These rankings are based on a 300 point system, 150 for offensive production and 150 for pitching production. 30 points (1 point for each team) is the most points any team can get in a given category. For instance if the Rays lead the league in HR’s they will get 30 points for that category. The 5 offensive categories used:
HR’s, RBI’s, Runs, Average, and SB’s. The 5 pitching categories used: Wins, Saves, WHIP, ERA, and K’s
1.(↔) Tampa Bay Rays (34-17): Even after losing five-of-seven last week the Rays remain at the number one spot scoring 248 points this week. The Rays weaknesses are their average and power but they make up for this with their league leading 58 stolen bases. Carl Crawford and B.J. Upton are leading the way with 16 and 15 steals respectively. If Carlos Pena can come around (.177/8/31) to help Evan Longoria (.325/10/42) in the middle of the lineup, there is no doubt that the Rays will make the playoffs (if there is any now).
2.(↑3) Cincinnati Reds (30-21): This is the most surprising team to crack the top three so far this year. The Reds offense scored 134 points outscoring St. Louis by 56 points, they did that with their pitching scoring the second most in the NL Central with 104. Rookie starting pitcher Mike Leake has yet to lose a game (4-0) and has a 2.45 ERA. Prospect Aroldis Chapman is struggling in the minors but if he gets the call he could be a valuable asset in the second-half.
3. (↓1) New York Yankees (30-20): The Yankees finished the week yet again with the most offensive points (135) and should have center fielder Curtis Granderson fully healthy sometime this week. As every Yankee fan knows, Javier Vazquez has been a disaster and after getting shelled again by the Twins the right-hander has a 6.86 ERA and 1.62 WHIP with five losses. This has to get cleaned up or the Yankees will need to make a move for another starter.
4.(↔) Toronto Blue Jays (30-22): For those of you who may be reading these rankings for the first time, I have to tell you that the Blue Jays are no joke. For the second week in a row Toronto sits at the number four spot and remain with the elite clubs. The Jays lead the league in homeruns and are 19 homers ahead of the second place Red Sox. Jose Bautista, yes Jose Bautista currently leads the league with 16 homeruns while Vernon Wells (13) and Alex Gonzalez (11) have also been able to add double-digit taters.
5.(↑7) Boston Red Sox (29-23): The Red Sox are the fourth team from the AL East that have made it into the top five this week. Scoring just under 200 total points (199) Boston has made a resurgence, not just on this list but also in their division. The Red Sox swept the Rays last week and split a four-game series with the Royals to put them 5.5 games behind the Rays and two games out of the Wild Card.
6.(↑4) Los Angeles Dodgers (28-22): The Dodgers have won six-of-ten and were able to beat division rivals Colorado two-of-three to sit just two games back of the Padres. The Dodgers seem to be the most complete team in the NL West and as I have previously stated: they will win this division. Andre Ethier will be returning to the team tonight against the Diamondbacks and his .392 batting average will undoubtedly help L.A. get back to the top.
7.(↔) Minnesota Twins (30-20): Minnesota still has not been threatened for the division lead as they sit 3.5 games ahead of the Tigers. The only concern I would have if I was the Twins is that they lack power, not only on offense but pitching as well. Minnesota received just 12 points for homeruns and just six for strikeouts. With the unknown future of Orlando Hudson, who was injured during the Sunday night game, the Twins sluggers will have to do more if their number two hitter misses any time.
8.(↓5) Texas Rangers (26-24): The Rangers dropped five spots but still nearly put up 200 points (195) this week. The concern here is obvious, they have lost four games in a row and slugger Nelson Cruz was just placed on the 15-day DL. Texas doesn’t have enough pitching to be able to hold the fort down so I believe more pressure will be placed on rookie Justin Smoak to produce more runs.
9.(↔) San Diego Padres (30-20): San Diego has a mind boggling 2.95 team ERA, while starters Jon Garland (2.15) and Clayton Richard (3.00) lead the way. You may be asking why I am so sure that the Dodgers will overtake the Padres even with their pitching, well it’s because the Padres only put up 25 offensive points when disregarding their stolen bases (29 points). With that said if the two pitchers mentioned can keep it up and the Padres get one more starter to overachieve they will stay in the hunt all season.
10.(↓2) St. Louis Cardinals (29-22): As I mentioned above, the Cardinals offense scored 56 points less than that of the Reds. What’s more is that they are 37 points behind the Brewers in their division as well in regards to offensive points. Now of course St. Louis’ pitching is leaps and bounds better than the Brewers, but if they can’t improve their run-scoring-ability they will be in trouble as far as making the playoffs is concerned.
11.(↑3) San Francisco Giants (27-22): The Giants have won four in a row but are still just 5-5 over their last ten. The addition of top-prospect Buster Posey will immediately help their 47 offensive points.
12.(↑5) Colorado Rockies (26-24): The Rockies are solid but if you take Ubaldo Jimenez out of the equation their 74 pitching points would be somewhere in the 30’s. In other words: he needs help.
13.(↓7) Philadelphia Phillies (28-21): I never thought I would have to say this, but the Phillies offense is struggling mightily. They have been SHUTOUT in five of their last eight.
14.(↑7) New York Mets (26-25): The Mets are going to be serious competition for the Phillies this season it seems. They matched Philly’s offensive total (79) and were just two back in pitching (92).
15.(↓2) Chicago Cubs (24-27): Chicago is not a great team and they are not terrible, which is why they will stay in the middle-of-the-pack most of the year. 164 total points this week.
16.(↓5) Florida Marlins (25-26): Florida is 3-7 over their last ten and now sit four games back in their division while tied with Washington for last place.
17.(↓1) Milwaukee Brewers (21-29): We all know the issue here isn’t hitting, the Brewers scored a respectable 115 batting points but only received 40 pitching points (fifth worst).
18.(↑1) Los Angeles Angels (25-27): The Angels are in serious, serious trouble with the loss of Kendry Morales who was undoubtedly their most feared power hitter. Will they make a move?
19.(↑4) Atlanta Braves (28-22): 146 total points this week was just barely good enough to beat out Washington in the NL East to remain out of the bottom spot in their division.
20.(↓2) Washington Nationals (25-26): It is about to begin in Washington. Fans will rejoice, the players will have renewed hope, and Stephen Strasburg will fan the first batter he faces. Or at least that’s what Nationals management is hoping.
21.(↓1) Detroit Tigers (26-23): The second place Tigers again sit in the bottom ten, while just 3.5 games back of the Twins. Scherzer had a heck of a game yesterday (14 K’s) but can he build on it?
22.(↑3) Oakland Athletics (27-24): Dallas Braden got hit pretty good yesterday and now sits below .500. Brett Anderson has come back and should be able to help immediately.
23.(↓1) Kansas City Royals (21-30): K.C.’s offense has been certainly above average this year, but what is going on when Greinke pitches? He is 1-6 with a 3.39 ERA─ run support?
24.(↓9) Arizona Diamondbacks (20-31): Arizona is the biggest faller this week and deservingly so after having lost seven in a row.
25.(↓1) Chicago White Sox (22-28): The White Sox are just simply not producing at the same time. Soon to be “star” Gordon Beckham is batting just .196.
26.(↔) Seattle Mariners (19-30): It’s the same sad story every week for the Mariners: they have no power hitters. Bottom five in: Avg., HR’s, RBI, and Runs.
27.(↔) Houston Astros (17-33): This is probably the worst hitting performance from any team this year. The Astros are last in: HR’s, Avg., RBI, and Runs.
28.(↑1) Pittsburgh Pirates (20-33): Pittsburgh is second to last in: Avg., RBI, Runs, ERA, and WHIP.
29.(↓1) Baltimore Orioles (15-36): 31 battings points and 24 pitching points for a grand total of 55 points this week, the Orioles are a lost cause. Congrats on the free-wins for the rest of the AL East.
30.(↔) Cleveland Indians (18-30): If you are like me and gambled on Grady Sizemore this year (after going all-in last year as well) then you should be frustrated. Reports say he will be out at least 6-8 weeks and even when he comes back he will not be close to his former self.
Best Offense: (135) New York Yankees
Best Pitching: (140) San Diego Padres
Worst Offense: (15) Houston Astros
Worst Pitching: (15) Cleveland Indians