As the Major League Baseball season hits the All-Star break, the same four teams continue to dominate KP’s MLB Power Rankings.  With the Red Sox, Yankees, Phillies and Braves remaining in the top four, it is Boston – hitting the break on a six-game win streak – that sits on top.

Elsewhere, two AL West teams – the Rangers and Angels – continue to charge up the charts, jumping to the 5th and 6th slots, respectively.

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The Yankees celebrated Jeter’s milestone this week, but the Red Sox celebrate the AL East lead at the break

KP’s MLB Power Rankings: July 11, 2011

1. Boston Red Sox – 55-35 (179 points) – Last Week: #2

A six-game win streak and four-game dismantling of the Orioles pushed the Red Sox back into first in the AL East and first in the Power Rankings heading into the break.

2. New York Yankees – 53-35 (171 points) – Last Week: #1

Typically not a home run hitter, Derek Jeter not only had a long ball for his 3,000th hit, but also during the same game, he went 5-for-5 and knocked in the game-winning run.

3. Philadelphia Phillies – 57-34 (147 points) – Last Week: #3

Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee have combined for 46 quality starts, 31 wins and 396 strikeouts so far on the season.

4. Atlanta Braves – 54-38 (107 points) – Last Week: #4

Rookie 1B Freddie Freeman (.274 avg., 13 HR, 43 RBI’s) is starting to figure out major league pitching, with 5 homers over the last 15 days.

5. Texas Rangers – 51-41 (102 points) – Last Week: #7

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Josh Hamilton and the Texas Rangers crack the top five this week

Forget Adrian Beltre only being a contract year guy.  The Rangers’ slugger is batting .273 during the 2011 season, while adding 19 HR and 71 RBI’s.

6. Los Angeles Angels – 50-42 (84 points) – Last Week: #8

Jered Weaver deserves to start the All-Star Game for the AL, what with his 1.86 ERA during the first half (1st in AL) and 11 wins (3rd in AL).

7. Tampa Bay Rays – 49-41 (74 points) – Last Week: #5

The Rays (28-20 on the road) join division rivals Boston and New York as the three teams with the best road records in all of baseball.

8. St. Louis Cardinals – 49-43 (70 points) – Last Week: #6

It would come as no surprise to hear that a member of the Cardinals leads the NL in home runs at the break.  It is surprising, however, that that player is Lance Berkman, and not Pujols.

9. San Francisco Giants – 52-40 (58 points) – Last Week: #10

Many would argue that Matt Cain (8-5, 3.06 ERA, 14 quality starts and 106 K’s over 126 1/3 innings) has actually outpitched Tim Lincecum this season.

10. New York Mets – 46-45 (52 points) – Last Week: #11

Jose Reyes may be injured, but he still qualifies for the batting tltle, and currently is batting .354, which is thirty points higher than any other player in the National League.

11. Pittsburgh Pirates – 47-43 (49 points) – Last Week: #13

Andrew McCutchen (.291 average, 14 HR, 54 RBI’s and 15 stolen bases) clearly deserves the last minute All-Star spot that he received last week.

12. Cincinnati Reds – 45-47 (42 points) – Last Week: #9

He’s not hitting the headlines as much in 2011, but Joey Votto (.324 average, 13 HR, 55 RBI’s, .438 OBP) is quietly having another great season.

13. Arizona Diamondbacks – 49-43 (41 points) – Last Week: #14

Ian Kennedy has been one of the best stories of the National League, posting solid first half numbers (9 wins, 3, 44 ERA, 106 K’s and a 1.15 WHIP).

14. Toronto Blue Jays – 45-47 (33 points) – Last Week: #17

Forget any recent hitting slumps for Jose Bautista.  Over the last 15 games, the Jays’ slugger has batted .364, while adding 8 HR and 17 RBI’s.

15. Detroit Tigers – 49-43 (31 points) – Last Week: #16

Over the last month, Detroit ace Justin Verlander has pitched 48 1/3 innings, posted a 0.56 ERA, struck out 54 batters, posted a 5-1 record and given up just three earned runs.

16. Cleveland Indians – 47-42 (30 points) – Last Week: #12

Starting pitcher Josh Tomlin has been an under-the-radar performer in 2011, going 10-4, with 14 quality starts and a 3.81 ERA over 115 2/3 innings.

17. Milwaukee Brewers – 49-43 (21 points) – Last Week: #19

Reason for such a low ranking: Look at the five teams with the worst road records.  The A’s, O’s, Royals and Astros are all cellar dwellars.  The Brewers (16-29) are the fifth team.

18. Chicago White Sox – 44-48 (13 points) – Last Week: #15

The White Sox have to be happy they resigned Paul Konerko during the offseason.  Konerko currently cracks the AL’s top five in average (.319), HR (22) and RBI (67).

19. Washington Nationals – 46-46 (12 points) – Last Week: #21

Healthy this season, 25-year-old Jordan Zimmerman has flourished, posting a 2.66 ERA, 82 strikeouts and a 1.07 WHIP so far in 2011.

20. Colorado Rockies – 43-48 (-3 points) – Last Week: #20

Ubaldo Jimenez is coming around and could be key to a successful second half for the Rockies.  The Colorado starter has allowed 3 runs or less in every start since June 1st.

21. Seattle Mariners – 43-48 (-5 points) – Last Week: #18

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Rookie Michael Pineda has been the best pitcher for the Mariners in 2011

On a team that features Felix Hernandez and Erik Bedard, it’s rookie Michael Pineda that leads the team in wins (8), ERA (3.03) and WHIP (1.04).

22. Los Angeles Dodgers – 41-51 (-11 points) – Last Week: #24

Sure, the Dodgers are bad, but a fair world would put Matt Kemp (.313 avg, 22 HR, 67 RBI’s, .982 OPS) at or near the top of the MVP list for the National League.

23. Florida Marlins – 43-48 (-13 points) – Last Week: #25

After a dreadful June, the Marlins are rebounding under Jack McKeon, winning five straight heading into the break and posting a 7-3 record so far in July.

24. San Diego Padres – 40-52 (-23 points) – Last Week: #22

It’s been another great year for Heath Bell (26 saves and a 2.43 ERA in 37 innings) – are we likely to hear his name again during the upcoming trade deadline?

25. Oakland Athletics – 39-53 (-27 points) – Last Week: #23

Heading into the break, the top team ERA’s in the American League all come from the AL West division, with the A’s leading the way (3.14), followed by the Mariners and Angels.

26. Kansas City Royals – 37-54 (-45 points) – Last Week: #26

2005 was the last time Bruce Chen finished a season with an ERA under 4.  In 2011, Chen leads the Royals in wins (5) and has posted a 3.26 ERA in 10 starts.

27. Minnesota Twins – 41-48 (-51 points) – Last Week: #28

One of the major reasons for Minnesota’s recent hot streak is Scott Baker, who over the last month is 4-1 with a 1.25 ERA over 36 innings.

28. Chicago Cubs – 37-55 (-79 points) – Last Week: #29

Heading into the break, Aramis Ramirez has been the hottest hitter in the National League, batting .356 with 9 HR and 17 RBI’s over the last 15 games.

29. Baltimore Orioles – 36-52 (-104 points) – Last Week: #27

Decimated by injuries, Baltimore’s pitching staff has floundered as of late, and now – with a 4.76 team ERA – is the worst in baseball heading into the break.

30. Houston Astros – 30-62 (-123 points) – Last Week: #30

Sure, the Astros have been real bad, but one of the team’s bright spots is Hunter Pence, who has the 3rd best average in the NL (.323), plus 11 HR and 60 RBI’s.

 

Note: RED = Falling 3+ spots from last week, GREEN = Rising 3+ spots from last week

The Wife Hates Sports’ MLB Power Rankings system has a method to its madness, attempting to be different and not just rank by popularity and record.  It mixes a secret formula of six completely different categories, meshed into a points system.  The categories don’t just include team results regarding record, but how each team has performed recently, as well as incorporating some statistics on both a team’s offense and pitching staff, too.

 

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