June 18, 2013

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MLB Power Rankings

By: Joe Williams

There is another month of baseball to play before the MLB All-Star break so we should know who is good and who isn’t at this point, but I’ll bet there isn’t anyone out there who would have guessed that the best teams during the month of June would be Kansas City, Toronto, San Diego and Oakland. Meanwhile, teams like the Yankees, Rangers and Dodgers are struggling. Where will that leave those teams in today’s power rankings?

The Cardinals can celebrate being at the top of our latest MLB Power Rankings.

1. St. Louis Cardinals (44-25): As a Cubs fan, you never want to see the Cardinals at the top of the list but there’s no denying they have the best record in baseball and are +102 in run differential.

2. Atlanta Braves (41-28): The Braves hold the biggest lead of any division leaders at 6.5 games over Washington.

3. Cincinnati Reds (42-28): If the Reds were in any other division, they’d be in first place.

4. Oakland A’s (42-29): The A’s have made a huge jump from the 15 spot a month ago. That’s what an 18-7 record will do for you.

5. Boston Red Sox (42-29): Boston leads the majors in runs scored with 363.

6. Texas Rangers (38-31): Just like the end of last season, the Rangers have been caught by Oakland.

7. Detroit Tigers (38-29): Right now just Chris Davis is standing between Miguel Cabrera and a repeat triple crown.

8. Baltimore Orioles (40-30): Baltimore has quietly taken the lead in the wild card race and pulled within just 1.5 games of Boston.

9. Arizona Diamondbacks (37-32): I don’t think anyone expected the Diamondbacks to be leading the NL West at this point.

10. Pittsburgh Pirates (41-28): Forget about finishing over .500…the Pirates are on pace to finish close to .600.

11. New York Yankees (38-31): Could this be the beginning of the end for the Yankees. They’ve lost ground in the AL East and wild card races.

12. Colorado Rockies (37-33): Gonzalez and Tulowitzki have lead the Rockies into the race. The pitching will need to improve to stay in it to the end.

13. San Diego Padres (36-34): Seven straight wins will and the Padres are back in the hunt after a 2-10 to the season.

14. Tampa Bay Rays (36-33): Wil Myers has been called up. Now let’s see what he can do.

15. Kansas City Royals (34-34): The Royals have been the best team in baseball, going 12-4 in June.

16. Washington Nationals (34-35): It’s turning into a disappointing season in the capital. The Nats better get back on track soon or it will be too late.

17. Cleveland Indians (34-35): Here’s a team that has really cooled off and is just 5-10 in June.

18. San Francisco Giants (35-34): The Giants will have to do better than 14-22 on the road if they want to defend their title.

19. Toronto Blue Jays (33-36): The Jays have six wins in a row and are climbing out of a big hole.

20. Philadelphia Phillies (34-37): The Phillies are second in the majors in quality starts but don’t have much to show for it.

21. Minnesota Twins (30-36): The Twins are near the bottom in just about every pitching category. Not good.

22. LA Dodgers (29-39): Talk about a wasted season…nobody is farther away from next-to-last in their division than the Dodgers.

23. LA Angels (31-39): Here is another team that was supposed to contend and has let their fans down.

24. Milwaukee Brewers (28-40): It’s going to be a dead heat with the Cubs for last place in the NL Central.

25. Chicago Cubs (28-40): It’s going to be a dead heat with the Brewers for last place in the NL Central.

26. Seattle Mariners (31-40): King Felix and Hisashi Iwakuma are lights out pitchers right now. They aren’t getting much help though.

27. Chicago White Sox (29-38): It looks like it will be a tight race for worst team in Chicago.

28. New York Mets (25-40): The Mets are making a strong run towards the worst record in baseball with a 3-10 start in June.

29. Houston Astros (26-45): An 8-8 record so far this month is a big improvement for the AL West newcomers.

30. Miami Marlins (22-47): The Marlins are playing better, posting an 8-6 record so far this month.

May 21, 2013

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MLB Power Rankings

By: Joe Williams

Now that we’ve made it a quarter of the way through the MLB season we know a few things we thought at the start of the season are right (Texas is good, Houston is not) and a few are wrong (Boston is good, the Dodgers are not). So it’s time for the first power ranking post of the season.

After losing six in a row, the Orioles have fallen close to the middle of the pack.

1. Texas Rangers (29-16): It sure looks like they picked the right time to lets Josh Hamilton leave town.

2. Atlanta Braves (26-18): One Upton brother has been their best player, while the other has been their worst.

3. Boston Red Sox (27-18): Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz are a combined 12-1 so far.

4. St. Louis Cardinals (28-16): The Cards lead the majors in ERA.

5. Cincinnati Reds (27-18): The Reds are 16-6 at home, the best record in the majors.

6. Cleveland Indians (26-17): Five straight wins and 8-2 in the last 10 makes the Tribe the hottest team in baseball.

7. New York Yankees (28-16): Who would have thought they would be in first place without all of their injured stars?

8. Detroit Tigers (23-19): The Tigers have scored 20 more runs than their opponents this month but are just 8-9 to show for it.

9. Pittsburgh Pirates (26-18): Forget about finishing over .500…the Pirates are on pace to finish close to .600.

10. Arizona Diamondbacks (26-19): I don’t think anyone expected the Diamondbacks to be leading the NL West at this point.

11. Colorado Rockies (24-21): The Rockies are leading the majors in runs scored with 222.

12. Tampa Bay Rays (23-21): Reigning AL Cy Young winner David Price has be awful, but Matt Moore (8-0) is filling the void nicely.

13. San Francisco Giants (25-20): The defending champs are known for their pitching but their batting average ranks second in baseball.

14. Baltimore Orioles (23-21): Six straight losses have the Orioles five games behind the Yankees.

15. Oakland A’s (24-22): The A’s are 24th in batting average, but 9th in getting on base. Why? They lead the majors in walks with 187.

16. Washington Nationals (23-22): Anybody know what’s going on with Strasburg? He’s been offered to me in my fantasy league and I just can’t decide.

17. Kansas City Royals (20-21): After a hot April (14-10) the Royals have cooled off.

18. San Diego Padres (21-23): San Diego has recovered from a 2-10 start. Can they keep it up?

19. Philadelphia Phillies (21-24): Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay are 7-13 combined. Ouch.

20. Seattle Mariners (20-25): King Felix and Hisashi Iwakuma are lights out pitchers right now. They aren’t getting much help though.

21. Chicago Cubs (18-25): Matt Garza is finally back….and the Cubs need him to be great.

22. Chicago White Sox (20-23): Paul Konerko, Jeff Keppinger and Adam Dunn are hitting .220, .199 and .172. They’ll keep losing if that doesn’t improve.

23. Minnesota Twins (18-23): After losing eight of the last ten, the Twins are in the AL Central cellar.

24. LA Angels (17-27): Here is the first of three teams battling it out for most disappointing team of the season.

25. New York Mets (17-25): Where would this team be without Matt Harvey?

26. Milwaukee Brewers (17-26): With the Astros moved to the American League, the Brewers are in danger of being the worst team in the NL Central.

27. Toronto Blue Jays (18-26): Toronto tried to fight fire with fire by signing big name free agents but so far they are getting burned.

28. LA Dodgers (18-25): The Dodgers by far the most disappointing team in the National League and maybe in all of baseball.

29. Miami Marlins (13-32): The Marlins have scored just 122 runs and are last in the majors. They are also last in batting average, on base percentage and slugging percentage.

30. Houston Astros (13-32): The Astros have allowed a whopping 266 runs this season and are last in the majors. They are also last in ERA, quality starts and WHIP.

June 5, 2012

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10 MLB Teams That Will Miss The Playoffs

By: Joe Williams

It is hard to believe, but the MLB season is already one-third of the way over. Nobody has locked up a playoff spot yet, but several teams have dug themselves such a big hole that they probably can’t climb out of it. Therefore, its time to eliminate a third of the teams. Who are the 10 teams that aren’t going anywhere in 2012?

Will the Chicago Cubs miss the playoffs again this season?

Chicago Cubs

No surprise here. This is the only team in baseball in sixth place in its division. They just finished off a 12-game losing streak and are currently on a four-game skid. The fans have had to wait more than 100 years for a championship and you can be sure the wait will not end in 2012.

Minnesota Twins

The Twins won 94 games and the A.L. Central in 2010. The have won 84 games and held down last place in the division ever since. Much of the blame can be given to injuries to some of their best players but that doesn’t make the Twins feel any better.

Houston Astros

Houston was far and away the worst team in baseball in 2011. That isn’t the case this year. They have been awful (6-19) on the road but a good team at home (17-12). Houston looks to be on its way back to contending, but it won’t be this year.

San Diego Padres

This is currently the worst team in baseball. They too, have not been the same since the 2010 season when they blew the lead in the N.L. West and missed the playoffs by a game. There isn’t much to cheer about here.

Kansas City Royals

Is it time to bring back Bo Jackson? The Royals have just one winning season since 1994. They are said to have a lot of young talent that will turn it around but it is looking as though that wont happen until 2013 or 2014.

Oakland A’s

Their recent nine-game losing streak really hurt. They are now down to fourth in the A.L. West and eight games back of Texas. They are just six games out of a wild card spot, but there are just too many teams to leapfrog.

Colorado Rockies

Colorado is 9.5 games out in the N.L. West and 6.5 in the wild card chase. These guys have built a reputation of getting hot and making a late-season run, but can they do it again? They have the offense to get it done but the pitching staff is the worst in baseball.

Seattle Mariners

Somehow the Mariners are 10th scoring runs. But they are 27th in batting average, 28th in on base percentage and 26th in slugging. Sooner or later that is going to catch up to them and their scoring will go down, along with their post-season hopes.

Boston Red Sox

The Sox are currently in last in the A.L. East. They are under .500 at home. Their pitching staff is near the bottom of the league. They have had too many injuries. Too many off the field issues. The division is too tough.

Philadelphia Phillies

It’s the same story in Philly as it is in Boston. They are last in the N.L. East. They also have had too many injuries (Roy Halladay, Ryan Howard, Jim Thome, and Chase Utley are just a few of the players they have on the DL right now) and too many good teams in their division.

May 22, 2012

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MLB Power Rankings

By: Joe Williams

No. 1               Los Angeles Dodgers             (29-13)

They haven’t missed a beat (6-2) since Matt Kemp went on the disabled list.

No. 2               Baltimore Orioles                    (27-16)

The American League East standings continue to look like they are upside down. Orioles look like they are in for the long haul.

No. 3               Atlanta Braves                                    (26-17)

The Braves don’t seem to be suffering any hangover from last year’s end of season collapse.

Jason Heyward and the Braves have put 2011 behind them and are having a great start to 2012.

No. 4               Texas Rangers                         (26-17)

The pitching staff takes a big hit with the injury to Neftali Feliz.

No. 5               Washington Nationals             (25-17)

It’s been a long time coming for the Nats. If the National League strikeout leader (Strasburg) is going to start hitting home runs, lookout N.L. East.

No. 6               Cleveland Indians                   (23-18)

With series against the Tigers and White Sox up next, the Indians could build a lead in the American League Central.

No. 7               Tampa Bay Rays                     (25-18)

A good week for the Rays would create some separation between them and the Blue Jays and Red Sox. A bad week could send them from second to last in the A.L. East.

No. 8               St. Louis Cardinals                 (23-19)

Just when I thought it was safe to put Allen Craig into my fantasy lineup he goes back to the DL.

No. 9               San Fransisco Giants               (22-20)

The Giants are one of baseball’s hottest teams with seven wins in the last 10 games.

No. 10             Toronto Blue Jays                   (24-19)

Toronto hung in there while Jose Bautista struggled early. Now he’s heating up with six homers in the last 10 games.

No. 11             Miami Marlins             (23-19)

Carlos Zambrano leads the team with a 1.96 ERA. Can he get through the season without a blowup?

No. 12             Cincinnati Reds                      (22-19)

Three straight wins and the Reds are just a half game back of the Cardinals in the N.L. Central.

No. 13             New York Mets                      (22-20)

Mets are 14-7 against their division. Just 8-13 against everyone else.

No. 14             Boston Red Sox                      (21-21)           

After an 8-2 stretch, the Sox are finally back to .500.

No. 15             Chicago White Sox                 (21-21)

Now would be a good time for the White Sox to make a move with 15 of the next 18 games at home.

No. 16             Philadelphia Phillies                (21-22)

The Phillies looked good during their six-game win streak but followed it up with three consecutive losses.

No. 17             Okland A’s                             (22-21)

Ryan Cook has pitched 21.2 innings without allowing a run and that’s right, he’s on my fantasy team.

No. 18             New York Yankees                (21-21)

Three wins in the last 10 games and the Yankees are in a tie for last in the A.L. East.

No. 19                         Detroit Tigers                          (20-21)

Tigers would be in trouble without Justin Verlander dominating on the mound.

No. 20             Pittsburgh Pirates                    (20-22)

Aside from Andrew McCutchen, the offense is pathetic.

No. 21             Los Angeles Angels                (18-25)

The Angels are one of the most disappointing teams in baseball and Albert Pujols has been the most disappointing player thus far.

No. 22             Seattle Mariners                      (20-24)

Seattle has won four straight, but the Mariners aren’t going anywhere if they continue to rank 29th in on base percentage.

No. 23             Arizona Diamondbacks          (19-24)

Chris Young is back. He should be a boost for the offense.

No. 24             Houston Astros                       (19-23)

Bud Norris is 5-1. He needs more help.

No. 25             Milwaukee Brewers                (17-25)

Weren’t they supposed to challenge the Cardinals in the N.L. Central?

No. 26             Kansas City Royals                 (17-24)

The good news…they are one of the best road teams in baseball. The bad news….5-17 at home.

No. 27             Colorado Rockies                   (14-27)

The offense hasn’t been bad but it’s not enough to make up for having one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball.

No. 28             Chicago Cubs                          (15-27)

The Cubs have lost seven in a row. Is it already time to wait till next year?

No. 29             San Diego Padres                    (16-27)

The Padres only have three more wins than players on the disabled list.

No. 30             Minnesota Twins                     (14-27)

The team ERA is 5.43. No wonder they are the worst team in the majors.

March 26, 2010

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Top Uniforms of the 80s – Baseball Edition

By: Denny

I’ll save the traditional classic uniforms for another list.  The 80’s were all about being bold and making a statement.  These are the best of the best as far as I’m concerned.  Grab an ice cold Fresca, pour yourself a bowl of Kaboom cereal, turn up your Bananarama and enjoy!

5. San Diego Padres “Burger King” collection.  Nothing wrong with being garbed with colors most closely resembling the aftermath of bodily functions.  Solid uniforms.

4. I see a theme here.  Bold and obnoxious colors are vastly underrated.  We’ve seen the all black uniforms across different sports, but the all yellow?  That takes guts!  The Big Bird theme topped off with a pillbox hat gets major points!

3. A sentimental favorite here- The 1980s Brewers looked more like a biker gang than athletes.  Pot bellies, curly mullets and jumbo mustaches are pretty cool.  BIG fan of the old MB Mitt logo as well as a team the celebrates the creation of beer.  Very clever logo!

2. The Montreal Expos – the team everyone agreed to just not care about.  Very nice, clean look though.  I have no idea what the heck the “elb” in the shape of an M logo is or means (has to be French), but I’m a sucker for powder blue!  Sharp!

1. The top slot goes to the Houston Astros.  Having the stones to have a home jersey comprised almost exclusively by a rainbow means you deserve to win.  Getting hit in the head by a Nolan Ryan fastball had to hurt.  Knowing he was rocking a rainbow jersey when he threw the pitch made it that much worse!