Urban: MLB Power Rankings -- New club on top

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Urban: MLB Power Rankings -- New club on top

May 23, 2011

URBAN ARCHIVE
LAST WEEK'S RANKINGS

Editor's note: Mychael Urban's MLB power rankings -- detailing who's hot, who's not, a little why, a little how, and what it all means.

Mychael UrbanCSNBayArea.com
1 (2)
Cleveland Indians (29-15) More than 14 of season is gone; its getting harder to call it fools gold. 2 (1)
Philadelphia Phillies (28-18) No fools gold here, but wheres the beef beyond Ryan Howard?
3 (8)
St. Louis Cardinals (28-20) Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, Lance Berkman: best 1-2-3 punch going. 4 (5)
San Francisco Giants (27-19) Its not quite so torturous when you expect it to happen every day. 5 (4)
Tampa Bay Rays (26-21) 15-8 record on the road says a lot about this teams cohesion, character. 6 (6)
Florida Marlins (26-19) Josh Johnsons injury wont be as devastating as you might think. 7 (7)
Atlanta Braves (26-23) Batting average not always important. It is in the case of Dan Uggla (.185). 8 (13)
New York Yankees (25-20) One of three teams (w Phils, Fish) with winning record at home, on road. 9 (3)
Cincinnati Reds (25-22) Five-game losing streak after five-game winning streak typical of hotcold club. 10 (11)
Texas Rangers (24-23) If only because its wrong to leave division leader out of top 10. 11 (12)
Boston Red Sox (25-21) Adrian Gonzalez-fueled 8-2 run has them a half-game out in AL East. 12 (18)
Milwaukee Brewers (24-23) If they ever seriously consider dealing Ryan Braun, contract them. 13 (14)
Toronto Blue Jays (23-23) Underrated bullpen overshadowed nationally by Jose Baustista. 14 (9)
Los Angeles Angels (24-24) Bobby Abreu has as many career doubles (534) as Lou Gehrig? Wow. 15 (10)
Detroit Tigers (23-23) By far the best team in the game trailing division leader by seven games. 16 (27)
Chicago White Sox (22-26) Not a very good team overall, but this is what winning 7 of 10 gets you. 17 (28)
Seattle Mariners (22-24) By far the highest theyve appeared in these rankings; blame parity.
18 (16)
Oakland A's (22-25) Another month of wasted gems and you can forget about pre-season predictions. 19 (17)
Colorado Rockies (23-22) Simply cant afford Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki to not be great. 20 (25)
Arizona Diamondbacks (23-23) Have more than enough talent to get sneaky on everyone this summer. 21 (19)
New York Mets (22-24) Owner Fred Wilpons New Yorker interview sort of explains all the trouble. 22 (22)
Washington Nationals (21-25) Giants fans who wanted J.J. Hardy likely less enthused about prospect. 23 (20)
Baltimore Orioles (21-24) A lot of executives made a mistake in not taking a run at Vlad Guerrero. 24 (21)
Los Angeles Dodgers (21-27) With Matt Kemp cooling off, they need relief corps to get better fast. 25 (15)
Kansas City Royals (22-24) Early season feel-good story feeling very much like its run its course. 26 (23)
Pittsburgh Pirates (22-24) Perennial sub-.500 club only two games under is story worth tracking.
27 (24)
Chicago Cubs (20-25) They can hit with most everyone, but bullpen as a whole is beyond shaky.
28 (26)
San Diego Padres (19-28) Like Rays, better on road than at home. Unlike Rays, not very good anywhere. 29 (29)
Houston Astros (17-30) Wandy Rodriguez starts are worth watching. Take other four days off. 30 (30)
Minnesota Twins (15-30) Sad enough before Harmon Killebrew passed away. Now its depressing.
What's on your mind? Email Mychael and let him know. He may use it in his Mailbag.

NBA Gameday: Kings look to bounce back against shorthanded Jazz

NBA Gameday: Kings look to bounce back against shorthanded Jazz

After another last minute loss on Friday night to the New York Knicks, the Sacramento Kings jump right back into the fire Saturday night against the Utah Jazz in a brutal home and road back-to-back.

Embroiled in off-the-court controversy, forward Matt Barnes missed Friday night’s game against the Knicks with what coach Dave Joerger deemed “scheduled rest.” After sitting out 12 of the Kings’ previous 16 games as a healthy scratch, and playing just 29 total minutes since Nov. 1, veteran Anthony Tolliver got the call and filled in admirably for Barnes. Tolliver finished with 10 points and five rebounds in 27 minutes off the bench in the loss to New York.

The Jazz played without four starters Thursday night against the Golden State Warriors and lost by a final of 106-99. Joe Ingles came off Quin Snyder’s bench to score 21 points on 5-of-9 shooting from long range and big man Rudy Gobert stuffed the stat sheet with 20 points on a perfect 8-for-8 shooting night and added 17 rebounds.

OPENING LINE:
Jazz by 5.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH:
DeMarcus Cousins vs. Rudy Gobert -- Cousins continues to dominate the action for Sacramento, averaging 28.8 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. Gobert is one of the game’s best defensive bigs, posting 2.6 blocks per night for Utah. He’s improved greatly as a scorer and rebounder as well, averaging 11.6 points on an NBA-best 66.4 percent shooting, while grabbing 11.5 rebounds a game.

WHERE THEY STAND:
Kings: 8-14, fourth place in Pacific

Jazz: 14-10, second place in Northwest

INJURY REPORT:
Kings: F Matt Barnes (rest) sat out Friday night’s game, but according to coach Dave Joerger, he is expected to play Saturday night in Utah.

Jazz: PG George Hill (toe) out, SG Rodney Hood (hamstring) out, PF Derrick Favors (knee) out, G Alec Burks (knee/ankle) out. Gordon Hayward (finger) likely to play.

SERIES HISTORY:
The Kings won the season series over the Jazz 2-1 last year, but Utah leads the all-time series 99-81 and holds a 76-48 advantage during the Sacramento-era.

QUOTE:
“It hurts. What hurts the most is we’re not playing the right way. With this group that we have, with the team that we have, we should be able to play the right way throughout the whole game. We’re all veteran players. We all understand how to play, but there’s times throughout the game, you know what I mean, it don’t seem like we’re really sacrificing for one another.” -Darren Collison on the Kings’ struggles

NHL Gameday: Sharks still starved for offense ahead of meeting with 'Canes

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NHL Gameday: Sharks still starved for offense ahead of meeting with 'Canes

Programming note – Sharks-Hurricanes coverage starts today at 7:0s0 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California

WHERE THEY STAND

Sharks: 15-10-1, 31 points, 4th Pacific Division
Hurricanes: 11-10-6, 28 points, 7th Metropolitan Division

PREGAME NEWS AND NOTES

***There’s a strong chance that Aaron Dell will start in net tonight, in the second of a back-to-back. On Nov. 15 in Carolina, Dell made 32 saves but got no goal support in a 1-0 Hurricanes win over San Jose. Coach Pete DeBoer said on Friday before the Ducks game that he “hadn’t even thought” about who would start on Saturday, and with no morning skate, we won’t know until closer to game time.

Dell is 2-1-0 with a 1.93 goals-against average and .931 save percentage in four games this season.

***The Sharks are concluding a stretch tonight of eight games out of 10 in their own building, where they are 9-4-0 on the season. A four-game road trip begins on Tuesday in Toronto.

Carolina is wrapping up a three-game trip through California, losing to the Ducks in a shootout on Wednesday, 6-5, and beating the Kings on Thursday, 3-1.

***Carolina brings the NHL’s best penalty kill into the game, allowing just six goals on 75 chances (92.0 percent). San Jose has one power play goal in six of its last nine games (6-for-26, 23.0 percent), not including Brent Burns’ score on Friday, which came just one second after a power play had expired.

***San Jose has two or fewer goals in nine of its last 12 games, going 6-5-1 over that span. Of their 27 goals during that time, nearly half of them have come from Logan Couture (7g) and Burns (6g).

Burns brings a three-game goal streak into tonight’s game.

KEEP AN EYE ON...

Sharks: Kevin Labanc. The rookie forward, who turns 21 on Monday, scored against the Ducks on Friday for his third in 14 games. All three of Labanc’s goals have either tied the game or put San Jose ahead. The Sharks are desperately looking for players other than their stars to put the puck in the net, and Labanc seems to be gaining confidence after a brief stint in the AHL last weekend. 

Hurricanes: Teuvo Teravainen. Acquired from Chicago in the offseason, the 22-year-old center recorded his first career multi-goal game with Carolina on Wednesday in Anaheim. The18th overall pick in the 2012 draft, and a Finland native, has seven goals and 12 points in 27 games.

PROBABLE LINES

Sharks
Patrick Marleau – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Kevin Labanc – Logan Couture – Joel Ward
Mikkel Boedker – Chris Tierney – Joonas Donskoi
Micheal Haley – Tommy Wingels – Melker Karlsson

Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – Dylan DeMelo

Aaron Dell (likely starter)
Martin Jones

Hurricanes
Jeff Skinner – Victor Rask – Phil DiGiuseppe
Sebastian Aho – Teuvo Teravainen – Lee Stempniak
Brock McGinn – Derek Ryan – Andrej Nestrasil
Joakim Nordstrom – Jay McClement – Viktor Stalberg

Ron Hainsey – Justin Faulk
Jaccob Slavin – Brett Pesce
Noah Hanifin – Matt Tennyson

Cam Ward
Eddie Lack

INJURIES/SCRATCHES

Sharks: David Schlemko (right ankle) is questionable. Tomas Hertl (right knee sprain) is out.

Hurricanes: Elias Lindholm (lower body) is day-to-day. Bryan Bickell (MS), Jordan Staal (concussion) are out.

QUOTEABLE

“If we keep playing our game, we feel confident. We’re not giving up a whole lot. Moments in the season like this you’ve got to push through.” – Joe Pavelski, after the Sharks’ 3-2 loss in Anaheim on Friday