|And Then There Were 16: Celtics to Waive Four Players, Bynum Next?||Chandler Jones Out 1 Month With Hip Injury; Patriots Sign Alan Branch||2014 MLB Playoffs Expert Picks: World Series||Patriots Trade for Titans LB Akeem Ayers|
The Rays and Yankees are still locked in a heated duel, with the Rays having a 0.5-game lead and a game in had. Ditto for the Padres over the Giants. The Rockies are only 2.5 games out, and the Braves are just a game behind Philadelphia ad leading the Wildcard race by 1.5 over San Fran. Otherwise, it’s just a matter of the seed that the Twins, Rangers, and Reds will finish with.
Nine teams kept their spot from last time, with last time’s 10th place team (White Sox) being the only one to drop their spot on the rankings. Moves of three ad four spots on the rankings were quite common, with six such moves taking place. In some more interesting happenings, the first places votes were split between the Yankees ad Rays. Also, for the first time ever, the ten teams that make up the top ten were unanimously selected, with nobody getting any other points.
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.
With precious little time left, this edition’s extra category is how AL East race will shape up. Ad be sure to tune in when the season ends in October, for the special, final, playoff edition of these rankings.
|John||KC||SoB Composite||Last Time||Comments|
|#1||Tampa Bay Rays||New York Yankees||(1) New York Yankees (19)||#1, even||John – How will the Yankees handle their first four-game losing streak of the season? How will Andy Pettitte do upon his return? How will Tampa be dealt with down the stretch?|
|#2||New York Yankees||Tampa Bay Rays||(1) Tampa Bay Rays (19)||#2, even||John – How Tampa handles themselves down the stretch will be a good indication of how this team will handle a second chance at the postseason.|
|#3||Minnesota Twins||Minnesota Twins||Minnesota Twins (16)||#6, up 3||KC – This looks to be the best Twins team in years. Can they finally break through and get to the series?|
|#4||Colorado Rockies||Philadelphia Phillies||Philadelphia Phillies (12)||#8, up 4||KC – The lineup is healthy, and pairing Roy Oswalt and Roy Halladay at the top of the rotation should help the Phils get where they need to be.|
|#5||Colorado Rockies||Atlanta Braves||Colorado Rockies (9)||#9, up 5||KC – It’s September, which means the Rockies play like it’s Game 7 every night.|
|#6||Philadelphia Phillies||San Francisco Giants||Atlanta Braves (9)||#3, down 3||John – Chipper Jones is gone, and the Braves’ armor is starting to show chinks. Atlanta is starting to look human after all, with no disrespect to Jeff Foxworthy.|
|#7||Cincinnati Reds||Cincinnati Reds||Texas Rangers (9)||#5, down 2||John – Good news: Texas will win the division. Bad news: hello Yankees or Rays.|
|#8||Atlanta Braves||Texas Rangers||Cincinnati Reds (8)||#4, down 4||KC – Do the young Reds have enough experience to carry them through the playoffs?|
|#9||San Francisco Giants||Colorado Rockies||San Francisco Giants (7)||NR||KC – Ramon Ramirez update: 19.2 IP, .92 ERA|
|#10||San Diego Padres||San Diego Padres||San Diego Padres (2)||#7, down 3||John – Thanks to their epic losing streak, San Diego’s credibility for the playoffs has been seriously called into question.|
|Others earning votes:||None|
It’ll definitely be close, but the Yankees should pull off another division crow. They’re much more known for their bats than the Rays are, plus their rotation is starting to re-solidify. Plus, they have Mo.
The Yankees will win the East basically because they always do. The Rays will hold second, and probably finish a couple games back. The Red Sox will hold onto third place and probably finish with 90-92 wins overall. The Blue Jays will round out the best division in baseball with 85 wins or so, and the surging O’s will do whatever they can to avoid 100 losses.
Tags: Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies, Minnesota Twins, MLB Power Rankings, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers