Where do all 30 MLB teams rank after the season's first full week?
1: Texas Rangers (8-2, Previous: 1)
The Rangers just wrapped up a 6-1 week as they have the best record in the American League and have done it thanks more to their pitching than their vaunted lineup. Matt Harrison (2-0, 0.64 ERA) has been phenomenal in leading a staff that has an American League-best 2.22 ERA. They were my preseason pick to win it all, and there is no reason to doubt that at this point.
2: St. Louis Cardinals (7-3, Previous: 3)
If any other team were hit with injuries to the likes of Chris Carpenter, Lance Berkman and David Freese they would drop on this list, but those injuries have only served as a way for the Cardinals to show the type of depth their organization has, as Matt Carpenter replaced Berkman in the lineup and had a five-RBI game on Sunday. They're still the favorites in the NL until there is a reason to think otherwise.
3: Detroit Tigers (6-3, Previous: 2)
The Tigers have looked like the best team in baseball at times so far this year, but they just dropped two of three to the White Sox to wrap up a 3-3 week. The offense ranks second in the American League in batting average and runs, and Austin Jackson has been a fantastic table-setter, going 13-for-30 to open the season. They have the pieces to be a title contender, it is just a matter of putting it all together.
4: Los Angeles Dodgers (9-1, Previous: 16)
Matt Kemp (.457 BA, 5 HR, 15 RBI) is playing out of his mind right now, and Andre Ethier (.303 BA, 3 HR, 14 RBI) is providing him plenty of protection hitting behind him as the duo has proved capable of carrying the team. On the pitching side of things, Chad Billingsley (2-0, 0.63 ERA), Clayton Kershaw (0-0, 0.90 ERA) and Javy Guerra (5 G, 5 Sv, 0.00 ERA) have all been phenomenal, and at this point there is nothing but positive things to say about the Dodgers.
5: New York Yankees (5-4, Previous: 6)
Swept to open the season for the first time since 1998, the Yankees bounced back with a 5-1 week to leave them tied atop the AL East. Once their starting rotation figures things out, as CC Sabathia (6.75 ERA) and Phil Hughes (9.00 ERA) have both struggled and Michael Pineda has been sidelined with an injury, there is no reason to think they won't be the team to beat in the AL East.
Despite being without their best hitter from last season in Michael Morse and their good young closer Drew Storen, the Nationals are tied for the second-best record in the National League after a 5-2 week. Adam LaRoche has been huge on the offensive side of things, with a line of .333 BA, 2 HR and 10 RBI, and he will need to continue to be produce after Morse suffered a setback that will shelve him for some time.
7: Atlanta Braves (5-4, Previous: 10)
After a season-opening sweep at the hands of the New York Mets, the Braves have turned things around quickly thanks to a 5-1 week last week. Chipper Jones is back from injury and has started the season strong going 4-for-9 with a home run and two RBI, but the offense has struggled as a whole early on. Luckily the Braves have the pitching to get away with having an offense that is subpar at times.
8: Arizona Diamondbacks (6-3, Previous: 7)
The Diamondbacks went 3-3 last week as they played the Padres and Rockies on the road. Chris Young has led an offense that has started off slowly, as he is hitting .364 BA, 4 HR, 11 RBI and he is currently the only regular hitting over .300. On the pitching side of things, Daniel Hudson (8.71 ERA) and Josh Collmenter (12.86 ERA) have struggled and the staff will need to round into form quickly.
9: Philadelphia Phillies (4-5, Previous: 8)
The Phillies will go as far as their pitching can take them, as the offense is a shell of what it was only a few seasons ago. Age has begun to catch up with guys, and Chase Utley and Ryan Howard have yet to suit up in 2012. Roy Halladay has been his usual dominant self, going 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA in his first two starts, while the rest of the staff has been solid outside of Cole Hamels (0-1, 5.06 ERA).
10: Tampa Bay Rays (4-5, Previous: 5)
After sweeping the Yankees to open the season, the Rays struggled through a 1-5 week last week, as they will try to avoid being swept by the Red Sox tomorrow. The pitching staff has been the real disappointment, carrying a league-worst 6.75 ERA, and while it does not look good now, the Rays are simply too talented on the mound not to turn things around, so while they drop five spots I'm not ready to bump them down any further just yet.
11: Los Angeles Angels (3-6, Previous: 4)
The Angels have fallen into last place in the AL West with a 2-4 week, as their starting pitching has struggled. That said, the pitching will come around, and if the offense can remain around the middle of the pack in the American League as far as runs scored they should win plenty of games. It has not been a good start, but there is no reason for the Angels to panic at this point.
12: Boston Red Sox (4-5, Previous: 11)
After dropping five of their first six games, the Red Sox have won three straight to keep pace in an AL East that has first and last place separated by one game. While the recent success is promising, the team will now have to deal with the loss of Jacoby Ellsbury, who is on the disabled list with a shoulder injury. In the end, it will be pitching that determines the Red Sox fate, though, and they have to improve their 5.66 team ERA.
13: Toronto Blue Jays (5-4, Previous: 15)
The usually potent Blue Jays offense has scuffled to a .214 combined average to open the season, while the starting rotation has been terrific, albeit without an established fifth starter, and if they can continue to pitch like they have, the offense will be there eventually and they could make some noise in the AL East.
14: San Francisco Giants (4-5, Previous: 17)
After getting swept to open the season, the Giants righted the ship with a 4-2 week. However, one huge concern for the Giants right now has to be ace Tim Lincecum, who struggled all spring and has a 12.91 ERA through his first two starts. The rest of the staff has been solid, and the lineup has outperformed expectations to this point, but they need Lincecum to be their ace.
15: Cincinnati Reds (4-6, Previous: 9)
A 2-5 week exposed some of the Reds problems, as they fell back in the NL Central and will need to pick things up offensively very soon. They're currently hitting under .200 as a team, rank 14th in the National League in runs scored and have four everyday players hitting under .200.
16: New York Mets (6-3, Previous: 24)
The fact that David Wright returned quickly from a broken pinkie is huge for the Mets, as he is off to a ridiculous start with a line of .571 BA, 2 HR, 5 RBI. The team's top three starters in the rotation have been terrific through two starts each, and if they can stay healthy the Mets could stay right in the thick of things in the NL East.
17: Milwaukee Brewers (4-6, Previous: 14)
While the concern entering the season was whether or not the team would score enough runs in the post-Prince Fielder era, it has instead been the pitching staff that has struggled. Top-three starters Yovani Gallardo (5.91 ERA), Zack Greinke (6.75 ERA) and Randy Wolf (10.61 ERA) have all been hit hard, and closer John Axford (7.71 ERA) has struggled as well.
18: Chicago White Sox (5-3, Previous: 27)
A 4-1 week in which they took two of three from division rival and AL Central favorites Detroit has the White Sox looking good heading out of the first full week of the season. The continued struggles of Adam Dunn (.192 BA), Alex Rios (.190 BA) and Gordon Beckham (.136 BA) are certainly cause for concern, but they have found ways to win in spite of that trio.
19: Miami Marlins (4-6, Previous: 13)
It was a tough week for the Marlins, as they went 3-3 but had to deal with some unwanted attention brought on by ignorant comment from manager Ozzie Guillen regarding Fidel Castro. A number of key players are struggling offensively, ace Josh Johnson has an 8.38 ERA and 21 hits allowed in 9.1 innings, and new closer Heath Bell has blown both of his save opportunities. Not the start the Marlins were hoping for, but there is talent here and still time to turn it around.
20: Cleveland Indians (4-4, Previous: 20)
Offseason acquisition Derek Lowe (2-0, 1.98 ERA, 13.2 IP) has been fantastic, and Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez both have ERAs under 3.00 after two starts. Despite a .217 team average, the team is fourth in the AL in runs scored at 39, but if they hope to keep winning games and scoring runs they are going to need to pick it up offensively.
21: Colorado Rockies (4-5, Previous: 21)
The Rockies were as busy as anyone this offseason, adding three new starters to their lineup in an effort to fill what had been glaring holes, and that has helped the team rank second in batting average (.272) and third in runs scored (44) in the National League. However, their starting rotation is a mess, as only one starter has an ERA under 5.00 and that's 49-year-old Jamie Moyer.
22: Seattle Mariners (6-5, Previous: 22)
After opening the season with a 3-1 series victory over the A's, the Mariners have quickly returned to mediocrity, as they continue to have trouble scoring enough runs to support a solid starting staff. If someone can step up offensively they have the pitching to win games, but it looks as though it could be another long season in Seattle.
23: Baltimore Orioles (5-4, Previous: 26)
While they came back to earth after their 3-0 start, there is still plenty of room for optimism in Baltimore. Aside from Brian Matusz, the starting rotation has looked fantastic, and the team ranks first in the American League with 13 home runs, as five different players have two long balls on the year.
24: Oakland Athletics (4-6, Previous: 29)
The Athletics were a solid 3-3 this past week, as their pitching staff has performed well and they have gotten just enough offense to win some games. As long as the team continues to pitch well they should hover around .500, but time will tell if their unproven rotation can maintain their current level of play.
25: Kansas City Royals (3-6, Previous: 18)
Currently riding a four-game losing steak, the Royals are coming off of a 1-5 week as poor starting pitching continues to hold back their young lineup. It hasn't been all the fault of their pitching staff, though, as key bats Eric Hosmer (.206 BA) and Alex Gordon (.133 BA) have struggled as well.
26: Houston Astros (4-5, Previous: 28)
The Astros have played better than expected so far this season, and while they went 2-4 this past week, they remain in second place in the NL Central. They are by no means a contender, but the Astros might not be as bad as many people expected this season, and J.D. Martinez looks to be for real with a .371 BA, 3 HR, 10 RBI start to the season.
27: Chicago Cubs (3-7, Previous: 25)
Despite a terrific start to the season for starters Ryan Dempster (1.88 ERA, 14.1 IP), Matt Garza (1.23 ERA, 14.2 IP) and Jeff Samardzija (3.95 ERA, 13.2 IP), the Cubs are off to a rough start. A poor bullpen and a thin lineup will likely make it a long season for Cubs starting pitching.
28: Pittsburgh Pirates (3-6, Previous: 19)
After a dramatic opening series that saw the team celebrate back-to-back walk-off wins, the Pirates stumbled badly last week with a 1-5 record. They are hitting just .188 as a team, and have scored an astoundingly bad 18 runs on the season, 10 fewer than the second-worst total.
29: Minnesota Twins (2-7, Previous: 23)
The Twins lineup has hit well enough to win so far this season, led by Josh Willingham (.444 BA, 4 HR, 7 RBI), but the starting pitching will keep them from being anything but a cellar dweller this season. Losing Scott Baker for the year only furthers the team's starting pitching woes.
30: San Diego Padres (2-8, Previous: 30)
The Padres are hitting a collective .178 on the season, and Jason Bartlett's .222 average represents the best mark of any regular. Two of their starters and Carlos Quentin are on the DL, but even when they get those three guys back don't expect them to be anywhere but the bottom of the division.
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