|2014 NBA Playoffs Expert Picks: First Round||NBA First Round Predictions||Datsyuk’s Late Heroics Topple Bruins in Game 1||Celtics Go 1-1 in Draft Order Tiebreakers|
Just when you thought it was over, you get rebuked by teams that want back in. Minnesota is notably back in the race, and the Cardinals and Reds are still too close to call. Tampa and New York are tied, with the Rays getting the tiebreaker by virtue of leading the season series 6-5. Not counting the Rangers, the biggest division lead is 3.0 games.
The Yankees have finally dropped out of the top spot in favor of the upstart Rays. And the list has been pretty stable, with only one team dropping out. Four teams remained at their spot from last time, and save for a jump of six positions, the biggest movement was two slots.
As usual, teams get 10 points for a first place vote, then nine points for a second, 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 position in the previous rankings.
As a bonus, you also get our picks for who the Red Sox should go for on the waiver-wire trade market.
|John||KC||SoB Composite||Last Time||Comments|
|#1||Tampa Bay Rays||Tampa Bay Rays||(2) Tampa Bay Rays (20)||#2, up 1||KC – [They] beat the Yankees head to head thanks to their pitching.|
|#2||New York Yankees||New York Yankees||New York Yankees (18)||#1, down 1||KC – Despite being No. 2 here, the Yanks are probably still the best in the bigs.|
|#3||San Diego Padres||Texas Rangers||San Diego Padres (15)||#3, even||KC – Top-notch starting pitching and relief pitching, along with timely hitting, have the Pads still in first.|
|#4||San Francisco Giants||San Diego Padres||San Francisco Giants (13)||#10, up 6||John – A sweep over the rival Dodgers has the Giants surging ahead.|
|#5||Cincinnati Reds||San Francisco Giants||Texas Rangers (12)||#5, even||KC – All those trades have made the Rangers the clear top dog in the West.|
|#6||Minnesota Twins||Atlanta Braves||Atlanta Braves (7)||#4, down 2||John – Despite struggling recently, the Braves (now worse than the Giants) are still 3.0 games ahead of the Phillies.|
|#7||Texas Rangers||Chicago White Sox||Chicago White Sox (7)||#7, even||John – The White Sox have been picking up their game in response to Minnesota’s resurgence.|
|#8||Chicago White Sox||Boston Red Sox||Cincinnati Reds (6)||#8, even||John – Three wins in a row, and Cincinnati is still leading the Cardinals by just half a game.|
|#9||Atlanta Braves||St. Louis Cardinals||Minnesota Twins (6)||NR||John – A sudden gold rush has put the Twins back on our list and just 1.0 games behind Chicago.|
|#10||Philadelphia Phillies||Minnesota Twins||Boston Red Sox (3)||#9, down 1||KC – I bet my colleague John doesn’t think they’re top 10 material [editor's note: they're not], but look at their record against anyone other than the Yankees or Rays. Plus, the walking wounded are beginning to get healthier. Is it too late?|
|Others earning votes:||St. Louis Cardinals (2), Philadelphia Phillies (1)|
Even before Youkilis was hurt, and even more-so now, getting Lee would allow more options for the infield game until the Pedroia and co. all get back (Beltre has made WAY too many errors lately). Ross is a pretty good hitter that would stabilize the revolving door outfield and allow Pawtucket to remain stocked.
The Red Sox should acquire some sort of bullpen arm in a waiver wire deal. They probably won’t be able to get much, but I think they need to trade Mike Lowell in the process to kill two birds with one stone. Perhaps they can target one of the Blue Jays’ relievers?
Tags: Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Minnesota Twins, MLB Power Rankings, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers