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Camden Depot7. Los Angeles Dodgers

  • 24 May
    For the first time this season, the Chicago Cubs werent the unanimous No. 1 team, with the red-hot Cleveland Indians picking up one first-place vote. After winning 14 in a row, the Indians finished the week on a down note, losing their last two, including a 17-1 drubbing on Sunday. But the Indians winning streak, combined with the Cubs struggles in New York, were enough to steal a vote away.Can the Cubs get back on track and hold onto the top spot heading into the All-Star break at the end of the week?Elsewhere, the Houston Astros made their way back into the top 10 ( No. 8) for the first time since Week 1 when they were No. 9. After starting at No. 5 in our preseason rankings, the Astros dropped as low as No. 25 (Week 5 and Week 7).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 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:?51-30 Week 12 ranking: No. 1The Cubs have played .500 baseball over their past 30 games, but they still find themselves with the best record in baseball and have a farm system filled with talent that can be used to purchase reinforcements ahead of the trade deadline. --?Joe Aiello (@VFTB), View from the Bleachers2. Cleveland IndiansRecord:?49-32 Week 12 ranking: No. 4The Indians made history this week by winning their 14th consecutive game, a franchise record. It didnt come easy, as it took a marathon 19-inning win against the Blue Jays on Friday where the Indians were forced to burn through their entire bullpen, as well as the next days scheduled starter. ?--?Stephanie Liscio (@stephanieliscio), Its Pronounced Lajaway3. San Francisco GiantsRecord:?52-32 Week 12 ranking: No. 2Bruce Bochy rolled the dice Thursday in letting Madison Bumgarner bat for himself in Oakland, eschewing the chance to use a DH in the pitchers spot. While MadBum was far from perfect on the mound, he sparked a six-run third inning with a double and the Giants never looked back.?-- Jeff Wiser (@OutfieldGrass24), Inside the Zona4. Washington NationalsRecord: 50-33 Week 12 ranking: No. 5What a difference compared to a year ago for Stephen Strasburg. Last season, he was 5-5, 5.49 on July 4. This year, hes 11-0, 2.71 and became the first NL starter since Andy Hawkins in 1985 to start 11-0.?-- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot5. Texas RangersRecord:?52-31 Week 12 ranking: No. 3The Rangers, at the halfway mark, are on pace for around 103 wins, but cracks in the armor are beginning to show. The bullpen needs some help and if the starting rotation doesnt get healthy, it will need another reliable arm for the stretch run.?--?Brandon Land (@onestrikeaway), One Strike Away6. Baltimore OriolesRecord:?47-34 Week 12 ranking: No. 6During Seattles four-game sweep of Baltimore, Orioles pitchers allowed 31 runs. Its not surprising that Os pitching -- the starting pitching, in particular -- has performed poorly lately, but the teams offense wasnt able to save it this time. The Os rotation cant get to the All-Star break fast enough.?--?Matt Kremnitzer (@mattkremnitzer), Camden Depot7. Los Angeles DodgersRecord:?47-37 Week 12 ranking: No. 8Despite having six starting pitchers on the disabled list at one point this year, Los Angeles is still within shouting distance of the first-place Giants. With Joc Pederson now hurt, it would be great if Andre Ethiers broken leg would heal a bit quicker.?--?Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit8. Houston AstrosRecord: 43-39 Week 12 ranking: No. 11A.J. Reeds first week in the majors has been a struggle. He did hit his first home run Saturday, but he went 2-for-22 with 11 strikeouts in his first seven games. The Astros hope he can take over a full-time job, but theyre going to be exploring the trade market for a corner infielder.?-- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot9. Boston Red SoxRecord: 44-37 Week 12 ranking: No. 7Eduardo Rodriguez, who finally rejoined the rotation in late May, was demoted back to Pawtucket after yielding 28 earned runs in six starts. Its starting to look as though pitch-tipping habits could seriously limit E-Rods future production.?-- Ryan P. Morrison (@ryanpmorrison), Inside the Zona10. New York MetsRecord: 44-37 Week 11 ranking: No. 10Noah Syndergaard is tied for the NLs lowest HR/9 rate (0.4), is second in BB/9 (1.3), second in K/BB ratio (8.2), second in FIP (1.88), fourth in K/9 (11.0), and fourth in ERA (2.41). Syndergaard has not walked a batter in seven of his 10 starts, second-best in the NL, and throws MLBs fastest average fastball for a starters (98.2 MPH), sinker (98.0), slider (91.3), and change-up (90.1). --?Joe Janish (@metstoday),?MetsToday.com11. St. Louis CardinalsRecord:?43-38 Week 12 ranking: No. 13After an up-and-down June that saw them go 14-14 and included a five-game winning streak and a five-game losing streak, the Cards started off July in style, winning three straight at home over the Brewers. Despite their inconsistent play, the Cardinals still own baseballs second-best run differential at plus-82 (through Sunday).?-- ESPN.com12. Kansas City RoyalsRecord:?43-38 Week 12 ranking: No. 12Yordano Ventura left Sundays start in the third inning after spraining his ankle while running the bases. It wasnt a good step up to then, with four runs and two home runs, pushing his season ERA to 5.26. Hell need to finish strong like he did last year in the second half.?-- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot13. Toronto Blue JaysRecord:?45-39 Week 12 ranking: No. 9Marco Estrada has been dealing with a sore back for the past several weeks, and it clearly showed Saturday. His velocity was down and at times he could barely bend over. Jose Bautista, currently in a walking boot, is not expected back until after the All-Star break. Josh Donaldson hit .368/.487/.705 during June.? -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit14. Detroit TigersRecord: 44-38 Week 12 ranking: No. 15The Tigers have won their past six games. Thats good. In their past four series, they have either swept their opponent or been swept. Thats quirky. That their eight most recent losses and three most recent losing series all came against the Indians, Royals and White Sox could be a quirk of the schedule or an indication of where they stand in the AL Central. --?Richard Bergstrom (@rbergstromjr), Rockies Zingers15. Miami MarlinsRecord: 43-39 Week 12 ranking: No. 14Hovering just over .500 at the halfway mark of the season, Miami is apparently making a playoff push, acquiring Fernando Rodney to shore up the back end of the bullpen. Closer A.J. Ramos saw his string of 24 consecutive saves this year and 33 overall come to an end Friday.?--?Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit16. Seattle MarinersRecord: 43-39 Week 12 ranking: No. 17Seattle finally got a little bit of good news this week as Taijuan Walker returned to the mound after recovering from a foot injury. In his first healthy start, he threw 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball against the AL East-leading Orioles. Hell be vital if the Ms want to make up ground.?-- Jeff Wiser (@OutfieldGrass24), Inside the Zona17. Pittsburgh PiratesRecord:?41-41 Week 12 ranking: No. 18A disappointing 9-19 Pirates record in June featured a pair of five-game losing streaks and a 5.31 team ERA, better than only the Phillies and Twins in the month. The team is still in the thick of the NL wild-card race, despite slipping to .500. -- Ryan P. Morrison (@ryanpmorrison), Inside the Zona18. New York YankeesRecord: 40-41 Week 12 ranking: No. 16The Yankees went 3-4 this past week and have repeatedly failed in their attempt make it above .500 and actually stay there. The good: Didi Gregorius has remained hot at the plate. The bad: Nathan Eovaldi hasnt had a serviceable start in well over a month and is now toiling near the bottom of the pitching leaderboards with a lofty 5.54 ERA.?--?Stacey Gotsulias (@StaceGots),?Its About the Money19. Chicago White SoxRecord:?42-40 Week 12 ranking: No. 19Just as it looked like the Southsiders were resigned to fading into mediocrity and out of relevance, the team closed out June with three straight series wins against the Red Sox, Blue Jays and Twins. Chris Sale and Jose Quintana both have a case to start the All-Star Game next week. -- Jeff Wiser (@OutfieldGrass24), Inside the Zona20. Colorado RockiesRecord:?37-44 Week 12 ranking: No. 21Though Troy Tulowitzki returned to Coors Field last Monday as a visitor, by the end of that week, some of the issues that plagued the Rockies during his tenure crept up to create a five-game losing streak for Colorado. The pitching staff has been ineffective and the offense has been nonexistent. To add salt to the wound, his heir at shortstop, Trevor Story, got injured.?--?Richard Bergstrom (@rbergstromjr), Rockies Zingers21. Milwaukee BrewersRecord: 35-46 Week 12 ranking: No. 23While the Brewers have had trouble against the Dodgers and Cardinals, Junior Guerra has been nothing but lights-out as of late. He won his third straight outing Wednesday night, tossing eight scoreless innings of two-hit baseball against Los Angeles and boosting his record to 5-1.?-- Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3), Disciples of Uecker22. Arizona DiamondbacksRecord: 37-47 Week 12 ranking: No. 20Jake Lambs breakout .292/.370/.603 slash line has made him one of the games best hitters. That slugging mark leads the National League. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Lambs .249 well hit average also leads the Senior Circuit.?-- Ryan P. Morrison (@ryanpmorrison), Inside the Zona23. Philadelphia PhilliesRecord:?37-46 Week 12 ranking: No. 27There was a brief period when Peter Bourjos, who is known more for his glove work, was promising enough with the bat to share time with a young Angels rookie named Mike Trout. Bourjos is currently hitting .446 (12-for-47) during a 12-game hitting streak where hitting .250 wouldve been an improvement for this Phillies team.??--?Richard Bergstrom (@rbergstromjr), Rockies Zingers24. Tampa Bay RaysRecord: 33-48 Week 12 ranking: No. 22As the window starts to close on the 2016 Rays, the question becomes whether or not they will be able to pry it open again in the foreseeable future. Guys like Steve Pearce and Logan Morrison wont be in St. Pete next year, but if this team is not going to be a winner for several more years then it makes sense to move some bigger names, as well.?--?Jason Hanselman, The Process Report25. Oakland AthleticsRecord: 35-47 Week 12 ranking: No. 25After getting swept by the Pirates, the As are now playing .427 baseball. Considering theyll likely trade some relievers, maybe Danny Valencia and perhaps?Josh Reddick or Rich Hill, they could be headed to 95 losses for the first time since 1997.?-- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot26. San Diego PadresRecord: 35-47 Week 12 ranking: No. 24All-Star hopeful Drew Pomeranz has posted a 2.65 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and .191 opposing batting average while striking out 10.4 per nine (eighth-best in baseball). Melvin Upton set a team record with his third walk-off homer of the season Saturday.?-- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit27. Los Angeles AngelsRecord: 33-49 Week 12 ranking: No. 26Carlos Perez went 5-for-6 with six RBIs on Saturday ... and he didnt have the best day on the team. C.J. Cron went 6-for-6 with five runs and five RBIs as they became the first teammates to combine for 11 hits and 11 RBIs since 1920.?-- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot28. Atlanta BravesRecord: 28-54 Week 12 ranking:?No. 29After taking a couple of weeks off, Atlanta continued to dismember its team for prospects, trading away Bud Norris. Yet the Braves replaced him in the rotation with Lucas Harrell, who pitched in Korea last year and outdueled Jose Fernandez on Saturday in his return to the majors.?-- Martin Gandy (@gondeee), Chop County29. Cincinnati RedsRecord:?30-53 Week 12 ranking: No. 28The beat rolls on for the hapless Reds, who have lost nine of their past 11. On the bright side, Adam Duvall continues to strengthen his All-Star case, with 22 homers, 58 RBIs and a .570 slugging percentage.?--?Chad Dotson (@dotsonc), Redleg Nation30. Minnesota TwinsRecord: 27-54 Week 12 ranking: No. 30The Twins reached the halfway point with just 27 wins, putting them on pace to finish with what would be a franchise-worst 54-108 record. -- ESPN.com Cheap Philadelphia Eagles Jerseys China . Vaives lawyer Trevor Whiffen claims the former 50-goal man wasnt provided with a copy of the claim beforehand and that he would not have agreed to the allegations made against the NHL had he been asked to review its contents. 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UNITED NATIONS -- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling for an Olympic truce and urging all warring parties to lay down their weapons and put aside difference during the upcoming summer games in Rio de Janeiro.The U.N. chief said in a video posted on Twitter Tuesday that the International Olympic Committee and the United Nations work closely together for global harmony and peace.I congratulate all the athletes and all the supporters and fans whho will be filling the sporting arenas of Rio in the weeks ahead, Ban said.dddddddddddd The Olympics and Paralympics celebrate the best of humanity.The 193-member U.N. General Assembly has passed resolutions since 1993 calling for an Olympic truce, but countries continue fighting wars whether the Olympics are on or not. ' ' '