Welcome to The Hardball Times Dartboard, our weekly attempt to rank all the teams in baseball. The Dartboard Factor is how many wins a team would be expected to have at the end of the season if it played a neutral schedule. Next to that, you’ll find the Dartboard Factor from the previous week. An explanation of our method can be found here.
#1 Los Angeles Dodgers (Dartboard Factor = 103, 103): A non-descript week for the long time champs of the 2009 Dartboard. Travis Schlichting might have been the most noteworthy player with his five walks and home run allowed in 2.2 innings of relief work.
#2 Boston Red Sox (Dartboard Factor = 96, 92): Solid pitching efforts from the rotation help move the Red Sox up this week, somewhat at the expense of the Yankees. A pair of dingers for David Ortiz may hint at not being completely done yet.
#3 New York Yankees (Dartboard Factor = 92, 94): Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira has good weeks at the plate, but not much to write home about from anyone else as the series against Boston was one to try and forget.
#4 Toronto Blue Jays (Dartboard Factor = 91, 90): Roy Halladay was on his way to back to back fabulous starts before an injury derailed that. Tough break for Toronto who continues to pitch well as a team, but could use more oomph in the batting order.
#5 Tampa Bay Rays (Dartboard Factor = 90, 89): Yeah, remember how the AL East was going to be the collection of the best three teams in baseball? Well it has turned into four so far. B.J. Upton struck out 10 times in just 27 PAs.
#6 Texas Rangers (Dartboard Factor = 89, 91): The loss of Josh Hamilton hurts the offense and the Andruw Jones early season rise seems to be officially over. Michael Young and Ian Kinsler had poor weeks.
#7 New York Mets (Dartboard Factor = 88, 90): Johan Santana gets pelted around in the New Coors and Livan Hernandez fared no better earlier in the week. The lineup was putrid outside of David Wright, but what a week for Wright with 12 hits in 20 at bats and four walks.
#8 Philadelphia Phillies (Dartboard Factor = 88, 89): The rotation aside from Antonio Bastardo was rather below average and the bullpen and batting order roughly the same. Nobody had a terrible week but the best line belonged to Chan Ho Park‘s 5.2 innings of shutout relief.
#9 Detroit Tigers (Dartboard Factor = 86, 86): A disaster of a game from Jeremy Bonderman, three home runs and three walks in just four innings and he is headed out of the rotation and back to the disabled list.
#10 Milwaukee Brewers (Dartboard Factor = 85, 88): Ryan Braun had five extra base hits powering him to a 1.500 OPS on the week. Conversely, poor Mat Gamel came to bat 14 times and left with one single, a home run and ten strike outs.
#11 Chicago Cubs (Dartboard Factor = 84, 86): Ryan Dempster, Ted Lilly and Carlos Zambrano combined for 21.2 innings and just two runs allowed. Even though they only struck out 11, they did limit the walks to just four.
#13 Colorado Rockies (Dartboard Factor = 83, 74): The Rockies’ winning streak is now at 11, matching the longest streak during their historic 2007 September run. The pitching has been terrific and the offense led by Troy Tulowitzki and his 1.653 OPS.
#14 Minnesota Twins (Dartboard Factor = 83, 83): Tough week for Michael Cuddyer, netting just four hits and a walk compared to eight strikeouts in 26 PAs.
#15 Los Angeles Angels (Dartboard Factor = 82, 84): Kelvim Escobar was shut down from starting after still feeling fatigue in his shoulder and the Angels seem to have abandoned the idea of him starting at all this season.
#16 Atlanta Braves (Dartboard Factor = 80, 78): Eight hits, including two doubles and a home run, plus three walks gave Nate McLouth an .879 OPS his first full week in Atlanta.
#17 Cincinnati Reds (Dartboard Factor = 79, 84): Terrible week for Ramon Hernandez with just a single single in 21 at bats. That was somehow trumped by Willy Tavares with zero hits in his 21 at bats.
#18 Cleveland Indians (Dartboard Factor = 77, 77): Just five home runs hit this week by the Indians which was only two fewer than Carl Pavano allowed in 4.2 innings.
#19 Seattle Mariners (Dartboard Factor = 77, 75): Continuing to slowly inch their way back into the AL West discussion, the Mariners have won four consecutive series and Adrian Beltre‘s bat is heating up.
#20 Arizona Diamondbacks (Dartboard Factor = 76, 74): Mark Reynolds had a big week at the plate with three home runs and three doubles leading to an .833 slugging percentage. Doug Davis and Jon Garland both had sub par performances out of the rotation. Jon Rauch, Leo Rosales and Esmerling Vasquez combined to throw 9.2 innings of relief while striking out 10 and walking none.
#22 San Diego Padres (Dartboard Factor = 75, 75): Jake Peavy looks to be out for the next couple months which all but assuredly takes him off the trade market. Tough blow for the Padres who are not going anywhere this season anyways.
#23 Florida Marlins (Dartboard Factor = 74, 72): The rotation held up well this week and the bullpen chipped in as well, and the offense was decent as well. Nothing spectacular though, keeping the Marlins from advancing any further.
#24 Kansas City Royals (Dartboard Factor = 74, 71): Finally reversing their plummet, the Royas got a great start out of Gil Meche with 11 strikeouts and no runs in seven innings.
#26 Oakland Athletics (Dartboard Factor = 72, 71): Vin Mazzaro is starting out his career with success, especially at missing bats. 187 pitches thrown in his two starts this week resulted in 21 swinging strikes.
#27 Chicago White Sox (Dartboard Factor = 71, 69): Huge week from Jim Thome. Three home runs and seven walks gave him a .400/.591/1.000 line.
#29 Baltimore Orioles (Dartboard Factor = 67, 69): Adam Jones finally cools off with a .340 OPS on the week and the pitching took another misstep.
#30 Washington Nationals (Dartboard Factor = 58, 57): With news coming this weekend that he is enrolling in a junior college, you might as well pencil the Nationals in with a huge lead in the Bryce Harper sweepstakes. In three to four years they might have the best battery in baseball.
The playoff picture takes the above ranking and reforms the teams back into their leagues and divisions including the wild card. This is in no ways a prediction, this is an assessment of how teams have played so far this season, not how each team is going to play.
Red Sox – 96
Yankees – 92
Blue Jays – 91
Rays – 90
Orioles – 67
Tigers – 86
Twins – 83
Indians – 77
Royals – 74
White Sox – 71
Rangers – 89
Angels – 82
Mariners – 77
Athletics – 72
Mets – 88
Phillies – 88
Braves – 80
Marlins – 74
Nationals – 58
Brewers – 85
Cubs – 84
Cardinals – 84
Reds – 79
Pirates – 73
Astros – 71
Dodgers – 103
Rockies – 83
Diamondbacks – 76
Giants – 76
Padres – 75