|Notes and Observations Week 15: Patriots Blow Out Dolphins 41-13; Clinch AFC East||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Defense, Special Teams Carry Home Team||Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 15||Right Idea? Red Sox Bring in Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson|
The Rays aren’t doing so well lately, and it’s cost them. They’re now tied with the Red Sox, and dropping in our rankings. After Mark Teixeira’s grand slam, the Yankees are back on top alone. Now, they’ll visit Arizona, for three easy wins. The 2001 World Series probably still has the Yankees hating. The Rangers just keep winning, moving up to the AL’s #2 seed despite being the league’s fourth best team and baseball’s fifth best. The Twins are fortunate enough to be 1.5 games ahead of Detroit after beating Philadelphia. In the DH-less side of the majors, Atlanta just keeps getting better, Cincinnati had a mini implosion in the Cardinals’ favor, and San Diego is still leading by 1.5 games despite dropping a game to Baltimore.
In our rankings, four, count ‘em four, teams have been replaced, with the newest member debuting at #5. Boston’s winning streak has vaulted them six spots in the rankings, nipping at the heals of the Yankees. The Mets’ wildcard position has them on the rankings, and the White Sox have been winning a lot lately to make the rankings, as have the Tigers.
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||New York Yankees||New York Yankees||(2) New York Yankees (20)||#2, up 1||John – The Rays may have been surprising to start, but you had to believe the Yankees would be the best again soon enough. Remember how after opening night, the Yankees were the worst team in the league? Good times.|
|#2||Boston Red Sox||Boston Red Sox||Boston Red Sox (18)||#8, up 6||KC – After an 8-1 homestand, the Sox are just one game out of first.|
|#3||Tampa Bay Rays||Tampa Bay Rays||Tampa Bay Rays (16)||#1, down 2||John – The Rays are starting to learn once more what it takes to make the playoffs when you’re in the AL East, which has the three best teams in the majors.|
|#4||Atlanta Braves||Atlanta Braves||Atlanta Braves (14)||#3, down 1||KC – Troy Glaus is enjoying an amazing resurgence (again), and Chipper is hot since retirement rumors.|
|#5||Texas Rangers||Texas Rangers||Texas Rangers (12)||NR||KC – How are they winning so much? Thank Josh Hamilton, who’s hitting nearly .500 in June.||#6||Minnesota Twins||San Diego Padres||Minnesota Twins (9)||#5, down 1||KC – Delmon Young is starting to emerge into the player everyone expected.|
|#7||New York Mets||Minnesota Twins||New York Mets (7)||NR||John – With a 2.5-game deficit to Atlanta, New York might want to concentrate on protecting its half-game wildcard lead over the Giants, and 1.0-game lead over the Dodgers first.|
|#8||Detroit Tigers||New York Mets||San Diego Padres (6)||#9, up 1||John – When you lose to the Orioles, you aren’t going places. Despite moving up a spot in the rankings, the Padres are hanging by a thread.|
|#9||Chicago White Sox||Detroit Tigers||Detroit Tigers (5)||NR||KC – No one’s talking about how good Magglio has been…do you remember last year’s power drought|
|#10||San Diego Padres||St. Louis Cardinals||Chicago White Sox (2)||NR||John – They may be only .500, but the other Sox have won their last six, and 11 of their last 13. In what can be considered one of the weaker divisions in baseball, don’t count Obama’s team out yet.|
|Others earning votes:||St. Louis Cardinals (1)|
Ubaldo Jimenez? That’ll be a loss. Tim Lincecum? That’ll probably a loss, but at least Jon Lester is on track to start against him, and maybe the shoulder that got hit by Miguel Tejada’s line drive will be bothersome. Overall, I see the Sox going 4-2 against the Rockies and Giants, and see the Rays doing the same versus the Padres and D-backs.
The Sox will probably be in second place, because it’s really hard to expect them to remain this red hot. They also will run into Ubaldo Jimenez and Tim Lincecum during the next two series. The Rays are starting to scuffle, so they will be in third, not too far behind the Yankees. This will be a tight race all summer long.
Tags: Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins, MLB Power Rankings, New York Mets, New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers