Power Rankings, double barreled edition [MLB Power Rankings]
So in addition to getting my inane thoughts on each team, you'll also get some solid insight from a far better baseball mind.
We'll try to make this a regular thing, so hopefully you enjoy it.
Without further ado, here are your MLB Power Rankings for week 15:
1. St. Louis Cardinals (57-36) [Last week: 1]
Pat: The Cardinals continue their incredible season, and there should be no doubt that they're currently the best team in baseball.
Eric: The Cardinals depth is the envy of the league. Matt Holliday may hit the DL, but no worries, they can finally get Matt Adams (.921 OPS this year) some regular playing time.
2. Pittsburgh Pirates (56-37) [LW: 2]
Pat: There's always the fear that they could drop off like last year, but the Pirates look pretty legit at the midpoint of the season. They'll likely decline slightly from this torrid pace, but they're probably still a playoff team.
Eric: I’m skeptical the rotation is as good as it’s been the first half of the year, but this is a very complete team that isn’t going away. Plain and simple.
3. Boston Red Sox (58-39) [LW: 3]
Pat: Somehow John Lackey has developed into the ace of the Red Sox staff with Clay Buchholz on the DL. Another interesting note: In his first MLB start, Brandon Workman took a no-hitter into the 7th inning. Another quality starter never hurt anyone.
Eric: Koji Uehara has been one of the most underrated relievers in the game the last few years, but that will probably change now that he appears to have solved Boston’s 9th inning issues.
4. Oakland Athletics (56-39) [LW: 4]
Pat: The Athletics keep jockeying for position in the AL West with the Rangers, and it looks like one of these teams will end up winning the division, while the other is doomed for a one-game playoff.
Eric: Yoenis Cespedes is hitting just .224/.291/.421, yet the A’s keep on winning. If he gets it together, he’d be a better upgrade than any trade acquisition.
5. Texas Rangers (54-41) [LW: 5]
Eric: Yu Darvish has joined Neftali Feliz, Alexi Ogando, and Nick Tepesch on the disabled list. It’s up to Derek Holland right now to keep the Rangers’ rotation afloat.
Pat: The Rangers could struggle for a bit with the aforementioned injury troubles, but the key is that they have to keep within striking distance of the A's. As long as they do that, they'll be fine in the long run.
6. Atlanta Braves (54-41) [LW: 6]
Pat: Jason Heyward and Justin Upton are both battling injuries and could hit the DL. Hopefully for the Braves, they can come back healthy after the break. Upton was on a tear before he got hurt.
Eric: Despite season ending injuries to Jonny Venters and Eric O’Flathery, the Braves bullpen is still the best in baseball, with a league leading 2.55 reliever ERA.
7. Tampa Bay Rays (55-41) [LW: 9]
Pat: Matt Moore looks to be turning it around again, after a nearly month-long slump that saw his ERA rise nearly two full runs in the course of four starts.
Eric: The Rays are 5th in the AL in runs scored per game. I never would’ve guessed that given their offensive personnel.
8. Cincinnati Reds (53-42) [LW: 7]
Pat: When Todd Frazier was hitting well, this was one of the more dangerous lineups in the NL. Still, with Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips and Shin-Soo Choo, they're still not too shabby.
Eric: The last two games Dusty Baker has finally moved Zack Cosart and his .263 OBP from the second spot in the order. Watch for the Reds scoring to improve if it continues.
9. Detroit Tigers (52-42) [LW: 8]
Pat: Chris Davis (37 HR to Miguel Cabrera's 30) is making things incredibly difficult, but part of me is really rooting for Miggy to win another Triple Crown.
Eric: What happened to Alex Avila? From his breakout season two years ago, he’s now hitting a putrid .179/.280/.297.
10. Baltimore Orioles (53-43) [LW: 10]
Pat: Chris Davis, Manny Machado and Adam Jones might be the best hitting trio of teammates in all of baseball. They're a huge reason the O's are in playoff contention despite their shaky pitching staff.
Eric: Chris Tillman may be 11-3, but his 3.95 is barely above average and he’s already served up 20 homers this year. The fact that he was named an All-Star over guys like Kuroda and Shields was a joke.
11. Cleveland Indians (51-44) [LW: 13]
Pat: Danny Salazar lit up the box score and the radar gun in his debut on Thursday, and there's hope that he could make the Tribe's rotation by the end of the month. Could Ubaldo Jimenez's spot be in jeopardy?
Eric: The Indians have one of the most balanced lineups in baseball. Drew Stubbs’s 92 OPS+ is the lowest among their regular lineup.
12. New York Yankees (51-44) [LW: 14]
Eric: Yankee shortstops are hitting .209/.266/.279 this year. Even an aging, hobbled Derek Jeter can be a huge upgrade over that.
Pat: I may have taken a little too much enjoyment from the fact that the Evil Empire got their precious Jeter back, only to lose him again after only one plate appearance.
13. Arizona Diamondbacks (50-45) [LW: 11]
Pat: Patrick Corbin is a definite Cy Young contender, currently sitting on an 11-1 record and a 2.35 ERA. He has 16 quality starts out of 19 overall, and the Diamondbacks are 17-2 in his starts.
Eric: Rookie Adam Eaton is finally healthy and in the lineup. Watch to see if he can fulfill the preseason expectations setting the table at the top of the order.
14. Washington Nationals (48-47) [LW: 12]
Pat: Gio Gonzalez is starting to come into form, and their combination of Strasburg-Zimmermann-Gonzalez is one they can definitely feel confident in.
Eric: Denard Span has been terrible recently, so on Sunday, Davey Johnson moved Bryce Harper to leadoff and dropped Span to seventh. Ironically, Span got three hits and the game winning RBI in the 10th.
15. Los Angeles Dodgers (47-47) [LW: 18]
Pat: Yasiel Puig dropped below the .400 mark, but one has to wonder about what's going to happen when regression finally catches up to him. It could spell a long cold streak at some point.
Eric: Puig has gotten all the attention, but Hanley Ramirez has also been red hot, with a whopping 1.159 OPS and eight homers in just 38 games.
16. Philadelphia Phillies (48-48) [LW: 20]
Eric: Exactly .500, but still 6.5 back in the division and 5.5 back in the wild card. Even if they want to buy, they don’t have much in the farm system to trade.
Pat: If anything, the Phillies might have to be sellers at the deadline. Lots of teams are expressing interest in guys like Michael Young, Cliff Lee, and Jonathan Papelbon.
17. Colorado Rockies (46-50) [LW: 19]
Pat: At age 34, Michael Cuddyer is currently hitting .330, which is more than 50 points higher than his career average. Is Coors Field the reason for his sudden surge?
Eric: Tyler Chatwood has quietly pitched very effectively in 12 starts this year. He’s not a strikeout guy, but is getting over 56% ground balls, and thus has a 2.56 ERA.
18. Toronto Blue Jays (45-49) [LW: 16]
Eric: In a division as tough as the AL East, four games below .500 at the break makes it a very uphill battle for the Jays.
Pat: The Blue Jays are struggling overall, yes. But their recent 11-game winning streak shows that they are still capable of making a run and getting back in the thick of things.
19. Los Angeles Angels (44-49) [LW: 15]
Eric: In case you forgot how good he was, Mike Trout is hitting .322/.400/.568. The Angels' struggles are not his fault at all.
Pat: On the flip side, Josh Hamilton is still awful. When he hits the ball, he generally hits it pretty hard. But his .224 average shows that he's not hitting it all that often.
20. Kansas City Royals (43-49) [LW: 17]
Pat: There's not a ton of good things to say about the Royals' offense, but Salvador Perez seems to be something special, not only at the plate but behind it as well. He's one of the best young catchers in baseball.
Eric: Via Rany Jazyerli, Mike Moustakas is having a historically bad season with runners in scoring position, hitting 4-for-64 (.063) with RISP. Of course, he hasn’t been much better in other situations either.
21. San Francisco Giants (43-51) [LW: 21]
Eric: Tim Lincecum’s no hitter is about the only thing Giants have to celebrate lately. At 8 games below .500, they might just be done.
Pat: After the aforementioned no-hitter, suddenly some teams are starting to show interest in trading for Lincecum. Would the Giants be willing to make such a drastic move and give up on their former ace?
22. Seattle Mariners (43-52) [LW: 23]
Pat: Raul Ibanez is only 5 home runs away from Ted Williams' record for players 41-years old or older. It's safe to say he'll hit that pretty easily, and he's also likely to get to 34, which is the record for any player in their 40s.
Eric: The Mariners are actually scoring runs lately, plating at least four in every game this past week, including a 7 run, two 8 run, and an 11 run game.
23. Chicago Cubs (42-51) [LW: 22]
Pat: The Cubs lead the NL with 304 extra base hits. If you had given me 10 guesses, I really don't think I would have guessed that they'd be the league leaders in that stat.
Eric: Starlin Castro in the last two weeks is hitting .313/.365/.479. The Cubs are hoping that means he’s finally figured out after a terrible first three months of the season.
24. New York Mets (41-50) [LW: 24]
Eric: Enjoy the All-Star Game Mets fans. It’ll be the biggest event at Citi Field for at least a few more years.
Pat: Eric doesn't seem to be too high on the Mets moving forward, and I can't say I disagree. This team has a few nice players here and there in David Wright and Matt Harvey, but they're abysmal overall.
25. San Diego Padres (42-54) [LW: 25]
Pat: Everth Cabrera is quietly having quite a season, hitting .291 with a .373 OBP and also swiping 34 bases so far, leading the NL.
Eric: Most of the Padres MASH unit came back the past two weeks, but Kyle Blanks hit the DL in the past week to begin a new cycle.
26. Minnesota Twins (39-53) [LW: 26]
Pat: Glen Perkins has been an outstanding closer for the Twins, but that's really all they're getting from their otherwise lackluster pitching staff.
Eric: It still feels like baseball fans, even in Minnesota, don’t appreciate Joe Mauer. This year he’s hitting .321 with a .402 OBP, one of six players in baseball with an OBP over .400.
27. Milwaukee Brewers (38-56) [LW: 28]
Pat: It seems as though several contending teams (including the Rangers) are targeting Yovani Gallardo for starting pitching help. That said, I'm not sure how his 1.43 WHIP (in the NL, no less) is going to help ANYONE.
Eric: The Brewers have plenty of good to great hitters, but playing Yuni Betancourt at first base cancels out a lot of it.
28. Chicago White Sox (37-55) [LW: 28]
Eric: There aren’t a lot of reasons to watch the White Sox. They’re not any good, there’s no real young talent to watch except Chris Sale, and Hawk Harrelson is on the mic. Not a good combination.
Pat: As Eric said, there's really not a lot of reason for optimism about the White Sox. From the field to the announcer's booth, they're just not good.
29. Miami Marlins (35-58) [LW: 29]
Pat: As bad as the Marlins are, Jose Fernandez is one of the best 20-year old pitchers we've seen since Dwight Gooden, and Jacob Turner is also showing signs that he could be pretty damn good as well.
Eric: Ricky Nolasco has been traded. Giancarlo Stanton does not make enough money to need to be traded now. That’s all you need to know.
30. Houston Astros (33-61) [LW: 30]
Pat: The Astros' lineup is a little better than the Marlins, but it's their pitching staff that's holding them back. They're terrible.
Eric: We complain about the “every team must have an All-Star” rule, but Astros rep Jason Castro earned his berth. He leads AL catchers in slugging and is second in WAR.
If you love these rankings, you're probably a smart baseball fan. If you hate them, let me know why, in the comments below.