Roberts: Tuesday’s Top Ten
1. Cleveland Indians (1- last week) 22-11
While we all know they won’t last at the top much longer, they continue to play solid baseball. They survived a west coast test in Oakland and Anaheim by going 3-3. They will get another test as Tampa Bay comes to town.
2. Philadelphia Phillies (3) 23-11
It’s amazing that this team continues to win despite a constant barrage of injuries. Joe Blanton is back, but now Roy Oswalt goes on to the DL. How about the performances of Vance Worley and Kyle Kendrick filling in for Blanton and Oswalt? Halladay is Halladay but it helps when back end fill-ins can contribute too. It’s only a matter of time before the Phillies are #1 week in and week out.
3. Atlanta Braves 20-16
It is really starting to click for the Braves. Last week they swept a 4 game series with the Brewers and then sent a message by taking 2 of 3 from the division rival Phillies. This hot run has been all about stupendous pitching led by Tim Hudson’s complete game 1 hit shutout last week. They will pass Florida this week and never look back.
4. New York Yankees (2) 19-13
They haven’t been playing well lately (3-4 road trip) but I still keep them in the top 5 because they did a nice job weathering the storm. They played an awful game Sunday and still found away to escape with a series win in Texas. Derek Jeter looks to be on the verge of breaking out of his slump, which means the attention will now turn to the Jorge and A-Rod slumps. Alex hasn’t hit a home run in over 50 AB’s coming into Tuesday.
5. St. Louis Cardinals (9) 20-15
Albert Pujols will explode at any moment, with that said the clock may strike on Lance Berkman at any moment as well. But right now the Cards are riding the hot bats of Holliday, Rasmus, Berkman and the fact that they play in arguably the worst division in baseball. I mean the Pirates are in 3rd place!
6. Tampa Bay Rays (6) 20-14
Considering how many hits they took this offseason and how awful a start they got off to, its pretty surprising the Rays are where they are right now. David Price is rounding out into 2010 form and the rotation looks as good as anyone. Plus with Evan Longoria back, and BJ Upton and Ben Zobrist hitting, the lineup isn’t as pathetic as it was a month ago.
7. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (7) (20-16)
They have taken over 1st place in the AL West, and may get even stronger with Vernon Wells going on the DL. The Wells trade never made sense to begin with and its looked even worse with the way he’s struggled to begin the year.
8. San Francisco Giants (18-16)
Mike Fontenot has been hitting 3rd, Pablo Sandoval is out, Brandon Belt is back in AAA, Buster Posey is not having a great sophomore season yet here are the Giants. They may be trailing Colorado, but they just finished sweeping them.
9. Colorado Rockies (5) (19-14)
Tulowitzki has gone AWOL since he turned Citi Field into his own personal playground, and if you take the Mets away the Rockies are 14-14.
10. Oakland Athletics (19-17)
Well, we know this about Oakland. They can pitch, boy can they pitch, in fact their team ERA is over a half a run better than the 2nd best ERA in the AL. But they really need to another bat to take that step. They have surpassed Texas, but Josh Willingham, Hideki Matsui and David DeJesus in the middle of the order won’t cut it long term.
Leaving the top 10 this week are Florida (4) Kansas City (8) and Texas (10). We’d like to welcome Atlanta, San Francisco and Oakland.