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The Times' baseball rankings

With Miami still celebrating the Heat's NBA title, Times staff writer Kevin Baxter ranks MLB teams through basketball-shaped glasses.

June 22, 2013|By Kevin Baxter
  • St. Louis pitcher Adam Wainwright, right, speaks with fellow starter Lance Lynn, who earned his 10th win of the season Thursday night against the Chicago Cubs.
St. Louis pitcher Adam Wainwright, right, speaks with fellow starter Lance… (Chris Lee / MCT )

(Statistics through Friday’s games. Last week’s rankings in parentheses):

PLAYOFF READY

1. ST. LOUIS 3-man weave: Wainwright, Lynn, Miller a combined 28-9, 2.62 (1)

2. PITTSBURGH Tight defense: Pirates lead the majors with 12 shutouts (6)

3. BOSTON Run and gun: Red Sox averaging a MLB-best 5.1 runs a game (3)

4. OAKLAND Role player: Seth Smith tops active pinch-hitters with .319 average (2)

5. CINCINNATI Walk it up: Votto, Choo 1-2 in MLB in bases on balls (5)

6. TEXAS Fadeaway: Rangers starters 1-8, 5.49 in June (8)

7. DETROIT Big man: 6-foot-8 Doug Fister second on staff in innings pitched (96) (4)

8. BALTIMORE Davis (27 HRs) scores from long distance more often than Danny Green (7)

9. ATLANTA Home-court advantage: Braves are MLB-best 25-11 at home (11)

10 ARIZONA A slam dunk: D-Backs won Corbin’s first 13 starts (9)

GETTING CAUGHT IN TRANSITION

11. TORONTO Good rebound: Jays reach .500 with MLB’s best record in June (13-4) (20)

12. SAN DIEGO Have division’s best record (28-20) since May 1  (17)

13. CLEVELAND LeBron James’ hometown hasn’t won MLB or NBA title since 1948 (15)

14. NEW YORK YANKEES Fab Five: Yanks have 5 All-Stars on the disabled list (10)

15. WASHINGTON Zimmerman in top 5 in NL in wins, ERA, WHIP, innings pitched (19)

16. TAMPA BAY Heat fans leave early, Rays fans don’t show up at all (avg. 17,909) (13)

17. SAN FRANCISCO Scutaro hitting .346 since taking talents to San Fran’s South Beach (12)

18. ANGELS Playing above the rim, Bourjos has robbed 4 HRs since 2010 (21)

19. COLORADO Unselfish players: Rockies lead majors in assists (14)

20. PHILADELPHIA Talking about practice? Utley activated after hitless minor league rehab (18)

21. KANSAS CITY King James: Royals win all Shields’ starts in June; pitcher winless since April (16)

22. MINNESOTA Point guards: Bullpen ERA of 2.86 tops in AL (22)

THINK OF THEM AS BASEBALL’S VERSION OF THE ORLANDO MAGIC

23. SEATTLE Traveling call: M’s to cover MLB-high 52,509 miles this season (23)

24. CHICAGO WHITE SOX Bench foul: White Sox pinch-hitters batting .150 (24)

25. CHICAGO CUBS More than half the Cubs’ 42 losses have come in day games (26)

26. MILWAUKEE Fastbreak: Brewers on pace for team-record 67 triples (27)

27. DODGERS Swing man: Schumaker has played six positions, including pitcher (25)

28. NEW YORK METS Harvey has lowest WHIP (0.90), most strikeouts (115) in NL  (28)

29. HOUSTONAirball: Chris Carter first player to 100 strikeouts this season (29)

30. MIAMI Flagrant foul: Cut payroll in half since 2012. Ticket prices? Not so much (30)

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