Token Power Rankings: July 16
We’re into the second half of the season now, after the stupid All-Star Break, so we should look at the best teams in baseball and decide if the season ended right now, who’d be the favorite. Starting this week, we’ll look at the Token Sports Top 10 Power Rankings in baseball, and oddly enough, my NY Yankees are not #1 to start it off.
1. Texas Rangers (54-35, 1st in AL West)
The Rangers are first in three major hitting category in the big leagues, including a .340 on-base-percentage. That and an above-average pitching staff, that can only get better as it matures, makes this team a favorite once again.
2. New York Yankees (54-34, 1st in AL East)
Sure, the Yankees are No. 1 in the ESPN Power Rankings, and in my heart they are definitely the best team in the majors, but the numbers aren’t there. In fact, there is little reason for them to have the record they have, which puts them at the best in the majors. An awfully good hitting team that feasts on the homer, but an average pitching staff without Mariano Rivera makes this team second fiddle, for now.
3. Washington Nationals (51-35, 1st in NL East)
Who would have thunk that the Nationals would be this good for this long. Thanks in large part to ace Stephen Strasburg (10-4, 2.66 ERA, 1.10 WHIP), the Nationals are the best pitching team in the Majors (#1 in ERA, Quality Starts, WHIP, BAA), and looking like a strong contender in the weak National League.
4. San Francisco Giants (49-40, 1st in NL West)
One of the best pitching staffs in the Majors belongs to the Giants, who rank 5th in ERA (3.53) and 3rd in BAA (.241). Lacking in run support is the biggest hindrance to this strong team’s chances.
5. Atlanta Braves (49-39, 2nd in NL East)
The Braves are surging, winning 7 straight going back before the All-Star Break. This team has a lot of talent and is making its moves through solid hitting. Adding another strong starter to the rotation before the trade deadline would improve this team’s chances.
6. Cincinnati Reds (50-38, 1st in NL Central)
A great pitching staff (3nd in ERA 3.33 and 2nd in WHIP 1.23) is wonderful from a young staff. An offense that hasn’t seemed to reach its potential yet this season and Dusty Baker’s unwieldy managerial style make the Reds a team to watch out for.
7. Chicago White Sox (49-39, 1st in AL Central)
The Chi-Sox are just a good team. 3rd in the Majors in WHIP (1.23) and 7th in Runs (423), plus a whole lot of veteran talent (Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn, Jake Peavy, Orlando Hudson, Kevin Youkilis) make them into a team that has all the right pieces to make a run at the World Series.
8. Los Angeles Dodgers (48-42, 2nd in NL West)
To me, quality starts from your rotation is what makes or breaks you team, and Dodgers are 1st in the Majors with 57 from their staff that includes Chris Capuano and Clayton Kershaw. But like most NL West teams, they struggle with offense. Look for a move soon to add another bat to make a run at the Giants, or one of the two Wild-Card spots now available this year.
9. Pittsburgh Pirates (49-39, 2nd in NL Central)
Wow, the Pirates! Who would have guessed the Pirates AND the Nationals would be in the Top 10 of the Token Sports Power Rankings? Pitching wins championships, and pitching is propelling the Pirates, are 6th in ERA, 7th in BAA, and 9th in WHIP.
10. Detroit Tigers (46-43, 2nd in AL Central)
Miguel Cabrera. Austin Jackson. Prince Fielder. All three are slugging over .500 on the season, and Cabrera and Fielder have 137 RBI between them. That and perennial Cy Young candidate Justin Verlander always makes the Tigers a dangerous team in the second half.