After a setback versus the Kansas City Royals, the Chicago White Sox have defeated the other hottest team, the Texas Rangers, two out of three, and they have taken the first two games against the Angels.
Their resurgence took a setback with Jake Peavy’s injury, however. The Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins are winning and coming out of slumps. If Peavy has to go on the disabled list, the White Sox could be in trouble.
Notable All-stars: Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau are starters, and they are the reason the Twins are always so good every year. Matt Thornton of the White Sox deserves the nod. He has 2.78 ERA and 49 strikeouts and has been key at the back end of the bullpen. Miguel Cabrera is the lead power guy for the Tigers.
The injury to Dustin Pedroia can be used as an excuse for the subpar week, but the Boston Red Sox cannot fall too far. The Tampa Bay Rays are breaking out of their slump with six wins in the last seven games, including three vs. the Red Sox.
The Yankees and Rays are the first two teams to 50 wins on the season, and they have the pitching and offense to go for 100. The Red Sox cannot afford to lose against the Rays, or it will be lights out.
Notable All-stars: Robinson Cano deserves the nod, and Derek Jeter is an annual selection by the fans. Evan Longoria is a beast for the Rays, and Boston only has David Ortiz and Adrian Beltre as players due to the injuries of Pedroia and Victor Martinez. C.C Sabathia could be the starter.
The Rangers, who lost a series to the White Sox, are getting a little help from their new friends. The Los Angels Angels have dropped two straight to the White Sox, and the Rangers are one win away from becoming the third team to 50 wins.
Although neither team had a stellar week, the Rangers are 4½ games in first with the All-star break looming. I didn’t see that coming, but the Rangers have had good pitching with a dangerous lineup. They really only needed that, and a premier starting pitcher at the trade deadline could make them a World Series contender.
Notable All-stars: Vladimir Guerrero and Josh Hamilton are the Rangers bombers, but they also get a pitcher, Neftali Feliz, who has taken the closer role and aced it. The disappointing Mariners’ debacle can at least be in the back of fans minds watching Ichiro Suzuki and soon-to-be ex-Mariner Cliff Lee represent them. The Angels only get Torri Hunter and has to watch Guerrero in a first place uniform.
TOP FIVE AL TEAMS June 7:
1.) New York Yankees - The first to 50 wins will always sow up the top spot in my rankings.
2.) Tampa Bay Rays – They won three of four from the Twins and three of four from the Red Sox in the last seven eight games.
3.) Texas Rangers – They are slumping, but they still will be the third AL team to 50 wins.
4.) Boston Red Sox– They were jumped, because they lost to the Rays. However, they still are in both the division and wildcard races.
5.) Detroit Tigers – They are in first for now, so they get the nod. The Twins and White Sox may be in line to take it next week, however.