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Your Monday Morning Power Rankings

Jul 25, 2011, 11:34 AM EDT

82nd MLB All-Star Game Getty Images

I didn’t have any get-up-and-go last Monday, so I gave the Power Rankings a miss.  Back at it today, where we find greater separation than we’ve seen so far this year. Which is to be expected. I mean, by late July you are who you are.

As always, the last ranking is in parenthesis. As are parentheticals serving other purposes, but I trust you can figure it out.

1. Red Sox/Phillies (tie; and don’t ready anything into the order; that’s just how I wrote them) (2, 1):  Kind of a cop out, I’ll admit.  Both have been great since the break, but both have done it against a bunch of tomato cans like the Orioles, Cubs, Mariners and Padres. Philly has the better record, Boston the better run differential. Mostly, though, after a week off the ranking plus the All-Star break, I just want to hit reset and go forward from here. Now watch as both Boston and Philly fans tear me a new one in the comments!

3. Yankees (3): Fresh off the A’s, the Yankees now get series against the Mariners and Orioles. Time to make a move on them Sox, gents.

4. Rangers (5): Do they make a deal of some kind?  After that white-hot streak they now sit with a four-game lead over Anaheim.  I’d be content to stand pat rather than chase Heath Bell or Carlos Beltran or whoever, but no one really asked me.

5. Braves/Giants (4, 6): Yeah, another tie, another copout. I think the Braves are better. I don’t feel it, though. Not that I’m objective. I always go for the doom first, warranted or not, when it comes to the Bravos.

7. Diamondbacks (10): They’re dropping like flies due to injuries, but Kirk Gibson keeps them chugging.

8. Angels (7)Bobby Abreu, Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells are all on pace for career-worst seasons, yet the Angels are still more competitive than a lot of folks thought they’d be. Viva pitching: the Halos have the lowest ERA in the American League.

9. Tigers (13): A two-game lead in the AL Central? That’s gigantic! OK, maybe not, but it seems it. The Tigers are a notoriously bad second half team, but they’ve started out 5-4 after the break. Which in the Central is like .750 ball.  OK, maybe not that either, but it seems it.

10. Rays (8): Boston and New York beating them up since the break isn’t terribly surprising. Dropping two of three to Kansas City wasn’t expected, however.

11. Cardinals (9): I don’t get the Colby Rasmus trade talk. He’s at his absolute lowest point as a major leaguer right now.  Even if the Cards want him gone, isn’t it highly likely that he’ll pick it up going forward and thus look way more appealing to other teams this winter, for example?  Dealing him now is the functional equivalent of the Cardinals telling the rest of baseball that he’s worthless.

12. Pirates (12): Nice story notwithstanding, I still think this is smoke and mirrors. The offense is insufficient and the pitching has experienced a lot of good luck.  Let us not mistake a pleasant surprise for a legitimately competitive force.

13. Brewers (11): Did not know this: the Brewers are the worst baserunning team in the game.

14. Indians (13): Four losses in a row to division rivals.

15. Reds (18): Yesterday was the first time in over a month that they won back-to-back games. And yet they’re only three games out. They’ve underperformed their run differential pretty dramatically. I wouldn’t be at all shocked to see them get on a roll soon.

16. Blue Jays (17): Six of their next 12 are against Baltimore, and then they get three against the A’s.  That’s good for them, but just be sure to temper your “hey, look what the Jays are doin’!” talk during that period.

17. Mets (15): They don’t play baseball anymore. They exist solely as the vehicle for Carlos Beltran trade rumors. It’s true!

18. White Sox (20): They begin a stretch against Detroit, Boston, New York and Minnesota. If they survive that, look out. If not: deader than vaudeville.

19. Nationals (16):  2011 Nationals under Jim Riggleman: 38-37 (.507); 2011 Nationals under Davey Johnson: 9-14 (.391).

20. Rockies (21): It’s like a 1967 Camaro that hasn’t left the driveway in a long time. You know it would be awesome if it would ever get running, but the odds of that ever happening grow longer every day it stays up on blocks.

21. Marlins (19): 2011 Marlins under Edwin Rodriguez: 32-39 (.451 ); 2011 Marlins under Jack McKeon: 17-13 (.567).

22. Twins (22): I outsource this one to Gleeman, who writes over at his personal blog:

Yesterday marked the two-thirds point of the 18-day, 19-game stretch that figured to define the Twins’ season leading right up to the July 31 trade deadline. So far they’re 6-6 and seven games out of first place, which is a half-game further back than the start of the stretch and the same deficit as a month ago. For all their getting healthy and turning things around the Twins have basically tread water for a month, leaving only 61 games to close a seven-game gap.

23. Dodgers (24): Does any manager have a tougher gig than Don Mattingly this year?

24. Athletics (25): They’re scoring over five runs a game since the break. That’s somethin’.

25. Padres (26): They’re scoring exactly five runs a game since the break. That’s somethin’.

26. Royals (27): Mike Moustakas is coming around.

27. Cubs (28): The Cubs are going to lead the charge in lobbying against the Astros moving to the American League.

28. Orioles (29): From Jeff Zrebiec’s notes column:

Things could obviously change if the Orioles make a couple of trades before the July 31 deadline, but as things stand, the club may need two starting pitchers, a couple of late-game relievers (assuming Jim Johnson is put in the rotation and Koji Uehara does not return), a power-hitting first baseman, a second baseman (it would be a stretch to count on Brian Roberts right now), a left fielder (Nolan Reimold could have something to say about this) and possibly a DH (Luke Scott is a prime non-tender candidate).

Orioles, you keep saying that word, “rebuilding.” I do not think it means what you think it means.

29. Astros (30): They looked gross against the Cubs and probably are the worst team in baseball but …

30. Mariners (23): … I don’t care what your overall record is. You drop 15 straight, you’re at the bottom of the list. That’s one of my rules. I’m a baaaaad man.

  1. bleedgreen - Jul 25, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    Seeing as the Phillies took 2 of 3 from the Sox not too long ago, I’d put the Phils 1, Sox 2.

    • bleedgreen - Jul 25, 2011 at 11:47 AM

      On top of 2 out of 3, the 3rd game they were SIGNIFICANTLY hampered by the fact that Hamels came out in the 3rd or 4th inning of pitching shut out baseball. Any losses incurred by David Herndon or Danys Baez shouldn’t count.

    • Utley's Hair - Jul 25, 2011 at 11:49 AM

      Meh…Boston comes before Philly in the alphabet.

      • Utley's Hair - Jul 25, 2011 at 8:50 PM

        Well, apparently at least 31 people aren’t happy about Boston coming before Philly in alphabetical order. Don’t shoot the messenger here, people. Take it up with your preschool—or, in my day, kindergarten—teachers.

    • Joe - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:01 PM

      Seeing as the Phillies lost 2 of 3 from the Mariners not too long ago, I’d say Craig has the entire list upside-down.

      • Utley's Hair - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:32 PM

        Of course that was when the Ms were relevant (two games over .500) in the AL West.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 25, 2011 at 2:02 PM

        Couldn’t have been the last 43 games…being as how they haven’t lost 2 games in a row since June 5th!!!

      • Utley's Hair - Jul 25, 2011 at 2:20 PM

        It was late June. The Phils lost the first and third games.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 25, 2011 at 9:05 PM

        God I am such an idiot at times!!!! Good one UH.

    • JBerardi - Jul 25, 2011 at 8:28 PM

      “Seeing as the Phillies took 2 of 3 from the Sox not too long ago, I’d put the Phils 1, Sox 2.”


      “I’m a Phillies fan, so I’d put the Phils 1, Sox 2.”

      I’m a Sox fan, so I have the Sox first. But lets be real here.

  2. halladaysbiceps - Jul 25, 2011 at 11:44 AM

    This is an outrage!!! The Phillies tied with the Sox. No way! The Phillies are better than the Sox and are the hottest team in baseball right now.

    Edit function! Edit function!!! Edit function!!!!

    • yankeesfanlen - Jul 25, 2011 at 11:52 AM

      Uh, HB, Edit function does not mean you can change what Craig says.

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:22 PM


  3. mojosmagic - Jul 25, 2011 at 11:45 AM

    Let me say as a Phils fan Boston is better! Your team is greatest of all time. See you in the World Series, suckers.

  4. everybodyhitswoohoo - Jul 25, 2011 at 11:49 AM

    I’d totally tear you a new one, but based on that picture it looks like Roy is more than willing to…so I’ll abstain.

    • halladaysbiceps - Jul 25, 2011 at 11:51 AM

      That’s why you have to love Halladay. When he comes off the mound after striking out someone to end the inning, he often has the look of the picture above. No one messes with the Halladay.

      • Utley's Hair - Jul 25, 2011 at 11:58 AM

        Says his biceps.

  5. mickmars - Jul 25, 2011 at 11:49 AM

    If you took Philly’s starters and put them on Boston with that line-up, I not sure that even Chuck Norris would beat ’em…..

    • hittfamily - Jul 25, 2011 at 1:23 PM


  6. largebill - Jul 25, 2011 at 11:53 AM

    Tribe has been falling hard ever after a fantastic start. Need to do something to shake the team up. Obvious areas to improve are the OF (which has been racked with injuries) and starting pitching which has been very inconsistent. They are one contender that is basically happy with their bullpen.

  7. Utley's Hair - Jul 25, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    My problem is that you have two ties and two farmed out entries. Are you sure you had the get-up-and-go you were lacking last week?

    But I would have the Phightins at the top, followed by the Sawx, who gave up eight runs to the compassless Mariners and 10 to the flightless Orioles—one of which possibly could be washed out by Hamels’ 11-spot to the Mutts, but right now, they are making a run at um…well…something.

  8. yankeesfanlen - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    Quitely…..under the radar at number three…….secret conference in vacation spot…… deadline…..28

  9. Jonny 5 - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:16 PM

    GTFO!! Giants and Braves tied. Awww hells naw…

    Even with their Ace Timmay having 6th highest xFIP in the NL he is still only 8 and 8.
    Even with Bumgarner having the 3rd best xFIP in the NL he is only 6 and 9

    The Giants are pounded by the East this season at 7-12. I say the Braves are at least ahead of the Giants. Yes, they must be.

    • Jonny 5 - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:24 PM

      I’d also say this offense of theirs is in need of a bat more than any of the other contenders.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 25, 2011 at 1:33 PM

        The Braves would have beaten the Giants in the NLDS last year, had they just put someone on the post-season roster who could field the second base position.

      • JBerardi - Jul 25, 2011 at 8:31 PM

        Brian Sabian used to make his money putting terrible teams on the field that seemed good because they had Barry Bonds. Now he makes his money putting terrible teams on the field that seem good because of the starting rotation.

  10. crankyfrankie - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    I understand Craig. In honor of the super bowl not being cancelled you decided to punt on today’s rankings. The Braves are better than the gnats and the Phils, today , are better than the beaneaters.

  11. FC - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:42 PM

    Seeing that last time the Phillies were ranked 1st and Boston ranked 2nd, unless Boston performed better than Philly since last go-round, you can’t say they are in a tie. The only thing you can point to is greater run differential in favor of Boston, while Philly has the better record. I’ll take the better record, that’s how MLB decides season standings anyway. If Run differential meant something the Phillies would have gone to the 2010 WS and not the Giants, but it’s who wins the greatest # of games that counts. This isn’t Soccer. (Run Differential… *spit*).

    • JBerardi - Jul 25, 2011 at 8:34 PM

      Run differential is more more accurate predictor of future winning percentage than winning percentage itself is. People proved this decades ago. Ignore this knowledge at your own peril.

      • FC - Jul 25, 2011 at 9:08 PM

        Phillies: Run DIFF 2010 +132
        San Francisco: Run DIFF 2010 +114

        Great Predicting right there.

        And current 2011

        Phillies: Run DIFF 2011 +98
        Giants: Run DIFF 2010 +16

        So what does that mean? Is SF about to get swept in Philly?

        Here’s the thing, Run DIFF is a nice tool. But it has to be used in proper context. If you use the single DIFF and make a sweeping statement ignoring the context in which is it used, it will often be wrong.

      • FC - Jul 25, 2011 at 10:03 PM

        Here’s my beef in proper context. You can’t use overall run DIFF and compare between two specific teams that have wildly different schedules and opponents. If you compare run DIFF between those two clubs specific then maybe you have something, but you need a large enough sample size. Right now the Philly-Boston run DIFF is +3 in favor of the Phillies, but 3 games is too small a sample size.

        The run DIFF in the long run may be right or may be wrong, but you don’t actually know, so if the power ranking is for performance as of this week the record should matter more. IF the records were tied then using run DIFF makes more sense. If later on the overall run DIFF is correct this will be reflected in the records in future power rankings. But using it now is rewarding a team for a performance they have yet to actually accomplish!!!

  12. b7p19 - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    Padres at 25!!?? They should be at least 24!! This is unacceptable. Did you SEE Denorfia’s catch?

    • FC - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:57 PM

      Denorfia’s catch was play of the week worthy!

    • Jonny 5 - Jul 25, 2011 at 1:11 PM

      this one. courtesy “the fightins’ “

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 25, 2011 at 1:30 PM

        That catch was sick!!! I was wondering at the whether the Sabremetricians have a stat to handle home runs stolen, because Raul had that look like “WTF!!! I finally hit a bomb off a left-hander and it gets robbed!!!”

        How about it sabremetricians…on the spreadsheet, that’s just another out against a lefty by Raul. But using my eyes, I saw that, in actuality, that was a freaking bomb that was stolen. Does he get any credit anywhere on the spreadhseet???? 😉

      • JBerardi - Jul 25, 2011 at 8:46 PM

        “Does he get any credit anywhere on the spreadhseet????”

        “with UZR the amount of credit that the fielder receives on each play, positive (if he makes an out) or negative (if he allows a hit or an ROE), depends on how often that particular kind of batted ball, in terms of its location, speed and several other factors, is fielded by an average fielder at the same position, measured over a time span of several years”

        In other words, yes.

      • FC - Jul 25, 2011 at 8:57 PM

        @JBerardi Chris isn’t talking about Denorfia, he’s talking about Raul. That was a stolen HR period. But in the statsheets it will appear as F8. Raul won’t get credit in his Average or OPS or whatever for a well hit ball that 9 times out of 10 is a 2-run Homerun.

      • Ari Collins - Jul 25, 2011 at 10:26 PM

        Yes. “We” track the almost-HRs and the barely-HRs. That would show up as an almost-HR and be useful in deciding where Raul got unlucky.

      • JBerardi - Jul 26, 2011 at 1:13 AM

        “That was a stolen HR period. But in the statsheets it will appear as F8.”

        Again, that’s in the batted ball data that’s available now. Think about all the spray charts going around on Adrian Gonzalez last offseason, showing how many of his fly outs at Petco would go for hits or home runs at Fenway.

        Also have a look at:

  13. emoser - Jul 25, 2011 at 12:57 PM

    God forbid you just pick one team above the other in a meaningless ranking that will be changed a week from now. But I guess with some of the lunatics that seem to take these things personally in the comments section I can’t blame you too much.

  14. jrod691 - Jul 25, 2011 at 1:02 PM

    Did ANYONE proofread this article before you posted it?

  15. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 25, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    Predicted playoff matchups…





    All told, the Phillies and Red Sox appear to have the easier path to their respective LCSs…but wouldn’t the following be absolutely awesome…

    Red Sox/Yankees

    Yeah, I’m biased but that would be awesome kids.

  16. marinersnate - Jul 25, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    Based upon games since the ASB, I think you may have the Mariners ranked a bit too high….

  17. bosfaninva - Jul 25, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    Winning the AL East looks huge — the winner gets the AL Central winner/tomato can; the loser gets the Rangers.

  18. yournuts - Jul 25, 2011 at 3:46 PM

    Who cares who is number 1 or number 2 in July? These power rankings are stupid. Craig this is an embarrassment posting these useless things. There is only one thing that counts and that is who is going to the World series. We already know that it will be 2 of 6 teams, Phillies, Giants, Braves, Redsox, Yankees or Rangers! Nobody remembers who finishes second!

  19. sfgiantsfan84 - Jul 25, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    Giants repeat this year!!! GO GIANTS!!!!

  20. stairwayto7 - Jul 25, 2011 at 6:33 PM

    The d’cracks and Rays ahead of the Pirates when those 2 teams aren’t close to the playoffs? The Bucs already beat Redsox 2 out 3 and took 2 out of 3 from Smelladelphia!

  21. Ari Collins - Jul 25, 2011 at 10:32 PM

    Obviously I’m a Sox fan, so take it with a grain of salt. But I think having a better run differential in a tougher league (and the toughest division) is more important than who won the rubber game in one series.

  22. phillysports266 - Jul 25, 2011 at 11:31 PM

    The only Boston has a better run diff is they play in a league with more offense. More offense=more runs=bgigger run differential. Instead you should use run percentage. That is, what percentage of runs in X team’s games over the course of the season were scored by team x? For the Red Sox its .566, for the Phils, .563 Almost identical. Take away the offense from the DH and you’ve got almost identical teams.

    • Ari Collins - Jul 26, 2011 at 12:33 AM

      Fair enough, except that the Red Sox are in the better league (and the toughest division within that league).

    • Ari Collins - Jul 26, 2011 at 12:41 PM

      P.S. I think someone (perhaps you) has posted something like this before, and we all derided it as illogical. But, and perhaps it’s the way it was phrased this time, I totally see it now.

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