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And now for something completely different. I know this will be met with dissenting opinions, but numbers don’t lie. Usually, anyway. All things considered, the Toronto Blue J’s are the hottest team in baseball right now. Not the Ray, not the Yanks. The J’s.

Tampa is still holding onto the lead in their division, expanding it to a meager 2 (a 1.5 game increase since last week), and the Yanks still have only lost 2 series all season. But if we’re looking at this past week, Toronto is the one holding all the cards. Fortunately, NY doesn’t see them for another few weeks, and hopefully by that time, they’ll have cooled down enough, and conversely the Yanks will have picked up the pace a bit more.

Other than that, it’s business as usual in the American League. Yanks strong, Boston not. O’s and KC battling it out in the nadir. Texas falls, Oakland really falls, and Anaheim picks it up a little. Something tells me, though, that this year, things are exactly as they seem. You know how the 2010 NCAA Tournament left the entire world completely baffled and flailing about in their bracket ineptitude? The 2010 Baseball Season will prove to be the antithesis of that.

No alarms, and no surprises, please.

14.) O’s (14)
They’re in the process of signing a deed and securing a monopoly on the #14 spot. Location, location, location. However, they are now 10-10 since the end of April. Which is a vast improvement, sadly.

13.) Royals (13)
Big changes in the works for this hapless club. Ned Yost signed to rupture the complacency on this inexplicably terrible team. Their pitching is great, BA among the best in the league, yet they can’t BUY themselves a win. But, who knows, they took 2 of 3 from the Southsiders, so maybe things are starting to turn around for them.

12.) Mariners (11)

Last week I was listening to the Yankee game, and Suzyn Waldman is giving us the rundown of the rest of the league’s ongoing game scores. “Seattle is losing of course. They cannot score a run. They just can’t. They just don’t know how to do it.” Their SLG is .338…which is slightly less than the batting average of their all star hitter.

11.) Southsiders (9)
One of the worst ERAs in the league (4.64) and the worst BA (.230). They’re beyond help. Seriously. They need to treat their team like I treat my hand whenever I play poker, which is ask for all new cards. (Apparently, you’re only allowed to ask for 4 and that’s only if you have an ace, which is still 1 more thing that Chicago lacks right now.)

10.) Tribe (12)
Their OBP is actually pretty good, but they just can’t seem to plate any of these people they’re loading the bases with. Their SLG sucks, they’re among the worst in the league in runs and hits, and currently trail the central division leader by 7 games. If they want to salvage their season, they better parlay their current 2 game win streak into something…though this may be difficult against the Rays.

9.) BoSox (8)
So we meet again, Boston. You’re currently 7.5 out, but not to worry, Baltimore’s barely a blip in your rear view mirror. And fortunately for you (not so much for me) David O-for-Teez usually decides to revert to his self of old upon taking the field with NY. However, morale’s down, and the Sox are coming off 2 ugly losses to the Tiggers.

8.) A’s (7)
THERE YOU ARE. We knew the honeymoon was gonna have to end at some point. The team with the red hot start is beginning to show it’s true colors, playing below .500, and on a 5-game skid. And in that time, they’ve managed to scrape up only 5 runs. It’s not good when the only team you’re trailing is Seattle in runs scored. Welcome back to earth, Oakland.

7.) Halos (10)
Speaking of being brought back to earth, the celestial beings of the west are really not the powerhouses they once were. I’m sure, of course, they’ll continue to stymie the Yanks, since that’s what they do. But the difference now is that the Yanks are the ONLY team they’re overpowering, and the Angels are almost the only ones that the Yanks are overpowered by. Their pitching is really struggling. They’ve let up the 3rd most runs in the league, and opponents are batting a respectable .272 against them. They’re also making too many errors, with their fielding percentage below league average. Get a hold of yourselves, Anaheim! Jeez.

6.) Rangers (4)
WHY? WHY DIDN’T I USE BORBON AS TRADE BAIT WHEN I HAD THE CHANCE? He’s doing to my offense what Oliver Perez did to my pitching. “Julio Borbon (.213/.234/.259) is on track for one of the worst offensive seasons in baseball history.” –ESPN. For once, I actually agree with the Man on this one. The Rangers get stronger by the day, but in terms of last week, they just got swept by our new Power Ranking Leader.

5.) Twinkies (3)
They actually did it. They won in the Bronx. They narrowly avoided a sweep, and the consequential morale genocide that would have inevitably occurred. The Twinks are good because of their defense. Their solid offense often masks that, with people like Morneau and Mauer tearing it up at the 3-4 spots. But the homegrown boys from the Midwest are holding their own because they don’t make any mistakes in the field. They bring “mastering the fundamentals” to an art. But for my money, I’d rather be lucky than good.

4.) Tiggers (5)
They’re playing for keeps. And they’re not going away, trust me. Detroit actually just handed the Yanks their 2nd series loss. (They also took 2 of 3 from the Sox, but I think at some point, we have to stop using Boston as a barometer for success. It’s really not that impressive a feat to dominate a .500 team.) However, it IS impressive when your new rookie is hitting .380 with a 1.068 OPS since being called up three weeks ago. Now you just gotta reign in your pitchers, they’re walking too many people and high strike out numbers come at a price.

3.) World Series Champions (2)
Still keeping pace, but in a different manner than to which I’m accustomed. ARod’s salami against the Twinks 2 days ago is the kind of game I’m used to. It’s a little disarming seeing a barrage of Also-Rans running the show over in New York. Ramiro Pena, Cervelli, and GGBG are the most consistent batters right now (led by Grandfather Posada), and while Tex/ARod/Jeter are doing their part at the top of the order, they really should be inflicting more damage than they are. But hey, a win’s a win. And the Yanks are still 2nd in the division, leading in most offensive categories right now: runs, BA, OBP, OPS, RBIs.

2.) [Devil] Rays (1)
If I hear, “the Rays are for real this year!” one more time, I’m going to cut out the tongue of the offending preacher. Yeah, I get it. They’re good. They’re the best team in baseball right now, playing .703 and slicing through the opponents with relative ease. But I’m just not 100% convinced. I don’t know why. It’s their offense. It’s just really not that great. I know, it’s weird. But it isn’t. Defense wins championships, yes. But unless we’re playing on the gridiron, you need to knock around the best of the best pitching. Especially if you’re dealing with the AL East.

1.) J’s (6)

Welcome to the top, Toronto! And congrats. You’re a lot better than most people give you credit for. I think when you lost Doc Halladay, a lot of fans lost their interest and/or fear of you. But where you rotation took a hit, your offense is overcompensating in spades. The J’s are currently the most powerful lineup in the game, leading the entire league in HRs, SLG, and extra base hits. While their rotation’s ERA is meh, opponents are still only hitting .242 against them. They’re starting to look like the whole package. Take note, AL. THIS MEANS YOU, YANKS.


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