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.

Couch Potato Alert: 9/29

Jermaine DyeDetroit Tigers vs Chicago White Sox
The White Sox will try to keep their season alive when they face the Detroit Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field. The Sox need have to win this make-up game in order to force a one-game playoff on Tuesday against the Twins, who currently lead the AL Central. Be sure to tune in and watch this crucial game on ESPN2 at 2:05 PM ET.

Ravens vs Steelers
The Ravens, led by rookie QB Joe Flacco and a strong defense, are on top the AFC North with a 2-0 record, but no one’s sold on them just yet. They travel to Pittsburgh to play a Steelers team that is coming off of a tough loss at Philadelphia last week. This is a good opportunity for the Ravens to show the NFL that they’re serious contenders. Watch this growing rivalry on ESPN at 8:30 PM ET.

MLB Division Series
The MLB playoffs begin this Wednesday with the Brewers heading to Philadelphia to play the Phillies at 3:00 PM ET. That game will be followed by Dodgers and Cubs at 6:30 PM ET. The Red Sox and Angels are the late game, starting at 10:00 PM ET. Thursday you can catch the Twins/White Sox go to Tampa to face the surprising Rays at 2:30 PM ET. The Brewers and Phillies will play game two at 6:00 PM ET. Game two of the Red Sox and Angels begins at 9:30 PM ET. All games can be seen on TBS.

Pittsburgh vs #13 South Florida
The Bulls of South Florida look to stay undefeated when they square off against the Pittsburgh Panthers this Thursday. With all of the upsets that occurred just this past weekend in college football, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Panthers come into Raymond James Stadium and steal one from the Bulls. This game can be seen on ESPN at 7:30 PM ET.

Couch Potato Alert: 8/25

With the 2008 Summer Olympics coming to an end, the sports lineup is looking somewhat bleak this week until Thursday, when college football returns!

– Week 3 of the NFL preseason concludes Monday night in San Diego when the Seahawks come to town. The game can be seen on ESPN at 8:00 PM Eastern. I know it’s just preseason, but at least the starters will play for a while, and it’s going to be the most NFL football we’ll see until September 4th when the Giants and Redskins open up the regular season.

– “Hard Knocks” with the Dallas Cowboys continues on HBO this Wednesday at 10:00 PM Eastern. It’s the fourth episode of six.

– It’s crunch time in the MLB. Check out the Dodgers vs Phillies Monday night on ESPN2 at 7:00 PM Eastern. The Dodgers are three games back of the Diamondbacks and need to get things back on track. It won’t be easy against a Phillies team that’s just half a game back of the Mets in the NL East.

– Although the Red Sox and Yankees aren’t at the top of the AL East for the first time in about a thousand years, it’s still the biggest rivalry in baseball. Watch the two teams clash this Wednesday at 7:00 PM Eastern on ESPN.

– Thankfully, college football is back! There’ll be a few games airing this Thursday. ESPN will televise NC State @ South Carolina, ESPN2 will air Oregon State @ Stanford. Be sure to check out your local Fox Sports Net channels to see what else might be on.

Sunday MLB roundup: Andre Ethier puts Dodgers in first place

-Dodgers’ Outfielder Andre Ethier hit a two-run walk-off homer on Sunday against the Brewers in a wild 7-5 game. The home run came in the bottom of the ninth after an error-filled top of the ninth that saw the Brewers come back from a 5-1 deficit. The win has put the Dodgers into a first place tie in the NL West with the Arizona Diamondbacks, who were shutout in their game at Houston. Roy Oswalt was masterful, going eight innings, and allowing just one hit. The Astros scored all of their three runs in the first inning, and it was more than they needed.

The Cubs went on a hitting spree against the Marlins. They scored seven runs in the eighth inning, and were able to extend their lead over the Brewers in the NL Central.

-Speaking of hitting sprees, the Baltimore Orioles were one of five teams in the American League Sunday to score in double figures. They managed to put 16 runs on the board. The Twins (11), White Sox (13), Yankees (15), and Blue Jays (15) round out the rest of the double-digit scorers.

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