|Report: Celtics and Clippers Revive Trade Talks||Aaron Hernandez Not Ruled out as Suspect in Homicide Investigation; Sued For Shooting Man in Florida||Questions at Third: What is Wrong with Will Middlebrooks?||Red Sox Make up their Mind, Place Clay Buchholz on the DL|
It’s time for the second installment of the MLB Power Rankings, and it’s a good one. You have the Dodgers and Tigers threatening, and Cincinnati and St. Louis are too close to call. On the other hand, the Yankees are falling farther and farther behind the Rays, and are even losing ground in the Wildcard race. Plenty of teams are intruding on all sorts of races, and plenty are knocking on the door of the Power Rankings. Even the Red Sox are doing well lately; as a bonus you can see our picks for the best and the worst of the Sox’ pitching thus far.
From last time, the Giants and Mets have dropped from the rankings, thanks to a horrendous week for San Fran and despite beating the Yankees twice (including C.C. Sabathia), the Mets’ last place status knocked them down a few pegs. Taking their places are the Tigers, who have come out of nowhere to threaten the Twins for the AL Central lead, and the Dodgers, who have won 12 of their last 14, but most recently lost at home to Detroit.
A first place vote earns a team 10 points, a second place vote earns nine, and so on. Ties are broken based on who received the most first place votes, then the most second, and so on. The second tiebreaker is based on rank in the previous power ranking, then the one before that, and so on.
|John||KC||SoB Composite||Last Time||Comments|
|#1||Tampa Bay Rays||Tampa Bay Rays||(2) Tampa Bay Rays (20)||#1, even||KC – Sitting pretty atop the league, and they are running away with the AL East.|
|#2||New York Yankees||New York Yankees||New York Yankees (18)||#2, even||John – Losing two to the Mets was brutal. The Pipsqueaks in Pinstripes can’t afford any more mistakes if they want to keep their hold on a playoff spot.|
|#3||Minnesota Twins||Philadelphia Phillies||Minnesota Twins (15)||#3, even||John – Minnesota has been doing a lot of scoring against Milwaukee. If they can keep doing that, they’ll keep their division lead, despite how small it currently is.|
|#4||San Diego Padres||Minnesota Twins||Philadelphia Phillies (13)||#5, up 1||KC – The Phils looked bad this weekend in losses to Dice-K and Wakefield.|
|#5||St. Louis Cardinals||St. Louis Cardinals||St. Louis Cardinals (12)||#4, down 1||John – Penny needs to getter better in a hurry to help Wainwright and Carpenter, and Pujols needs to lead an offensive army to get some positioning back.||#6||Philadelphia Phillies||Los Angeles Dodgers||San Diego Padres (11)||#6, even||KC – Still surprised to see the Padres in first place. Adrian won’t be going anywhere.|
|#7||Detroit Tigers||San Diego Padres||Los Angeles Dodgers (6)||NR||KC – Ownership struggle and Manny’s struggles aside, the Dodgers are one game back of first.|
|#8||Toronto Blue Jays||Texas Rangers||Detroit Tigers (5)||NR||KC – The Tigers are pushing the Twins in the Central and are winning the close games (just a +6 run differential).|
|#9||Oakland Athletics||Cincinnati Reds||Toronto Blue Jays (3)||#8, down 1||John – With a 12-4 crushing of the Diamondbacks in Arizona, the Blue Jays find themselves just 1.0 games behind the Yankees. After such a good start last season, Toronto doesn’t want to lose this potential, especially when their home series later against Philadelphia turned into a road one.|
|#10||Los Angeles Dodgers||Detroit Tigers||Texas Rangers (3)||#9, down 1||John – Despite the Athletics gaining ground, the Rangers are still 2.0 games ahead. They’d better not get distracted with tales of the team being sold.|
|Others earning votes:||Oakland Athletics (2), Cincinnati Reds (2)|
It’s a tight contest between Lester and Buchholz, but Lester has two outings in which he has not allowed a run, and has the Sox’ only complete game this year. He really screwed up just once, against the Rays, but the way the Rays have been playing this season, I’d say that one blemish is forgivable.
He’s been the best…and perhaps most surprising pitcher for the Red Sox this season. They have needed him to far exceed his expectations and take his game to the next level, and he has done that. He needed to excel because a few pitchers with big price tags have not done so well…
We’re paying him $12.1 million to not do a thing, forget how to pitch, and get injured? Here I thought governments were the only bodies capable of wasting that much money at once. Thrice, Beckett hasn’t even gotten past five innings, giving up nine, eight, and seven runs in those outings. He’s given up 39 runs (37 earned) in 45.2 innings, good for a 7.29 ERA. I don’t think a Josh Beckett / Roy Oswalt trade, even with other pieces, is likely, but it can’t hurt to dangle that carrot in front of the Astros.
Beckett has killed the Red Sox game after game. He gets a lot of run support, yet has just a 1-1 record on the year. He’s mixed in some awesome 7-inning outings with some big clunkers, like when he allowed nine runs in a loss to the Yankees, eight runs in a no-decision to the Blue Jays (Sox won 13-12), and seven runs in a no-decision against the Rangers (Sox won 8-7).
Tags: Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins, MLB Power Rankings, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays