Monday, July 12, 2010

All Star Break Power Rankings

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-Digger's Daily-

2010 Major League Baseball's first half was sensational. There's been standout performances from no hitters to 3 homer games. long winning streaks, losing streaks and personal bests. A few surprises in the standings along the way have teams jockeying in and out of playoff contention. Many teams remain in the hunt heading into the second half of our baseball season. Anything can happen. If history repeats, then hold on for a wild ride down the stretch. Don't forget about baseball's trading deadline. There will be plenty of buyers and sellers as teams attempt to load up for playoff runs.

All World All Sports All Star Break Power Rankings (top 10):

1) New York Yankees (56-32) - Yanks hanging tough with mlb's best record. They could be looking for catching depth or another starting pitcher after getting burned by Seattle for Cliff Lee. Perhaps a setup man will settle down a somewhat erratic middle relief corps.

2) Tampa Bay Rays (54-34) - Rays hot on Yanks trail while trying to fend of Boston. Tampa will be challenged for wild card honors and will do their best to catch division rival Yanks. Southpaw Price (12-4, 2.42) starts for AL All Stars Tuesday night.

3) Chicago White Sox (49-38) - Hottest team heading into the break winners of 8 in a row to take over AL Central lead. Their bats have come alive. Starting pitching biggest question mark. Especially after losing Jake Peavy who was finally hot. Expect trade rumors seeking out a stud starter.

4) Atlanta Braves (52-36) - Not many gave the Braves a shot at winning the East. Atlanta has NL's best record in Bobby Cox's final season. Solid pitching, good defense and timely hits leading the way for the Braves. They just took 2 of 3 in New York. It'll be interesting to see if the Braves look for CF or LF help down the stretch.

5) San Diego Padres (51-37) - It's been all about pitching and defense (MLB low 304 runs against). Padres would be running away with the NL West if their lineup was able to produce runs. Don't expect deadline deals even though they could use a few bats. Colorado is hot on their trail. Fate rests on pitching staff.

6) Colorado Rockies (49-39) - Guess who's heating up after another slow start out of the gates? Winning 8 of 10 heading into the break lands Colorado in 2nd place 1/2 game ahead of Dodgers. Cy Young Award leading candidate Jiminez leading the way (15-1, 2.20) has been named NL All Star starting pitcher.

7) Texas Rangers (50-38) - Heaving hitting lineup and solid pitching has Texas leading all AL West teams. Rangers finally acquire a top notch starter landing lefty Cliff Lee from Seattle. Can Rangers survive intense summer heat and hold on? Time will tell but this is the best team in the West. One more pitcher could be on the way? Will it be Oswalt?

8) Boston Red Sox (51-37) - Boston remain within striking distance despite numerous injuries to key players all season long. Beckett is rehabbing and will be a welcome addition if arm is sound. Sox could be busy traders in the days to come attempting to fill voids created by injuries (especially on defense). Boston could go either way in 2nd half.

9) Detroit Tigers (48-38) - Trailing Central leading Detroit by 1/2 a game at the break. Detroit has finished terribly in recent seasons. Pitching and middle infield defense need a shot in the arm. Cabrera and Ordonez leading the offense. Tigers could be a busy trade deadline team.

10) Cincinnati Reds (49-41) - Reds were hot until 4 straight losses cooled them off. Dusty Baker has these guys playing inspired baseball. Lack of consistant starting pitching could doom Cincinnati. As of now, it's only a two team Central battle. Lineup needs to keep up clutch hitting to make up for lack of pitching.

Stay tuned for 2nd half predictions.

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