Los Angeles Dodgers Maintain Stranglehold On MLB Power Rankings

Kareem ShakerCorrespondent IMay 26, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 23:  Juan Pierre #9 (C) of the Los Angeles Dodgers is congratulated by pitcher Clayton Kershaw (L) catcher Russell Martin (2L) and Matt Kemp #27 who scored the winning run after a bases loaded walk to Pierre to defeat the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 5-4, during the tenth inning of the baseball game at Dodger Stadium on May 23, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Not bad.

Meanwhile, things look normal in the AL East once again, with the Blue Jays dropping from first and the Red Sox and Yankees sitting one and two, respectively.

The Detroit Tigers have begun to pull away in the once-tightly packed AL Central, now four games ahead of the second-place Kansas City Royals.

However, the NL East and Central remain tightly packed at the top. Three teams are within 2.5 games in the Central and three teams sit 1.5 games away from each other at the top of the East.

Here’s how teams rank through May 25:

No. 1: Los Angeles Dodgers (31-15)—The Dodgers rank second in all of baseball in runs scored (261) and ERA (3.74). They have a comfortable 7.5-game lead in the NL West despite the second-place Padres’ 10-game winning streak. (Last Week, 1)

No. 2: Detroit Tigers (25-18)—A once-strong division has turned into mediocre at best, allowing the Tigers to pull away in the AL Central after winning eight of their last 10 games. (Last Week, 10)

No. 3: Boston Red Sox (27-19)—A three-game sweep of the Blue Jays brought Toronto back down to Earth and allowed the BoSox to take over first in the AL East. Boston is doing this without Kevin Youkilis (oblique) and with their starting pitching posting a miserable 5.31 ERA (fourth-worst in MLB). (Last Week, 6)

No. 4: New York Yankees (26-19)—The Yankees are 13-4 since A-Rod’s return. Rodriguez had seven of his first 10 hits leave the park, until a 5-for-5 performance (no HRs) Monday against the Texas Rangers raised his batting average 70 points to .259. Phil Hughes’ eight shutout innings of the league’s top-rated offense during that game may be even scarier for the rest of baseball. (Last Week, 8)

No. 5: Philadelphia Phillies (24-19)—The Phils stopped the red-hot Yankees in their tracks, taking two of three from them in New York. They have won seven of 10 and maintain a slim half-game lead ahead of the Mets for first in the NL East. (Last Week,

No. 6: Milwaukee Brewers (27-18)—Though just 4-4 over the past week, Milwaukee lengthened its lead in top-heavy NL Central to one full game ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals. (Last Week, 5)

No. 7: St. Louis Cardinals (26-19)—The Cardinals had won five of six until dropping the first game of a key three-game set with the Brewers, Monday despite a stellar start from Chris Carpenter. Carpenter’s return came in the form of eight shutout innings, a beautiful sight for Cards’ fans. (Last Week, 9)

No. 8: Texas Rangers (26-18)—The Rangers bounced back from a sweep at Detroit to sweep the Astros in Houston. They got shellacked in the first game of a three-game set against the Yanks, but they still hold a three-game lead ahead of the Angels for first in the AL West. (Last Week, 4)

No. 9: Toronto Blue Jays (27-21)—A six-game slide has dropped the Blue Jays from first to third in the AL East, a tough division to move back up. They are still just 1.5 games out of first place, though. (Last Week, 2)

No. 10: San Diego Padres (23-22)—A 10-game winning streak over contending teams has made the Padres relevant again after a steep fall from grace following a strong start. (Last Week, Not Rated)

"Bubble" Teams: Cincinnati Reds (24-20), New York Mets (24-20)

The "AHN Top 10" will attempt to balance power rankings based on each team's most recent performance, while keeping in mind the overall scope of each team's place in the league.

The rankings are compiled by the AHN writer and are the sole opinion of the author.