Mikey’s MLB power rankings

It’s hard to believe July is ending today and the dog days of summer are in full swing. It also means pennant races are heating up, and this year they are more so than ever. You can safely say the Rangers are playoff-bound, but every other division lead is no greater than 3.5 games, and we have three divisions that have the top two teams separated by 1.5 games or less. How awesome is that? I mean, this could be the greatest stretch run as far as the entire league, ever. Here are Mikey’s power rankings (yes, I just referred to myself in the third person, I need to stop that!)……

1. New York Yankees (65-37)—The Rays are inching closer, but the Yanks are still the team to beat. Adding Lance Berkman was a way for them to bully the Rays a little, like “Take that, small market team!” I also keep thinking about how they are going to sign Cliff Lee in the off-season and then they may play .800 ball next year. And really, who wants to see that?

2. Tampa Bay Rays (64-38)—Don’t think the Yankees aren’t sweating, however. Because these Rays just sweat talent.

3. San Diego Padres (60-41)—Seriously, when was the last time the Padres were contemplating trades at the trade deadline to bolster their team for the stretch? It’s such a great story this year.

4. Texas Rangers (60-43)—Speaking of great stories…..the Rangers are up by 8 games in their division and could be the first team to clinch a playoff spot.

5. Atlanta Braves (59-43)—Another great story. I wonder if Greg Maddux could come back and help these guys for a few months.

6. Boston Red Sox (58-45)—Now these guys will definitely be the odd team out, and it almost seems like if they keep winning it won’t matter.

7. San Francisco Giants (59-45)—Don’t look now, but the G-men are 2.5 games back of the Padres. And they have one of the best starting rotations in baseball, so they have the goods to contend down the stretch.

8. Chicago White Sox (58-44)—Another 5-game win streak, but barely hanging on to first place in the AL Central

9. Cincinnati Reds (57-47)—How many great team stories can there be in one year? Forget the year of the pitcher, it’s the year of the Cinderella. Sorry, Cardinals fans, I know you have a half-game lead, but Joey Votto just hit another home run. Wait, there goes another one!

10. Minnesota Twins (57-46)—It’s just a matter of time before the White Sox fade, and the Twins are putting ridiculous pressure on them with their own 6-game winning streak.

In the hunt: St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, LA Dodgers
Fading fast: New York Mets, LA Angels, Colorado Rockies

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Mikey’s MLB power rankings

Amazingly, we’re only 10 days away from the All-Star break. That means teams will re-charge and start to make a serious run at a playoff spot from mid-July on. And the power rankings haven’t changed much, other than most of the California teams dropping off the list. So without further adieu…..

1. New York Yankees (48-31)—The Bombers continue to ride their stars to victory, and survived a recent team hitting slump. There’s no reason to believe they won’t win the division again and contend for the title.

2. Texas Rangers (47-32)—Seriously, how scary has this team become? This past week Vlad gave his former team a taste of what they might be missing this year

3. Boston Red Sox (48-32)—Barely hanging on to second place in the tough AL East, but only two games separate the Yanks, Sox and Rays.

4. San Diego Padres (47-33)—Sure, the Rangers are a big surprise. But no team has been as surprising as the Padres, who just keep winning. And here’s a frightening thing for other National League teams—the Pads are now believing in themselves too.

5. Tampa Bay Rays (46-33)—Thankfully the Rays got off to a hot start, because everyone knows how much talent resides in the AL East. And has Carlos Pena become Dave Kingman? Yikes….he’s batting .196 with 16 homers and 50 RBI.

6. Atlanta Braves (47-33)—The Braves are a major league best 29-9 at home this year (.763 winning percentage). Too bad no one goes to their home games.

7. New York Mets (45-35)—With two more games against the suddenly slumping Nationals, the Mets still have a chance to close the gap with Atlanta this weekend.

8. Cincinnati Reds (46-35)—I’m getting closer to believing, and so are the Reds.

9. Minnesota Twins (44-36)—They haven’t been playing great baseball, which has allowed the mediocre Tigers and White Sox back into the AL Central race. But there is too much talent in Minnesota to keep the Twins out of the postseason hunt.

10. St. Louis Cardinals (44-36)—I’m now ready to put the Reds above the Cardinals, and Tony LaRussa’s boys had better start playing better away from home (18-22) if they want to keep pace.

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