Sober Rankings

1. Florida Marlins (11-2) – That impressive 11-1 start was no fluke, these Marlins are poised for a repeat of the 1997 and 2003 seasons when nothing was expected of them and they cashed in World Series championships. Speaking of that 03 team, there are no players remaining in Florida from that team just six years later.

2. Los Angeles Dodgers (10-3) – 8 straight wins have the Dodgers starting this season as they finished last season – on top. The addition of Orlando Hudson has given the team another offensive threat in that dangerous lineup. The youngsters, Matt Kemp and Andre Eithier are really starting to come along, combining for 30 RBI the first 13 games this year.

3. Boston Red Sox (7-6) – The four game sweep of the Orioles got the Sox over .500 and they’re not going to look back. The veteran offense is clicking on all cylinders during this current 5 game winning streak, scoring 38 runs. 5 different players went deep, but Big Papi still has yet to hit the long ball.

4. Toronto Blue Jays (10-4) – Unexpected 10-4 start has them leading the east. The same east with the defending AL champs, the nation, and the evil empire. The scary thing for the Jays: three injured starting pitchers, Jesse Litsch, Dustin McGowan and Shaun Marcum, need to get back in the rotation asap if the Jays have any chance of sustaining this lead.

5. Chicago Cubs (7-4) – They’re only 7-4, but this is just a loaded team everywhere you look. Note to Milton Bradley, I’m not going to talk about your .053 BA, I just have advice: don’t pull another padres, obviously you were going to get suspended at some point in the season, but please don’t let this team like you did SD. This team will be counting on your left handed stick to balance that abundance of righties, the last thing Cub fan needs is another excuse…

6. Seattle Mariners (8-5) – After everything Washington has had to deal with the past year, could the Mariners and the return of Ken Griffey Jr. give Washington something to cheer about? As long as they continue pitching this well, the league’s best ERA 3.01, they’ll be in the hunt against an aging and hurting Angel squad.

7. Kansas City Royals (7-5) – They may be maxing out on the Sober rankings already, but this pitching staff is performing out of their minds, leading the majors in strikeouts. And Zack Greinke is just nasty.

8. San Diego Padres (9-4) – You have to love the fight in this team that everybody counted out. They too, may be reaching their pinnacle for the season, but on the bright side, many of their young players have stepped it up so far.

9. Detroit Tigers (7-5) – Miguel Cabrera is just a man possessed right now. He’s batting .489 and rumor has it that the other half of the big trade from a year ago, Dontrelle Willis, is doing great in the minors and should be ready to come back soon.

10. New York Mets (6-6) – Not exactly the start the Mets were looking for offensively, but the signings of J.J. Putz and K-rod have already paid off.

11. St. Louis Cardinals (8-5) – Albert Pujols is the best player in baseball without a doubt, but it’s Ryan Ludwick who’s leading the Cardinals in every batting statistic early on.

12. Philadelphia Phillies (5-6) – They may be the defending champs, but that NL worst 6.87 ERA really needs to be addressed. Congrats to Brad Lidge on his amazing streak.

13. Minnesota Twins (7-7) – The AL central is anybody’s for the taking, so why not the Twins? Jason Kubel’s cycle Friday capped a week of three cycles (Orlando Hudson and Ian Kinsler.)

14. Atlanta Braves (6-7) – Derek Lowe has cooled off a bit since his dominating opening night performance. Chipper Jones is having another Chipper-like season.

15. New York Yankees (7-6) – No, we didn’t forget about the Yankees. Laying an egg in their first home series against an Indian team who went the longest without a win (Nationals don’t count) is not the way the boss wanted that $1.5 billion stadium to start.

16. Tampa Bay Rays (5-8) – The Rays’ slow start, shouldn’t have them so worried as the Red Sox and Yankees also stumbled a bit coming out of the gates. The pitching has let them down so far, the main reason why they came from nowhere to win the AL last year.

17. Chicago White Sox (7-5) – It’s always interesting to see how Ozzie inspires his team, and what he’ll do next. So far so good. The pitching staff led by Mark Buehrle and John Danks is performing well.

18. Texas Rangers (5-7) – You know one things for certain when you see a Ranger game, you’re going to see a lot of runs scored. The Rangers pitching staff has a 6.45 ERA, while the offense is leading the league in home runs.

19. Baltimore Orioles (6-7) – The four game sweep in Boston abruptly halted what started out as a great season. Reality is beginning to set in, but you have to love that talented, young outfield of Nick Markakis, Adam Jones and Felix Pie.

20. Cincinnati Reds (7-5) – Bronson Arroyo starts the season the right way at 3-0. Also, they’ve got the Micah Owings factor. The best hitting pitcher in baseball’s already at it, going 2-5 from the dish with three different pinch hit appearances.

21. Pittsburgh Pirates (7-6) – The Pirates are led by Nate McLouth’s great all around performance, and a 3.34 team ERA.

22. Los Angeles Angels (4-8) – The record is suffering greatly due to the widespread injuries. This team may have to trade some of its young talent because there’s no reason they still can’t win the west if they make a couple of good moves.

23. Arizona Diamondbacks (5-8) – The offense needs help the pitching staff out. Dan Haren and Brandon Webb can’t do it all on their own.

24. Oakland A’s (5-7) – The A’s need Matt Holliday to step it up and play like he did for the Rockies. The super young pitching staff is actually holding its own without ace Justin Duchscherer.

25. Cleveland Indians (4-8) – After a catastrophic start for the tribe, things looked a little better for at least one day when they put up a 14 spot in the 2nd inning against the Yankees. The tribe should still be in the hunt for this division even with this start.

26. Milwaukee Brewers (4-8) – Mike Cameron has given the brewcrew a spark early on, but the loss of C.C. Sabathia will be too much for the pitching staff to handle.

27. Houston Astros (4-9) – The MLB’s oldest team may be digging themselves too steep a hole to climb out of in a division with the Cubs and Cardinals, not to mention the upstart Reds and Pirates. They’ve scored the least runs the first two weeks of the season.

28. Colorado Rockies (4-8) – The loss of Matt Holliday turns this team into what it was before his emergence – a complete non entity.

29. San Francisco Giants (4-8) – That 0-6 road record is downright scary. They have to win one at some point right? This is just a weird case of a great pitching staff with absolutely no run support, something a guy like Barry Zito can’t live without.

30. Washington Nationals (2-10) – The Nationals own this position until further notice. 13 errors in 11 games is downright embarrassing for a major league team, and I have a feeling that big offseason acquistion of Adam Dunn won’t help out the abysmal fielding, but at least he’ll put some fans in the stands…

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