By Mike Ivcic
After a week off, the Ultimate Capper power rankings return, with a “best phrase” edition. In seven words or less, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about all 30 teams. There’s no change at the top, though â it’s a New York world, and apparently we’re all just living in it â which makes it really hard to be a Mets fanâ¦ Records through Thursday, July 19.
1. New York Yankees (57-35) 1 â Unfortunately, best team in baseball â again.
2. Texas Rangers (55-36) 2 â Need health, not Hamels, to win AL.
3. Washington Nationals (53-37) 3 â Shutting down Strasburg is the wrong move.
4. San Francisco Giants (51-41) 7 â Imagine if Lincecum was pitching well.
5. Los Angeles Angels (50-43) 4 â Legitimate case for Trout as AL MVP.
6. Cincinnati Reds (52-40) 10 â Still need one more bat to compete.
7. Atlanta Braves (50-41) 14 â Cannot afford any more pitching injuries.
8. Los Angeles Dodgers (49-44) 5 â Garza or Dempster â need one of them.
9. Detroit Tigers (49-44) 19 â About to pass Chicago in AL Central.
10. Chicago White Sox (50-42) 6 â Won’t go far without a better bullpen.
11. Boston Red Sox (48-45) 13 â Starting to get some magic back.
12. Tampa Bay Rays (48-45) 12 â Need Longoria back right now.
13. Pittsburgh Pirates (51-40) 9 â Over .500 â yes, playoffs â no.
14. Oakland Athletics (48-44) 18 â Too hard to catch Angels or Rangers.
15. New York Mets (47-45) 8 â Needed a big trade last week.
16. Baltimore Orioles (48-44) 11 â Must have better starting pitching.
17. St. Louis Cardinals (47-45) 15 â Slim chance to repeat as champs.
18. Cleveland Indians (47-45) 16 â Learning to win, still a year away.
19. Milwaukee Brewers (44-47) 24 â Should firesale and start to rebuild.
20. Miami Marlins (44-48) 20 â Proof that money doesn’t always buy wins.
21. Toronto Blue Jays (45-47) 17 â Suddenly sellers after fading fast.
22. Philadelphia Phillies (41-52) 23 â All healthy but too little, too late.
23. Arizona Diamondbacks (44-48) 21 â Still lurking, but very inconsistent.
24. Seattle Mariners (40-54) 25 â Good, solid foundation for future success.
25. San Diego Padres (39-55) 27 â Better than expected, still not good.
26. Kansas City Royals (39-52) 22 â Young team still hasn’t learned to win.
27. Minnesota Twins (38-54) 26 â Unload assets, aim for 2014.
28. Chicago Cubs (38-53) 28 â First Dempster, then Garza to deal away.
29. Colorado Rockies (35-56) 29 â Disappointing season after Tulo injury.
30. Houston Astros (34-59) 30 â Altuve needs some major help.
Three series to watch this weekendâ¦
1) ATL @ WAS (7/20-7/22) â Huge series in the NL East, with the Braves sitting just 3.5 games back of Washington. Winning the series would be a big shot in the arm for Atlanta’s momentum.
2) TEX @ LAA (7/20-7/22) â If the Angels want to catch Texas, they need to cut into the Rangers 6 game lead this weekend. It may still be early, but a series loss here might be all Texas needs to finish off this division.
3) LAD @ NYM (7/20-7/22) â Two teams heading in the wrong direction both avoided a sweep with a win in the final game of their respective weekday series. Now, one will at least have a series win under their belt after the weekend â though both will still be looking up in the wild card race.
Check out Mike Ivcic’s weekly column, “The Tenth Inning,” every Monday and the weekly “Power Rankings” every Friday, only at ultimatecapper.com
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