Updated MLB Power Rankings: Where Each Team Stands at the One-Quarter Mark

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistMay 13, 2013

Updated MLB Power Rankings: Where Each Team Stands at the One-Quarter Mark

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    Hard as it may be to believe, we have already reached the first-quarter mark of the 2013 MLB season, as teams will play their 40th game of the season at some point this coming week.

    It has already been a memorable season, and while there are a handful of players enjoying big offensive seasons, the early going has been largely dominated by terrific pitching performances.

    The league has also been incredibly even top to bottom this year, and no one has been able to separate themselves from the pack as a truly elite team to this point.

    With that, there is a good deal of shuffling once again in this week's rankings.

    Be sure to check back here each Monday morning for an updated look at where your favorite team stands.

    In honor of the first-quarter mark, this week's rankings take a look at the biggest surprise and biggest disappointment for each MLB team to this point.


    *All stats courtesy of MLB.com unless otherwise noted, and accurate through May 12.

30. Houston Astros (10-28, Previous: 30)

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    Last Week's Results: 2-4

    vs. Los Angeles Angels (2-1)
    vs. Texas Rangers (0-3)


    First-Quarter Notables

    Biggest Surprise: SP Bud Norris

    The Opening Day starter, Norris has shown flashes of being a viable frontline guy throughout his career, as he entered the season with a 4.65 ERA and posted a 3.77 mark in 2011.

    He's been fantastic this season, and aside from a start against the A's in which he allowed six runs in 0.2 innings, his ERA is 2.23 and he has accounted for four of the Astros' 10 wins on the season.

    He'll be a solid trade chip come July if he can keep it up.


    Biggest Disappointment: SP Phil Humber

    Selected off waivers from the White Sox this offseason, Humber turned in a terrific spring with a 1.73 ERA over 26 innings and he looked as though he'd be a useful veteran arm.

    However, in nine games (seven starts) he was 0-8 with a 9.59 ERA, and after allowing five runs in 0.2 innings of relief last time out, he was designated for assignment.


    This Week's Opponents

    at Detroit Tigers (3)
    at Pittsburgh Pirates (3)

29. Miami Marlins (11-27, Previous: 28)

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    Last Week's Results: 1-5

    at San Diego Padres (0-3)
    at Los Angeles Dodgers (1-2)


    First-Quarter Notables

    Biggest Surprise: SP Kevin Slowey

    With all due respect to 20-year-old rookie Jose Fernandez, who has gone 2-2 with a 3.65 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 37 innings of work, there is no question Slowey has been the biggest surprise so far. The 29-year-old was brought on as a non-roster invitee this offseason and managed to win a rotation job with a strong spring.

    In eight starts, he's just 1-3, but he's posted a 2.55 ERA and 1.135 WHIP, as he's pitching better than he has at any point in his career.


    Biggest Disappointment: RF Giancarlo Stanton

    After the Marlins' offseason roster purge, there was not much left in the way of star power heading into the season, but Stanton was expected to be one bright spot.

    After hitting 37 home runs in 449 at-bats last season, he went without a long ball over his first 64 at-bats this season before hitting three in two games.

    Just as he was heating up, though, a hamstring injury landed him on the DL and he's currently hitting just .227.


    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Cincinnati Reds (3)
    vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (3) 

28. Milwaukee Brewers (15-20, Previous: 19)

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    Last Week's Results: 1-4

    vs. Texas Rangers (1-1)
    at Cincinnati Reds (0-3)


    First-Quarter Notables

    Biggest Surprise: CF Carlos Gomez

    A former top prospect who was acquired from the Twins for J.J. Hardy prior to the 2010 season, Gomez finally enjoyed a breakout of sorts last year, hitting 19 home runs and stealing 37 bases.

    That earned him a three-year, $24 million extension this offseason, and he's responded by taking his game to another level.

    He's currently leading the NL with a .371 average to go along with a 1.059 OPS. Shortstop Jean Segura (.359 BA, .993 OPS) has been a major surprise as well.


    Biggest Disappointment: 2B Rickie Weeks

    With Corey Hart and Aramis Ramirez missing significant time due to injury, the Brewers have been forced to rely on others to protect superstar Ryan Braun in the middle of the lineup.

    Weeks got the first crack at hitting cleanup, but he's been dropped down after a terrible start to the year.

    He's currently hitting .183 with just nine RBI as he's struck out 41 times in 126 at-bats.


    This Week's Opponents

    at Pittsburgh Pirates (4)
    at St. Louis Cardinals (3)

27. New York Mets (14-20, Previous: 25)

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    Last Week's Results: 2-4

    vs. Chicago White Sox (1-1)
    vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (1-3)


    First-Quarter Notables

    Biggest Surprise: SP Matt Harvey

    After posting a 2.73 ERA and 10.6 K/9 in 10 starts as a 23-year-old rookie last season, there was no question that Harvey had a bright future ahead of him.

    That said, it's safe to say that few people, if anyone, expected him to be quite this good in his first full season in the majors.

    He has to be considered one of the front-runners for NL Cy Young right now, as he's gone 4-0 with a 1.44 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 56.1 innings of work through his first eight starts.


    Biggest Disappointment: 1B Ike Davis

    Following a disappointing first half last year, Davis turned things around to hit 20 home runs with an .888 OPS in the second half.

    He followed that up with a strong spring, and all signs pointed to this being the season he finally put it all together and reached his full potential. Instead, he's hitting just .180 with just nine RBI as he's been dropped to the No. 7 spot in the lineup.


    This Week's Opponents

    at St. Louis Cardinals (4)
    at Chicago Cubs (3) 

26. Los Angeles Dodgers (15-21, Previous: 21)

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    Last Week's Results: 2-4

    vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (0-3)
    vs. Miami Marlins (2-1)


    First-Quarter Notables

    Biggest Surprise: SP Hyun-Jin Ryu

    The Dodgers signed Ryu to a six-year, $36 million deal this offseason, and while he was dominant for the Hanwha Eagles of the Korean Baseball Organization, there was a question of how well his stuff would translate to the MLB game.

    Through eight starts, he's been the Dodgers second-best starter behind Clayton Kershaw, going 4-2 with a 3.40 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 50.1 innings of work.

    He's got a real shot at NL Rookie of the Year if he can keep it up, though Shelby Miller may have something to say about that.


    Biggest Disappointment: The team's win-loss record.

    There is no one Dodgers player in particular who stands out as a huge disappointment, but instead, the team as a whole gets the nod for biggest disappointment.

    They are currently 15-21 on the year, putting them in last place in the NL West.

    With the highest payroll in the National League, anything short of a trip to the World Series will be a disappointment this season, and they are not off to a great start.

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Washington Nationals (3)
    at Atlanta Braves (3) 

25. Los Angeles Angels (14-23, Previous: 26)

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    Last Week's Results: 3-3

    at Houston Astros (1-2)
    at Chicago White Sox (2-1)


    First-Quarter Notables

    Biggest Surprise: RP Michael Kohn

    The bright spots for the Angels have been few and far between, but there are a handful of unheralded names making a positive contribution in the early going.

    Brendan Harris (.733 OPS, 10 R) and J.B. Shuck (.289 BA, 3 2B) have both been solid, but Kohn has been the biggest surprise. The 27-year-old missed all of last season with Tommy John surgery, but is one of the team's most reliable relievers with a 2.79 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 9.2 innings of work.


    Biggest Disappointment: RF Josh Hamilton

    Much like Albert Pujols last season, the Angels signed Hamilton to a huge contract in the offseason (five years, $125 million), only to see him stumble out of the gates.

    He opened the season 1-for-20, and it hasn't gotten much better from there, as he is currently hitting .203/.253/.331 with four home runs and 11 RBI.


    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Kansas City Royals (3)
    vs. Chicago White Sox (4) 

24. Chicago White Sox (15-20, Previous: 23)

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    Last Week's Results: 3-3

    at Kansas City Royals (1-0)
    at New York Mets (1-1)
    vs. Los Angeles Angels (1-2)


    First-Quarter Notables

    Biggest Surprise: 3B Conor Gillaspie

    While the signing of Jeff Keppinger to a three-year, $12 million deal was supposed to shore up the hole at third base, it has instead been under-the-radar trade pickup Gillaspie who has done that.

    The 25-year-old is a former first-round pick of the Giants, and while he saw 44 big league at-bats over three different seasons, he never really had a place in San Francisco.

    In 90 at-bats this season, he's hit .278/.340/.444 with three home runs.


    Biggest Disappointment: SP Gavin Floyd

    Over the past five seasons, Floyd has won double-digit games every year and gone a combined 62-56 with a 4.12 ERA for the White Sox.

    Expected to thrive in a contract year and be a terrific trade chip come July, the 30-year-old instead went 0-4 with a 5.18 ERA through his first five starts before an elbow injury landed him on the DL and Tommy John surgery ended his season.


    This Week's Opponents

    at Minnesota Twins (3)
    at Los Angeles Angels (4) 

23. Chicago Cubs (15-22, Previous: 29)

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    Last Week's Results: 4-2

    vs. Texas Rangers (1-0)
    vs. St. Louis Cardinals (1-1)
    at Washington Nationals (2-1)


    First-Quarter Notables

    Biggest Surprise: SP Travis Wood

    Acquired from the Reds last offseason for Sean Marshall, Wood has turned in seven straight quality starts to open the season, as he's 3-2 with 2.33 ERA. The 26-year-old has a chance to be a key part of the team's future core if he keeps it up.

    Also worth mentioning is newcomer Nate Schierholtz, who has an .858 OPS and 17 RBI as the team's everyday right fielder. He should garner a couple solid prospects at the deadline if he continues to perform.


    Biggest Disappointment: SP Edwin Jackson

    The Cubs' starting rotation has been a bright spot this season, at least outside of the performance of Jackson, as the other four starters have combined for a 2.96 ERA on the season.

    Jackson, however, has struggled to a 1-5 record and 6.02 ERA after signing a four-year, $52 million contract in the offseason.

    He was expected to bring some stability to the rotation, but instead, it's been the opposite.


    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Colorado Rockies (3)
    vs. New York Mets (3) 

22. Toronto Blue Jays (15-24, Previous: 27)

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    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    at Tampa Bay Rays (2-2)
    at Boston Red Sox (2-1)


    First-Quarter Notables

    Biggest Surprise: RP Casey Janssen

    Forced into closer duties last season when newly acquired Sergio Santos hit the disabled list, Janssen converted 22 of 25 save chances with a 2.54 ERA.

    While that performance was solid, he's been dominant in the early going this year. He's a perfect 10-for-10 on saves and has allowed just four hits and one run in 13 innings of work.


    Biggest Disappointment: Everyone outside of the bullpen.

    Aside from Janssen and the rest of the bullpen, which has posted a 3.66 ERA, the Blue Jays as a whole have been as big a disappointment as any in baseball.

    They're hitting just .237/.301/.407 on the offensive side of things, and no starter has an ERA under 4.50 with the trio of newcomers in R.A. Dickey, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle all struggling mightily.


    This Week's Opponents

    vs. San Francisco Giants (2)
    at New York Yankees (3) 

21. San Diego Padres (16-21, Previous: 22)

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    Last Week's Results: 3-3

    vs. Miami Marlins (3-0)
    at Tampa Bay Rays (0-3)


    First-Quarter Notables

    Biggest Surprise: RF Chris Denorfia

    Denorfia was signed to a two-year, $4.25 million extension last year to continue serving as the team's fourth outfielder, a role he filled last season when he hit .293 with eight home runs and 13 steals in 348 at-bats.

    With Cameron Maybin battling a wrist injury, he has slid into an everyday role and the 32-year-old has managed to continue his solid production as a regular.

    In 113 at-bats, he's hitting .283/.347/.407 with two home runs and three steals, as he's been one of the Padres' few consistent hitters.


    Biggest Disappointment: SP Clayton Richard

    The Padres have struggled to get consistent starting pitching for the better part of two seasons now, and Clayton Richard was one of the bright spots last year when he went 14-14 with a 3.99 ERA.

    Expected to once again be one of the leaders of the staff, he has instead been the worst of the bunch in 2013.

    Through his first six starts, he's 0-4 with an 8.54 ERA.


    This Week's Opponents

    at Baltimore Orioles (2)
    vs. Washington Nationals (4) 

20. Minnesota Twins (17-17, Previous: 24)

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    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    at Boston Red Sox (3-1)
    vs. Baltimore Orioles (1-2)


    First-Quarter Notables

    Biggest Surprise: RF Oswaldo Arcia

    Though he entered the season as the team's No. 3 prospect, according to Baseball America, Arcia was not expected to make a big league impact until late in the season, if at all this year.

    He had just 69 games above Single-A under his belt entering the year, but after hitting .394/.474/.727 through 33 at-bats in Triple-A, he got the call-up and he's hit .301 with three home runs and 12 RBI in his first 20 big league games.


    Biggest Disappointment: SP Vance Worley

    This one could go to a number of guys, including rookie Aaron Hicks (.137 BA), but we'll go with the newcomer and Opening Day starter Worley.

    Acquired from the Phillies to help shore up what was the AL's worst rotation last year, the 25-year-old has gone 1-4 with a 7.15 ERA through his first eight starts of the season.


    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Chicago White Sox (3)
    vs. Boston Red Sox (3) 

19. Philadelphia Phillies (18-21, Previous: 20)

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    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    at San Francisco Giants (2-1)
    at Arizona Diamondbacks (2-2)


    First-Quarter Notables

    Biggest Surprise: SP Kyle Kendrick

    Hidden among the struggles of Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels, there is one Phillies starter who is having a terrific season, as Kendrick has been the team's best arm to this point.

    After going 7-3 with a 2.43 ERA over his final 10 starts last season, he is 4-1 with a 2.47 ERA and 1.06 WHIP to open the year.

    At 28, he appears to have finally locked down a spot in the rotation after serving as a swingman the past several years.


    Biggest Disappointment: CF Ben Revere

    In need of a center fielder and table-setter, the Phillies traded starter Vance Worley and top pitching prospect Trevor May to the Twins for the speedy Revere.

    He hit .294 with 40 steals last season, and while he has zero power, his speed has been a solid weapon. This season, however, he's hitting just .237/.286/.263, though he has stolen seven bases to rank fifth in the NL in that category.

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Cleveland Indians (2)
    vs. Cincinnati Reds (3) 

18. Oakland Athletics (19-20, Previous: 9)

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    Last Week's Results: 1-6

    at Cleveland Indians (0-4)
    at Seattle Mariners (1-2)


    First-Quarter Notables

    Biggest Surprise: CF Coco Crisp

    Many called for the trade of Crisp after the acquisition of Chris Young this offseason, but he has been arguably the team's best hitter here in the early going.

    His .283/.388/.556 line makes him one of the best leadoff hitters in all of baseball right now, and he's added five home runs and eight stolen bases.

    The A's have a $7.5 million option with a $1 million buyout for next season, and the 33-year-old is certainly playing like it's a contract year.


    Biggest Disappointment: SP Jarrod Parker

    There has been no shortage of disappointments so far, as Dan Straily (7.06 ERA), Brett Anderson (1-4, 6.21 ERA), Chris Young (.172 BA, .668 OPS) and Josh Reddick (.152 BA, .516 OPS) were all viable candidates here.

    Parker is the pick here, though, as he was expected to assume the role of staff ace after going 13-8 with a 3.47 ERA as a rookie last season.

    Instead, the 24-year-old is 2-5 with a 6.86 ERA.


    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Texas Rangers (3)
    vs. Kansas City Royals (3) 

17. Kansas City Royals (18-16, Previous: 12)

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    Last Week's Results: 1-6

    vs. Chicago White Sox (0-1)
    at Baltimore Orioles (1-2)
    vs. New York Yankees (0-3)


    First-Quarter Notables

    Biggest Surprise: SP Ervin Santana

    Both James Shields (2.48 ERA) and Jeremy Guthrie (2.28 ERA) have been terrific this season, but there is no question that the biggest surprise of the Royals' reworked rotation has been Santana.

    After going 9-13 with a 5.16 ERA last season, the Angels opted to trade Santana and his $13 million salary to the Royals. The change of scenery has done wonder for the former 17-game winner, as he's 3-2 with a 2.79 ERA through his first seven starts.


    Biggest Disappointment: 3B Mike Moustakas

    Though he hit just .242/.296/.412 in his first full season last year, there was still plenty of reason to believe the 24-year-old Moustakas would take a big step forward in 2013.

    A dominant spring in which he put up a 1.147 OPS over 71 at-bats only fueled the breakout expectations, but to this point, he's fallen flat. He's hitting just .209/.288/.364, and for a Royals team looking to contend, he'll need to get on track.


    This Week's Opponents

    at Los Angeles Angels (3)
    at Oakland Athletics (3) 

16. Seattle Mariners (18-20, Previous: 16)

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    Last Week's Results: 3-2

    at Pittsburgh Pirates (1-1)
    vs. Oakland Athletics (2-1)


    First-Quarter Notables

    Biggest Surprise: SP Hisashi Iwakuma

    Last season, Iwakuma quietly closed out the year going 8-4 with a 2.65 ERA in 16 starts over the final three months of the season. That earned him a two-year, $14 million extension, and he's been fantastic as the team's No. 2 starter behind Felix Hernandez.

    Through eight starts, he's 4-1 with a 1.74 ERA and 0.74 WHIP as a bona fide Cy Young candidate.


    Biggest Disappointment: 1B Justin Smoak

    Smoak has been a major disappointment since coming over at the deadline in 2010 as part of the deal that shipped Cliff Lee to Texas.

    However, he hit .341/.426/.580 over the final month of the season last year and followed that up with a .407/.455/.797 spring, as he appeared to have turned a corner.

    That was not the case, though, as he's hit just .237 with six RBI so far this season.


    This Week's Opponents

    at New York Yankees (3)
    at Cleveland Indians (3) 

15. Tampa Bay Rays (19-18, Previous: 18)

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    Last Week's Results: 5-2

    vs. Toronto Blue Jays (2-2)
    vs. San Diego Padres (3-0)


    First-Quarter Notables

    Biggest Surprise: 1B James Loney

    The Rays made a number of low-cost additions to their lineup this offseason in hopes of improving a sub par offense, and while it has remained a weakness to this point, Loney has been one bright spot.

    Much like Casey Kotchman two years ago, a change of scenery to Tampa Bay has done wonder for Loney, as he's hitting .376/.429/.560 with 20 RBI through his first 109 at-bats.


    Biggest Disappointment: SS Yunel Escobar

    Another of the Rays' offseason pickups, Escobar was expected to improve the shortstop situation after hitting .271 with 20 home runs over the past two seasons in Toronto.

    With a .282/.353/.390 career line entering the season, the hope was he'd give the team a solid No. 2 hitter.

    Instead, he's hitting just .191/.246/.309 as one of the worst offensive shortstops in all of baseball so far.


    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Boston Red Sox (3)
    at Baltimore Orioles (3) 

14. Colorado Rockies (20-17, Previous: 13)

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    Last Week's Results: 2-4

    vs. New York Yankees (1-2)
    at St. Louis Cardinals (1-2)


    First-Quarter Notables

    Biggest Surprise: CF Dexter Fowler

    The Rockies got off to a blistering start this season thanks in large part to the surprise performance of their starting pitching, but in the weeks since, things have returned to normal on that front.

    Instead, their biggest surprise has been Fowler, who has eight home runs through his first 126 at-bats. He hit a career-high 13 in 454 at-bats last season and had just 28 career home runs in 1,833 at-bats entering 2013.


    Biggest Disappointment: 2B Josh Rutledge

    Forced into action with Troy Tulowitzki sidelined, Rutledge hit .274 with eight home runs and 37 RBI in 277 at-bats as a rookie last season.

    That strong showing over a small sample size made him a popular breakout candidate entering the season, as he slid to second base where his offensive prowess would be even more valuable.

    Instead, he's hit just .238/.301/.354 so far, though he does have four home runs and 10 RBI.


    This Week's Opponents

    at Chicago Cubs (3)
    vs. San Francisco Giants (4)

13. Arizona Diamondbacks (21-17, Previous: 15)

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    Last Week's Results: 5-2

    at Los Angeles Dodgers (3-0)
    vs. Philadelphia Phillies (2-2)


    First-Quarter Notables

    Biggest Surprise: SP Patrick Corbin

    Entering the season, the No. 5 starter spot in the Diamondbacks rotation was expected to go to top prospect Tyler Skaggs, but after he struggled in the spring, the door swung open for someone else to seize the spot.

    Corbin took full advantage, and he's been the team's best pitcher so far and one of the best in all of baseball at 5-0 with a 1.75 ERA through seven starts.

    The 23-year-old made 22 appearances (17 starts) last season and posted a 4.54 ERA, but he's been a different pitcher this season.


    Biggest Disappointment: SP Brandon McCarthy

    Looking to bolster the back end of their rotation, the Diamondbacks signed McCarthy to a two-year, $15.5 million deal after a successful, albeit injury-plagued two years in Oakland.

    Health has not been an issue so far, but effectiveness has, as he's gone 0-3 with a 5.63 ERA and posted just two quality starts through his first eight.

    On a positive note, he threw eight shutouts innings on Sunday, so he may be figuring things out.


    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Atlanta Braves (3)
    at Miami Marlins (3) 

12. Boston Red Sox (22-16, Previous: 5)

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    Last Week's Results: 2-5

    vs. Minnesota Twins (1-3)
    vs. Toronto Blue Jays (1-2)


    First-Quarter Notables

    Biggest Surprise: SP Clay Buchholz

    Buchholz has always had potential, and it looked like he was ready to become a star in 2010 when he went 17-7 with a 2.33 ERA.

    However, he went just 17-11 with a 4.24 ERA over the past two seasons, and entering 2013, he was as big a question mark as any on the Red Sox roster.

    Needless to say, those questions have been answered, as the right-hander is 6-0 with a 1.69 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 58.2 innings through his first eight starts.


    Biggest Disappointment: RP Joel Hanrahan

    With the health and effectiveness of Andrew Bailey in question, the Red Sox pulled off a trade with the Pirates to acquire the two-time All-Star Hanrahan.

    Rather than shoring up the ninth inning, he made it an even bigger issue than before, blowing two of his six save chances and posting a 9.82 ERA.

    He won't have a chance to improve on those numbers, as flexor tendon surgery effectively ended his season this past week.


    This Week's Opponents

    at Tampa Bay Rays (3)
    at Minnesota Twins (3) 

11. Pittsburgh Pirates (21-16, Previous: 14)

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    Last Week's Results: 4-2

    vs. Seattle Mariners (1-1)
    at New York Mets (3-1)


    First-Quarter Notables

    Biggest Surprise: LF Starling Marte

    The Pirates saw enough out of Marte in a 47-game audition last season that they handed him the everyday left field job and leadoff spot in the batting order to start the year.

    He's been everything they could have hoped and more to this point, hitting .329/.399/.507 with five home runs and 10 steals. The 24-year-old is a star in the making and has the tools to be a perennial .300 hitter with 20/30 potential.


    Biggest Disappointment: 3B Pedro Alvarez

    It's debatable at this point whether the poor play of Alvarez is disappointing or somewhat expected, but after rebounding from a terrible start last year, he's stumbled out of the gates again this season.

    He was hitting .189/.254/.373 with eight home runs and 25 RBI on June 15 last season, only to finish the season at .244 BA, 30 HR, 85 RBI, so there's hope he can rebound from his .203 start to 2013.


    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Milwaukee Brewers (4)
    vs. Houston Astros (3) 

10. Cleveland Indians (20-15, Previous: 17)

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    Last Week's Results: 6-1

    vs. Oakland Athletics (4-0)
    at Detroit Tigers (2-1)


    First-Quarter Notables

    Biggest Surprise: 1B Mark Reynolds

    Throughout his career, power has always been the one and only tool that Reynolds has brought to the table. Last year was no different, as he hit 23 home runs in 457 at-bats, but hit just .221 with 159 strikeouts.

    The Indians signed him to a one-year, $6 million deal this offseason looking to add some pop out of the bottom half of the lineup.

    He's given them much more to this point, as he's hitting .291/.372/.624 with an AL-high 11 home runs and 32 RBI.


    Biggest Disappointment: 3B Lonnie Chisenhall

    The starting pitching has once again been a weakness for the Indians, with veterans Ubaldo Jimenez and Brett Myers both struggling to hold down their spots, but that isn't all that surprising.

    The big disappointment has been former top prospect Chisenhall, who looked to be on his way to breaking out when he hit .400/.456/.667 this spring. Instead, he's hitting just .213 with a .604 OPS and has been a weak link in the Indians' potent offense.


    This Week's Opponents

    vs. New York Yankees (2)
    at Philadelphia Phillies (2)
    vs. Seattle Mariners (3) 

9. Cincinnati Reds (22-16, Previous: 11)

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    Last Week's Results: 4-2

    vs. Atlanta Braves (1-2)
    vs. Milwaukee Brewers (3-0)


    First-Quarter Notables

    Biggest Surprise: SP Tony Cingrani

    The fact that Cingrani is even a part of the Reds rotation at this point is a surprise in itself, but for him to be dominating the way he has makes it all the more surprising.

    The 23-year-old was dominant in the minors last season before earning a call-up from Double-A down the stretch. In three Triple-A starts this year, he allowed three hits and no runs while striking out 26 in 14.1 innings.

    That success has continued in the majors, where he's 2-0 with a 2.89 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 28 innings through five starts.


    Biggest Disappointment: LF Chris Heisey

    Over the past three seasons, Heisey has been one of the better fourth outfielders in all of baseball, but he has never gotten a chance at everyday at-bats. That changed when Ryan Ludwick went down with a shoulder injury on Opening Day, but he has failed to seize the opportunity.

    Through 75 at-bats, he's hitting .173/.195/.293, and the Reds have turned to Xavier Paul instead to be the starter.


    This Week's Opponents

    at Miami Marlins (3)
    at Philadelphia Phillies (3) 

8. Detroit Tigers (20-15, Previous: 1)

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    Last Week's Results: 1-4

    at Washington Nationals (0-2)
    vs. Cleveland Indians (1-2)


    First-Quarter Notables

    Biggest Surprise: SP Anibal Sanchez

    Not everyone was a fan of the five-year, $80 million deal the Tigers gave Sanchez this offseason, pointing to the fact that he was expected to be slotted as the team's No. 4 starter and that was a ton of money for a non-ace.

    That was a legitimate argument, except for the fact that he has pitched like a frontline ace in the early going this season.

    Through seven starts, he's 3-3 with a 1.97 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 45.2 innings, including a 17-strikeout game against the Braves.


    Biggest Disappointment: DH Victor Martinez

    Despite their signing of Sanchez and the addition of Torii Hunter, most viewed the Tigers' biggest offseason addition to be the return of Victor Martinez, who missed 2012 with a torn ACL.

    He hit .330 with 103 RBI in his first season in Detroit, but so far, he has been slow to shake off the rust, hitting just .212 with a .562 OPS. Luckily, he hasn't needed to do much with Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder raking.


    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Houston Astros (3)
    at Texas Rangers (4) 

7. Washington Nationals (20-17, Previous: 8)

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    Last Week's Results: 3-2

    vs. Detroit Tigers (2-0)
    vs. Chicago Cubs (1-2)


    First-Quarter Notables

    Biggest Surprise: SP Ross Detwiler

    The Nationals knew what to expect out of their top three starters and knew Dan Haren would be a wild card of sorts, but Detwiler's fantastic early season performance has been a pleasant surprise.

    The left-hander quietly went 10-8 with a 3.40 ERA in 2012, and he's been even better this year with a 2.53 ERA through his first seven starts.

    That's good for second-best on the staff behind only Jordan Zimmermann (1.59).


    Biggest Disappointment: LF Tyler Moore

    As a 25-year-old rookie last season, Moore was a huge weapon off the bench for the Nationals, hitting 10 home runs with an .840 OPS in just 156 at-bats.

    He's gotten a chance at semi-regular at-bats so far this season due to injuries, but he's hitting just .157/.185/.294 and he's struck out 23 times in 53 plate appearances while drawing just two walks.

    The power is still there, but his contact rate has to improve for it to be a weapon.


    This Week's Opponents

    at Los Angeles Dodgers (3)
    at San Diego Padres (4) 

6. Atlanta Braves (21-16, Previous: 7)

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    Last Week's Results: 3-4

    at Cincinnati Reds (2-1)
    at San Francisco Giants (1-3)


    First-Quarter Notables

    Biggest Surprise: C Evan Gattis

    The Evan Gattis story is a good one, as he spent four years after high school battling anxiety and substance abuse, only to return to the sport where he was a highly regarded prep and earned a 23rd-round selection from the Braves.

    In three minor league seasons, he hit .308/.374/.546, and with Brian McCann on the DL to open the season, he won a spot on the Opening Day roster. He's cooled a bit after a hot start, but he still has seven home runs and 20 RBI with an .845 OPS.


    Biggest Disappointment: CF B.J. Upton

    Signed to a five-year, $72.5 million deal based as much on potential as production, Upton has not benefited from a change of scenery as many expected.

    His brother Justin (12 HR, .990 OPS) has been great in his first season in Atlanta, but B.J. has yet to get his footing. He's struck out a whopping 47 times in his first 124 at-bats, a trend that will need to change if he's going to turn things around.


    This Week's Opponents

    at Arizona Diamondbacks (3)
    vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (3) 

5. Baltimore Orioles (23-15, Previous: 6)

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    Last Week's Results: 4-2

    vs. Kansas City Royals (2-1)
    at Minnesota Twins (2-1)


    First-Quarter Notables

    Biggest Surprise: 3B Manny Machado

    All due respect to Chris Davis (1.069 OPS, 11 HR, 37 RBI), who is off to a fantastic start as well, but Machado has been the bigger surprise to this point.

    The 20-year-old hit .262/.294/.445 in 191 at-bats after being called up last season, and while he certainly had the tools to be a star, most expected it to be at least a few years before he reached his offensive potential.

    Instead, he's outperformed fellow phenoms Bryce Harper and Mike Trout in the early going with a .331/.370/.521 line and 24 RBI.


    Biggest Disappointment: 2B Brian Roberts

    Once one of the best second basemen in all of baseball, Roberts has played just 118 games over the past three seasons due to concussions, among other injuries.

    He was finally healthy and ready to make an impact atop the Orioles lineup this season, and he opened the year 5-for-12 over the first three games. However, a ruptured tendon in his knee landed him on the DL, and he's expected to be out another six weeks following surgery.


    This Week's Opponents

    vs. San Diego Padres (2)
    vs. Tampa Bay Rays (3) 

4. New York Yankees (23-13, Previous: 10)

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    Last Week's Results: 5-1

    at Colorado Rockies (2-1)
    at Kansas City Royals (3-0) 


    First-Quarter Notables

    Biggest Surprise: LF Vernon Wells and DH Travis Hafner

    It was impossible to pick just one of these guys, as they may very well rank as 1 and 1A among the biggest surprises in the league to this point.

    Wells (.873 OPS, 9 HR, 20 RBI) has positioned himself to remain an everyday player, even when the team gets healthy.

    Hafner (.914 OPS, 6 HR, 18 RBI) took an $11 million pay cut when he signed for $2 million this offseason, and he's looked like the dangerous slugger of old.


    Biggest Disappointment: SS Eduardo Nunez

    A valuable utility man the past two years, the 25-year-old Nunez had a chance to show what he was capable of when he was given everyday at-bats with Derek Jeter on the shelf.

    Instead, he hit just .200/.290/.275 over 80 at-bats before losing time to Chris Nelson and eventually landing on the disabled list with a rib injury.

    It appears that useful utility guy is the ceiling for Nunez at this point.


    This Week's Opponents

    at Cleveland Indians (2)
    vs. Seattle Mariners (3)
    vs. Toronto Blue Jays (3) 

3. San Francisco Giants (23-15, Previous: 4)

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    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    vs. Philadelphia Phillies (1-2)
    vs. Atlanta Braves (3-1)


    First-Quarter Notables

    Biggest Surprise: SS Brandon Crawford

    A defensive-minded shortstop, Crawford hit just .248/.304/.349 in his first full big league season last year, and not much more was expected from him this time around.

    However, the 26-year-old has proven that he does have some offensive punch, as he's currently hitting .279/.352/.488 and has already surpassed his home run total from last season with five long balls to go along with 17 RBI.


    Biggest Disappointment: SP Ryan Vogelsong

    Ace Matt Cain has struggled (2-2, 5.04 ERA), but much of that has stemmed form a pair of bad starts, as his 1.16 WHIP and .225 BAA are both solid and he should be fine in the long run.

    Vogelsong, on the other hand, may be in trouble, as he's 1-3 with a 7.78 ERA on the season.

    Opponents are hitting .323 against the right-hander, and his 1.73 WHIP is rough to say the least. After out-pitching his peripherals the past two seasons, things may finally be catching up with him.


    This Week's Opponents

    at Toronto Blue Jays (2)
    at Colorado Rockies (4) 

2. St. Louis Cardinals (23-13, Previous: 3)

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    Last Week's Results: 3-2

    at Chicago Cubs (1-1)
    vs. Colorado Rockies (2-1)


    First-Quarter Notables

    Biggest Surprise: SP Shelby Miller

    Everyone knew Shelby Miller was one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, and they knew he had the potential to be a staff ace one day, but I don't know that anyone knew just how good he'd be as a rookie.

    Through seven starts, the 22-year-old is 5-2 with a 1.58 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and 51 strikeouts in 45.2 innings of work.

    He's fresh off of a one-hit, 13-strikeout shutout of the Rockies and is not only the NL Rookie of the Year front-runner at this point, but also a serious Cy Young candidate.


    Biggest Disappointment: The bullpen

    Aside from Edward Mujica (9 SV, 1.93 ERA), Randy Choate (11 G, 1.93 ERA) and Trevor Rosenthal (18 G, 2.95 ERA), the Cardinals bullpen has been a mess this year.

    Jason Motte hit the DL to open the season, and Mitchell Boggs floundered in the closer's role before Mujica took over. As a group, they have a 5.28 ERA, which is ahead of only the Astros (5.30) and they have managed to carry the NL's best record despite their late-inning struggles.


    This Week's Opponents

    vs. New York Mets (4)
    vs. Milwaukee Brewers (3) 

1. Texas Rangers (24-13, Previous: 2)

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    Last Week's Results: 4-2

    at Chicago Cubs (0-1)
    at Milwaukee Brewers (1-1)
    at Houston Astros (3-0)


    First-Quarter Notables

    Biggest Surprise: SP Justin Grimm and SP Nicholas Tepesch

    The Rangers, long known for their offensive firepower, have gotten to where they are this season on the strength of a pitching staff that ranks first in the AL with a 3.39 ERA.

    That despite a number of injuries to their rotation, where Grimm (5 GS, 2-2, 3.45 ERA, 9.7 K/9) and Tepesch (7 GS, 3-3, 4.03 ERA, 7.1 K/9) have both filled in admirably after opening the season in the minors.


    Biggest Disappointment: LF David Murphy

    When Josh Hamilton departed in free agency, the Rangers opted to replace him in-house with prospect Leonys Martin taking over in center field and fourth outfielder David Murphy moving into an everyday role.

    In 457 at-bats last season, Murphy hit .304/.380/.479 with 15 home runs and 10 steals, and he seemed more than capable of making an impact over extended at-bats.

    He's struggled so far, though, hitting just .200/.252/.374.


    This Week's Opponents

    at Oakland Athletics (3)
    vs. Detroit Tigers (4)