Sober Rankings

1. Los Angeles Dodgers (42-22) – The men in blue have been struggling to bring home runs lately, but have just kept on winning. They’ve only scored 26 runs in their last 10 games, but have gone 6-4 in that period in large part due to their lights out pitching staff with an ERA of 3.57, the best in the majors.

2. Boston Red Sox (38-25) – Big Papi may be beginning to figure things out once again. He hit .308 last week, and is actually starting to go deep again. It’s going to be important for him to work the count. When he’s behind on the count with two strikes, Papi is batting a horrid .089. Jason Bay is really playing well, he leads the league with 61 RBI.

3. New York Yankees (36-27) – The Yankees will be happy with taking two of three to wrap up the Subway Series. The Yankees in their new blastoff zone, Yankee Stadium, have hit 64 home runs this season, 17 homers more than the second most home home runs. Compare that with only 48 homers on the road, something may have to be done about that stadium in the off season.

4. Philadelphia Phillies (36-25) – The defending champions lead the senior circuit in home runs, RBI and runs, and they actually need it considering the poor year the entire pitching staff is having. The team ERA of 4.66 is 25th in the league. They had all sorts of trouble trying to stop the Red Sox in their interleague series.

5. Texas Rangers (35-27) – The Angels are coming hard on their rear view mirror, and it will be interesting to see how the Rangers will deal with that pressure. The offense has to keep hitting well if they’re going to stay atop the AL West, however. The Rangers only scored a total of 14 runs last week, the least in the majors.

6. Detroit Tigers (34-29) – Dontrelle Willis is not having a good season by any stretch of the imagination. His 7.49 ERA has been killing the Tigers, but the emergence of Edwin Jackson (6-3, 2.24 ERA) and the resurgence of Justin Verlander (7-2, 3.02 ERA) has the Tigers atop the AL Central.

7. Tampa Bay Rays (34-31) – This could be the start of the run we expected this team to go on. They are currently riding a five game winning streak and will travel to Colorado in a match up featuring the two hottest teams in baseball. I may be jumping the gun though considering three of the five wins came against the Nationals.

8. Toronto Blue Jays (34-31) – Blue Jay fans have to be terrified with Roy Halladay leaving a game early. He’s only leading the league in wins, and his team in every meaningful category. Aaron Hill is just the constant variable for that team. He already has 86 hits this season, only one fewer than the league leader Ichiro.

9. St Louis Cardinals (34-30) – This team could be scary if they make the postseason. A healthy Chris Carpenter, a dominant closer in Ryan Franklin, the best player in baseball Albert Pujols, and a quality number two pitcher in Adam Wainwright, could make this team very dangerous in a short series.

10. New York Mets (32-29) – David Wright leads the league with his .364 batting average, while Carlos Beltran’s .340 BA is third in the league. Those two batting averages along with the rest of the Mets is .279, tied for the best in the majors.

11. Milwaukee Brewers (34-29) – They’re still hanging around with no real household names. The pitching staff has been surprisingly good, and adding Trevor Hoffman to lock up victories may have been the best move management could have made.

12. Los Angeles Angels (32-29) – Jered Weaver is quietly putting together a Cy Young caliber season. Weaver’s 2.08 ERA is only second to Zack Greinke. Weaver just recorded his first career complete game shutout yesterday against the Padres, too bad he’s probably not going to see them again any time soon!

13. San Francisco Giants (34-28) – The Giants are 9-3 their last 12 games, and just completed a bay sweep. During this stretch the Giants have actually started scoring a bit more runs for a change, while the pitching continues to stay steady.

14. Minnesota Twins (32-33) – This is just a blue-collar team as usual. The Twins have the least errors of any team this season, just another reason why that franchise always stays consistently good. Note to the Pittsburgh Pirates, you may want to ask the Twins for advice on how to run a franchise.

15. Chicago Cubs (30-30) – Milton Bradley. WOW. Leave it to Milton to do something like throw a ball into the stands with only two outs. The most amazing things is how Lou Pinella dealt with it after. He kind of made a joke out of it, are we witnessing a new Lou?

16. Cincinnati Reds (31-31) – The Cincinnati bullpen has been great all season long. Francisco Cordero has 15 saves this year, only three fewer than Heath Bell. Bronson Arroyo is having a strange year, he is 7-5, but has more than a five ERA.

17. Colorado Rockies (31-32) – Can you say 11 in a row? Where the heck did this come from? Nobody in this world can be as happy as Jim Tracy right now, with the exceptions of Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson. The starting pitching has been amazing for the Rockies in this run getting 10 of the 11 wins.

18. Florida Marlins (32-33) – After pulling off an eyebrow-raising sweep of the Blue Jays, I’m left wondering whether or not the fish will be able to get back to their winning ways of the first couple weeks the rest of the season. Unfortunately for them, they face the juggernaut, that is the AL East visiting Fenway Park and welcoming the Yankees to Landshark Stadium.

19. Atlanta Braves (30-32) – During this recent poor stretch, the Braves team ERA has skyrocketed to 5.00, while the bats haven’t exactly held up their part of the deal either, hitting .247 last week. The Phillies and Mets just have too much firepower the Braves can’t match.

20. Seattle Mariners (30-33) – We take it for granted, but Ichiro Suzuki has a ridiculous .360 BA leading the AL. Ichiro’s stolen base tally seems to be going down a bit from where he normally is. He only has 10 steals, and was caught stealing four times.

21. Chicago White Sox (30-34) -Having Scott Podsednik atop the lineup gives them speed and gives their offense another dimension. Podsednik is batting .311. This is really a veteran-heavy team that could be able to contend in the mediocre AL Central.

22. Pittsburgh Pirates (30-33) – So now, the Penguins and Steelers have championships, the Phillies won the World Series, all this winning in the state of Pennsylvania has to rub off on the Pirates, right? Maybe it will, maybe it won’t, but you would be hard pressed to find a time where the Pirates were only four games out in mid-June.

23. Houston Astros (29-32) – Can you believe this? The last place Astros are only four games out in their division. Talk about a competitive race, with no real clear cut winner after the first third of the season. Miguel Tejada is batting .344 and leads the league in doubles.

24. Kansas City Royals (28-34) – At least the pitching staff has re-found itself. The Royals pitched a league best 2.38 ERA last week, and the most amazing part is that Zack Greinke actually gave up three runs. This means the entire staff is pitching well.

25. Cleveland Indians (29-36) – Have I been talking this team up too much or what? One thing can’t go unnoticed, they are only six games out. That’s nothing, especially in that division. The problem for this team is obviously that 5.09 team ERA. Cliff Lee is really the only guy you can’t blame for those numbers. Jeremy Sowers has had a good June so far (2.81 ERA), we’ll see if he can continue his form.

26. San Diego Padres (28-34) – Pop Quiz. Who has the most saves in the MLB? If you said Heath Bell, you are correct. No joke here, the Padres go from losing Hell’s Bells and arguably the greatest closer of all time to ringing a new Bell, who has 18 saves and has been absolutely dominant.

27. Oakland A’s (27-35) – Getting swept by their bay rivals wasn’t what the A’s wanted. The A’s have not followed up their seven game winning streak well at all going, 1-5 since. They gave up 34 runs in those six games, not exactly winning baseball.

28. Baltimore Orioles (27-36) – The Orioles will do battle with the NL East over the next couple of weeks, which is a whole lot better than having to deal with the AL East powers. With that said, they still have to play the Mets and Phillies, two great teams, but at least they get to play the Nationals six times!

29. Arizona Diamondbacks (27-37) – The Diamondbacks pitching has all but fallen apart. Brandon Webb is still out, while Dan Haren has to deal with an abysmal offense behind him. In their last six losses, the Dbacks have given up 41 runs, that’s almost seven a game! That’s just scary.

30. Washington Nationals (16-45) – I have a special announcement to make… the Nationals… on Monday, June 15 have one less error than games played! They are finally averaging less than one error a game? Impossible!


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