Tag Archives: Tampa Bay Rays

How good was tonight for baseball?

I don’t even know where to start with all the wild games that just went down, so I won’t try to tell you since you’ve already probably seen the highlights by now, and if you haven’t you better flip on the TV, and check out one of the wildest last days of the season in MLB history. Everynight in baseball you can see something you’ve never seen, but I doubt I’ll ever see something that will duplicate tonight. The Rays alone could probably write Moneyball II about this season after their biggest signings in the off-season were Damon and Manny. They also lost pretty much their entire bullpen along with a handful of quality players. I’ve always liked Dan Johnson (grew up with the A’s). Mceezy and I definitely had a texting frenzy when he went deep to tie the game. The Cards were in the least exciting game of the day, but they survived tons of injuries and pushed their way into the playoffs. Are the Red Sox back to being cursed? Doubt it, but I bet we’ll hear Boston start complaining about being cursed again if this becomes a trend or maybe even if it doesn’t. I think the Braves are much more cursed of the two losers on this wild Wednesday. In the end, the Braves relied a little too much on rookies, this won’t be the last we see of them. The first thing I thought about tonight was, they better do a 30 for 30 on the two 9 game comebacks, and this crazy finale on the last day of the season. It has to be better than the Bartman crap they gave us this week (which I gave up on after 15 minutes).

Having one of the craziest days in baseball history has me more fired up for the playoffs than I thought I’d be with relatively no rooting interest. I guess I kinda like Detroit, but that’s not even set in stone. I really tuned out for a few weeks and wasn’t paying attention at all except for an A’s update or Matt Kemp’s triple crown watch, then BAM the wild card races were actually interesting last week. I guess this means we don’t need to add another wild card spot to the mix, Bud. It also shows that every game does matter. Even the game Matt Kemp won’t play because it’s not being made up after a rainout against the Nationals, could’ve been the game that got him to be a 40-40 guy. Also, Reyes is weak for leaving in the first today after he got a bunt hit. Any thoughts or comments are welcome, because I think I’m just rambling after what I just saw!

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Some Love For Matt

No, I’m not talking about MCeezy. There’s another Matt out there that is tearing up Major League pitching this year, and it seems like nobody is talking about him. Maybe one of the only reasons I’ve noticed his existence is because he’s on two of my fantasy teams, but there’s good reason to take notice of what he’s been doing this year. While others try to figure out if Jose Bautista is “for real” or not, nobody is really talking about ML leader in batting. Matt Joyce is hitting a ridiculous .370 this year. I’m not so sure he’ll keep that up, but it definitely should warrant some more attention than it has received. Maybe it’s because he’s in his fourth year as a pro making him slide under the radar in a time when people are more excited about a rookie sensation like Eric Hosmer. His career normals are in the .250/10/40 range, but then again, Joyce was always in a platoon situation or just a substitute when someone got injured. Fortunately for the Rays, Manny Ramirez decided to call it quits, errr, fail a drug test, and open a spot in the lineup for Joyce. He’s probably already done as much as Manny would’ve done at the plate this year, and plays some really good defense to boot.

With 3 more homers, 10 more RBI’s, and 6 more runs this season, he will have career highs in all categories (already has career highs in doubles and SB’s). At his current pace he’ll have those well before the All-Star break. Can you label this a fluke? I wound’t, because looking at his games played each season as he’s never played over 92 games in a season. He’s always hit for power, but the average has never been there like it has this year. If you had to pick an MVP for the Rays this year, it would be Joyce hands down. Longoria, Damon, and Zobrist have been good on and off, but the rock in the lineup that’s been hot all year long is Matt Joyce. What I can’t figure out for the life of me is why Maddon puts Joyce so far down in the lineup. Sometimes he has his .370 hitter in the six or seven slot. A guy that hits with power and average should be in the top three hitters or protecting Longoria. I know we have one Rays reader, so maybe he can explain Maddon’s theory of putting him so far down in the lineup half the time.

If you didn’t know it’s all-star voting time, and there’s sure to be some bad picks as there are every year. Here’s how I feel like the AL outfield should look. Joyce, Bautista, and Granderson. Too bad it will probably be something like Crawford, Ichiro, and Hamilton or something like that…


Slow Out Of The Box

There’s quite a few surprise teams here in the first week of the MLB season, like the Orioles and Royals, but let’s focus on the negatives here. There are four teams that are playing downright ugly baseball to start the season. It’s not hard for us A’s fans, since we’ve had the privilege of witnessing 10 errors in the team’s first 4 games. Fortunately they were able to scrape out a 2-1 victory today to pull back up to 2-4. The Giants were able to do the same by beating the Padres pretty handily, though Brian Wilson had a shaky debut. 2-4 ain’t pretty, but to me, it’s a whole lot better than 1-5, or even worse, 0-6…. No one expected the Rays to be contenders this year, but no one thought they’d be this bad. Even fewer people thought the Red Sox would be this bad. I’m loving it of course, but I’ll hold back from piling it on until the season’s over and they DIDN’T make an improbable run into the playoffs. Obviously they’re off to the most disappointing start, but which team here has the most reason to panic early on?….


Two Things on Tuesday

Game 5 Rangers vs. Rays

This must’ve been the most even match up, because it’s the only game 5 we’ll get. These are two very similar teams. I’d argue that Texas has a little more pop in their lineup, but they also manufacture runs as well as the Rays. We get Lee vs. Price part II. I’m expecting Price to be a little sharper than he was the first time out. I don’t expect a shootout, and if I had to put my money on someone, I guess I’d pick the Rangers simply because of how Lee has dominated in playoffs past. I hear one of the knocks on the Rangers is that the only guys with much playoff experience are Lee, Vlad, and Molina. The Rays whole team went to the World Series a couple years ago, so they have the supposed edge there. People are also saying that the Rays have all the momentum after winning two in a row. I think momentum in baseball isn’t real. Maybe within a game, but even that theory fails on games like the Braves and Giants in game 3. What the Yankees did to the Twins wasn’t about momentum it was about owning them. For baseball, experience doesn’t matter, just look at those Marlins teams that took out the mighty Yankees. How much playoff experience did those teams have? Probably less than the Rangers! Prediction: Rangers win 4-2. My picks this year don’t seem to be working out, so confidently put your money on Tampa to win.

Brett vs. the NFL

Who cares about Brett Favre’s pending investigation? I sure don’t. I didn’t really like him before all this came out, so does this make me like him less? Thinking, thinking… Nope, same amount of hatred towards the guy.  Do I give two craps about the Vikings? No thinking. I could care less about them and what they are doing aside from a couple fantasy players. Throughout MNF game I tried to decide if I felt bad for him on any level while he was getting pounded into the ground by the Jets defense? Not at all. The theme of this story is that I don’t really care what is happening in Brett’s life. So what if he texted Jen Sterger pictures of his penis. Is she accusing him of harassment or something? That’s the only reason this story should stay relevant this long. I’m no superstar player with a huge bank account or the ego to match, so I don’t really know if this is the norm. Maybe it is. It seems like guys in the NBA text pictures of their junk, so why not the NFL! Whatever the reason was that Favre picked out Stergen for the sexts doesn’t really matter. Why couldn’t he have bought her off? There’s no way this story needed to see the light of day, and she started the rumor back in February. Those are some damn slow charges to bring up. Anyways, I don’t really find any of Brett’s actions all that bad, he’s just being the horny redneck he always was. If it takes some crazy Mel Gibson type twist, I might get more interested, but until then, I’m over this story…


CP3, Haren, and Garza’s No-No

Maverick Carter, a face I'm starting to hate more and more...

CP3 made me, and the sports-world lose a little respect for him over the weekend after making some trade demands that he can’t really force. If you have a player that is close to or at the top of their position you just don’t trade that guy away when he’s still under contract. The only time you really do is at the trade deadline when you are obviously out of it for the season, and have zero chance to re-sign the guy. I’m sure there’s something about making $14M this year and $16M next year that makes me feel he should honor his contract/commitment to the Hornets. I think the thing that bugs me the most though is that this whole ill-conceived plan to demand a trade was most likely whispered into his ear by his new buddies/agents Worldwide Wes and Maverick Carter. I’ve always been a CP3 fan, and like By, I was really looking forward to his return to greatness in 2010-2011 season. Now that he has taken the Lebron-Maverick-Wes route I’m not sure I will ever view him in the same light anymore. He’s nearly as important to New Orleans as Drew Brees, and the fans there don’t deserve to be jerked around for the next two years by James’ crew and CP3. I prey they don’t contrive some ridiculous hour special for his decision 2012. He shouldn’t have demanded a trade, especially since it sounds like he hadn’t even meet with the new coach (Monty Williams) or new GM (Dell Demps) prior to telling the world he wanted out. Just another flawed power trip by James’ gang of half wits that think they are above everyone, and are the ones pulling the strings. If this isn’t a sign to stay away from Carter and Wes, I’m not sure what will show players that they are bad for the league and a players image. They’ve done well killing Cleveland’s fan base, are they going to kill New Orleans basketball too? Let’s hope not…

Speaking of guys I used to like, Dan Haren was traded to the Angels over the weekend and made his first start last night. I had to tune in to see exactly where my sports hate of him would stand, and just like Vlad and Torii before him, I now have to root against the guy. During his stint with the A’s I didn’t think I’d ever NOT like him. He’s easily the most successful player we’ve had over the last few years. Even the players we got for him ended up being great (Brett Anderson, Carlos Gonzalez, and hopefully Chris Carter pans out too), which made me like him all the more. I had mixed emotions watching him pitch last night, and after he threw a couple of innings I realized this was the end of our relationship for awhile. It’s amazing how quickly you can turn on a player, and I admittedly cracked a small smile when he was hit by a line drive, then immediately felt a little bad I was happy that he got hurt in his first start. I guess I’m just mad that the A’s will have to face him six times a year now… Oh well, if anyone has a complete scouting report on the guy, it’s the A’s!

I was eating dinner at a bar where one of my whiffle ball buddies bartends, and last night I found out he went to Fresno State, and played baseball with Matt Garza in college. It only came up because we were watching Garza pitch the last four innings of his no hitter yesterday. It was pretty impressive as he faced the minimum amount of hitters, and only walked one guy the whole night. It had to be relieving for the Rays, and their fans to be on the right side of a no-no/perfect game as they’ve seen three thrown against them in the last two years. Anyways, my buddy who went to college with him said he wasn’t even the top prospect on their team, which makes his story a little better. He also told me that the guy “acts like a little girl when he drinks” Another thing he mentioned was that he was a really weird guy that kept to himself a lot. Anyways, just thought those might be a couple of interesting tidbits of info on Garza that you probably haven’t heard….


Doin MLB Power Rankings

We had some very nice weather for Memorial Day weekend in California, which is probably why we didn’t get anything posted on the blog. As the ever so powerful NBA marketing campaign has taught me, we need to get back to the top of our game. So I’m back at the computer to dish out some MLB power rankings. San Diego, Cincy, and Oakland are by far the biggest surprises in the MLB as they all hold their respective divisional leads, and nobody saw that coming. If you did, you’re a liar! It was quite an eventful weekend, and maybe if you were camping you might not have known that Roy Halladay threw a perfect game or that the Lakers and Celtics are squaring off in the NBA Finals for another classic, yippee… Anyways, here’s who I see as the top 16 teams in the league.

#1 Tampa Bay Rays (34-17)

They may have struggled a little lately. Being swept by Boston and going 4-6 over their last ten isn’t encouraging, but they have to be tested sooner or later to see if they are indeed for real. It’s a long season, and that three game lead they have in the division could disappear quickly with everyone in the AL East playing well. I think they need Pena to hit a little better than .177, and the rest of their lineup has been in a little bit of a lull. I’m sure they will start hitting again. I don’t see any Phillies like slumps coming on.

#2 New York Yankees (31-20)

The Yankees are starting to put up some runs and wins in bunches. They’ve only lost one series this whole season, and whenever you see them on your teams schedule, you are worried. I almost put them atop my rankings, but just couldn’t talk myself into it since they are three games back. The Yankees have a cakewalk in June, so don’t be surprised to see them atop the AL East by the end of the month.

#3 Minnesota Twins (31-20)

I dismissed the Twins in our predictions for the season, but when fantasy drafts came around I was all in on guys like Morneau, Mauer, and Span for all my leagues. Seems like they love their new digs. They are 19-9 in their brand new Target Field. Nick Blackburn just finished off an amazing month going 5-0 with a 2.49 era. Twins are finally liking that extension they gave him. I still can’t figure out why I didn’t see them as this good when the year started.

#4 San Diego Padres (31-20)

How do the Padres have the best record in the NL going into June? It’s a loaded question. Are they a $38 million team, built for now!?! I’ll go out on a limb and say no, but the future is as bright as the sunshine in SD. What’s amazing is they could conceivable take on some big names around the trade deadline instead of shopping AGon and Heath Bell around like we all thought they would be doing. Matt Latos went 4-1 in May with a ridiculous 1.49 ERA. Looks like they got a pretty good pitcher from Chicago in the Peavy deal. Continue reading


Doin MLB Power Rankings

It’s been a few weeks since we had our last power rankings up, and the landscape has changed a little now that we are about 1/5th of the way through the season. There were a few teams that fell out of the rankings, and some that moved up from the first power rankings we did. I’m really pumped that I haven’t had to put the Angels on the list. I think as long as Fuentes stays their closer that will help keep them off the list. Anyways, here’s how the top 16 shaking out.

#1 Tampa Bay Rays (22-10) – Getting zero hits and zero runs in one game doesn’t lose you the top spot, especially when it was the first time they lost two straight on the road all season, and it took perfection to do it. The Rays worst starter ERA is Wade Price’s 3.18, and is the reason they are doing so well. We will see if they can hold up when they start playing in their division more. If the Yankees hadn’t mirrored their losses, I may have moved the Rays down a spot.

#2 New York Yankees (21-10) – They’ve only lost one out of ten series they’ve played in this season. Maybe if Brett Gardner played a little better they might be number one, haha, just kidding. I’m pretty shocked how good Gardner is doing, and if he keeps it up I’ll be mad I didn’t pick him up for the fantasy team. Swisher has been great lately too, which makes me somewhat root for them, because I love my former A’s players. They’ve lost a couple in a row, but there are no concerns in NY now that Texiera seems to finally be seeing the ball.

#3 Philadelphia Phillies (20-12) –After taking three of four from the Cards, and playing ten days in a row going 8-2 makes me think they must be the best team in the NL right now. Jason Werth wants that huge contract this winter hitting .329 with 26 RBI’s already! Their starting pitching is doing well as of late too only giving up 8 earned runs over their last six games.

#4 Minnesota Twins (21-11) – No Mauer, no problem. Wilson Ramos seems like he belongs as someone’s backstop in the league. He might be able to take up a few extra games behind the plate sliding Mauer to the DH more often, so he can stay a little fresher.  I don’t see why not with the way Ramos burst onto the scene last week (10 hits in his first three games). The Twins pitching has been better than I expected. They are +48 in run differential, and have allowed the sixth fewest runs, a good recipe for success.

#5 San Diego Padres (19-12) – I along with everyone are wondering when will they fade? Not anytime soon, if their pitching keeps going the way it has. They are tied with the Giants for the fewest runs allowed (97). They don’t hit for average or power, but they do lead the league in stolen bases, and seem to push the right buttons in their small ball approach. When Adrian Gonzalez starts heating up, watch out NL West! Continue reading


More On Dallas Braden’s Perfect Game

Normally I wouldn’t piggyback on Chappy’s post on the same subject, but today’s gem by Dallas Braden is just too significant on too many levels for me to pass up. The obvious part is that he dons the green and gold. I’ve been a lifelong A’s fan and this is the first perfect game by an Athletic in my lifetime. The only other one was Catfish Hunter’s in 1968. It also helps that Braden has been making a lot of noise in the media as a result of his encounter with Alex Rodriguez. While most baseball traditionalists agreed with Braden’s sentiments, many others were asking, “Who is Dallas Braden?” Even A-Rod dusted off Braden’s objections because he “only has a handful of wins.” I get that, but it doesn’t matter who you are at that point. I was hoping that Braden would have a good season to back up his comments a little bit, but I never could have begun to hope for this. I’m pretty sure everyone in baseball knows who he is now.

What many people don’t know – or at least didn’t before today – is Braden lost his mother to cancer in high school. So, to accomplish this feat on Mother’s Day is an amazing tribute. Though, while she wasn’t at the stadium to witness it today, his grandmother was, and he shared an emotional hug with her in front of the dugout after the game. He also had the support of his usual Stockton contingent, or section 209, which is also the area code of Stockton.

Dallas Braden was never supposed to be a factor in the big leagues. He was a 24th round draft pick of the A’s in 2004. I remember seeing his major league debut in 2007. I thought, who is this guy with the flat bill on his cap? He won his first decision, but finished the season with a 1-8 record. When I moved from the Bay Area to Sacramento in the middle of the season, Braden also was sent down to AAA-Sacramento. He wasn’t exactly dominant, but he did show signs of brilliance, in particular when he struck out 17 batters in a game late that season. Over the next season, he looked like he was going to be mired in the minor leagues for life, but he kept working, and there’s one thing you can say about Braden, he’s all business on the field. As a result, Braden has proved over the course of the last season and a half that he belongs. Today though, he proved more than that.


Dallas ”Get Off My Mound” Braden’s Perfect Mother’s Day

Dallas Braden of the Oakland Athletics isn’t an overpowering pitcher, but as I said in my preview a  month ago, he’s a gamer, and will give you everything he has when you put the ball in his hand. Whenever he’s on the mound he doesn’t back down. He’s already proved that twice this year. He proved that by telling A-Rod to get off his mound. He followed that up today by throwing a perfect game against one of the best teams in the leagues, Tampa Bay. I caught innings six through nine, and he never really looked nervous, just fired up the way he always is. After Kaplar fouled off what felt like 20 pitches in the 6th, Dallas cruised the rest of the way and only fell behind one hitter 3-1 after that. I was strangely confident that he was going to come through while I watched, maybe a little too confident for comfort. The main reason was because he threw a ton of strikes mixing up speeds and locations. He was hitting the target nearly every pitch. Since he’s not overpowering it was truly a masterful performance. Braden is a guy that didn’t seem like he was ever overwhelmed by it on the mound, he just kept dealing with one pitch at a time. He had a ton of friends and family including grandma on hand, as he bought out a lot of section 209 to watch the game. It was the first perfect game in Oakland since Catfish Hunter decades ago. Dave Stewart threw a no hitter in 1990, but there has been nothing since! I’m not sure if the difference was NOT having their normal catcher Kurt Suzuki behind the plate. Instead he had Landon Powell, his catcher he worked with routinely in AAA, and from what I saw he rarely shook off a pitch, so you have to give Powell a little of the credit. The one bad thing about this perfect game is if/when he does bean A-Rod, it will be more obvious because now everyone knows he has great control!


Doin MLB Power Rankings

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!?!

Is this the Bash Brothers Version 2.0?

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


Pretty Sure I Cursed the Yankees

For those who don’t know – probably roughly 95% of you – I have a bit of a curse when it comes to sports.  The team I’m rooting for never really wins the big game.  We won’t even mention what happens if I put money on a team.  It’s for these reasons that I knew posting that anti-Red Sox rant yesterday would somehow propel them into a hot streak and the Yankees, Rangers, and Rays into a freefall.  Well, day one of the post-rant era got off to a predictable start.  A day after getting pounded 20-11, the Red Sox came back and destroyed the Yankees 14-1.  Fortunately, the Rays and Rangers played each other, so they both couldn’t lose, although they tried.  Both teams repeatedly squandered leads, and they ultimately went to the 10th inning before the game was decided by a Carlos Pena RBI walkoff single.


Doin MLB Power Rankings

mlb team logos

#1 Los Angeles Dodgers – In the 2nd edition of the Doin Work Power Rankings, the Dodgers are still in the #1 spot. We’ll see if Schmidt can do anything for them. manny bobbleheadI almost dropped them to #2 after seeing the new look Cardinals win their second in a row against them, but you can’t argue with the best record in the league!

#2 New York Yankees – The Yankees have won 23 of their past 29, and have seemed like the unstoppable machine that we had expected when they signed all those $100 million contracts this off season. They seem to be rolling full steam ahead and good luck to anyone playing them now. They are closing in on the Dodgers for the #1 spot.

#3 Boston Red Sox – You can’t go against a team with good pitching and depth! They are in the toughest division, and are surviving the worst team wide hitting slump of the season. I’m guessing they will make a run at Cliff Lee to sure up those holes in their starting rotation that injuries left behind.

#4 Los Angeles Angels – Yes, 2 Los Angeles teams in the top 4! And yes, I assure you there are plenty of fair weather fans roaming the streets of Southern California, I see them every day. ervin santanaThe Angels seem to be catching fire winning 3 out of 4 from the Twins, and winning 12 of their last 15. They need to get someone so they don’t have to rely on Santana, because he looks like a black hole in the rotation.

#5 Philadelphia Phillies – Looks like they keep getting denied on the Halladay offers. If that goes through they’ll be impossible to beat when he’s on the mound. They are averaging 5.49 runs per game second to only the Yankees. They look like they could wrap their division up by Labor Day if nobody gets hot.

#6 Texas Rangers – The Rangers look for real this year, keeping the Angels in check. They’ve won 7 of their last 8. Their offense struggled after the All-Star Break, but it looks like they found their swings again putting up 12 runs in their last two games.

#7 Tampa Bay Rays – It might be a good thing for them to be somewhat “under the radar”. Scott KazmirMaybe not to the extent they were last year, but if they can figure out a way to get Kazmir and Price functioning properly they should make a push at the wild card spot.

#8 Chicago Cubs – They are on fire winning their last 5 games and 12 of their last 14. Although it’s been weak competition, they still have overtaken the Cardinals for the top spot in the division. We’ll see if this winning lasts when the competition gets better.

#9 Detroit Tigers – The Tigers have a plethora of pitching and a ballpark that caters to pitchers, which probably explains their 31-16 home record. Rick Porcello has been a nice surprise, but it’s been Fernando Rodney’s 21 saves in 21 opportunities that has stabilized the 9th inning all year.

#10 St. Louis Cardinals – With Holliday and Derosa in the lineup, they looked really good against the top ranked Dodgers. You could even say they have a lineup that’s scary! I think they look poised to battle with the Cubs in the NL Central.Matt Holliday

#11 Colorado Rockies – The Rockies have gone 34-13 since June 4th which has them in the lead for the NL Wild Card at the moment. Surprisingly, their pitching has been the part of the team that has shined over that stretch. We’ll see if that keeps up in the thin air.

#12 San Francisco Giants – If the Giants make a trade for a hitter, they could make the jump into playoff contender. As it stands they may win the Wild Card, but I don’t see them making it very far if they do make it. Their pitching can only get them so far.

#13 Chicago White Sox – Their bright spot was Buehrle’s perfection. Their bad spot, is the middle of their order where they are getting no production in the home run department from Dye, Thome, or Konerko. If they are going to go anywhere, they need these guys to start hitting.

#14 Atlanta Braves – They’ve been playing well, but they aren’t going to even get a whiff of the Phillies in the division race. Say what you want about Ryan Church for Jeff Francoeur, but it seems like there’s a change in the clubhouse attitude.  Their starting pitchers have a combined 3 loses in the month of July.

#15 Seattle Mariners – King Felix finally looked human tonight giving up more than one earned run for the first time in his last 13 starts! Felix HernandezSeattle seems to be fading behind the Rangers and Angels, but look much improved over the past few teams they put out there.

#16 Florida Marlins – Han Ram is hitting a eye-popping .427 with runners in scoring position. He is also the league leader in BA. They are so up and down, I’m not sure what to make of them. I think they’ll finish out the season around the .500 mark.

#17 Houston Astros – Nobody could figure out how they were doing as well as they were, but it looks like they are falling back to earth as the wins aren’t coming as easily as they were. A rough series against the Cubs pushed them backwards in their quest for a division title.

#18 Milwakee Brewers – The Brewers, just like the Astros have hit a rough patch going 3-7 in their last 10 games. prince fielderIf they don’t make a move at the trade deadline, Prince and company may have to slug their way into the playoffs. I don’t like the odds of that happening.

#19 Minnesota Twins – Minnesota looked bad on their westcoast swing losing games to the A’s and the Angels in every way possible. They should have a shot at the division if they can straighten out that rotation, and stop letting other teams put up those crooked numbers on a nightly basis. Their offense has been good, but that means nothing when you can’t stop the other team.

#20 New York Mets – They haven’t looked like a playoff team, and the injuries have piled up over the season. It may have been too much to overcome. Since no New York team is ever a seller, look for them to try to make a move that will give their fans at least a little hope.

#21 Toronto Blue Jays – We’ve all been wondering where Halladay will go or if he’ll even go. It’s starting to remind me of the Favre saga. The Blue Jays have had a nice run lately with all their players trying to showcase their skills in hopes of being traded out of the Canadian black hole to a contender.

#22 Cincinnati Reds – At least they stopped their losing streak against San Diego. Brandon PhillipsThey haven’t shown signs of anything good or consistent. The emergence of Brandon Phillips bat has helped fantasy teams out though. They seem to be stuck in the same situation year after year, and yup, it’s a bad one.

#23 Oakland Athletics – Possibly too high for a bottom dweller, but their pitching continues to mold towards next year as some of the rookie starters have shown promise. The question now is, when will they throw Brett Wallace into the mix!?!

#24 Pittsburgh Pirates – The Pirates have been shut out a league leading 11 times this season. I thought they may add to that total, but Lincecum settled for striking out 15 of them and going the distance.  The Pirates should be sellers at the deadline, but they really don’t have much to sell…

#25 Cleveland Indians – Cliff Lee has regained his Cy Young form after a rocky start. It seems like everyone on their team is on the trading block. We’ll see if any deals get done, as they have some players that could be very valuable to a contender.

#26 Arizona Diamondbacks – Mark Reynolds and Dan Haren have been the only two bright spots to their season so far. Maybe they gave up too much a couple years ago to get Haren, so they have no options behind him. Maybe the fans have something to look forward to other than every Haren start, but I’m not sure what that is.

#27 Baltimore Orioles – The Orioles are letting the young guys take over, and the young guys aren’t winning. They need to move some guys like Mora to shake it up and get some pitching.

#28 Kansas City Royals – The Royals are good at one thing, and they keep doing it well. Being in last place is a staple for this team, and they are making a push to stay there losing 80% of the time over their last two weeks.

#29 San Diego Padres – They have Adrian Gonzalez, so at least it’s worth it to go to the park to watch him bat a few times. He has played in 308 consecutive games, which is a club record and the longest current streak in the MLB.

#30 Washington Nationals – Willingham got them in the news with his 2 grand slams. They might even be able to trade him for something now!