Photo courtesy Tampa Bay Times

Photo courtesy Tampa Bay Times

We have a bit of an abbreviated addition to our sample size as the All-Star Break cut into these past two weeks, but don’t think that means we don’t have some heavy risers and fallers.

The Tampa Bay Rays have done their best impression of Frankenstein, a corpse that is suddenly and inexplicably brought back to life. The only problem is there’s only two months left in the season and they’ve only leapfrogged one team — the defending champion Red Sox — in their own division. All they seem to have done is keep David Price in a Rays jersey. That’s about it.

Another big riser are the O’s. Sure, their skipper is saying some just plain whacky things these days, but it seems to be working. Everyone they let go in the offseason that fans moaned about have fallen off into obscurity, and the teams current 3-game lead in the division feels a lot more like ten.

As for teams sliding down, the Rangers fell only one spot from two weeks ago, but it’s a mind-boggling one spot. The Texas Rangers, that team whose back-to-back World Series appearances feels like it was yesterday, is now, according to these rankings, the worst team in baseball. This is how far we’ve come in so little time.

They are all the way down at the very bottom of these rankings. You’ll find 29 other team names first, starting with — oh, what a surprise — Oakland:


1. Oakland Athletics | 64-39 (34-17 Home, 30-22 Road) [Change From Last Ranking: ± 0]
Nothing new to report here. Just really, really good baseball. The A’s have hardly skipped a beat.

2. Los Angeles Angels | 63-41 (38-19 Home, 25-22 Road) [± 0]
It’s hard to put a team not winning their division this high. But the halos have earned it. And then some.

3. Detroit Tigers | 57-45 (26-25 Home, 31-20 Road) [± 0]
If they played the way they should at home, they’d have the best record in baseball.

4. Baltimore Orioles | 58-46 (26-23 Home, 32-23 Road) [+ 3]
How funny would it be if they picked up Jim Johnson for pennies on the dollar?

5. Washington Nationals | 57-45 (30-20 Home, 27-25 Road) [+ 4]
They’ve quietly risen to twelve games over .500. And building a division lead as the Braves falter.

6. Milwaukee Brewers | 59-47 (30-26 Home, 29-21 Road) [± 0]
They’re not playing the way they were early on, but they’re still clinging onto that division lead.

7. Los Angeles Dodgers | 59-47 (25-24 Home, 34-23 Road) [- 3]
Last night’s game was a pretty good measure of what a battle this pennant will be these next months.

8. San Francisco Giants | 57-48 (28-28 Home, 29-20 Road) [- 3]
They’ll slide down equally with the Dodgers where they remain a step behind, just like in the division.

9. St. Louis Cardinals | 56-48 (29-23 Home, 27-25 Road) [- 1]
Mike Matheny picked all his guys for the All-Star Game. And all his guys cost the N.L. the game.

10. Atlanta Braves | 57-48 (30-24 Home, 27-24 Road) [± 0]
Still in striking distance of the Nationals. And yet, they seem to be going the other way a bit.

11. Toronto Blue Jays | 56-50 (30-23 Home, 26-27 Road) [+ 2]
Can they hold on for  two months and secure a playoff berth? I just don’t know.

12. Pittsburgh Pirates | 55-49 (34-21 Home, 21-28 Road) [+ 2]
They can climb all they want in these rankings, they just aren’t making headway in the wild card race.

13. New York Yankees | 54-50 (25-26 Home, 29-24 Road) [+ 2]
Jeter’s reception at the All-Star Game was all class. But like him, this team’s better days are in the past.

14. Seattle Mariners | 54-51 (26-31 Home, 28-20 Road) [- 3]
I suspect this is the beginning of a post-All-Star Break slump that’ll knock them back into obscurity.

15. Cincinnati Reds | 52-52 (28-23 Home, 24-29 Road) [- 3]
The team’s July batting average looks a lot like Jay Bruce’s. That should explain why they’re just .500.

16. Kansas City Royals | 53-51 (25-26 Home, 28-25 Road) [± 0]
Easily the worst team that’s currently second in their division. The Tigers couldn’t be less worried.

17. Cleveland Indians | 52-53 (29-19 Home, 23-35 Road) [± 0]
Between LeBron and Manziel, exactly zero people are caring about this team, players included.

18. Miami Marlins | 51-53 (28-24 Home, 23-29 Road) [+ 2]
They’re playing just well enough to ruin a playoff bubble team’s day. Or, you know, season.

19. Tampa Bay Rays | 51-54 (24-29 Home, 27-25 Road) [+ 5]
Tampa, Tampa, Tampa. What are we going to do with you? Take you seriously again? I don’t know.

20. New York Mets | 50-55 (25-23 Home, 25-32 Road) [- 2]
It would appear it’s time to shift our focus to Big Blue with football season coming.

21. Chicago White Sox | 51-55 (27-24 Home, 24-31 Road) [- 2]
Just as it usually is this time of year, the only thing White Sox fans have to smile about are the Cubs.

22. Boston Red Sox | 48-57 (26-26 Home, 22-31 Road) [+ 1]
They’re selling. They’ve officially pulled the plug on the season.

23. San Diego Padres | 46-58 (26-26 Home, 20-32 Road) [+ 2]
They’ve played pretty well these past ten days. Sure, I’ll give them a little boost up.

24. Minnesota Twins | 47-57 (24-29 Home, 23-38 Road) [- 3]
If Brian Dozier made the All-Star Game over me, I’d talk trash about my grandson, too. #Mauer

25. Arizona Diamondbacks | 45-60 (21-33 Home, 24-27 Road) [+ 3]
How can I put ‘Zona ahead of Philly? Because the Diamondbacks best players aren’t 85 years old.

26. Philadelphia Phillies | 46-59 (22-33 Home, 24-46 Road) [- 4]
Sounds like Chase Utley may be on the move. And, hey, only two years too late, right?

27. Houston Astros | 42-63 (21-31 Home, 21-32 Road) [- 1]
I don’t care that they’ve started to lose again. They aren’t last in their division and that’s crazy.

28. Colorado Rockies | 43-61 (27-28 Home, 16-33 Road) [- 1]
T-U-L-O-W-I-T-Z-K-I. How hard was that, Colorado tee shirt makers?

29. Chicago Cubs | 42-61 (22-26 Home, 20-35 Road) [+ 1]
Now we’re starting to hear groans about Theo Epstein? Really?

30. Texas Rangers | 41-63 (19-31 Home, 22-42 Road) [- 1]
The only team in the majors with a win percentage below .400. This is what it’s come to, Texas.