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Updated MLB Power Rankings: Where Every Team Stands After the One-Quarter Mark

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistMay 20, 2013

Updated MLB Power Rankings: Where Every Team Stands After the One-Quarter Mark

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    The first-quarter mark of the 2013 MLB season has come and gone, and as the weather heats up, so too will the divisional races across the league.

    For the first time since regular-season play began, the teams at No. 1 and No. 2 in these power rankings retained their positions for consecutive weeks.

    Things are still very close at the top, and league wide for that matter, as 13 teams currently have between 20 and 25 wins on the season.

    With that, one week's performance can make a big difference, and there was again a good deal of movement throughout the rankings as a result.

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

30. Houston Astros (12-32, Previous: 30)

2 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 2-4

    at Detroit Tigers (1-2)
    at Pittsburgh Pirates (1-2)

     

    First-Quarter Review

    The Astros are right where everyone expected them to be at this point in the season, with the worst record in the American League and tied with the Marlins for the worst record in baseball.

    Jose Altuve (.333 BA, .808 OPS) has been one of the few bright spots, while rookie outfielder Brandon Barnes (.317 BA, .872 OPS) has impressed over his first 60 at-bats.

    Pitching has been the real struggle, as their 5.49 team ERA is by far the worst in all of baseball. Bud Norris (4-4, 4.32 ERA) and Lucas Harrell (3-5, 4.63 ERA) have been passable, but the rest of the rotation has been nothing short of terrible.

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Kansas City Royals (3)
    vs. Oakland Athletics (3)

29. Miami Marlins (12-32, Previous: 29)

3 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 1-5

    vs. Cincinnati Reds (0-3)
    vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (1-2)

     

    First Quarter Review

    Following their offseason fire sale, the Marlins were expected to be among the worst teams in baseball, and that's exactly where they rank after the first quarter of play.

    The offense has been abysmal, hitting just .220 as a team and averaging 2.7 runs per game. Rookie outfielder Marcell Ozuna (.299 BA, .801 OPS) has made the most of his 67 at-bats and gives some reason for hope.

    The pitching staff has actually been decent, with a cumulative 4.08 ERA, and with some better offensive support, they'd be solid. Scrap-heap signing Kevin Slowey (1-4, 3.44 ERA) and 20-year-old Jose Fernandez (2-2, 3.48 ERA) have been the surprise staff leaders.

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Philadelphia Phillies (3)
    at Chicago White Sox (3) 

28. Milwaukee Brewers (17-25, Previous: 28)

4 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 2-5

    at Pittsburgh Pirates (1-3)
    at St. Louis Cardinals (1-2)

     

    First Quarter Review

    Though they were picked by most to finish behind the Reds and Cardinals in the NL Central, the Brewers were at least expected to be competitive this season. That has not been the case so far, though, as they've been hampered by injuries and poor pitching.

    After ranking as the highest scoring offense in the NL last season, they have been potent at the plate once again. The unheralded duo of Jean Segura (.364 BA, .986 OPS) and Carlos Gomez (.336 BA, .964 OPS) have stepped up with Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart both missing significant time.

    Kyle Lohse (1-5, 3.76 ERA) is the only starter with an ERA under 4.50 on the season, and while the bullpen has rounded into form, the starting rotation continues to hold the team back.

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (3)
    vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (3) 

27. New York Mets (17-24, Previous: 27)

5 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 3-4

    at St. Louis Cardinals (1-3)
    at Chicago Cubs (2-1)

     

    First Quarter Review

    The Mets' offseason trade of R.A. Dickey made it clear they were looking to the future, and as expected, they have struggled to string together wins this season. That's not to say there haven't been some bright spots, though.

    David Wright (.315 BA, .944 OPS) has shown why he was worth the eight-year, $138 million extension he signed this offseason, and Daniel Murphy (.300 BA, .804 OPS) has been one of the NL's most productive second basemen. However, first baseman Ike Davis (.156 BA, .498 OPS) has been terrible.

    The real source of hope has been on the mound, where 24-year-old Matt Harvey (5-0, 1.55 ERA, 9.6 K/9) has been one of the best pitchers in the game. Unfortunately, he's the only starter on the team with an ERA under 5.00.

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Cincinnati Reds (3)
    vs. Atlanta Braves (3) 

26. Los Angeles Angels (17-27, Previous: 25)

6 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 3-4

    vs. Kansas City Royals (1-2)
    vs. Chicago White Sox (2-2)

     

    First Quarter Review

    A year ago, the Angels went 19-25 through their first 44 games and wound up missing out on the playoffs after entering the season with lofty expectations. Fast forward to this season, and they find themselves in nearly the exact same position.

    High-profile addition Josh Hamilton (.216 BA, .622 OPS) has been a bust so far, and what was expected to be a high-powered offense has been merely average. At least Mike Trout (.278 BA, .880 OPS) has managed to avoid a huge sophomore slump.

    On the pitching side of things, ace Jered Weaver has made just two starts this season after fracturing his non-throwing elbow. Aside from that injury and the struggles of Joe Blanton (0-7, 6.62 ERA), the retooled rotation has been solid. Overall, however, the team has been a huge disappointment.

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Seattle Mariners (2)
    at Kansas City Royals (4)

25. Minnesota Twins (18-22, Previous: 20)

7 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 1-5

    vs. Chicago White Sox (1-2)
    vs. Boston Red Sox (0-3)

     

    First Quarter Review

    After trading Denard Span and Ben Revere, the Twins offense has taken a step backward. Despite reworking their pitching staff, Minnesota again ranks as one of the worst in the league.

    Joe Mauer (.342 BA, .911 OPS) continues to do what Joe Mauer does, and Justin Morneau (29 RBI) has shown he still has something left in a contract year. However, they have gotten little-to-no production from the middle infield and all three outfield spots.

    Newcomer Kevin Correia (4-3, 3.35 ERA) has been great, but the additions of Vance Worley (1-4, 6.20 ERA) and Mike Pelfrey (3-4, 6.57 ERA) have not gone quite as well. The bullpen has been a plus again though, as their 3.24 ERA ranks fifth in the AL.

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Atlanta Braves (3)
    at Detroit Tigers (4) 

24. Los Angeles Dodgers (17-25, Previous: 26)

8 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 2-4

    vs. Washington Nationals (2-1)
    at Atlanta Braves (0-3)

     

    First Quarter Review

    Expected to be serious title contenders after adding a ton of star-level talent over the past year, the Dodgers have gotten little return so far out of the highest payroll in the National League.

    Adrian Gonzalez (.331 BA, .861 OPS) leads the team with 29 RBI and has been the Dodgers' best hitter by far this season. Hanley Ramirez is finally back healthy and should give the offense a boost, but Matt Kemp (.650 OPS) and Andre Ethier (.710 OPS) need to pick things up.

    On the mound, Clayton Kershaw (4-2, 1.40 ERA) remains the best pitcher in the NL, and rookie Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-2, 3.42 ERA) has been as good as anyone could have hoped. With Zack Greinke back, they have a formidable trio atop the rotation.

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Milwaukee Brewers (3)
    vs. St. Louis Cardinals (3)

23. Chicago Cubs (18-25, Previous: 23)

9 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 3-3

    vs. Colorado Rockies (2-1)
    vs. New York Mets (1-2)

     

    First Quarter Review

    After opening the season 5-13, the Cubs have been a game over .500 since at 13-12 and have improved across the board since the opening weeks of the season in the midst of an ongoing rebuild.

    Anthony Rizzo (.869 OPS, 10 HR) has continued his emergence as an offensive force, and the Cubs rewarded him with a seven-year, $41 million extension. Outfielders Nate Schierholtz (.841 OPS) and David DeJesus (.872 OPS) have been solid as well.

    Travis Wood (4-2, 2.24 ERA) and Scott Feldman (4-3, 2.19 ERA) have been fantastic on the mound, with Feldman going 4-0 with a 1.27 ERA over his last five starts. Kevin Gregg (6-for-6 SV, 0.00 ERA) was plucked from the scrap heap and has been lights-out in the closer's role.

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Pittsburgh Pirates (3)
    at Cincinnati Reds (3) 

22. Toronto Blue Jays (17-26, Previous: 22)

10 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 2-2

    vs. San Francisco Giants (2-0)
    at New York Yankees (0-2)

     

    First Quarter Review

    Not much has gone right for the Blue Jays in 2013. They went all-in this offseason with a pair of blockbuster trades and some key free-agent signings, yet still find themselves in the AL East cellar.

    The trio of Jose Bautista (.893 OPS, 9 HR), Edwin Encarnacion (.828 OPS, 12 HR) and J.P. Arencibia (.719 OPS, 10 HR) has provided plenty of power. However, the offense as a whole has been disappointing, averaging just 4.1 runs per game.

    The real disappointment, though, has been the new-look rotation, as R.A. Dickey (3-5, 4.83 ERA), Mark Buehrle (1-3, 6.33 ERA) and Josh Johnson (0-1, 6.86 ERA) have not given the team the formidable staff it expected.

    Closer Casey Janssen (10-for-10 SV, 0.69 ERA) has managed to thrive despite the team's struggles.

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Tampa Bay Rays (3)
    vs. Baltimore Orioles (4) 

21. Chicago White Sox (19-23, Previous: 24)

11 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    at Minnesota Twins (2-1)
    at Los Angeles Angels (2-2)

     

    First Quarter Review

    After nearly winning the AL Central crown last season, the White Sox have failed to match that success in 2013. The offense has been the biggest culprit, with an AL-worst 155 runs scored on the season.

    Alex Rios (.912 OPS, 10 HR) has once again been a force, but Paul Konerko (.224 BA, .640 OPS) and Adam Dunn (.169 BA, 671 OPS) have failed to pull their weight alongside him in the middle of the lineup.

    John Danks has yet to make his season debut, and Gavin Floyd has been lost for the year to Tommy John surgery. However, Chris Sale (5-2, 2.53 ERA) and Jake Peavy (5-2, 3.31 ERA) have been strong once again, and Addison Reed (14-for-15 SV) continues his emergence as an elite closer.

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Boston Red Sox (3)
    vs. Miami Marlins (3) 

20. Seattle Mariners (20-24, Previous: 16)

12 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 2-4

    at New York Yankees (2-1)
    at Cleveland Indians (0-3)

     

    First Quarter Review

    With a seemingly bright future, the Mariners' focus heading into the season was to make the AL's worst offense at least respectable. A number of top prospects will likely see the majors by midseason, and an improved roster around them would no doubt make that transition easier.

    Michael Morse (.248 BA, 10 HR) and Kendrys Morales (.260 BA, 5 HR) were the two big offseason additions, but Kyle Seager (.272 BA, 21 RBI) has once again been the team's best hitter. The middle infield has been an absolute black hole offensively.

    The rotation is fronted by arguably the best one-two punch in baseball right now in Felix Hernandez (5-3, 2.07 ERA) and Hisashi Iwakuma (5-1, 1.84 ERA), but no other starter has an ERA under 5.50. Closer Tom Wilhelmsen (11-for-11 SV, 0.50 ERA) has been lights-out.

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Cleveland Indians (1)
    at Los Angeles Angels (2)
    vs. Texas Rangers (3) 

19. San Diego Padres (20-23, Previous: 21)

13 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 4-2

    at Baltimore Orioles (2-0)
    vs. Washington Nationals (2-2)

     

    First Quarter Review

    Still in the process of rebuilding, and backed by one of the deeper farm systems in all of baseball, the Padres are on the rise. They may not contend for a playoff spot, but they have a chance to be a .500-plus team after going 76-86 last season.

    Yonder Alonso (.289 BA, 26 RBI) continues to improve as a middle-of-the-order threat, and Chase Headley (.288 BA, .886 OPS) has been terrific after opening the season on the DL. Slugger Carlos Quentin (.186 BA, .689 OPS) needs to get things going out of the cleanup spot, though.

    Andrew Cashner has been the team's best starter, going 3-2 with a 2.80 ERA in six starts after opening the season in the bullpen. On the other hand, Clayton Richard (0-4, 8.54 ERA) and Edinson Volquez (3-4, 5.55 ERA) have struggled.

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. St. Louis Cardinals (3)
    at Arizona Diamondbacks (3) 

18. Philadelphia Phillies (21-23, Previous: 19)

14 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 3-2

    vs. Cleveland Indians (1-1)
    vs. Cincinnati Reds (2-1)

     

    First Quarter Review

    The Phillies are in a tough position right now, as they have a ton of money tied up in a handful of aging veterans. The window appears to have closed on their title contention, and now they need to figure out how to start rebuilding.

    A healthy Chase Utley (.276 BA, .816 OPS) has been the team's best hitter, leading the squad with seven home runs and 25 RBI. As a group, though, the Phillies are among the worst offensive teams in the National League.

    Cliff Lee (4-2, 2.83 ERA) and Kyle Kendrick (4-2, 2.82 ERA) have led the rotation, and rookie Jonathan Pettibone (3-0, 3.00 ERA) has been solid replacing the injured Roy Halladay. Ace Cole Hamels (1-6, 4.61 ERA) has been a big disappointment, though.

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Miami Marlins (3)
    at Washington Nationals (3) 

17. Kansas City Royals (20-20, Previous: 17)

15 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 2-4

    at Los Angeles Angels (2-1)
    at Oakland Athletics (0-3)

     

    First Quarter Review

    If the offseason trade for James Shields and Wade Davis showed anything, it was that the Royals are looking to make the jump from rebuilding to contention in the immediate future. So far they've been much improved, but they may not quite be there yet.

    Alex Gordon (.343 BA, .902 OPS) has been a stud at the plate, and Billy Butler (5 HR, 30 RBI) remains a dangerous run producer. However, young corner infielders Eric Hosmer (.252 BA, .655 OPS) and Mike Moustakas (.178 BA, .563 OPS) need to pick up their production.

    Shields (2-4, 2.45 ERA) and Ervin Santana (3-3, 2.77 ERA) have been great additions atop the staff, and Jeremy Guthrie (5-1, 2.82 ERA) has been solid as well. The bullpen is fourth in the AL with a 3.07 ERA.

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Houston Astros (3)
    vs. Los Angeles Angels (4) 

16. Oakland Athletics (23-22, Previous: 18)

16 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 4-2

    vs. Texas Rangers (1-2)
    vs. Kansas City Royals (3-0)

     

    First Quarter Review

    After starting the season 12-4, the A's have gone 11-18, but the pieces are still there for this team to be a postseason contender in 2013. Inconsistency from the starting rotation has been the biggest issue to this point.

    Third baseman Josh Donaldson (.317 BA, .919 OPS) is enjoying a breakout season, and the team has once again received contributions from up and down the lineup. Yoenis Cespedes (.208 BA, .710 OPS) is off to a slow start, though he does lead the team with eight home runs.

    A.J. Griffin (4-3, 3.59 ERA) and Tommy Milone (4-5, 3.47 ERA) have been solid, but the rest of the rotation has combined to go 7-13 with a 5.97 ERA. The bullpen is once again among the best in the league, as their 2.88 ERA is tops in the AL and third-best in all of baseball.

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Texas Rangers (3)
    at Houston Astros (3) 

15. Baltimore Orioles (23-20, Previous: 5)

17 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 0-5

    vs. San Diego Padres (0-2)
    vs. Tampa Bay Rays (0-3)

     

    First Quarter Review

    It was a tough week for the Orioles, as they were swept at home by the Padres and Rays. While they fall 10 spots in this week's rankings, they are still very much contenders this season.

    Manny Machado (.328 BA, .889 OPS) has taken a huge step forward as a 20-year-old, while Adam Jones (.322 BA, .858 OPS) and Chris Davis (1.066 OPS, 12 HR) are having great seasons as well. Nate McLouth is tied for the AL lead with 13 steals, as he's once again been a plus table-setter.

    Wei-Yin Chen (3-3, 3.04 ERA) and Chris Tillman (3-2, 3.52 ERA) have pitched well atop the rotation, but the rest of the starters have been hit-or-miss. The bullpen has not been quite as dominant as last year, but is still a plus with a 3.31 ERA.

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. New York Yankees (3)
    at Toronto Blue Jays (4) 

14. San Francisco Giants (24-20, Previous: 3)

18 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 1-5

    at Toronto Blue Jays (0-2)
    at Colorado Rockies (1-3)

     

    First Quarter Review

    Though they remain one of the top teams in the National League and a serious title contender, the Giants have been wildly inconsistent over the first quarter of the season. They are 5-8 over their last 13 games, and that was on the heels of a six-game winning streak.

    As expected, the trio of Pablo Sandoval (.302 BA, .807 OPS), Buster Posey (.294 BA, .918 OPS) and Hunter Pence (.290 BA, .826 OPS) have led the offense. However, the play of Brandon Crawford (.288 BA, .824 OPS) has been a surprise to say the least.

    The rotation has been the biggest reason for the team's inconsistency, with ace Matt Cain (3-2, 5.43 ERA) and Ryan Vogelsong (1-4, 8.06 ERA) both pitching well below expectations at this point. The bullpen has been an asset once again, with a 2.91 ERA.

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Washington Nationals (3)
    vs. Colorado Rockies (3) 

13. Washington Nationals (23-21, Previous: 7)

19 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 3-4

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

     

    First Quarter Review

    Believed by many to be the most complete team in all of baseball entering the season, the Nationals have been far from dominant and are currently in second place in the NL East.

    Bryce Harper (1.011 OPS, 11 HR) has avoided the sophomore slump and continues his climb to stardom. Ryan Zimmerman (.280 BA, .810 OPS) has been solid as well, but the rest of the offense has scuffled, and they are hitting just .230 as a team.

    Jordan Zimmermann (7-2, 1.62 ERA) has been great, and at 26 years old is just entering his prime. Ross Detwiler (2-4, 2.76 ERA) and Stephen Strasburg (2-5, 2.83 ERA) have also pitched well, but Gio Gonzalez (3-2, 4.01 ERA) has been somewhat disappointing.

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at San Francisco Giants (3)
    vs. Philadelphia Phillies (3) 

12. Tampa Bay Rays (23-20, Previous: 15)

20 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 4-2

    vs. Boston Red Sox (1-2)
    at Baltimore Orioles (3-0)

     

    First Quarter Review

    Aside from their blockbuster trade with the Royals, the Rays also made a handful of under-the-radar signings in an effort to improve their offense. So far it's worked, as they are averaging 4.9 runs per game, up from 4.3 last season.

    Evan Longoria (.327 BA, .968 OPS) is producing as expected, but it's the contributions of James Loney (.356 BA, .926 OPS) and Kelly Johnson (.274 BA, .839 OPS) that have made all the difference for a team that was offensively challenged last season.

    The loss of James Shields has been eased by the emergence of Alex Cobb (4-2, 2.89 ERA) and Matt Moore (8-0, 2.29 ERA). The rest of the rotation has struggled, though, and reigning Cy Young winner David Price (1-4, 5.24 ERA) recently landed on the DL with a strained triceps.

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Toronto Blue Jays (3)
    vs. New York Yankees (3) 

11. Colorado Rockies (24-20, Previous: 14)

21 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    at Chicago Cubs (1-2)
    vs. San Francisco Giants (3-1)

     

    First Quarter Review

    The Rockies opened the season 13-4 and were one of the biggest surprises of the early part of 2013. While they have leveled off since then, they are still playing good baseball and have an outside shot at legitimate contention this season.

    They lead the NL with 221 runs scored, and they are tied for the MLB lead with 58 home runs this season. A healthy Troy Tulowitzki (.336 BA, .996 OPS) has picked up right where he left off, while Carlos Gonzalez (.308 BA, .980 OPS) is putting up big numbers as well.

    Pitching was their biggest issue last season, and though they're still not one of the league's top staffs, they are significantly improved. Jorge De La Rosa (5-3, 3.58 ERA) has been their best starter, while the bullpen has a budding star in Rex Brothers (21 G, 0.47 ERA).

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (3)
    at San Francisco Giants (3) 

10. Detroit Tigers (23-19, Previous: 8)

22 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 3-4

    vs. Houston Astros (2-1)
    at Texas Rangers (1-3)

     

    First Quarter Review

    The Tigers are as talented as any team in baseball, and the reigning AL champs are still the ones to beat in the American League, in my opinion. However, taking the AL Central may not be as easy as they thought, with the Indians and Royals both playing well.

    Fresh off of a Triple Crown season, Miguel Cabrera (.387 BA, 1.116 OPS) currently leads the AL in batting average and RBI (47), and he is just one back in home runs (11). He's not the only one hitting, though, with Prince Fielder (.277 BA, .929 OPS), Jhonny Peralta (.320 BA, .848 OPS) and Torii Hunter (.310 BA, .759 OPS) all off to nice starts.

    Justin Verlander (4-4, 3.17 ERA) and Anibal Sanchez (4-4, 2.77 ERA) lead a staff that has four legitimate front-line guys. The bullpen has been the one problem area, as it has a 3.91 ERA and is just 8-for-14 on save chances.

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Cleveland Indians (2)
    vs. Minnesota Twins (4) 

9. Cincinnati Reds (26-18, Previous: 9)

23 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 4-2

    at Miami Marlins (3-0)
    at Philadelphia Phillies (1-2)

     

    First Quarter Review

    The Reds ran away with the NL Central last season, but things won't be so easy this time around with the Cardinals playing so well. Still, they are one of a handful of elite teams in the NL, and serious contenders.

    Offseason pickup Shin-Soo Choo (.309 BA, 1.006 OPS) is second in the NL with 35 runs scored, and he's been the table-setter the Reds hoped he would be. Joey Votto (.349 BA, 1.004 OPS) and Brandon Phillips (.791 OPS, 36 RBI) are putting up great numbers as well, but the rest of the lineup has plenty of room to improve.

    On the mound, ace Johnny Cueto has made just three starts as he battles a strained lat, but he returns to the rotation this week. In his absence, Mat Latos (4-0, 2.91 ERA) has stepped into the role of staff ace, while top prospect Tony Cingrani (2-0, 3.27 ERA, 11.2 K/9) has physically replaced Cueto and more than held his own.

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at New York Mets (3)
    vs. Chicago Cubs (3) 

8. Atlanta Braves (25-18, Previous: 6)

24 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 4-2

    at Arizona Diamondbacks (1-2)
    vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (3-0)

     

    First Quarter Review

    The hottest team in baseball to start the 2013 season, the Braves opened the year an impressive 12-1. They still have one of the best records in the NL, but they've gone just 13-17 since that hot start.

    Newcomer Justin Upton (.275 BA, .997 OPS) leads all of baseball with 14 home runs, and rookie catcher Evan Gattis (.835 OPS, 22 RBI) did a great job holding down the fort until Brian McCann came back. Outfielders Jason Heyward (.132 BA, .554 OPS) and B.J. Upton (.145 BA, .476 OPS) have been terrible, though.

    Their starting rotation, led by Mike Minor (5-2, 2.78 ERA), has been solid across the board and should only get better as rookie Julio Teheran (2-1, 4.57 ERA) settles in. The Braves have the best bullpen ERA in baseball at 2.65, but ace setup man Eric O'Flaherty may be done for the year after landing on the DL with a torn elbow ligament.

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Minnesota Twins (3)
    at New York Mets (3) 

7. Arizona Diamondbacks (25-19, Previous: 13)

25 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 4-2

    vs. Atlanta Braves (2-1)
    at Miami Marlins (2-1)

     

    First Quarter Review

    The Giants and Dodgers entered the season as favorites in the NL West, but it's the Diamondbacks who find themselves atop the standings in the division right now. They're 9-4 over their last 13 games and a team on the rise at this point.

    First baseman Paul Goldschmidt (.333 BA, 1.049 OPS) is a bona fide star, leading the team with 12 home runs and 35 RBI. Gerardo Parra (.320 BA, .880 OPS) is having a nice season as well, while Miguel Montero (.180 BA, .539 OPS) is off to a poor start.

    Patrick Corbin (6-0, 1.52 ERA) has been as big a surprise as any to this point, as he leads the staff alongside fellow left-hander Wade Miley (3-3, 3.67 ERA). The bullpen has blown nine saves already, but it does have a breakout star in Matt Reynolds (21 G, 0.92 ERA), who came over in an offseason trade with Colorado.

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Colorado Rockies (3)
    vs. San Diego Padres (3) 

6. Pittsburgh Pirates (26-18, Previous: 11)

26 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 5-2

    vs. Milwaukee Brewers (3-1)
    vs. Houston Astros (2-1)

     

    First Quarter Review

    Another team that started slow but has righted the ship, the Pirates opened the season 1-5 but have gone 25-13 since. They have lost consecutive games just twice since the first week of the season.

    Left fielder Starling Marte (.305 BA, .836 OPS) has been a revelation atop the lineup in his first full season. The team has enjoyed balanced production up and down the lineup, just one year after watching Andrew McCutchen do most of the work prior to the All-Star break.

    It's their pitching that has gotten them to where they are right now, though, as their 3.33 ERA as a team ranks second in MLB. A.J. Burnett (3-4, 2.57 ERA) and Jeff Locke (4-1, 2.73 ERA) have led the way in the rotation, while Jason Grilli (17-for-17 SV, 0.92 ERA) has been a stud in his first season as closer.

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Chicago Cubs (3)
    at Milwaukee Brewers (3) 

5. Boston Red Sox (27-17, Previous: 12)

27 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 5-1

    at Tampa Bay Rays (2-1)
    at Minnesota Twins (3-0)

     

    First Quarter Review

    The Red Sox opened the season 20-8, and after suffering through a 2-9 stretch, they have now won five straight and appear to be back on track for what looks to be a legitimate run at the postseason just a year after losing 93 games.

    The offense is putting up an impressive 4.9 runs per game, as the team's offseason spending has made a significant impact. David Ortiz (1.074 OPS, 29 RBI) has been an absolute beast in his first 25 games this season, and Daniel Nava (.896 OPS, 27 RBI) has been a pleasant surprise.

    Clay Buchholz (6-0, 1.78 ERA) and Jon Lester (6-0, 2.72 ERA) have both bounced back after down seasons in 2012, and John Lackey (2-4, 3.31 ERA) is finally earning some of his huge contract. The closer's role has been an issue, with Andrew Bailey and Joel Hanrahan both missing time, but the bullpen as a whole has been solid.

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Chicago White Sox (3)
    vs. Cleveland Indians (4) 

4. Cleveland Indians (25-17, Previous: 10)

28 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 5-2

    vs. New York Yankees (1-1)
    at Philadelphia Phillies (1-1)
    vs. Seattle Mariners (3-0)

     

    First Quarter Review

    The Indians were busy this offseason, and after a 5-10 start to the year, they have gone an impressive 20-7 since and are playing as well as any team in baseball right now.

    Their .793 OPS as a team is the best mark in all of baseball, and newcomers Mark Reynolds (.909 OPS, 12 HR), Nick Swisher (.861 OPS, 6 HR) and Michael Bourn (.321 BA, .856 OPS) are a big reason why. The only real hole in the lineup is at third base, and with Lonnie Chisenhall demoted and Jason Giambi sliding into the starting lineup, it may no longer be an issue.

    Justin Masterson (7-2, 2.83 ERA) and Zach McAllister (3-3, 2.65 ERA) have led the pitching staff, but after them, the rotation remains a question mark. The bullpen has a 3.03 ERA, good for second-best in the AL.

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Seattle Mariners (1)
    vs. Detroit Tigers (2)
    at Boston Red Sox (4) 

3. New York Yankees (27-16, Previous: 4)

29 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    at Cleveland Indians (1-1)
    vs. Seattle Mariners (1-2)
    vs. Toronto Blue Jays (2-0)

     

    First Quarter Review

    The Yankees continue to win games despite having nearly $100 million worth of player salaries currently on the disabled list. They have gotten unexpected contributions from a number of veterans, and once they are fully healthy, they could be a real force.

    The trio of Vernon Wells (.286 BA, 23 RBI), Travis Hafner (.260 BA, 20 RBI) and Lyle Overbay (.259 BA, 24 RBI) have carried the offense alongside Robinson Cano (.295 BA, 12 HR, 31 RBI). Curtis Granderson rejoined the team this past week as the first starter to come off the DL.

    Hiroki Kuroda (6-2, 1.99 ERA) has been fantastic, and CC Sabathia (4-3, 3.19 ERA) is putting up his standard numbers, but the back end of the rotation is an issue. A healthy Mariano Rivera (16-for-16 SV, 1.56 ERA) is still one of the best in the business at 43 years old.

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Toronto Blue Jays (1)
    at Baltimore Orioles (3)
    at Tampa Bay Rays (3) 

2. St. Louis Cardinals (28-15, Previous: 2)

30 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 5-2

    vs. New York Mets (3-1)
    vs. Milwaukee Brewers (2-1)

     

    First Quarter Review

    The Cardinals continue to pile up the wins, and they have overcome one of the league's worst bullpens to post the best record in the National League to this point. They are as dangerous as any team in baseball, especially now that their late-inning relief has improved.

    Five players have already tallied at least 20 RBI, with Allen Craig (.312 BA, .813 OPS) leading the way with 30, and Carlos Beltran (.293 BA, .849 OPS) is tops in home runs with 10. The lineup will be even better once third baseman David Freese (.223 BA, .574 OPS) gets it going.

    On the mound, the story has been rookie Shelby Miller (5-2, 1.40 ERA), who is not only the NL Rookie of the Year front-runner, but a serious Cy Young candidate at this point. Edward Mujica (13-for-13 SV, 1.42 EA) has been huge stepping into the closer's role with Jason Motte hurt and Mitchell Boggs struggling.

     

    This Week's Opponents

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

1. Texas Rangers (29-15, Previous: 1)

31 of 31

    Last Week's Results: 5-2

    at Oakland Athletics (2-1)
    vs. Detroit Tigers (3-1)

     

    First Quarter Review

    After climbing to the top spot in these rankings last week, the Rangers proved they belong there with series wins in Oakland and against the Tigers at home.

    Offense has been the team's calling card during its recent run of postseason appearances, but it lost a lot in the offseason. Despite that, the Rangers are still putting up runs—Mitch Moreland (.920 OPS, 10 HR) is enjoying a breakout year, and free-agent signing Lance Berkman (.311 BA, .897 OPS) has been great.

    The pitching has been the real surprise, and the team's 3.49 ERA is the best in the American League. Yu Darvish (7-1, 2.97 ERA, 12.8 K/9) has been a bona fide ace, and rookies Justin Grimm (3-3, 4.02 ERA) and Nick Tepesch (3-4, 3.98 ERA) have performed admirably as injury replacements.

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Oakland Athletics (3)
    at Seattle Mariners (3) 

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