The Pirates have officially caught up to the Cardinals in the NL Central race. They are now only one game behind the Cardinals, and are sitting pretty at a 46-30 record. This past week included a sweep over the Angels and a series split with the Reds. A ninth inning rally in which they scored three runs sent the final game of the Angels’ series in extra innings, where four runs in the top of the tenth was enough to seal the win.
The Rangers have a hold of the AL West, but Oakland is still at their tails. They are the only competition for the AL West title, with the remaining teams 10.5, 11 and 15.5 games back. But a 5-1 week certainly helps keep you in first. On Sunday, Joe Nathan recorded his 25th save and the Rangers beat the Cardinals 2-1, including earning the sweep.
It might be surprising seeing a barely over .500 team in the top five, but when you realize it’s the 11 game win streak Blue Jays it makes a lot more sense. Their win streak included sweeps over the Rockies, Orioles, and Rangers. While the streak ended with a loss to the Rays, the Blue Jays are definitely back in the AL East race. They are still in last, but they are only five and a half games back.
The Diamondbacks had a solid 4-1 week maintaining their lead of the NL West. They won their series over the Marlins and Reds. The matchup Saturday against the Reds was won in walk off fashion. Jason Kubel hit a walkoff single to right, scoring Goldschmidt and Montero and giving the Diamondbacks the win.
6. St Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals are still holding strong onto their title as one of the most dominant teams in baseball, but the Pirates are right on their tails for the NL Central title. However, at 47-29 they currently have the best record in baseball. Getting swept by the Rangers this past weekend doesn’t help your lead. But with the Astros and Angels on your schedule this week they should be confident in making their league bigger.
The Tigers had a bit of a slump this week, going 3-3. They lost their series to the Orioles but then won their series against the Red Sox. Scherzer is now 11-0 on the season with a 3.05 ERA. And Cabrera hit his 21st homerun of the year yesterday against the Angels.
It is still surprising to me how a team with the third best record in baseball can be third in their division. I guess that just shows how dominant the NL Central is, minus the Cubs and Brewers 15 games back (sorry guys). But that’s where the Reds are right now. A lot of their success is thanks to pitcher Mat Latos, who is 7-1 on the season with a 3.05 ERA. And on Sunday’s game against the Diamondbacks Latos went seven and two thirds innings with thirteen strikeouts in the one-run ball game.
The Braves are still ontop of the NL East, but had a rough week going 2-5. They lost their five game series to the Mets and then turned around to lose their series with the Brewers. Despite all of that, they are still six games ahead of the Nationals and eight games ahead of the Rockies.
The Athletics are looking to steal the top spot in the AL West, but going 1-3 against the leading Rangers isn’t the way to do it. Regardless, the Athletics are only half a game back. After their loss to the Rangers, the A’s turned around and dropped their series with the Mariners. They now welcome the Reds and Cardinals into the Coliseum, and the tough competition will prove to be a challenge. It will be interesting to see if the A’s can prove themselves and take away the Ranger’s current lead.
The Indians seem stuck in the middle of the pack. They are only three games over .500 but went 5-2 this week. Their week included winning their series over the Royals and Twins. Asdrubal Cabrera should be returning from the DL soon, which will be a spark in their lineup and move them back up through the ranks.
12. New York Yankees
The Yankees haven’t made as much noise as they usually do. Probably because they are falling in the AL East, now in second two and a half games back. They had an average week at 3-3 including splitting series’ with divisional rival Rays and Dodgers. They now face Texas in a series that can either put them closer to the top or sending them slowly to the bottom.
13. Tampa Bays Rays
The Rays were the team to end the Blue Jays’ eleven game win streak. Included in that was Loney, Myers, and Fuld hit back-to-back-to-back homeruns off starter Esmil Rogers. Not only did that help win game one of the series, they also won game two and could possibly sweep the Blue Jays tonight.
14. San Diego Padres
The Padres have jumped ahead of the Rockies and Giants for the second place spot in the NL West. They are now only two and a half games behind the Diamondbacks and could easily take the lead. However, a 3-4 week doesn’t help your case. But facing the Marlins and Phillies this week should help keep them in the fight to the top.
We have now had the entire AL East in the top 15. All teams are completely in the chase for the title with the last place team only five and a half games back. The Orioles hit a rough patch when they lost four in a row last week, sending them back to third two and a half games back. They face the Indians and after dropping the first game but winning the second thanks to a homerun by (you can guess it) Chris “Crush” Davis.
16. Colorado Rockies
Colorado has fallen to third in the NL West but are still fighting at only three games back. However, they are one game over .500 and had a 2-4 week last week. Rex Brothers earned his fourth save against the Nationals, in which the Rockies won 7-6. They face the Red Sox and divisional rival Giants this week, in games I assume Brother will be needed. But that won’t be the case if every game is a 11-4 loss like yesterdays.
The Nationals are back under .500. They’ve been struggling, but a 4-3 week is a start. They lost their series to rival Phillies, and then split their series with Rockies. They face the Diamondbacks now, and then a weekend series at the Mets. If all goes well in his rehab in Potomac, Bryce Harper could be back in the lineup by this weekend.
18. Minnesota Twins
The Twins are slowly falling out of the chase of the AL Central. They are in fourth and are seven games back. Mauer is still going strong with his .332 average and eight homeruns. But it isn’t Mauer who is leading the team with homeruns, that title belongs to Willingham who has ten. Hopefully their bats come alive during their weekend visit with the Royals.
The bad news for Giants fans: their team is fourth in the NL West three games back. The good news: Tim Lincecum looks back to his old self (kind of). While Lincecum is not back to his NL Cy Young Winner self, his 4.52 ERA this season isn’t terrible, but could improve. Pitching as a whole hasn’t been the best for the Giants, Bumgarner leads the team with his 3.20 ERA and seven wins on the season.
The Phillies are no where near the place we expected them to be this season, but at third in the NL East eight games back their season technically isn’t over it. A strong outing by Cliff Lee over the Padres gives fans something to cheer about. In eight solid innings of work, Lee held the Padres to two runs and recorded seven strikeouts. However, the Phillies still lost 4-3. It is one thing for your pitchers to have solid outings, but you need bats to back them up.
It seemed like the Royals had a glimpse at the top, but now they’ve found themselves at the bottom. While their best hitter is only hitting .293, but during Sunday’s game against the White Sox, George Kottaras hit a solo homerun, followed by a solo shot to right by Jarrod Dyson. They finish up a two game series with the Braves followed by a four game series on the road at the Twins.
There are only two words I can say: Yasiel Puig. In his first 20 games with the Dodgers, Puig is hitting .442, has seven homeruns, fourteen RBIs, and has started the Dodgers turn around. Hopefully Puig can continue this hot streak for the rest of the year, because his bat is something the Dodgers need in their lineup.
23. New York Mets
The Mets are no where near contention for the NL West title, but have been doing well recently against divisional rival Braves. In their five game series last week, the Mets took the series going 3-2. They followed that up by going 2-1 against other divisional rival Phillies. While I don’t think the Mets will turn their season around and knock the Braves out of the top spot, this season has proved literally anything can happen.
The NL Central is a tight race at the top, but then there are the Brewers at fifteen games back. However a 4-3 week is something Brewers fans can be happy about. Yesterday the Brewers rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the fifth inning against the Cubs, scoring five runs on four hits including two doubles. Overcoming this deficit helped push the Brewers past the Cubs and record the 9-3 win.
25. Miami Marlins
The Marlins have finally moved from the bottom spot! This is primarily due to a better week going 4-3 than the rest at the bottom. Their biggest accomplishment of the week included going 3-1 against the Giants on the road.
26. Seattle Mariners
The Mariners are struggling, they are ten games out of the AL West and their best hitter is only hitting .282. But during Sunday’s game against the Athletics Kendrys Morales hit a walk off homerun in the bottom of the tenth. It was a solid win against the Mariners divisional rival.
While the Angels are still struggling, many members of their lineup are not. Trout is hitting .307, has 54 runs 12 homeruns and 48 RBIs. Trumbo is hitting .252 with 44 runs, 17 homeruns and 50 RBIs. And then there is Howie Kendrick, hitting the best average on the team at .321, has 33 runs, eight homeruns and 37 RBIs.
The white Sox are currently last in the AL Central nine and a half games back. But yesterday the White Sox beat the Mets in walk off fashion thanks to a two-out single by Alexei Ramirez.
29. Chicago Cubs
The Cubs are the other Chicago team at the bottom of their division, 16 games back in the NL Central. Although they lost yesterday to the Brewers, a three run homerun by Nate Schierholtz marked his eleventh of the season.
30. Houston Astros
Well the Astros find themselves back at the bottom. Their week included three wins, including a series win over the Brewers and series loss to the Cubs. They finish up their two game series with the Cardinals tonight and then face the Angels for a weekend series.