Wednesday, May 28, 2008
MLB Power Poll
I realize it's still early, but I have a bone to pick with the MLB. The voting for the All-star game is just bogus. Currently, the AL Starting Roster would be comprised of 6 Yankees and Red Sox. Does Kevin Youkilis deserve to be the starting 1st Basemen? Should Jason Varitek be the starting Catcher? Fuck no. Justin Morneau and Victor Martinez are much more deserving. Will justice be served as time goes on? Probably not. Rarely do the best players get elected to start the All-star game. Typically it's name players from teams with the biggest fan bases. Baseball needs to step in and change this in the near future. Sure the fans should have a say, but they shouldn't be the only voices. On to the poll.
1.) Tampa Bay Rays (32-21)- I'd be lying if I said that the Rays would hold down the number 1 spot at any point when I started making this poll. Hell, I didn't even think they'd be in the top 10, but here they are. The Rays have the best record in baseball for the first time in franchise history. In fact, they've finished last in the AL East every year of their existance except for 2004 when they snagged 4th place. Since their first season in 1998 they've compiled a .405 winning percentage (worst in baseball even with the great start to 2008). The reason for the turnaround? Great all-around play. They rank in the top 6 in every major hitting and pitching category.
2.) Chicago Cubs (31-21)- The best record in the NL belongs to the Cubs. The Senior Curcuit has looked geriatric against the Cubbies juggernaut of an offense this year. They're first in the league in Runs, Average, OPS, and OBP. They have six everyday starters batting at least .300. They also have some of the best hitting pitchers in baseball led by Carlos Zambrano. He's 15 for 35 at the plate this year. Let's not get it twisted either, Big Z is a menace on the mound too. He's 7-1 this season and hasn't lost a start since the beginning of April. Former ace Kerry Wood is also tied for third in the league in saves.
3.) Boston Red Sox (32-23)- The Sawx have struggled lately against mediocre competition. They got swept by the A's and lost this week to the weak ass M's. Their offense is fine (still ranked top 3 in all major offensive categories), but their pitching has slipped a bit lately. Jon Lester followed up his no-hitter over the Royals with a poor performance in a loss to Oakland. They also just lost Dice-K yesterday to a shoulder injury. He's getting an MRI and we'll know by tommorow if he'll make his next start or not. The Red Sox sure hope he'll be back quickly, but I bet the rest of the league won't be too sad if he's out for a bit considering his 8-0 record. To get back on track they'll need to step it up against their own division over the next 7 games after they fly out of Seattle.
4.) Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (32-22)- The Angels are cruising under the radar like usual, but don't sleep on them. They're seperating themselves from Oakland (2 game lead) and this division could easily be settled by early August. In their last 10 games, they're 7-3 which is a pretty average line for the Angels. It's all about their elite pitching. Joe Saunders is tied for the league lead in wins, while Ervin Santana just pitched a CG against the Tigers and is 6 K's short of the league lead. Really they can just go into cruise mode for awhile and still be alright.
5.) Arizona Diamondbacks (30-22)- How far have the D-backs fallen? Well they were the top team in this poll for the first 7 weeks before dipping to number 2 last week. Why you ask? They're just 3-7 in their last 10. Brandon Webb started off the year 9-0, but has since dropped his last 2. Their pitching in general has been weak sauce over the last couple of weeks. Unbelievably, they still lead the league in every pitching category except for saves. Offensively though, they struggled mightily, and having Eric Byrnes on the DL isn't going to help. Luckily, the rest of their division is horrendous. 2 of the worst teams in the league (Rockies and Padres) are wallowing in the basement of the NL Worst...er West.
6.) Philadelphia Phillies (30-24)- Nobody has been hotter than the Phillies over the past 3 games. They've scored 42 runs which is about as much as the Padres have scored this month. A healthy Jimmy Rollins has been the difference for this club. Chase Utley has been ballin' for awhile now, but last year's MVP gives them a great 1-2 punch. If they can only get Ryan Howard back to 2006 form, they will be unstoppable. They're currently just behind the Marlins, but expect that to change in the coming weeks. Their upcoming series against Florida will be a tell-tale sign of which direction the divison will head. Speaking of...
7.) Florida Marlins (30-21)- The Marlins have a razor-thin lead in the NL East, but don't expect that to last the way the Phillies are playing. Florida looked pretty weak against New york yesterday, but Johan Santana can make most clubs look silly. It'll be important for them to bounce back if they want to stay competitive in the division down the road. They've been getting by with so-so performances from their pitchers, but somehow come away with wins. Case-in-point, Mark Hendrickson, who has a 7-2 record to go along with his 4.14 era.
8.) Chicago White Sox (29-23)- The White Sox to everyone's surprise are still on top in the AL Central. They continue to get by winning series that noone expects them to. They've only lost 3 times in the last two weeks including a sweep of Cleveland last week and 2 of 3 from them this week. Who would have thought that the Rays/White Sox series this week would be between division leaders. It should be an entertaining 4 games to say the least. After that they've got a 7 game homestand against division rivals Minnesota and KC. This can only mean good things for the North Siders as they look to lengthen their AL Central lead.
9.) Houston Astros (30-23)- The Stros have been staying consistent thanks to their stellar lineup. Lance Berkman (still leading the team in every offensive category) and Company have been picking up the slack for the sub-par pitching (worst cumulatively in the NL). On top of that, Berkman is in the top 2 in RBI, HR, and Average in the NL. A triple crown is still not out of the question for the Big Kahuna. The division is tight though, and unless pitchers not named Roy Oswalt step up, they aren't going to be able to hold up for the long haul. If they are still in the race in July, I wouldn't be surprised to see this team trade for a pitcher. Luckily, Houston gets Wandy Rodriguez (king at home, douche on the road) back from the DL today, so that can't hurt. Unfortunately, he's going against a rock solid offense from the City of the Arch.
10.) St. Louis Cardinals (30-23)- The Cards could be labeled as 9b. They are pretty much the Astros equal right now, although their offense isn't quite as potent. They do however have much more consistent pitching. They're in the top 5 of every pitching category in the National league. All of their regular starters have winning records, except for a ho-bag named Joel Pineiro (although he's on the DL now, so nobody cares). It's only a matter of time before Mark Mulder will be back in the Red Bird uni. The Lou hopes he can boost their playoff chances. It's not like the Cards offense is slouching. They're third in average and 2nd in OBP in the Senior Circuit. Albert Pujols really can't be denied right now. He's third in the NL in Avg. and OPS. He's also a thug. Don't mess with Phat Albert.
Also Receiving Votes: Atlanta Braves, Oakland Athletics