Sober Rankings

*Special all star version of the Sober Rankings. We’ll look at some snubs and some surprising picks.

1. Los Angeles Dodgers (52-30) The best team in baseball only gets three players to the mid-summer classic. Matt Kemp, who has been batting eighth for the Dodgers, could become the fourth if the fans vote him in as the last pick. All Kemp has done this season is hit .305 with 10 home runs and 44 RBI. Kemp also added 19 SB through the first half of the season. Chad Billingsley (9-4, 3.14 ERA, 115 strikeouts), Jonathon Broxton (6-0, 2.72 ERA, 20 saves) and Orlando Hudson (.288, 41 RBI, 48 runs) make the trip to St. Louis.

2. Boston Red Sox (49-32) Boston gets six players to the all star game. Dustin Pedroia and Jason Bay get the start for the AL. Josh Beckett and Jonathon Papelbon also making their annual trip to the all star game. 42-year-old Tim Wakefield makes it for the first time, which has caused lots of controversy, but the guy is tied for the most wins in the league with 10. Also making the team as a reserve is Kevin Youkilis.

3. New York Yankees (48-33) Derek Jeter (.316 BA) received the most votes and will make the start for the AL. Teammate Mark Teixiera (20 HR and 61 RBI) will also get the starting nod. Mariano Rivera (21 saves) also makes the team again.

4. Los Angeles Angels (45-35) Torii Hunter and Brian Fuentes’ league leading 24 saves are the only two halos to make the all star game. Hunter (.317, 17 HR, 63 RBI) has been electrifying all season long, carrying the load for the Angels offense. Jered Weaver will surprisingly not make the trip to St. Louis. Weaver’s struggled a bit lately, but was the only pitcher to produce for Los Angeles all season long. His 3.10 ERA and 8-3 record are still impressive regardless of how he fared his last few starts.

5. Texas Rangers (45-35) Michael Young made the complete transition from shortstop to third base. He went from an all star shortstop to an all star third baseman in one off season! Joining him is Josh Hamilton, who was voted in by the fans even though he only played 35 games this season. Ian Kinsler (19 HR, 51 RBI, 59 runs) has astonishingly been left off the roster. He will be in the final five player vote off. Also missing is Kevin Millwood, who has put together a great season in a hitter’s ballpark. Millwood has a 2.80 ERA and 12 quality starts.

6. Tampa Bay Rays (44-39) The powerful AL’s quite different from the NL. The Rays are three games under .500 against their league, but remain five over thanks to that 13-5 interleague record. Now to the all stars, Carlos Pena will be one of the five players you can vote for. If he’s voted in, he would join Evan Longoria (64 RBI), Jason Bartlett (.358) and Carl Crawford (41 SB).

7. Detroit Tigers (44-37) Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson make the roster, along with Curtis Granderson. Brandon Inge and his surprising 19 homers will be in the final vote off.

8. St Louis Cardinals (45-39) Of course Albert Pujols’ league leading 31 homers and 82 RBI makes the start for the NL, but Yadier Molina will also get the start for the home crowd. Ryan Franklin also makes the team.

9. San Francisco Giants (44-37) Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum make the team from the wild card leaders. Lincecum leads the league with 141 strikeouts, while having a microscopic 2.23 ERA and a 9-2 record. Cain has an identical 9-2 record with a 2.48 ERA.

10. Milwaukee Brewers (43-39) The Brew crew gets Ryan Braun (16 HR and 58 RBI) and Prince Fielder (22 HR and 76 RBI) in the all star game. Yovani Gallardo’s 2.75 ERA and 114 strikeouts could be seen as a snub. Gallardo ranks in the top six of ERA, strikeouts and wins in the NL.

11. Philadelphia Phillies (42-37) Chase Utley (18 HR and 55 RBI), Raul Ibanez (22 HR and 59 RBI) and Ryan Howard (20 HR and 60 RBI) make the team. The speculation continues on whether or not the Phillies could get a fourth consecutive different MVP, but Albert Pujols may have something to say about that.

12. Minnesota Twins (43-40) The new version of the M&M boys make the roster easily, while Joe Nathan also gets picked. Joe Mauer is batting .389, while Justin Morneau has 21 homers.

13. Toronto Blue Jays (42-41) It’s really a shame that Aaron Hill isn’t starting in the all star game. .299, 20 HR and 59 RBI compared to .290, 3 HR and 36 RBI. Which numbers are better and more deserving? Obviously the first, but Dustin Pedroia (second numbers) is still starting. Hmm… weird. Roy Halladay joins Hill in the mid-summer classic.

14. Seattle Mariners (42-39) Ichiro Suzuki (.362) and Felix Hernandez (2.62 ERA and 114 strikeouts) make the team. Russell Branyan’s .293, 20 HR and 45 RBI could be considered a snub.

15. Colorado Rockies (42-39) Jason Marquis and Brad Hawpe are the only two Rockies to make the team. Marquis has been impressive all year with a league leading 10 wins.

16. Florida Marlins (43-40) Josh Johnson joins Hanley Ramirez in St. Louis. Ramirez does it all from his glove, to his SB (18), to his BA (.346), to his power stats (14 HR and 60 RBI for a shortstop!) The 6″7 giant Josh Johnson has come up huge. He’s 7-1 with a 2.76 ERA.

17. Chicago White Sox (42-40) Mark Buehrle is the only White Sox to make the all star roster this year. Buehrle’s 8-2 record was enough to give him the nod over the rest of his team for the White Sox all star spot.

18. Chicago Cubs (40-39) Who would have thought at the beginning of the season the Cubs would only have one all star, and that one all star would be Ted Lilly? Lilly kind of got in by default considering no one else on the team was worthy enough to go and they had to take somebody from the Cubbies.

19. Cincinnati Reds (40-40) Francisco Cordero is the sole Red to make the game. Cordero has been impressive in his closer role this season, but you can’t help thinking that Johnny Cueto, a starter, is more deserving of the Reds spot than him. Cueto has a 2.69 ERA, with an 8-4 record. These numbers are better than Johan Santana’s 3.29 ERA and 9-7.

20. New York Mets (39-42) The three under Mets have four players going to the mid-summer classic. David Wright and Carlos Beltran are awarded starting roles, while Johan Santana and Francisco Rodriguez also will make appearances.

21. Atlanta Braves (39-42) Brian McCann is the only Brave to make the roster. Batting .304 in the catcher position is very difficult and is worthy of a spot.

22. Houston Astros (39-41) Miguel Tejada will represent the Astros at the all star game this season. Tejada has quietly put together a great season in Houston, while the numbers from Carlos Lee and Lance Berkman have plummeted.

23. Baltimore Orioles (36-46) Adam Jones is the only Oriole to make St. Louis. This team very well could have many future all stars, but Jones is already performing at that level. Jones has great range in the outfield, while also contributing power, and manufacturing 52 runs.

24. Pittsburgh Pirates (37-45) Former batting champion Freddy Sanchez makes another appearance in the all star game. He’s the most deserving Pirate.

25. San Diego Padres (35-46) Adrian Gonzalez and Heath Bell (1.49 ERA and 23 saves) make the all star team. Gonzalez (24 HR and 51 RBI) has put up ridiculous numbers for a guy who has absolutely no protection in his lineup.

26. Kansas City Royals (35-46) Zack Greinke is the only deserving Royal of an all star appearance. Greinke has a league best 2.00 ERA to go along with 10 wins and 120 strikeouts.

27. Oakland A’s (34-46) Could the deal for Scott Hairston be a harbinger of Matt Holliday’s fate? Holliday will be one of the most valuable players a contender could deal for at the trade deadline, and this Hairston move may indeed indicate the A’s have already found their replacement for him. Andrew Bailey makes the roster because somebody had to make it and 2.03 is a pretty good ERA.

28. Arizona Diamondbacks (33-49) The D’backs actually get two players to St. Louis. Dan Haren, who has been as dominant as any pitcher this season, yet receives no run support, and Justin Upton.

29. Cleveland Indians (33-50) Victor Martinez is the sole Indian to make the all star game. Martinez is hitting for average (.303) and power this season.

30. Washington Nationals (24-55) The Nats Ryan Zimmerman goes to the mid-summer classic. Who could forget his amazing hitting streak? Ryan Dunn also sort of deserved a spot, he’s 22 long balls so far.


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