MLB Power Rankings: Where Does Your Favorite Team Stand?

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistJune 10, 2013

MLB Power Rankings: Where Does Your Favorite Team Stand?

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    As the 2013 MLB season continues to push toward the summer months, the playoff picture gets clearer and clearer on a weekly basis.

    At the time, a handful of teams have started to separate themselves from the pack, while at the bottom it is becoming clear who will be looking to sell once the trade deadline rolls around.

    This week's power rankings take a look at who could represent each team at the All-Star Game in a little over a month. These are my predictions for the 34 players who will earn a trip to the Midsummer Classic.

    With that, let's take a look at this week's power rankings to see where your favorite team stands as well as its potential All-Star(s). Be sure to check back here each Monday morning for an updated look at where all 30 teams stand.

30. Miami Marlins (18-44, Previous: 30)

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    Last Week's Results: 2-3

    at Philadelphia Phillies (0-3)
    at New York Mets (2-0)

    Predicted All-Star(s): SP Jose Fernandez 

    The Marlins will almost certainly have only one All-Star, and with an offense that is hitting just .230 and averaging just over three runs per game, it will likely come on the pitching side of things.

    Closer Steve Cishek (6-of-8 SV, 4.15 ERA) could be the choice if manager Bruce Bochy opts to go with a reliever, but my guess is it will be 20-year-old Jose Fernandez (3-3, 3.17 ERA, 9.2 K/9) who makes his first of what could be many All-Star appearances.

    Next Week's Opponents

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

29. Houston Astros (22-42, Previous: 28)

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    Last Week's Results: 2-5

    at Los Angeles Angels (1-0)
    vs. Baltimore Orioles (1-2)
    at Kansas City Royals (0-3) 

    Predicted All-Star(s): SP Bud Norris

    Second baseman Jose Altuve (.296 BA, .724 OPS) could be the pick here, but considering how deep second base is in the American League this season, I say it winds up being ace Bud Norris.

    The 28-year-old is one of the few veterans on the Houston roster, and he's gone 5-5 with a 3.43 ERA through his first 13 starts. If he keeps it up through the break, he could wind up being one of the most sought-after trade chips at the deadline.

    This Week's Opponents

    at Seattle Mariners (3)
    vs. Chicago White Sox (3) 

28. New York Mets (23-35, Previous: 27)

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    Last Week's Results: 1-3

    at Washington Nationals (1-1)
    vs. Miami Marlins (0-2) 

    Predicted All-Star(s): 3B David Wright, SP Matt Harvey

    It has not been a great season thus far for the Mets, but there is plenty of reason for optimism moving forward, as they have a solid core of good, young talent to build around.

    The biggest story of the year for them has been the rise of Matt Harvey (5-0, 2.10 ERA, 9.5 K/9), as the 24-year-old looks like he'll anchor the staff for years to come.

    On the other side of the ball, third baseman David Wright (.279 BA, .839 OPS, 8 HR) remains the face of the franchise and will be for the foreseeable future after signing an eight-year, $138 million extension in the offseason.

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. St. Louis Cardinals (3)
    vs. Chicago Cubs (3) 

27. Milwaukee Brewers (25-37, Previous: 29)

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    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    vs. Oakland Athletics (1-2)
    vs. Philadelphia Phillies (3-1)

    Predicted All-Star(s): SS Jean Segura, CF Carlos Gomez

    The Brewers' starting pitching has been abysmal, but their offense remains one of the better units in the league and has benefited from the breakthrough performance of Jean Segura and Carlos Gomez.

    Gomez (.316 BA, .931 OPS, 11 HR) had a solid season last year, earning a three-year, $24 million extension, and that's looked like a steal thus far.

    Segura (.340 BA, .920 OPS, 24 XBH), who Milwaukee acquired from the Angels in the Zack Greinke deal last July, looks like a star in the making, as he's been dynamic and is still just 23.

    Ryan Braun (.304 BA, .890 OPS, 9 HR) has the numbers, but with more PED allegations surrounding him and his numbers slightly less impressive than normal, he may wind up sitting at home during the break this time around.

    This Week's Opponents

    at Miami Marlins (3)
    at Cincinnati Reds (3) 

26. Seattle Mariners (27-37, Previous: 25)

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    Last Week's Results: 3-4

    vs. Chicago White Sox (2-1)
    vs. New York Yankees (1-3) 

    Predicted All-Star(s): SP Hisashi Iwakuma, SP Felix Hernandez

    While their offense remains unimpressive at best, and the back end of their starting rotation is a mess, the Mariners do have arguably the best one-two punch atop their rotation in all of baseball right now.

    Felix Hernandez (7-4, 2.49 ERA, 9.4 K/9) continues to be among the best pitchers in all of baseball, proving that the seven-year, $175 million deal the Mariners gave him in the offseason was worth it.

    Hisashi Iwakuma (6-1, 1.94 ERA, 8.1 K/9), on the other hand, has been a pleasant surprise after re-signing with the Mariners on a two-year, $14 million deal in the offseason. He was terrific as a starter last season, but it's safe to say few expected him to be this good.

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Houston Astros (3)
    at Oakland A's (3) 

25. Chicago White Sox (27-34, Previous: 23)

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    Last Week's Results: 3-4

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

    Predicted All-Star(s): RF Alex Rios

    After a dreadful 2011 season that saw him hit just .227, Alex Rios bounced back in a big way last season, and he's continued it so far in 2013. He's currently hitting .288 with 11 home runs and a team-high 33 RBI. 

    Ace Chris Sale (5-4, 2.68 ERA, 8.4 K/9) ranks as one of my bigger snubs here, but that was just the way the roster shook out.

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Toronto Blue Jays (3)
    at Houston Astros (3) 

24. Chicago Cubs (25-35, Previous: 21)

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    Last Week's Results: 2-3

    at Los Angeles Angels (1-1)
    vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (1-2)

    Predicted All-Star(s): SP Travis Wood

    With Starlin Castro struggling here in the early going and Anthony Rizzo fighting with a deep crop of NL first basemen, it looks as though the Cubs' lone All-Star representative will come on the mound.

    Chances are it will either be Travis Wood (5-4, 2.65 ERA) or offseason acquisition Scott Feldman (5-4, 2.84 ERA). Whoever has the best numbers at the break will likely get the nod, and my guess is that will be Wood.

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Cincinnati Reds (4)
    at New York Mets (3) 

23. Los Angeles Angels (27-36, Previous: 20)

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    Last Week's Results: 2-4

    vs. Houston Astros (0-1)
    vs. Chicago Cubs (1-1)
    at Boston Red Sox (1-2) 

    Predicted All-Star(s): CF Mike Trout

    Entering the season, few would have guessed the Angels would have just one All-Star on the offensive side of things, let alone on the whole team.

    However, as of now, it looks as though Mike Trout (.305 BA, .921 OPS) has a good chance of being their lone representative.

    Second baseman Howie Kendrick (.322 BA, .833 OPS, 8 HR) has the numbers but will likely lose out to Robinson Cano and Dustin Pedroia for a roster spot.

    This Week's Opponents

    at Baltimore Orioles (3)
    vs. New York Yankees (3) 

22. Minnesota Twins (27-33, Previous: 19)

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    Last Week's Results: 2-4

    at Kansas City Royals (1-2)
    at Washington Nationals (1-2)

    Predicted All-Star(s): C Joe Mauer

    Closer Glen Perkins (13-of-15 SV, 2.78 ERA, 13.5 K/9) has an outside shot at making the team, but my guess is catcher Joe Mauer will be the Twins' only All-Star this season.

    After leading the AL in on-base percentage last season, Mauer has been great once again, hitting .332/.414/.498 and scoring a team-high 37 runs.

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Philadelphia Phillies (3)
    vs. Detroit Tigers (3) 

21. Los Angeles Dodgers (27-35, Previous: 24)

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    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    vs. San Diego Padres (2-1)
    vs. Atlanta Braves (2-2)

    Predicted All-Star(s): 1B Adrian Gonzalez, SP Clayton Kershaw

    The high-priced Dodgers have been hit hard with inconsistency and injuries, as they've kicked off the season well short of expectations.

    That said, there are a handful of players having solid individual seasons, led by perennial Cy Young candidate Clayton Kershaw (5-4, 1.93 ERA, 8.8 K/9), who has been his usual dominant self so far.

    First base is a crowded position, with Joey Votto and Paul Goldschmidt all but locks to make the team, but Adrian Gonzalez (.317 BA, .869 OPS, 43 RBI) has a good chance to make it, especially if one of the aforementioned guys winds up as the starting DH.

    If Yasiel Puig (13-for-28, 4 HR, 10 RBI) can continue to hit at anywhere near the level he is right now, don't be surprised to see fans push for him to be named to the team as well.

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (3)
    at Pittsburgh Pirates (3) 

20. Toronto Blue Jays (27-35, Previous: 22)

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    Last Week's Results: 3-2

    at San Francisco Giants (1-1)
    vs. Texas Rangers (2-1)

    Predicted All-Star(s): 1B Edwin Encarnacion, RF Jose Bautista

    The Blue Jays were the talk of the offseason following a pair of blockbuster deals, but they have failed to turn potential into production from a team standpoint so far this year.

    Instead, it has been incumbent sluggers Edwin Encarnacion (.851 OPS, 17 HR, 51 RBI) and Jose Bautista (.853 OPS, 12 HR, 30 RBI) who have enjoyed solid starts to the season.

    Designated hitter Adam Lind (.340 BA, .955 OPS, 18 RBI) has impressive numbers but has only seen platoon at-bats so far this season, and that will likely be reason enough to leave him off.

    This Week's Opponents

    at Chicago White Sox (3)
    at Texas Rangers (4) 

19. Kansas City Royals (28-32, Previous: 26)

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    Last Week's Results: 5-1

    vs. Minnesota Twins (2-1)
    vs. Houston Astros (3-0) 

    Predicted All-Star(s): LF Alex Gordon

    The Royals' offseason focus was on improving their starting rotation, as they looked to make the move from rebuilding to contending.

    Newcomers James Shields (2-6, 2.81 ERA) and Ervin Santana (4-5, 2.99 ERA) have both been great, but in the end it winds up being a hitter who represents the team.

    Left fielder Alex Gordon (.309 BA, .809 OPS, 32 RBI) has continued to emerge as a star-caliber player after looking like a bust early on in his career. This could be the year he makes his first All-Star appearance.

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Detroit Tigers (3)
    at Tampa Bay Rays (4) 

18. San Diego Padres (29-34, Previous: 17)

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    Last Week's Results: 3-4

    at Los Angeles Dodgers (1-2)
    at Colorado Rockies (2-2)

    Predicted All-Star(s): RP Luke Gregerson

    The Padres have no slam dunk All-Star candidate this season, so my guess is it goes to one of the best setup men in all of baseball in Luke Gregerson (30 G, 1.78 ERA, 7.4 K/9).

    Rookie second baseman Jedd Gyorko (.802 OPS, 8 HR, 25 RBI) and shortstop Everth Cabrera (.790 OPS, 29 SB) have solid numbers, but not good enough to bump out some others at their position.

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Atlanta Braves (3)
    vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (3) 

17. Cleveland Indians (30-32, Previous: 15)

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    Last Week's Results: 0-6

    at New York Yankees (0-3)
    at Detroit Tigers (0-3) 

    Predicted All-Star(s): C Carlos Santana, SP Justin Masterson

    The Indians have cooled significantly after a terrific start to the season, but the talent is still there for the team to make some noise in the AL Central, especially on the offensive side of things.

    Catcher Carlos Santana (.284 BA, .871 OPS, 8 HR) has been hailed as the next great offensive catcher for the past several seasons, and he appears to finally be turning his potential into production.

    Justin Masterson (8-5, 3.68 ERA) has stepped up in the role of staff ace this season, and while his peripheral numbers aren't as good as most pitchers I've predicted to make the team, he is deserving nonetheless.

    Slugger Mark Reynolds (.239 BA, .782 OPS, 13 HR) and setup man Joe Smith (23 G, 0.89 ERA, 8.9 K/9) both just miss the cut.

    This Week's Opponents

    at Texas Rangers (3)
    vs. Washington Nationals (3) 

16. Philadelphia Phillies (31-33, Previous: 18)

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    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    vs. Miami Marlins (3-0)
    at Milwaukee Brewers (1-3)

    Predicted All-Star(s): RF Domonic Brown

    An NL Rookie of the Year favorite heading into the 2011 season, Domonic Brown suffered a broken hamate bone that spring and has been trying to get back on track ever since.

    After hitting .356 with seven home runs and 17 RBI this spring, he has continued to flash impressive power, as he finally looks like the impact player he was expected to be.

    He's currently hitting .289/.329/.596 with an NL-high 19 home runs and 47 RBI, and with over a month to go, his numbers could be ridiculous by the time the break rolls around if he keeps it up.

    This Week's Opponents

    at Minnesota Twins (3)
    at Colorado Rockies (3) 

15. Washington Nationals (31-31, Previous: 16)

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    Last Week's Results: 3-2

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

    Predicted All-Star(s): LF Bryce Harper, SP Jordan Zimmermann

    The Nationals entered the season as a trendy pick to win it all, as they had the best record in baseball last season and were expected to be even better with a fully healthy Stephen Strasburg and newcomer Denard Span.

    Instead, they've been merely average, though the duo of Bryce Harper and Jordan Zimmermann have been among the best in the league at their respective positions.

    Harper (.287 BA, .973 OPS, 12 HR) has been battling knee problems but has a good chance of being voted a starter. Zimmermann (9-3, 2.00 ERA) has built on a quiet breakout season in 2012 and has been hands down the team's best starter.

    This Week's Opponents

    at Colorado Rockies (3)
    at Cleveland Indians (3) 

14. Colorado Rockies (34-30, Previous: 14)

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    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    at Cincinnati Reds (2-1)
    vs. San Diego Padres (2-2)

    Predicted All-Star(s): SS Troy Tulowitzki, LF Carlos Gonzalez

    After starting off the season as hot as any team in baseball, the Rockies have come back to earth a bit. Their pitching is still not good enough for them to make a legitimate run at contention, but their offense is as good as any in baseball.

    A numbers of players are worthy, but the superstar duo of Troy Tulowitzki (.351 BA, 1.073 OPS, 16 HR) and Carlos Gonzalez (.302 BA, .992 OPS, 17 HR) look like locks to make it at this point.

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Washington Nationals (3)
    vs. Philadelphia Phillies (3) 

13. San Francisco Giants (33-29, Previous: 12)

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    Last Week's Results: 3-2

    vs. Toronto Blue Jays (1-1)
    at Arizona Diamondbacks (2-1)

    Predicted All-Star(s): C Buster Posey, 2B Marco Scutaro, 3B Pablo Sandoval

    Giants fans have been stuffing the ballot box early and often so far this season, and as a result they could have at least a couple starters.

    Buster Posey (.302 BA, .884 OPS, 8 HR) was the NL's leading vote-getter at last update, while Pablo Sandoval (.289 BA, .753 OPS, 8 HR) led David Wright in a close vote.

    From there, second baseman Marco Scutaro (.332 BA, .832 OPS, 33 R) should earn a reserve spot. Hunter Pence (.291 BA, .840 OPS, 10 HR), Madison Bumgarner (5-4, 3.58 ERA) and Sergio Romo (16-of-18 SV, 2.52 ERA) all have solid cases as well.

    This Week's Opponents

    at Pittsburgh Pirates (3)
    at Atlanta Braves (3) 

12. Baltimore Orioles (35-28, Previous: 9)

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    Last Week's Results: 3-3

    at Houston Astros (2-1)
    at Tampa Bay Rays (1-2)

    Predicted All-Star(s): 1B Chris Davis, SS J.J. Hardy, CF Adam Jones

    Pitching remains an issue in Baltimore, but their high-powered offense has been enough to keep them in the thick of things to this point.

    Slugger Chris Davis (.338 BA, 1.109 OPS, 20 HR) has been arguably the most dangerous hitter in all of baseball and is as safe a bet as any to make the team.

    From there, J.J. Hardy (.270 BA, .794 OPS, 13 HR) has a good chance to win the starting vote at shortstop, while Adam Jones (.306 BA, .844 OPS, 12 HR) will likely find his way onto the roster one way or another.

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Los Angeles Angels (3)
    vs. Boston Red Sox (4) 

11. Tampa Bay Rays (34-28, Previous: 10)

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    Last Week's Results: 3-3

    at Detroit Tigers (1-2)
    vs. Baltimore Orioles (2-1) 

    Predicted All-Star(s): 1B James Loney, 3B Evan Longoria, SP Alex Cobb, SP Matt Moore

    The Rays' signing of James Loney (.325 BA, .894 OPS, 7 HR) to a one-year, $2 million deal may well have been the biggest steal of the offseason, as he's benefited greatly from a change of scenery.

    A healthy Evan Longoria (.306 BA, .887 OPS, 10 HR) is also putting up solid numbers at the other corner, as the Rays offense as a whole has been vastly improved.

    Losing James Shields in the offseason was a blow, but the emergence of Alex Cobb (6-2, 2.39 ERA) and Matt Moore (8-2, 3.78 ERA) has helped offset that so far.

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Boston Red Sox (3)
    vs. Kansas City Royals (4) 

10. Arizona Diamondbacks (35-28, Previous: 7)

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    Last Week's Results: 3-4

    at St. Louis Cardinals (2-2)
    vs. San Francisco Giants (1-2) 

    Predicted All-Star(s): 1B Paul Goldschmidt, SP Patrick Corbin

    After hitting .286 with 20 home runs and 18 steals in his first full big league season last year, Paul Goldschmidt (.320 BA, .987 OPS, 15 HR) has been even better this season, and he currently leads the NL with 58 RBI.

    Left-hander Patrick Corbin (9-0, 1.98 ERA), who wasn't even expected to be part of the rotation entering camp, has been an absolute stud. He has a real chance at earning the starting nod for the National League.

    This Week's Opponents

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

9. Pittsburgh Pirates (37-26, Previous: 4)

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    Last Week's Results: 2-4

    at Atlanta Braves (0-3)
    at Chicago Cubs (2-1)

    Predicted All-Star(s): CF Andrew McCutchen, RP Jason Grilli

    Last season, the Pirates rode the bat of Andrew McCutchen and terrific starting pitching to an impressive first half, only to collapse late.

    This year, the offensive has been much more balanced, though it is still McCutchen (.285 BA, .798 OPS, 7 HR) who has led the way.

    On the pitching side of things, setup man turned closer Jason Grilli (23-of-23 SV, 0.98 ERA, 15.0 K/9) has been unhittable. Starters A.J. Burnett (4-6, 3.12 ERA) and Jeff Locke (5-1, 2.39 ERA) and setup man Mark Melancon (32 G, 1.15 ERA) have strong cases as well.

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. San Francisco Giants (3)
    vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (3) 

8. Detroit Tigers (35-26, Previous: 11)

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    Last Week's Results: 5-1

    vs. Tampa Bay Rays (2-1)
    vs. Cleveland Indians (3-0) 

    Predicted All-Star(s): 1B Prince Fielder, 3B Miguel Cabrera, SP Justin Verlander, SP Max Scherzer

    The slugging duo of Prince Fielder (.289 BA, .902 OPS, 12 HR) and Miguel Cabrera (.363 BA, 1.088 OPS, 17 HR) have once again been fantastic in the middle of the Detroit order.

    On the mound, Max Scherzer (8-0, 3.24 ERA, 10.8 K/9) has been the team's best starter. It's also hard to imagine manager Jim Leyland leaving his ace Justin Verlander (8-4, 3.71 ERA, 10.5 K/9) off the team.

    Jhonny Peralta (.338 BA), Torii Hunter (.303 BA) and Anibal Sanchez (6-5, 2.65 ERA) all have compelling arguments to be on the team as well.

    This Week's Opponents

    at Kansas City Royals (3)
    at Minnesota Twins (3) 

7. Cincinnati Reds (37-26, Previous: 3)

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    Last Week's Results: 2-4

    vs. Colorado Rockies (1-2)
    vs. St. Louis Cardinals (1-2) 

    Predicted All-Star(s): 1B Joey Votto, 2B Brandon Phillips, CF Shin-Soo Choo

    The Reds ran away with the NL Central title last season, and with the addition of Shin-Soo Choo to fill the center field/leadoff spot that had been a void, analysts expected them to be even better this season.

    They certainly look the part of a legitimate contender to this point, and their offense is a big reason why. It all starts with Choo (.285 BA, .927 OPS, 10 HR), who has been everything the Reds hoped he'd be.

    Joey Votto (.325 BA, .955 OPS, 10 HR) currently leads the NL with a .445 OBP, while Brandon Phillips (.289 BA, .806 OPS, 46 RBI) has stepped up in the cleanup role and looks like a safe bet to start at second base.

    This Week's Opponents

    at Chicago Cubs (4)
    vs. Milwaukee Brewers (3) 

6. New York Yankees (37-26, Previous: 13)

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    Last Week's Results: 6-1

    vs. Cleveland Indians (3-0)
    at Seattle Mariners (3-1)

    Predicted All-Star(s): 2B Robinson Cano, SP Hiroki Kuroda, RP Mariano Rivera

    The Yankees weathered the storm of early-season injuries brilliantly, and now that they are getting closer to full strength, they should be even better.

    Second baseman Robinson Cano (.272 BA, .839 OPS, 15 HR) was a constant through it all, and he looks like a good bet to beat out Dustin Pedroia for starting honors.

    Hiroki Kuroda (6-5, 2.84 ERA) has been the team's best starter by far, while the bullpen has benefited greatly from the return of future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera (23-of-24 SV, 1.48 ERA), who is having one of his finest seasons at the age of 43.

    This Week's Opponents

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

5. Texas Rangers (37-25, Previous: 2)

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    Last Week's Results: 2-4

    at Boston Red Sox (1-2)
    at Toronto Blue Jays (1-2) 

    Predicted All-Stars: 3B Adrian Beltre, RF Nelson Cruz, SP Yu Darvish, RP Joe Nathan

    The Rangers lost a ton of talent to free agency in the offseason, but they haven't missed a beat to this point. The offense is not as dynamic as it was, but the pitching has stepped up to offset that.

    Adrian Beltre (.307 BA, .891 OPS, 14 HR) remains one of the best in the business, while Nelson Cruz (.261 BA, .826 OPS, 15 HR) has played a big part in easing the loss of Josh Hamilton.

    On the mound, Yu Darvish (7-2, 2.75 ERA, 118 K) has become a bona fide ace, while veteran Joe Nathan (19-of-20 SV, 1.78 ERA) continues to be one of the most reliable closers in the game.

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Cleveland Indians (3)
    vs. Toronto Blue Jays (4) 

4. Oakland Athletics (38-27, Previous: 6)

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    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    at Milwaukee Brewers (2-1)
    at Chicago White Sox (2-2) 

    Predicted All-Star(s): 3B Josh Donaldson, RP Grant Balfour

    Despite a lack of superstar talent and payroll with which to acquire it, the A's continue to find ways to win.

    Their bullpen is one of the best around, and closer Grant Balfour (15-of-15 SV, 1.37 ERA) has locked down the ninth inning after an up-and-down season last year.

    They continue to shift their lineup around to maximize their depth, but one guy who has seen everyday at-bats is Josh Donaldson (.324 BA, .914 OPS, 9 HR), who is one of the breakout stars of 2013. Shortstop Jed Lowrie (.302 BA, .796 OPS, 27 R) has a shot to make the team as well.

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. New York Yankees (3)
    vs. Seattle Mariners (3) 

3. Boston Red Sox (39-25, Previous: 8)

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    Last Week's Results: 4-2

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

    Predicted All-Star(s): 2B Dustin Pedroia, DH David Ortiz, SP Clay Buchholz

    After suffering through a 93-loss campaign last season, the Red Sox bought aggressively this offseason, and the results have been terrific so far.

    While there are a number of new faces, it is the incumbent players who figure to represent the team at the All-Star Game.

    Dustin Pedroia (.333 BA, .878 OPS, 43 R) and David Ortiz (.322 BA, 1.031 OPS, 13 HR) have anchored the lineup, while Clay Buchholz (9-0, 1.71 ERA) has bounced back in a big way after an uninspired last two seasons.

    This Week's Opponents

    at Tampa Bay Rays (3)
    at Baltimore Orioles (4) 

2. Atlanta Braves (39-24, Previous: 5)

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    Last Week's Results: 5-2

    vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (3-0)
    at Los Angeles Dodgers (2-2)

    Predicted All-Star(s): 1B Freddie Freeman, LF Justin Upton, SP Mike Minor, RP Craig Kimbrel

    The fact that the Braves are playing as well as they are without getting much in the way of production from Dan Uggla, B.J. Upton and Jason Heyward makes them a scary team moving forward.

    Freddie Freeman (.315 BA, .849 OPS, 43 RBI) and Justin Upton (.247 BA, .844 OPS, 14 HR) have shouldered the offensive load so far, alongside Evan Gattis (.258 BA, .902 OPS, 13 HR) who seems like a potential snub candidate.

    On the mound, Mike Minor (8-2, 2.44 ERA) has built on a strong second half last season to emerge as the team's best starter, while closer Craig Kimbrel (18-of-21 SV, 1.85 ERA, 12.6 K/9) continues to overpower hitters, despite blowing three saves to this point.

    This Week's Opponents

    at San Diego Padres (3)
    vs. San Francisco Giants (3) 

1. St. Louis Cardinals (41-22, Previous: 1)

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    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (2-2)
    at Cincinnati Reds (2-1) 

    Predicted All-Star(s): C Yadier Molina, 2B Matt Carpenter, RF Carlos Beltran, SP Adam Wainwright, SP Shelby Miller, RP Edward Mujica

    Forced to overcome the losses of Chris Carpenter, Kyle Lohse, Jason Motte and Rafael Furcal, the Cardinals have responded like only they can, as they are currently baseball's best team.

    Yadier Molina (.354 BA, .887 OPS, 31 RBI) leads the NL in hitting, while Matt Carpenter (.332 BA, .894 OPS, 50 R) continues to rake atop the lineup and Carlos Beltran (.305 BA, .862 OPS, 14 HR) remains a dangerous slugger.

    Rookie Shelby Miller (7-3, 1.91 ERA) looks like the odds-on favorite for Rookie of the Year, while Adam Wainwright (9-3, 2.34 ERA) is undoubtedly all the way back from Tommy John surgery. Closer Edward Mujica (18-of-18 SV, 1.63 ERA) has been instrumental in their success, shoring up what was a major hole at the beginning of the season.

    A case can be made for Allen Craig (.310 BA, .796 OPS, 44 RBI), Lance Lynn (8-1, 3.00 ERA) and Trevor Rosenthal (30 G, 1.69 ERA, 12.9 K/9) as well, but there are only so many roster spots.

    This Week's Opponents

    at New York Mets (3)
    at Miami Marlins (3)