Friday, July 20, 2012

American League Power Rankings: Week 15

For most of this season the AL East has dominated these power rankings. It wasn't unusual to find all five of the division's teams in the top seven, or sometimes even six.

Well, things are changing a bit. As the Yankees continue to pull away from their division mates, those other AL East teams are beginning to slide down toward the bottom. Some of this is due to the teams just not playing as well as they had been (hello Baltimore, Tampa and Toronto) and some of it is due to teams from other divisions starting to play well (Detroit and Oakland).

Where does everyone stand at the moment?

Just keep reading, lazy.

1. Texas Rangers (55-36): Last week Texas was only a point ahead of the Yankees in these rankings, but they opened that gap up a bit over the last seven days. Not enough that losing a couple of games wouldn't knock them right back, though. In fact, they don't even have to lose, as the only real thing separating the two teams are statistics. Should the Yankees pick up 20 hits in a game sometime this week they might just jump back to the top. (1)

2. New York Yankees (57-35): I already explained why the Yankees are still in second place, so there's not much more I can say here. (2)

3. Los Angeles Angels (50-43): The Angels did not have the best of weeks, going 2-5 against the Yankees and Tigers. Things won't get any easier this weekend, either, as the Angels return home to begin a series against the Rangers. (3)

4. Chicago White Sox (50-42): The Sox started the week by winning their first series in Kansas City in three years and followed it up with a lot of pain in Boston. A few years ago I loved Cody Ross as he was hitting homers off Roy Halladay and leading the Giants to the World Series just for the story. Today I don't love him nearly as much. (4)

5. Boston Red Sox (48-45): The Red Sox went 5-2 this week (unfortunately for White Sox fans) and get to climb a few spots because of it. While David Ortiz just went on the disabled list, the Red Sox have gotten Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford and now Dustin Pedroia back from injury the last couple weeks, and I'd expect them to make a bit of a run now. (7)

6. Detroit Tigers (49-44): The Tigers went 5-2 this week and have narrowed the gap in the AL Central to only 1.5 games. In other words, that run we've all known this team was going to make at some point is currently happening. Though I'm sure it will be put to an end this weekend when the White Sox sweep them in Detroit, right? Right? PLEASE? (6)

7. Oakland Athletics (48-44): The Athletics are the hottest team in the American League right now and are actually in the playoff hunt thanks to the extra wild card spot. This is not something people were planning on saying before the season started. They've already commissioned the script for "Moneyball 2: Pitchingball." (8)

8. Tampa Bay Rays (48-45): The Rays are starting to fade. After years of seemingly playing over their heads, it seems that the Rays "luck" is finally running out a bit this season. They're now 9.5 games behind the Yankees in the division and as history has proven, there's just no way the Rays could overcome a deficit like that in only two and a half months. Impossible! (5)

9. Toronto Blue Jays (45-47): Just in case things couldn't get any worse for the Blue Jays right now, they had to put Jose Bautista on the disabled list. Hurting my fantasy team's chances and possibly killing Toronto's. (9)

10. Baltimore Orioles (48-44): I really don't know how this team continues to stay above .500. They're now officially more confusing to me than the Indians were earlier this season because at least you could say "well they play in the AL Central" when it came to the Indians. The Orioles are just sorcerers of some sort. (10)

11. Cleveland Indians (47-45): The Indians have now fallen to third place in the AL Central, and really, that's where they belong. There are some good, young players on this team but there's not enough talent here to compete with a team like Detroit or the White Sox for 162 games. (11)

12. Seattle Mariners (40-54): Wow this offense is offensive. (12)

13. Kansas City Royals (39-52): Pretty sure the Royals will be climbing up these rankings quickly now that they've signed Jason Kendall to a minor league deal. Because that's what a rebuilding team like Kansas City really needs. A really old catcher that isn't very good and hasn't played in two years. (13)

14. Minnesota Twins (38-54): The Twins are a bad baseball team.

Last week's rankings can be found here.

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