The Tenth Inning Week 14 Power Rankings

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The Tenth Inning Week 14 – Power Rankings ]]> include($base_url . “/includes/header.htm”); ?>


By Mike Ivcic

After a one week vacation, “The Tenth Inning” is back! (When you write baseball, football, and hockey, there’s not really an “offseason,” so please forgive our one week hiatus – and if that sounds like an excuse… well, it kinda is, but you get the point). Anyway, since the MLB season has reached its halfway point, what better way to celebrate the season’s midway marker than everyone’s favorite column gimmick – power rankings!


1) St. Louis Cardinals
2) Pittsburgh Pirates
3) Texas Rangers
4) Boston Red Sox
5) Cincinnati Reds
Yes, the Pirates have the best record in baseball, but the Cardinals are still the most talented team that’s played at the highest level for the longest stretch of time. Considering three of the top five teams come from the same division, it could be tough for another NL team to make a serious push for a Wild Card berth unless one of these three teams falters in the second half.

6) Atlanta Braves
7) Baltimore Orioles
8) Detroit Tigers
9) Oakland Athletics
10) Tampa Bay Rays
There’s a clear delineation between the top nine teams and everyone else, and because of their pitching staff Tampa gets the nod at 10. Still, it’s troublesome to see Detroit once again struggling to put away a division in which they are far superior to every other team. I do think it’s safe to say, though, that neither Oakland nor Baltimore can be considered a one-hit wonder after duplicating their playoff-level performances of 2012 again in the first half of 2013.

11) New York Yankees
12) Cleveland Indians
13) Arizona Diamondbacks
14) Washington Nationals
15) San Francisco Giants
Injuries have certainly taken their toll on both the Yankees and Nationals, who both expected to be significantly higher in the rankings – and more importantly, the standings – at this point in the season. The Giants, meanwhile, are currently coughing up an opportunity to win a very winnable division, which isn’t a good sign for the defending champions. Props to the Indians, though, who have risen to the challenge of contending with a Detroit team not playing its best baseball.

16) Colorado Rockies
17) Toronto Blue Jays
18) Los Angeles Dodgers
19) Los Angeles Angels
20) Kansas City Royals
Interesting dichotomy in this group – three teams with massive payrolls that continue to underachieve sandwiched around two organizations trying to contend with rather low financial commitments. The Royals may ultimately be in the best shape of them all if Detroit and Cleveland continue to hover a handful of games above .500, but the recent surge by both the Angels and Dodgers is at least giving hope to playoff aspirations if they can carry their newfound success beyond the All-Star break.

21) Philadelphia Phillies
22) San Diego Padres
23) Minnesota Twins
24) New York Mets
25) Seattle Mariners
It’s about time for the Phillies to pack in their core and become sellers – where they would clearly be the cream of the crop when looking at their talent capable of contributing to a playoff team as compared to the nine teams below them in the rankings. And despite the Padres push into relevancy in the NL West, their 15-24 road record and -26 run differential indicated they’re not likely to be a factor once the calendar flips to August and September.

26) Milwaukee Brewers
27) Chicago Cubs
28) Chicago White Sox
29) Miami Marlins
30) Houston Astros
All five of these teams know their respective seasons are likely over, the toughest part of running a major league baseball franchise. Still, the best record in all of baseball in the month of June does belong to the Marlins – so I guess that counts for something, right?

Playoff “Dead” List
July 1 – Milwaukee Brewers – As you’ll see below, the Brewers avoided the chop block last week, but couldn’t do it two weeks in a row. That leaves us with three divisions – AL East, AL Central, and NL West – with all five teams still alive, while the other three divisions – NL East, NL Central, and AL West – are now just each a three-team race. Something tells me we’re going to start picking off some teams in the AL Central starting next week…
June 24 – Seattle Mariners – (Written 6/24) Since apparently no one in the AL East wants to lose, and only the talent-laden Dodgers have managed to be under .500 in the NL West, we’re left with a rather small pool of teams from which to choose here. The Brewers, Twins, and White Sox were all considered for this spot, but ultimately the combination of Oakland, Texas, and the quintet of teams over .500 in the AL East make it readily apparent that the return of playoff baseball in Seattle will have to wait for at least one more season.
June 17 – Chicago Cubs
June 10 – New York Mets
June 3 – Houston Astros
May 27 – Miami Marlins

If the playoffs started today…
American League
1) Boston Red Sox
2) Texas Rangers
3) Detroit Tigers
4) Oakland Athletics
5) Baltimore Orioles

National League
1) Pittsburgh Pirates
2) Atlanta Braves
3) Arizona Diamondbacks
4) St. Louis Cardinals
5) Cincinnati Reds

Check out my weekly column, “The Tenth Inning,” every Monday at

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