The Call to the Pen: September 26th, 2016

Welcome back to The Call to the Pen! The final week begins. Let’s get to it…

Power Rankings

The Bottom:

30) Minnesota Twins (55-95): Even
29) Atlanta Braves (63-92): Even
28) Arizona Diamondbacks (64-91): Even
27) Tampa Bay Rays (65-90): Down 3 

26) Cincinnati Reds (65-90): Even 
25) San Diego Padres (66-90): Up 1 
24) Oakland Athletics (67-88): Up 1
23) LA Angels of Anaheim (69-87): Even 
22) Philadelphia Phillies (70-86): Even
21) Milwaukee Brewers (70-86): Even

The Middle:

20) Chicago White Sox (74-81): Even
19) Colorado Rockies (73-83): Down 1 
18)  Pittsburgh Pirates (77-78): Up 1
17) Miami Marlins (77-78): Even
16) New York Yankees(79-76): Down 1 
15) Kansas City Royals (79-77): Up 1
14) Houston Astros (82-74): Even
13) Seattle Mariners (82-73): Even
12) Detroit Tigers (83-72): Even
11) San Francisco Giants (82-74): Down 1

This is a weird ranking. With one week left, I gave the nod to teams who are actually in the hunt. Hence the Cardinals, whose record is worse than the top four members of The Middle, jumping to the Top. I want to use this space to talk about the heartbreaking passing of Marlins Ace Pitcher Jose Fernandez. By the time that you’re reading this, I’m sure you seen plenty of articles who pay tribute Fernandez so I’ll keep this brief. It’s terrible to see him cut down as his career was just starting to take off. It seemed he was heading straight for Cooperstown as Jose was electric in every single start. My only ask is that he wins the NL Cy Young Award for this year, he deserves it and it’s the perfect way to immortalize his four-year career. I don’t think I really need to sell this hard, we all have hearts. I’m hoping that his family will be well taken care of by the Marlins organization as well.

The Top:

10) St. Louis Cardinals (81-74): Up 1
9) New York Mets (83-73): Up 1 
8) Baltimore Orioles (85-71): Down 1
7) Cleveland Indians (90-65): Down 2
6) Washington Nationals (91-64): Down 4
5) Toronto Blue Jays (86-69): Up 3 

4) Texas Rangers (92-64): Down 1
3) LA Dodgers (90-66): Up 3
2) Boston Red Sox (92-64): Up 1  
1) Chicago Cubs (99-56): Even 

Cubbies gonna Cub. That’s another way to say the Cubs just chugging along to the postseason as they’ve clinched home field for the NL. The Red Sox have won 11 in a row while the Dodgers are red hot, earning the 2nd and 3rd spots, respectively. The Nats dropped four spots mainly due to the fact that they’re slowing down at the wrong time. If they’re not careful, the Dodgers could steal home-field for their now locked-in series; LAD is 5-1 against the Nats this season. The Blue Jays are flying into October as they host the Orioles for what should be a Wild-Card game preview. In terms of NL Wild Card contenders, I put the Cards and Mets in over the Giants mainly because of the much easier schedules St. Louis and New York play this week. Granted, the Mets have to hit the road while the Giants and Cards end this season at home, the Mets clobbered the ball this weekend against the Phils while the Giants struggled in San Diego.

Phillies Update:

I’m much less excited for the 3-3 week than a week ago. I was pretty pumped the Phillies sweep the two-game series against the White Sox, especially when they pummeled Chris Sale on Wednesday. The series against the Mets has left me with an awful taste. The Mets exploded for 44 runs in the four-game set which included their twice-come-from-behind win on Thursday. I was excited to see if the Phillies could spoil the Mets’ chances at the Wild Card this weekend but now I’m not so sure. There’s still a chance and I was dead wrong about doubting the Eagles yesterday. The Phils have today off to travel to Atlanta before coming back to Philadelphia for that series with the Mets.

 Disagree with the Rankings? Let me know in the comments

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