The Chicago White Sox have suddenly surged to a .500 record with sweeps to the teams they should beat, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Washington Nationals. They have slowly crept only 5 and a half games back of the Minnesota Twins.
How did the White Sox do this with an offense struggling to find consistency? They had their few games of power, and when they didn’t hit they only allowed a run and beat Steven Strasburg (who may be the best rookie pitcher I ever saw) in two games.
The Detroit Tigers also had a big week, but they need to string two or three together before I believe they’ve turned it around. The Twins are still the top team in the division until they are dethroned.
The best division in baseball keeps getting better. The New York Yankees are back on top, but the Boston Red Sox have surged to only one game back.
The struggling Rays are also one game back, but they need to turn their fortunes round soon. The Yankees and Red Sox are built to handle pressure. The Rays have only had to deal with it once.
The Red Sox offense scored 37 runs last week, and their starting pitching is beginning to come around, led by Clay Buchholz. They will be a force in the second half of the season.
Watch out for the Toronto Blue Jays as well. I don’t think they have the weapons to finish on top, they will play spoiler to one or two of the teams ahead of them.
The Texas Rangers have finally showed a little consistency on top of the West. An eight game winning streak will do that. The thing making Texas dangerous is the pitching.
They are still great on offense – third in average (.277) and fourth in runs scored (355) – but they can now pitch – fifth in ERA (3.97). In fact, the Rangers are one of only five teams in the American League with an ERA under four.
The Los Angeles Angels have slowed down a bit, but they are still dangerous. They will win, and the Rangers only gained two games during a long winning streak.
TOP FIVE AL TEAMS June 7:
1.) New York Yankees - The defending champions have pitching and offense, despite Derek Jeter’s slump.
2.) Boston Red Sox – They lead the AL in runs scored, and Buchholz has been dominant.
3.) Tampa Bay Rays – They may be in third place if they don’t snap out of their team slump.
4.) Minnesota Twins – The Twins are still doing well, but they need to watch out for the Tigers and White Sox who are slowly creeping closer.
5.) Texas Rangers – They can hit, and should I dare say it? The Rangers can pitch now? Look out for this team if it continues.