The trade deadline is hours away, but I have yet to see a trade that is going to affect the playoff picture and/or the power rankings. Here are your week 17 top 10:
#1 Tampa Bay Rays
Their offense is still overachieving and their pitching is finally starting to live up to its potential. As a matter of fact, their staff now has the 4th best WHIP and 2nd best BAA in all of baseball. By the way: Their starting pitchers have won 8 of their last 9 decisions, including 3 shutouts.
#2 St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals were swept by the Braves to start their miserable 11 game road trip (Braves, Pirates, Reds) over the weekend. The next 2 weeks will show us what this team is really made of as well as who the favorite will be to win the Central. By the way: Shelby Miller has now thrown 6 innings only twice in his last 7 starts.
#3 Boston Red Sox
You really get the feeling that this team is right on the edge of collapsing or making this a really fun race down the stretch. The starting staff isn’t as good as the Rays’ and their overall team WHIP is now 22nd in the MLB. By the way: Koji Uehara has not given up a run in over 12 July innings.
#4 Oakland Athletics
Since July first of last year, the A’s are over 17 games better than the Texas Rangers. Now, since there are talks of them working out a deal for Jake Peavy, the A’s could become an even bigger favorite. By the way: Don’t be surprised if Colon gets suspended soon. The A’s interest in Peavy makes me wonder if they know something we don’t.
#5 Pittsburgh Pirates
As I have been saying for 2 months now, you can’t keep running a bullpen into the ground and expect the results to be the same. Now with Closer Jason Grilli out for 5-8 weeks, the Pirates need their starters to go much deeper into games. By the way: Jeff Locke has now made 20 starts and still has an ERA of just 2.15.
#6 Atlanta Braves
After losing Tim Hudson for the rest of the season, the Braves had a HUGE statement series against the Cardinals. Not only did the Braves sweep the Cards, but they did so by completely shutting down an excellent offense, giving up a total of 4 runs in 3 games. By the way: It is time to move Justin Upton down in the lineup and Chris Johnson up. Oh, Johnson leads the league in hitting just as a heads up.
#7 Detroit Tigers
This team keeps playing “good enough”, but not as good as they should. Once this teams gets into the playoffs though, they will be a tough out for anyone, especially with a 1-2 punch of Verlander/Scherzer. By the way: Miggy is now only on pace for 50 HR and 154 RBI….what a putz.
#8 Los Angeles Dodgers
People will keep talking and talking about Puig, but Hanley Ramirez has been the spark plug for this team’s resurgence. Hanley’s current numbers spread out over an entire season would be 35+ HR and 110+ RBI with a .380 average. By the way: Am I the only person who thinks Kershaw might be able to sustain his sub 2.00 ERA all season?
#9 Cincinnati Reds
Not much to talk about when it comes to the Reds. They continue to play mediocre baseball and are going to have problems keeping pace in the Central if they don’t figure something out soon. By the way: Choo and Votto are drawing a ton of walks, but are also striking out too much, 92 and 93 respectively.
#10 Baltimore Orioles
The Orioles, despite being 5 games out of the East would be in a 1 game playoff against the Rays if the season ended today. I still don’t know if they have enough starting pitching to hold on to that spot, but I hope they do, because I love a lot of their young players. By the way: Davis’ average is now down to .304 and he is on pace for 200 strikeouts.
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