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MLB Top 10 Teams Entering Week 16

Glenn Kaplan
ANALYST
Feature
101   //    12 Jul 2018, 03:29 IST

Oakland Athletics v Houston Astros
Oakland Athletics v Houston Astros

I didn't do a top 10 rankings last week. The MLB All-Star Game will take place this upcoming Tuesday at Nationals Park in Washington D.C.and the home run derby will take place on Monday Night. It is one of the highlights of the baseball regular season. After that, the second half of the regular season will resume on Friday, July 18.

Teams that are in contention will be looking to improve their roster by making trades before the trade deadline. Who's ranked in this week's top 10?

10. Oakland Athletics: If the Oakland Athletics were in the American League Central and now the American League West, they would be in first place with a 51-41 record. Instead, Oakland is six games back of the Seattle Mariners for the second wild-card spot in the American League. The A's have been the surprise in the American League in 2018. Jed Lowrie was an all-star snub, until he was called upon to be a replacement for New York Yankees Gleyber Torres because he is currently injured. Khris Davis was a snub too. Those players are one of the reasons why the A's are a good ball club this season. Lowrie's batting average is .287 with 16 home runs and 62 RBI's, and his on-base percentage is .356. Davis's batting average is .248 with 21 home runs and 60 RBI's, and his on-base percentage is .326. Oakland took two-out-of-three against the Cleveland Indians on the road this past weekend. The A's have split the series so far on the road against the Houston Astros. They still have two more games against each other and then the A's play the San Francisco Giants on the road before the All-Star break. Week 14 ranking: not ranked.

9. Arizona Diamondbacks: The Diamondbacks are still taking of business despite the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, and the Colorado Rockies trying to climb the NL West Standings. All four of those teams are only separated by 4.5 games. The Diamondbacks continue to pitch well and get timely hits. Patrick Corbin and Paul Goldschmidt are representing Arizona in the All-Star Game. The Diamondbacks record so far this season is 51-41. Week 14 ranking: 8.

8. Atlanta Braves: The Braves are starting to hit a wall a little bit and it isn't surprising it is happening. They are just 4-6 in their last 10 games and they don't have the same energy right now. Atlanta got creamed to the elite teams in baseball like the New York Yankees and the Milwaukee Brewers. The Braves have another test on the road this weekend before the All-Star Break against the Arizona Diamondbacks on the road. Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies, Nick Markakis, and Mike Foltynewicz will represent the Braves in the All-Star Game. Atlanta's record in the National League is 50-40 and they are one game back of the Philadelphia Phillies for first in the NL East. The Braves currently hold the second wild-card spot in the National League. Week 14 ranking: 5.

7. Chicago Cubs: The Cubs continue to stay afloat in the standings. Javier Baez has been a tank for the Cubs all season long and he will be starting at second base in the All-Star Game for the National League. His batting average is .291 with 17 home runs and 65 RBI's, along with 17 stolen bases. His on-base percentage is .326. The Chicago Cubs record is 52-37 and they are 1.5 games back of the Milwaukee Brewers for first in the NL Central, but the Cubs hold the first wild-card spot in the National League. Week 14 ranking: 10.

6. Philadelphia Phillies: The Phillies are playing unselfish baseball right now and it is one of the reasons why they are momentarily in first place in the NL East with a 51-39 record. Philadelphia is 8-2 in their last 10 games. Aaron Nola is their lone All-Star. He pitched seven strong innings and only gave up one hit and struck out 10, in a 3-1 win in the second game of a doubleheader on Monday Night on the road against the New York Mets. Nola's record is 12-2 with a 2.27 ERA. In 123 innings pitched, he has given up 87 hits and 31 runs. Nola has walked 34 batters and has struck out 126. Manager Gabe Kepler has the Phillies ready to go night in and night out. Week 14 ranking: not ranked.

5. Milwaukee Brewers: The Brewers are the best team in the National League, but they are only ranked fifth for a reason. It is because the American League is deeper and has four better teams than the Brewers. The Seattle Mariners (57-35), who is currently the second wild card team in the American League, has two more wins than the Milwaukee Brewers (55-37). Milwaukee is up 1.5 games on Chicago for the NL Central. The Brewers offseason acquisitions continue to pay off. Christian Yelich, Lorenzo Cain, and Josh Hader will represent the Brewers in the All-Star Game. Ryan Braun just landed on the disabled list because of a back strain. He has a .235 batting average with 10 home runs and 35 RBI's, along with seven stolen bases. His on-base percentage is .283. Milwaukee won two-out-of-three at home this past weekend against the Atlanta Braves. The Brewers will have a five-game set starting tomorrow on the road against the Pittsburgh Pirates before the All-Star Break and this includes a doubleheader on Saturday Afternoon. Week 14 ranking: 4.

4. Seattle Mariners: The Mariners are sitting in very good position right now, but they need to keep the foot on the gas pedal because the Oakland Athletics are six games back of them for the second wild-card spot in the American League and they are playing very good baseball right now. Seattle has a 57-35 record so far in 2018. They are four games back of the Houston Astros for the AL West. Mitch Haniger and Edwin Diaz was Seattle's All-Star selections, but Jean Segura could still go if he wins the final vote. If he doesn't go, Segura got snubbed and he should have been named to the initial roster in the first place. His batting average is .329 with seven home runs and 47 RBI's, along with 14 stolen bases. His on-base percentage is .356. Week 14 ranking: 6.

3. New York Yankees: The Yankees have slipped up on the road against the Baltimore Orioles and they have lost two of the first three games. They split a doubleheader on Monday Night. The fourth game of the series will be on Wednesday Night. New York then will face a crucial four-game set on the road before the All-Star Break against the Cleveland Indians. Luis Severino will face Corey Kluber in the first game. Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, Luis Severino, and Aroldis Chapman will represent New York in the All-Star Game. Torres is currently on the disabled list with a hip strain. His batting average is .294 with 15 home runs and 42 RBI's, along with two stolen bases. His on-base percentage is .350. Giancarlo Stanton can still join the American League All-Star Roster if he wins the final vote. The Yankees have a 59-31 record and they sit 3.5 games back of the Boston Red Sox for first in the American League East Standings. New York owns the first wild-card spot in the American League at the moment. Week 14 ranking: 2.

2. Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox are starting to distance themselves a little bit from the Yankees. Boston has a 64-29 record, which is the best in the MLB, but there is something that tells me that aren't the best team in baseball. They have a great offense and great bullpen, but the starting pitching doesn't seem to impress me other than Chris Sale and Rick Porcello. Chris Sale, Mookie Betts, Craig Kimbrel, and Mitch Moreland will represent the Red Sox in the All-Star Game, but Andrew Benintendi can still get into the All-Star Game if he wins the final vote. His batting average is .298 with 14 home runs and 57 RBI's, along with 17 stolen bases. Benintendi's on-base percentage is .383. The Boston Red Sox are 9-1 in their last 10 games and they haven't played very good teams, but give them credit for beating the teams they are supposed to be beating. Week 14 ranking: 3.

1.Houston Astros: The Astros have the best overall team in baseball and that's why they are ranked number one. They do so many things right. Houston plays small ball, they can hit the long ball, and they pitch well. Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Alex Bregman, George Springer, and Jose Altuve will represent the Houston Astros in the All-Star Game. Houston demoted Ken Giles to Triple-A and Hector Rendon has taken over as the closer. His record is 1-2 with a 1.62 ERA. In 33.1 innings pitched, Rendon has given up 29 hits and seven runs. He has walked 10 batters and struck out 44. Houston's record so far this season is 62-32 and they lead the AL West by four games over the Seattle Mariners. Week 14 ranking: 1.

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Glenn Kaplan
ANALYST
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