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*Baseball Records & Team Rankings are as of 6/8/2009
(Our Next Major League Baseball Power Ratings Update: 6/15/2009)
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (39-20) – The Dodgers continue to sit comfortably atop the power rankings with their 39-20 record, and 8.5 game cushion over the Giants. Los Angeles just finished a four game week-end split with the defending champion Philadelphia Phillies. Los Angeles has gotten quality offense from Manny Ramirez’ replacement Juan Pierre. Pierre is leading the team in batting with a .360 mark. Chad Billingsley is one game behind Jason Marquis for the top spot in the NL in wins, with 7. The Dodgers will host the San Diego Padres for a brief two game set, before taking Thursday off, and playing a weekend set in the Lone Star state against the AL West leading Texas Rangers.
2. Philadelphia Phillies (33-22) – The Phillies make a five team climb to the # 2 position, despite just winning two of four in Los Angeles. Closer Brad Lidge continued to struggle in Dodger Stadium, the place has been a nightmare for the closer, as he is 0-3 with a 7.27 earned run average, blowing 6 saves in 19 tries. The Phillies enjoy a three game lead of the pesky and banged up New York Mets. The Phillies will have the chance to add some more cushion between them and the Mets this week, as they head to the new Citi Field for a three game set. After the Phillies leave Flushing, they will head back home and face the Boston Red Sox in a three game week-end set.
3. New York Yankees (33-23) – After getting postponed on Friday night, the Yankees split two games with the Tampa Bay Rays, with the final game set for Monday evening. The Yankees remain at # 3 in the power rankings, despite their American League best 33-23 record. The Yankees hold a slim one game lead over the Red Sox in the AL East. New York and Boston will play a three game set, starting on Tuesday in Boston. The Red Sox have beaten the Yankees five straight to start the 2009 rivalry. After the Yankees leave Boston, things will not get easier, as they come home to take on their city rival, the Mets in a three game set.
4. Texas Rangers (33-23) – The Rangers took two of three in Boston, and still fell two spots from # 2 to # 4. It was more about the play of Philadelphia and New York then it was about the Rangers. Texas leads the American League West with their 33-23 record, by 4.5 games of the Los Angeles Angels. Texas confirmed bad news on Sunday, finding out outfielder Josh Hamilton will not return until most likely after the All Star break with the right abdominal injury. Scott Feldman and Kevin Millwood continue to pitch well for the Rangers, both with five wins, while Millwood has a team best earned run average of 2.96. Texas will start a four game series at home on Monday with the Toronto Blue Jays, and then stay home and take on the Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend.
5. Milwaukee Brewers (33-24) – The Brewers used a nice weekend, winning two of three over Atlanta to surge to a 2.5 game lead in the National League Central. The Brewers remain at # 5 this week, the same spot they residing in last week. Milwaukee has used a 21-10 record against Central Division foes to assist in the first place lead. Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder continue to make their case for the All Star Game, as Braun leads the team with a .310 batting average, and Fielder has hit 15 homeruns and drove in 54 runs. Yovani Gallardo leads the team with six wins, and a 2.84 earned run average. The Brewers will start a home stand on Tuesday in which they will host the red hot Colorado Rockies for three, followed by the Chicago White Sox over the weekend.
6. Boston Red Sox (33-24) – The Red Sox continue to keep pace with the front running New York Yankees. Boston trails by just a game in the American League East race. If the playoffs started today, the Red Sox would play at Texas, as the wildcard representative. Kevin Youkilis is tearing the cover off the baseball for Boston, hitting a team best .349, while Jason Bay is proving his worth with 16 homeruns and 55 runs batted in. The Red Sox will host their rival New York Yankees, starting on Tuesday. The Red Sox have won the first five games they have played against New York this season. Over the weekend, Boston will take on the Philadelphia Phillies, in Philadelphia. Boston remains # 6 in the power rankings.
7. New York Mets (30-25) – The Mets have jumped one position from last weeks # 8 to # 7 this week. New York has survived a plethora of injuries, with the most damage from shortstop Jose Reyes and set up man J.J. Putz. Putz is expected to miss action until possibly August. The Mets trail the Phillies by three games in the National League East. New York will get their chance to gain ground this week, as they host the Phillies for a three game set starting on Tuesday. The Mets will then travel across town for the Subway Series against the Yankees starting on Friday.
8. Detroit Tigers (30-25) – The Tigers struggles against the American League East continued, falling to 4-14 on the season. Luckily for Detroit, their 14-4 record against the West has spurred them to their 3.5 game lead in the AL Central. Minnesota is 3.5 games back, followed by Chicago (4.5), Kansas City (6.5), and Cleveland (7). Miguel Cabrera continues to swing a hot bat for Detroit, with his team leading .352 batting average. The Tigers move up one spot from # 9 last week, to # 8 this week. Detroit will play a five game series at Chicago, starting Monday, with a doubleheader, and continuing through Thursday. After leaving Chicago, the Tigers will head east to Pittsburgh and take on the Pirates.
9. Toronto Blue Jays (32-27) – After a stretch of their worst play of the season, the Blue Jays have regained form and won six of their last ten games. The Blue Jays were able to move up one spot from last week, jumping from # 10 to # 9. The Blue Jays ace pitcher Roy Halladay became the first to win 10 games, improving his earned run average to 2.52 on Sunday. The Blue Jays are in third place in the American League East, trailing both the Yankees and the Red Sox. The difference between New York and Toronto is currently just 2.5 games. The Blue Jays will head to Arlington on Tuesday and take on the West leading Texas Rangers. Following that series, Toronto will head back north of the border and take on the Florida Marlins for a weekend series.
10. St. Louis Cardinals (31-26) – The Cardinals took a nose dive this week, falling six spots, all the way down to # 10, from last weeks post at # 4. With their four game sweep at the hands of the Colorado Rockies, and their 2-6 home stand, St. Louis drops to 2.5 games out of first place, just one full game ahead of third place Chicago. The Cardinals bats have fallen silent, scoring just 12 runs in their last five games. Chris Carpenter, along with Albert Pujols have seemingly been the teams lone bright spots. Carpenter is 4-0 on the season with a robust 0.71 earned run average. Carpenter will look for win # 5 Tuesday in Miami. Pujols continues to lead the offense, with his .333 batting average, his 18 homeruns and 51 runs batted in. Albert also leads the team in runs scored with 44 and stolen bases with 7. The Cardinals will play a three game set in Miami, starting on Tuesday, and then travel to Cleveland over the weekend.
11. Chicago Cubs (28-26) – The Chicago Cubs have surged to 3.5 games back, now in third place in the National League Central. Chicago needed extra innings in both their two wins over the Reds on the weekend. Chicago also got good news from their minor leagues as Rich Harden pitched four plus innings in Triple A Iowa. Harden was placed on the disabled list on May 18th with a mid back strain. Chicago does not have a regular batting over .300, as Ryan Theriot leads the team with a .291 batting average. The Cubs move up one position from # 12 to # 11 this week. Chicago will travel to Houston on Tuesday, and then host the American League Central’s Minnesota Twins over the weekend.
12. San Francisco Giants (29-26) – The Giants move up two spots from # 14 to # 12, aided by their 18-9 record at home. San Francisco is still 8.5 games behind division leading Los Angeles, but are making a case to be considered for the wildcard. Tim Lincecum picked up his fifth straight win on Sunday, and youngster Pablo Sandoval continues to hit well. Bengie Molina leads the team in both homeruns (8) and runs batted in (34). The Giants start a three game series in Phoenix on Tuesday, and then will come home to play their bay rival, the Oakland Athletics on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
13. Cincinnati Reds (29-27) – The Reds have won just three of their last ten games, and with that mark, have dropped two positions, down from # 11 to # 13. The Reds, despite recent struggles are just 3.5 games out of first, tied with Chicago in third place in the National League Central. Joey Votto continues to reside on the disabled list with stress related issue, while starting pitcher Edison Volquez is out with right elbow tendonitis. Jay Bruce is struggling for the Reds, just three hits in his last 34 at bats. The Reds hope to get back on track on Tuesday, when they play at Washington in the start of a three game set. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday the Reds will be playing at Kansas City.
14. Los Angeles Angels (28-27) – After starting the series with Detroit out right; winning 2-1, the Angels fell in the next two games. Los Angeles is now 4.5 games out of first place in the American League West, just a game ahead of third place Seattle. The Angels drop one position from # 13 to # 14 in the power rankings. Los Angeles will start a three game series in Tampa Bay on Tuesday, followed by a home series with the San Diego Padres, starting on Friday.
15. Tampa Bay Rays (29-29) – Tampa makes a two team jump, from # 17 to # 15. The Rays were postponed in their first game with the New York Yankees, and split the next two. The final game of the four game set is scheduled for Monday at the new Yankee Stadium. Tampa Bay, right at .500 is in fourth place in the American League East, five games behind the Yankees for first place. Jason Bartlett leads the team in batting, but is currently on the disabled list with a sprained left ankle. He is set to return by the weekend. After finishing the series in New York on Monday, the Rays will head home to host the Angels and Nationals in back to back series’.
16. Atlanta Braves (27-28) – At 27-28, the Atlanta Braves continue to reside in the middle of the pack. The current on the field play has not been the discussion for Braves fans lately. Atlanta elected to release Tom Glavine this week, and also traded for All Star outfielder Nate McLouth. The Braves trail the Phillies by just six games in the NL East, good enough for third place. Atlanta will start a four game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, at home, and then head out on the road to Baltimore for the weekend.
17. Seattle Mariners (28-29) – The Mariners made a surge this week, jumping three spots from # 20 to # 17, sweeping Baltimore, and taking two of three from Minnesota. The Mariners are now just one game under .500, and five games back, in third place in the American League West. Seattle has continued to get solid offensive numbers from Ichiro Suzuki, who leads the team with his .356 batting average. Russell Branyan leads in homeruns with 13, and also in runs scored with 33. Seattle will take on Baltimore again this week, this time on the road Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The Mariners will then head to Colorado and take on the Rockies over the weekend.
18. Minnesota Twins (28-30) – The Twins took the first of a three game set with Seattle over the weekend, but dropped the next two. The Twins are two games under .500, but just 3.5 games out of first place. Minnesota moves up one spot from # 19 to # 18 this week. Justin Morneau continues to pace the team in all offensive numbers with a .329 batting average, 15 homeruns, 52 runs batted in, and 44 runs scored. Kevin Slowey continues to lead the pitching staff, as he has won eight games already this series. Minnesota will remain out west and start a four game set in Oakland on Monday, before heading to Wrigley Field for the weekend to take on the Cubs.
19. Florida Marlins (27-31) – Florida improves two spots, despite losing two of the first three to the San Francisco Giants. Florida and San Francisco will conclude their four game set Monday. Last week the Marlins were # 21, this week they have improved to # 19. Hanley Ramirez leads the team in batting, with a .330 clip, and 36 runs scored. Jorge Cantu leads with 42 runs batted in, while Dan Uggla has pounded 11 balls over the wall. The Marlins are 7.5 games behind the division leading Philadelphia Phillies in the National League East. Florida will host the St. Louis Cardinals for a three game set starting Tuesday, and then head north of the border to take on the Toronto Blue Jays for a three game weekend set.
20. San Diego Padres (26-30) – The Padres have cooled off after their major league leading win streak earlier in the season. San Diego has dropped two of the first three to Arizona, with the wrap around game set for Monday. The Padres have not only dropped five spots from # 15 to # 20, they have also fell to 11.5 games behind the Dodgers, third place in the National League West. Adrian Gonzalez continues to make his case for an appearance in St. Louis for the All Star Game, leading the team with 22 homeruns and 43 runs batted in. The Padres will start a brief two game series in Los Angeles on Tuesday with the Dodgers, take a day off Thursday, before playing the Angels in LA over the weekend.
21. Chicago White Sox (26-30) – The White Sox took a nose dive, losing two of three to Cleveland over the weekend to drop to four games under .500. The White Sox are in third place in the American League Central, trailing Detroit by 4.5 games. Chicago fell three spots from # 18 to # 21. Paul Konerko leads the team in batting, albeit under .300, with a a .296 mark. The White Sox will start a five game series at home on Monday, including a doubleheader with the Detroit Tigers. This series will give Chicago an opportunity to climb back into the AL Central race. After the Tigers leave town the Sox will head north to take on the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.
22. Pittsburgh Pirates (26-30) – After trading outfielder Nate McLouth, Pittsburgh ownership has been under the gun, and questioned on their desire to win. Pittsburgh has had 16 straight losing seasons, and the trade of the 27 year old All Star and Gold Glove winner was unexpected. Pittsburgh are in fifth place National League Central with the Houston Astros, 6.5 behind front running Milwaukee. The Pirates were able to move up two spots from # 24 to # 22. Pittsburgh and the Atlanta Braves will play a four game series, starting Monday in Atlanta. After leaving Atlanta, the Pirates will host the Detroit Tigers for three games over the weekend.
23. Colorado Rockies (24-32) – Colorado has won five straight games, including four in a row in St. Louis. Rockies pitching was dynamite in the sweep over the Cardinals, allowing just 9 runs in four games. The Rockies are now 7-3 under new manager Jim Tracy, which allows them to move up four spots from # 27 to # 23. Colorado’s Brad Hawpe is batting .337 on the season with 43 runs batted in; both team leading. Ian Stewart is providing the power in the offense with 11 homeruns, and Jason Marquis leads the entire National League in wins; with 8. The Rockies will continue on the road on Tuesday, when they visit Miller Park, and take on the Brewers. Colorado will be home over the weekend, and host the Seattle Mariners.
24. Oakland Athletics (25-30) – The Oakland Athletics have suddenly become one of the hottest teams in Major League Baseball. Oakland picked up their sixth straight win on Sunday with a 3-0 win over Baltimore. Vin Mazzaro made his second major league start on Sunday allowing just five hits in 7.1 innings of work. Oakland, with their hot play move up five spots from # 29 to # 24. Oakland has moved to within 7 games of front running Texas, just two games behind third place Seattle and 2.5 behind second place Los Angeles. The Athletics will look to move their streak to six Monday when they host the Minnesota Twins. Minnesota will play three more on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, before the Athletics head across the bay to San Francisco for a three game series.
25. Houston Astros (25-30) – The Astros, one day before the 2009 MLB draft have some important decisions to make. It appears they will not be able to compete for a divisional title in 2009, as they trail the Brewers by seven games, in sixth place in the National League Central. Now Houston has to figure out who will remain in future plans. Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Miguel Tejada and Carlos Lee are all aging veterans that could be shipped off before the July trade deadline. Houston was almost to make a three team jump this week, sliding up from # 28 to # 25. The Astros will host the Chicago Cubs for a three game series starting on Tuesday, and then head on the road for the only non inter league series over the weekend, with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
26. Kansas City Royals (24-32) – The Royals have continued to struggle, after their impressive month of May. Kansas City falls four more spots from # 22 last week, to # 26 this week. Even starting pitcher Zack Greinke was banged up over the week, lasting just five innings in a 9-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. Greinke is 8-2 with a 1.55 earned run average on the season. The Royals are just ½ game ahead of Cleveland for fourth place in the American League Central, trailing the front running Detroit Tigers by 6.5 games. The Royals and Indians will meet up for a three game series starting Tuesday, and then Kansas City will host the Cincinnati Reds over the weekend.
27. Cleveland Indians (25-34) – The Indians took two of three over the weekend in Chicago, but fell one position from # 26 to # 27. Cleveland continues to reside at the bottom of the American League Central standings, but now only ½ game behind the Kansas City Royals, and 2.5 behind Chicago. The Indians are still seeing great productivity from catcher Victor Martinez. Martinez is leading the team in batting average (.344), homeruns (10) and runs batted in (41). The Indians will host the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, before welcoming the St. Louis Cardinals into town on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
28. Baltimore Orioles (24-33) – Baltimore makes the biggest fall of the week, dropping seven spots from # 21 to # 28. The Orioles have lost five straight and seven out of their last ten. The Oakland Athletics pulled off a three game sweep over Baltimore over the weekend. Baltimore is a divisional worst 8-20 on the road in 2009. Highly touted rookie Matt Wieters has gotten off to a slow start, hitting just .143 on the season, with just two extra base hits. Jeremy Guthrie continues to lead the pitching staff in wins, with four on the season. Baltimore trails the New York Yankees by ten full games in the American League East standings. The Orioles will enjoy a home stand starting on Tuesday when the Seattle Mariners come to town. After Seattle leaves town the Orioles will welcome the Atlanta Braves to town for a three game series.
29. Arizona Diamondbacks (25-32) – Despite winning two of the first three games at San Diego, the Diamondbacks dropped four spots from # 25 to # 29. Arizona and San Diego will complete their four game series on Monday. Justin Upton leads the team in hitting with a .320 average, while Mark Reynolds is providing the power, with 14 homeruns, 36 runs batted in and 37 runs scored. The Diamondbacks are just ahead of Colorado, in fourth place in the National League West. Arizona trails Los Angeles by 13 games. The Diamondbacks will start a home stand on Tuesday when the San Francisco Giants come to town. Following the Giants will be the Houston Astros for games Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
30. Washington Nationals (15-40) – As the Major League Baseball draft approaches, the Washington Nationals continue to make their case to sign top prospect Stephen Strasburg. The conversation over Strasburg is dominating headlines in the nation’s capital, as the 15-40 Nationals continue to fall further and further back in the standings. Washington trails first place Philadelphia by a MLB high 18 games, just 55 games into the season. The Nationals salvaged a 7-1 win over the Mets on Saturday behind a Nick Johnson homerun. The Nationals will host the Cincinnati Reds for a three game series, starting on Tuesday, before heading South the take on the Tampa Bay Rays over the weekend.
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