like the Tigers, Rockies and the Orioles. However, Cubs and Rangers fans would be very disappointed to see their seasons slip away so soon.


In the middle we have some teams that would still be hopeful of seeing some October action. I’d keep an eye out for the Twins and the Royals. I wouldn’t mind seeing the latter come good as a beloved son of Fenway, Andrew Benintendi, is starting to find some form. He was a great player for the Sox and is a wonderful human being. Go well Benny.


At the pointy end it is striking that 4 of the top 5 spots are National League teams – Dodgers, Brewers, Padres and Giants with the Oakland A’s sneaking into 4th. The Red Sox had that number 4 spot until they unexpectedly lost a series to the Rangers that dropped them down to 8th. The Yankees are 18th so there is at least that silver lining.


The Dodgers are still the pacesetters and look very solid but they were stitched up recently by the Padres. The San Diego franchise have spent up big with wunderkind Fernando Tatis Jr and the mercurial maestro Manny Machado having the best 1-2 punch in the majors.


The permutations and vicissitudes of the weekly changes are as expected at this stage of the season. It will probably quieten down throughout May and leading into the All Star Game but seeing teams make surges is a great feature of such a long and intense competition.


No other elite sporting competition comes close to MLB with 162 regular season games (double the NBA) followed by the postseason where a World Series winner may play another 15 or so games. The tortoise and the hare nature of this great endeavour never fails to impress your humble ruminator. Rankings come, rankings go but America’s past-time passes time like no other.



For more Ruminations, click HERE.






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Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


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Grew up playing the rugby codes in suburban Sydney. Moved to Melbourne during the Carey era so becoming a Shinboner was the natural call. Still love the game they play in heaven. Took an interest in MLB a few years back and have become infatuated with America's pastime.


  1. Daryl Schramm says

    Thanks for this Brian. I have watched none of MLB this year. No real reason. Just never got around to it. Maybe subconsciously gone off all things USA recently. So this was a handy catchup for me.
    Which of the Redsox and the Yankees are the Collingwood of the MLB (or in my case who are the Crows and Power)?
    And thanks for the education. I had to look up that “v” word!

  2. One ot the things that has always struck me is how players in the MLB move between clubs. For example a couple of seasons back I was a big fan Of Mookie Betts with Redsox, now he’s a Dodger. Similarly Pulhols was a Cardinal now he’s an Angel, the list goes on and on. About the only player I recognize with the Yankees is Judge. For all that I still enjoy watching it. Redsox is probably my favourite but I also enjoy watching the Rays, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Phillies, St Louis, and Cleveland Indians. I can’t find it in my heart to support the Yankies.

  3. Kevin Densley says

    Always good to get some MLB writing, ‘B the R’ – i enjoyed your neat encapsulation of the ‘story so far’ and look forward to more from you as the long season unfolds in its inimitable way.

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