I’ve never been a fan of power rankings.
I think they’re silly and worthless, especially this early in the season. (Come on, Dan, tell us how you really feel.)
But when I saw the Nationals ranked sixth on ESPN.com’s power rankings yesterday, I had to crack a smile. This is a team that has the second-most wins in the majors, has won 10 of its last 12 and has a pitching staff which is far and away the filthiest in the league so far this season.
I’ll say it again - power rankings are a waste of time.
Speaking of this pitching staff, I’ve got a few ridiculous statistics to pass along which show this group’s dominance through the first 16 games of the 2012 campaign:
All five guys in the Nationals’ starting rotation rank in the top 19 in the majors in batting average against.
All five Nats starters rank in the top 21 in WHIP.
All five rank in the top 24 in on-base percentage against.
All five rank in the top 31 in OPS against.
All five rank in the top 31 in strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Four of the five (excluding Edwin Jackson) rank in the top 22 in ERA.
Four of the five (excluding Jordan Zimmermann) rank in the top 28 in strikeouts per nine innings.
As a whole, the Nats rotation leads the majors in ERA, batting average against, WHIP, on-base percentage against and OPS against. And all of those categories aren’t even close; the Nationals blow the competition out of the water.
The Nationals’ starters have allowed just two home runs in 98 2/3 innings this season, and if you include the relievers, Washington’s staff has given up just three longballs in 150 innings.
To give you an idea of just how impressive that number is, the team that’s allowed the second-fewest homers this season (Pittsburgh) has given up eight round-trippers in 130 innings.
There’s no way those numbers remain that impressive throughout the course of the season, but this sure has been fun to watch so far.
Tonight, it’s Gio Gonzalez’s turn to head back to the hill as the Nats kick off a three-game series against the Padres. If the lefty’s start is anything like his last two (a combined 14 innings, no runs, four hits, two walks, 15 strikeouts), Padres hitters will be left walking away from the plate as baffled as I was when clicking around ESPN.com yesterday.