MLB General

MLB Power Rankings for July 15- 2007

Just out of the gate from the All-Star break, the Cubs have been hot, jumping up two spots by winning their last three games and seven out of their last ten, while in the American League the Athletics have pretty much done the opposite, losing seven in a row and dropping four spots.

The playoff races are starting to shape up and has the makings of a very exciting summer, with 14 teams within five games of the division lead or the wild card.

Rank (Pv)
1 (1) 55-36
After the dismal numbers put up by Julio Lugo this season, the Red Sox could be one of the major players in the A-Rod sweepstakes, even with the outrageous price tag of $30 million.
2 (2) 54-36
Just how scary is the Tigers’ offense? They lead the majors in hits, runs, RBI, doubles, triples, batting average, slugging percentage, OPS and total bases.
3 (4) 55-36
Although his power seems to be gone entirely, the Angels are finally getting some production out of Garret Anderson, who has hit .367 with an OPS of .854 in July. The bad news for Angels fans is that they will be paying him $12 million next season as well, with a $3 million buyout for his ’09 option.
4 (3) 54-37
Although he’s not having the year he did last year, wrapping Travis Hafner up to a long-term deal was a no-brainer for the Tribe.
5 (6) 52-40
The Dodgers absolutely need their young talent to turn things on for the second half. Andre Ethier and Russell Martin have been consistent performers on the season, while Matt Kemp and James Loney will have a chance to make a bigger impact over the summer with increasing roles.
6 (5) 50-40
Although he’s been a cancer everywhere he’s played, Milton Bradley could be just the sparkplug the Padres need to ignite their offense. He’s a career .271 hitter, who has notched double-digit homeruns in each of the last four seasons, his best of which came in 2004 with cross-state rival Los Angeles.
7 (8) 51-38
At five years and $90 million, Ichiro is certainly overpaid, but show me a free-agent who isn’t. And show me one who has an MVP award, two batting titles, the single season record for hits, six gold gloves and seven All-Star game appearances.
8 (7) 51-40
The Brewers are the only team in baseball without a pitcher who has an ERA over 7.00. Elmer Dessens holds the team’s worst ERA, at 6.60.
9 (9) 51-40
The hiring of Rickey Henderson seems peculiar to me, but it gives me an opportunity to tell my favorite Rickey story (although its full truth is debatable, it is still a good story). When Rickey came to Seattle he saw John Olerud wearing his helmet while playing first base. Rickey said to him, “When I played for the Mets, I had a teammate who did the same thing.” Olerud, a member of the same ’99 World Series Mets team, responded, “Yeah, that was me, idiot.”
10 (11) 50-42
Aside from John Smoltz and Tim Hudson, Braves starting pitchers have only recorded 19 quality starts in 55 tries.
11 (10) 49-44
Micah Owings started out the season 5-1 with an ERA just over 4.00. Since then he’s lost his last three decisions, allowing 13 earned runs in his last two starts.
12 (13) 46-45
While Philadelphia has achieved the dubious 10,000th loss in franchise history, fans of the Phillies can take some consolation that about 420 of those were when the team was called the Quakers, and almost 200 were as the ’43-’44 Blue Jays. As a franchise they haven’t been above .500 since 1922.
13 (15) 49-43
We’re now officially in Johan Santana’s time of the year. Over the past four years he has gone 41-4 after the All-Star break. Since becoming a starting pitcher, opponents have never hit higher than .216 during the second half of the season.
14 (16) 47-43
One thing seems certain, if Mark Cuban buys the Cubs… spending money will not be an issue.
15 (14) 45-44
Joe Torre says ’07 has been his toughest season as manager of the Yankees. No kidding. They’ve made the playoffs for the first 11 seasons of his tenure, and they’re going to be watching them on tv this year. It’s not really going out on a limb to say that this has been his toughest year.
16 (12) 44-48
Dan Haren is making a serious case for AL Cy Young. His 2.33 ERA is best in the AL, to go along with a 10-3 record. Of his 20 starts, 17 have been quality starts.
17 (17) 45-46
The thin air in Colorado helps, but the Rockies league ranks are fairly impressive: 1st in average, 2nd in on-base percentage, 3rd in runs, 4th in OPS, and 6th in stolen bases.
18 (18) 45-46
Vernon Wells cashed in a career year last year. He’s hitting 50 points lower this year than last with an OPS .150 lower.
19 (19) 44-48
Does anybody else find it amusing that of all people, the Marlins president is the one who says Ichiro’s contract will ruin baseball. This, coming from a guy who runs a team whose entire payroll last year was $15 million.
20 (21) 41-47
How bad would the Cardinals be this year if it weren’t for Chris Duncan? Everybody knows Albert Pujols is going to perform, but the only other source of consistent offense has been Duncan, who has 16 homeruns, 47 RBI, and a .288 average.
21 (20) 38-51
As bad as the Giants are, they really don’t have anybody who they could move at the trade deadline, unless a team is looking for somebody like Randy Winn, a .290-hitting outfielder with good speed and little power.
22 (22) 39-53
Despite the Astros ailing record, the fans continue to support them, averaging over 37,000 fans per game. Their 1.7 million fans rank 7th in the league.
23 (24) 41-50
In terms of salaries, the Orioles don’t look like they’ll be getting much better next year, as they’ve spread about $70 million between their No. 2 through 15 guys, with Tejada being the only player getting over $10 million.
24 (23) 40-51
I like the Pirates pickup of Josh Phelps from the Yankees off waivers. He’s never really fit into a starting lineup anywhere, but he’s hit at least 15 homeruns in each of the three seasons he’s been able to play more than 70 games.
25 (25) 40-50
The White Sox are this year’s only $100 million team without a winning record.
26 (26) 38-50
Speaking of contracts, the Royals will get a major relief when Mike Sweeney’s contract ends after this season.
27 (28) 39-52
Brandon McCarthy was a highly regarded prospect when the Rangers acquired him from Chicago, but like all pitchers, it seems, he has had a tough time pitching for Texas. He has a 4-6 record and a 5.59 ERA. His ERA at home is actually about a run better than it is on the road.
28 (27) 37-54
An interesting thing about the Washington Nationals team name… I never realized that the original incarnation of the Senators was actually officially named the Nationals, although the name was never recognized by the fans. The original Senators (officially the Nationals) became the Twins when they moved to Minnesota. The expansion Senators became the Rangers when they moved to Texas.
29 (29) 37-55
As baseball’s oldest team, the Reds are still about 650 losses shy of the vaunted 10,000.
30 (30) 35-56
With all the focus that has been paid to Tampa Bay’s big-name prospects (Elijah Dukes, BJ Upton, Delmon Young, Scott Kazmir), it has been Carlos Pena that has been the most exposive. A throw-away from the Rangers, A’s, Tigers and Yankees, Pena is hitting over .290 with 22 homeruns and 58 RBI this season.

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