1. New York Yankees (87-50) Nobody has been better than the Yankees since the all-star break. The Yanks own an astounding 36-12 record, have the best team ERA in the AL and also have the most home runs and RBI in the majors.
2. Los Angeles Angels (81-54) Has anyone taken notice of Vladimir Guerrero’s exceptional August? Vladdy hit .337 with nine home runs and 17 RBI. What about Kendry Morales too? His numbers in August (.385, 10 homers and 33 RBI) even trump Vladdy’s.
3. St Louis Cardinals (81-57) The Cardinals only had a minimal 0.5 game lead in the NL Central on August 1, but now they hold an 11.5 game lead just over a month later. Everyone talks about the addition of all the hitters to their lineup, but the pitching has also excelled (3.06 team ERA in August.)
4. Boston Red Sox (79-57) Jon Lester set the Red Sox club record for the most strikeouts by a left-handed pitcher in a single season. Lester has already recorded 204 strikeouts so far.
5. Los Angeles Dodgers (81-57) The Dodgers have seen their lead all but disappear in the west. The lead has now fallen to 3.5 games, and is only playing .500 ball since the all-star break. It seems like Ned Colletti doesn’t know what to do with himself. He is seemingly has no idea what to do to get the Dodgers over the hump and is freaking out by making a bunch of moves.
6. Philadelphia Phillies (77-57) We saw it last year in C.C. Sabathia, but it’s been proven once again this year: It’s almost unfair for an AL pitcher to move to the NL midseason like Cliff Lee did. Lee should easily take pitcher of the month in August with his 4-1, 2.00 ERA and 38 strikeouts.
7. Texas Rangers (76-60) Elvis Andrus is really starting to show why Michael Young was forced out of his shortstop position. The rookie hit .391 and scored seven runs last week.
8. Detroit Tigers (75-61) The Tigers are finally starting to pull away from the abundance of mediocrity featured in the AL Central. Since August 1, the Tigers lead has skyrocketed from 1.5 games to a seven-game advantage over the Twins.
9. Colorado Rockies (77-60) During Yorvit Torrealba’s 15 game hitting streak the guy’s been on fire. He’s hit .375, added eight RBI and scored 11 runs in that span. The 15 game hitting streak is the longest all time for a Rockie catcher.
10. San Francisco Giants (75-62) It’s been a long time since the Giants won the World Series. The last time they did it was 1954 when the Polo Grounds was still their home. It will be very difficult to change that trend this year considering the Rockies seem to be poised for a return trip to the playoffs.
11. Tampa Bay Rays (72-64) The Rays have lost eight of their last 11. September has been particularly tough for the bullpen so far. In six games during September, the Rays pen is 1-3, 7.41 ERA with three blown saves. The pen also has more walks (15) than hits (12.)
12. Seattle Mariners (72-66) Congrats to Ichiro Suzuki who has become the fastest player to 2,000 hits in his career. This team continues to quietly put together a good season. With a pitching staff including Felix Hernandez, Erik Bedard and Ian Snell, you have to like their chances to stick around as contenders for a couple of years.
13. Florida Marlins (72-65) Have you ever heard of some guy named Chris Coghlan? He plays outfield for the Marlins and hit .385 with four home runs and 18 RBI in August.
14. Atlanta Braves (70-67) It’s great to see Tim Hudson back and healthy, but the Braves are fading fast. Hudson is 1-0 with a 2.19 ERA in his two starts since returning from the DL.
15. Minnesota Twins (68-68) For those people out there who thought catching an entire season would catch up to Joe Mauer’s batting numbers, you only need to look at August to be proven wrong. Last month Mauer hit .391 with eight homers and 23 RBI
16. Chicago Cubs (68-67) The only team that has been more disappointing than the Cubs this year is the Mets who just won their first series since July against guess who…those underachieving Cubbies.
17. Chicago White Sox (68-70) After 21 games, it’s safe to say the Alex Rios experiment has been an utter failure. Rios is only batting .160 as a White Sox.
18. Milwaukee Brewers (66-70) Prince Fielder’s belly flop at second was hilarious yesterday. Also his celebration at the plate after his walk-off homer was great. Fielder is tearing up the NL with 37 home runs and 123 RBI.
19. Houston Astros (66-70) Nobody really talks about him, but Michael Bourn is the epitome of a leadoff hitter. He’s swiped 52 bases, the most in the NL. He also just finds a way to get on base, he has a .370 OBP this season.
20. Cincinnati Reds (63-73) Out of nowhere the Reds have won seven games in a row and 12 of 14. During the seven game winning streak the Reds have only given up 2.5 runs per game, while scoring more than double (5.1 runs a game.)
21. Cleveland Indians (60-76) It’s always hard to gain momentum when players are going in and out of a revolving door. The Tribe has only had four players play more than 100 games this season, and one, Grady Sizemore, is done for the season with only 106 games played.
22. New York Mets (62-75) Could you imagine paying your employees $90 million for anything? Now imagine paying that $90 million, while your employees all stay at home because they’re sick, yet still get paid your money. That’s exactly what’s happened to Metropolitan owner Fred Wilpon.
23. Oakland A’s (61-76) Hopefully the A’s will get a new stadium soon because playing in the decrepit McAfee Coliseum is just embarrassing. They’ve only averaged 17,774 at home games in a colossal NFL stadium, which just looks jarring on camera. Also, if you’re at the stadium, you can’t really get into it because nobody else is there.
24. Toronto Blue Jays (61-75) The Jays have lost 10 of their last 14. With the exception of Roy Halladay, it seems like the rest of the hurlers in Toronto have forgotten how to pitch. The Jays averaged giving up 6.7 runs a game in the 10 losses, and still gave up five runs a game in the four wins in that span.
25. San Diego Padres (61-77) The Padres have actually played well as of late. They’ve won nine of their last 12 and will take on the two wild card hopefuls (Rockies and Giants) this week. Will they be able to play the spoiler role as they did in Dodger Stadium this weekend?
26. Arizona Diamondbacks (61-77) At the beginning of the season, you’d be hard pressed to find someone say the Dbacks would be in last place on September 7, but that’s exactly where they sit.
27. Baltimore Orioles (56-81) When you’re 25 games under, there’s not many good things to talk about, but at least the O’s do have one shining star. Jeremy Guthrie has been dominant his last four starts with a 1.33 ERA…it’s about time Guthrie!
28. Kansas City Royals (51-85) The Royals will be the second team to officially be eliminated from playoff contention. As it stands now, the Royals need to win every single game from here on, and need the Tigers to lose every single game…
29. Pittsburgh Pirates (54-81) The Pirates barely escaped a 10 game losing streak Sunday afternoon. If I was a fan in Pittsburgh, I’d boycott this team – the owners obviously don’t want it, and are insulting the fans intelligence by pretending like they do every time they try justifying a ridiculous trade.
30. Washington Nationals (47-90) The Nati(o)nals have officially been eliminated from playoff contention… I will no longer write a short blurb on them or any team that’s been eliminated. I will just point out their record, and maybe just laugh at how pathetic that record is. I mean honestly guys, you do realize you’re more games under .500 than you’ve won – that’s unbelievable.
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