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MLB Power Rankings: Are the Brewers Creeping Up on the Yankees, Red Sox?

Will BrownContributor IAugust 22, 2011

MLB Power Rankings: Are the Brewers Creeping Up on the Yankees, Red Sox?

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    There are six teams in baseball with at least 70 wins, those being the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves, and Milwaukee Brewers. Of the 30 big leagues teams, 14 teams with winning records and one (the Chicago White Sox) at .500.

    There seems to be a consensus that the Phillies, Red Sox, and Yankees are the top three teams in baseball, and so far that has been proven as those three teams have the best records in baseball. The Angels, Brewers, Braves, Diamondbacks, Giants, and Rangers seem to be the next group of teams.

    There are also the bottom-feeders in teams like the Houston Astros, Baltimore Orioles, and Seattle Mariners. In this article I'll be putting the teams in the order that I would put them in as how they are currently playing and how the season has gone.

30. Houston Astros

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    It's been a rough year for the Astros. They traded away their two best players and currently have 42-85 record.

    Things are going to get better anytime soon for the Astros, who are hoping that the prospects they received for Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn will really help bolster their farm system and get the rebuilding kick started.

29. Baltimore Orioles

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    The Orioles have been playing even worse than the Astros of late as they have lost eight of their last 10 games.

    The Orioles do have a young nucleus of players that have talent, but they just haven't been able to really put it together yet. Playing in the AL East hurts them even more.

    There's always next year though and there are some more young players coming up.

28. Chicago Cubs

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    The Cubs have actually been playing much better the last week or so than they were before, but with the Carlos Zambrano situation and they way the season has gone all around, I have to put them pretty low.

    Luckily for Cubs fans, they look like they have a nice young and talented group of players for the middle of the field. Geovany Soto isn't a masher at catcher, but is solid. Darwin Barney and Starlin Castro may be the brightest double play tandem in baseball. In center field, prospect Brett Jackson is considered their top prospect in their entire farm system. 

27. Kansas City Royals

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    The Royals are bad for right now, but their time could be coming up very quickly. The organization with the league's best farm system coming into the season has already given way to Eric Hosmer with plenty more on the way in the next few years.

    The Royals have been taking their lumps for awhile now, but soon they may be the ones delivering the lumps.

26. Seattle Mariners

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    Felix Hernandez has been fantastic year, though not nearly as dominant as last year, and Michael Pineda will give him a great rotation mate for years to come. There are also some young hitters that are trying to help the duo out, but the fact remains that they have the worst offense in baseball.

    The Mariners traded away David Pauley and Doug Fister at the deadline, kind of hurting their pitching staff a bit. The group has still been good though, but they've gotten basically zero support all year.  

25. Minnesota Twins

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    The Twins have been pretty bad this season as they are currently sitting at 55-71 and are 4-6 in the last 10 games. 

    The problem has been that Justin Mourneau didn't have come back well form his concussion last seaosn and Joe Mauer has played in just 68 games, and "only" hitting .288 for the season.

    Michael Cuddyer has been one of the few bright spots for the team this year.

24. Oakland Athletics

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    I thought the Athletics would be in the running for a playoff spot at the beginning of the year, but while their pitching has been great once again, they still can't score any runs.

    The Athletics are going to have good pitching every year, but still need a couple of impact bats before they are big time contenders again.

23. San Diego Padres

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    The rebuilding is in progress in San Diego and their record shows it. They have the fourth lowest ERA in baseball, yet they have really struggled to score runs at any kind of consistent rate.

    The Padres are 6-4 in the last 10 games, and the crazy fact still remains that even though they are 59-70, they are actually +4 in run differential for the season. 

22. Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw are the stars that the team can build around, but the problems that the organization is having has definitely caused some problems on the field this season.

    The pitching staff has been all year, but Kemp has been the only consistent player when the Dodgers are at the plate.

21. Florida Marlins

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    The Florida Marlins have the misfortune of playing in the same division as the Braves and Phillies, but they haven't been that good this year anyway.

    Hanley Ramirez hasn't been good, but Mike Stanton has shown off the power that makes him one of the game's top sluggers going forward. 

20. Colorado Rockies

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    The offense is there but the pitching is not, seems to be the story every year for the Rockies.

    Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez are going to be around for awhile, so the offense shouldn't suffer anytime soon. Next is to, yet again, try and bring in some pitching that can really help the offense out.

19. Pittsburgh Pirates

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    It wasn't that long ago that the Pirates were in first place, but a horrific missed call at home plate against the Braves took all the momentum from the team.

    The Pirates now sit at 59-66 and are looking at yet another losing season. They did show good signs for this year though, so times could be changing in Pittsburgh. 

18. Washington Nationals

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    The Nationals have a lot of young talent and much more on the way, but for now they are stuck in a rut. They aren't terrible, but they aren't a playoff team either. 

    Ryan Zimmerman is still the unquestioned leader of the team. Danny Espinosa has been a pleasant surprise this season, at least to me. 

    Whenever Strasburg gets back and Bryce Harper makes it to the big leagues, the Nationals might just be ready to soar.

17. New York Mets

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    Jose Reyes has probably been the best player in all of baseball this year, but it hasn't helped the Mets much in the win column.

    The team currently sits at 60-66 and have put up some good offensive numbers as a group. The pitching leaves a lot to be desired though.

    Within two or three years, the Mets could be right back in the middle of the playoff race. 

16. Chicago White Sox

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    The White Sox are currently sitting at 63-63 on the season and still have a shot at making the playoffs. 

    Both the offense and pitching are right in the middle of the pack statistically and the White Sox have played lots of close games this year. If they can just get one really good 15 game run, they could be very close to a playoff spot come September.

15. Cincinnati Reds

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    The Reds were one of the best teams in baseball last year, but they haven't had much luck this year. They are currently three games under .500 and don't appear like they will be making the playoffs this year with the way the Brewers are currently playing in their division.

    If the Reds could just fine a couple of pieces to help out on the pitching staff, they would once again be one of the best teams in baseball as their offense is as explosive as ever.

14. Cleveland Indians

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    The Indians are still fighting for a playoff spot and it's been a valiant effort. I still have faith in this team to make a run and win the AL Central, though the Detroit Tigers are playing very good baseball right now.

    Asdrubel Cabrera is still playing very well and is showing that his early season explosion was no fluke. The team is hoping that the trade for Ubaldo Jiminez can really push them over the top.

    Only time will tell. 

13. Toronto Blue Jays

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    If the Toronto Blue Jays were in any other division other than the AL East or NL East, they would be all over the playoff race. Instead they have to battle through a rigorous schedule with three of the best teams in baseball in the same division.

    Jose Bautista is perhaps the most dangerous hitter in the game, but he can't pitch for the team as well. The team is making moves in the right direction, could they be true contenders next year? 

12. St. Louis Cardinals

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    As the Brewers continue to get better, the Cardinals are going the opposite direction. They are really struggling right now, but there is still plenty of time for the team to turn it around.

    The Cards have a plus offense with a slightly above average pitching staff, so they don't really have a  weakness. It's just a matter of putting it all together and having the Brewers slip up a bit.

11. Detroit Tigers

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    The Tigers are leading the AL Central by 4.5 games and have been playing extremely well over the last few weeks. They are the favorite to win the division right now and it seems to become more likely be the day.

    Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander are carrying the team right now. The duo is going to try to continue to do so, and I believe that they will.

10. Tampa Bay Rays

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    The curse of the AL East has the Rays begging for playoff expansion. They've been as good as just about any team in the league, yet they have two teams ahead of them in their own division.

    The team is young with lots and lots of talent. They still have an outside chance at the playoffs, but they are going to have to have some luck to make it.

9. San Francisco Giants

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    The Giants are tumbling right now, in very large part because the pitching is not able to carry the stagnant offense every single game.

    The Giants have the second best ERA in the league, yet have scored the 29th most runs. That's bad.

    It really is amazing that the Giants are still in position to make it to the playoffs considering how bat they have been offensively, but they are proof that very good pitching can keep you in any race.

8. Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Justin Upton is doing absolutely everything he can to carry this team to the postseason. He leads the team in virtually every offensive category.

    His main pitching help has been Ian Kennedy, who has basically had the same impact in the rotation.

    The Diamondbacks are currently 1.5 games ahead of the Giants and are playing much better than them right now, so that lead looks like it will grow.

7. Los Angeles Angels

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    The Angels got some very good news yesterday with Jered Weaver agreeing to a five-year contract worth $85 million, meaning the team will get to keep the ace for a couple more years.

    The Weaver-Dan Haren-Ervin Santana trio at the top of the rotation is about as good as it gets in baseball. They've been carrying the team all year as the Angels offense has been inconsistent through the season.

    The Angels are on the outside looking in right now to get in the playoffs and are going to need some things to break their way to make it. 

6. Milwaukee Brewers

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    The Brewers are about as balanced as it gets. They are ninth in the league in runs scored while also posting the 11th best ERA in baseball as a staff.

    Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun lead the explosive offense, while Zach Greinke, Yovani Gallardo, and Shaun Marcum lead the rotation.

    The Brewers currently control their destiny as they lead the NL Central by a hefty 8.5 games. 

5. Texas Rangers

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    The Rangers have a great lineup, a good rotation, and now have a good bullpen. That's a recipe for success.

    The AL Champions from last year are putting themselves in position to make another run, and I think that they are as dangerous as any other team in baseball in a seven-game series.

4. Atlanta Braves

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    The Braves have played very consistent baseball ever since April, but they still find themselves 6.5 back in their own division. Despite that, they have an eight game lead in the Wild Card and the fourth best record in baseball.

    Young players like Freddie Freeman and Craig Kimbrel have joined with surprise players like Jose Constanza to help out the veteran players on the team.

    Kimbrel is looking to have a historic rookie year and Freeman has been as impressive as any other rookie in baseball.

3. New York Yankees

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    The Yankees have yet another high-powered offense this season, but also have done pretty well pitching. They are currently seventh in baseball in ERA. 

    The Yankees are as good as any team in baseball and will be in the playoffs, either as the division winner or as the Wild Card team.

    Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira will be doing everything in their power to put them in as division winners and have home field advantage.

2. Boston Red Sox

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    They have perhaps the best offense in all of baseball, as it is loaded with a full blend of power and speed up and down the order. 

    The Red Sox have needed that offense as their pitching has been fairly suspect other than Josh Beckett and John Lester in the rotation.

    The Red Sox appear to be the favorites to be the AL representative int he World Series, and they are very much hoping to get there. 

1. Philadelphia Philles

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    While other teams have gone through ups and downs during the season, the Phillies seem to have been oblivious to it. They continue to just pump right along with the game's best record and team ERA.

    The pitching has very much lived up to its hype, while the offense has improved after the trade to get Hunter Pence.

    I would say, as much as it pains me, that the Phillies have to be the World Series favorite at this point. They've played the best baseball in the league all season and don't appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

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