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*Baseball Records & Team Rankings are as of 8/16/2009
(Our Next Major League Baseball Power Ratings Update: 8/29/2009)
1. New York Yankees (74-44) – The Yankees have extended their lead in the American League East to a robust 7.5 games. New York is a season high 30 games over .500 heading into Monday’s action. The Yankees failed to complete a four game sweep on the road in Seattle, but three out of four on the road will work for Girardi and the team. Derek Jeter has bumped his batting average to .323, as Mark Teixeira leads in power numbers with 30 homeruns and 86 runs batted in. Free agent pick-up C.C. Sabathia leads the pitching staff in wins (13), earned run average (3.64) and innings pitched (170.2). The Yankees continue their long road trip on Monday when they start a three game series in Oakland. After they finish out west, New York will come back home to take on the Red Sox in a huge late August four game set at Fenway Park.
2. Los Angeles Angels (70-45) – The Angels have won seven of their last ten games, and kept their lead in the American League West at 4.5 games over the Texas Rangers. Los Angeles is 36-22 when playing at home, while winning 34 of 57 on the road. The Angels got a big boost when outfielder Torii Hunter came back from the disabled list. He went 2-6 in his return, which was his first game since July 7th. Juan Rivera has taken over as the teams batting leader, with a .312 batting average, while Kendry Morales has blasted 25 homeruns on the season. Jered Weaver has been the pitching staff for the Angels, winning 12 games, while pitching 153.0 innings. The Angels will finish their four game series at Baltimore on Monday. Los Angeles will look to finish the series winning the final three games. After they leave Baltimore, the Angels will head to Cleveland and Toronto for three game sets.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers (70-48) – At 22 games over .500, the Dodgers are shaking off the ideas of their struggles. Despite going 4-6 in their last 10 games, Los Angeles continues to lead the NL West by 5 games over the Colorado Rockies. After losing two of three to Arizona, the worst news of the recent weeks has been the loss of starter Jason Schmidt and then the scary injury of Kuroda, after getting hit in the head with a line drive. Matt Kemp is leading the offense with a .311 batting average, while Andre Ethier has hit 24 homeruns, and drove in 80 runs. Chad Billingsley and Clayton Kershaw are doing the job on the mound for LA, as Billingsley has picked up 11 wins, and Kershaw has an ERA under 3.00. The Dodgers will start a huge three game series with the Central leading St. Louis Cardinals starting on Monday. Following that series, the Cubs will come to Los Angeles for a four game weekend series.
4. Philadelphia Phillies (65-49) – The Phillies continue to have a strangle hold on the National League East. Philadelphia currently sits 4.5 games ahead of a surging Marlins team and 5.5 ahead of an Atlanta team that will not go away. The Phillies, mysteriously are 29-29 at home this year, but have won 37 of 57 road games. Philadelphia has feasted on NL Central teams winning 18 of 24 overall against the division. The Phillies are getting quality offensive performances from Shane Victorino (.313), Ryan Howard (30 homeruns, 91 runs batted in) and Chase Utley (82 runs scored). The Phillies, after finishing a two out of three series at Atlanta, will now come home and take on the Arizona Diamondbacks for a three game series, starting Tuesday. The Phillies will then play at New York for a weekend set.
5. Texas Rangers (66-50) – With a weekend series win over the Boston Red Sox, the Rangers took over the American League Wildcard. Currently, Texas leads Boston by just ½ game. Texas is trying to figure out what they are going to do at the catcher position, with Jarrod Saltalamacchia going on the disabled list. Ian Kinsler has continued his hot season, as he has hit 25 homeruns, and drove in 66 runs. Kevin Millwood has been solid on the bump for Texas, with 9 wins, a 3.31 earned run average, and leads the team in innings pitched with just under 150. The Rangers will look to continue their winning streak on Monday when they host the Minnesota Twins in the first of a four game series. Following Minnesota coming to town, the Rangers will head Southeast and take on the Tampa Bay Rays on the road.
6. St. Louis Cardinals (67-52) – The St. Louis Cardinals have been the hottest team in the Major Leagues as of late, as new comers Matt Holliday and Mark DeRosa have keyed the offense, along with triple crown candidate Albert Pujols. Pujols is leading in homeruns and runs batted in, and third in batting average coming into Monday’s play. Along with the MVP candidate, St. Louis also has a shot at crowing a CY Young, with Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright. Carpenter is second in the NL in earned run average with a 2.27 and Wainwright leads the NL in wins with 13. The Cardinals lead the NL Central by a full five games, which is the high water mark of the season for St. Louis. The Cardinals will head west, starting on Monday as they take on the Los Angeles Dodgers, for a three game series. Over the weekend, the Cardinals will look to repeat the three game sweep of the San Diego Padres, this time for four, and on the road.
7. Boston Red Sox (66-51) – The Red Sox dropped the final two of the series at Texas to fall to half game behind Texas for the American League Wildcard lead. Boston is looking for more production from slugger David Ortiz, who has yet to get going in 2009. Jason Bay, after his quick start, continues to lead the team in homeruns, with 25, and runs batted in (83). Boston will begin a three game series on the road in Toronto on Tuesday, and then start a huge weekend series with the New York Yankees on Friday. Boston currently trails the Yankees by seven games in the American League East.
8. Colorado Rockies (65-53) – The Rockies remained in the lead in the wildcard standings, after picking up a win over the Florida Marlins on Sunday. Colorado leads the wildcard over San Francisco by one game, and the Marlins by two. Todd Helton leads the team in batting with a .318 average. Troy Tulowitzki and Brad Hawpe are also putting up solid numbers, with 23 homeruns and 70 runs batted in. Colorado is looking towards the NL West crown, as they come into Monday’s action just five games behind the Dodgers. The Rockies and Nationals will start a three game series in the nation’s capital on Tuesday, and then Colorado will come back home and play a huge three game weekend series with the Giants.
9. San Francisco Giants (63-54) – The Giants remain just six games behind the Dodgers in the NL West, but more importantly, just a game behind Colorado within the wildcard. San Francisco has two of the top five candidates for Cy Young in righthanders Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum. Cain leads the team in wins with 12, while Lincecum leads all NL pitchers with a 2.19 earned run average. Rookie first base men Pablo Sandoval leads the team in hitting (.329), homeruns (18) and runs batted in (70). The Giants will finish their four game series on Monday at Citi Field in New York, before heading for three in Cincinnati, followed by a three game set at Colorado.
10. Tampa Bay Rays (63-54) – After losing in the first game of a three game series with Toronto, the Rays bounced back and won the final two. Tampa Bay is turning towards the wildcard, as they trail the New York Yankees by ten full games. Tampa Bay is led in hitting by Jason Bartlett and his .342 batting average, while Carlos Pena leads the team with 31 homeruns. Tampa Bay starts a six game home stand on Tuesday with three against Baltimore and three against Texas.
11. Florida Marlins (63-55) – The Marlins continue to make a run at the Phillies, and also the Rockies and Giants for a playoff spot. Florida has been sparked by all star shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who is leading all NL batters with a .356 batting average. Ramirez also leads the team with 82 runs batted in, 76 runs scored and 22 stolen bases. Dan Uggla leads the Marlins with 21 homeruns. Josh Johnson is putting up near Cy Young numbers, with 12 wins and an earned run average under 3.00. Florida will start a road trip on Tuesday, at Houston, followed by a three game, weekend series at Atlanta.
12. Atlanta Braves (61-55) – Atlanta continues to hang around within the National League East, trailing both the Philadelphia Phillies and the Florida Marlins. The Braves are coming off losing two out of three to the Phillies over the weekend. Atlanta has been sparked offensively by Yunel Escobar, with a .298 batting average, and Chipper Jones, who leads the team with 15 homeruns. The Braves play a single game against Arizona on Monday, and then start a three game series at New York, followed by a home weekend series with the Florida Marlins.
13. Detroit Tigers (62-55) – The Detroit Tigers, at 7 games over .500, have a 2.5 game lead over the Chicago White Sox in the American League Central. The Tigers are coming off a two out of three series win at Kansas City, including a 1-0 shut-out, followed by a 10-3 thrashing. Miguel Cabrera leads the Tigers in all three of the top offensive categories, with a .330 batting average, 24 homeruns and 70 runs batted in. Justin Verlander has bounced back with a solid 2009 season, leading the team with 13 wins, and an earned run average of 3.28. The Tigers will start a home series with the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday, and then head out on the road in Oakland over the weekend.
14. Chicago Cubs (60-55) – The Chicago Cubs were rained out of Sunday’s action with the Pittsburgh Pirates. That was a game the Cubs wanted to play, as Chicago had won the first two of the series and were poised for a third. The Cubs have fallen five back of the St. Louis Cardinals within the National League Central. The Cubs look to have a few of their starting pitchers back, including Ted Lilly and Carlos Zambrano. Chicago will start a West Coast road trip on Monday, starting with three against the San Diego Padres, and then four over the weekend at the Los Angeles Dodgers.
15. Seattle Mariners (61-57) – The Mariners, at four games over .500, have fallen to 11 full games behind the AL West leading Los Angeles Angels. Seattle avoided a four game on Sunday with a 10-3 win over the Yankees. Ichiro Suzuki leads the team with a .360 batting average, while power hitter Russell Branyan leads in power numbers with 27 homeruns. Felix Hernandez leads the starting pitching staff with 12 wins, and leads the team in innings pitched, with 165.1. The Mariners will start a road trip on Tuesday against the Detroit Tigers , and then a weekend series at Cleveland.
16. Chicago White Sox (60-58) – The White Sox remain three games behind the Detroit Tigers at the top of the American League Central. The White Sox failed to sweep the series at Oakland, falling on Sunday 3-2. Alex Rios coming over from Toronto was supposed to spark plug the offensive unit for Chicago, but two games after being shut-out, the White Sox scored just two runs. Mark Buerhle has been outstanding for Chicago, leading the team with 11 wins, an earned run average at 3.78, all while leading the team in innings pitched, with 166.2. The White Sox will start a series with the Kansas City Royals on Monday, then take Thursday off before hosting the Baltimore Orioles at home over the weekend.
17. Milwaukee Brewers (58-59) – The Brewers were on the verge of climbing over .500, and sweeping divisional rival Houston, until the bullpen faltered and they dropped an 8-5 decision. The Brewers are in third place in the NL Central, eight games behind the St. Louis Cardinals. Ryan Braun is having another outstanding season with a .316 batting average, while Prince Fielder is challenging Albert Pujols at the top of the NL runs batted in category with 105, along with 30 homeruns. The Brewers and Pirates will hook up for a three game set in Pittsburgh, starting on Monday, and following an off day on Thursday, the Brewers and Nationals will meet in the nation’s capital.
18. Houston Astros (57-61) – The Astros have fallen to fourth place, and 9.5 games out of first place in the NL Central. Houston avoided a sweep, and snapped a three game losing streak on Sunday, banging around the Milwaukee bullpen to win 8-5. Houston is getting quality performances from aging veterans such as Miguel Tejada (.313 batting average) and Carlos Lee (19 homeruns, 74 runs batted in). Michael Bourn leads all national league players in stolen bases with 44. Roy Oswalt and Wandy Rodriguez have both been solid of late in the front end of the rotation, as Oswalt leads in innings pitched with 148 and Rodriguez leads in wins (11) and earned run average (3.05). The Astros will start a home stand this week, as they host the Florida Marlins for three and the Atlanta Braves for three.
19. Minnesota Twins (56-61) – The Twins, despite the fact that they are 5 games under .500, continue to sit within striking distance of the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central. The Twins have struggled of late, losing two straight, and seven of their last ten. The latest rash of losses came in the final two games of a three game series with the Cleveland Indians. Joe Mauer is leading all of baseball with a .377 batting average, and Justin Morneau continues to put up impressive numbers with 28 homeruns, 94 runs batted in, and 79 runs scored. The Twins and Texas Rangers start a four game series in Arlington on Monday, followed by a trip to Kansas City over the weekend.
20. Toronto Blue Jays (55-61) – The Blue Jays continue to hover just below .500, at 55-61. The Blue Jays have lost two straight games, and six of their last ten overall. Toronto traded their top offensive star, Scott Rolen to Cincinnati at the trading deadline, and recently traded outfielder Alex Rios to the White Sox. Aaron Hill leads the team in homeruns with 28 and runs batted in with 80. Roy Halladay continues to lead the starting pitching staff, with 13 wins, an earned run average of 2.65 in 173 innings pitched. The Blue Jays and Red Sox will meet up in Toronto for a three game series spanning from Tuesday – Thursday, and then welcome to Angels to town for a weekend set.
21. New York Mets (55-62) – The Mets simply cannot wait for the 2009 season to end. After the rash of injuries struck New York throughout most of the season, the biggest blow came this weekend when David Wright was struck on the head by a Matt Cain fast ball. Manager Jerry Manuel says Wright may be out for the season, which would probably be a wise choice at this point. Wright was leading the team in batting average, with a .324 batting average, along with runs batted in (55), runs scored (74), and stolen bases(24). New York is eight games under .500 and 12.5 games behind the front running Philadelphia Phillies. The Mets are 5 games over .500 at home, but have really struggled, to the tune of 23-35 on the road. The Mets will finish a four game series with the Giants at home on Monday, and then welcome the Braves and Phillies to down for the rest of the week.
22. Arizona Diamondbacks (54-64) – The Diamondbacks are trying to make a push near the .500 mark in the final month and half of the season. Arizona sits at ten games under .500, and 16.5 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. Arizona is 28-35 when playing at home this season, and 26-30 on the road. The Diamondbacks failed to complete a three game sweep at home over the Dodgers on Sunday, but taking two out of three is a quality series. Arizona will play a single game on Monday at Atlanta, before heading to Philadelphia for three games and Houston for three more over the weekend.
23. Oakland Athletics (52-65) – The Athletics took the final game of a three game series with the White Sox, to salvage one in the three game series. Now the Athletics will host the AL leading New York Yankees for a three game series. Oakland is getting quality production from Adam Kennedy, as he is batting .287. Jack Cust leads the team in homeruns with 16 and runs scored (63). Dallas Braden leads the team in wins, with 8, but is under .500, with 9 losses. The Athletics lost Braden with a rash on his left foot on August 8th, but appear to have Justin Duchscherer on his way back on Tuesday.
24. Cleveland Indians (51-66) – The best of a poor state of Ohio baseball, the Cleveland Indians are 15 games under .500, and 11 games out of first place. The Indians trail third place Minnesota by 5 games, and 8.5 behind second place Chicago. The Indians are 25-36 when playing at home, and 21-35 on the road. After getting drubbed 11-0 by the Minnesota Twins in the first of a series, the Indians knocked off the Twins in the final two games. The Indians will host the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and then host the Seattle Mariners on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
25. Cincinnati Reds (50-67) – After competing until early July, the Reds have fallen completely flat on their face. Cincinnati has dropped to 17 games below .500, and just 3.5 games ahead of divisional doormat Pittsburgh. The Reds have lost starting pitchers Micah Owings and Edinson Volquez to injury, and also offensive stars Jay Bruce and Scott Rolen. The Reds have continued to be puzzled by the poor performances of starting pitcher Aaron Harang. Harang leads the team with 155.1 innings, and also an earned run average of 4.35, but is 6-14 on the season. Brandon Phillips has become the offensive star for the Reds, leading in batting average (.262), runs batted in (75) and runs scored (58). After losing three of four to Washington, the Reds will host the San Francisco Giants for a three game series, starting Tuesday. After the Reds host San Francisco, they will head on the road for a three game set in Pittsburgh.
26. Baltimore Orioles (48-69) – The Orioles once again look to finish at the bottom of the rugged American League East. Baltimore trails the leading Yankees by 25.5 games, but more importantly for Baltimore, they trail fourth place Toronto by 7.5 games. On Monday, the Orioles traded first basemen Aubrey Huff to the Detroit Tigers. Baltimore will finish a four game series with the Angels on Monday, and then start a road trip that begins Tuesday at Tampa Bay and extends to a weekend series at Chicago.
27. San Diego Padres (49-70) – The Padres dropped their fourth straight game on Sunday, this time in walk-off fashion. After leading 5-4 heading into the ninth inning, Heath Bell surrendered a fifth run, and then allowed a two run homerun to Cardinals rookie Colby Rasmus. The win for the Cardinals completed a three game sweep of the Padres. San Diego has fallen to 21.5 games behind the Dodgers, and five games back of Arizona, for fourth place in the NL West. The lone bright spot for the Padres has been first base men Adrian Gonzalez. Gonzalez leads the team in batting average (.279), homeruns (32), runs batted in (72) and runs scored (70). San Diego will host the Chicago Cubs for three starting on Monday, and then a re-match with the Cardinals, for four, over the weekend.
28. Kansas City Royals (46-71) – The Royals look to just play the role of the spoiler in the American League Central. Kansas City will see an array of games with the Central Division leader Detroit, and teams chasing them, Chicago and Minnesota. Kansas City just came off a Sunday win against Detroit. Now the Royals will start a three game series in Chicago with the White Sox. After taking Thursday off, the Royals will host the Minnesota Twins over the weekend.
29. Pittsburgh Pirates (46-70) – The Pirates have fallen to 24 games under .500, and dropped 19.5 games back of the Cardinals, in last place in the NL Central. Pittsburgh is just 18-43 when playing on the road this season. Pittsburgh was saved by the rain, in what separated them from what looked like a three game sweep at the hands of the Chicago Cubs. The Pirates will start a three game series at home with the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday, and then after taking Thursday off, the Pirates will host the Reds for a three game series over the weekend.
30. Washington Nationals (43-75) – The Nationals are approaching coming out of the bottom, as they are just three wins behind Pittsburgh. Washington has won three in a row, and seven of their last ten, coming off three wins in a row over the Reds. The Nationals main problem has been winning on the road, as they are a lowly 17-42 overall on the road. The big news for Washington is the questionable nature of if they can sign first overall pick Stephen Strasburg, as Monday evening is the deadline. The Nationals are getting solid numbers from power hitting outfielder Adam Dunn. Dunn has proven his ability this season, hitting 31 homeruns and driving in 86 runs. The Nationals are 24.5 games behind the Phillies in the NL East. Washington will start a three game series on Tuesday with the Colorado Rockies. Following that series, Washington will host the Milwaukee Brewers for three games over the weekend.