Dodgers' SS Cesar Izturis is on a tear (Getty)
InsidethePark.com's Luke Lapinski is back again with another wildly entertaining installment of "Luke's Power Rankings." Be sure not to miss what Luke will do if Oakland and Tampa Bay renew their recently-formed rivalry with a meeting in October.
1. St. Louis (2): We all know Mark Mulder secretly wishes he was back in Oakland, with their half empty stadium and comforting annual first round playoff exit. These crazy St. Louis people seem bent on winning the whole thing.
2. Chicago White Sox (1): The Big Hurt’s back! And hurt again. What a fitting nickname.
3. San Diego (11): Adam Eaton quietly posting huge numbers (7-1, 48 K).
4. Baltimore (3): Still going strong, though the loss of red-hot Erik Bedard (5-1, 52 K, 2.08 ERA) might slow them a bit.
5. Minnesota (7): All of a sudden, Jesse Crain’s second on the team only to that Santana guy in wins with five (3 in the last 10 days). Baseball’s so predictable.
6. Florida (5): Miguel Cabrera is on an absolute tear, hitting .358 with nine homeruns and 33 RBI. In fact, he just might be the best Miguel in baseball right now. He’s definitely the best Cabrera (sorry Orlando).
7. Atlanta (6): Probably won’t need Mondesi back.
8. Anaheim (9): Desperately need Vlad back.
9. Texas (14): Hurlers Kenny Rogers (6-2, AL-best 1.69 ERA) and Chris Young (5-2, 2.93) have led baseball’s hottest team of late.
10. Arizona (8): Snake-bitten with back-to-back series losses vs. division rivals San Diego and L.A. at home.
11. Boston (4): Wanna get cursed again? Show up as a team on Queer Eye For The Straight Guy. Good luck explaining that in about 80 years.
12. NY Yankees (15): Apparently the best cure for a bad start is to get hammered by the Sox? Ouch.
13. Los Angeles (10): Rapidly improving Cesar Izturis quietly leading the majors with 74 hits.
14. Toronto (12): Roy Halladay (8-2, 2.54 ERA, 4 CGs, 2 shutouts) rounding back into his Cy Young form of two years ago. Only difference is he’s on pace for more wins and a better ERA.
15. Chicago Cubs (18): They need to stop playing before someone gets hurt. Ok, they need to stop playing before everyone gets hurt.
16. NY Mets (16): Seem to have a stranglehold on that 16th spot. And that’s what everyone plays for, right?
17. Washington (13): Livan La Vida Loca: Hernandez already at eight wins.
18. Cleveland (24): Exciting news! Juan Gone’s back! Come on Juan, you couldn’t last for two at-bats? He’s already back on the DL after one measly AB.
19. Philadelphia (22): Bobby Abreu has already walked 41 times in ’05. Gee, just 191 more and he’s this year’s Barry Bonds.
20. Detroit (20): Seen Carlos Pena hit yet this year (.181 average)? It’s like watching Will Ledezma pitch (6.75 ERA).
21. Milwaukee (19): Brady Clark has sparked the offense with an NL-best 39 runs scored.
22. San Francisco (17): Generally speaking, LaTroy Hawkins (1-4, 4 blown saves in 8 opportunities) is never the answer.
23. Pittsburgh (21): Let’s take a moment to pause and reflect that there are actually teams ranked lower than them.
24. Seattle (25): Struggling to find offense and looking for answers, they turn to… Pat Borders?
25. Cincinnati (26): Who says playing “small ball” is important? Adam Dunn’s gone nearly two years (July 22, 2003) without a sac fly and these guys are doing just fine. Well, assuming you don’t consider winning games important.
26. Houston (27): They were one game from the World Series in ‘04. Now they’re about a game from the Little League World Series.
27. Tampa Bay (28): Too bad they don’t play Oakland anymore this year. Well, unless they meet in the playoffs. At which point, I’ll hop into my hovercar and shoot off to the game.
28. Oakland (23): Might be time to dump some salary. Oh wait, there’s nothing left to dump.
29. Colorado (29): Todd Helton’s finally starting to fit in with the team: 3 for his last 49 with 14 strikeouts.
30. Kansas City (30): Sorry I even brought them up.
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