Luke's MLB Power Rankings: 6/18

Where do the streaking (downward) A's and Reds rank in this week's power rankings? Do you care? You should, even if just for the shots that Luke throws at the weak teams in the league.

1. St. Louis (1) – Extremely well rounded squad leads the NL in runs scored (331) while sporting the league's best ERA (3.57).

2. Chicago White Sox (2) – Speedy Scott Podsednik on pace to steal a ridiculous 96 bases in '05 (32 so far).

3. Minnesota (5) – Having a very good year. Now, they just need to transfer to the NL West and away from the White Sox.

4. Baltimore (4) – Still leading the division despite going just 18-17 since May 8.

5. Washington (17) – Nick Johnson's torrid run (.404, 13 runs, 11 RBI's, 7 doubles since May 29) has paced baseball's hottest team of late (14-2 in that stretch).

6. Anaheim (8) – First they draft Bozo the Clown's grandson in the first round (Trevor Bell, 37th overall) then Mike Scossia threatens to undress all of the Nationals players. What kind of circus are they running here?

7. Philadelphia (19) – They've rattled off series wins in 7 of their last 8 with stints against the M's, A's, and Mets up next. If it were physically possible for Philadelphia fans to be happy, they would be now.

8. San Diego (3) – Could use one more starting pitcher. Sounds like it won't be Zito. Maybe Maddux. Now, if those pesky Cubs would just start losing…

9. Boston (11) – Johnny Damon's hair is still longer than any winning streak they've put together this year (5 games).

10. Chicago Cubs (15) – Derrek Lee's a legitimate Triple Crown contender (.386, 18 HR, 56 RBI). But he's a Cub so he'll lose out by .0001 in average. Or one homerun. That Bartman interferes with.

11. Texas (9) – Power Rangers: they lead the Majors in homeruns (100) and are the only team with six players to have hit 10 or more long balls apiece (Soriano, Teixeira, Blalock, Hidalgo, Mench, Delucci). A seventh (Michael Young with 8) isn't far behind.

12. Arizona (10) – After apparently leaving the country for the month of May, Shawn Green is back, with 18 RBI's already in June and 5 homeruns in his last five games.

13. Los Angeles (13) – With Gagne on the shelf again, can Yhency Brazoban step up and fill the closer's role once more?

14. Florida (6) – Just heard the worst word combo they can imagine: "Beckett" and "blister". Well, that or: "Leiter" (2-6, 6.25 ERA) and "pitching". Which they also heard.

15. Atlanta (7) – Seemed like the injuries were starting to level out. Until Darin Erstad was kind enough to steamroll hot-hitting catcher Johnny Estrada, that is.

16. Cleveland (18) – Slowly inching back up the standings by beating on teams like Colorado, San Francisco, and Oakland. That's not very nice - making themselves feel better by pushing the pathetic teams down even farther.

17. NY Mets (16) – No matter what happens from here on out, they were still ahead of the Yankees 2 ½ months into the season.

18. NY Yankees (12) – Wow… what are they still doing way down here? Oh yeah, losing 11 of their last 15 and getting swept by teams like Kansas City. That's what.

19. Toronto (14) – Say what you will, they still command more respect than they probably should with Ted Lilly (3-7, 7.26 ERA) as their #2 starter.

20. Pittsburgh (23) – Quietly just 4 1/2 games back of the NL Wild Card.

21. Detroit (20) – Quietly just… um… done.

22. Milwaukee (21) – Tomo Ohka, dealt by Washington, tosses a complete game shutout in his Brewers debut. Now who's laughing, huh? Oh wait, the Nats are actually good. Never mind.

23. Seattle (24) – Ichiro hitting just .167 in June. Though he could be hitting .800 and it probably wouldn't matter.

24. Houston (26) – 3B Morgan Ensberg has a Major League best 11 homers in the last month. Though he could have hit about 800 and it probably wouldn't matter.

25. Oakland (28) – Well, there is good news: Billy Beane's saving a bundle on car insurance.

26. Cincinnati (25) – Call me hasty, but I'm about to write them off for this year.

27. San Francisco (22) – You know, when you factor in all the walks, Bonds had about as many official at-bats last year at this time as he does this year.

28. Kansas City (30) – They swept the Yankees. Which shot them up to No. 28.

29. Colorado (29) – Clinton Barmes was the lone bright spot this year. And deer meat has effectively ended his season. Odd.

30. Tampa Bay (27) – Can't understand why Piniella would be upset… And to go so far as to question this team's commitment to winning? That's just crazy talk.

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