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Offbeat MLB power rankings: Are the Mariners for real? We're about to find out

20:34  11 june  2018
20:34  11 june  2018 Source:   usatoday.com

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We ' re about to find out . Perhaps the time has come to take the Seattle Mariners seriously. Oh, it's possible their .631 winning percentage and first place standing in the AL West is as much about schedule - they've played 26 games against the Rays, Tigers and Rangers and zero against the

We ' re about to find out . Perhaps the time has come to take the Mariners seriously. For now, however, the Mariners are 41-24, in a virtual tie with the Houston Astros atop the West and have reached a season-high fourth in USA TODAY Sports' power rankings .

a group of baseball players standing on top of a field: Mariners shortstop Jean Segura and second baseman Dee Gordon celebrate a win. © Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports Mariners shortstop Jean Segura and second baseman Dee Gordon celebrate a win.

Perhaps the time has come to take the Seattle Mariners seriously.

Oh, it's possible their .631 winning percentage and first place standing in the AL West is as much about schedule - they've played 26 games against the Rays, Tigers and Rangers and zero against the Yankees and Red Sox - as it is sustainability.

And perhaps at some point they'll actually feel the loss of Robinson Cano to an 80-game drug suspension, rather than whistling on up the standings without their franchise player.

For now, however, the Mariners are 41-24, in a virtual tie with the Houston Astros atop the West and have reached a season-high fourth in USA TODAY Sports' power rankings.

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While the power rankings are how good a team is right now, the "who has the best chance to win the World Series?" rankings are sort of my educated guess. Two months ago, mentioning Yu Darvish being able to opt out of his contract would've been laughable, but it appears there's a real decision to

One series that stands out on the schedule this week will be a short one, but also one of the more intriguing. The Mariners , winners of four straight, are But it's notable that the Mariners are doing this while walking an offensive tightrope. Their plus-17 run differential ranks 14th in baseball , among 16

They trail only those beasts of the East - the Yankees (back at No. 1), Red Sox and Astros. And now, they're embarking on a 13-game run against the Angels, Red Sox and Yankees.

Be sure to check back next week. For now, from 1 to 30, how they stack up based on voting from our nine-person panel:

TEAM | MOVEMENT

1. New York Yankees (+1)

►Tanaka injury a reminder starting pitching depth a relatively urgent need.

2. Boston Red Sox (-1)

►Just eight runs scored in their last four games, but series at Baltimore could cure that.

3. Houston Astros (--)

►George Springer has five leadoff home runs already.

4. Seattle Mariners (+2)

►Could be biggest beneficiaries of Shohei Ohtani's injury.

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To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs. The Boston Red Sox claimed the top spot in our rankings by the narrowest of margins over the New 5. Seattle Mariners (+4). ►On a 100-win pace. And we ' re officially in the second half. MORE MLB .

As we present one of the final Power Rankings rundowns of the 2016 regular season, it should be noted the Giants and Dodgers play each other six more times over the next two weeks, which could 26. The Wild Card is more attainable. They' re neck-and-neck with the Mariners , two games out .

5. Milwaukee Brewers (-1)

►Per Inside Edge, hitters are 0-for-80 with 64 strikeouts on 0-2, 1-2, 2-2 counts vs. Josh Hader.

6. Chicago Cubs (+1)

►"Slumping" Kris Bryant takes a turn in the leadoff spot.

7. Washington Nationals (-1)

►Daniel Murphy should return this week.

8. Atlanta Braves (-3)

►Mike Soroka ready for return from DL.

9. Los Angeles Angels (+2)

►Thought: If Shohei Ohtani needs Tommy John surgery, he should return in 2019 as hitter, 2020 as pitcher.

10. Cleveland Indians (-2)

►Klubot, indeed: Corey Kluber has allowed three or fewer runs in 26 consecutive starts.

11. Arizona Diamondbacks (+2)

►Back in first, and the Goldschmidt impostor wearing 44 has also vanished.

12. St. Louis Cardinals (-3)

►Carlos Martinez's return from DL - seven walks, five earned runs - not too encouraging.

13. Los Angeles Dodgers (+1)

►Go 9-4 in stretch where relievers pitched nearly 20 more innings than starters.

14. Philadelphia Phillies (-4)

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They' re without Carlos Correa at least until the end of the week, and they haven't gotten much production out of George Springer, who was in a considerable slump before he was 5. Mariners (7) The Mariners , riding a seven-game winning streak after sweeping Baltimore and Kansas City, have

Power Rankings Top 5 1. Red Sox (1 last week) The Red Sox were swept for the first time since last August, and they've lost six of eight, with the starters 4. Cubs (5) It's still too early to count out the Cardinals and Brewers, but the Cubs are starting to create a little comfort for themselves at the top of

►Lost four of five after Jake Arrieta's "Something has to change" tirade.

15. Oakland Athletics (+1)

►24-10 when they score first.

16. San Francisco Giants (+2)

►Brandon Crawford on six-week tear: 57-for-131 (.435) since May 1, pushing average to .335.

17. Colorado Rockies (-1)

►They could get left behind quickly - everyone else in NL West playing well at the moment.

18. Pittsburgh Pirates (-3)

►Jung Ho Kang joins Class AAA Indianapolis as big league return nears.

19. Toronto Blue Jays (+4)

►.A mere 56 hits in four-game series vs. Orioles.

20. Detroit Tigers (+1)

►Jeimer Candelario on a nifty 23-home run pace.

21. Tampa Bay Rays (+3)

►Jake Bauers joins Willy Adames as top prospect making season debut.

22. Minnesota Twins (--)

►Shortstops produce respectable .753 OPS in Jorge Polanco's absence. He's back July 2.

23. San Diego Padres (+1)

►Should they be considered legit contenders for NL West crown?

24. New York Mets (-4)

►Is Dominic Smith ready to stick? We'll find out.

25. Texas Rangers (--)

►GM Jon Daniels gets contract extension as re-tooling looms in July.

26. Cincinnati Reds (+1)

►Billy Hamilton open to giving up switch-hitting.

27. Chicago White Sox (+2)

►.306 on-base percentage ranks 14th in AL.

28. Kansas City Royals (-2)

►Danny Duffy turning it around: 2-0, 2.10 ERA in last four starts.

29. Miami Marlins (-1)

►25th anniversay get-together a reminder those teal unis were pretty solid.

30. Baltimore Orioles (--)

►Have given up at least 10 runs nine times.

Paul Sullivan: Dodgers and Cubs could be headed for another postseason showdown .
Five thoughts from the week in baseball: It was around this time last year that the Dodgers went on a hot streak that put them on pace to break the all-time record of 116 wins in a season. They were 35-25 on June 7 before going 46-11 over their next 57 games, virtually wrapping up the National League West by August. The Dodgers beat the Cubs 4-1 in the NL Championship Series with Clayton Kershaw, Yu Darvish and Rich Hill limiting the Cubs to five earned runs in a combined 22 1/3 innings over their four starts.The Cubs simply lost to a better team, most of the experts said.

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