By Evan Roberts
» More Top 10s
1. New York Yankees 45-28
The Yankees at the top of this list shouldn’t be a surprise, but the way they got here sorta has been. Despite the spring training injury to Michael Pineda and the early season struggles from Freddy Garcia, the return of Andy Pettitte has spearheaded the Yankees rotation into becoming the strength of this team. The other surprise has been how lights out the bullpen has been despite no Mariano Rivera. Yes, the Yankees don’t score many runs if they don’t hit the ball over the fence, BUT they hit more home runs than anyone and are beginning to widen their lead in the AL East.
2. Texas Rangers 46-29
No starting pitching duo has more wins than Texas’ Matt Harrison and Yu Darvish. It will be very interesting to see how Darvish holds up as he goes around the league the second time. The Rangers probably won’t have problems with the rest of the AL but they may miss interleague play… they went 12-3 in the last 15 interleague games. How pumped are they that they will share the division with the Astros next year!
3. Washington Nationals 42-30
Since the showdown with the Yankees a few weeks ago the Nationals have been mediocre at best. But here is the great news for Washington… nobody in the National League, especially their division, has played good baseball. The AL’s continued dominance over the senior circuit in interleague Play has allowed the Nats to basically lose no ground despite the struggles. The Mets and Braves have gone back and forth for second place the last few weeks, but this weekend the Nats have a chance to open up a bigger lead over the Braves as they play 3 games in Atlanta.
4. Baltimore Orioles 41-32
The O’s keep hanging tough! Despite not having the talent of New York, Tampa and Boston, the Orioles haven’t gone away…yet. They responded from the sweep at the hands of the Mets by winning the second Beltway series. The guy to keep a close eye on as we get closer to the break is Jason Hammel. Hammel seems to be the definition of a guy who would be eaten alive by the AL East. But it has been the complete opposite. Hammel sports a nifty 2.61 era, that after struggling for the last 3 years in Colorado. Can Hammel keep it up as the anchor of this rotation?
5. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 41-33
Since May 22 the Angels have lost only one series…they have played excellent baseball for the last 2 months after the dreadful start. The reason things have changed? You could argue Albert Pujols waking up is one. You could even say that finding a closer in Ernesto Frier may be another. But the real reason the Angels have woken up is super prospect Mike Trout. While Bryce Harper gets all the attention, Trout has been even better in the American League. He already has tallied over 20 SB’s and is hitting well over .300. Also very quietly CJ Wilson is putting up CY Young numbers. The Angels are finally who we thought they were!
6. San Francisco Giants 42-33
Remember when the Los Angeles Dodgers were starting to “run away” with the NL West. Well by the time the rankings come out next week, there is a good chance that the Giants will have passed them in the standings. As of Wednesday morning the Giants are only one game back of LA after beating them 2-0 and tallying the 2nd straight win and shutout of the Dodgers. If Tim Lincecum can build off his Oakland start the Giants rotation may get even scarier…though they will be tested this week. After LA, they play the over .500 Reds, Nats and Pirates.
7. Los Angeles Dodgers 43-32
The lead is down to one after losing again to the Giants. This team desperately needs Matt Kemp…their lineup is just not very good without him. Andre Ethier has had a great year, but to me he isn’t the type of guy who can carry a lineup. This team needs to go out and add a bat badly.
8. Tampa Bay Rays 40-34
The up and down Rays are down right now and with the hotness of the Yankees, they are starting to create a big hole for themselves in the AL East. It really started with a 3 game sweep at the hands of the Mets…since that point they have lost 9 of 14. The main culprit has been the starting pitching, and that cannot be a problem for the Rays if they want to make the playoffs again. We know the offensive isn’t great and the pen is ok. The starting pitching needs to be great…and lately it has been far from that.
9. Cincinnati Reds 41-32
As this season goes on I believe Cincy will be higher on this list, but for now their lead in the NL Central only gives them the 9th ranking overall. The best sign the Reds have gotten recently was the Monday night pitching performance of Mat Latos. The Reds gave up a lot for Latos, so the expectations for him are very high. He showed how good he could be Monday when he pitched a complete game and K’d 13. The Reds will be texted later this week as they embark on an old fashioned 11 game west coast road trip.
10. Boston Red Sox 39-35
I was actually thinking of leaving the 10th spot blank…I mean what were my choices? Braves? White Sox? Mets? Pirates? Cardinals? Ehhh. But the Red Sox have been red hot and have gone through a lot this year, so why not give it to them! This week they finally moved Kevin Youkilis which allows Will Middlebrooks to play everyday and for Adrian Gonzalez to actually play his natural position. But despite all the controversy, trade rumors and starting pitching injuries, the Sox are winning! They have won 10 of the last 13 games and are still hanging around in the AL East.
How would you rank ’em? Be heard in the comments below…