Andruw Jones has brought the thunder (Photo/AP)
The top teams in baseball are easy to figure out - the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago White Sox. The bottom two are just as easy - the Colorado Rockies and Kansas City Royals. But what about the rest? That's where InsidethePark's Luke Lapinski comes into play, putting all the teams in order with another installment of his always-popular Luke's Power Rankings.
1. St. Louis (2) – No doubt about it, NL Cy Young’s gotta go to Chris Carpenter (19-4, 183 K’s, 2.29 ERA, tied for Major League lead with six complete games).
2. Chicago White Sox (1) –Dropping off a bit (just one game above .500 since the All-Star Break and losers of 12 of their last 18) and raising concerns as they head toward the postseason.
3. Boston (3) – Schilling’s not the only one getting shelled: at 4.87, they’re ranked 24th in all of baseball in team ERA. In fact, no starter has lower than a 4.00 ERA (Matt Clement the closest at 4.27)
4. Oakland (6) – In the history of these power rankings, I don’t think any team has had such a significant turnaround in such a short period of time. Now, if they could just get past that first round…
5. NY Yankees (7) – Well, Kevin Brown’s season is officially over. Which brings up the very valid question of: “Kevin Brown pitched this season?”
6. Atlanta (5) – Andruw Jones has taken the team on his back (Major League leading 43 home runs and NL-best 108 RBI) and into control of the division.
7. Cleveland (10) – Wow, what a run. Now, imagine if they had had Juan Gonzalez playing all year. Ugghh… nevermind, Juan Gone doesn’t know anything about running.
8. Anaheim (4) – Extra inning loss to the A’s on the 30th was their 10th of the year – good for last in the majors. Yeah, that bodes well for the stretch run.
9. Philadelphia (9) – August was their fourth consecutive month with a winning record. The last time they did that was 1992. Now, where’s Darren Daulton?
10. Houston (8) – See: St. Louis; and replace “Chris Carpenter” with “Roger Clemens” (167 K’s and a 1.51 ERA. 1.51! He’s 87 years old and pitching like an animal).
11. Minnesota (13) – They may be having an off year, but at least they can take comfort in the fact that they’re 6-0 against Tampa in ‘05. Yep, they OWN the D’Rays!
12. Florida (12) – See: Houston; and replace “Roger Clemens” with “Dontrelle Willis” (18 wins, 6 complete games, Major League leading 5 shutouts - he’s even driven in 8 runs at the plate).
13. NY Mets (15) – Piazza injury could prove very costly as they sit mired in a five-team dogfight for the NL Wild Card.
14. Washington (11) – One of only two major league teams that hasn’t reached 100 home runs yet this year. Actually, the other team is Kansas City… so, to rephrase, they’re the only major league team that hasn’t reached 100 home runs yet this year.
15. San Diego (16) – They may very well back into the playoffs with a losing record. A losing record! They wouldn’t even be bowl eligible.
16. Toronto (14) – They’ve put together a decent run, but when Halladay went down for the year, so did the Jays.
17. Milwaukee (20) – Shhhh… don’t wake them… they’re still in the playoff hunt. Now, before you go into shock, I should mention that they’re six games back. But still, they’re technically in the Wild Card race and its not April. Good for them.
18. Texas (19) – According to Mark Buehrle, they’re cheating by stealing signs at home. According to their record lately (18-29 since the All-Star Break), they’re not doing a very good job of it.
19. Detroit (21) – Where did Carlos Pena – and his seven HR’s in his last 31 at-bats – come from?
20. Cincinnati (23) – Griffey doesn’t want to be dealt. Someone show him the Reds’ record.
21. Chicago Cubs (18) – Kerry Wood’s done for the year. They’re not giving up and going into hibernation already are they?
22. Baltimore (17) – Palmeiro has resorted to using earplugs to avoid hearing the fans. If only he had used a mouthplug when he was in front of Congress…
23. Los Angeles (24) – Hey, if you can’t win games, then you might as well get the opponent’s batboy suspended for drinking too much milk. That’s my motto. And, apparently, Brad Penny’s too.
24. Arizona (22) – Could still take the division if they could just win the occasional game (only 9 wins in August). And that’s just not right.
25. San Francisco (26) – Bonds may be on his way back in September. And, somehow, they still have a chance at making the playoffs.
26. Seattle (27) – Adrian Beltre’s numbers for August: a respectable 6 HR’s to go along with 23 RBI and a .288 average. So he WAS worth all that money! Hooray!
27. Tampa Bay (28) –For as often as everyone makes fun of the D’Rays, it’s worth noting that they’ve nearly doubled their win total just since the All-Star Break, going 27-18 – including series wins against playoff contenders like the Angels, Indians, and Yankees.
28. Pittsburgh (25) – Any reason you may have had to watch this team went out the window when pitching phenom Zach Duke went on the DL with a hurt ankle. In fact, why are you even reading about this team?
29. Colorado (29) – About as fun to watch as a reality show about reality stars from other reality shows.
30. Kansas City (30) – Well, they’ve reached a new low, losing 20 of their last 25. Oddly, four of the five wins came against playoff contenders Boston and Oakland. Go figure.