That time of the month is upon us again! The baseball power rankings, that is. After a very competitive month of baseball, no team has a division lead larger than 3.5 games! The second half should be very exciting! But before we have fun at the All-Star Game and HR Derby, let’s have some fun looking at the Top 5 teams in baseball!
#5 Cincinnati Reds: (46-35 overall, 14-13 in June, 1st NL Central)
Last month, I promised our readers that if the Reds were still in place by July 1st, then they’d earn their way onto this list. Well, the Reds are currently 1.5 games ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals, so welcome to the list!
Offensively, both Joey Votto and Scott Rolen have been putting up monster numbers. Votto is batting .314 with 19 HRs while Rolen isn’t that far behind, hitting .302 with 17 HRs.
However, alike all good teams, pitching will win you games. Led by rookie Mike Leake and emerging star, Johnny Cueto, the Reds have top young guns in their staff. Couple good young starting pitching with a dominant closer (Francisco Cordero, 22 saves) and you have a winning receipe.
#4 Atlanta Braves (46-33, 17-11 in June, 1st NL East)
With a 28-9 record at home, the Braves are at their best when defending their own turf. However, no individual stats really jump off of the page. Troy Glaus is having a nice season, mashing 14 HRs. Rookie Jason Heyward has hit 11 HRs.
However, as a team, the Braves are heads and shoulders above their competition. Their .347 on-base percentage is tops in the NL. Their staff ERA of 3.76 is fifth lowest in the game.
With the Phillies losing Chase Utley and Placido Polanco for an extended period of time, expect the Braves to pad their lead over the Phillies while holding off a Met team that seems scared to make a move.
#3 Boston Red Sox (48-32, 18-9 in June, 2nd AL East)
The surging Boston Red Sox have been playing extremely well. Playing extremely well with a new lineup each day, that is. The Red Sox have a laundry list of injuries including pitchers Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz to Dustin Pedroia, Victor Martinez, Jason Varitek, and apparently, JD Drew has a new injury every day!
However, the other regular starters have been picking up the slack. Adrian Beltre has been on fire, raising his batting average to .347. David Ortiz has crushed 17 HRs in a contract year. Kevin Youkilis has a .415 OBP. These guys are getting it done for Boston.
If not for injuries, they’d be higher on this list.
#2 Texas Rangers (47-31, 21-6 in June, 1st AL West)
The Rangers posted the best June record in all of baseball. However, they can give Josh Hamilton and Vladimir Guerrero most of the credit. Both All-Star sluggers have whacked 18 HRs while posting OBPs of .381 or higher!
In addition to the strong hitting, the pitching has been a nice complement. Starters Colby Lewis and CJ Wilson have ERAs below 3.50 while has compiled at least nine quality starts!
#1 New York Yankees (48-31, 16-10 in June, 1st AL East)
The Yankees firmly sit atop of these standings. Their team OBP of .355 is tops in the major leagues. The Yankees have used the first half MVP campaign of Robinson Cano to lead their offense. On the hill, CC Sabathia has won his last six starts and carries a 3.33 ERA. Both Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes have at least nine victories with sub 3.50 ERAs.
The Yankees also have a 40-year-old closer who has 18 saves and 0.86 ERA. Just sayin’.