Team (Current Record|Last Week's Ranking)
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (30-14|5)—The Dodgers are the first team in the MLB to reach 30 wins. The three-headed pitching monster of Billingsley, Wolf, and Kershaw continue to impress. More is needed out of the bullpen besides Broxton (11 total blown saves). The Dodgers lead the National League in batting average (.286), runs (238), hits (435), RBI (225), and on-base percentage (.371). The pitching staff also leads all of baseball with a 3.62 ERA and .225 batting average against.
2. St. Louis Cardinals (26-17|8)—The Red Birds have won five in a row, outscoring their opponents 18-2. The pitching staff has the fourth best ERA in all of baseball (3.87). The pitching staff continues to be consistent and great, having a 2.57 ERA and .181 batting average against last week. Carpenter, Wainwright, and Pineiro all threw gems last week. This offset their offensive woes of the week (.213 batting average and .286 on-base percentage).
3. Detroit Tigers (24-17|11)—The Tigers could be running away in the AL Central. The pitching staff last week posted a 3.33 ERA and American League low .223 batting average against. If Willis stays healthy, combined with Verlander and Porcello, this team will be dangerous. Miguel Cabrera is starting to cool down, which means that others are going to have to step up in driving runs in. Santiago, Laird, and Everett played exceptional last week and must continue to play well.
4. New York Yankees (25-18|12)—Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira have been hot and clutch, carrying this team to a nine-game winning streak. The Yankees lead all of baseball in home runs (71) and extra-base hits (162). They're also second in the Majors in total bases (706) and slugging (480). Pitching (Burnett, Wang) continues to be a concern as the Yankees still have the third worst ERA in the American League (5.20).
5. Milwaukee Brewers (26-17|3)—The Brew Crew's pitching staff has been pretty tremendous. Not only does their bullpen lead all of baseball with 16 saves, the pitching staff is second in all of baseball in quality starts (25) and batting average (.242). Braun continues to be an offensive juggernaut and Fielder and Hardy had better offensive weeks, raising their batting averages.
6. Philadelphia Phillies (23-18|9)—There is something wrong with Brad Lidge, who has already blown three saves this season. Utley, Ibanez, and a hot Rollins have pushed the Phillies to lead the National League in home runs (62), slugging (.465), and extra-base hits (.149) and they're second in the NL in runs (235), total bases (639), and RBI (225). The pitching woes continue with a 5.27 ERA, .275 batting average against, and only 17 quality starts.
7. Boston Red Sox (25-18|7)—The Red Sox swept the Blue Jays at home. Ortiz hit his first home run (but that's about it). Youkilis has returned on fire and Pedroia continues to crank out hits. Varitek has been hot the past week (.375 batting average, 5 RBI, 16 total bases). All starters excluding Dice-K threw gems last week, which spells devastating things for opponents, although Papelbon finally blew his first save against the Mets.
8. Toronto Blue Jays (27-19|1)—The Blue Birds have hit a slump on the road, losing five in a row. Nobody is going to take them seriously until they win some real AL East games (0-5 against Red Sox and Yankees). The Blue Jays lead the Majors in hits (464) and total bases (722). They're also top four in the Majors in runs (242), RBI (229), batting average (.284), and slugging (.451). The bats have gone cold in the last week (only 18 RBI). The pitching staff continues to impress with MLB-leading 26 quality starts, fifth best ERA (3.88), and fourth best batting average against (.246).
9. Texas Rangers (25-17|2)—After sweeping Seattle and Los Angeles, the Rangers proceeded to get swept by the Tigers. Andrus is playing like the Rookie of the Year. However, if this team is going to be successful, Hamilton is going to have to do better than .154 average, zero RBI, and zero home runs a week. Kinsler also only batted .095 last week, proving his success is a product of playing in Arlington. The Rangers continue to lead the MLB in slugging (.482) and are second in home runs (70) and extra-base hits (171). Cruz and Vizquel have been impressive.
10. Tampa Bay Rays (23-22|17)—The Rays have jumped to a game over .500 and now are top five in every major offensive category in the American League. They're first in runs (259), RBI (246), extra-base hits (162), and stolen bases (72). They're third in OPS (.812) and fourth in batting average (.277). There might be bullpen woes with Percival going on the DL, but Price is going to get called up and start Monday.
11. Los Angeles Angels (22-20|13)—Torii Hunter is a beast. He leads the Angels in batting average, home runs, runs, RBI, and OPS. Figgins and Hendrick are also starting to heat up. There are bullpen problems with Arredondo struggling. Lackey needs to perform better (5.25 ERA) while Saunders, Weaver, and Santana all threw extremely well last week. Fuentes also recorded three saves last week with a 0.00 ERA.
12. Atlanta Braves (22-20|14)—Pitching carries this inconsistent team. At times the team is stunning, at other times, they're unwatchable. No player on the team had more than eight total bases in the entire week last week. The Braves need to find a consistent RBI man. Vazquez, Lowe, Kawakami, and Jurrjens all pitched exceptionally well last week. Gonzalez continued his bullpen struggles, but thankfully the Braves have Soriano.
13. New York Mets (23-19|4)—The pitching staff had a stunning 2.41 ERA last week, but their offense only scored a total of 14 runs. The only thing worse than their offense last week was their defense, committing a total of nine errors. Wright has continued to sizzle and Pagan has played his role well. Reyes's injury is devastating and the Mets have to find a stable, consistent replacement for Delgado. The Mets' pitching staff has the second best ERA in the MLB (3.83).
14. Cincinnati Reds (22-20|10)—The Reds are glad to have offensive machine Joey Votto back, so Brandon Phillips doesn't have to completely carry this team. Cueto finally pitched a bad game and Owings was awful, but Harang continues to dazzle. The Reds continue to have one of the best bullpens, only having blown one save all season (the best in the MLB). Volquez went on the DL.
15. San Diego Padres (21-22|23)—The Padres have been on fire, winning eight in a row. In the past week, the pitching staff had an amazing 1.00 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 54 innings pitched. Peavy, fresh off rejecting a trade to the White Sox, has been exceptional since starting off the year shaky. Offensive woes continue for this team, who are the worst in the MLB in runs (159), hits (328), and batting average (.230). They're also second worst in RBI (155) as Gonzalez only had one RBI last week.
16. Minnesota Twins (21-23|18)—The Twins outscored their opponents 37-6 in their last three games played. The entire Twins offense was insane the past week, batting .311 with 78 hits and a .908 OPS. Cuddyer hit for the cycle, Morneau continues to put up MVP numbers, and Maeur is hitting better than he ever has. With Slowey improving and Swarzak's impressive outing, the Twins could be dangerous.
17. Kansas City Royals (21-22|16)—The Royals still have the best ERA in the American League (3.83). Hochevar and Bannister struggled immensely last week, while Greinke and Davies had solid outings in team losses. Guillen and Butler have been producing while Bloomquist and Callapso have cooled down. More help is needed from Teahen, Crisp, and Jacobs. Also, Aviles needs to fix whatever is wrong with him.
18. Chicago Cubs (21-20|6)—The Cubs have now lost six in a row. Their offense last week was pathetic. In six games, they only scored eight runs, batted .1892, and had a .512 OPS. While Derek Lee has finally gotten hot (.458 batting average, 1.230 OPS last week), nobody else stepped up as everybody else batted below .240 last week. The pitching was decent, but got no run support. And surprise, surprise as Harden goes to the DL.
19. Arizona Diamondbacks (19-24|29)—Justin Upton is one of the most underrated players in all of baseball. The D-backs averaged six runs a game last week, meaning they might have finally found their offense, although they're still the second worst team in the Majors in batting average (.236) and on-base percentage (.311). Reynolds has been on fire and Parra has been playing well for a rookie. Hopefully, they can get past the internal squabbling over the manager debacle.
20. Chicago White Sox (19-23|24)—The pitching was awful in the 20-1 blowout by the Twins. However, Floyd and Richard have thrown gems since then. Also, Buehrle will be a Cy Young contender. Konerko continues to be the lone offensive bright spot as Dye's average has dropped and Quentin is still injured. The Pale Hose are bottom two in the AL in runs (164), hits (337), total bases (520), RBI (159), on-base percentage (.314), extra-base hits (102), and batting average (.244).
21. Seattle Mariners (20-24|21)—Jakubauskas, Olson, and Vargas pitched well last week, but got no run support (18 runs in seven games). Hernandez and Washburn struggled, but Aardsma has been an excellent replacement for Morrow. The M's are the worst team in all of baseball in on-base percentage (.306) and bottom two in the American League in RBI (157) and runs (165).
22. San Francisco Giants (20-22|15)—The pitching staff had an amazing 1.68 ERA, but somehow went 2-4. The problem was obviously the offense, who average only two runs per game. All five starters (Cain, Lincecum, Sanchez, Johnson, Zito) were stellar last week. Rowand's move to the leadoff spot should help the offense, which is bottom two in all of baseball in runs (160), home runs (23), total bases (498), RBI (149), on-base percentage (.311), slugging (.358), and extra-base hits (99).
23. Pittsburgh Pirates (19-24|25)—The Pirates have scored five runs in their last four games. Andy LaRoche and Brandon Moss have been their best offensive weapons the last week, but more from McLouth and Sanchez is needed. The Pirates need to find some power, having only hit 27 home runs (the second worst in the Majors). Duke and Maholm have been great, as the Pirates staff leads the MLB with 26 quality starts, but they get no run support.
24. Houston Astros (18-23|20)—Berkman has finally found his offensive stride, and Pence and Tejada have been offensive juggernauts all year. Wandy Rodriguez has been phenomenal, but the Astros need better pitching from Oswalt, Hampton, Moehler, and Paulino. Houston has the fourth least amount of quality starts (17) in baseball and fifth highest batting average against (.277).The Astros will need to fix the bullpen because Hawkins has been injured, which could spell trouble.
25. Baltimore Orioles (18-25|22)—The offense of the O's was embarrassing last week, batting a terrible .205 and having a .258 on-base percentage. Their pitching is definitely not going to carry to team, so the offense has to perform a lot better (especially Markakis). The Orioles have an MLB worst 11 quality starts and .290 batting average against. They also have a terrible 5.61 ERA.
26. Florida Marlins (19-25|19)—The Marlins have now lost four in a row and 11 of their last 13. The pitching staff had an awful 7.66 ERA last week and a terrible .280 batting average against. Pinto, Nunez, and Lindstrom all have struggled out of the bullpen. This team isn't going to go anywhere when Hanley Ramirez only bats .179 during the week. Uggla is finally playing like an All-Star and Ross has heated up.
27. Colorado Rockies (17-25|27)—Cook and Marquis were extremely superb last week, as were Street and Flores out of the bullpen. De La Rosa has struggled in his past few starts as the rest of the pitching staff has been inconsistent. There are offensive woes with Tulowitzki and Stewart. Hawpe underperformed last week, but Helton and Fowler played fantastically. Hurdle isn't on the manager hot seat for some reason.
28. Cleveland Indians (17-27|28)—Asdrubal Cabrera and Shin-Soo Choo are two under-the-radar players that have offensively performed all year for the Tribe. Sizemore has not been playing well at all. The pitching staff continues to lose as Lee continues to get no run support, and Carmona, Sowers, and Pavano have struggled. The pitching staff has an awful 5.53 ERA. Wood is starting to seem like more of a liability than asset out of the bullpen.
29. Oakland Athletics (15-25|26)—The A's pitching staff had an awful 6.02 ERA last week. Cahill and Bailey have had some pitching struggles. Kennedy, Holliday, and Cabrera has been stellar offensively, and Nomar's return should really help this offense that's bottom two in the American League in hits (342), home runs (29), total bases (469), batting average (.242), on-base percentage (.314), slugging (.342), and extra-base hits (88).
30. Washington Nationals (12-30|30)—Dunn looked like his old self last week, batting .200 with 11 strikeouts. Johnson, Guzman, and Zimmerman continue to perform offensively, as the Nats lead the National League in total bases (643) and are second in hits (409). Lannan and Detwiler have been pretty decent, but the rest of pitching staff has contributed to the MLB-worst 5.70 ERA and 13 blown saves.
Biggest climb: The Arizona Diamondbacks jumped 10 spots from No. 29 to No. 19 after going 5-1 last week, despite internal controversy.
Biggest fall: The Chicago Cubs fell 12 spots from No. 6 to No. 18 after losing six in a row.
Best team average: The Toronto Blue Jays have the best team average (2.43) by being first five times, fourth once, and eighth once.
Worst team average: The Washington Nationals have the worst team average (29.71) by being ranked last six times and 28th once.
Teams yet to fall out of the top 10: Dodgers, Blue Jays, and Cardinals
Teams yet to climb out of the bottom 10: Indians and Nationals
Prediction of the week: Phillies will go 6-1
Division Rankings/Picture (Record|Last Week's Ranking)
*Divisional rankings are based on the average power rankings.
1. AL East (118-102|1): (4) Nyy, (7) Bos, (8) Tor, (10) Tam, (25) Bal
2. NL Central (132-121|2): (2) Stl, (5) Mil, (14) Cin, (18) Chc, (23) Pit, (24) Hou
3. NL West (107-107|6): (1) Lad, (15) Sad, (19) Ari, (22) Saf, (27) Col
3. AL Central (102-112|5): (3) Det, (16) Min, (17) Kan, (20) Cws, (28) Cle
5. NL East (99-112|3): (6) Phi, (12) Atl, (13) Nym, (26) Fla, (30) Was
6. AL West (82-86|4): (9) Tex, (11) Laa, (21) Sea, (29) Oak
If the playoffs started today...
1. Toronto vs. 3. Detroit
2. Texas vs. 4. Boston/New York
1. Los Angeles vs. 4. St. Louis/Milwaukee
2. St. Louis/Milwaukee vs. 3. Philadelphia
If awards were given out today...
AL MVP: Justin Morneau (Minnesota Twins)
NL MVP: Raul Ibanez (Philadelphia Phillies)
AL Cy: Zack Greinke (Kansas City Royals)
NL Cy: Johan Santana (New York Mets)
AL RoY: Elvis Andrus (Texas Rangers)
NL RoY: Colby Rasmus (St. Louis Cardinals)
AL MoY: Cito Gaston (Toronto Blue Jays)
NL MoY: Joe Torre (Los Angeles Dodgers)
AL Comeback: Aaron Hill (Toronto Blue Jays)
NL Comeback: Barry Zito (San Francisco Giants)