It’s been a busy few weeks since my last rankings. The trade deadline came and went. And last weekend saw four of baseball’s best (Yankees at Red Sox, Phillies at Giants) face each other. So without any further ado here’s my top ten teams (all stats current through Monday’s games).
The Phillies (75-40, 1st NL East) were on top of my first rankings back in May. They came away winners of last weekend’s trade deadline by bringing in Hunter Pence. All they did this was go into San Francisco and take two of three from the defending World Series champs. And they’re 9-1 over their last ten games.
- The Red Sox (71-43, 1st AL East) took two out of three at home against New York this weekend. The BoSox are now 10-2 against the Bronx Bombers this season. Even better for the Hub, Yankees Ace CC Sabathia is 0-4 with a 7.20 ERA against the Sox this season.
- For a team that seems a lock to make the playoffs, the Yankees (69-44, Wild Card leader) seem to be in a state of despair. Catcher Jorge Posada could be Posada non grata any day now in the Bronx. And then there’s the never-ending A-Rod soap opera.
- Sure, the Giants (63-53, 1st NL West) didn’t have a great showing against Philly, but who has this season. On the plus side, Tim Lincecum single-handedly shutdown the Phillies Sunday, snapping their nine-game win streak.
- The Rangers (65-51, 1st AL West) an eleven game winning streak into my last rankings (which eventually stretched to a dozen). They’ve been playing .500 ball (9-9) since the streak was snapped, but they came up big at the trade deadline.
The Braves (67-49, Wildcard leader) have found an unlikely hero. Jose Constanza, who’s name has made him a national sensation because its similarity to Seinfeld‘s George Costanza, is no joke. The 27 year-old career minor leaguer is hitting .421 in ten games since being called up. He’s even starting over All-Star Jason Heyward.
- The Brewers (65-50, 1st, NL Central) are 16-7 since the All-Star break. The hero over that stretch? SS Yuniesky Betancourt, who’s batting .388 with 18 RBI in the 22 games he’s played since the midseason classic.
- The Cardinals (62-53, 2nd NL Central) have had some hiccups of late. Edwin Jackson got shelled in his second with the club, against the Brewers and lost two of three to them. But they rebounded nicely with a sweep of Florida this weekend.
- Don’t sleep on the Tigers (61-53, 1st AL Central). Ace Justin Verlander is 16-5 with a 2.30 ERA. The Old Dominion product also shutdown Boston (1.72 ERA in two starts), Texas (2 ER in a CG) and wiped out the LA Angels (0.57 ERA in two starts). Their closer isn’t bad either: Jose Valverde has converted 32 straight saves.
- The Diamondbacks (62-53, 2nd NL West) are making it interesting down the stretch. Since the All-Star break they’re 13-10, and have almost closed the gap versus the Giants. They’ve also scored 33 more runs than San Fransisco over that stretch.