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BTB Power 30 - Our Standings

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As I'm always supportive of experimentation, I'm going to organize the power rankings, for this week, by each divisional rankings, at least according to the system. The leftmost number is the overall ranking, and they are ordered typically, just with the alignment within the divisions.

NL East (AVG: 11.2)

  1. Braves (4)
  2. Mets (10)*
  3. Marlins (12)
  4. Phillies (15)
  5. Nationals (18)
In practice, the Braves are just about ready to run away with the division. Their lead has been growing rapidly for the last week or two, and they've opened up a 6 game lead on the field (only 1.5 games separate second place and last place). Four teams remain above .500 in the division. The asterisk next to the Mets indicates that the power rankings would have the Mets as the wild card, heading to St. Louis for a first round series. Quick hits:
  • Andruw Jones smacked his 37th homer last night and is hitting .277/.365/.607. It took a while, but he's arrived.
  • David Wright has been a human highlight reel against the Padres, coupling the catch of the year with a 4 for 5 night on Wednesday. He's currently hitting .302/.384/.513 on the year.
  • Mike Lowell pulling off a hidden ball trick? That's low. But everyone missed his July, when he finally got hot; he hit .322/.365/.494 for the month. That's more like it.
  • Thome's out for the season, but Ryan Howard is fast establishing himself as an adequate replacement. His .276/.348/.497 line is helped by his park, no doubt (he's slugging .358 on the road), but he's got some sheer power. Wade's going to try and trade Thome this offseason. It ain't happening.
  • The Nats are done.
NL Central (AVG: 16.3)
  1. Cardinals (1)
  2. Astros (8)
  3. Cubs (14)
  4. Brewers (20)
  5. Reds (24)
  6. Pirates (27)
The Cards have locked this one up. Houston's the only real wild card threat at this point, and if they'd been ranked #9 instead of 10, no one could complain. The quick hits:
  • Our system could pit Chris Carpenter and Pedro Martinez in the NLDS opener. That'd be some draw.
  • Ensberg's still making his case for the MVP: his .295/.394/.601 line is outstanding, and, since April, he's been even better with a .306/.405/.648 line. Peak season?
  • The Cubs are just crumbling, unfortunately, and were our biggest mover this week. Derrek Lee's triple crown chances are evaporating by the day.
  • They'd brought themselves up to .500 before running into the St. Louis steamroller, but this is an impressive club. They have a positive run differential and a few of the league's best young hitters. From the department of "resurgence," Geoff Jenkins has hit .373/.460/.677 since June 18. That's hot.
  • We saw the most reasonable alignment of the Cincy defense yesterday - Dunn played 1st, Pena played left, Junior was in center, and Kearns was in right. These guys can hit, but the pitching is unthinkably bad.
  • Imagine how bad the Pirates would be without Jason Bay.
NL West (AVG: 25.2)
  1. Padres (21)
  2. Diamondbacks (23)
  3. Dodgers (25)
  4. Giants (28)
  5. Rockies (29)
The worst division in baseball offers a team in the bottom 5th of the league (the Dodgers) a chance to taste the postseason again. The Padres are the best team here, no doubt, and they're probably a bit better than their record. It's tough to defend that in the era of the unbalanced schedule, though; the NL West offers a lot of cheap wins.
  • What's .333/.459/.588 mean for the Padres? We'll come back to this one in a bit.
  • The D'Backs flirted with first place, very briefly last week, but that dream ended pretty quickly.
  • The Dodgers could reasonably be expected to be much closer to first place if JD Drew were healthy, in this division. The $55 million risk was in injuries, not ability.
  • Nothing else to cheer about with the last two.

    The answer? That's Brian Giles, on the road.

AL East (AVG: 13.2)
  1. Red Sox (2)
  2. Yankees (6)
  3. Blue Jays (13)
  4. Orioles (17)
  5. Devil Rays (26)
It looks like it's going to be another banner year for the Sox, and it looks like they're going to be hoisting the division title flag for the first time in a while. The Yankees are struggling to stay afloat in the ace, but according to the power rankings, they're only one team away frm the playoffs. The real margin is 4.5 games in the wild card, though, and that's a big deal. Especially when you keep losing series. Toronto remains in the hunt, but they're dangerously close to that 1 game/week threshold.
  • The Red Sox are an offensive juggernaut with a .283/.362/.455 TEAM line (if that were a player, you'd be thrilled to have him). Their pitching, though, isn't quite as good... Keith Foulke's return will be  a big determining factor for playoff success for various reasons.
  • Considering the outstanding work that the Yankees have gotten from such pitchers as Shawn Chacon, Aaron Small, and Chien-Ming Wang, it's pretty amazing to think that they're not running away with the division.
  • The Blue Jays might be the most balanced team in the league offensively - they don't have a "big bopper," per se, but every player on the team with 100 or more at bats is between .838 and .720, in terms of OPS. That computes to a .272/.337/.423 offense.
  • Goodbye, Lee Mazilli, the perfect scapegoat for an imperfect situation. Wasn't your fault.
  • After storming out of the All Star break with wins and runs and everything else, they've regressed a bit. Oh well. Early on in AAA, Delmon Young is holding his own. He's not assaulting pitchers, yet, but his .291/.316/.436 line is at least respectable, especially for a young guy. I'm sure that the stat-oriented D'Ray fans would like to see some more walks... 20/3 K/BB is a bit worrysome.
AL Central (AVG: 15.2)
  1. White Sox (5)
  2. Indians (7)*
  3. Twins (16)
  4. Tigers (19)
  5. Royals (30)
Lock it up... the White Sox are going to the playoffs. But the Indians have fought their way back into the race, and they'd be our wildcard team, heading to Oakland. Wouldn't that be something? Oakland v. Cleveland for a trip to the ALCS! That series would be something.
  • The White Sox are good. My feeling is that they're not going to hold up in the playoffs, but for the time being, let it ride... it's unfair to keep trying to diminish what they've accomplished when it just continues. They're a good team. Not the best in baseball, but they're good.
  • Jhonny Peralta is hitting .304/.362/.543. He was good in the minors last year but not THIS good.
  • If you thought that Carlos Silva would have a lower ERA than Johan Santana on August 11, raise your hand. Not only that, he's average more IP/GS, and... he's struck out 3 times fewer batters. Silva's mastered the "limit baserunners" approach to DIPS theory; he's walked 8. All. Season.
  • Wins for pitchers really don't mean all that much in a lot of senses, but Jeremy Bonderman's got an outside shot at 20. For a team that, two years ago, rivaled those Cleveland Spiders, that would be something to cheer about.
  • For the first time all season, there was complete agreement on a team. Every method used said that the Royals were the worst team in baseball, so they scored the maximum - 120 points. Congratulations.
AL West (AVG: 10.8)
  1. A's (3)
  2. Angels (9)
  3. Rangers (11)
  4. Mariners (22)
The A's and Angels will most likely battle to the wire for the division, and it should be one heck of a race. Kenny Rogers' most recent outing probably best summarizes what's going to happen to Texas. They don't have very good starting pitching, and it's going to eat them alive. The Mariners are just bad, but the King has arrived.
  • What is there to say about the A's? I only wish I'd been more steadfast in my confidence in them. After toiling in the minors, Dan Johnson has arrived and has been the A's best hitter, hitting .317/.404/.535 since his call-up. Considering the nature of the small market team, the A's should be most praised for the amount of depth they accumulated for this season. Durazo went down, Johnson stepped right in. Who else could pull that one off?
  • The mild worries about losing a grip on the division have been replaced by beads of sweat, as the upstart A's have cruised back into a tie for first. The Angels aren't done yet and could conceivably take either the division or the wildcard, but this team lives and dies with Vlad. His .253/.327/.495 since the break is nice, but he's not going to carry the team to the playoffs without another MVP-like September.
  • John Hart was conservative at the deadline, but would it have killed to trade some hitting for a pitcher or two? I feel like I'm beating a dead horse, but why is Adrian Gonzalez still in the organization? I'm sure that someone would have traded a pitcher for him.
  • Felix looks good in his first two starts (and no, I haven't seen him). The control, so far, has been most encouraging. It IS difficult to project his ceiling, as Baseball America noted, but arm trouble's gotta be one of the concerns.