June 2nd, 2023 Week 9: MLB News and Rankings

June 2nd, 2023 Week 9: MLB News and Rankings

WEEK 9: MLB News and Rankings

As we count down the days to the highly anticipated MLB All-Star break on July 11th, our excitement is amplified by the approaching celebration of Father's Day. This year, we invite you to seize the opportunity to create an extraordinary moment for your dad. Picture the sheer delight on his face when you present him with a beautifully crafted wine bottle, elegantly displaying the emblem and vibrant colors of his beloved MLB team. Don't miss out on this chance to become Dad's ultimate favorite by bestowing upon him a truly remarkable gift—a one-of-a-kind wine bottle that intertwines his team's spirit with the heartfelt significance of Father's Day.

Now, take a look at the MLB's hottest on the mound.

    1. Rays' Fireballer Shane McClanahan Blazes His Way to the Top: It's no surprise that the Rays' ace has claimed the coveted No. 1 position, but what's astonishing is the journey it took for him to arrive. McClanahan, now sporting an impressive 8-1 record, flaunts a minuscule 2.07 ERA and has recorded a staggering 82 strikeouts, placing him in the Triple Crown conversation. As a 26-year-old southpaw, he reigns supreme in the American League, leading in wins, securing second place in ERA, and standing tall at third in strikeouts.

    2. Braves' Phenom Spencer Strider: The Epitome of Pitching Dominance: Strider makes a strong case as the most unrivaled hurler in all of baseball. With an extraordinary 106 strikeouts, he sits atop the Majors, leaving the competition trailing behind, including the formidable Shohei Ohtani by a margin of 16. Astonishingly, Strider has achieved this feat in just 63 2/3 innings, boasting an outrageous 15 strikeouts per nine innings (K/9). If he maintains this incredible pace, he could potentially join the exclusive club of pitchers with 300 strikeouts in a season, a feat not seen since Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander accomplished it in 2019.

    3. Sonny Gray of the Twins: The AL's Impeccable ERA Leader: Holding steady in the third spot of our power rankings for the third consecutive time is the Twins' very own Sonny Gray. Continuously displaying his crafty finesse, Gray showcases an exceptional 1.94 ERA. This seasoned veteran wields an arsenal of six different pitches, keeping opponents off-balance and incapable of cracking the code. In a remarkable display of skill, Gray has yet to surrender more than three runs in a single start this season. What sets him apart even further is his unmatched achievement as the only qualified starter who has not conceded a single home run.

    4. Rangers' Ace Nathan Eovaldi: Carrying the Torch in deGrom's Absence: With Jacob deGrom temporarily sidelined, Eovaldi has stepped into the role of the Rangers' ace with remarkable prowess. The month of May proved to be a monstrous one for him, culminating in an impressive 4-0 record accompanied by a minuscule 0.96 ERA. Showcasing incredible stamina, Eovaldi consistently averages nearly 7 2/3 innings per start, a testament to his reliability on the mound. Leading the Majors with an astounding 74 1/3 innings pitched and two complete games, he effortlessly secures a top-five spot in the AL for ERA.

    5. Astros' Sensation Framber Valdez Steps into the Spotlight: Last year, Valdez's brilliance often remained overshadowed by the presence of Justin Verlander. However, the tables have turned, and Valdez has emerged as Houston's true ace, proving his mettle on the mound. With a stellar 2.38 ERA, placing him fourth in the AL, and an impressive tally of 77 strikeouts, ranking him sixth overall, Valdez confidently makes his debut in the Starting Pitcher Power Rankings this season. The spotlight is now his, and he intends to shine.

Week 9 - Power Rankings

  1. TB Rays (40-18)
  2. Atlanta Braves (33-23)
  3. LA Dodgers (34-23) 
  4. Baltimore Orioles (35-21)
  5. Texas Rangers (35-20)
  6. New York Yankees (34-24)
  7. Houston Astros (32-23) 
  8. Minnesota Twins (29-27)
  9. Toronto Blue Jays (29-27)
  10. Boston Red Sox (28-27)

(New) Hottest Teams

  1. D-Backs A Team Thriving in the Shadows of the Standings: The Diamondbacks may not possess the star power of their higher-ranked counterparts, and they have noticeable gaps in both their lineup and pitching staff. However, they are far from wilting under the summer heat, excelling in the often overlooked nuances of the game. Their ability to rarely swing and miss is a testament to their disciplined approach. Moreover, the Diamondbacks hold the highest platoon advantage percentage in the NL, batting with favorable matchups 66.3 percent of the time. Notably, they have flawlessly executed every sacrifice bunt attempt, boasting a perfect 100-percent success rate, a feat unmatched by any other team. Defensively, they are a force to be reckoned with, allowing the fewest stolen bases (17) and the lowest stolen base success rate (53 percent) in the new stolen base era. Arizona's proficiency in these unheralded aspects of the game positions them to make significant strides, potentially adding reinforcements at the trade deadline and defying the odds with extraordinary success.

  2. Mariners Are the Mariners the Unparalleled Pitching Powerhouse? The evidence certainly points in that direction. Not only do they lead the league in OPS against, but they also set the bar in FIP (3.38) and home run rate (2.2 percent). With the exception of Marco Gonzalez, who has still performed admirably despite his ERA, every other pitcher on the Mariners' staff has been exceptional. The emergence of Bryce Miller has been nothing short of remarkable, while Logan Gilbert has been consistently reliable. However, the Mariners' offensive struggles prevent them from being a guaranteed postseason contender, languishing at the bottom or near the bottom in several offensive categories. For instance, their .284 on-base percentage when leading off an inning ranks second-worst in MLB, while their 83 sOPS+ when ahead in the count is also among the league's lowest. Additionally, their 34.8-percent advance rate with a runner on second and no outs places them last in the majors. The Mariners' collective struggles at the plate, especially in crucial moments, hinder their potential to capitalize on their exceptional pitching staff.

  3. Giants The Giants have embarked on an impressive journey to climb above the .500 mark, yet their style of play remains perplexing. Despite excelling in bunt hits, their offensive profile contradicts traditional small-ball expectations. San Francisco hitters exhibit the highest strikeout rate (25.9 percent) and the lowest ball-in-play rate (60 percent) in the NL. Simultaneously, they rank among the league's top teams in launching balls over the outfield walls. It wasn't long ago that the Giants struggled to deliver home runs, but they have now undergone a transformative shift in offensive approach. While they have become less reliant on contact, opting for power, their unexpected prowess in bunt hits catches opponents off guard. The Giants' dynamic offensive transformation is key to their success, as they navigate the delicate balance between raw power and strategic finesse.

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