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Rk Team
Overall W-L
Week W-L
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1


Orioles
41-27
5-1
Up
Back to their now-familiar perch atop the list thanks to hot weeks from Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, Jay Gibbons, and Larry Bigbie. The pitching staff yielded only 13 runs all week, but there’s concern about the speed at which Erik Bedard‘s sprained knee is healing. Fortunately, 20-year-old rookie Hayden Penn (4.23 ERA in 27.2 innings) has been an adequate fill-in, though his 0.88 K/BB ratio is nothing to write home about.

2


Cardinals
44-24
4-2
Down
Lost Jim Edmonds for the week to a pectoral strain, but by week’s end they were welcoming Scott Rolen back to the lineup after a five-week absence, and banged-up, beaten down Larry Walker was showing vital signs. The best recovery story here still belongs to Matt Morris, who’s undefeated, posting a 3.16 ERA and a 3.80 K/BB ratio in 79.2 innings.

3


White Sox
46-22
4-2
Down
What was that about small ball? Don’t believe the hype; their hitting approach has no effect on the consistency of run scoring. Besides, the Sox are third in the AL in homers with 82, with Frank Thomas contributing five in just 33 plate appearances. Hey, whatever works….

4


Rangers
37-30
4-2
Up
His 15-game hitting streak came to an end, but Alfonso Soriano still hit .400/.407/1.000 with four homers on the week, and Mark Teixeira added a quartet of four-baggers to go with his own .364/.500/1.000 performance. On the hill, Chris Young‘s two-hit blanking of the Braves has given him the lead in VORP among rookie pitchers (22.4). He’s also fourth in the AL in ERA (2.78), with teammate Kenny Rogers (1.98) still pacing the league.

5


Red Sox
38-30
5-1
Up
Rebounded from last week’s bombings to stifle the Reds and Pirates, allowing a mere 11 runs along the way. David Wells is riding a 17-inning scoreless streak and has posted a 2.73 ERA since coming off the DL on May 19, closer Keith Foulke has allowed only one run in his last 10 appearances, and Curt Schilling has begun politicking to pitch. But look out: Jay Payton is unhappy.

6


Twins
38-29
2-4
Down
Losers of three straight series to the NL West are showing cracks in their façade. With three lackluster starts in a row, Brad Radke‘s troubles are a pain in the neck, the shorthanded infield is only too happy to see Luis Rivas (.205/.250/.205) return to work, and the upstart Indians are closer to them in the standings than the Twins are to the division-leading White Sox.

7


Indians
37-30
6-0
Up
Winners of nine straight and 11 out of 12 against the NL West have begun living up to lofty preseason expectations. The struggling offense–still 12th in the AL in scoring (4.28 runs per game)–hit .299/.373/.513 on the week while averaging 6.5 runs per game. But the real thanks go to the pitching staff, which has taken over the major-league lead in ERA (3.50) and features a bullpen that leads the majors in Expected Wins Above Replacement Level (7.47).

8


Angels
39-29
3-3
Flat
“I told Frank we were going to undress his pitchers when they were on the mound to see if they had any pine tar in their glove. He obviously wasn’t happy. He was screaming. We weren’t making a lunch date.” So said Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia, about his confrontation with Frank Robinson over Brendan Donnelly‘s ejection. Though the reliever earned a 10-day vacation, the Angels’ pen, third in the AL with both a 3.11 ERA and 4.23 Expected Wins Above Replacement Level, should be able to pick up the slack.

9


Yankees
36-32
6-0
Up
A banner week in the Bronx was overshadowed by the unveiling of the truly postmodern House That George Will Build and a vision of the post-Steinbrenner future. Between the baselines, the Yanks earned the Platinum Pole Vault for climbing eight spots, nearly atoning for a wretched road trip by sweeping the Pirates and Cubs. Randy Johnson spit fire against the former, Derek Jeter polished off the latter in grand fashion, with his first bases- loaded homer in his decade in the big leagues, and Joe Torre wondered why he didn’t order Hideki Matsui (.455/.538/1.000 on the week) to sprain his ankle earlier in the season.

10


Marlins
34-32
3-3
Down
Another week of treading water as the Fish won a wild series in Wrigley, then fizzled in Anaheim. Carlos Delgado continues to carry the offense with a .361/.487/.623 performance this month, but as usual, it’s all about the starting pitching. Dontrelle Willis is now second in the majors in VORP among pitchers (40.6), Al Leiter lasted six innings for just the third time in his 13 starts in beating the Angels (though he still walked more hitters than he struck out, a recurrent theme), and Josh Beckett took his all-too familiar spot on the DL due to a blister.

11


Cubs
34-33
1-5
Down
Now riding a 72-year streak of futility in Yankee Stadium, where they have yet to win a ballgame through two World Series and one interleague set. With Neifi Perez (0-for-14 in the series and sporting a .305 OBP overall) and Corey Patterson (.289 OBP) hitting 1-2, the Yanks can thank Dusty Baker’s lack of tactical acumen. Nonetheless, Derrek Lee continues to punish pitchers: .389/.466/.698, a majors-leading .376 EqA and 58.6 VORP.

12


Padres
38-31
2-4
Up
A pair of wins against the Twins (including one over Johan Santana) gave the Padres their first back-to-back victories since the end of May. They’re a meek 5-12 in June after a 22-6 month, though they still lead the NL West by 3.5 games. Meanwhile, Adam Eaton has the team thinking digitally, with fingers crossed that his birdie won’t cost him a trip to the DL.

13


Phillies
38-32
2-4
Down
Armed with a brand-new $40 million contract, Jimmy Rollins had a stellar (if somewhat uneven) week, hitting .423/.407/.654. Alas, the rest of the team couldn’t be bothered to show up, as they “hit” only .211/.279/.256 without a single homer. Worse, Randy Wolf looks to be bound for Tommy John surgery; his replacement in the rotation, Robinson Tejeda, has yet to allow a run in two starts. But his 2.18 ERA isn’t going to hold up very long under the strain of a 0.82 K/BB ratio or the inevitable hangover cause by that .167 batting average on balls in play.

14


Tigers
33-33
5-1
Up
Bared their fangs against Padres and Giants, scoring 37 runs in six games. Placido Polanco is hitting .378/.415/.514 since being traded from Philadelphia. He capped the week with a walk-off homer that slayed the Giants and lifted the team to .500, where they haven’t been this late in the season since 1995.

15


Braves
36-33
4-3
Up
Slugged .555 as a team and bashed 15 homers on the week, with 47-year-old Julio Franco hitting three, two men who add up to his age–23-year old Kelly Johnson and 24-year-old Wilson Betemit–combining for five, and Andruw Jones adding four. Alas, their thin pitching staff–with Tim Hudson (strained oblique) joining Mike Hampton and John Thomson on the DL–gave up 12 homers and a .534 SLG, somewhat negating that impressive show of force.

16


Nationals
40-29
3-3
Down
Their winning streak is over, but the Nats are still atop the NL East. Frank Robinson’s feisty team continues to scrap, with the skipper nearly coming to blows with his not-so-Angelic counterpart Mike Scioscia over Brendan Donnelly’s ejection for pine tar on his glove, and even-less-Angelic castoff Jose Guillen exacting personal revenge with a two-run homer. Keeping with the AL West refugee theme, Rangers Opening Day starter Ryan Drese, fresh off the waiver wire, twirled eight innings of two-hit shutout ball the day after that scrum.

17


Mets
33-36
1-5
Down
Bounced their check to the NL East’s .500 club, and won a Golden Anvil for their trouble, but hey, it matched their win total on the week. The keystone combo of Jose Reyes and Kazuo Matsui continues its vortex-like performance (a combined .250/.282/.358), with Reyes strangling the offense from the leadoff spot. Carlos Beltran (.268/.323/.427) isn’t helping much either, but at least he finally homered in a game not started by Pedro Martinez.

18


Blue Jays
34-35
3-3
Up
Surprised the Cardinals by taking two of three, but went flat against the Brewers, though losing Vernon Wells for the weekend (wife’s childbirth) didn’t help. The Jays would have done better to send Eric Hinske away instead; he’s hitting only .083/.228/.146 in June.

19


Brewers
31-37
3-3
Up
Future Now Week(s): a moderately successful week-long DH experiment for rookie Prince Fielder (5-for-17 with three doubles), while Rickie Weeks has hit an uneven .286/.429/.321. Less heralded but more successful in his Brewers debut was Tomokazu Ohka, who shut out the Devil Rays (cough, cough). Meanwhile, though much has been made of Carlos Lee‘s league-leading 60 RBI, few have noticed table-setter Brady Clark‘s .391 OBP and 122-run pace.

20


Mariners
31-36
5-1
Up
Posted a staff ERA of 1.55 in limiting Phillies and Mets to a grand total of 11 runs while taking both series, even notching a win against Pedro Martinez for the first time in 14 starts in the process. Rookie shortstop Michael Morse is hitting .400/.466/.520 during his first month in the bigs, while Bret Boone‘s .227/.294/.366 struggle has prompted manager Mike Hargrove to tell him, “Go grab some bench.”

21


Dodgers
33-35
0-6
Down
Bleak Week: managed only 15 runs as they were Royally flushed in Kansas City and whitewashed by the White Sox. They’re now 7-12 and scoring only 3.79 runs per game since Milton Bradley went down with a finger injury. It gets worse, as elbow woes have sent Eric Gagne to the DL, with a second Tommy John surgery looming as a possibility. A brain transplant (or at least a copy of Saving the Pitcher) wouldn’t hurt either, since Gagne’s woes were apparently caused by mechanical alterations in the wake of an early-spring knee injury and overthrowing to compensate for lost zip. Ugh.

22


Pirates
31-36
1-5
Down
Showed up just in time to make the Yankees and Red Sox look like the beasts of the East as they hit .203/.271/.287 on the week and were outscored 36-13. The offense, 14th in the NL at 4.16 runs per game, continues to languish, but Jason Bay’s hot hitting has carried him to fifth in the NL in VORP (31.2).

23


Diamondbacks
35-35
2-4
Flat
Took a pair from the White Sox, outscoring them 18-5 before the wheels fell off; they gave up 25 runs over their next two games and lost four in a row. Given Russ Ortiz‘s performance, it would normally count as good news that he’s taking his 5.88 ERA, 0.83 K/BB ratio and strained oblique muscle to the DL, but the Snakes are so lacking in depth that they’ve got Claudio Vargas (10.18 ERA in 20.1 innings split between Washington and Arizona) lined up to take his spot. Hard to believe that the vast desert beyond Phoenix doesn’t contain a better option; an adept scout need just look for the vultures circling overhead.

24


Athletics
29-39
4-2
Up
Continuing their slow crawl up the ladder, though even the Mariners continue to elude them. Joe Blanton appears to have turned a corner, posting a 2.60 ERA in 27.2 innings over four starts this month, and Rich Harden may return this week, but they’ll have to go without Huston Street (strained hamstring) for the time being. With the offense still last in the AL in scoring (4.18 runs per game) and Equivalent Average (.249), they need all the help they can get.

25


Astros
28-39
2-4
Down
Back to business as usual, in this case the business of not scoring runs; they’re dead stinking last in the majors in runs per game (3.67, 0.40 worse than the next team) and Equivalent Average (.240, .009 worse than the next team). There’s no truth to the rumor that Bob Watson, Jimmy Wynn and Cesar Cedeno are returning to the outfield given these Astrodome-esque scoring conditions, though even at their advanced ages, they could outproduce the paltry .254/.301/.384 line of the current unit.

26


Giants
28-39
3-4
Up
Roughed up former Giant Joe Nathan en route to a seven-run ninth inning in the rubber match of their series with the Twins. So that’s something. Rookies Lance Niekro (.309/.331/.577) and Jason Ellison (.311/.373/.475) continue to hit and are on pace to join a very short list of homegrown hitters who became regulars during the Brian Sabean regime.

27


Royals
25-43
4-2
Up
Now 12-6 under Buddy Bell, including a 7-2 showing against NL West teams. Starters besides Zack Greinke have posted a 2.73 ERA since the regime change, with D.J. Carrasco (1.61 ERA in 28 innings) and Runelvys Hernandez (1.80 ERA in 25 innings) leading the way and giving us all good reason to savor his name. Runelvys, Runelvys, Runelvys…

28


Reds
27-42
1-6
Down
More Dead Than Red: only an 11-8 victory against the Braves on Sunday saved Cincy from an 0-fer on the week, one that saw them outscored 44-12 by Boston and Atlanta over the first six games. The defense is historically bad, Paul Wilson is lost for the year with a torn rotator cuff and a torn labrum (he couldn’t settle for just one?), and even the elderly are going yard against Eric Milton.

29


Devil Rays
23-46
2-4
Up
abject (ab’jekt) adj. 1. extremely bad, unpleasant, or degrading: Despite taking a series from the Brewers, the abject Devil Rays have lost 16 out of 20 games 2. Travis Lee‘s .237/.339/.324 performance as Tampa Bay’s regular first baseman.

30


Rockies
22-45
1-5
Down
Dude, Lay Off the Venison: whether it’s back trouble, dietary quirks or alien abduction, Todd Helton‘s production has fallen through the floor. At .256/.385/.393 and a Marginal Lineup Value rate (MLVr) of 0.024, he’s underperforming even his 10th percentile PECOTA projection of .288/.389/.510 and .190 MLVr.

The Prospectus Hit List rankings are derived from Won-Loss records and several measurements pertaining to run differentials, both actual and adjusted, from Baseball Prospectus Adjusted Standings through the close of play on every Sunday.

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