MLB Power Rankings: Stock Up, Stock Down Edition

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistMay 27, 2013

MLB Power Rankings: Stock Up, Stock Down Edition

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    As we get ready to turn the calendar over to June, the 2013 MLB season is nearly two months old. The playoff picture is taking shape more and more each week.

    This week's rankings take a look back at where I had all 30 teams ranked on Opening Day, and whether or not each team's stock is up, down or even right now compared to when the season kicked off.

    So here are this week's updated power rankings. Be sure to check back here each Monday for an updated look at where your favorite team stands.

30. Miami Marlins (13-37, Previous: 29)

1 of 30

    Last Week's Results: 1-5

    vs. Philadelphia Phillies (1-2)
    at Chicago White Sox (0-3)

    Opening Day Rank: 29

    After a disastrous 2012 season began with hopes of contention and ended with 93 losses, the Marlins went into fire-sale mode once again this past offseason and sold off the bulk of their veteran talent.

    With that, they have been left with a roster that more closely resembles that of a Triple-A team, and the results have not been pretty. The performance of 20-year-old starter Jose Fernandez and a solid farm system give hope for the future, but the 2013 season will likely end in 100-plus losses.

    Stock: Even

    This Week's Opponents

    at Tampa Bay Rays (2)
    vs. Tampa Bay Rays (2)
    vs. New York Mets (3)

29. Houston Astros (14-36, Previous: 30)

2 of 30

    Last Week's Results: 2-4

    vs. Kansas City Royals (2-1)
    vs. Oakland Athletics (0-3)

    Opening Day Rank: 30

    With the team continuing to rebuild from the ground up, the Astros were expected to be as bad if not worse than they were last season when they lost 107 games.

    They have the MLB's worst ERA at 5.47, and second baseman Jose Altuve (.309 BA) is the only player on the roster right now who is a lock to be there three years from now. It's going to be a long season in Houston, and the immediate future doesn't look much brighter.

    Stock: Even

    Next Week's Opponents

    vs. Colorado Rockies (2)
    at Colorado Rockies (2)
    at Los Angeles Angels (3)

28. New York Mets (18-29, Previous: 27)

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    Last Week's Results: 1-5

    vs. Cincinnati Reds (0-3)
    vs. Atlanta Braves (1-2)

    Opening Day Rank: 25

    The Mets managed to stay in contention for the first half of last season, before a late-season collapse saw them finish 74-88 when all was said and done.

    With a bright future led by breakout star Matt Harvey and David Wright, and a good deal of payroll flexibility in the years ahead, they should be in a position to contend within a couple seasons. For now, however, the performance of their stars will at least give their fans something to watch.

    Stock: Even

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. New York Yankees (2)
    at New York Yankees (2)
    at Miami Marlins (3)

27. Minnesota Twins (19-28, Previous: 25)

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    Last Week's Results: 1-6

    at Atlanta Braves (0-3)
    at Detroit Tigers (1-3)

    Opening Day Rank: 26

    Despite a solid offense last season, the Twins were among the worst teams in baseball as a result of a very weak rotation.

    Vance Worley, Mike Pelfrey and Kevin Correia were added in the offseason, and while Correia has been great, the rotation is once again a big issue. Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau have both been terrific, but the offense is not nearly good enough to overcome their pitching.

    Stock: Even

    This Week's Opponents

    at Milwaukee Brewers (2)
    vs. Milwaukee Brewers (2)
    vs. Seattle Mariners (3)

26. Milwaukee Brewers (19-29, Previous: 28)

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    Last Week's Results: 2-4

    vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (1-2)
    vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (1-2)

    Opening Day Rank: 16

    The Brewers had the best offense in the National League last season, but they were undone by what was one of the league's worst bullpens. The bullpen has been improved, and the lineup has been terrific once again.

    Breakout stars Jean Segura (.344 BA, .925 OPS) and Carlos Gomez (.326 BA, .943 OPS) have been big boosts. The starting pitching has been the issue this time, though, as Kyle Lohse is the only starter with an ERA under 4.50.

    Stock: Down

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Minnesota Twins (2)
    at Minnesota Twins (2)
    at Philadelphia Phillies (3)

25. Chicago Cubs (19-30, Previous: 23)

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    Last Week's Results: 1-5

    at Pittsburgh Pirates (0-3)
    at Cincinnati Reds (1-2)

    Opening Day Rank: 24

    After losing 101 games last season, the Cubs entered Theo Epstein's second year still very much in the process of rebuilding. However, with an improved rotation and a handful of other additions, they were expected at least to improve on last season's results.

    There have been plenty of positives so far. Anthony Rizzo (10 HR, 35 RBI) looks like a legitimate star, and pitchers Travis Wood (4-3, 2.73 ERA) and Scott Feldman (4-4, 2.80 ERA) have both been great. They'll be aggressive sellers at the deadline and are building a strong base for contention within the next couple of years.

    Stock: Even

    This Week's Opponents

    at Chicago White Sox (2)
    vs. Chicago White Sox (2)
    vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (3)

24. Seattle Mariners (21-29, Previous: 20)

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    Last Week's Results: 1-5

    at Cleveland Indians (0-1)
    at Los Angeles Angels (0-2)
    vs. Texas Rangers (1-2)

    Opening Day Rank: 23

    The Mariners are a franchise on the rise, with one of the best farm systems in baseball loaded with high-end talent on the cusp of making a big league impact.

    While that means a bright future in the years ahead, they looked to improve things in the short term with the additions of Kendrys Morales and Michael Morse in the offseason. The offense has been better than last season, and the pitching duo of Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma has been great, but it doesn't look like they're a real threat to contend this season.

    Stock: Even

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. San Diego Padres (2)
    at San Diego Padres (2)
    at Minnesota Twins (3)

23. Los Angeles Dodgers (20-28, Previous: 24)

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    Last Week's Results: 3-3

    at Milwaukee Brewers (2-1)
    vs. St. Louis Cardinals (1-2)

    Opening Day Rank: 10

    The Dodgers followed up their busy second half of acquisitions last year with the signings of Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu this offseason. They entered the year with the highest payroll in the National League and big expectations.

    However, they've been hit hard by injuries, while star outfielders Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier have both gotten off to slow starts. As a result, they find themselves in last place in the NL West and still looking to get their season on track heading into June.

    Stock: Down

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Los Angeles Angels (2)
    at Los Angeles Angels (2)
    at Colorado Rockies (3)

22. Kansas City Royals (21-26, Previous: 17)

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    Last Week's Results: 1-6

    at Houston Astros (1-2)
    vs. Los Angeles Angels (0-4)

    Opening Day Rank: 17

    The Royals made it clear they were ready to move from rebuilding to contending this offseason. They landed James Shields, Wade Davis and Ervin Santana in the offseason while dealing a number of their top prospects.

    The pitching has no doubt been improved, but the back end of the staff is still an issue. The offense has had its holes, as Jeff Francoeur, Chris Getz and Mike Moustakas are all hitting below .220 at this point. They're heading in the right direction, but they are still fringe contenders at best.

    Stock: Down

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. St. Louis Cardinals (2)
    at St. Louis Cardinals (2)
    at Texas Rangers (3)

21. Toronto Blue Jays (21-29, Previous: 22)

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    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    vs. Tampa Bay Rays (2-1)
    vs. Baltimore Orioles (2-2)

    Opening Day Rank: 6

    After an injury-plagued 2012 season, a talented Blue Jays team on the fringe of contention went all-in this offseason with a pair of blockbuster deals to acquire R.A. Dickey, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes, among others.

    Expected to be serious title contenders, they've instead fallen to the back of the pack in the AL East with a slow start. Reyes is on the DL with a serious ankle injury, while Dickey (4.85 ERA), Buehrle (5.90 ERA) and Johnson (6.86 ERA) have struggled. The talent is still there to contend, but they need to get on track.

    Stock: Down

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Atlanta Braves (2)
    at Atlanta Braves (2)
    at San Diego Padres (3)

20. San Diego Padres (22-27, Previous: 19)

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    Last Week's Results: 2-4

    vs. St. Louis Cardinals (1-2)
    at Arizona Diamondbacks (1-2)

    Opening Day Rank: 28

    The Padres used a 19-6 stretch in the second half last season to finish 76-86, which was better than expected considering the team was still in the rebuilding process.

    Their lack of starting pitching has been an issue once again this season, and they need to find a front-line starter or two in order to be real contenders. Still, they have a talented farm system and are heading in the right direction.

    Stock: Up

    This Week's Opponents

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

19. Los Angeles Angels (23-27, Previous: 26)

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    Last Week's Results: 6-0

    vs. Seattle Mariners (2-0)
    at Kansas City Royals (4-0)

    Opening Day Rank: 7

    The Angels were one of the biggest disappointments of 2012, as they failed to reach the postseason despite the offseason signings of Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson.

    They were busy again this offseason, signing Josh Hamilton to a $125 million deal and overhauling their starting rotation. With sky-high expectations once again, the Angels have been a disaster. Hamilton (.223 BA) and the new starters have been among the biggest reasons for their struggles.

    Stock: Down

    This Week's Opponents

    at Los Angeles Dodgers (2)
    vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (2)
    vs. Houston Astros (3)

18. Philadelphia Phillies (24-26, Previous: 18)

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    Last Week's Results: 3-3

    at Miami Marlins (2-1)
    at Washington Nationals (1-2)

    Opening Day Rank: 14

    The Phillies are loaded with high-end veteran talent, and the contracts that come along with them, but they are an aging group that may have seen its window for contention close last season.

    Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels have struggled, and the offense has been below average outside of the production of a healthy Chase Utley (.814 OPS, 25 RBI). With Halladay, Utley and Michael Young all free agents at the end of the year, the rebuild may start sooner rather than later.

    Stock: Down

    This Week's Opponents

    at Boston Red Sox (2)
    vs. Boston Red Sox (2)
    vs. Milwaukee Brewers (3) 

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

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    Last Week's Results: 5-1

    vs. Boston Red Sox (2-1)
    vs. Miami Marlins (3-0)

    Opening Day Rank: 20

    The White Sox were surprise contenders for a good portion of last season before falling off late and being passed by the Tigers in the AL Central. They entered the season with essentially the same roster minus A.J. Pierzynski.

    After a solid week that ended with a sweep of the Marlins and a return to .500 on the season, the White Sox are still very much in the race in the American League. However, they have their weaknesses, and if they fall back in the standings, it may be time to consider rebuilding.

    Stock: Even

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Chicago Cubs (2)
    at Chicago Cubs (2)
    at Oakland Athletics (3)

16. Tampa Bay Rays (25-24, Previous: 12)

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    Last Week's Results: 2-4

    at Toronto Blue Jays (1-2)
    vs. New York Yankees (1-2)

    Opening Day Rank: 8

    With their trade of James Shields and Wade Davis, the Rays finally opted to use their pitching depth to improve their offense, acquiring Wil Myers from the Royals. They also signed James Loney, Kelly Johnson and Yunel Escobar to improve the offense.

    The offense has been improved, with Loney (.342 BA, .901 OPS) in particular thriving with a change of scenery. The pitching has been less-than-impressive, though. Matt Moore (8-0, 2.21 ERA) and Alex Cobb (6-2, 2.66 ERA) have thrived, but the rest of the starting rotation have ERAs over 5.00.

    Stock: Down

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Miami Marlins (2)
    at Miami Marlins (2)
    at Cleveland Indians (3)

15. Cleveland Indians (27-22, Previous: 4)

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    Last Week's Results: 2-5

    vs. Seattle Mariners (1-0)
    vs. Detroit Tigers (0-2)
    at Boston Red Sox (1-3)

    Opening Day Rank: 18

    Some expected the Indians to be aggressive sellers heading into the offseason, but they did just the opposite with the additions of Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn, Mark Reynolds, Brett Myers and Jason Giambi, among others.

    As a result of those trades, the team's offense has been greatly improved, but the team's starting pitching remains a question mark. Justin Masterson (7-3, 3.20 ERA) and Zach McAllister (4-3, 2.89 ERA) have been great, but the rest of the staff may not hold up for them to contend all season.

    Stock: Up

    This Week's Opponents

    at Cincinnati Reds (2)
    vs. Cincinnati Reds (2)
    vs. Tampa Bay Rays (3)

14. Washington Nationals (26-24, Previous: 13)

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    Last Week's Results: 3-3

    at San Francisco Giants (1-2)
    vs. Philadelphia Phillies (2-1)

    Opening Day Rank: 3

    After winning an MLB-high 98 games last season, only to get knocked out of the postseason by the Cardinals in the NLDS, the Nationals added Denard Span and Dan Haren in the offseason and entered the season with as complete a roster as any in baseball.

    Budding superstar Bryce Harper is off to a great start, and Jordan Zimmermann (8-2, 1.71 ERA) has been among the best pitchers in all of baseball. However, it's safe to say the team has not been as good as expected to this point, though there is still plenty of time for improvement.

    Stock: Down

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Baltimore Orioles (2)
    at Baltimore Orioles (2)
    at Atlanta Braves (3)

13. Baltimore Orioles (27-23, Previous: 15)

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    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    vs. New York Yankees (2-1)
    at Toronto Blue Jays (2-2)

    Opening Day Rank: 12

    The Orioles used a terrific offense and an ability to win close games to make a surprise postseason run last season. They are once again in a position to be a serious contender in the AL East.

    Chris Davis (16 HR, 46 RBI) is enjoying a breakout season, and the Orioles lead all of baseball with 69 long balls and are second with 253 runs scored. However, the starting rotation has been wildly inconsistent once again. That will need to be addressed if they are to make a serious run.

    Stock: Even

    This Week's Opponents

    at Washington Nationals (2)
    vs. Washington Nationals (2)
    vs. Detroit Tigers (3)

12. Arizona Diamondbacks (28-22, Previous: 7)

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    Last Week's Results: 3-3

    at Colorado Rockies (1-2)
    vs. San Diego Padres (2-1)

    Opening Day Rank: 13

    After winning the NL West title in 2011, the Diamondbacks failed to make the postseason last year, and they overhauled their lineup as a result in the offseason.

    The trades of Justin Upton and Chris Young gave the lineup a completely different look, but so far they have been solid, led by emerging star Paul Goldschmidt (1.002 OPS, 12 HR). The rotation has a new star of its own in Patrick Corbin (8-0, 1.71 ERA), and they have a complete enough roster to be a contender in the NL West.

    Stock: Even

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Texas Rangers (2)
    at Texas Rangers (2)
    at Chicago Cubs (3)

11. Colorado Rockies (27-23, Previous: 11)

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    Last Week's Results: 3-3

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

    Opening Day Rank: 27

    Last season, the Rockies were done in by a season-ending injury to Troy Tulowitzki and a horrible pitching staff that finished the season with a 5.22 ERA. They finished the season with 98 losses.

    With a healthy Jorge De La Rosa, and Jhoulys Chacin back atop the staff, the pitching has been improved. With Tulowitzki back, the offense ranks among the best in all of baseball. Whether their pitching can hold up long enough for them to be legitimate contenders remains a question, but for now they've been one of the surprises of 2013.

    Stock: Up

    This Week's Opponents

    at Houston Astros (2)
    vs. Houston Astros (2)
    vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (3)

10. Oakland Athletics (28-23, Previous: 16)

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    Last Week's Results: 5-1

    at Texas Rangers (2-1)
    at Houston Astros (3-0)

    Opening Day Rank: 11

    One of the biggest surprises of 2012, the A's captured the AL West title on the final day of the season. A group of journeyman veterans and rookies far exceeded expectations.

    The starting pitching they relied on last season has not been quite as good, but the offense has stepped up and carried the team to this point. The bullpen remains one of the best in baseball, and if the rotation can find some consistency, they should once again be right in the thick of contention.

    Stock: Even

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. San Francisco Giants (2)
    at San Francisco Giants (2)
    vs. Chicago White Sox (3)

9. San Francisco Giants (28-22, Previous: 14)

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    Last Week's Results: 4-2

    vs. Washington Nationals (2-1)
    vs. Colorado Rockies (2-1)

    Opening Day Rank: 1

    The reigning World Series champions, the Giants returned essentially the exact same roster and entered the season as one of the favorites to win it all once again.

    Led by their pitching staff in recent years, the team has enjoyed a boost in offensive production so far this season. That has helped offset the struggles of starters Matt Cain and Ryan Vogelsong.

    The NL West is a deep division, with the Rockies and Diamondbacks looking like real contenders. Even the Dodgers are still capable of turning it around. Still, the Giants have as good a chance as anyone to emerge with the division title.

    Stock: Even

    This Week's Opponents

    at Oakland Athletics (2)
    vs. Oakland Athletics (2)
    at St. Louis Cardinals (3)

8. New York Yankees (30-19, Previous: 3)

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    Last Week's Results: 3-3

    at Baltimore Orioles (1-2)
    at Tampa Bay Rays (2-1)

    Opening Day Rank: 21

    Already deemed an aging team on the way down after getting embarrassed by the Tigers in the playoffs, the Yankees' stock dropped even lower when they lost Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson this spring.

    However, they have managed to overcome those injuries thanks to the contributions of veterans Vernon Wells, Travis Hafner and Lyle Overbay. The back end of their rotation remains an issue, but the team as a whole should only get better as it continues to get healthy.

    Stock: Up

    This Week's Opponents

    at New York Mets (2)
    vs. New York Mets (2)
    vs. Boston Red Sox (3)

7. Boston Red Sox (31-20, Previous: 5)

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    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    at Chicago White Sox (1-2)
    vs. Cleveland Indians (3-1)

    Opening Day Rank: 19

    After unloading a ton of salary in an August blockbuster with the Dodgers, the Red Sox used their newfound payroll flexibility to add Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, Ryan Dempster, Stephen Drew and Koji Uehara in free agency.

    Those additions, along with bounce-back seasons from starters Jon Lester (6-1, 3.34 ERA) and Clay Buchholz (7-0, 1.73 ERA), have allowed the team to do a complete 180 from its disastrous 93-loss season a year ago.

    Stock: Up

    This Week's Opponents

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

6. Cincinnati Reds (31-19, Previous: 9)

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    Last Week's Results: 5-1

    at New York Mets (3-0)
    vs. Chicago Cubs (2-1)

    Opening Day Rank: 4

    The Reds ran away with the NL Central title last season, and after adding Shin-Soo Choo to shore up their one major hole in center field and atop the lineup, they entered the year expected to once again be among the NL's elite.

    So far, so good. Their rotation has once again been fantastic top to bottom, and the offense has been dynamic. As long as they stay healthy, there is no reason not to view them as serious title contenders. They should be well represented in the All-Star Game come July with plenty of star power.

    Stock: Even

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Cleveland Indians (2)
    at Cleveland Indians (2)
    at Pittsburgh Pirates (3)

5. Atlanta Braves (30-19, Previous: 8)

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    Last Week's Results: 5-1

    vs. Minnesota Twins (3-0)
    at New York Mets (2-1)

    Opening Day Rank: 5

    The Braves lost Michael Bourn in free agency and Chipper Jones to retirement, but they added brothers B.J. and Justin Upton and were expected to once again make a run at the NL East title.

    They jumped out to a 12-1 start this season, and while they have played just .500 ball since, they have the pieces to be a dangerous team. If the trio of B.J. Upton (.148 BA), Jason Heyward (.163 BA) and Dan Uggla (.190 BA) can get on track, and with the impending return of Brandon Beachy, they have the potential to be even better moving forward.

    Stock: Even

    This Week's Opponents

    at Toronto Blue Jays (2)
    vs. Toronto Blue Jays (2)
    vs. Washington Nationals (3)

4. Pittsburgh Pirates (31-19, Previous: 6)

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    Last Week's Results: 5-1

    vs. Chicago Cubs (3-0)
    at Milwaukee Brewers (2-1)

    Opening Day Rank: 22

    After enduring a second-half collapse each of the past two seasons, the Pirates entered the season with tempered expectations. That was despite a solid young core and a rotation expected to benefit from a full season of Wandy Rodriguez.

    Starling Marte (.305 BA, .829 OPS) has been great in his first full season, and Jason Grilli (20 SV, 1.19 ERA) has been a star in the closer's role. If Francisco Liriano (3-0, 1.00 ERA) and Jeanmar Gomez (2-0, 2.75 ERA) can keep it up at the back end of the rotation, they could be the real deal this time around.

    Stock: Up

    This Week's Opponents

    at Detroit Tigers (2)
    vs. Detroit Tigers (2)
    vs. Cincinnati Reds (3)

3. Texas Rangers (32-18, Previous: 1)

28 of 30

    Last Week's Results: 3-3

    vs. Oakland Athletics (1-2)
    at Seattle Mariners (2-1)

    Opening Day Rank: 15

    The Rangers have been led by their potent offense the past few seasons, so the losses of Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli and Michael Young were expected to mean a step back for the team this coming season.

    While the offense has not been quite as dominant, their pitching staff has stepped up big, and the team remains one of the best in the American League. Yu Darvish (7-2, 2.84 ERA) has pitched like an ace, while rookies Justin Grimm and Nick Tepesch have helped shore up the back of the rotation.

    The bullpen has been great as well, with Robbie Ross (22 G, 0.39 ERA) and Tanner Scheppers (23 G, 0.71 ERA) enjoying fantastic seasons.

    Stock: Up

    This Week's Opponents

    at Arizona Diamondbacks (2)
    vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (2)
    vs. Kansas City Royals (3)

2. Detroit Tigers (28-20, Previous: 10)

29 of 30

    Last Week's Results: 5-1

    at Cleveland Indians (2-0)
    vs. Minnesota Twins (3-1)

    Opening Day Rank: 2

    The reigning AL champions got even better this offseason, re-signing Anibal Sanchez, adding Torii Hunter and returning Victor Martinez to the lineup after he missed all of last season.

    Miguel Cabrera (.385 BA, 14 HR, 57 RBI) looks poised to challenge for the Triple Crown once again, and the team's offense as a whole has been fantastic with an MLB-high .284 average and 259 runs scored. The rotation boasts four front-line arms, and the bullpen has rounded into form after a questionable start to the year.

    Stock: Even

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (2)
    at Pittsburgh Pirates (2)
    at Baltimore Orioles (3)

1. St. Louis Cardinals (32-17, Previous: 2)

30 of 30

    Last Week's Results: 4-2

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

    Opening Day Rank: 9

    The Cardinals parted ways with Kyle Lohse in free agency and lost Chris Carpenter for the season in the spring, yet they have managed to overcome that thanks to a deep lineup and a rotation bolstered by the emergence of Shelby Miller.

    Jaime Garcia and Jake Westbrook are now battling injuries, so their pitching depth continues to be tested, but they have been up to the task thus far. They have their work cut out for them competing with the Reds and Pirates in their own division, but I certainly wouldn't bet against them.

    Stock: Up

    This Week's Opponents

    at Kansas City Royals (2)
    vs. Kansas City Royals (2)
    vs. San Francisco Giants (3)