Loyal readers of the site (hi Mom and Dad!) know Tuesdays are when my bi-weekly power rankings. Okay, they haven’t exactly been bi-weekly so far, but no one says I can’t start now. Anyway, here’s my top ten, and you can click here to see my previous rankings.
- Who else would it be besides the Phillies (82-44, 1st NL East). They have the best record in baseball, five wins better than the Yankees. Philadelphia is on pace to win 105 games, the most in baseball since the Mariners won 116 ten years ago.
- I’m still giving the Red Sox (77-50, AL Wild Card Leader) the edge over New York. I know Boston has struggled of late with David Ortiz hobbled and Kevin Youkilis on the DL, but they are still 10-2 against that team from the Bronx, which you really can’t overlook.
Speaking of that team from the Bronx, theYankees (77-48, 1st AL East) stay in three spot. The team is 7-3 over their last ten, and for all the fans expecting their rotation to collapse, it doesn’t look like it will. Except for A.J. Burnett, who can’t win in August and could fall out of the rotation.
- The Brewers (77-53, 1st NL Central) make a huge (some would say Prince Fielder-sized) jump from seven to four. They’ve gone 12-3 in the two weeks since I last did the rankings, and have opened up a nine game lead in the division, the largest in all of baseball right now.
- The Braves (77-52, NL Wild Card Leader) went to the west coast and raked against the NL West’s best, going 6-1 against the Diamondbacks and Giants. Atlanta quietly might have the best bullpen in baseball, anchored by closer Craig Kimbrel (39 saves, 1.72 ERA) and set-up man Jonny Venters (1.11 ERA).
By no fault of their own, the Rangers (74-55, 1st AL West) dropped a spot. They really don’t deserve to be dropped, but the Brewers and Braves have been electric over the last fortnight. They do enter a difficult stretch, playing fifteen games in the next sixteen days against the Red Sox, Rays and Angels. They started it off well with a 4-0 win against Boston last night. The Sox and Yankees should both be concerned about opening the playoffs against Texas.
- The Tigers (69-58, 1st AL Central) jump up two spots. Brandon Inge made a triumphant return from Triple-A, hitting a homer and a double against Cleveland. Oh, and they have some guy named Justin Verlander who’s gone 3-0 in the last two weeks (19-5 on the year now).
Speaking of Verlander, the Rays (69-57, 3rd AL East) had the privilege of facing him last night; they lost 5-2. But the team is 7-3 over their last ten, good enough to move them from unranked to eighth. Probably not good enough to get them into postseason play, however.
- I haven’t put the Angels (69-59, 2nd AL West) in my top ten all year, so why now? Well they have won four straight. Plus, Jered Weaver has been phenomenal (2.10 ERA, o.97 WHIP) and recently signed a fat contract to keep him in Anaheim (sorry, I meant Los Angeles).
- The Diamondbacks (69-59, 1st NL West) haven’t played great of late. But someone’s got to round out my list, and they have a one game lead on San Francisco.
Two teams fell from my top ten: the Giants, who were fourth, and the Cardinals, who had been eighth.