Sober Rankings

1. New York Yankees (92-52) As if you needed someone else in that mighty Yankee lineup to fear. Hideki Matsui is returning to his old form hitting 28 RBI his last 24 games.

2. Los Angeles Angels (86-56) Even though Scott Kazmir is still searching for his first victory as a halo, he’s pitched very well in his three starts. He only has a 1.86 ERA with twice as many strikeouts to walks.

3. Los Angeles Dodgers (85-59) The Dodgers jump back up to the three spot behind Vicente Padilla, who has been dominant against the NL this season. He’s 5-0, 2.01 and may be the go-to pitcher the Dodgers need in the playoffs.

4. St Louis Cardinals (84-60) Chris Carpenter had two starts this week. One was really good – CG one hitter – one was really bad – 6 IP, 7 earned runs. Getting swept by the Braves wasn’t exactly what they were looking for considering they’re in a race for the best record in the NL with the Dodgers.

5. Boston Red Sox (84-58) Clay Buchholz has been dominant his last four outings. He’s recorded 3-0, 1.59 ERA with three times as many strikeouts (22) as walks (7.)

6. Philadelphia Phillies (82-60) Brad Lidge has to be a major concern to Phillie fans heading into the postseason. The guy has been awful all year, and his last four outings were as bad as any. In his last four outings he has a 12.00 ERA – not a misprint.

7. Colorado Rockies (82-66) The Rockies are starting to distance themselves from the pack and can really make a dent in their series this week against the Giants. On the other hand, if they get swept, everybody will be back in the race with 15 to play.

8. Texas Rangers (80-62) Stay positive Ranger fans. You are going to get your chance to make the playoffs. You still have seven games left against the Angels. Also the Angels and Red Sox are playing tomorrow, so that’s a win-win.

9. Detroit Tigers (76-66) Everyone talks about Justin Verlander, Edwin Jackson and even Jarrod Washburn, but this pitching staff also has the probable rookie of the year pitcher too in Rick Porcello. Porcello has 13 wins this season, the most of rookies.

10. San Francisco Giants (77-66) Sweep – that’s exactly what the Giants need when Colorado comes into town. Once the Giants get past this week, the rest of their schedule is quite easy, so their goal will be to hang around for one more week.

11. Florida Marlins (76-67) It’s always difficult to make up ground in a wild card race if one of your starting pitchers is a guaranteed loss every time he steps up to the bump. Chris Volstad has a scary 9.93 ERA in his last six starts and may be forced to take a timeout on the bench.

12. Atlanta Braves (75-68) With 13 games left against the Nationals and Mets and the other six against the Phillies and Marlins, the Braves have the perfect blend of easy games to go along with meaningful games to get them back in contention.

13. Chicago Cubs (73-68) Here’s an interesting stat the average fan might not suspect: since 2007 Ted Lilly has the most wins in the NL. The Cubs lefty has won 44 games in that time.

14. Seattle Mariners (74-70) Everybody talks about the Rangers and Rays being more deserving of a playoff spot than Detroit, but it’s the Mariners who actually have a better record than the Rays right now. Oh, that underrated AL West.

15. Tampa Bay Rays (72-71) The Rays find themselves at their worst ranking all season long. Losing 11 straight games usually will do that to any team…

16. Minnesota Twins (71-72) The Twins are still trying to hang around, and they’re doing so with the help of Brian Duensing who has gone 3-0, 1.74 ERA since he joined the starting rotation.

17. Chicago White Sox (71-73) The White Sox are going to try to salvage what’s rest of the season by finishing above the .500 mark and building for next year, when they have that dynamic Buehrle-Peavy 1-2 punch.

18. San Diego Padres (65-79) Don’t look now, but the Padres have quietly put together six consecutive series victories. They’ve played the spoiler role to the max taking two of three from the Dodgers, Giants and Rockies the last week and a half.

19. Milwaukee Brewers (69-73) Prince Fielder has officially hit the most RBI in a single season of any Brewer. Fielder’s 126 RBI eclipse the club record set by Cecil Cooper in 1983.

20. Houston Astros (70-73) Carlos Lee has quietly put together one of the best seasons of anyone. The slugger has 25 home runs, 95 RBI, and is even batting .307.

21. Toronto Blue Jays (65-78) They’re actually eliminated because they play in that ridiculous AL East. Definitely the best team that’s eliminated so far. Speaking of eliminations, isn’t it kind of sad so many teams are completely out of it with three full weeks still to play?

22. Oakland A’s (64-78) Eliminated officially, goodbye.

23. Cincinnati Reds (64-79) The Reds actually are still alive, they need to win the rest of their games, while having everyone ahead of them basically lose all their remaining games – it’s as easy as that.

24. New York Mets (63-81) Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, hey, hey, hey, goodbye…

25. Cleveland Indians (61-81) Still alive…barely because the AL Central is not exactly the toughest of divisions. This team will definitely be eliminated from playoff contention by next week though. No question about it.

26. Arizona Diamondbacks (62-82) Done for…Come back again in 2010.

27. Baltimore Orioles (58-84) Eliminated…Camden Yards is still great though…

28. Kansas City Royals (57-86) Officially eliminated – enough said…

29. Pittsburgh Pirates (55-86) Eliminated, I’m going to see this team today… yawn…

30. Washington Nationals (50-94) Also eliminated, not worth my time…

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