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MLB Power Rankings / September 5th 2010

MLB Power Rankings (as of 09/02/2010)

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As we enter the season’s home stretch, we’re finally starting to chinks in the armor among some of those teams we thought were pretenders all along.

Let’s see how the change is reflected in this week’s MLB power rankings.

(Previous ranking in brackets)

1. (2) New York Yankees (83-50): Rolling along but they have the toughest September schedule of any contender. And you have to wonder if fatigue will catch up to Phil Hughes during the playoffs. He’s never had a workload this big.

2. (1) Tampa Bay Rays (82-51): Not going anywhere. David Price will be a force in the postseason and Evan Longoria is starting to drive in runs again, just as we suspected he would.

3. (7) Cincinnati Reds (78-55): I’m still not totally convinced their pitching will hold up come playoff time but their bats and defense are phenomenal. Joey Votto remains a legit triple crown threat.

4. (4) Atlanta Braves (78-55): Not as offensively powerful as the other contenders, though Derek Lee helps a bit. But pitching matters most in the playoffs and the Hudson/Hanson tandem will be formidable if Atlanta can reach the big dance.

5. (3) Minnesota Twins (77-56): As we see every year, the Twins are ready for a tooth-and-nail battle to win the American League Central down the stretch. Maybe it’ll come down to a one-game playoff again.

6. (5) Philadelphia Phillies (75-58): If I had to predict the World Series participants right now, I’d still go with talent above all else. That means Tampa representing the AL and the stacked Phillies representing the NL. Tough to beat Halladay/Oswalt/Hamels as a top three.

7. (9) Texas Rangers (75-58): I’m a bit worried about Texas’ playoff prospects – not making it but what they do once they get there. The AL West lead is beyond safe but Cliff Lee is suddenly struggling. If he can’t be a horse, the Rangers could get swept in the ALDS.

8. (8) Boston Red Sox (75-58): The BoSox won’t go away but they’re still not gaining any ground whatsoever. Neither the Rays nor Yankees seem likely to falter any time soon. Boston’s only chance is to win big in the head-to-head divisional matchups this month.

9. (12) San Francisco Giants (74-60): If they sneak into the Wild Card spot, they’re a team no one wants to play. But for Pete’s sake, Giants – go get a slugger this offseason.

10. (13) Chicago White Sox (73-60): Ozzie’s boys are far from out of it. Paul Konerko keeps jacking dingers and he has some extra lineup protection from that guy named Manny that just arrived. BetOnline.com

11. (10) Toronto Blue Jays (69-64): That perennial backup Jose Bautista is closing in on 50 homers epitomizes what an unlikely success story the Jays have been this year.

12. (14) Colorado Rockies (69-63): Still within striking distance of the Wild Card and the NL West title. Don’t be surprised if Troy Tulowitzki takes this team on his back and leads a late-season charge.

13. (6) San Diego Padres (76-56): The year’s most inspiring story is quickly becoming a nightmare. Seven straight losses for the Padres; suddenly, all that doubt is creeping back into our minds. Raise your hand if you think they’ll hang on for the division title. That’s what I thought.

14. (11) St. Louis Cardinals (69-62): Hard to explain what’s going wrong with the Cards. I suppose they’re too top –heavy with their talent and not deep enough?

15. (24) Houston Astros (62-71): They’ve won eight of 10. Pretty amazing that they’re not even 10 games under .500 anymore after their disastrous start to the season.

16. (15) Florida Marlins (67-65): Behind schedule. They’re supposed to win the World Series every six years, then dismantle their roster. It’s seven and counting.

17. (18) Los Angeles Dodgers (68-66): It’ll be interesting to see if Joe Torre stays on after this lost season.

18. (26) Chicago Cubs (57-77): They’ve won six meaningless games in their last 10. Maybe the pressure is off with Lou Piniella retiring?

19. (17) New York Mets (65-68): Do you think they’d clean house and dump all their ridiculous contracts if they had the magic power to hit the reset button?

20. (16) Oakland Athletics (65-67): i know he’s a god in Oakland and he’s getting a movie made about him. But I can’t help but wonder if the A’s should cast off Billy Beane and try someone knew.

21. (22) Detroit Tigers (65-68)
22. (20) Los Angeles Angels (65-69)
23. (27) Arizona Diamondbacks (55-79)
24. (25) Baltimore Orioles (49-84)
25. (21) Milwaukee Brewers (62-71)
26. (28) Washington Nationals (57-77)
27. (19) Seattle Mariners (52-81)
28. (23) Kansas City Royals (56-77)
29. (30) Pittsburgh Pirates (44-89)
30. (29) Cleveland Indians (53-80)

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