Team (Current Record|Last Week's Ranking)
1. Toronto Blue Jays (25-14|1)
What a team you have when both your offense and pitching are top five statistically. The Blue Birds lead the MLB in runs (223), hits (408), total bases (647), and RBI (211). They're also second in extra base hits (142) and batting average (.290). The pitching staff is also impressive, leading the American League in quality starts (21) and batting average against (.243). Playing at Boston this week will be a test to see whether this team is for real or not.
2. Texas Rangers (22-14|10)
The Rangers have won six in a row and eight out of their last ten, albeit was weak competition. The Rangers lead all of baseball in extra base hits (147), home runs (62), and slugging (.496). They're also second in the American League in runs (206) and RBI (201). Andrus is looking like a Rookie of the Year candidate. Hopefully for the Rangers, Francisco is not seriously injured or there could be bullpen problems.
3. Milwaukee Brewers (22-14|7)
The Brewers sit atop the NL Central and keep winning close games. They have won four in a row and eight out of ten. Their pitching staff has been good, with 22 quality starts (which leads the MLB) and a .239 batting average against (good for second best in the National League). Hoffman has been a great closer (9 saves, 0.00 ERA), which silenced his critics. More production is needed out of Kendall and Hardy.
4. New York Mets (21-15|5)
The Mets offense continues to shine. They lead all of baseball in batting average (.294) and on-base percentage (.373). Beltran and Wright have been playing out of their minds, but the loss of Delgado might hurt them RBI-wise. Santana continues to put up Cy numbers and Maine and Pelfrey look like they're coming around, which would make the Mets so very dangerous.
5. Los Angeles Dodgers (25-13|2)
The Dodgers do have the best record in baseball, but the after-effects of the Manny situation are just starting. Look what has happened to Andre Ethier since Manny left; his batting average has dropped .039 points and he only has two RBI. However, I don't doubt that Hudson and Kemp can carry this team. Also, Pierre has been playing extremely well. What's more impressive is the pitching staff's NL-low 3.75 ERA and MLB-low .226 batting average against.
6. Chicago Cubs (21-14|13)
The Cubs have now won five in a row without their best offensive player in Aramis Ramirez. Scales has been huge for this team, especially in clutch situations. Fotenot, Lee, Bradley, and Soto continue to struggle, as all are batting .210 are worse. Bullpen woes continue for the Cubs, but they keep getting out of the situations with their offense. Winning close games is what the Cubs have been doing.
7. Boston Red Sox (22-15|4)
Francona has finally decided to bench Big Papi after he stranded a Boston-record 12 runners on base. Injuries to Youkilis and Pedroia have put a temporary dent in this team, but when they both are healthy again, which should be soon, the Red Sox will return to normal form. The starting pitching staff is struggling, as Beckett has a 5.85 ERA, and Lester has yet to prove that he wasn't overrated with his 6.51 ERA. Also, no team allows more stolen bases (49) against them.
8. St. Louis Cardinals (21-15|3)
Their second best offensive player in Ryan Ludwick went on the disabled list this week, which could spell trouble. This means that Chris Duncan and other RBI hitters will have to step up. The pitching staff might see the return of Chris Carpenter soon, although Boggs has been an impressive in his fill-in work. Franklin blew his first save of the season, but is still pretty good out of the bullpen.
9. Philadelphia Phillies (19-16|11)
How great of a pickup was Raul Ibanez? The Phillies lead the National League in slugging (.454), home runs (50), and extra base hits (125). They come second in runs (199) and RBI (191). Where they could use help is in the pitching department. The pitching staff is the second worst in the NL in ERA (5.38) and quality starts (13). The best ERA of a starting pitcher is 4.50, which isn't going to cut it.
10. Cincinnati Reds (20-16|8)
The Reds hope that the "injuries" to Volquez and Votto are just minor and that they get healthy soon because they are key components to this team. Phillips has been phenomenal, getting nine RBI and batting .333 last week. Nix and Rosales have also provided crucial offense to the team. Cueto continues to dazzle and Owings was phenomenal last week, although Harang had a hiccup and the bullpen blew its first save of the season. They have the second best NL ERA (3.97).
11. Detroit Tigers (19-16|9)
The Tigers averaged 7.5 runs per game last week. Ordonez is heating up, as he batted .375 with five RBI in the last week. Cabrera has continued his monster year and Inge is still a five-tool threat. Jackson continues to dazzle, Porcello was great starting last week, and Verlander is his normal self. The staff needs Galarraga to get out of his struggles (5.62 ERA) and this pitching staff would be excellent.
12. New York Yankees (19-17|20)
The Yankees went 5-1 last week, as Mark Teixeira has finally started to heat up. Last week, he batted .417 with two homers and eight RBI. Cano has been going in the opposite direction, having only batted .200 with two RBI. Sabathia is also starting to play for his money, pitching nine and eight innings, yielding only two runs in his last two starts. Burnett and Pettitte need to step up.
13. Los Angeles Angels (18-17|12)
Lackey returned from the disabled list and started...only to be ejected after throwing two pitches (which was very outlandish). The Angels have the second best batting average in the American League (.283). Hunter continues to shine with his offense and defense. Weaver has been a great starter and Palmer has gotten the job done. Fuentes has cut his ERA down significantly and might be fitting in now.
14. Atlanta Braves (18-18|21)
The Braves have people who can get on base (Chipper Jones and Yunel Escobar) but need more people who can drive in runs. Their leading RBI man is Jeff Francouer, who only has 19 RBI. Jurrjens, Vazquez, and Lowe have continued with their consistent pitching. There are bullpen problems, though, as Gonzalez and Soriano have blown three saves in the past week.
15. San Francisco Giants (18-18|14)
The Giants just let a couple of close games against the Mets get away from them. Sandoval has been on-fire, batting .344 with seven RBI in the last week and Molina has continued his consistent play. The pitching staff has struggled last week, but Cain, Lincecum, and Zito are going to make some noise in the NL West. Brian Wilson also needs to perform better (9.00 ERA last week).
16. Kansas City Royals (19-18|6)
The Royals went 1-5 last week and have lost seven out of their last ten. Callaspo is their best and most consistent offensive player, while Jacobs has been heating up, but those two cannot carry the team. Guillen has to step up. Greinke continues his monster success while Bannister has been nothing short of spectacular. Meche, Davies, and Hochevar need to do a lot better. The pitching staff has an MLB-best ERA of 3.63.
17. Tampa Bay Rays (18-20|17)
The Rays lead the Majors with 65 stolen bases and are the second best AL team in hits (361). Hopefully Crawford returns to full health. Bartlett is the best shortstop in the AL right now. Upton might finally be out of his slump with two home runs in the past two days. Pena has been struggling, as with Navarro (who should be benched for Hernandez). Kazmir's 6.97 ERA is definitely not going to cut it.
18. Minnesota Twins (18-19|16)
Morneau is a legitimate triple crown threat. Kubel continues to have his monster season. Mauer has been better than ever coming off of his injury. The problem? The pitching staff. No starter has an ERA below 4.25. Lirinao, Slowey, and Blackburn were good last week, but that's the problem. They're inconsistent as they need to perform every week. Their best starter, Perkins, is the one that struggled last week.
19. Florida Marlins (18-19|15)
Hanley Ramirez is the only stable and consistent offense this team has. Cantu and Uggla can drive in runs, but they can barely get on base (batting .266 and .187 respectively). Their best starter, Johson, went down with injury and the rest of the staff, including Volstad, is struggling. They were once on pace to win 148 games...
20. Houston Astros (16-19|22)
Six everyday starters batted .375 or better last week. That's insane. The Big Puma is finally starting to play well and Pence, Lee, and Tejada have continued their consistent, good play. Pudge has come big in key situations. Wandy Rodriguez is looking like a Cy Young candidate although their ace, Oswalt, continues to struggle. Hawkins has been a good fill-in for Valverde.
21. Seattle Mariners (17-20|19)
Ichiro and Branyan are all this offense has. Griffey isn't so good, and Lopez and Beltre can't get on base. Their leader in RBI only has 19. Bedard, King Felix, and Washburn have continued their impressive seasons, but Morrow blew two saves last week. No pitching staff in the American League gets less run support per game (3.98).
22. Baltimore Orioles (16-21|23)
The Orioles have such a good offense. That is offset by their terrible pitching. They have two all-star starters in Jones and Markakis. Mora and Huff have also been on-fire last week. The pitching staff has added Rich Hill to the rotation, who didn't fare to well in Chicago. Uehara is okay, but inconsistent, and the rest of the starters (Guthrie, Bergesen, Eaton) stink with ERAs over 5.20. They are the worst team in quality starts (11) and batting average against (.297).
23. San Diego Padres (15-22|24)
It's pretty bad when your leader in wins isn't a starter (Meredith, four). Gonzalez has continued his offensive tear, driving in nine RBI and batting .333 last week (including homering in five straight games). Hairston also has been getting on base. The bullpen continues to pitch well, but starting pitching staff (including Peavy and Young) has to perform better.
24. Chicago White Sox (15-20|18)
Konerko, Buehrle, and Jenks are the lone bright spots on this team. They are the worst team in all of baseball in runs (140) and RBI (135). They're also bottom-two in the American League in hits (288), extra base hits (87), total bases (449), and batting average (.247). The bullpen has been pretty good, but the starting pitchers have mostly stunk.
25. Pittsburgh Pirates (15-21|27)
This team shouldn't be this bad. They lead all of baseball with 22 quality starts. Maholm, Duke, and Ohlendorf were fantastic last week. Nyjer Morgan has been consistently good (All-Star like) and Moss batted .529 last week. The Bucs need somebody to provide them consistent offense as they're the second worst NL team in total bases (477).
26. Oakland Athletics (13-20|25)
The A's are bottom two in the American League in every offensive category with 142 runs, 273 hits, 77 extra base hits, 19 home runs, 391 total bases, 137 RBI, a .236 batting average, .309 on-base percentage, and .338 slugging. Holliday has been heating up and Suzuki has continued his All-Star campaign, but that's pretty much it. Braden and Cahill are consistent pitchers but more is needed from the rest of the starters.
27. Colorado Rockies (14-21|29)
Hawpe and Helton are amazing, having batted .474 and .400 respectively last week. Hawpe had 12 RBI. Too bad nobody else on the team provides consistent enough offense. De La Rosa has pitched fantastically, but gets no run support (0-3, 3.16 ERA). The staff needs Cook to be better and Marquis to be more consistent (nine earned runs in 3.2 innings last week).
28. Cleveland Indians (14-24|30)
The pitching of the Tribe is just so bad. They are the worst AL team in ERA (5.59) and batting average against (.285). The offense is there, specifically from Choo, Martinez, Cabrera, and now Peralta's heating up. Lee continues to pitch well, but that's about it, as Pavano, Reyes, and Sowers continue their struggles.
29. Arizona Diamonbacks (14-23|26)
This team has zero offense. They are bottom two in the National League in runs (144), hits (289), RBI (138), on-base percentage (.310), and batting average (.234). Upton and Lopez are the only two D'backs having good years. Davis and Scherzer have pitched better, but the pitching staff gets the second least amount of run support in baseball (3.92).
30. Washington Nationals (11-24|28)
The Nats have fallen back into the last spot. Their offense is splendid, as they're the second best NL team in total bases (568) and on-base percentage (.360). The problem is their pitching with a Major League worst 5.70 ERA and 11 blown saves. They also have the National League worst batting average against (.292) and quality starts (12).
The Texas Rangers and New York Yankees both climbed up eight spots. The Rangers climbed up to No. 2 from No. 10 by winning six in a row and the Yankees climbed up to No. 12 from No. 20 by winning four in a row.
The Kansas City Royals dropped ten spots from No. 6 to No. 16 by going 1-5 last week.
Best team average
The Toronto Blue Jays have the best ranking average (1.5) by maintaining the top spot for five weeks and being fourth once.
Worst team average
The Washington Nationals have the worst team ranking (29.67) by maintaining the bottom spot for five week and being No. 28 once.
Teams yet to fall out of the top 10
Blue Jays, Dodgers, and Cardinals
Teams yet to climb out of the bottom 10
Nationals and Indians
Teams who have not done worse since Week One
Prediction of the Week
Mariners will go 1-6
Division Rankings/Picture (Record|Last Week's Ranking)
*Divisional rankings are based on the average power rankings.
1. AL East (100-87|1): Tor (1), Bos (7), Nyy (12), Tam (17), Bal (22)
2. NL Central (115-99|2): Mil (3), Chc (6), Stl (8), Cin (10), Hou (20), Pit (25)
3. NL East (87-92|4): Nym (4), Phi (9), Atl (14), Fla (19), Was (30)
4. AL West (70-71|5): Tex (2), Laa (13), Sea (21), Oak (26)
5. AL Central (85-97|3): Det (11), Kan (16), Min (18), Cws (24), Cle (28)
6. NL West (86-97|6): Lad (5), Saf (15), Sad (23), Col (27), Ari (29)
If the playoffs started today...
1. Toronto vs. 3. Detroit
2. Texas vs. 4. Boston
1. Los Angeles vs. 4. Chicago
2. Milwaukee vs. 3. New York
If awards were given out today...
AL MVP: Evan Longoria (Tampa Bay Rays)
NL MVP: Raul Ibanez (Philadelphia Phillies)
AL Cy: Zack Greinke (Kansas City Royals)
NL Cy: Johan Santana (New York Mets)
AL RoY: Robert Ray (Toronto Blue Jays)
NL RoY: Colby Rasmus (St. Louis Cardinals)
AL MoY: Cito Gaston (Toronto Blue Jays)
NL MoY: Jerry Manuel (New York Mets)
AL Comeback: Victor Martinez (Cleveland Indians)
NL Comeback: Nick Johnson (Washington Nationals)
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