Luke's Power Rankings

Giles will help the Padres...in 2004 (Getty)

The pennant races are heating up, and InsidethePark.com's Luke Lapinski is there to make sense of it all.

1. ATLANTA (1) - Smoltz isn't hurt. He's bored.

2. NY YANKEES (2) - Wells is washed up? No way! He's having a great year! Oh wait, not Vernon Wells? Never mind then.

3. SAN FRANCISCO (3) - We're all pulling for a Benito Santiago/Jesse Orosco matchup in the World Series - just like we were back in 1835.

4. OAKLAND (5) - And now Oakland is ready to start playing ball again (9 in a row).

5. SEATTLE (6) - One homerun all week. Powerful stuff. You know, maybe adding a bat (i.e. Rondell White) at any point might have helped.

6. BOSTON (4) - Manny's sick. Damon's sick. Red Sox fans are getting sick.

7. CHICAGO WHITE SOX (8) - Loaiza's won 18! Of course, 4 were against Detroit... Loaiza's won 14!

8. ST. LOUIS (10) - Looking for new additions Hitchcock and DeJean to take them to the next level. Oh yeah, and Pujols is real good.

9. FLORIDA (9) - Tried to bow out of the Wild Card race by getting swept by Pittsburgh but no one else won either.

10. PHILADELPHIA (7) - Gee, if only every game were against the Mets.

11. HOUSTON (11) - 18 runs in one game against LA, then just 1 against San Diego three days later. Mind boggling.

12. MINNESOTA (15) - What can you say about the Twins? Exactly.

13. LOS ANGELES (14) - Welcome to the Dead Ball Era.

14. KANSAS CITY (16) - Losses of Appier and Hernandez are wearing the pitching staff thin.

15. MONTREAL (17) - Good news: looks like you have a home for next year. Bad news: looks like it's gonna be in Montreal.

16. CHICAGO CUBS (12) - Upcoming series vs. St. Louis may tell all.

17. ARIZONA (13) - The new game plan is to give The Unit absolutely no run support.

18. TORONTO (18) - Could be worse - you could have to play in Montreal.

19. ANAHEIM (19) - And they have officially disappeared off of the face of the Earth.

20. PITTSBURGH (24) - Finally got rid of that pesky Giles character. He was good. None of that here.

21. COLORADO (20) - If you could somehow combine Preston Wilson and Todd Helton, you'd get a guy with 59 HR's and 232 RBI's. And his name would be Prod Wilton.

22. TEXAS (21) - You know, they might've been able to turn it around if the season were just a 1000 games longer.

23. MILWAUKEE (27) - And now, the most unbelievable statement you'll ever hear: The Milwaukee Brewers win 12 of 13!

24. CLEVELAND (26) - We should all feel privileged to be a part of the Indians 2003 season. What a time to be alive.

25. BALTIMORE (22) - How do you respond to losing 8 in a row? Deal one of your best hitters, of course!

26. NY METS (25) - Once upon a time, the Mets were awful... That time is now.

27. CINCINNATI (23) - I'm betting even Pete Rose wants nothing to do with them now. Let's hope Pete isn't.

28. SAN DIEGO (28) - Well at least they're making Pittsburgh worse.

29. TAMPA BAY (29) - In honor of school starting, I offer you this simple equation: Devil Rays = horrible... wait Devil Rays < horrible. There we go.

30. DETROIT (30) - Phil Mickelson has a dream of pitching for a professional baseball team and they stick him in the Tigers system? Cruel.

Luke Lapinski lives in Tempe, AZ and attends the Arizona State University, where he hosts the radio show, "The Mad UnderGrads." He once ate a hot dog from the Kingdome and survived to tell about it. Luke enjoys reading feedback, and can be reached at thebigll@hotmail.com.

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