Reporting Evan Roberts
1. Boston Red Sox (1) 44-28
The No. 1 spot is a coin toss between the Sox and the Phillies, but Boston did nothing to lose that spot this week. Their offense continues to be capable of putting up crooked numbers against any team and any pitcher at any given time. They showed that on Sunday as they knocked Yovani Gallardo all over the building. And if anyone is concerned about the pitching staff with Clay Buchholz on the DL, Tim Wakefield quieted them for at least one day by shutting down the Brewers’ offense.
2. Philadelphia Phillies (2) 45-28
The Phils went on a big run last week that included a 7-game winning streak as they piled on the poor Florida Marlins. The dream rotation Ruben Amaro Jr. put together during the offseason is showing the world how damn scary they can be as Cliff Lee is starting to be Cliff Lee again. With the A’s and Cardinals as the opponents this week they have a chance to put even more distance between themselves and everyone else in the NL East.
3. New York Yankees (3) 42-29
After being bombarded by the Red Sox to begin their latest homestand the Yankees responded big time to close it out. The sweep of the Rangers made what could have been an awful 10 game stretch into a solid 6-4 run. The loss of Jeter is not nearly as bad as it what it would have been 6 years ago. With Granderson/Tex/A-Rod/Cano playing everyday they shouldn’t have a problem scoring runs. Plus, Swisher and specifically Gardner are really getting it going. The big question for the Yanks will be how the bullpen will hold up…so far the answers have been positive.
4. Milwaukee Brewers (4) 40-34
There is a big drop from 3 to 4 in these rankings…but the Brewers retain the 4 spot and remain the best of the rest. There has to be some disappointed after losing 2 of 3 to the Red Sox and watching Marcum and Gallardo get hit hard and sent packing early. But the Brewers now have a major opportunity to take control of the NL Central. With Albert Pujols out and the Reds having to deal with the Yankees this week, this is the chance to put some distance in the Central.
5. Texas Rangers (8) 39-35
Well, they are in 1st place and they responded after getting swept by the Yankees with a strong 2 of 3 series win against Atlanta. But being at #5 has a lot to do with where they are going from here. The Rangers are about to begin a stretch that includes 16 of 19 games in Arlington. Though Alexi Ogando may be coming back to earth, the Rangers bats are just about all healthy and this could be the stretch were Texas really gets going.
6. San Francisco Giants (7) 39-33
When you score 7 runs in a 3 game series you are going to have a tough time winning games. And unfortunately for the Giants that occurred during a 3 game sweep at the hands of the Bay Area rival Athletics. The concern for San Francisco is the same one they had pre Posey injury and now post Posey injury. Can this team score enough runs? With Arizona continuing to play good baseball and the Rockies starting to get it together, Brian Sabean will have to add that bat or bats sooner than later.
7. Atlanta Braves (6) 41-33
The Braves did not have a good week on and off the field. They lost 2 of 3 to the Mets (they SHOULD HAVE gotten swept) and a series to Texas. But the news of Tommy Hanson made every Braves fan shutter. Hanson has been coming into his own as of late, so losing him for any extended period of time would be bad for team and player. Give veteran Tim Hudson credit, he single handedly beat the Blue Jays on Monday with a 2 run HR and 8 scoreless innings.
8. St. Louis Cardinals (5) 40-33
Oh, the poor Cardinals. Adam Wainwright during spring training, then it was David Freese, Matt Holliday and now the big one. Albert Pujols got hurt Sunday and will miss six weeks. If anyone can keep this team in the race and have them hang tough it’s Tony LaRussa. The goal has to be survive and remain in the race until King Albert returns in August.
9. Tampa Bay Rays (NR) 40-33
The more things change the more they stay the same for the Rays. They remain last in the AL in attendance, and they remain right in the thick of things in the toughest division in baseball. They continued the trend of beating up on the Marlins and even picked up a win against the Brewers. The Rays could very well win any division besides the two Easts, but unfortunately for them they reside in a division that makes them the 3rd best team.
10. Cleveland Indians (NR) 39-32 / Detroit Tigers (10) 39-34
I don’t care what anyone says about me taking the easy way out, or not being able to make up my mind, but guess what…you’re right…I couldn’t make up my mind! The Tigers overtook the Indians for the division lead, but then all of a sudden the Tribe started winning again! Justin Verlander was insanely good over the weekend, but then again the Indians cooled off the hot Pirates. So for one week only we have a tie!
What’s your Top 10 look like? Fire away in the comments below…