Who says money buys you championships!?! Oh yeah, the Yankees, well, there’s two teams that I never would’ve thought would be in first at any point this season let alone in there at the end of June. The Padres and Reds are both in the bottom third of payrolls, and have been pleasant surprises. I doubt anyone outside of their own fan bases would’ve thought either team would be in the hunt when the season started. Okay, maybe a couple people picked the Reds, but were they really confident about those picks? I actually didn’t even expect either of them to be above .500 outside of April, which is why I’ve been so intrigued with their rises out of seemingly nowhere. Every year we have at least one team making the playoffs that didn’t make it the previous year. The way we are heading right now we could see five or six teams make it in that weren’t in the playoffs last year. I feel like we are all waiting for them to fade, and just like Tampa Bay in 2008 we will wait and assume that collapse is coming. Can they prove us all wrong? Maybe. Although I’m not an NL guy, I’ve come to appreciate these two teams for showing me that there are multiple ways to get it done without spending like a billionaire. They both have executed their respective game plans to perfection playing within their means, and sticking to what they are good at to get to the top of their divisions. Sadly only one of these teams will be able to improve at the trade deadline, and I’m preying that the other one doesn’t sell off their stock just to lower the amount going to the ex-wife. Continue reading
Tag Archives: surprises
We now we have three solid weeks of baseball action in the books, and it looks like it’s time to look at how the top 16 teams stack up. MCeezy did a premature power rankings four games into the year, and it looks like that will likely be the last time the Giants and A’s lead the way. I’d love to see Battle of the Bay Part II, but unsurprisingly I don’t see anyway that would happen.
#1 Tampa Bay Rays – Nobody should be surprised to see the Rays playing so well or at the top of the rankings. We knew they could score runs, but we didn’t know that they’d have Garza and Price dominating the way they have! The Rays are 9-1 on the road including a sweep of the ailing Red Sox. They are trying to make a push in what could be the final year they are all together. I hope they do, and that’s why I picked them to win it all!
#2 Minnesota Twins – Who needs Joe Nathan!?!
Losing him hasn’t hurt them on their way to one of their best starts in recent memory at 13-6. Rauch has been a huge pickup for fantasy teams, and has been great for the Twins closing out games. Justin Morneau looks like he’s finally healthy and back to his old MVP form. Mauer wants to continue off his stellar 2009 campaign, and has kept that MVP form thus far. Maybe Nike should look into getting these two guys some MVPuppet commercials.
#3 New York Yankees – They just lost their first series of the year, but this biggest concern should be Vasquez, who has been terrible donning the pinstripes compared to his solid 2009 season in Atlanta. It’s just reminding us that moving from the NL to the AL East isn’t a good move (see Brad Penny). Tex still isn’t hitting, but he will eventually…
#4 St. Louis Cardinals – Speaking of Penny, going from the Sox to the Cards seems to have helped him regain his form (3-0, 0.95 ERA). They’ve have great offensive players that don’t need to be mentioned, and now a trio of solid pitchers. Even Piniero is pitching well. Dave Duncan know how to mold pitchers to their strengths!
#5a Oakland Athletics – 12-8 doesn’t seem like that noteworthy of a start, but there is noway before the season started you could convince me that they would be atop the west for this much of April or any of it for that matter. Since 1992, they have only started 12-8 once, so there’s some reason for renewed but reserved optimism in Oakland. Their new style of play has them winning sooner than expected. Lots of injuries already though, and hopefully it’s not a sign that 2007-09 injury plagued seasons are going to continue. Gio has the highest ERA of 3.68 out of all their starters, which is amazing! This stat sums up the main reason they lead the league in starters ERA, and are close enough to win any given game.
#5b. San Diego Padres – Bud Black seems to have his guys playing some great baseball. This is the second team in a row that everyone, including myself, had very low expectations for. You may want to call their owner Uncle Scrooge with their $38M payroll, but the guys in there are playing smart, and have been opportunistic on the base paths, and helped them score some runs! It’s surprising how good their offense has been, and just like the A’s they are stealing bases, and have guys hitting for good averages. We will see if that starting pitching can hold up… Continue reading