Sober Rankings

1. Toronto Blue Jays (26-14) – Roy Halladay now has an MLB best 8 wins. He’s gone 8-1 this year and a ridiculous 19-6 with a 2.62 ERA his last 25 starts. Halladay has contributed to the AL’s second best team ERA of 3.90, while the bats up north also remain on fire. The Jays lead the majors in hits (418), runs (231) and RBI (219).

2. Boston Red Sox (22-16) – David Ortiz went 0-7 with 12 men left on base on Thursday, and was actually benched against the Mariners. The Red Sox lead the league in an ugly category, grounding out into double plays 43 times this season. With all this said, the Sox remain near the top of every offensive statistic, and lead the AL with 166 BB.

3. Los Angeles Dodgers (26-13) – The Dodgers know how to get out on top early. The Dodgers lead the league with 40 first inning runs in just 39 games. Juan Pierre is filling in quite admirably. He’s gone 20-43 since Manny Ramirez’s suspension, stole 6 bases and 9 RBI. Everybody likes to make jokes about the $10 million dollar man, who has “insane power, power like Barry Bonds+Mark McGwire+Manny Ramirez all wrapped in one”, but if Pierre can continue batting .419, Joe Torre may have a problem figuring out who the fourth outfielder is once Ramirez gets back.

4. New York Mets (21-16) – The Mets are 7-3 their last 10 games and have done it with excellent hitting. The Mets lead the league in team BA at .292. Carlos Beltran is second in the NL with a 3.78 ERA and leads the NL with a 4.73 OBP. Johan Santana carries the pitching staff with his NL best 1.36 ERA. And watch out, because he finally got a little bit of run support in his last start. If that keeps happening, Santana wins 20 easily.

5. Texas Rangers (23-14) – The Rangers are playing very well. They’ve won seven straight including the sweep of the Angels. We always knew the Rangers were going to put up scary offensive numbers (62 home runs, .829 OPS and .494 SLG) all good for first in the majors, but how about their recent pitching streak. The team has a 2.63 ERA during this winning streak, and if that holds up, the AL West domination of the Angels may come to an end this season.

6. New York Yankees (20-17) – 58 home runs in 16 games at the new Yankee Stadium has made it the most prominent hitting park in the majors. The Yankees are really starting to gain momentum after three straight walk off victories against the Twins. Johnny Damon continues his newly found power surge with 10 home runs so far.

7. Milwaukee Brewers (23-14) – The Brewers are hot, winning 8 of their last 10. The Brew Crew are second in the NL with 49 home runs, but it’s their pitching that’s establishing them as an early contender. Trevor Hoffman is pitching like it’s the early 2000s, saving 9 games in 9 opportunities without giving up a single earned run. The starting pitcher have thrown 23 quality starts this year, best in the majors. Meanwhile, Prince Fielder is second in the NL with 35 RBI.

8. Chicago Cubs (21-15) – The Cubs are another NL Central team who has been hot recently. They’ve won seven of their last 10. The starting pitching is really having a great season. Ted Lilly is 5-2, Carlos Zambrano is 3-1, Ryan Dempster is 3-2 and Rich Harden is 4-2 with 53 strikeouts, seventh most in the NL.

9. Philadelphia Phillies (20-16) – You have to think the Phillies NL second worst team ERA of 5.39 has to turn around some time for the defending champs. Jamie Moyer should probably figure his problems out, but Chan Ho Park and Joe Blanton might not. Also, Brad Lidge’s 8.31 ERA is killing the Phillies at the end of games this year, quite the reverse from just a season ago.

10. Detroit Tigers (20-16) – The Tigers bats really came alive in the weekend sweep against the A’s. The Tigers scored 34 runs in those three games. It will be interesting to see how the pitching holds up in the next few weeks. Dontrelle Willis is making his second start Tuesday. Armando Galarraga started the year 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA and 1 home run allowed. In his last three starts, he’s done the opposite, going 0-3 with an 11.12 ERA and 6 home runs allowed. Quite a difference between April and May.

11. St Louis Cardinals (21-16) – The Cardinals always seem to contend in the NL Central no matter what. Chris Carpenter jumps back into the fray Wednesday against the Cubs when they need him the most after losing three games in a row against the rival Brewers.

12. Kansas City Royals (20-18) – The Royals still lead the league in team ERA (3.59), and Zach Greinke still leads all pitchers with his .60 ERA, but the bats aren’t producing as of late. In their 7 losses the last 10 games, the Royals only scored 16 runs.

13. Cincinnati Reds (20-17) – Getting swept by the Padres is definitely a no-no, but the Reds have a lot of young talent, and will learn from the experience. The team ERA of 3.96 is third in the NL, and as long as this keeps up, the Reds will be in the hunt. The bats will have to produce though, .253 is also third in the NL, that is, third worst.

14. Los Angeles Angels (18-18) – John Lackey’s return to the mound lasted all of two pitches. He’ll go again Monday in Seattle. The Angels have Lackey and Santana back now and were getting hot until they faced the division leading Rangers. Getting swept by the Rangers is a minor setback, but the Angels are in it for the long haul, and the Rangers haven’t been in contention in years.

15. Atlanta Braves (18-18) – Derek Lowe and Jair Jurrjens are both pitching well. Lowe is 5-1, while Jurrjens is only 3-2, but has a 2.06 ERA. The Braves are seeing lots of the number 18 today. They are 18 and 18, and their team BA is 18th, while their team ERA is…you guessed it… 18th.

16. San Francisco Giants (19-18) – The bullpen tandem of Jeremy Affeldt and Brian Wilson are really locking up victories this season for the great pitching staff. Matt Cain has the best numbers, ironically, considering he seems to be the only starter not to win a Cy Young award.

17. Minnesota Twins (18-20) – The Twins have lost three straight games in walk off fashion. They will try to avoid the four game sweep at Yankee Stadium today. If they get swept, it won’t be because of Joe Mauer. Mauer made a ridiculous diving tag at the plate Sunday to keep the game going, and offensively he’s been even better. He’s batting .429, has a 1.333 OPS, and has 16 RBI in 15 games.

18. Tampa Bay Rays (19-20) – It seems like Rays manager Joe Maddon may be the only one to stop Evan Longoria and his league leading 46 RBI. The Rays accidentally listed two players at third base Sunday, but Longoria was supposed to DH, and when he didn’t take the field, the Indians pointed it out to the umpires. The Rays lost their DH for the game under Rule 6.10 (B) meaning Longoria couldn’t hit. Pitcher Andy Sonnanstine replaced him in the third spot in the lineup after the mix up because the Rays failed to identify a DH for the pitcher.

19. Seattle Mariners (18-20) – If they want to get back in to the AL West race, they’re going to have to beat the Rangers at some point. The Mariners are 0-5 against the Rangers this year. They rebounded nicely, winning 2 of 3 against the Red Sox after getting swept by the Rangers. The upcoming four game home series with the Angels is huge. If they can find a way to go 3-1, that will boost the morale, and more importantly, get the Mariners to .500.

20. Florida Marlins (18-20) – “What the hell is going on out there?” The Marlins have absolutely flopped since their 11-1 start. They’ve lost 6 of their last 7 scoring only 29 runs in that stretch, but giving up 43 runs. Everyone thought Ricky Nolasco would have a break out season, but he and his 7.78 ERA are having anything but.

21. Houston Astros (17-19) – Wandy Rodriguez continues to pitch amazing. His 1.90 ERA is good for third best in the majors. He also has the eighth most strikeouts in the NL with 48. The Astros are in the bottom third of the league in every offensive category.

22. Baltimore Orioles (16-22) – The 5.57 team ERA is third worst in the MLB. Adam Jones and Nick Markakis lead the exciting offense. Jones has the 5th best BA of .370 in the MLB. Markakis has the 4th most RBI in the AL, while Aubrey Huff has the 5th most RBI in the AL.

23. Chicago White Sox (15-21) – The White Sox have lost 6 of their last 7 and will try to avoid a four game sweep at the hands of the Blue Jays today. The White Sox .246 team BA is the second worst in the AL. They are in the bottom six in the league in just about every offensive category, and are dead last in runs scored. The pitching is not helping causes with a 4.82 ERA.

24. Pittsburgh Pirates (16-21) – Since their eight game losing streak, the Pirates have actually put together good baseball. They’re 4-2 the last six games scoring 32 runs with a .321 BA. During the eight game losing streak, the Pirates only scored 21 runs. The Pirates have four games against the Nationals, and a weekend series with the struggling White Sox. Can they get back to .500 after this week?

25. San Diego Padres (16-22) – Adrian Gonzalez continues to carry the load, hitting five home runs in five consecutive games last week. Jake Peavy pitched his first complete game of the season throwing 8 strikeouts along the way. The weekend sweep of the Reds may give this team momentum in the immanent future with a full slate of home games this week. Here’s an interesting stat, Peavy’s victory took three full hours shorter than the 16 inning win the previous day for the Padres.

26. Arizona Diamondbacks (14-23) – Dan Haren is 8 for 8 with quality starts, yet has a 3-4 record. That’s because of the absolutely abysmal hitting display. The Diamondbacks have the worst BA (.234) in the majors, have scored the least runs in the NL, and have the least RBI in the NL.

27. Colorado Rockies (14-22) – The team ERA of 4.86 is definitely not good, but Jason Marquis is having a bit of a resurgence minus his last start where he have up 9 runs in 3.2 innings. Jorge De La Rosa has a solid ERA of 3.16 in his 7 starts, but is 0-3.

28. Cleveland Indians (14-25) – The Tribe’s 5.67 team ERA is the worst in the AL. The bats haven’t been great either, the Indians lead the AL with 309 strikeouts. As bad as the season has started, they’re still only 7.5 games back in a division where they really is no overwhelming favorite. If they can get hot for a two week period that might be enough to get them back in the hunt.

29. Oakland A’s (13-21) – Oakland’s offensive numbers are scary… and not in a good way. They have a .238 BA, have the second least runs scored in the AL, and have the worst slugging percentage and OPS. So much for Jason Giambi and Matt Holliday providing extra pop in that lineup.

30. Washington Nationals (11-24) – For the second week in a row, I have good news to report for the Nats. Cristian Guzman leads the NL with a .381 BA, but Ryan Zimmerman’s hitting streak finally came to an end. And now to the ugly: the Nats have 37 errors in 36 games. Good little league teams shouldn’t average more than one error per game let alone an MLB team!

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