The Toronto Blue Jays keep climbing.
Any team that goes on an unexpected long winning streak is then faced with the task of following it up with more wins. Can that team consistently go 4-3 or 3-3 over the many weeks of the long summer, grinding out tough wins and minimizing the damage of tough stretches, to prove that the winning streak was no fluke?
That was the challenge for the Milwaukee Brewers in the early stages of 2014. It is June 2nd, and it looks like the Brew Crew was up to the task. Will the Blue Jays be able to keep up their winning ways? With some surprisingly solid pitching, especially in the rotation, it looks like they just might have the goods to hang around the top of the AL East for the long haul.
One other note about this week’s rankings: we have a new team at the bottom thanks to the resurgent play of the Houston Astros.
MLB Power Rankings, Week 11
1. Oakland A’s (35-22, no change)
After their sweep of the Angels at home this weekend, the A’s now own a staggering +115 run differential.
2. San Francisco Giants (37-20, +1)
They hop the Tigers in this week’s rankings with an impressive run differential of their own at +59 – something they have managed with Buster Posey dealing with a nagging back injury and with Brandon Belt on the disabled list.
3. Detroit Tigers (31-22, -1)
Splitting hairs by dropping them a spot. They weathered the mild storm by going 3-3 this past week.
4. Toronto Blue Jays (34-24, +2)
5. Los Angeles Angels (30-26, -1)
Josh Hamilton, who was off to an outstanding start this season, will finally return Tuesday after recovering from thumb surgery.
6. Milwaukee Brewers (34-23, +2)
At this point the Brewers have overcome key injuries to stay on top of the NL Central, thanks largely to the quality of their surprising pitching staff.
7. Atlanta Braves (31-25, -2)
With the Dan Uggla era apparently coming to a conclusion, the Braves still have lots of other guys who strike out way too much.
8. St. Louis Cardinals (30-27, -1)
The debut of Oscar Tavares this weekend promises to spark a team that was already playing better baseball.
9. Los Angeles Dodgers (30-28, no change)
At some point the Dodgers will have to make their move before the Giants run and hide with the NL West.
10. New York Yankees (29-26, +2)
With an impressive season thus far to stay in the thick of things, the Yankees will be in line to make moves to improve their pitching and their offense this summer.
11. Baltimore Orioles (28-27, no change)
12. Washington Nationals (27-28, -1)
How long can we believe in the Nationals? A long time thanks to that pitching staff, but they remain pretty mediocre.
13. Texas Rangers (29-28, +5)
A really impressive bounce-back from the Rangers. They won’t have to play much better than this to justify another summer in which they are buyers at the deadline.
14. Miami Marlins (28-28, +1)
The Marlins inexplicably remain in the thick of things despite the loss of Jose Fernandez. There are rumblings that they have their eyes on a big trade…and soon.
15. Colorado Rockies (28-28, -5)
The Rockies couldn’t get anything right on their 2-7 road trip…not even their high fives.
16. Seattle Mariners (28-28, +1)
They remain a team to watch thanks to their stellar pitching staff.
17. Cincinnati Reds (26-29, -1)
June will be a key month for the Reds. If they fall out of things, they are in position to gain a lot of value as sellers at the trade deadline.
18. Boston Red Sox (27-29, +4)
Their losing streak grabbed headlines, but we should have known better than to overreact with so much season left. They answered the bell by stringing together seven straight wins.
19. Chicago White Sox (29-29, +1)
Chris Sale is really, ridiculously good right now.
20. Cleveland Indians (27-30, +4)
Still an inconsistent club that plays atrocious defense, the Indians have shown glimpses of playing better baseball as of late.
21. Minnesota Twins (26-28, no change)
The Twins continue to hang tough around the .500 mark as they seek answers for their lineup.
22. Kansas City Royals (26-30, -8)
It is hard to give this team the benefit of the doubt anymore because they flat-out cannot hit.
23. New York Mets (27-29, no change)
In terms of games in the standings, the Mets are one hot week away from the top of the NL East. Not sure if that says more about them or the NL East.
24. Tampa Bay Rays (23-34, -5)
The worst team in the American League on this date. Joe Maddon‘s club has earned patience from its believers thanks to their history of success…for now.
25. Philadelphia Phillies (24-30, no change)
The Phillies will stay in the headlines this summer as sellers with potential big chips at the trade deadline.
26. San Diego Padres (26-31, no change)
27. Pittsburgh Pirates (26-30, no change)
Just please call up Gregory Polanco already.
28. Houston Astros (24-34, +2)
A legit hot streak and the Astros are no longer the worst team in the American League.
29. Arizona Diamondbacks (23-36, -1)
Tony La Russa can safely look beyond 2014 as he assesses the Diamondbacks organization and ponders big changes.
30. Chicago Cubs (20-34, -1)
The Cubs can perhaps find hope in the flash from the Astros this past week. Much of June will be occupied by Jeff Samardzija trade rumors.
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