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MAKING THE GRADE: Week 10 MLB rankings

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Interleague is here again, to save the world. Barry in the Bronx. Gonzo at Fenway. Piazza at the Jake. Vlad at Comiskey. Sammy at Safeco. Surreal images, indeed. And, as MLB would have us believe, enough to keep the sport afloat and minds off the CBA haggling. Not quite. In fact, by our estimation, baseball has about four more solid weeks left before a strike — if we use the 1994 calendar as an indicator — so all that we're about to witness this weekend could be effectively washed away by the snickering sides that run the game. Enjoy it while you can. Even those of us who feel that interleague tarnishes the game, detracts from the rivalries of old by creating artificial enmity between teams with nothing in common except blocks on a map, should try to enjoy it, for it is still baseball. We may not have too much of it before long.

1. Boston

Year-To-Date Grade: 92
Pitching: 87
Hitting: 90
Momentum: 93
This Week: 90
Last Week: 1 (80)
'Making the Grade' rankings
Rk.TeamGradeLW
1. 92 1
2. 90 2
3. 89 3
4. 88 4
6. 84 T7
T7. 83 T5
T7. 83 T7
T9. 82 11
T9. 82 T9
11. 81 T9
12. 79 T14
13. 78 T17
T14. 77 T12
T14. 77 T17
16. 75 T14
17. 74 T14
18. 73 T12
19. 72 21
20. 71 20
T21. 69 T22
T21. 69 T17
23. 67 T22
T24. 65 T26
T24. 65 25
T24. 65 29
27. 64 24
28. 63 T26
29. 62 28
30. 61 30
Keep on keeping on. Went into the Bronx and earned a win in the series' rubber game. Lowe has been league's best pitcher through April and May, and Urbina has 18 saves, proving that all those years in Montreal were really a waste.

2. New York

Year-To-Date Grade: 90
Pitching: 80
Hitting: 81
Momentum: 78
This Week: 80
Last Week: 2 (86) Lost two of three to Boston and two of three to Baltimore — both series at home. And momentum takes a hit with series coming up against San Fran and Arizona. Now 3 ½ in back of .

3. Seattle

Year-To-Date Grade: 89
Pitching: 76
Hitting: 74
Momentum: 75
This Week: 75
Last Week: 3 (78) Ichiro hit his first homer of the season Thursday, but M's lost another to Oakland. Seattle never put the A's away when it had a chance earlier in the year, and that, if not the , could come back to haunt.

4. Arizona

Year-To-Date Grade: 88
Pitching: 84
Hitting: 90
Momentum: 92
This Week: 89
Last Week: 4 (89) Built a cushion in the NL West, so they survived a 5-5 stretch intact. Weekly gush over Johnson and Schilling: D-Backs are 24-2 in their starts and 12-21 when anyone else starts. Schilling is on pace for 30 wins and 22 walks. Time to wonder if he's Hall of Fame material.

5. Anaheim

Year-To-Date Grade: 86
Pitching: 89
Hitting: 87
Momentum: 84
This Week: 87
Last Week: T5 (92) Four-game winning streak snapped by Detroit but still only two games out with Seattle losing to Oakland. are closest to division lead now than they have been since the first week of the season. Everyone figured this would be a two-team race — we just got one of the two teams wrong.

6. Los Angeles

Year-To-Date Grade: 84
Pitching: 88
Hitting: 86
Momentum: 92
This Week: 88
Last Week: T7 (86) Won two of three against both Arizona and Colorado and are positioning themselves quite nicely for a run at the wild card or NL West pennant. Four starters have ERAs under 3.00, though Daal and Perez have cooled off a bit, and three players are batting over .300. Imagine what they might do with a healthy .

T7. Cincinnati

Year-To-Date Grade: 83
Pitching: 86
Hitting: 83
Momentum: 86
This Week: 85
Last Week: T5 (87) Still hanging in there despite so-so mark against Atlanta and St. Louis (5-10 against and ). Fended off , for now at least, by splitting two-game series. Dessens and Reitsma rank in the top five in ERA, but the falloff is so steep that is starting this week. Somewhere in Tampa, George Steinbrenner is fuming.

T7. San Francisco

Year-To-Date Grade: 83
Pitching: 87
Hitting: 84
Momentum: 86
This Week: 86
Last Week: T7 (83) Went 7-8 in a 15-game stretch against NL West foes, but ended it with a sweep of San Diego. Outstanding start gave the a little room for error, and now Kent is starting to heat up. will need him and Bonds wreaking their usual havoc to come out on top of packed NL West.

T9. Atlanta

Year-To-Date Grade: 82
Pitching: 88
Hitting: 84
Momentum: 97
This Week: 89
Last Week: 11 (87) Might have buried the yet again with a three-game sweep at Turner Field. Glavine is on pace for 27 wins (!!), which would lock up his HOF bid. And Maddux and Moss are also in the top 15 in ERA. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

T9. Minnesota

Year-To-Date Grade: 82
Pitching: 77
Hitting: 74
Momentum: 75
This Week: 76
Last Week: T9 (77) Hooray, hooray, the can stay. Amazingly, miraculously, Selig sees the benefit for keeping the around and recognizes Minnesota as a solid baseball town. Maybe now that he's got that settled the commish will concentrate on a new CBA. Or, maybe not. Anyway, are up by four games.

11. St. Louis

Year-To-Date Grade: 81
Pitching: 85
Hitting: 86
Momentum: 86
This Week: 85
Last Week: T9 (86) Cards are 16-6 in last 22 and are turning the NL Central into a two-team race. Should be mildly concerned about Morris' recent difficulties (his ERA has gone up more than a run in his past four outings), but Cards seem ready to click on all cylinders.

12. Colorado

Year-To-Date Grade: 79
Pitching: 79
Hitting: 89
Momentum: 85
This Week: 84
Last Week: T14 (84) Lost three in a row to and to lose a bit of ground in NL West, but man, we love that humidor: Four starters — Stark, Neagle, Thomson and Jennings — have ERAs below 5.00. Humidor can't change Hampton's ways, though.

13. Florida

Year-To-Date Grade: 78
Pitching: 80
Hitting: 85
Momentum: 88
This Week: 84
Last Week: T17 (78) Won four in a row over and to take over second in the NL Least. Castillo is hotter than the swampland weather: His 22-game hitting streak has lifted his average from .262 to .332. Beckett's continued finger woes are worrisome, but Burnett was aces in six-hit complete game against . Will Floyd stay or will he go?

T14. Chicago

Year-To-Date Grade: 77
Pitching: 68
Hitting: 70
Momentum: 65
This Week: 68
Last Week: T12 (70) Dropping like a stone. Sox are a .500 team after losing eight of 10. Almost as close to the Roylas in the standings as they are to the . The offense featured six .300-hitting regulars a few weeks ago, now they're down to three with Ordonez hanging on by a thread at .307.

T14. Oakland

Year-To-Date Grade: 77
Pitching: 79
Hitting: 80
Momentum: 80
This Week: 80
Last Week: T17 (79) Been climbing for the last couple of weeks and now at a point where the M's and Angles need to be concerned. Zito's cooking, and Tejada and Chavez are driving in a ton of runs.

16. Cleveland

Year-To-Date Grade: 75
Pitching: 70
Hitting: 80
Momentum: 80
This Week: 77
Last Week: T14 (80) Another win and the will be .500 and, perhaps, back in second place ahead of Chicago. Colon is slowly becoming untouchable again. Even after allowing six earned runs in 4 2/3 to Minnesota on Thursday, his ERA is 2.69. Still, need more production out of the leadoff spot. Has anyone seen ? Let's excuse the 23 runs.

17. Montreal

Year-To-Date Grade: 74
Pitching: 78
Hitting: 82
Momentum: 82
This Week: 81
Last Week: T14 (78) Hanging around. Ohka has turned into a pretty good No. 3 starter behind Vazquez and Armas Jr. On offense, though, it's still the Vidro and Vlad show.

18. New York

Year-To-Date Grade: 73
Pitching: 87
Hitting: 72
Momentum: 64
This Week: 74
Last Week: T12 (83) We'll ask it again: How can a team with this much talent appear so listless? It's panic time for the , who are actually worse on offense this year than last. Vaughn and Alomar look lost and Piazza is adrift again. Now that the are hot, the look done.

19. Baltimore

Year-To-Date Grade: 72
Pitching: 81
Hitting: 78
Momentum: 78
This Week: 79
Last Week: 21 (75) Are 3-0 when starts, including a win at Yankee Stadium. O's are quietly becoming a nice little story, as they sit in third place in the AL East but only Three games from .500. Batista is among the home-run leaders and Gil is as underrated as they come behind the plate.

20. Pittsburgh

Year-To-Date Grade: 71
Pitching: 81
Hitting: 64
Momentum: 75
This Week: 73
Last Week: 20 (69) have won only two of their last 13 series. Hurlers Fogg and Wells have cooled off a bit and third baseman Ramirez is ice cold (10-for-his-last-74). Only debate now is whether Giles or earns the ' token All-Star nod.

T21. Houston

Year-To-Date Grade: 69
Pitching: 80
Hitting: 78
Momentum: 72
This Week: 76
Last Week: T22 (74) We'll ask it again: How can a team with this much talent appear so listless? Hidalgo is heating up, but where is Bagwell? is back, but the need more than that to snap out of this funk.

T21. San Diego

Year-To-Date Grade: 69
Pitching: 75
Hitting: 64
Momentum: 60
This Week: 66
Last Week: T17 (71) A miserable week all around for the . Tollberg underwent Tommy John surgery and longtime coach Rob Piccolo suffered an aorta aneurysm. With Tankersley getting lit up in his first few starts and Bobby Jones struggling as well, it looks like it's up to Tomko and Lawrence to carry the rotation. look done in NL West.

23. Texas

Year-To-Date Grade: 67
Pitching: 70
Hitting: 73
Momentum: 70
This Week: 71
Last Week: T22 (75) Had an exciting late-inning win in Anaheim on Thursday but still 12 games out after hot spurt a couple of weeks ago. Even with Pudge and Juan Gone, the are not going to score enough runs to overcome pitching. Especially when Irabu has ninth and 10th innings like he had Wednesday.

T24. Kansas City

Year-To-Date Grade: 65
Pitching: 72
Hitting: 71
Momentum: 74
This Week: 73
Last Week: T26 (73) Sweeney is making a case for himself as the best first baseman in the American League. He hits for a higher average than Thome, strikes out less than Delgado and plays better defense than Giambi. Unfortunately, playing in Kansas City is killing Sweeney.

T24. Philadelphia

Year-To-Date Grade: 65
Pitching: 72
Hitting: 76
Momentum: 66
This Week: 72
Last Week: 25 (73) ' hot spell could spell the end of the ., who are 7-15 since their seven-game winning streak. Burrell is hot and it won't be long before Giambi joins the lineup for good. Giambi has nine RBIs in 18 at-bats. Listless Lee has 18 RBI in 185 at-bats.

T24. Toronto

Year-To-Date Grade: 65
Pitching: 78
Hitting: 84
Momentum: 80
This Week: 81
Last Week: 29 (60) They play dreadful baseball, no matter who's managing. But they actually had a good week. Still, Prokopec is over 5.00 after another shoddy performance, this one against Tampa Bay. And there aren't many players on the roster who don't deserve to be traded. Wait a minute, that would actually be a good thing for them.

27. Chicago

Year-To-Date Grade: 64
Pitching: 76
Hitting: 74
Momentum: 70
This Week: 73
Last Week: 24 (76) Are 4-7 since a five-game winning streak. So much for momentum. But Clement, Wood and Prior are a filthy pitching trio. Fun Sosa fact: He's walked 49 times this year. He's walked less than that in the following seasons: 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996 and 1997.

28. Detroit

Year-To-Date Grade: 63
Pitching: 60
Hitting: 63
Momentum: 60
This Week: 61
Last Week: T26 (76) In another deep funk and still among only three teams in the league with fewer than 10 road wins. Despite three ninth-inning runs against Fossum and the BoSox on Thursday, the never really had much of a chance in any of the three games against Boston.

29. Tampa Bay

Year-To-Date Grade: 62
Pitching: 60
Hitting: 61
Momentum: 60
This Week: 60
Last Week: 28 (75) The Drays-Blue Jays series was the hottest ticket in town north of the border this week. Abernathy, Hoover, Berg, Woodward. Who wouldn't pay to see these guys play?

30. Milwaukee

Year-To-Date Grade: 61
Pitching: 70
Hitting: 73
Momentum: 74
This Week: 72
Last Week: 30 (67) Have won five in a row over the and and put themselves on pace to ONLY lose 101 games! C'mon fans, fill up Miller Park! Or at least go to the All-Star Game and see the rapidly improving Quevedo serve as your representative. Jerry Beach (jbeach@e-sportsnation.com) and Bryon Evje (bevje@e-sportsnation.com) are senior writers for E-SportsNation.com. You can get exclusive news and information from E-SportsNation.com, including in-depth coverage on baseball by subscribing to E-SN Premium. Click here for more details.
Tagged: Orioles, Red Sox, Angels, White Sox, Indians, Tigers, Brewers, Twins, Yankees, Rangers, Blue Jays, Braves, Cubs, Reds, Astros, Dodgers, Mets, Phillies, Pirates, Padres, Giants, Rockies, Rays

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