Why do I do Power Rankings again?

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My original impulse to do power rankings was two-fold: (1) to force myself to actually look back at how each team did in the past week because I sometimes lose track, especially over the weekend; and (2) to have someplace to put occasional random observations about teams that wouldn’t justify their own blog post.

I should add a third reason to it: annoying Phillies fans.

I’ve had the Phillies either at or tied for number one for at least a month solid. Maybe longer, I haven’t checked, but for a good while.  Yet I still get comments like these, both from Twitter this afternoon:

“you’re determined to use any excuse to keep from admitting the Phillies are the best team in baseball this season.”

and

“It’s a total cop out that you keep the phils tied w the bosox. they’ve had the best record in either league for 3 months.”

I guess I’ll have to come up with some rank higher than one.  Like, one-half.  Although I guess I’ll be accused of not respecting the Phillies enough to give them an integer.

Seriously, Phillies fans: why on Earth do you worry so much about what people think of your team?

Astros clinch postseason berth with 11-3 win over Angels

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No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.

First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.

On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.

Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.