After letting their record fall to 2-10 before back-to-back wins against the Jays, it became very difficult to keep Boston ahead of Philadelphia in the rankings, but their fall from grace was merely to the second spot. After another win to round out the series against Toronto today, the BoSox appear to be finding their form so don’t expect much more of a fall, unless the Yankees, now ranked number three, keep playing the way they are; more on them in a minute.
The Phillies take over the number one spot on the list thanks to another solid week, winning three out of five games. Their record now sits at 10-4 and that pitching staff has come as advertised making them very tough to beat every single night.
The Yankees at number three won four out of five games to jump another spot, leapfrogging the Braves. Their stay could be short lived with the news that Phil Hughes’ drop in velocity will result in a DL-stint and who knows how long he’ll be out. It’s hard to see the Yankees maintaining this level of play with A.J. Burnett, Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia, and Bartolo Colon occupying the majority of their rotation, but for now they’re challenging for the top spot on the list.
The Tampa Bay Rays won five out of six games this week on the strength of their terrific pitching staff. All the people who were leaving them for dead seem to forget that they have David Price, James Shields, Wade Davis, Jeff Niemann, and Jeremy Hellickson in their rotation which I would hazard to say is the most complete starting unit in the AL. Their play earned them a two-spot jump to fourth.
Rounding out the top five is the Atlanta Braves who had a middling 3-3 week, but still have all the makings of a contender, while Texas came back down to earth after an 8-1 start, going 2-4 this week and fall back out of the top five. With Josh Hamilton out for two months with a broken upper-arm, the Rangers could be in some trouble if their rotation regresses.
The biggest jump of the week belonged to the Colorado Rockies, who followed up their 6-2 opening stretch with a 6-1 second full week and sit atop Major League Baseball with a 12-3 record. Their jump in the rankings went from 14 to 7 and they are now atop the rankings in the NL West passing both the Giants and the Dodgers.
Other big jumps this week include the Angels who won five of six games and jumped from 16th to 13th, while the Cards jumped from 20th to 17th winning five of seven games. The Cleveland Indians continue to play well above their heads and move from 28th to 21st. Their division mates in Kansas City also move up a few spots from 29th to a modest 25th with their hot start. Don’t get comfortable Indians’ and Royals’ fans, the swoon won’t last.
Big falls for Minnesota who has fallen from 8th to 16th in the last two weeks, and from 11th this week as well as from the Mets, whose terrible 1-6 week has landed them in 27th ahead of only the D-Backs, Mariners, and Astros who are in the basement for the second straight week. The Baltimore Orioles fell back down to earth as the only winless team this week, falling from 18th to 24th.