Roberts: Tuesday’s Top Ten
1. Boston Red Sox (4) 39-26
To say the Red Sox are hot would be a major understatement! They have quickly made everyone forget about the dreadful start they got off to as they have blitzkreiged through the AL East this past week. Not only did they sweep the rival Yankees (which is impressive enough), but they absolutely dismantled a solid Blue Jays team, outscoring Toronto 35-6 in a three game sweep. The Sox look scary good.
2. Philadelphia Phillies (3) 40-26
The steady Phillies continue to pile up wins despite an offense that hasn’t fully clicked in 2011. One guy who deserves major props for his season so far is the forgotten guy in the Phils vaunted rotation. Cole Hamels is finally getting a little bit of run support and may be the early leader for NL Cy Young.
3. New York Yankees (2) 36-28
Things didn’t look good early last week for the Bombers when they were thoroughly embarrassed by the Red Sox in a sweep where the toughness of the team was questioned. But give the Yankees credit for this…they bounced back. Granted the Indians are struggling big time, but they were able to quickly recover from the Red Sox series by taking care of business against Cleveland. The bad news in the series though came from the Colon hamstring injury…should be interesting to see how the Yanks replace their 2nd best starter.
4. Milwaukee Brewers (6) 38-29
Not only did the Brew Crew jump the Cardinals in the standings but they have jumped them in the power rankings as well. Despite losing 2 of 3 to the Mets, the Brewers were up for the challenge against the 1st place Cardinals, sweeping them in Milwaukee. The story has been stellar starting pitching and the red hot bat of Prince Fielder. Prince had an insane week propelling the Brewers into 1st place after their 14-20 start.
5. St. Louis Cardinals (1) 38-29
Yes, the drop from #1 to #5, seems rough, but a couple of factors led to this move. First of all the red hot Red Sox were an easy #1 choice, but the Cardinals being swept by the Brewers certainly didn’t help. One thing is for sure, the Cardinals despite injuries and slightly lower expectations, will be in the thick of the race all year.
6. Atlanta Braves (NR) 38-29
It has been and up and down season for Atlanta, but this week may have been their biggest “up.” After losing 2 of 3 to the Mets, the Braves have responded by not losing on the road and winning some extremely close games. In sweeping the Marlins they won 3 straight 1 run games. I fully believe the Braves will not fall out of the top 10 the rest of the year, despite still no Jason Heyward . This pitching staff is scary good, especially with Tommy Hanson looking incredibly dominant in his last 2 starts, capped off by a 14 strikeout, 7 inning performance.
7. San Francisco Giants (8) 37-29
The Giants have a lineup that resembles something you’d see in the Pacific Coast League, but give them credit, they find ways to win. Lincecum/Cain/Sanchez/Bumgarner/Vogelsong is probably the deepest rotation in baseball, but my god the lineup is awful. With that said they did win a World Series with one of the weakest lineups we have seen in years so as long as they keep winning nobody will care…except poor Madison Bumgarner who had another tough luck loss last week. The poor guy is 2-8 with a very good 3.23 ERA
8. Texas Rangers (5) 36-31
The best thing going for Texas is division they reside in. The Mariners continue to hang tough with their solid pitching staff. However, the Angels and Athletics, two teams that had a better shot at competing, have been pretty bad and have given Texas breathing room. Despite a tough week and nearly getting no hit by Francisco Liriano, the Rangers bats will soon click and, unless Oakland or Anaheim gets hot, will run away with the AL West.
9. Arizona Diamondbacks (7) 37-30
The D-Backs have certainly slowed down over the last week or so, but they are hanging tough in the NL West. They continued the trend of beating the Marlins over the weekend but the real test comes this week when they get a crack at the Giants. So far Arizona hasn’t been up to the challenge as they have lost 5 of 6 against SF, but that was before Arizona got red hot.
10. Detroit Tigers (NR) 36-30
That’s right, after spending weeks being #1 the Indians are gone goodbye from the top 10, but the AL Central is still being represented by the Detroit Tigers who for days have felt on the verge of overtaking Cleveland. Jhonny Peralta has had a great year, Miguel Cabrera is Miguel Cabrera, and catcher Alex Avila is having a breakout year for Detroit. Tigers fans are hoping for some steadiness. They have had a 7 game losing streak, a 5 game losing streak , and two separate runs where they won 10 of 11 and one when they won 8 of 9.
What’s your Top 10 look like? Fire away in the comments below…