It's almost September and the races are heating up. I wanted to write a blog tonight and I couldn't come up on any ideas. I was gonna do a blog on the Rockies but figured that was for another time. So, I'm gonna try to do Power Rankings for the first time. These power rankings are obviously for the whole year so far.
1. Red Sox- No question, this team has been the best team in baseball. With the pitching they have, the near automatic bullpen(besides of Gagne), and the batting line-up which is still tough to handle even though Manny and Ortiz are having down years. They should have got Dye from the White Sox. Ever since the Trade Deadline, he is hitting over .300. And they traded Willy Mo Pena.
2. Angels- I still think this team is winning the WS, but we'll see. The back-end of the rotation has been struggling, but this team still have Lackey, Weaver, and Escobar as there 3 dynomite pitchers. They peck away at you on offense and they are a very fast team. But they have power with Vlad and some pop with Gary Matthews. And the bullpen is great with Sields(who has been cold lately) and K-Rod.
3. Tigers- I still think the Tigers are winning the division. They have young, flamethrowing pitching and the offense is explosive. The bullpen has been iffy all year, but they just got Zumaya back and Rodney has been as good as he was last year. Once again, this team just is more well-rounded. This team is gonna get hot and when they do, look out.
4. Mets- This team isn't as good as last year. The bullpen is not as good and the line-up can be streaky. But they still have a great batting line-up when it's on. With Reyes, Wright, Beltran, Delgado, and Alou, this team can hit. The starting pitching has been better then expected. Perez has been a shocker and Maine is turning into an ace. Glavine is Glavine. He can only pitch 5 innings most of the time though. This team is tough to beat.
5. Mariners- I still don't think they are winning the WC. Bottom Line:There starting pitching ERA is over 5!!! Yes, the bullpen is great and the hitting is clutch but that bad starting pitching will catch up to them. I will say they have had a fantastic year. They have surprised everyone and they have alot of energy. Locking up Ichiro was a very smart move. The only superstar they have. But come, October, I still think this team is gonna be home.
6. D-Backs- Another group of young energetic players that have shocked eveyone. When you look at there stats, you would think they have a 57-73 record. Instead, flip it around. They are young, fast, clutch, and Bob Melvin has done a great job with this group. Buit the pitching is not shutdown and I will never trust Valverde in a big spot. He has had such an inconsistent career.
7. Yankees- The Yanks will win the WC. Mark my words. And I'm not just being a homer. I have reasons. Anyway, it has been a weird year for them. They struggled out of the gate because of injuries and the hitting was erratic at best. But now they have the full rotation healthy, the bullpen has imporved(even with Mo struggling) and the hitting ahs scored 7 runs a games since the All-Star Break. Scary #s. Add the fact that the Yanks have a easier schedule in September then the M's and you're looking at the WC Champs.
8. Padres- I think it's gonna be Angels over Padres in the WS. but that is for another blog. This is the book on the Padres: they have great pitching and a great bullpen full of nobodies, but they can't hit too well. Even so, pitching matters most. They will win the N.L. West and make it to the WS. They have made some pick-ups that have helped(Milton Bradley, Ensberg, Barrett) but the offense is still not too good.
9. Indians- I still don't trust this team. They have a very good offense, but not as good as the Tigers. The pitching is very good(the 1-2 punch of Sabathia and Carmona is great) but the bullpen is not as great as it looks. Borowski has a 5.51 ERa and the bullpen has blown a 5 run lead twice this season. Not good #s. And Hafner is still not himself. And Sizemore has been alittle overrated this year. Leads the A.L. in Ks.
10. Cubs- This team has been very weird. It started off ugly. The team had fight club in teh dugout, Big Z couldn't pitch at all, and the offense was flat. Then Lou threw a hissy fit(for no reason because the call was right)then this team woke up and went berserk and refused to lose. After that, Soriano got hurt and they started to fall apart again. Now they are smoking hot. The rotation is pretty good(first time in a while), the bullpen is no longer terrible, and the offense can be electric. BUT, they need Soriano back 100% to make a big impact in the playoffs.
11. Brewers- This team was the best team in baseball for the first 2 months. It seems like they threw a perfect game every night, Fielder was hitting some shots that still haven't landed yet, and it was impossible to get a hit of Cordero. Boy, have the times changed. Now, this team is a train wreck. The pitching(Capuano, Suppan, Bush Sheets on the D.L.) has been notorious and the hitting has cooled down big time(including Fielder). This team is just young, inexpereienced, and they obviously still have some glaring holes that need to be taken care off.
12. Phillies- I know alot of people hate Manuel. Yes, he has made alot of bad choices. but you have to give him credit for keeping this team in the race for this long. With 5 pitchers on the D.L. at one point, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Victorino also out, this team is still in the WC hunt. The hitting is still very good. Even Pat Burrell has been doing something. That is scary. This team will not make it because of the injuries, they are the most streaky team in baseball, and Cole Hamels is out.
13. Braves- This team were the biggest winners at teh trade deadline with picking up Mark Teixeria and Dotel. But Dotel is on the D.L.(not surprising) and Mark hasn't made a big impact. The biggest problem is the pitching:the back-end of the rotation and the bullpen. They released Bob Wickman after they got tired of playing 12 innings everytime he tried to close out a game(I think he is done, BTW) and they have no one else that can close.
14. Twins- This tema has had a rough year. They have Johan, Mauer, and Morneau. But even so, this team is still only so-so. The pitching is young and very average and this team still has trouble hitting. But one thing about this team:the bullpen is always great and very underrated, Thats also the perfect way to describe Joe Nathan, who is such a great closer. This team can't really do much because they don't have much money and the money they have, they must save for Johan and all there other young stars. They really need hitting.
15. Dodgers- I explained in my other blog a few days ago:this team looks great on paper, but has lost it in the 2nd half. and in this case, it's not a good thing. This team is the complete opposite of the D-Backs. Mostly made up of veterans, not flashy, and when you look at the stats, looks liike this team is great. But for one reason or another, this team has been having a flat-out bad 2nd half. And I'm sorry, but David Wells ain't gonna help(seriously, if he couldn't pitch in San Diego, how is he gonna be good with the Dodgers?) Very disappointing.
16. Blue Jays- This team has been disappointing last year and this year. but then again, not many people were expecting much this year? This team spent alot of money on the batting and on B.J. Ryan. Really, as soon as B.J. went down, this team had no chance. He is scary good when he is on. Also injuries to Glaus, Reed Johnson, and Halladay didn't help either. And the starting rotation is not good at all. Gotta get better starters. And quick.
17. Cardinals- The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Of One Very Bizarre Team You can just read that and you'll get the picture. This team has overcome alot and they are still in the race. Alot of people don't realize this, but the hitting is actually very good. Even Rolen and Edmonds are now back to form(at least for now). And the bullpen is one of the best in baseball. Seriously, the bullpen is nothing short of great. That gets lost alot. This is a pesky team that won't die yet. They got some gas left in them.
18. Rockies- My next blog will be on the Rockies. Do you realize they are over .500??? I didn't until I looked it up. No one knows about this team and no one cares. But you should. With young stars Holliday, Atkens, Jeff Francis, Jason Hirsh, Fuentes, Troy Tulowitzki, Tavares, and Hawpe, this team has the potential to be a force. They have the talent. This year, they are quietly have a fantastic season. Congrats to them. You never hear anything from them. All this team needs is some little pieces, a big player of 2, and they can be really good.
19. A's- Like everyone else, I was waiting fot this team to go on a run after the All-Star Break and wipe everyone out and possibly get close to the Angels. But it never happened. Now when I look at this team, not that surprising. 1 word:Injuries. From the start of the season, injuries have beat this team over the head and they haven't been able to recover. And Rich Harden couldn't stay healthy if his life depended on it. Always injuried.
20. Reds- The Reds started off as the worst team in baseball. But ever since Narron was fired, this team is playing over .500 ball. Aaron Harang could be the most underrated team in baseball. Get a load of this:
13-3, 3.68 ERA
Those #s along are surprising. Considering he pitches in one of the worst pitchers parks in baseball and on a bad team, they fact that he is 13-3 just makes you think what he can do on a good team. Add the fact that the Reds bullpen ain't the best either. But this team can still hit. It was very surprising that they didn't trade Griffey or Dunn at the trading deadline. Now it's looking like a smart move because they are playing good and now in 4th place.
21. Nationals- This team looks so bad on paper, you can't imagine how it is on the field. Yet this team is having a great year with this group of wash-up vets and young, inexpereienced newcomers. Dmitri Young is having a great season and has been the perfect clubhouse guy for this team and teh pitching has not been dreadful. This team is on the right track. Just look at this year for the proof.
22. Royals- This is another team that I think will shock people next year. They are my sleeper pick. Another organization that is on the right track. Dayton Moore has put some life back in this team. Alex Gordon and Billy Butler are the future leaders of this team and they have tremendous talent. And the signing of Gil Meche was the smartest move this team has made in a while. He has been very good for them. They got money.
23. Astros- I've never liked this team. Carlos Lee was a good signing(currently leads the N.L. in RBIs) and he is perfect for that short left porch, but he hasn't made a huge impact because the problem for this team is the pitching. A team ERA of 4.69 ain't gonna get it down. The loss of Pettitte and Clemens have killed them obviously.
24. Orioles- This team spents so much money on the bullpen and it gives up 24 runs in one game against a horrible team. lol Seriously, it has been a huge disappointment. This whole team is. For awhile now, this organization has just kept pushing the wrong buttons. Even Baltimore has gotten tired of it now. I don't blame them. The Orioles have to do something to keep up with the Sox, Yanks, and Jays. They just havn't been able to do it the right way.
25. Marlins- This is not surprising. All these players are gonna have growing pains after such a great season last year. Add teh fat that they have a new manager and you got a team that is just doing more of the same. Still exciting to watch. The loss of Josh Johnson for the whole year hurt this team a great deal. He was in the running for the ERA title last year.
26. Rangers- This team has gotta start over. Not completely over but mostly everything has to be rebuilt. The pitching is disastrous and the hitting is either really good or so bad it is funny. But once again, it's not Ron Washington's fault. The players love him and it looks as if he is a pretty good manager. Don't pull the trigger quick.
27. Giants- This team has been playing better of late but still is having another bad year.This team is just ancient. Old, stiff, and very boring. The only team in the N.L. West under .500 Nuff said.
28. Pirates- Alot of young talent, still no progress. It doesn't help that Jason Bay,your biggest star, is having an off year. And no one else is stepping up. It's also obvious that the young, fesh, raw starting pitchers still can't handle a team by themselves. GET SOME EXPERIENCED PLAYERS! Simple.
29. White Sox- The White Sox just lost 4 games to Boston is ways so pathetic and bad, I put them at 29th. Seriously, this team is not bad. not horrible. Crazy bad. I'm stunned the fact that this team won 90 games last year and this year, they have had a complete meltdown in every part of their game. Pitching=funny bad, Hitting=painful to watch, defense=like watching drunk robots jumping on a trampoline.
30. Devil rays- Everything I said about the White Sox except the Devil Rays can hit and the pitching is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 times worse.
I'm done. Ervin Santana Rules All.