Team (Current Record|Last Week's Ranking)
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (41-22|1)
The offense functionally disappeared last week. Pierre, Loney, and Hudson have cooled off significantly. Kemp has sustained his good play (.353 avg/5 RBI/1.095 OPS last week). Despite that, the Dodgers still are second in the National League in batting average (.278) and on-base percentage (.357).
The pitching staff was even worse as Wolf and Billingsley finally came down to Earth and Kershaw and Kuroda struggled. Also, Milton has gone on the DL, which is a blow to the Majors' best pitching staff that has a 3.59 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, and .235 batting average against.
2. Boston Red Sox (38-24|3)
The Red Sox have now won five in a row, and against good teams in the Yankees and Phillies. Bay and Youkilis have continued their All-Star campaigns. Even Kotsay has played well. It's too early to tell if Big Papi is out of his slump (.294 avg/2 HR/1.047 OPS last week).
Beckett and Lester have continued their spectacular play since struggling early and Penny threw a gem last week. The bullpen continues to be the best in the Majors, but Dice-K and Wakefield have been less than impressive in their last couple of outings.
3. Texas Rangers (35-26|6)
We all know how great this offense is, but how surprisingly good has the Rangers pitching staff been? Milwood and Padilla had a combined 0.92 ERA last week. O'Day out of the bullpen has continued to shine (0.67 ERA on the season).
Holland needs to be a more consistent starter, especially since McCarthy has gone on the DL. Murphy has stepped up (.400 avg/1.000 OPS last week) when Kinsler and Cruz combined for a total of one RBI last week.
Hamilton expects to be back right before the All-Star game, which would give this offense a boost.
4. Philadelphia Phillies (35-25|2)
Hamels and Bastardo had awful outings last week as did Moyer and Happ. The Phillies better hope that their potent offense can carry a team with the second worst pitching staff in the NL (4.66 ERA). Madson has been a better closer than Lidge.
Utley continues to be the best second baseman in the game. Ibanez has been clutch and Feliz has played extremely well (.364 avg/5 RBI/.920 OPS last week). The Phillies lead the National League in runs (326), home runs (89), RBI (313), total bases (966), slugging (.460), and extra base hits (228).
5. New York Yankees (35-27|4)
An 0-8 record against Boston and what should be an 0-2 record against the Mets does not spell good things. The starting pitching staff has been awful, as no starter had an ERA below 4.50 last week.
Burnett has been a waste of money, Pettitte continues to show signs of age, and Wang can't hit his spots. A-Rod, Cabrera, and Damon have struggled offensively, while Swisher and Teixeira have been hot.
The Bronx Bombers are the Majors' best in home runs (100), total bases (1032), slugging (.477), and extra base hits (233).
6. San Francisco Giants (33-28|13)
Combine the best one-two pitching staff (Lincecum, Cain) in baseball with consistent good performances from Sanchez, Johnson, and eventually Zito, the Giants will make some noise in the National League.
They have the second best ERA in the NL (3.65) and a .238 batting average against. Molina (.350 avg/7 RBI/1.064 OPS last week) and Sandoval (.500 avg/3 RBI/1.228 OPS last week) have been fantastic for an offense that really isn't that good.
No team in baseball gets on base less (.312) or has less home runs (32) and RBI (224).
7. Detroit Tigers (34-28|10)
Verlander is vying to be the Cliff Lee of last year as he's certainly in the running for Comeback Player of the Year and the Cy Young award. Jackson and Porcello have continued their good, consistent play, but Willis and Galarraga still haven't learned how to return to their winning ways. The pitching staff has the second best ERA in the American League (4.03).
Offensively, Thames has been hot (.364 avg/1.127 OPS last week) as has Everett (.318 avg/6 RBI). More is needed from Magglio and Cabrera, who combined for one RBI last week.
8. St. Louis Cardinals (34-29|8)
Colby Rasmus is the frontrunner for Rookie of the Year (.364 avg/4 RBI/1.000 OPS last week). Ankiel and Ryan have ben playing extremely well while Pujols continues to do his thing (4 HR/8 RBI/1.103 OPS last week).
More offense is needed from Molina (who has been overrated), Ludwick, and Schumaker (.167 avg last week). Thompson has pitched well, while the rest of the starting pitching staff struggled last week.
9. New York Mets (32-28|11)
Castillo's error against the Yankees was pretty embarassing, but the team rebounded well. Their offense is riddled with injuries. Wright might be the best player in baseball at the moment (.560 avg/21 total bases/1.461 OPS last week).
Santos has been clutch while Beltran and Church have played well. Santana finally struggled, while Nieve looked like a really promising starting pitcher. Pelfrey, Redding, and Hernandez have to become more consistent.
The Mets have the second best bullpen in baseball (2.94 ERA).
10. Milwaukee Brewers (34-28|5)
The Brewers went 1-5 last week, and it doesn't help that Prince Fielder had a .217 batting average with one RBI. Counsell and Cameron batting .111 isn't going to help, either. Braun's been hot in the losing cause (.375 avg/8 RBI/1.256 OPS last week) as has McGehee.
Parra has struggled his way down to the minors. The rest of the starting pitching staff has played decent, but lack of run support is costing them the Ws. The batting average against the pitching staff is a tiny .244.
11. Tampa Bay Rays (33-31|14)
This ranking may be a little high and inflated by an easy schedule, but note that no other team in baseball is top-5 in all of these categories: runs (362), hits (603), home runs (84), RBI (342), total bases (1011), batting average (.273), on-base percentage (.355), slugging (.458), and extra base hits (228).
They also lead the league in stolen bases, already at 103, getting their in the least amount of games. The pitching staff has been subpar, so the Rays look for their offense to carry them.
12. Toronto Blue Jays (34-30|7)
The Blue Jays have finally played their way out of the top-ten. Halladay left his last start early and is listed as day-to-day, which could be devastating. Tallet and Romero pitched well last week, while Janssen has been garbage.
Scutaro has continued his excellent play while Rios has finally started to heat up (.400 avg/15 total bases/1.023 OPS last week). Hill has still been underrated compared to Kinsler (.318 avg/6 RBI/1.044 OPS last week). Wells needs to get back on track offensively.
13. Los Angeles Angels (31-29|12)
Torii Hunter's three-homer game has finally brought attention to his MVP season. He's been on-fire (.400 avg/6 RBI/1.737 OPS last week). Figgins, Aybar, Abreu, and Rivera have also been playing fantastically.
Vlad has been swinging the bat better, but there's problems at the catcher position. Weaver could be the underrated pitcher of the year. Lackey and Santana are playing furtherest from their All-Star selves and the bullpen continues to be the worst in all of baseball (5.84 ERA and .291 batting average against).
14. Cincinnati Reds (31-30|9)
Gomes (.375 avg/1.138 OPS last week) and Hanigan (.300 avg/4 RBI) have played well, but there is zero production else where. This team seriously needs Votto to return from his "personal problem" and he can return whenever he wants.
The Reds are bottom-five in the league in batting average (.244) and hits (507). The bullpen which has been good this year has blown two saves in the past week (half of this season's total). Cueto continues to dazzle and Owings has pitched well in his last two outings.
15. Colorado Rockies (30-32|27)
The Rockies have now won ten in a row. During that span, the pitching staff has had a 2.70 ERA and 2.57 K:BB ratio. The offense has also average 6.6 runs, 9.9 hits, and a .288 batting average per game.
Tulowitzki has been phenomenal (.429 avg/5 RBI/1.508 OPS last week) as has Barmes (.414 avg/8 RBI/1.075 OPS last week). Who would have thought Colorado could play so good when their two best players (Hawpe and Helton) haven't been playing at the top of their game.
The pitching staff leads the league in quality starts (37).
16. Atlanta Braves (30-31|21)
Brian McCann has been on-fire (.455 avg/7 RBI/1.247 OPS last week). Escobar has continued his good play and Anderson has been heating up. Vazquez, Lowe, and Jurrjens continue to pitch well, but get no run support, so they don't have the wins to show for it.
Hanson has had one really bad outing, and one decent outing, while Kawakami has been too inconsistent. McLouth hasn't done anything special yet, but a key question is what the Braves will get in return for Francouer on the market.
17. Minnesota Twins (32-32|16)
Can Mauer hit .400 this year? If he continue to bat as he is now and keeps his at-bats low, it's a strong possibility. Mauer, Morneau, and Kubel could be the best two-three-four punch in baseball.
Things are going good for the Twins as even Delmon Young is playing well. Casilla has been optioned again, which he isn't happy about and Crede and Cuddyer have been struggling. Swarzak has been good, but optioned, which is eerie since the rest of the staff has been inconsistent.
18. Florida Marlins (31-33|19)
Two of the Marlins' best offensive players were Gload (.471 avg/3 RBI/1.353 OPS last week) and Coghlan (.407 avg/1.059 OPS last week). Hermida continues to be a consistent producer and Hanley continues his All-Star campaign.
Uggla has been ugly. West has been a good starting pitcher and Nolasco has been spectacular since returning. Johnson continues to be one of the best starting pitchers in baseball, while Nunez and Martinez have struggled out of the bullpen.
19. Houston Astros (28-32|24)
The Big Puma cranked out his 300th career home run and Tejada hit his 2,000th hit. Blum has been clutch, while problems are likely to arise with Lee having potential injury. Pudge has struggled and Pence has finally returned to Earth (.056 avg/0 RBI last week).
Oswalt and Rodriguez have pitched well recently but the rest of the starting pitching staff stinks, contributing to one of the Majors' worst pitching staffs (24 quality starts, 1.47 WHIP, and .277 batting average against).
20. Chicago Cubs (29-30|15)
How does a team go 2-4 when the pitching staff threw an MLB-best 2.47 ERA last week? This once potent offense is now one of the worst in baseball, being bottom-five in runs (250), RBI (238), and batting average (.246).
Lee is playing extremely well, but Soriano is struggling and Cubs fans want the head of Bradley on a platter. Harden looked good in his return, and Zambrano, Lilly, and Dempster all looked phenomenal last week.
21. Chicago White Sox (29-34|20)
A group of frustrating losses happened to the White Sox last week. When there's offense, there's no pitching and vice-versa. Contreras has been extraordinary since his return (16 scoreless innings, 3 hits, 3 walks, 11 strikeouts).
Danks and Floyd have looked like their last year's selves last week while Buehrle and Richard need to pitch more consistently. The White Sox only have 159 extra base hits and .392 slugging, both good for second worst in the American League.
22. Seattle Mariners (30-32|18)
The M's continue to have the best pitching staff in the American League, boasting a 3.68 ERA. Bedard might be injured, which is not a good sign, but King Felix and Olson have continued to pitch out of their minds.
Too bad this team has absolutely no consistent offense. Lopez played well last week (.400 avg/4 HR/9 RBI/1.305 OPS), as did Beltre, Ichiro, and Branyan. The problem is nobody on this team drives in runs consistently, and Griffey continuosly comes up short.
23. Pittsburgh Pirates (29-33|22)
McCutchen has been good since being called up (.333 avg/4 RBI last week). That's had an effect on Morgan though, whose batting average has dropped .055 points and on-base percentage .095 points since being moved to the number two spot.
Sanchez has continued to play well, while Moss has stunk (.059 avg last week). Maholm pitched well last week and Duke joins the group of underrated pitchers in baseball.
24. Cleveland Indians (28-36|25)
The pitching staff continues to be one of the worst in the American League. It's bottom-two in ERA (5.15), quality starts (26), and WHIP (1.51). Pavano and Lee have finally cooled down. Offense hasn't been that much of a problem.
Martinez and Choo continue to dazzle while DeRosa's trade value continues to skyrocket. There hasn't been a consistent replacement for Cabrera in the lineup, and Hafner hasn't done anything since returning from the DL.
25. Oakland Athletics (27-34|17)
The A's have maybe the worst offense in baseball. They are the worst team in total bases (744), batting average (.236), slugging (.358), and extra base hits (150). They're also bottom-three in on-base percentage (.313) and hits (491).
Kennedy has been a great acquisition. Will they trade Holliday? Braden and Cahill continue to pitch well and Mazzaro has been phenomenal for a rookie starting pitcher.
26. San Diego Padres (28-33|23)
When Adrian Gonzalez has zero RBI during the week, you know this team is going to struggle. Kouzmanoff has been on-fire (.400 avg/12 RBI/1.240 OPS last week) as has Eckstein and Gwynn. No offense in the National League has less hits (487) or smaller batting average (.237).
The Friars have lost Peavy for a month, which is definitely going to hurt their starting pitching staff as Gaudin, Geer, and Young continue their struggles.
27. Kansas City Royals (27-34|28)
The Royals are losing in every way possible, including blaming the seagulls at Progressive Field. Callapso, the Silent Assassin Bloomquist, Olivo, and Butler have all played well, while Guillen and Jacobs have struggled big.
Meche and Hochevar have been good. Greinke and Davies have struggled, and the usually reliable Soria hasn't looked the same since his injury. The Royals need better production out of their unreliable bullpen, especially Farnsworth.
28. Arizona Diamondbacks (27-36|26)
Haren and Scherzer have been phenomenal. That's about it. Garland has stunk all year, Davis has been way too inconsistent, and Buckner has stunk. Parra continues to put up good rookie numbers, while Reynolds and Drew have been on-fire offensively.
Young is finally starting to play well and Whitesell is performing, which is important as Upton is starting to struggle.
29. Baltimore Orioles (26-36|29)
The story is the same. The Orioles have an awful pitching staff. They're the worst in the American League in quality starts (19), batting average against (.281), ERA (5.20), and WHIP (1.49). Bergesen has played well in his last few starts, but Hill, Guthrie, and Uehara have all been iffy.
Reimold is by far the best offensive rookie in the American League. Wieters and Roberts are heating up, while Jones (.167 avg last week) and Markakis (.227 avg/zero RBI) are struggling to help the offense.
30. Washington Nationals (16-44)
Every single player excluding Ryan Zimmerman has been put on the trading block. The Nationals are just so very bad. They have the worst pitching staff in baseball (5.34 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 20 quality starts, .279 batting average against).
Guzman has been their only consistent player while Johnson has struggled and Dunn and Zimmerman have cooled off since their hot starts. There's also not a worse fielding team in baseball.
Biggest climb: The Colorado Rockies climbed 12 spots from No. 27 to No. 15 after winning ten in a row.
Biggest fall: The Oakland A's fell 8 spots from No. 17 to No. 25 after going 3-4.
Best team average: The Los Angeles Dodgers have the best team average (2.5) by being first four times, second four times, fifth once, and eighth once.
Worst team average: The Washington Nationals have the worst team average (29.8) by being ranked last nine times and 28th once.
Teams yet to fall out of the top 10: Dodgers and Cardinals
Teams yet to climb out of the bottom 10: Indians and Nationals
Prediction of the week: Yankees will go 7-0
Division Rankings/Picture (Last Week's Ranking)
*Divisional rankings are based on the average power rankings.
1. AL East (1): (2) Bos, (5) Nyy, (11) Tbr, (12) Tor, (29) Bal
2. NL West (5): (1) Lad, (6) Saf, (15) Col, (26) Sdp, (28) Ari
3. NL East (4): (4) Phi, (9) Nym, (16) Atl, (18) Fla, (30) Was
4. NL Central (3): (8) Mil, (10) Stl, (14) Hou, (19) Hou, (20) Chc, (23) Pit
5. AL West (2): (3) Tex, (13) Laa, (22) Sea, (25) Oak
6. AL Central (6): (7) Det, (17) Min, (21) Cws, (24) Cle, (27) Kcr
If the playoffs started today...
1. Boston v. 3. Detroit
2. Texas v. 4. New York
1. Los Angeles v. 3. Milwaukee
2. Philadelphia v. 4. San Francisco
If awards were handed out today...
AL MVP: Justin Morneau (Minnesota Twins)
NL MVP: Albert Pujols (St. Louis Cardinals)
AL Cy: Roy Halladay (Toronto Blue Jays)
NL Cy: Matt Cain (San Francisco Giants)
AL RoY: Nolan Reimold (Baltimore Orioles)
NL RoY: Colby Rasmus (St. Louis Cardinals)
AL MoY: Ron Washington (Texas Rangers)
NL MoY: Joe Torre (Los Angeles Dodgers)
AL Comeback: Justin Verlander (Detroit Tigers)
NL Comeback: Yovani Gallardo (Milwaukee Brewers)
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