The Philadelphia Phillies may have the best record in baseball and the Boston Red Sox may have the best record in the American League East, but it’s the New York Yankees that squeaked out a small lead in this week’s MLB Power Rankings at The Wife Hates Sports.
New York, Boston and Philly are the clear top three this week, and here is how the rest of baseball pans out and the month of June begins to wind down.
KP’s MLB Power Rankings: June 20, 2011
Note: Points tallied as of Monday morning, and do NOT reflect the results of night games
1. New York Yankees – 41-29 (149 points) – Last Week: #2
Three players currently lead the MLB in home runs with 21, and two of them play for the Yankees – Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson.
2. Boston Red Sox – 43-28 (144 points) – Last Week: #1
He’s taken his share of criticism over the last few seasons, but Josh Beckett and his 1.86 ERA is currently the best in the major leagues.
3. Philadelphia Phillies – 45-28 (119 points) – Last Week: #4
Roy Halladay – tied for the MLB lead in wins with nine and tops in baseball with 114 strikeouts – appears primed to earn yet another Cy Young award later this year.
4. Atlanta Braves – 40-33 (74 points) – Last Week: #3
Two of Atlanta’s starters – Jair Jurrjens (2.11 ERA) and Tommy Hanson (2.48 ERA) – crack the top five in ERA in Major League Baseball.
5. St. Louis Cardinals – 40-33 (69 points) – Last Week: #5
A wrist fracture will reportedly sideline superstar Albert Pujols for four to six weeks, likely also putting a major hit on the Cardinals’ offensive production.
6. Cincinnati Reds – 38-35 (62 points) – Last Week: #10
Closer Francisco Cordero has 6 saves in the month of June and overall has a 1.62 ERA with 26 K’s in 33 1/3 innings this season.
7. Tampa Bay Rays – 39-33 (59 points) – Last Week: #8
James Shields has been nothing short of dominant in 2011 thus far, posting 108 K’s (4th in baseball) and a 2.40 ERA (also 4th in baseball).
8. Texas Rangers – 38-35 (55 points) – Last Week: #6
While the Rangers continue to pitch fairly well and be dominant with the bats, the team has struggled on defense, currently sitting 27th with a .979 fielding percentage.
9. Colorado Rockies – 35-36 (49 points) – Last Week: #14
A healthy Huston Street has been a steady arm in the Colorado bullpen, currently posting 21 saves and a 3.74 ERA on the season.
10. Detroit Tigers – 39-33 (47 points) – Last Week: #11
Justin Verlander has won five straight decisions, including throwing 7 2/3 innings or more in each of those starts (plus having complete games in the last two).
11. Milwaukee Brewers – 40-33 (47 points) – Last Week: #7
A historical seven-game road trip to both Wrigley and Fenway Park led to five losses in seven games, as the road woes continue for the Brew Crew.
12. Cleveland Indians – 39-31 (45 points) – Last Week: #15
One reason for Cleveland’s success this year is the control of the pitching staff. The Indians have walked just 203 batters on the year. Only the Mariners and Phillies have fewer.
13. Arizona Diamondbacks – 39-34 (41 points) – Last Week: #9
Not surprisingly, the Yankees and Red Sox are 1st and 2nd in slugging percentage. Somewhat surprisingly, the D’Backs are currently sit third.
14. San Francisco Giants – 39-33 (31 points) – Last Week: #12
The Giants’ pitching staff has given up just 38 home runs, by far the fewest in all of Major League Baseball to date.
15. Toronto Blue Jays – 36-36 (30 points) – Last Week: #17
Over the last 30 days, OF Adam Lind has been hot for the Jays, batting .373 with 8 HR and 17 RBI during that span.
16. Los Angeles Angels – 35-38 (28 points) – Last Week: #21
Often overlooked in this year’s batch of rookie starters, Tyler Chatwood has posted a 3.84 ERA and 4-4 record in 82 innings across 14 starts.
17. Washington Nationals – 35-37 (26 points) – Last Week: #24
In 72 games this season, rookie Danny Espinosa has slugged 29 extra-base hits, including 12 doubles and 13 home runs, while knocking in 43 RBI’s.
18. New York Mets – 35-37 (25 points) – Last Week: #13
Over the last 30 days, Jose Reyes has been on a tear, batting .393 in 112 AB’s while also stealing ten bases.
19. Seattle Mariners – 37-35 (21 points) – Last Week: #16
While the pitching staff has been solid, the offense continues to struggle. The Mariners’ offense (.298 OBP) is the only team in baseball with an OBP under .300.
20. Chicago White Sox – 35-38 (19 points) – Last Week: #18
Sitting at 0-8 on May 29th, John Danks has since won three straight decisions, while also lowering his ERA nearly a run to 4.29.
21. Pittsburgh Pirates – 35-36 (15 points) – Last Week: #19
Andrew McCutchen has been the most productive player for the Pirates’ offense, slugging 10 HR, stealing 14 bases and batting .283 on the season.
22. Oakland Athletics – 33-40 (7 points) – Last Week: #26
New 2011 additions Josh Willingham and Hideki Matsui have added pop to the lineup (slugging a combined 16 HR on the season), but neither is batting higher than .231.
23. San Diego Padres – 30-43 (-17 points) – Last Week: #22
The Padres – with 97 doubles so far during the 2011 season – are the only team in baseball to currently have hit less than 100.
24. Baltimore Orioles – 32-37 (-25 points) – Last Week: #25
The Baltimore bats are heating up in June, as the team now has cracked the top ten in batting average. Newcomers Reynolds, Lee and Hardy have led the way as of late.
25. Kansas City Royals – 31-41 (-27 points) – Last Week: #27
Since being given the closer job again, Joakim Soria has recovered, rattling off saves in four straight relief appearances.
26. Los Angeles Dodgers – 32-41 (-29 points) – Last Week: #23
If the Dodgers were playing better baseball, one would have easily tossed Matt Kemp (20 HR, 17 steals, .328 avg) at the top of the NL MVP race.
27. Minnesota Twins – 31-39 (-36 points) – Last Week: #28
The red-hot Twins have lost just three games in the month of June, and currently are riding a seven-game win streak.
28. Florida Marlins – 32-40 (-37 points) – Last Week: #20
Mired in a horrific slump during the month of June, manager Edwin Rodriguez resigned, leading the way for 80-year-old Jack McKeon to return to the dugout.
29. Chicago Cubs – 29-42 (-55 points) – Last Week: #29
Chicago’s offense currently has the fewest walks (176) and the fewest steals (20) in all of Major League Baseball.
30. Houston Astros – 27-46 (-64 points) – Last Week: #30
It may come to shock a lot of people, but the Astros have the third most doubles in all of baseball, with 144. Only Boston and Arizona have more.
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.
When the season started, I said the same thing about the Yankees. I thought the pitching was not deep enough and while the offense was, the team was older and I thought some injuries would derail them. I had them finishing lower in the division and caught a lot of flack for it. So far, they are proving me wrong, but I do think things can change. It’s been an interesting year in baseball.
Speaking of interesting, that NBA Draft last night… did we witness the highest percentage of names that no one will be able to pronounce in NBA history?
Shields has been ridiculous… so happy I managed him on my Fantasy team. My league – a part-keeper league – I have a rotation that includes Shields, Hamels, Verlander, Felix Hernandez and Dan Haren. How sick is that?
Beckett has been great, and his one-hitter on the game-clinching night for the Bruins was easily the best start of the year with the smallest amount of attention.
What a difference a year makes huh. Big game James has lived up to his name this year having tweaked his delivery in the off season. Shields is an example of hard work overcoming adversity.
Verlander has been lights out and is my pick for the Cy Young (sorry James).
Beckett has been great, but I don’t think it will last. It won’t really have to as Boston is scoring runs like a slow pitch softball team.