Luke's Power Rankings

Only a couple weeks remain in the regular season, and the playoff races are as hot as ever. Who'll come out on top? That's anybody's guess. InsidethePark's Luke Lapinski makes his rounds, listing the teams from best to worst in another edition of Luke's Power Rankings.

1. St. Louis (1) – With all due respect to Andruw in Atlanta, it just isn't right if Pujols isn't this year's NL MVP. He's hitting .336 (over 60 points higher than Jones), has scored 28 more times and struck out 42 less times. Plus, he still has 39 homeruns and 109 RBI. Yet, he does this every year and still has no MVPs to show for it.

2. Chicago White Sox (2) – It'll be interesting to see how the playoffs play out as the ChiSox haven't had to play a meaningful game since about March.

3. Boston (3) – Tony Graffanino hits a home run and Gabe Kapler's Achilles ends up ruptured. It's better when big David Ortiz hits a homerun, because only the ball ends up ruptured.

4. Cleveland (7) – Not only have they shot to the top of the AL Wild Card Race, they've even woken up the White Sox and made the division race seem respectable.

5. NY Yankees (5) – Yeah, it's about time that they realized beating the D'Rays is important (11 losses to Tampa this year).

6. Atlanta (6) – Andruw has had a huge year, quietly popping out 50 HR with 13 games still to go.

7. Anaheim (8) – They lead the majors in steals with 146. But, if they're not careful, they might have their playoff spot stolen from them.

8. Oakland (4) – Jason Kendall has now gone 542 at-bats this season without a home run. Oh, how I long for the powerful 2004 season when he ripped a whopping three in 574 at-bats.

9. Houston (10) – Wow. How intense is Roger Clemens? As if he even needed it, this year has even further cemented his legendary status in baseball history.

10. Philadelphia (9) – See: Florida. Then insert laughter at the Marlins.

11. Florida (12) – Now let's be honest here, it's coming down to the wire and the pressure's building. But, is it too much to ask the bullpen to not give up 10 runs in the ninth against the Phillies as they did on Saturday?

12. Washington (14) – How are they in the race despite scoring less runs than anyone else in baseball (582)? They've won a major league best 30 one-run games. That's how.

13. Minnesota (12) – Preparing to miss the playoffs for the first time in four years.

14. Milwaukee (17) – You have to give it to the Brewers. They're within a game of .500 and hey, if they were out west, they'd be in first! Imagine your world with the Brewers in first in September! I picture purple grass, upside down trees, and singing fish.

15. San Diego (15) – Doing their best to come from ahead to lose this division.

16. Texas (18) – Remember when Kenny Rogers was mowing down hitters like cameramen? It's been awhile. The lefty's gone just 5-5 since the All-Star Break with an unimpressive 4.88 ERA.

17. Toronto (16) – They're done. It's Canada. Hockey season starts in a couple weeks. Now, everyone turn on the Outdoor Life Network and let's watch some games.

18. Chicago Cubs (21) – Remember all the preseason talk about how the Cubs were big time contenders? That worked out pretty well, huh?

19. NY Mets (13) – Hey wait a minute. Why aren't the Mets still in the playoff hunt? Oh, maybe because they've lost 17 of their last 21 games! What a clutch performance…

20. Baltimore (22) – Can't remember anyone dropping out of the spotlight this fast since the last American Idol winner.

21. Cincinnati (20) – 2005 has seen the resurgence of Junior, whose 35 HR this year have shot him past Mickey Mantle on the all-time career list. Now, imagine if he hadn't missed all those games to injury.

22. Detroit (19) – Believe it or not, Placido Polanco would be in line for the AL batting title had he not started the year in Philly. A Tiger winning the batting title. Let that sink in.

23. San Francisco (25) – Bonds is now just 51 homeruns away from Hank Aaron's all-time mark. Ironically, it feels like that's about how many games the Giants have won this year.

24. Los Angeles (23) – Jeff Kent becomes the only second baseman in major league history to post 100 RBI in eight seasons. And the Dodgers sure are putting all those runs to good use, aren't they?

25. Arizona (24) – It's really hard to fall farther and farther from first place in the NL West, but somehow they've managed to do it. Congratulations guys.

26. Seattle (26) – Looking for a positive this year? Well, if there's nothing else (and – other than Felix - there isn't), at least they've managed to spoil the playoff chances of division rivals Oakland and Anaheim over the last two weeks.

27. Tampa Bay (27) – They've gone a respectable 33-26 since the All-Star Break. Hey, maybe they could make a run at the playoffs if the first half of the season was thrown out.

28. Colorado (29) – Hey, maybe they could make a run at the playoffs if the season were about 300 games longer.

29. Pittsburgh (28) – They'd make a run at the playoffs if everyone else just quit playing baseball altogether.

30. Kansas City (30) – You know what they call a Quarter Pounder with cheese in Paris? A Royale. You know what they call a player on the worst team in America? A Royal.

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