t unrecognizable. Napoli, Francisco Lindor, Jason Kipnis, J

in Maße 26.07.2019 10:43
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The Chicago Cubs?spent two weeks out of the top spot, but this week they?are back at No. 1. After a 4-2 week, the Cubs jumped back up ahead of the struggling San Francisco Giants, who are just 1-7 since the All-Star break. The Cubs were our No. 1 team for 14 straight weeks (including preseason) to open the season. Can they start another long run on top of the rankings?The scuffling Giants dropped to No. 3, with the Washington Nationals remaining at No. 2 for the third straight week.Beyond the top, there actually wasnt a lot of movement in this weeks poll, with no new teams moving into the top 5 or top 10.This weeks voters are Jim Bowden of ESPN Insider, Eric Karabell of ESPN Fantasy, Tim Kurkjian of ESPN, David Schoenfield of the SweetSpot Blog Network/ESPN.com and Jayson Stark of ESPN.com. Most of the team comments come courtesy of the SweetSpot Blog Network.Past rankings: Week 15 |?Week 14 |?Week 13 |?Week 12 |?Week 11 |?Week 10 | ?Week 9 |?Week 8 |?Week 7 |?Week 6 |?Week 5 |?Week 4 | Week 3 | Week 2 | Week 1 | Preseason1. Chicago CubsRecord:?59-38 Week 15 ranking: No. 3The Cubs limped to the All-Star break but have won three straight series to open the second half, and rumors of an Aroldis Chapman acquisition continue to swirl.?--?Joe Aiello (@VFTB), View from the Bleachers2. Washington NationalsRecord: 58-41 Week 15 ranking: No. 2So far it doesnt look as if rookie Lucas Giolito is ready to make an impact in the rotation down the stretch. He had three walks and no strikeouts in Sundays loss to the Padres and has struck out just five of the 53 batters hes faced in the majors. He has thrown 75 percent fastballs but hasnt shown the command to rely so heavily on that pitch.?-- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot3. San Francisco GiantsRecord:?58-40 Week 15 ranking: No. 1The Giants lost their first six games after the All-Star break and watched their NL West lead over the Dodgers shrink in the process. Johnny Cueto and rookie outfielder Mac Williamson helped end the skid in a 12-inning victory over the Yankees on Saturday. -- Jeff Wiser (@OutfieldGrass24), Inside the Zona4. Cleveland IndiansRecord:?56-41 Week 15 ranking: No. 4In a so-so week for the Indians, a bright spot has been rookie Tyler Naquin, who continues to make his case for rookie of the year consideration. He went 7-for-18 this week with three home runs and seven RBIs.?--?Susan Petrone, Its Pronounced Lajaway5. Boston Red SoxRecord: 55-41 Week 15 ranking: No. 5After sweeping the Giants in two, the Red Sox split a four-game set with the Twins. On Sunday, Boston produced a trio of home runs, and Rick Porcello got his 12th win of the season. Ten of his wins have come at home, where he owns a 3.21 ERA (4.01 ERA on the road).?-- Ryan P. Morrison (@ryanpmorrison), Inside the Zona6. Baltimore OriolesRecord:?57-40 Week 15 ranking: No. 6Despite starting rotation concerns, a couple of injury issues and a stomach virus that recently swept through the clubhouse, the Orioles keep winning and currently own the best record in the American League. The teams remaining schedule is daunting, but its impossible to argue with the results.?--?Matt Kremnitzer (@mattkremnitzer), Camden Depot7. Toronto Blue JaysRecord:?55-44 Week 15 ranking: No. 9Where would the Jays be without J.A. Happ? He won his seventh straight decision on Sunday, allowing one hit in six innings, and Toronto has won his past eight starts. Hes 13-3 with a 3.27 ERA. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot8. Texas RangersRecord:?57-42 Week 15 ranking: No. 7With trade prices being dictated by a thin market, the Rangers might see the trade deadline come and go without adding an impact starter. Instead, theyll need to rely on the back end of the rotation to hold things together until Colby Lewis and Derek Holland are ready to return from the disabled list.?--?Brandon Land (@onestrikeaway), One Strike Away9. Los Angeles DodgersRecord:?56-44 Week 15 ranking: No. 8After losing in 16 innings on Friday, the Dodgers won the next two games in St. Louis. Good sign: Adrian Gonzalez homered in both wins. Gonzalez has just nine home runs and 27 extra-base hits, so getting more power from him down the stretch will be a big key to catching the Giants.?-- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot10. Houston AstrosRecord: 54-44 Week 15 ranking: No. 10After sweeping the Angels, the Astros AL West deficit is down to 2? games, after trailing by 8? games at the beginning of July. Top prospect Alex Bregman will be called up on Monday, although manager A.J. Hinch didnt say where hed play. Bregman did start two games in left field at Fresno, although it seems likely hell play third base at least until Yulieski Gurriel is ready.?-- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot11. St. Louis CardinalsRecord:?52-46 Week 15 ranking: No. 12In a season filled with injuries and roster shake-ups for the Cardinals, the rotation has been the one constant. After a midweek rainout forced their hand, the Cardinals became the last team in baseball to use a starter outside of the five-man rotation with which it began the season when rookie Mike Mayers lasted just 1 1/3 innings in Sunday nights loss to the Dodgers.??-- ESPN.com12. Miami MarlinsRecord: 53-45 Week 15 ranking: No. 13All eyes are on Ichiro Suzuki, who is?four hits from 3,000. The Marlins would love for him to do it at home this week (they play series against Philly and St. Louis), but its hard to bench the red-hot Christian Yelich (whos hitting .404 during his current 11-game hit streak), All-Star Marcell Ozuna or Giancarlo Stanton?(who had a four-hit game on Saturday).?-- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot13. New York MetsRecord: 52-45 Week 15 ranking: No. 11After hitting four homers in 104 games with the Rays in 2015, James Loney has five homers in 44 games with the Mets. Loney has hit in eight straight games, going 9-for-27 (.333).?--?Joe Janish (@metstoday),?MetsToday.com14. Seattle MarinersRecord: 50-48 Week 15 ranking: No. 17On the field, the Ms took a midweek series from the White Sox -- despite never leading for a single pitch over the three-game span -- thanks to walk-offs from Adam Lind and Leonys Martin. Off the field, Ken Griffey Jr. was enshrined in Cooperstown on Sunday, ensuring well never forget The Kid.?-- Jeff Wiser (@OutfieldGrass24), Inside the Zona15. Detroit TigersRecord: 51-48 Week 15 ranking: No. 15More middling in the middle as the Tigers split a series with the White Sox, took two of three from the Royals but lost two of three to the Twins. They just dont seem to have strong enough hitting or pitching to carry them on a long winning streak. Why ante up at the trading deadline if theyre not even favorites to win their own division, let alone the World Series??--?Richard Bergstrom (@rbergstromjr), Rockies Zingers16. Pittsburgh PiratesRecord:?51-47 Week 15 ranking: No. 14The Bucs have been battling all season and remain in the thick of the wild-card battle. Theyve been dealt another blow, however, as prospect Tyler Glasnow left his second career start after the third inning with right shoulder discomfort and landed on the disabled list.?-- Ryan P. Morrison (@ryanpmorrison), Inside the Zona17. New York YankeesRecord: 50-48 Week 15 ranking: No. 19The members of Team Sell took a bit of a hit this week, as the Yankees took three out of four from the Orioles and two out of three from the Giants. With a week until the trade deadline, the teams results are making selling a harder decision for the front office than it actually should be. This team is mediocre, Hal, and theyre not making the playoffs. Sell Sell Sell! --?Stacey Gotsulias (@StaceGots),?Its About the Money18. Kansas City RoyalsRecord:?48-49 Week 15 ranking: No. 16After the Royals dropped a game under .500 with Sundays loss, the Wade Davis rumors are heating up, with the Nationals reportedly interested. The Royals would want more for Davis than the Yankees would get for Aroldis Chapman (rumors say Cubs shortstop prospect Gleyber Torres) because Davis is signed through 2017. Davis still has a 1.10 ERA even though his K rate has declined from 39 percent two years ago to 24 percent.?-- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot19. Chicago White SoxRecord:?48-50 Week 15 ranking: No. 18Chicago pushed to turn a hot start into a chase for the postseason but has finally decided to pull the plug on 2016. All eyes now turn to trade assets, including Todd Frazier, Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and others. Sale was scratched from his last start for disciplinary reasons and suspended five games. -- Ryan P. Morrison (@ryanpmorrison), Inside the Zona20. Colorado RockiesRecord:?47-51 Week 15 ranking: No. 21The Rockies finished a sweep of the Braves on Sunday, their first four-game sweep since July 9-12, 2015, which was also against the Braves. Looking back, those 2015 Rockies were 39-49 while going 22-24 at Coors Field, continuing the recent tradition of losing at home. This years Rockies are only four games under .500, with a positive home record (25-24), and wont necessarily be selling at the trading deadline.?--?Richard Bergstrom (@rbergstromjr), Rockies Zingers21. Los Angeles AngelsRecord: 43-55 Week 15 ranking: No. 23Nick Tropeano became the third Angels starter this year to tear a ligament in his elbow, joining Andrew Heaney and Garrett Richards. Heaney already underwent Tommy John surgery, while Richards is still awaiting the results of platelet-rich plasma injections. Tropeano will also consider that method before undergoing surgery. Before this season, only three Angels pitchers had undergone Tommy John surgery under Mike Scioscia.?-- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot22. Oakland AthleticsRecord: 45-54 Week 15 ranking: No. 22After back-to-back walk-off wins on Friday and Saturday (and a third against the Astros on Tuesday), the As decided to score the winning run in the eighth on Sunday. Their past four wins and seven of their past eight have come by one run.?-- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot23. San Diego PadresRecord: 43-56 Week 15 ranking: No. 25Matt Kemp is on pace for 36 home runs and 110 RBIs. His WAR, however, is just 0.4 thanks in large degree to a .279 OBP and poor defense. The worst WAR ever for a 30-homer guy: Dante Bichette of the 1999 Rockies, at minus-2.3. (Baseball-Reference credits him with minus-34 runs on defense.)?-- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot24. Milwaukee BrewersRecord: 41-55 Week 15 ranking:No. 24Milwaukee is expected to be one of baseballs biggest sellers in the next week. There is interest in multiple Brewers, starting with All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy and reliever Carlos Torres. Its not a matter of whether players will be traded but rather when and who.?-- Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3), Disciples of Uecker25. Philadelphia PhilliesRecord:?45-55 Week 15 ranking: No. 20Vince Velasquez is hitting .241, which is quite good for a pitcher. In terms of batting average, hes outhitting Ryan Howard, Cody Asche and Tyler Goeddel, which is quite bad for an offense. However, those who read these comments will note the progress from late April, when Phillies pitchers as a whole were outhitting Phillies left fielders and first basemen.? --?Richard Bergstrom (@rbergstromjr), Rockies Zingers26. Arizona DiamondbacksRecord: 41-57 Week 15 ranking: No. 26Reports surfaced late last week that Arizona is weighing a managerial change. Considering injuries and questionable roster construction, D-backs fans have to wonder whether replacing Chip Hale would help their cause. Top prospect pitcher Braden Shipley will debut Monday. -- Jeff Wiser, Inside the Zona27. Tampa Bay RaysRecord: 38-50 Week 15 ranking: No. 27It has been a decade since the Rays were clear sellers at the trade deadline, but declaring their intentions early has chummed the waters significantly. Any of their starters could be moved with only Chris Archer requiring an unfathomable return. Expect someone to go and wide-eyed fans to be underwhelmed, though the smart ones will hopefully have their faith rewarded.?--?Jason Hanselman (@sandykazmir), The Process Report28. Minnesota TwinsRecord: 37-61 Week 15 ranking: No. 28Although the Twins are mired in last place, Max Kepler?provides real hope. After hitting two triples in Boston over the weekend, he is slugging .500 as a 23-year-old rookie. His gangly muscular frame and sweet lefty swing are reminding fans in Minnesota of a young Justin Morneau.?-- Nick Nelson (@NickNelsonMN), Twins Daily29. Cincinnati RedsRecord:?38-60 Week 15 ranking: No. 29The Reds have won three consecutive series since the All-Star break, and Billy Hamilton -- who recently returned to the leadoff spot -- has keyed the charge, with a seven-game hitting streak. Since the break he also has 10 stolen bases and 10 runs scored. Is it too early to start printing the playoff tickets??--?Chad Dotson (@dotsonc), Redleg Nation30. Atlanta BravesRecord: 33-66 Week 15 ranking:?No. 30To open the second half, the Braves have gone 2-7 versus sub-.500 teams. That does not bode well for any semblance of improvement in the current product on the field. However, it does bode well for securing the No. 1 overall pick in 2017. -- Martin Gandy (@gondeee), Chop County Discount Vans Shoes . Their 38th instalment is arguably their biggest fight card to date, including three-title fights and a main event which was selected by the fans. The promotion boasts 14-straight years of business and is operated by MFC president Mark Pavelich, who is often overlooked in this country for the foundation hes established for MMA in Canada. Cheap Vans Shoes Shop . -- Kyrie Irvings last-minute 3-pointer helped seal another victory for Cleveland -- and the Cavaliers longest winning streak since LeBron James left. http://www.vansoutletstore.com/ .C. at the helm of the top team in the Eastern Conference. His tenure as the GM in Vancouver was all too brief. Though he led the Canucks to what was then a franchise record-shattering campaign in just his second season, Nonis was gone and replaced one year later. Cheap Vans Shoes For Sale . Cote was eligible to become a free agent Feb. 15. Cote helped running back Jon Cornish run for a league-high 1,813 rushing yards en route to being named the leagues most outstanding player. Vans Shoes Outlet USA . 1, meaning problems for the doping controls at both major international sports events next year. The World Anti-Doping Agency provisionally suspended the Moscow Antidoping Center on Sunday, saying its operations must improve or a six-month ban on the facilitys accreditation will be imposed. DETROIT -- Clevelands most pressing concern was the health of its ace. Tuesdays 12-0 loss to Detroit was just another game.Corey Kluber has a mild quadriceps strain, which could force the AL Central champions to delay his first playoff start. Its another blow for the Indians, who already were missing starting pitchers Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar.Its obviously not the best possible news, but it is a heck of a lot better than it could have been, manager Terry Francona said. This will give him a chance to rest up and hopefully throw a couple bullpens. In the long run, that could help him.Klubers outing was cut short Monday, when Cleveland won at Detroit to clinch the division. The right-hander, who won the 2014 AL Cy Young Award and is a top contender for the honor again this year, had an MRI on Tuesday in Cleveland that confirmed the quadriceps injury.The team says his timetable for returning to game activity is a week to 10 days. Clevelands first playoff game is Oct. 6.The Indians fielded a makeshift lineup Tuesday night. Although Cleveland still has a chance to finish with the American Leagues best record and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, Francona indicated there are other priorities to consider.Cleveland also is bumping right-hander Trevor Bauer back to the weekend. The Indians will start Zach McAllister, who has pitched almost exclusively out of the bullpen this year, on Wednesday night against the Tigers. On Thursday, Ryan Merritt makes his first career start.Our objective always is to win, but well get to see everybody, well try to manage peoples innings, Francona said. We really need to keep our pitchers healthy so they can be productive.Thats the big concern as the postseason approaches. The Indians entered Tuesday second in the AL in runs and first in ERA, but the team thats available to Francona now isnt the same as the one that controlledd the division for much of the season.dddddddddddd Now Cleveland looks like the ALs version of the Mets, a team with a potentially outstanding starting rotation thats been decimated by injuries.But unlike New York, the Indians are safely in the playoffs already.People have come up and filled in, slugger Mike Napoli said. We were able to clinch the division. When you get there, anything can happen.Boston, Cleveland and Texas are in a tight race for the best record in the AL, but Francona is more concerned about having his team enter the playoffs rested and ready.If I had my choice, Id rather play at home, I think anybody would, but not at the expense of burning out your entire rotation or your bullpen, he said. Having your guys ready to play is the most important thing.Salazar threw a bullpen session Monday, but Carrasco is out for the season.Clevelands lineup Tuesday was almost unrecognizable. Napoli, Francisco Lindor, Jason Kipnis, Jose Ramirez, Rajai Davis and Lonnie Chisenhall were left out.Catcher Chris Gimenez got the start at third base. He had played five innings there previously in a major league career that began in 2009.We should be all right, he said before the game. Hopefully I dont make five errors or something. That would be pretty embarrassing.Gimenez said bench coach Brad Mills passed along the news that he would be at third -- while the team was still celebrating the night before.I just started spraying him with champagne, Gimenez said. He seemed serious, but I wasnt really sure.Carlos Santana did play as the designated hitter Tuesday, although the switch-hitters power wasnt the primary reason, according to Francona.Thats only because we ran out of guys, the manager said.---Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister ' ' '

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