Power Pulse (8/27): Tie at the Top

For the first time in the short history of Power Pulse, we have an absolute tie at the top. It is true that I could have went and used run differential or a variety of other measures to break the tie but I felt that it wasn’t appropriate in this case. Both The New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays sit at 78-49 which is the best record in baseball and play in what is arguably the toughest division in baseball. Therefore we have a tie at the top of the rankings.

The Rankings After the Jump—–

1-TIE New York Yankees – (Last Week #1) (78-49) – i hate ties as much as the next guy but neither the Yankees or the Rays deserve right now to be listed as number two. Consider that there are four AL East teams in the top eleven of the Power Pulse rankings.

1-TIE Tampa Bay Rays – (Last Week #2) (78-49) – The Rays have learned how to catch the Yankees, now they need to figure out how to overtake them. The starting rotation is back healthy and prospect Jeremy Hellickson is back in the minors preparing to be a reliever. It will be a heck of a race to the finish.

3. San Diego Padres – (Last Week #3) (76-49) – The Padres just keep quietly rolling along and are closing the gap on the Yankees and Rays. The Padres boast the National League’s best run differential at +134 and have won eight of their last ten games to take a 6.5 game lead over the Giants.

4. Texas Rangers – (Last Week #6) (72-54) – The Rangers rebounded from a dip in last weeks rankings to take back over the number four slot. They followed up a four game losing streak with a four game winning streak and still boast the largest division lead in Major League Baseball

5. Minnesota Twins – (Last Week #4) (72-55) – Much like the NL East, the Twins and the White Sox have both been scuffling this week. The Twins have lost three games in a row but still have a semi comfortable three and a half game lead over the White Sox.

6. Cincinnati Reds – (Last Week #8) (73-54) – The first major error committed by the Power Pulse rankings was pronouncing the Reds dead in our inaugural edition. The Reds have won seven of ten and tied the Braves for the second best record in the National League all the while building a three and a half game lead over the Cardinals. I am now a believer in the toothpick and the power it possesses.

7. Atlanta Braves  – (Last Week #5) (73-54) – The Braves were just swept by the Colorado Rockies and blew a nine run advantage in the series finale. They have been fortunate as the Phillies were also swept by the Houston Astros and the lead in the NL East remains 2.5 games. The Braves do however drop two spots in this week’s Power Rankings.

8. Philadelphia Phillies – (Last Week # 7) (70-56) – The Phillies have to be kicking themselves as they had a golden opportunity to overtake the Braves this week. Their three game losing streak at the hands of Houston was truly a wacky series that offered up a 16 inning marathon, Roy Oswalt in the outfield, and some questionable ejections. Nevertheless they slide one spot this week to #8.

9. Boston Red Sox – (Last Week #9) (73-55) – Is it just me or is this the most boring Red Sox team of the last few years? They sit in the ninth position with a good record but at this time we don’t see them really challenging anyone in front of them nor do we see them slipping back to the pack. I mean Johnny Damon didn’t even want to leave Detroit and reunite with the Sox.

10. San Francisco Giants – (Last Week #10) (71-57) – They would be the Red Sox of the National League had they not been so active over the waiver wire in the last few weeks. Having already worked out a waiver deal for Jose Guillen the Giants then allegedly tried to block Cody Ross from going to the Padres only to have the Marlins dump him and his salary on the Giants. That makes for both a crowded and expensive outfield.

11. Toronto Blue Jays – (Last Week #12) (66-60) – The Blue Jays have the misfortune of being positioned in the American League East. Still they are hanging in and move up one slot to number 11 this week. They are the fourth team from the AL East that is in the top 11 of the power rankings.

12. Colorado Rockies – (Last Week #13) (66-60) – The Rockies just swept the East leading Braves and overcame a nine run deficit in the process. It was my first real look at Carlos Gonzalez and I must say that I am very impressed. The Rockies move up one spot to #12.

13. St Louis Cardinals – (Last Week # 11) (68-56) – I feel that this is too low a ranking for the Cardinals who could conceivably snap out of it any minute and take back control over the Central Division. The fact is though they simply have not played well since they swept the Reds a few weeks ago. They slide two spots this week to lucky number 13.

14. Florida Marlins – (Last Week #15) (63-62) – Florida moves to a game over .500 and move up a spot for the week. Cody Ross was waived and picked up by San Francisco.

15. Chicago White Sox – (Last Week #14) (68-58) – The White Sox are fortunate to still be in the discussion in the AL Central after losing seven of their last ten games. They are only 3.5 games behind the Twins and have been rumored to be pursuing Manny Ramirez for one more last ditch effort towards the top.

16. Oakland Athletics – (Last Week #16) (63-62) – The A’s appear to be supplanting themselves as the second best team in the AL West. A modest two game win streak has them a game over .500 for the season.

17 Los Angeles Dodgers – (Last Week #17) (65-62) – The Dodgers have fallen all the way to fourth in the NL West but hold steady in this weeks rankings. It is reported that they have put Manny Ramirez on the waiver wire in hopes that someone will take his contract off of their hands.

18 New York Mets – (Last Week #19) (63-63) – The Mets are a good home team (37-23) but a poor road team (26-40). They have played .500 ball for the season and for the week just passed. Too bad New York doesn’t have a .500 record payroll.

19. Detroit Tigers – (Last Week #20) (63-64) – The Tigers also jump one slot up to the 19th position. They have however fallen 9.5 games behind the division leading Twins. Have to wonder how management feels about Johnny Damon vetoing a trade to Boston in a deal that could have delivered the Tigers a prospect.

20. Los Angeles Angels – (Last Week #18) (63-65) – The Dan Haren trade has yet to pay the kind of dividends that the Angels were hoping for. Since the trade, the Angels have just an 11-16 record and have fallen ten games behind the Rangers.

21. Houston Astros – (Last Week #22) (57-69) – The Astros move up a spot having just taken the first three games of their series against the Philadelphia Phillies. The team has played well as of late having won four in a row.

22. Milwaukee Brewers – (Last Week #21) (59-67) – The Brewers are riding a three game losing streak and thus slip a spot in the rankings. Depending on what happens with the Prince Fielder situation, this still doesn’t feel like a team that is that far away.

23. Kansas City Royals – (Last Week #23) (54-73) – The Royals hold steady this week after going the route of a youth movement. This club has been down for so long you can’t help but hope for a Braves like turnaround for them.

24. Seattle Mariners – (Last Week #25) (50-77) – It has been a lost season in the Emerald City. The Mariners are limping home having only scored 418 runs but having given up 551. It is hard to win that way.

25. Chicago Cubs – (Last Week #27) (54-74) – The Lou Pinella era has come to an end and now the search for next year’s manager has begun. Rookie shortstop Starlin Castro has been a rare bright spot for the Cubs.

26. Washington Nationals – (Last Week #24) (53-74) – As if concerns about Strasburg’s potentially devastating elbow injury wasn’t enough, the team is now having some effort issues to deal with as well. As a result they continue their downward slide for the third consecutive week.

27. Cleveland Indians – (Last Week #26) (50-76) – The good news is that the Indians still have a sizable advantage in the power rankings over the bottom three teams. The bad news is that they aren’t getting any closer to the top.

28. Baltimore Orioles – (Last Week #29) (45-82) – The O’s appeared to have next year’s number one draft pick locked up until they went out and hired Buck Showalter. Now they are two games better than the Pirates.

29. Arizona Diamondbacks – (Last Week #28) (49-78) – The Diamondbacks slip one spot to 29th this week due to having lost seven of their last ten. They still have work to do if they want to catch the Pirates.

30. Pittsburgh Pirates – (Last Week #30) (43-84) – The Pirates are a whopping -246 in run differential which fully entrenches them in the cellar of this weeks Power Pulse Rankings.