Mikey’s MLB power rankings

The regular season is almost over, and we have an almost anti-climatic AL East race going on, with just playoff positioning to determine. In the NL, the Phillies and Reds are in but the Giants, Padres and Braves are battling for the final two spots. The Rockies sure flamed out fast, didn’t they? I guess this will be our final power rankings for the year, and it’s time to focus on our NFL MVP, Coach of Year and Rookie of Year power rankings. Thanks for reading, folks and enjoy the playoffs!

1. Philadelphia Phillies (96-64)—As a Mets fan, it pains me to say this, but I can’t see anyone beating these guys at this point. They had their rough patch the first half of the season when the Braves and Mets battled for first place and they sat back and watched, but here they are.

2. Tampa Bay Rays (94-66)—It’s going to be a photo finish in the AL East.

3. New York Yankees (94-65)—I feel like NY will wind up with the wild card, and they may want it that way so they can face Minnesota instead of Texas, if only to avoid Cliff Lee.

4. Minnesota Twins (93-67)—One win this past week, but it doesn’t even matter having clinched a while ago.

5. San Francisco Giants (91-69)—No champagne yet, guys. But this team is looking mighty strong heading into the postseason. However, like I said, no champagne…

6. Atlanta Braves (90-70)—Tough luck drawing the Phillies this weekend, and their lead in the wild card is just one game over San Diego. At least we have some tight races to look forward to in the NL.

7. San Diego Padres (89-71)—A good thing they didn’t trade Adrian Gonzalez. Wow, what a shame it would be for these guys to miss the postseason at this point, but it might happen. Then again, see Giants above….and don’t count the Braves out from collapsing either.

8. Cincinnati Reds (89-71)—They could be dangerous this month because of three words. Joey Freaking Votto.

9. Texas Rangers (89-71)—Cliff Lee and that Murderer’s Row lineup could make noise too, but I’m not banking on it.

10. Boston Red Sox (87-72)—Tough division, but it’s likely the Sox will finish with a worse record than any of the 8 playoff teams.

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Mikey’s MLB power rankings

It’s August 8, and we’re past 2/3 of the way through the MLB season right now. That means teams have roughly 50 games to get their act together and either make a run or hold on to their place in the playoff picture. Ironically as I say that, the rankings have barely changed at all this week. What you don’t see is that the Phillies are creeping up on the Braves, the Dodgers and Mets are falling way behind, and the Tigers have fallen out of their race about as fast as any team can in August. With that, here are the rankings for this week…..

1. New York Yankees (68-41)—The only reason the Yankees are still first here is because you’re first until someone knocks you off. But believe me, the Rays are going to knock them off any day now, no matter how many Berkmans the Yankees add.

2. Tampa Bay Rays (67-43)—Out to prove that 2008 was no fluke, and doing it with a vengeance. Do you think Fox is terrified of a Tampa Bay/San Diego World Series?

3. Texas Rangers (64-46)—Sale complete, but mission not complete. Tim McCarver said on Dan Patrick this past week that he thinks this is the best team in the American League. And who can really argue with that?

4. San Diego Padres (63-46)—Oh hey, speaking of the Padres, these guys just keep winning. Sure, their lead is now just one game over the Giants, but we didn’t expect them to be there in June, much less August or beyond.

5. Atlanta Braves (63-47)—It’s not smoke and mirrors anymore, and this team has a great mix of crafty vets and hungry youngsters. Just look out for the Phillies, because here they come, just two games back.

6. Boston Red Sox (63-48)—Don’t count them out yet. All those injuries and just 6 games back in that division? That’s all I’m gonna say.

7. San Francisco Giants (63-48)—This team has its eye on the NL West crown and they have the pitching to get there. Do they have enough offense (i.e., power) though?

8. Chicago White Sox (63-47)—Sorry Mr. President, I just don’t see this lasting much longer. The other shoe is going to drop, and the Twins are going to pounce.

9. Cincinnati Reds (63-48)—Two words—Joey and Votto. Dude might win the triple crown and his team might reach the promised land for the first time in 20 years.

10. Minnesota Twins (62-49)—Too much talent to be kept down in the AL Central. Do you ever wonder if Johan Santana regrets leaving Minnesota?

Kapler’s walk-off highlights wild Sunday for MLB

– Gabe Kapler got one hit out of seven at bats. That one hit was a walk-off homer against the Nationals in the bottom of the 13th inning. This was the Brewers fifth straight win, and put them just four games back of the Cubbies in the NL Central. Kapler was just one of four players Sunday who ended the game with a game-winning hit.

– Chone Figgins got an RBI single against Mariano Rivera to complete a sweep of the Yankees. Tony Pena Jr. picked the perfect time to break out of an 0-17 slump on Sunday; he singled in the 10th inning to drive in Mark Teahen and lead the Royals to a 5-4 over the Twins. The Dodgers suffered a heartbreaking loss to the rival Giants Sunday when Eugenio Velez hit an infield single that drove in Aaron Rowand in the ninth inning for the game winning run. The Dodgers were up 4-3 heading into the final inning.

– Brandon Webb was able to collect his MLB-leading 17th win in an all-around impressive game Sunday against the Atlanta Braves. Webb put in six solid innings, and even drove in a couple of runs to help his own cause in a 6-1 victory.

– Cliff Lee isn’t far behind Webb, Lee won his 16th game of the season in a masterful performance in Toronto Sunday. The Tribe finished a sweep of the Blue Jays with a 4-0 win. Lee pitched eight shutout innings and continues the lead the American League in wins and ERA.

– The Tampa Bay Rays won their 71st game of the season, a franchise high. Who would have thought they’d be so good this year? They’ve always reminded me of the Detroit Lions of baseball. The talent was always there, but I never thought they’d get their act together. Congrats Tampa!

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