MLB Power Rankings 2012: How Baseball's Hottest Teams Are Climbing the Rankings

Nick HartCorrespondent IApril 30, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 23:  Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on April 23, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

 The MLB season is well underway, and the teams are beginning to separate themselves. Here's a look at the top five teams in the power rankings and how they have been able to climb up the rankings.

1. Texas Rangers: The Texas Rangers are the best team in baseball bar none. They are tied for the best record in MLB with the Dodgers at 16-6. The Rangers rank No. 1 in hitting, No. 4 in pitching and No. 2 in fielding. Josh Hamilton is on a tear, batting .395 with nine homers and 25 RBI

It's more than just Hamilton, though—the entire team is playing extremely well. The team is dominating in all facets of the game and is easily the most complete team in MLB.  At this juncture, the Texas Rangers are clearly the favorites to win the World Series.    

2. Tampa Bay Rays: No one is hotter than the Tampa Bay Rays right now, after winning eight of their last 10. During that span, the Rays swept the Angels and won two out of three against the Rangers and Twins. After starting poorly earlier in the season, the Rays' pitching has turned it around, with David Price leading the way. After a rocky start, Price has gone 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA over his last two starts. The Rays boast a top-10 offense, and with the pitching returning to form, the Rays are dangerous.  

3. Atlanta Braves: If the Tampa Bay Rays are the hottest team in MLB, the Braves are a close second, winning 12 of their last 16 games. During that span, the Braves swept the Brewers and won series against the Mets, Diamondbacks, Dodgers and Pirates. The Braves boast a top-five offense highlighted by a turnaround from Jason Heyward, and Mike Minor and Brandon Beachy are leading a solid pitching staff. If Jair Jurrjens can get his season turned around, the Braves are a scary team.

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 28:  Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts to his game winning homerun against the Washington Nationals for a 4-3 score during the 10th inning at Dodger Stadium on April 28, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Har
Harry How/Getty Images


4. L.A. Dodgers: The Dodgers are 7-3 over their last 10 games, and 16-6 overall. Even though they have beaten up on some terrible teams, they just swept the Nationals and deserve some credit.

The Dodgers have a top-five pitching staff, but the real reason the Dodgers are climbing the rankings is Matt Kemp—the guy is on fire.  Kemp leads the majors in average, runs, home runs and slugging percentage. He's second in on-base percentage, runs batted in and hits. Kemp's stats are ridiculous, and as long as he stays this hot, the Dodgers are a force to be reckoned with.        

5. New York Yankees: The New York Yankees earned the No. 5 spot through the process of elimination. The Nationals have a better record but have lost four in a row. The Cardinals have a better record as well, but they recently lost two games to the Cubs. The Orioles have a better record than they Yanks, but the Yankees swept them already. 

That's not to say the Yankees don't deserve the spot. They are 12-9 on the season and 6-4 over their last 10. They took two of three from the Tigers and picked up a win against the Rangers. They have a top-five offense and are No. 1 in fielding.  

Rest of the Rankings

6. St. Louis Cardinals

7. Washington Nationals

8. Cincinnati Reds

9. San Francisco Giants

10. New York Mets

11. Baltimore Orioles

12. Toronto Blue Jays

13. Cleveland Indians

14. Chicago White Sox

15. Arizona Diamondbacks

16. Colorado Rockies

17. Milwaukee Brewers

18. Philadelphia Phillies

19. Boston Red Sox

20. Detroit Tigers

21. Oakland Athletics

22. Seattle Mariners

23. L.A. Angels

24. Miami Marlins

25. Pittsburgh Pirates

26. Chicago Cubs

27. Houston Astros

28. San Diego Padres

29. Minnesota Twins

30. Kansas City Royals


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