American League Power Rankings
The American League West is well represented at the top of the Power Rankings
Happy Monday folks. It’s amazing what a week will do. We’ve gone from having the World Cup, crazy basketball free agency, and a baseball season in full swing to no more Cup, free agency over as far as the big names are concerned, and a week off in Major League Baseball for the All-Star break. So, as baseball take’s it’s unofficial half-way break, let’s take a quick look at how the American League stacks up. Not a ton of movement from last week, so I’ll keep this brief.
15. Texas Rangers (38-57; LW: 14)
Wouldn’t have guessed the bottom team would be this AL West team in Texas when the season started, but a combination of poor pitching, no offense, and a not-always-effective Yu Darvish have the Rangers in last place.
14. Houston Astros (40-56; LW: 15)
The bad news? 40-56 at the break is hardly cause for celebration. The good news? They’re only 11 wins shy of last season’s total. Improvement is improvement, no matter how minor.
13. Boston Red Sox (43-52; LW: 13)
Boston isn’t going to end up defending its World Series title, but at least they’ll be fun to watch the rest of the way with a lineup consistently including four or five rookies at a time. If you’re going to lose, doing it this way is the best way to do it.
12. Tampa Bay Rays (44-53; LW: 12)
I still don’t think the Rays have enough in the tank to make a serious attempt at a playoff push. The next two weeks will be huge though; if Tampa believes they’re out, they’ll likely ship David Price. If they think they can make a real push in the second half, they may hold onto him. The problem is they have very little time to decide.
11. Minnesota Twins (44-50; LW: 11)
They get to host the All-Star Game, so they have that going for them, which is nice. Not a whole lot to say about this team otherwise. So-so offense, so-so pitching, no one I would classify as “exciting.” That’s how to go 44-50, all right.
10. Chicago White Sox (45-51; LW: 10)
The White Sox may not quite be where they want, but at least they’re fun to watch. Between watching Chris Sale mow down opposing lineups every fifth day and watching Jose Abreu try to break every offensive rookie record on the books, the ChiSox are at least worth paying attention to.
9. Cleveland Indians (47-47; LW: 9)
I’ve never been less surprised that a team went .500 in the first half than I am with the painfully-average Indians. It’s a shame, too, because the people of Cleveland have no other sports to be excited about right now or anything.
8. New York Yankees (47-47; LW: 8)
The Yankees second-half playoff push could be over before it even starts. With Masahiro Tanaka out for a couple weeks – and possibly the entire second half – New York’s greatest weapon is gone. Now, they’re just a mediocre team with no pitching and a hot-and-cold offense. Not sure that’ll cut it.
7. Kansas City Royals (48-46; LW: 7)
As I’ve said all year, I’m happy for the Royals. I hope they stay relevant and competitive all season, I really do. But for the love of god, this team needs to add a power bat so badly. Can’t win a ton of games when you’re 24th in the league in slugging and still dead last in home runs. Someone get these guys some power.
6. Toronto Blue Jays (49-47; LW: 6)
If you told the Blue Jays on opening day they’d be two games over .500 and four games back in the division at the All-Star break, they’d have taken it in a heartbeat. That said, it still feels like a bit of a failure after Toronto spent much of the first half atop the division. They’ve cooled off significantly, but I still expect them to stay in the thick of things the rest of the way.
5. Seattle Mariners (51-44; LW: 4)
Seattle started slow, but managed to finish the first half with the league’s fifth-best record and a Wild Card spot. Unfortunately, the AL West might just be too competitive for the Mariners to really compete for a division title, but any team with pitching as good as theirs must be considered a threat.
4. Baltimore Orioles (52-42; LW: 5)
The Orioles have used a late surge to pull ahead in the division and now have a four-game lead to show for it. Led by All-Stars Nelson Cruz and Adam Jones, Baltimore is taking advantage of a down year in the AL East. If they could find a pitcher or two to add at the deadline, they could be dangerous.
3. Detroit Tigers (53-38; LW: 3)
Detroit got through a very mediocre stretch in the middle of May or so to once again take complete control of the AL Central. Even when they aren’t playing up to their abilities, any team with Miguel Cabrera, Max Scherzer, and Justin Verlander is going to be pretty good, especially when guys like Victor Martinez are having career years. I don’t see Detroit being seriously challenged in the division race the rest of the way.
2. Los Angeles Angles (57-37; LW: 2)
This is what the Angels had visions of last season. A top-five offense, led by the best player in baseball, with a good-enough-to-win pitching staff. Considering how dominant the Athletics have been all season, the fact that LA goes into the break only 1.5 games back is nothing short of astounding.
1. Oakland Athletics (59-36; LW: 1)
Start-to-finish the best team in baseball. They hit, they pitch, they just added one of the most coveted trade pieces in the game…this team is scary good. With LA and Seattle looming, they’re going to need to keep their foot on the gas; from what we’ve seen so far, that shouldn’t be a problem.
That’s it for this week. Enjoy the All-Star festivities, and as always, check back each week to see where your favorite team stands.