The first half of this baseball season took some strange turns, with expected AL West favorite Texas Rangers starting off blazing hot, then slumping, then back up to end on a high note.
The Boston Red Sox, after a putrid 0-6 opening to the season, righted the ship to share the lead with archrival New York Yankees, thanks in large part to the astounding play of Adrian Gonzalez, who is hitting .354 with 77 RBI and threatening to win the MVP.
Now that Yankees' shortstop Derek Jeter has reached 3,000 career hits, it will be interesting to see if the released pressure allows him to re-focus and play at a higher level; All-Star or not, the Captain certainly underperformed during the first half of the season.
In the National League, Philadelphia has looked unbeatable of late, thanks to an offense that's finally hitting and the stellar pitching trio of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels. Assuming they remain healthy, the Phillies' are the heavy favorite to capture the senior circuit.
Give credit to defending champion San Francisco though. Despite the broken leg suffered by catcher Buster Posey, the Giants have battled on with clutch pitching by Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum, and of course, the Beard -- Brian Wilson -- whose 26 saves netted him another All-Star selection (the third of his career).
This is the fourth of HuffPost's monthly series on MLB Power Rankings. Click here for the Week 11 rankings.
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