MLB Power Groupings: Hide the Wife and Kids Because the Nationals are Streaking

Nino Colla@TheTribeDailySenior Writer IAugust 11, 2009

It just goes to show you that, your season might be over, but that's no excuse to secure your fate of drafting Bryce Harper.

The Nationals, a week away from either gaining or losing Stephen Strasburg are still in a position to draft number one overall, but have put their status as supreme-awful team in the MLB under uncertainty.

Last year, for some odd reason, I wanted Cleveland to make a run at a .500 record; I bought into the idea that the end of last year is momentum for this season.

Let me just say, for the record, that I'm an idiot.

It's a five-plus month layoff, what kind of momentum is that? If my team is in a position that will not net them a playoff appearance, then heck with a .500 record and winning games, give me a better draft pick.

Unless you get pick No. 1 though, does it really even matter with the way teams pass on talent due to signability?

I guess not. But it's still the principle of the thing and as I've clearly learned, there is no such thing as end of the season momentum for next year. That, my friends, is all bogus hogwash.


Welcome to the Disaster Zone

Baltimore, Toronto, Cleveland, Kansas City, Oakland, Seattle, Washington, New York Mets, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Arizona, San Diego

The group of feeble baseball teams with no chances this 2009 season has grown yet again.

We'd like to welcome the New York Mets to the Disaster Zone. The sad thing is, if there was ever a real disaster of a baseball team, it would be the Mets.

Now Washington was born a disaster, but as far as a team having everything go wrong at the same time, that would be the Mets. The Indians had a lot of injuries this year, but nothing comes near the Mets.

I held out a little hope for them, but this is just too much with no hope on the horizon and more players dropping like flies.

So I light a candle for the 2009 New York Mets. A team with too many injuries but could probably still beat the Nationals.

For all the bagging I do on the Nats, I can at least stop calling them the Natinals after they ran off eight straight games and brought their record to a little bit more respectability. They're still in last place, which is remarkable in itself, but dreams of a 110 loss season probably have fallen by the wayside.

Speaking of bad teams making runs, it seems like a lot of our bad teams made significant runs. Arizona was also playing hot baseball until they ran into the buzz kill that is Nationals baseball.

The Diamondbacks had won seven out of their last eight before getting swept by Washington. They've already started to regain themselves with another series against New York though.

Cleveland is a team on inconsistent fire, if that makes any sort of sense. The Tribe has lost games, even two in a row at times, but they've taken two out of three from each AL Central contender the past two weeks. Minnesota, Detroit, and Chicago can all rest easy knowing they all lost two games to the Tribe, and no one gained or lost any ground when the Indians were involved.

Just don't muck around with the Royals.

This group has grown so abnormally large, that I'd rather not talk about every team, every week. So we're going to cut it off there. Maybe if you go on a really awesome win-streak or tank really bad, I’ll throw you a bone, San Diego.


We might be slipping

Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Houston, Milwaukee

Gone is the center after one week of split groups.

In is my version of contenders and pretenders.

In the group that is losing ground is a fascinating mixture of clubs.

Might as well start with Tampa Bay, who is in this group by no fault of their own. They've now fallen eight back of the division with hot play from the Yankees. Thankfully, Boston is six back, which means they're only two and a half back of the wild card.

So all is not lost for the Rays, but the Yankees certainly did some damage that will be hard to make up.

As I mentioned with Cleveland, none of the AL Central teams have been able to gain or lose significant ground, but Minnesota is still in that mid-range zone that has them ready to fall out of the race, or ready to establish themselves. They've yet to do either though.

Houston is about a week away from falling off, especially with their visit to Florida and a trip to fellow NL Central slipper, Milwaukee.

The Brewers were the darling child of the first half, or at least most of the first half. I was like, "yeah they're playing well now, but trust me man, they're not long for this." I refused to totally buy in and I'm glad I didn't because they're proving me right.

A decent team, but not a true contender. They could remain here all year, but is this really significant?

We might be contenders

Chicago White Sox, Atlanta, Florida

The Sox that are pale got a bit of good news with Jake Peavy ready for his rehab stint and with their good play; they've pushed ever so close to Detroit. They took three from the Yankees and two from the Angels in seven games, but then went ahead and dropped three to Cleveland.

If only they had maintained course.

Atlanta has kicked it up a notch to join Florida as teams hot on the trail of Philadelphia and the Wild Card leaders. Both teams are playing good ball, with Florida sweeping the Phillies and helping out both teams, and the Braves taking three from the NL-best Dodgers.

However, Florida was the other team that fell victim to the buzz-killing Nationals and the Braves have a quick two-gamer this week. At least it's only two games, imagine if it was four.


In it to win it

Detroit, Texas, Colorado, San Francisco

The Tigs are feeling grateful that their series against Cleveland was awhile ago. However, now they're dealing with an angry mob of Red Sox players that just got swept out of New York.

Hopefully the teams facing the rest of the AL Central can help them out, like they've seem to all year. The Tigers could fall into a bad spot, but they always seem to keep their head above water. Good placement and timing this year by Detroit, hopefully for them, they can keep it up.

Texas better have sent a very large greeting card to the Yankees for bringing them so close to Boston in the wild card chase. With the Angels making ground, it's looking more and more like the wranglin' folk from Texas are only getting in via the wild card.

I call them the Wild Western Brothers. San Francisco and Colorado are sticking together and probably will all season. They continue to lead the NL wild card chase and will do so for the rest of the season. Come hell or high water, both of these teams keep finding players to play and they're winning.

Colorado might hold onto the lead for awhile, then maybe give way to the Giants at some point for a bit. Either way, I'm fairly certain, and very hopeful, that this comes down to the final game.


Here we are, where we should be

Boston, New York Yankees, Philadelphia, Los Angeles Angels, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis, Los Angeles Dodgers

I always get tired when Boston and New York meet up for one of their seven billion in-season games. Call me if they meet in the playoffs. Sure, the games are meaningful; the Sox are now a whopping six-plus games back.

However, this is a team that had beaten the Yankees eight out of eight times prior to that series. Did that seem to matter? No, because it's a long season. Things even out if they're supposed to and they did.

Boston will be back in the hunt sooner or later; the Yankees haven't vanquished anyone yet. They sent a very large statement, but don't declare them the winners. There are still a little less than two months to go with games going into early October.

Is there any division leader as hot-cold streaky as the Phillies? I mean, they can go from leading the division by fifty games to five. See what I mean about it being a long season?

It's good to see the team that I've blindly jumped onto the bandwagon of putting some distance between them and the field in their division. I believe the Cardinals are better than clustering together with the Cubs and friends, especially with their beefed up lineup.

Hey, LA! Wake the heck up! In case you didn't notice, your lead is now down to five-and-a-half games. Never thought I'd see the day, but with that being on par with just about all the other divisions, the Dodgers have some worrying to do. The lead they worked so hard for is now gone.

Perhaps though, cruising into the playoffs is never a good thing, as the other Los Angeles team has showed us in the past. And if I'm them, I want Texas to push me as much as they can until the end.


*All statistics, standings, and opinions were based off their states going into action on Aug. 11.


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