Team of the Week: San Francisco Giants (pictured above)
Bust of the Week: San Diego Padres
As we approach the end of the fifth week of Major League Baseball's 2009 Regular Season, teams are beginning to settle in and the contenders are beginning to emerge from the pretenders.
Yet, there is still a huge crowd of 13 teams within two games of each other (spots eight through 21). And we are also continuing to be surprised because jump-start teams we just thought would eventually eventually fall back to mediocrity aren't, and slumping dynasties are even beginning to recover, either.
So, I guess we're feeling the drama of early season MLB. And I'm pretty sure nobody's regretting it.
15%...Last season's success
55%...Success this season
5%...Intangibles (injuries, etc.)
LW...last week's ranking
1. (LW-2) St. Louis Cardinals (17-7)
The high-flying Cardinals have now won eight of 10 and three in a row, including last night's 6-2 domination of the Nationals. Watch out, October.
2. (LW-1) Los Angeles Dodgers (16-8)
Although the Dodgers slipped out of the top spot they held last week, they still look like a top team after yesterday's strange 1-0 win over San Diego, where they were tied 0-0 in the bottom of the ninth until the Padres walked in the winning walk-off run.
3. (LW-3) Boston Red Sox (14-9)
Since the streak was broken, the Red Sox haven't been too spectacular. Still, though, you just know that they'll be good, no matter what.
4. (LW-4) Toronto Blue Jays (16-9)
Surprisingly amazing start for the Jays. Who ever expected they'd be leading their division now?! However, I've gotta say, those pale blue home jerseys are the worst things ever seen.
5. (LW-6) Florida Marlins (14-9)
They're a measly 3-7 in L10, yet are still having a very respectable season at 14-9.
6. (LW-5) New York Yankees (13-10)
What a comeback win for the Yankees last night, who are looking good in their new stadium so far at 6-2. Not to mention they've won four straight overall.
7. (LW-9) Minnesota Twins (12-11)
Although the Twins are just half a game above .500, Minnesota currently boasts a three-game victorious streak and a 6-4 L10 record.
8. (LW-7) Philadelphia Phillies (11-10)
The defending World Series champs having been to spectacular yet, although they're certainly staying in contention. Yesterday's Mets loss was tough, though.
9. (LW-17) Seattle Mariners (14-9)
I've been sure ever since the Mariners started this hot streak they would begin to lose once again in a few days. I guess not...Seattle suddenly has a 3.5 game lead in their division after just five weeks!
10. (LW-24) Milwaukee Brewers (12-11)
After a quite disappointing first several weeks, the Brewers have picked it up, and are now boasting an above-.500 record and are 8-2 in L10!
11. (LW-15) Chicago White Sox (12-10)
12. (LW-27) San Francisco Giants (11-10)
The team of the week has been very good since last Saturday, having picked up four wins in six games and have actually gotten themselves somehow back into contention.
13. (LW-18) Cincinnati Reds (12-10)
Although it may not be exciting, the Reds are quietly keeping up fairly well with the rest of the league.
14. (LW-12) Kansas City Royals (12-11)
15. (LW-16) Atlanta Braves (11-11)
16. (LW-11) New York Mets (10-12)
Probably not the season so far the Mets wanted at first, as they're just 4-6 in their last ten games, as well as just 6-6 at home.
17. (LW-8) Chicago Cubs (11-11)
Even though the Cubs aren't too bad yet, they've fallen back to .500 and are a shocking 3-7 in L10.
18. (LW-19) Detroit Tigers (11-11)
19. (LW-10) Tampa Bay Rays (10-14)
All along, I've thought the Rays could pick it up and get back into the Top 10. They haven't even come close yet, but perhaps last night's momentum-building 6-2 home win over the Red Sox will spark them a bit.
20. (LW-14) San Diego Padres (11-12)
Ugh...yikes, what an embarrassing loss to the Dodgers last night. And even with that aside, they've taken a huge fall in these past couple weeks and are a horrendous 2-8 (along with four straight losses) in L10.
21. (LW-23) Texas Rangers (10-12)
22. (LW-20) Pittsburgh Pirates (11-11)
Slowly yet surely keeping up. For now.
23. (LW-22) Arizona Diamondbacks (10-13)
24. (LW-13) Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (9-13)
Hopefully the Angels of recent years past will return soon, for this team looks dreadfully poor right now.
25. (LW-21) Cleveland Indians (9-14)
26. (LW-25) Oakland A's (8-12)
Just not quite the team that can get it done for the A's. They need a mix-up to possibly get something rolling in Oakland, and fast, too.
27. (LW-28) Colorado Rockies (8-13)
28. (LW-29) Houston Astros (9-14)
Despite still having one of the worst records in the league, the Astros are just 5-5 in L10 and may finally be seeing a glimmer of hope.
29. (LW-26) Baltimore Orioles (9-14)
30. (LW-30) Washington Nationals (5-17)
So...the Nationals are now on pace to tie the worst record in the history in the history of Major League Baseball. Quite fitting, I say. Quite fitting.
Mark Jones' Predicted Playoff Seedings
1. Boston Red Sox
2. Minnesota Twins
3. Seattle Mariners
4. Toronto Blue Jays
5. New York Yankees
6. Chicago White Sox
7. Tampa Bay Rays
1. St. Louis Cardinals
2. Los Angeles Dodgers
3. Philadelphia Phillies
4. Florida Marlins
5. New York Mets
6. Chicago Cubs
7. Atlanta Braves