Once again, the members of Kinsella have spoken (15 of us this time) and the Montreal Expos are the new #1 team in the rankings. The biggest chart riser of the week were the Charlotte Knights who rose from off the list all the way to #4. This week's "Tom Petty Free Fallin" Award goes to the Chicago White Sox who went from #5 to drop off the chart.
Current Rank (Previous Rank)
1. (T2) Montreal Expos: Season 47-25, Points: 60, 14/14 ballots
The Expos have become Kevin Marte's team this season and his stellar performance has lifted them to the top spot in these rankings. At this point, Marte's massive ego might be causing a bit of turmoil in the clubhouse, but it has yet to effect their on the field results.
2. (7) Portland Beavers: Season 47-25, Points: 46, Ballots 11/14
The Beavers were on fire and were baseball's best over the past week and rose 5 spots to take the #2 ranking as well as the division lead in the tough AL West. The Pacific Northwest has become the hotbed of AL baseball and this race looks to stay hot well into fall.
3. (1) Seattle Mariners: Season 45-27, Points: 38, 11/15 ballots
The Mariners drop two spots with an average performance over the last week. While their pitching continues to be stellar, their biggest question mark lies in whether or not the offense can consistently deliver enough run support.
4. (N/A) Charlotte Knights: Season 44-28, Points 28, Ballots 11/14
The second hottest team in baseball were these Knights who make their season debut in the rankings. Their combination of great offense and an unconventional, yet effective pitching staff will take this team far.
T5. (4) Philadelphia Phillies: Season 40-32, Points: 14, Ballots 6/14
This team is still continuing to perform at a very high level, with one exception. If the bullpen can stop pulling Jerrod Baxters all the time as they lead the league in blown saves, then the Phils will once again be a top 3 team. Perhaps they can find inspiration in their new mascot, Rocky Balboa.
T5. (T9) Atlanta Braves: Season 42-30, Points: 14, Ballots 7/14
Dee Dee and the boys are pounding the ball with a fury as this fearsome slugging trio is putting up some massive numbers. With Vazquez now performing like the ace he has always supposed to have become, the Braves look like a permanent fixture on this list.
7. (N/A) Cincinnati Reds: Season 42-30, Points 7, Ballots 4/15
The Reds have turned on the jets earlier this season and the Expos should beware. With young Cliff Rivers and others punishing NL pitchers, the Reds are a team on the rise. Expect the Expos-Reds to be the NL version of Beavers-Mariners, with two top level teams in the same division.
8. (T2) Arizona Diamondbacks: Season 41-31, Points: 6, Ballots 4/15
The D'backs slipped a bit this week as interleague play against the tough AL West was a bit rough on them. With their inconsistent play, their reign over the NL West is looking very fragile.
9. (N/A) Kansas City Royals: Season 41-31, Points 5, Ballots 2/14
After missing the list last week, the Royals are back in the limelight behind strong pitching and hitting from their usual stars. Will this team fade down the stretch as they did last season or will they remain strong?
10. (T9) Los Angeles Dodgers: Season 42-30, Points 4, Ballots 3/15
With the former Marlin GM at the helm, this team is looking more and more like Florida Marlins Championship Part II. All the signings and wheeling and dealing has now put this team in driver seat in the NL West.
Others Receiving Votes:
(N/A) Toronto Blue Jays: Season 29-43, Points 3, Ballots 1/15
(6) New York Yankees: Season 37-35, Points: 2, Ballots 2/14