Saturday, July 11, 2009

All-Star Break Power Rankings

1. Los Angeles Dodgers
Record: 55-31 (1st in NL West)
With Manny back and having not missed a beat this team is rolling in a surprisingly good NL West. This team should add a starter because I have a hard time seeing a team with a 21- year old #2 starter winning the World Series even if it is Clayton Kershaw.

2. Boston Red Sox
Record: 52-34 (1st in AL East)
This team has so much pitching it is ridiculous. Justin Masterson and Clay Bucholz would be starters on any other team but they are in the bullpen and AAA respectively. This team doesn't even care that Dice-K has imploded this year. With David Ortiz having returned to form this is my current pick to win it all.

3. New York Yankees
Record: 51-35 (2nd in AL East)
As a Twins fan it is hard not to rank them #1. They are 7-0 against the Twins and only 44-35 against the rest of the league. They have done this and A-Rod isn't really producing this year hitting only .257. Surprise, when they are winning no one is talking about the number of home runs at Yankee Stadium. The numbers are crazy though. Jeter with 10 and Damon with 16 so far.

4. Texas Rangers
Record: 48-37 (1st in AL West)
This team is an absolute surprise. The weirdest part is that they have done this to date without the help of Josh Hamilton. This team I do think is all smoke and mirrors. They will not make the playoffs this year.

5. Los Angeles Angels
Record: 47-37 (2nd in AL West)
This team has dealt with so many issues this year and it continues with Hunter and Guerrrero headed for the DL. This team is still the favorite to win the AL West but I don't see this team piecing it together to compete against the Sox and Yankees.

6. Tampa Bay Rays
Record: 48-39 (3rd in AL East)
You know you have it tough when you have the 6th best record but are 3rd in your division. This team has so much talent with Upton, Crawford, Longoria, Pena and Zobrist but it takes more than talent to win the AL East. If they are to make the playoffs they need bullpen help and Pat Burell and David Price to contribute like they can.

7. San Francisco Giants
Record: 48-38 (2nd in NL West)
If Boston has the best pitching staff, San Francisco has the 2nd best as evidenced by Jonathan Sanchez's no-hitter yesterday. Lincecum is a legitimate threat to win his 2nd Cy Young. This team could stand to add a bat to help Pablo Sandoval but I like their chances to win the NL Wild Card.

8. Detroit Tigers
Record: 47-38 (1st in AL Central)
This team may regret not putting away the division earlier as both the Twins and White Sox are capable of a run. The biggest reason for the turnaround from last year is Verlander pitching like he should and Edwin Jackson.

9. Philadelphia Phillies
Record: 46-38 (1st in NL East)
It seems as if the Phillies just have to stay afloat and they will win the NL East. How a team can be in 1st place without a starter with an ERA under 4.00 is beyond me. Chase Utley doesn't get enough recognition. He is by far the best second baseman and is proving it again this year with .308-20-61.

10. Saint Louis Cardinals
Record: 48-40 (1st in NL Central)
This team is a three-man team. Albert Pujols, Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright. The rest is just average. The good news is that looks to be all that it will take to win the NL Central. If there is someone who doesn't think Pujols is the best player in the league I would like to meet them. He is simply not human.

11. Colorado Rockies
Record: 46-40 (3rd in NL West)
This team is headed in the right direction. Started the season 20-32 and has gone 26-8 since. I don't think they can catch the Dodgers but it is looking like a 2-team race for the Wild Card with them and the Giants.

12. Seattle Mariners
Record: 44-42 (3rd in NL West)
This team is what an average team looks like. They have talent (Hernandez, Bedard, and Suzuki) but there is not enough there to compete or have a chance to play in October.

13. Milwaukee Brewers
Record: 44-42 (2nd in NL Central)
This team is headed in the wrong direction and the reason is easy to find. They have no starting pitching outside of Yovanni Gallardo. They need to acquire a pitcher if they want to turn this around. It is a shame that they are wasting the efforts of Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun.

14. Minnesota Twins
Record: 44-43 (3rd in AL Central)
This team seems to perpetually on the verge of breaking out but they have yet to. There is also not a single thing you can point to as the problem. People like to say the bullpen but now that they rid themselves of Ayala and Crain they have been fairly good. People talk about the disappointments of Delmon Young, Liriano and Alexi Casilla, but no one talks about how disappointing Scott Baker has been this year.

15. Florida Marlins
Record: 45-43 (2nd in NL East)
This team has Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson but they need more to compete with the Phillies and the Marlins aren't a team to go out and get it. I can't wait for Hanley to get his release from the Marlins so the rest of the league can see how good he is. They don't have the Reyes-Ramirez debate anymore because the answer is clear.

16. Chicago White Sox
Record: 44-42 (2nd in AL Central)
It is surprising that a team that almost acquired Jake Peavy has yet to make a move since. I don't think they have figured out yet whether they are sellers or buyers. This is still a very dangerous team with that lineup especially if Carlos Quentin gets on track.

17. Toronto Blue Jays
Record: 44-44 (4th in AL East)
This team is .500 now but they are a good bet to end up below .500. They are in full-blown sell mode. Whether Roy Halladay gets moved or not is one thing but the fact that he is on the trading block shows you its an anything goes sale. They have teams just lining up to see what they can get from them.

18. Atlanta Braves
Record: 42-44 (3rd in NL East)
This team isn't going to do it this year but the future is bright in Atlanta. Tommy Hanson looks like an ace and they have in Jason Heyward the #1 prospect. If they can get a few more years out of Chipper Jones they can return to winning division titles.

19. Chicago Cubs
Record: 41-42 (4th in NL Central)
They have been nothing but a disappointment so far this year and Soto going on the DL does not help. The talent is still there to win the NL Central but the complete implosion at this point seems more likely.

20. Cincinnati Reds
Record: 42-43 (4th in NL Central)
This team has a lot of young talent but issues have stopped this team from reaching their potential this year. Volquez has had trouble staying healthy and Votto has been dealing with personal issues. Jay Bruce will be a stud and has hit for power but he has had a very disappointing sophomore year.

21. Houston Astros
Record: 43-43 (3rd in NL Central)
With talent like Berkman, Tejada, Carlos Lee and Hunter Pence you can be competitive but the question is where they are headed. They need to decide if they are buyers or sellers because standing pat will just result in mediocrity for the foreseeable future.

22. New York Mets
Record: 40-45 (4th in NL East)
At least they aren't going to have to worry about another September collapse. There lineup has been destroyed by injuries with Beltran, Delgado and Reyes going down. They will probably try to make some moves but unless those guys get healthy and contribute this will be another lost season in Queens.

23. Baltimore Orioles
Record: 38-48 (5th in AL East)
It is hard not to be pessimistic in the AL East if you are not New York or Boston but Baltimore does have some things that give hope. Adam Jones has broken out into a star with his first all-star appearance at age 23. They just need to find some pitching and they could be an up and coming team.

24. Arizona Diamondbacks
Record: 37-50 (4th in NL West)
They have some great talents in Justin Upton, Dan Haren, Mark Reynolds and Max Scherzer and some waste of talents in Stephen Drew, Conor Jackson, Eric Byrnes and Chris Young. Not having Brandon Webb all year also hurts.

25. Pittsburgh Pirates
Record: 38-48 (6th in NL Central)
It must be hard to justify being a Pirates fan. In the last year they have traded away Jason Bay, Xavier Nady, Nate McLouth, and Eric Hinske. It must be a good motivation for the players that the second you are any good you will be able to get out of Pittsburgh.

26. Kansas City Royals
Record: 37-49 (4th in AL Central)
At some point in the offseason someone will say the Royals have a bright future and are a dangerous team. They will then finish at the cellar with 100 losses again. This team is a perpetual disappointment.

27. Oakland A's
Record: 35-49 (4th in AL West)
Moneyball is not paying off this year as they rebuild. The question is what do they do with disappointment and pending free agent Matt Holliday.

28. San Diego Padres
Record: 35-51 (5th in NL West)
At least the weather is still nice in San Diego.

29. Cleveland Indians
Record: 34-53 (5th in AL Central)
I always doubted the talk of them being the favorites in the AL Central but I never thought they would fall this far. This team is wasting the talent of Sizemore and Victor Martinez.

30. Washington Nationals
Record: 25-60 (5th in NL East)
This team is a joke that is challenging the 1962 Mets, but they claim to not trading Adam Dunn. That makes no sense because they need all the prospects they can get. It is a shame that this team gets Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper.

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