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MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 MLB Teams Stand After 2 Weeks

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistApril 14, 2014

MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 MLB Teams Stand After 2 Weeks

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    USA TODAY Sports

    The 2014 MLB season is now two weeks old, and while that gives a slightly larger sample size from which to compile this week's MLB power rankings, the season is still very young.

    When putting together these rankings on a weekly basis, the following factors are considered:

    • Last week's record
    • Quality of opponent
    • Key injuries/trades
    • Recent performance beyond the last week

    That said, here in the early going, there is an extra factor that comes into play: expectations entering the season.

    If we were to simply base these rankings entirely on each team's performance so far this year, there would essentially be no difference between them and the current standings.

    Just last week, many called for the Miami Marlins to be ranked higher after a 5-2 start to the year, but I opted to put them at No. 19 due to my assumption that they were outplaying their potential. Lo and behold, they turned in an 0-6 week and fell back near the bottom of the rankings.

    At the same time, I decided to keep the Washington Nationals ahead of the Atlanta Braves even after they dropped a series to them last week. The Braves proved me wrong, though, sweeping the Nationals at home over the weekend.

    My point here is that, as much as I look to be objective when putting these rankings together, a certain amount of subjectivity still has to come into play when the season is so young. Record is not necessarily all I'm looking at at this point.

    Now, with explanations out of the way, here is an updated look at where all 30 MLB teams currently stand. Be sure to check back here every Monday morning for the most recent edition of our MLB power rankings.

     

    *Note: All stats courtesy of MLB.com, unless otherwise noted. Injury information courtesy of MLBDepthCharts.com team pages.

30. Chicago Cubs (4-8, Previous: 30)

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    Anthony Rizzo
    Anthony RizzoAssociated Press

    Last Weeks Results: 2-4

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

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at New York Yankees (2)
    vs. Cincinnati Reds (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Anthony Rizzo (9-for-23, 2 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 7 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Travis Wood (1 GS, ND, 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 9 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    It's been a slow start to what will likely be another long season for the Chicago Cubs, but there have been some positive takeaways. Emilio Bonifacio (.392 BA) has been a great find, while core pieces Anthony Rizzo (.319 BA, .878 OPS) and Starlin Castro (.300 BA, .787 OPS) are both off to nice starts as they look for bounce-back seasons.

    The team yanked Jose Veras from the closer's role this week after he blew a save against the St. Louis Cardinals, and it will now go with a closer-by-committee that will likely be led by Pedro Strop.

    Right-hander Jake Arrieta is close to returning after starting the season on the DL, and he'll replace Carlos Villanueva in the rotation whenever he's ready.

29. Houston Astros (5-8, Previous: 29)

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    Scott Feldman
    Scott FeldmanAssociated Press

    Last Week's Results: 2-5

    vs. Los Angeles Angels (0-1)
    at Toronto Blue Jays (1-2)
    at Texas Rangers (1-2)

     

    This Week's Opponents

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

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    LF Robbie Grossman (4-for-22, 1 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Scott Feldman (1 GS, ND, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 3 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    The Houston Astros look like they'll be a more competitive team this year, thanks in large part to an improved pitching staff. Scott Feldman (3 GS, 2-0, 0.44 ERA) has been terrific so far as the staff ace, and left-handers Dallas Keuchel and Brett Oberholtzer both also threw the ball well last week.

    The lineup remains an issue, though, as the Astros are currently hitting an MLB-worst .189 as a team and averaging under three runs of offense per game.

    That will need to turn around quick if they are going to avoid another 100-loss season.

28. Arizona Diamondbacks (4-11, Previous: 23)

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    Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 2-4

    at San Francisco Giants (2-1)
    vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (0-3)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. New York Mets (3)
    at Los Angeles Dodgers (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    RF Gerardo Parra (9-for-26, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 6 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    RP Brad Ziegler (4 G, 4.2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 4 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    Expected by many to make some noise in the NL West this season and potentially contend for a wild-card spot, the Arizona Diamondbacks continued their early season spiral this past week with a sweep at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend.

    Mark Trumbo leads all of baseball with 18 RBI, but he also struck out 10 times in 25 at-bats last week, and that could be an ongoing trend all season.

    Pitching has been the real issue, as the Diamondbacks have an MLB-worst 5.95 team ERA, including a horrific 7.18 mark by their starters. The Archie Bradley call-up is likely just around the corner.

27. Miami Marlins (5-8, Previous: 19)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Weeks Results: 0-6

    at Washington Nationals (0-3)
    at Philadelphia Phillies (0-3)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Washington Nationals (3)
    vs. Seattle Mariners (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    CF Christian Yelich (8-for-22, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Tom Koehler (1 GS, L, 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    Well, after climbing up to 19th in the rankings with a surprisingly good first week, the Miami Marlins came tumbling back down when they were swept on the road by the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies.

    Jose Fernandez turned in the worst start of his career last week, allowing eight hits, four walks and six runs in four innings of work. Brad Hand also struggled mightily in his first start of the season, replacing the injured Jacob Turner.

    The offense still looks to be better than last season, as the team managed 18 runs in its six losses last week, and the pitching should be better than it was last week. Still, the Marlins look to have set themselves up for a bit of disappointment after a big Week 1.

26. Minnesota Twins (6-6, Previous: 28)

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    Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

    Last Weeks Results: 3-3

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

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Toronto Blue Jays (3)
    at Kansas City Royals (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    DH Jason Kubel (8-for-22, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Ricky Nolasco (1 GS, W, 8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    After getting swept by the Oakland A's at home, the Minnesota Twins welcomed the Kansas City Royals to town and proceeded to demolish them, outscoring them 21-5 over a three-game sweep.

    That came on the strength of three straight quality starts from Kyle Gibson, Ricky Nolasco and Kevin Correia, a promising sign for a team whose biggest question mark was undoubtedly its starting rotation.

    The Twins are hitting just .240 as a team, but they have managed to score 67 runs on the season, which ties them for third in all of baseball. With three regulars hitting .200 or worse, this team's offensive success is a bit puzzling at this point, but if it keeps throwing the ball like it did against the Royals, Minnesota won't need much offense.

25. Philadelphia Phillies (6-6, Previous: 27)

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    Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images

    Last Weeks Results: 3-3

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

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Atlanta Braves (4)
    at Colorado Rockies (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    SS Jimmy Rollins (8-for-24, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    RP Jonathan Papelbon (3 G, 2-for-2 SV, 3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    A walk-off home run by Jimmy Rollins on Saturday highlighted a three-game sweep of the Miami Marlins, a series that also saw the team touch up Jose Fernandez for what was the worst outing of his young career.

    Second baseman Chase Utley (.500 BA) continued his red-hot start, and he currently leads all qualifiers in batting average. In fact, everyone has been hitting for the most part, as the Phils rank third in the MLB with a .276 team average.

    The pitching has been below average, but the team did welcome back Jonathan Pettibone (5 IP, 8 H, 1 ER) last week, and he will look to give the rotation a boost. Left-hander Cole Hamels is slated to make his debut April 22, according to Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly.

24. San Diego Padres (5-7, Previous: 26)

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    Andrew Cashner
    Andrew CashnerAssociated Press

    Last Weeks Results: 3-3

    at Cleveland Indians (1-2)
    vs. Detroit Tigers (2-1)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Colorado Rockies (4)
    vs. San Francisco Giants (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    SS Everth Cabrera (11-for-26, 4 2B, 4 R, 2 SB)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Andrew Cashner (1 GS, W, 9 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 11 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    If we learned anything last week, it's that the Andrew Cashner we saw in the second half last season is for real, and he has a chance to be awfully good this season. He absolutely dominated the Detroit Tigers Friday, needing just 108 pitches to throw a shutout, and a single up the middle by Rajai Davis in the sixth was the only offense the Tigers mustered.

    Eric Stults, Robbie Erlin and Tyson Ross also threw the ball well last week, but the offense has just not been there. The Padres are hitting just .228 as a team and rank last in the NL with 33 runs scored on the year.

23. New York Mets (5-7, Previous: 24)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Weeks Results: 3-3

    at Atlanta Braves (2-1)
    at Los Angeles Angels (1-2)

     

    This Week's Opponents

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

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    C Travis d'Arnaud (5-for-18, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Jon Niese (1 GS, ND, 7.1 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    Jon Niese turned in a quality start in a no-decision. Bartolo Colon pitched well in his first start of the week, but he was shelled his second time out. And the rest of the rotation scuffled as well last week.

    Even with a few new pieces added to their offense this offseason, the New York Mets will likely only be as good as their starting pitching this year. That means Dillon Gee (5.03 ERA), Zack Wheeler (5.73 ERA) and Colon (6.00 ERA) need to get on track.

    Catcher Travis d'Arnaud entered the week 0-for-15 on the year, but he turned things around nicely to claim top hitter honors. The team continues to strike out at a troubling rate, though, as it's gone down on strikes 122 times in 12 games.

22. Chicago White Sox (7-6, Previous: 25)

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    Alexei Ramirez
    Alexei RamirezAssociated Press

    Last Weeks Results: 4-3

    at Colorado Rockies (1-2)
    vs. Cleveland Indians (3-1)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Boston Red Sox (3)
    at Texas Rangers (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    SS Alexei Ramirez (11-for-28, 2 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 7 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Jose Quintana (2 GS, W, 13 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 10 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    It was a solid week overall for the Chicago White Sox, as they took three of four from the division-rival Cleveland Indians to close out the week and put them a game over .500 on the year.

    However, they were dealt a blow when outfielder Avisail Garcia injured his shoulder attempting a diving catch Wednesday. An MRI revealed a torn labrum, and he will be lost for the season as a result.

    Chicago has a chance to surprise some people offensively, as shown by the 12 home runs and 45 runs it piled up in seven games last week. However, rough outings from Felipe Paulino and Erik Johnson leave the back of the rotation in doubt, and the bullpen is the worst in baseball with a 6.93 ERA.

21. Colorado Rockies (6-7, Previous: 22)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Weeks Results: 3-3

    vs. Chicago White Sox (2-1)
    at San Francisco Giants (1-2)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at San Diego Padres (4)
    vs. Philadelphia Phillies (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    LF Charlie Blackmon (7-for-17, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Jordan Lyles (1 GS, W, 6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    New season, same story for the Colorado Rockies, as they lead all of baseball with a .299 team batting average but rank 27th in team ERA with a 5.02 mark.

    Charlie Blackmon (41 AB, .488 BA) remains one of the surprise stories here in the early going, and every regular outside of Wilin Rosario (.211 BA) is hitting at least .250 on the season.

    Luck continues to work hard against left-hander Brett Anderson, who was off to a solid start this season. He suffered a broken left index finger during an at-bat Saturday and was placed on the 15-day DL. He'll likely miss four to six weeks, according to Thomas Harding of MLB.com.

20. Cleveland Indians (6-7, Previous: 16)

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    Corey Kluber
    Corey KluberAssociated Press

    Last Weeks Results: 3-4

    vs. San Diego Padres (2-1)
    at Chicago White Sox (1-3)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Detroit Tigers (3)
    vs. Toronto Blue Jays (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    RF David Murphy (5-for-18, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Zach McAllister (1 GS, W, 7.2 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    Losing three of four to the White Sox sent the Indians tumbling down these rankings, but they'll have a chance to climb back up in the week ahead when they face off against two of the higher-ranked AL teams int the Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays.

    Trevor Bauer (6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER) threw the ball very well in the second game of a double-header Wednesday, but the team opted to send him back to the minors for the time being. Right-hander Corey Kluber also turned in a pair of quality starts after getting shelled in his season debut last week.

    Speedster Michael Bourn, who has been rehabbing a hamstring injury that landed him on the DL to start the season, will rejoin the team Tuesday, according to Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer. Nyjer Morgan (.348 BA, 3 SB) has played well in his absence.

19. Seattle Mariners (6-5, Previous: 18)

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    Felix Hernandez
    Felix HernandezAssociated Press

    Last Weeks Results: 2-3

    vs. Los Angeles Angels (1-1)
    vs. Oakland Athletics (1-2)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Texas Rangers (4)
    at Miami Marlins (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    DH Corey Hart (3-for-14, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Felix Hernandez (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 11 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    After a terrific first week of the season, the Seattle Mariners crashed back to earth a bit this past week, and the offense was largely to blame.

    The M's hit .190 as a team and scored just 12 runs in five games, and they now have only three regulars hitting over .250 on the year. Third baseman Kyle Seager in particular has had a rough start to the year, going just 4-for-33 (.121 BA) at the plate.

    Chris Young (6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER) pitched great in his first big league start since Sept. 29, 2012, but wound up with a no-decision. The team continues to throw the ball well, even with Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker still on the shelf.

18. Baltimore Orioles (5-7, Previous: 17)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Weeks Results: 3-3

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

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Tampa Bay Rays (3)
    at Boston Red Sox (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    2B Jonathan Schoop (8-for-23, 4 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Chris Tillman (1 GS, L, 8 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    The Baltimore Orioles kicked off the week by taking two of three from the New York Yankees on the road, including a 14-5 shellacking of Ivan Nova and Co. Tuesday. They dropped a series at home to the Blue Jays over the weekend, though, keeping them below .500 on the year.

    The offense has been solid as expected, despite J.J. Hardy battling back problems and the duo of Ryan Flaherty (33 AB, .152 BA) and David Lough (24 AB, .167 BA) bringing nothing to the table.

    Pitching remains the question mark, as Ubaldo Jimenez (2 GS, 10 IP, 18 H, 9 ER) was roughed up last week, but Chris Tillman (8 IP, 3 H, 0 ER) and Bud Norris (7 IP, 5 H, 0 ER) both threw the ball great. The Orioles have to find some consistency here, or they are going to have a hard time contending.

17. Cincinnati Reds (4-8, Previous: 13)

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    Devin Mesoraco
    Devin MesoracoJeff Curry/Getty Images

    Last Weeks Results: 2-4

    at St. Louis Cardinals (1-2)
    vs. Tampa Bay Rays (1-2)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (3)
    at Chicago Cubs (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week 

    C Devin Mesoraco (7-for-14, 3 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Mike Leake (1 GS, W, 8 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    We'll give the Cincinnati Reds one more week to figure it out before dropping them out of the top 20, as they did have a tough draw in facing the St. Louis Cardinals and Tampa Bay Rays last week. That said, it has not been a good start to the 2014 season for new manager Bryan Price and Co.

    Outside of a poor start to the year from Homer Bailey, the rotation has thrown the ball well. The bullpen has been a different story, though, as the team sorely misses the left-handed duo of Aroldis Chapman and Sean Marshall.

    Offensively, the team welcomed back catcher Devin Mesoraco this past week, and he got off to a very hot start. The likes of Jay Bruce (.179 BA), Billy Hamilton (.154 BA) and Zack Cozart (.114 BA) need to get things going though.

16. Kansas City Royals (4-7, Previous: 15)

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    Yordano Ventura
    Yordano VenturaAssociated Press

    Last Weeks Results: 2-4

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

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Houston Astros (3)
    vs. Minnesota Twins (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    SS Alcides Escobar (8-for-19, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 1 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Yordano Ventura (1 GS, ND, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 6 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    It was an interesting week for the Royals, as they kicked things off by beating what was the No. 2 team in these rankings in the Rays in a three-game series, but they were then swept by the Twins.

    That was certainly a deviation from last year, when the Royals went 15-4 against the Twins on the season. The Royals will have a chance to get things going back in the right direction quickly, though, as they face the Astros and then the Twins again at home in the week ahead.

    Bruce Chen (3.2 IP, 7 H, 6 ER) was roughed up, but the rest of the rotation pitched great last week. Things have been slow-going offensively, though, as the Royals rank last in the MLB with 32 runs scored on the year.

15. Boston Red Sox (5-8, Previous: 7)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Weeks Results: 3-4

    vs. Texas Rangers (2-1)
    at New York Yankees (1-3)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Chicago White Sox (3)
    vs. Baltimore Orioles (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    C A.J. Pierzynski (9-for-19, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Jake Peavy (1 GS, ND, 6.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 8 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    The Boston Red Sox come in at No. 15, behind a Texas Rangers team that they took two out of three from to kick off the week, for two main reasons.

    First is the team's showing against the rival Yankees over the weekend. Granted, the Sox were not blown out in any of the four games, but losing three of four in what is arguably the biggest rivalry in the sport no doubt hurts the team's momentum, what little it had to begin with.

    The second is a potentially serious wrist injury to Dustin Pedroia, who sat out Sunday's game and will have have an MRI Monday. He originally injured the wrist on a play at second base during the team's series against the Milwaukee Brewers.

    "He went down to hit early (Sunday) and the soreness continues to persist and probably gain in intensity," manager John Farrell told Peter Abraham of the The Boston Globe. "There hasn’t been an event over the past couple of days that has brought this onset even further. It’s been more just everyday play. The soreness increases and it’s got to be checked out."

14. Los Angeles Angels (6-6, Previous: 20)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Weeks Results: 4-2

    at Houston Astros (1-0)
    at Seattle Mariners (1-1)
    vs. New York Mets (2-1)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Oakland Athletics (3)
    at Detroit Tigers (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Albert Pujols (7-for-25, 1 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Garrett Richards (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    Were it not for the fact that they lost slugger Josh Hamilton to a thumb injury, the Los Angeles Angels would likely be even higher on this list, as there is a lot to like about how they are playing right now.

    Seeing Albert Pujols get going at the plate, while Garrett Richards and Tyler Skaggs turned in solid starts on the mound, helps put to rest some of the major questions surrounding the team heading into the season.

    However, the Hamilton injury stings, as he was off to a hot start, and this could derail his entire season, even if he comes back in the six to eight weeks he's slated to miss. J.B Shuck and Collin Cowgill will split time in left field while he recovers.

13. Texas Rangers (6-6, Previous: 11)

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    Yu Darvish
    Yu DarvishAssociated Press

    Last Weeks Results: 3-3

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

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Seattle Mariners (4)
    vs. Chicago White Sox (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    LF Shin-Soo Choo (7-for-21, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 2 R, 7 BB)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Yu Darvish (1 GS, ND, 8 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    It's been a rough last month for the Rangers, as injuries have piled up and thrown a wrench into what looked to be one of the better teams in the American League at the start of spring training.

    You can now add star third baseman Adrian Beltre to the list of injured Rangers players, as the slugger landed on the 15-day DL Wednesday with a strained quad. Kevin Kouzmanoff got the call to replace him and went 5-for-12 with a double in four games.

    Colby Lewis had his contract purchased and will take the ball Monday for his first big league start since July 18, 2012. He's spent the past year and a half recovering from flexor tendon surgery, and if he can return to form, it would be a huge boost for the injury-plagued Rangers.

12. Pittsburgh Pirates (6-6, Previous: 6)

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    Russell Martin
    Russell MartinAssociated Press

    Last Weeks Results: 2-4

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

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Cincinnati Reds (3)
    vs. Milwaukee Brewers (4)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    C Russell Martin (6-for-15, 1 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Edinson Volquez (1 GS, ND, 6.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    After taking two of three from the Cubs to kick off the week, the Pittsburgh Pirates were swept by a red-hot Milwaukee Brewers team who limited them to just five runs over the three-game series.

    The strong start of Edinson Volquez (3 G, 2 GS, 14 IP, 8 H, 3 ER) is perhaps the biggest positive to take away from the first two weeks of the season, as there were serious questions as to whether he could hold down a rotation spot.

    Now, the rest of the pitching staff needs to step its game up. No one in particular has struggled, but as a whole, the pitching staff has not been as sharp as it was last season. The offense remains below average, as the team is hitting .221 as a group, and it will likely fall to the pitching once again to pick up the slack.

11. Toronto Blue Jays (7-6, Previous: 21)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Weeks Results: 4-2

    vs. Houston Astros (2-1)
    at Baltimore Orioles (2-1)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Minnesota Twins (3)
    at Cleveland Indians (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    CF Colby Rasmus (8-for-23, 2 2B, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Mark Buehrle (2 GS, 2 W, 12.1 IP, 13 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    The Blue Jays climb 10 spots in this week's rankings. They were one of four teams to win both series they played last week and are currently tied for the AL East lead.

    It's not just their record that earns them such a high spot, but the play of their starting rotation in particular. Mark Buehrle continued his great start to the season, while Dustin McGowan (6.1 IP, 5 H, 0 ER) and Drew Hutchison (6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER) were both terrific.

    The offense is going to be there eventually; it's the pitching staff that will determine if this team has a real chance to contend, and it showed enough on the mound last week to earn a place just outside the top 10.

10. San Francisco Giants (8-5, Previous: 12)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Weeks Results: 3-3

    vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (1-2)
    vs. Colorado Rockies (2-1)

     

    This Week's Opponents

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

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    SS Brandon Crawford (8-for-20, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Matt Cain (1 GS, L, 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    After dropping two of three to a scuffling Diamondbacks team to kick off the week, the San Francisco Giants were in danger of posting a losing record this week. But shortstop Brandon Crawford delivered a walk-off home run Sunday to secure a series win over the Colorado Rockies.

    That capped off what was a terrific week for Crawford, and the offense as a whole continues to impress, as the team ranks fifth in the MLB with 66 runs scored on the year.

    It was a rough week for the starting rotation, though, as it posted just two quality starts. The Giants will have to get their pitching back on track in the weeks ahead. Starting pitching was their undoing last year, and they can't afford to struggle here early.

9. Tampa Bay Rays (7-6, Previous: 2)

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    Alex Cobb
    Alex CobbAssociated Press

    Last Weeks Results: 3-3

    at Kansas City Royals (1-2)
    at Cincinnati Reds (2-1)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Baltimore Orioles (3)
    vs. New York Yankees (4)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    2B Ben Zobrist (7-for-23, 1 2B, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Alex Cobb (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    This past week saw both Matt Moore (elbow) and Alex Cobb (oblique) land on the 15-day DL, and Moore may wind up lost for the season, as he has a tear in his UCL and could need Tommy John surgery.

    That's enough to drop the Rays out of the No. 2 spot and down the list here to No. 9. How well Erik Bedard and Cesar Ramos pitch in their absence will determine if they continue to fall down these rankings.

    Despite those injuries, and the fact that they are hitting just .225 as a team, the Rays continue to win games. Getting someone outside of Matt Joyce, Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist going at the plate would go a long way in turning the offense around and taking some pressure off of the rotation.

8. Washington Nationals (7-5, Previous: 5)

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    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    Last Weeks Results: 3-3

    vs. Miami Marlins (3-0)
    at Atlanta Braves (0-3)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Miami Marlins (3)
    vs. St. Louis Cardinals (4)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    LF Bryce Harper (10-for-21, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Stephen Strasburg (1 GS, W, 6.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 12 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    I gave the Nationals a vote of confidence last week when I opted to keep them ahead of the Braves, and they burned me, as the Braves swept them at home over the weekend. This continues a trend of struggling against their division rivals. The Nationals were just 6-13 against the Braves last season and are now 1-5 against them in the early going this season.

    That being said, there were some positives to take away from the week for the Nats, with the biggest being the breakout of Bryce Harper, who was 3-for-21 on the season heading into last week. Rough starts from Taylor Jordan, Tanner Roark and Jordan Zimmermann taxed the bullpen pretty badly, though, and the team will need to be sharp this week with four games against the St. Louis Cardinals.

7. Detroit Tigers (6-4, Previous: 3)

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    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    Last Weeks Results: 2-3

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

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Cleveland Indians (3)
    vs. Los Angeles Angels (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    DH Victor Martinez (5-for-14, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Justin Verlander (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    The Tigers allowed 13 runs to the Padres over three games this past weekend—a Padres team that had a grand total of 20 runs scored in its first nine games of the year, with Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello both failing to turn in a quality start.

    Despite that setback and subsequent drop in the rankings here, the Tigers still look like one of the premier teams in what has been a wide-open American League to this point.

    Slugger Miguel Cabrera (.225 BA, 1 HR, 4 RBI) is off to a slow start, while new closer Joe Nathan is dealing with dead arm—and getting those two on track is important. The team kicks off a 10-game homestand against the Indians on Tuesday, as it has a chance to build some momentum here early.

6. New York Yankees (7-6, Previous: 9)

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    Carlos Beltran
    Carlos BeltranAssociated Press

    Last Weeks Results: 4-3

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

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Chicago Cubs (2)
    at Tampa Bay Rays (4)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    RF Carlos Beltran (11-for-26, 4 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 7 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Michael Pineda (1 GS, W, 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    There's nothing like taking three of four from your biggest rival in the second week of the season to build some early momentum, and the Yankees will look to keep things going against a bad Cubs team and a Rays team that is dealing with some injuries.

    Carlos Beltran was pegged as this week's top hitter, but we could have gone with Alfonso Soriano (9-for-26, 2 2B, 3 HR), Jacoby Ellsbury (10-for-26, 2 2B, 3 SB) or Kelly Johnson (6-for-20, 3 HR) as well. Even Brian McCann tallied his first two home runs of the season last week, though he's still hitting just .205 on the year.

    It was nice to see Ivan Nova turn in a strong start Sunday after getting shelled by the Orioles early in the week. That, along with great outings from Michael Pineda and Masahiro Tanaka, has the team's rotation looking as good as anyone could have hoped for at this point.

5. Atlanta Braves (8-4, Previous: 8)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Weeks Results: 4-2

    vs. New York Mets (1-2)
    vs. Washington Nationals (3-0)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Philadelphia Phillies (4)
    at New York Mets (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    LF Justin Upton (13-for-22, 2 2B, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 8 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Ervin Santana (1 GS, W, 8 IP, 3 H, 0 BB, 6 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    Despite dropping a series to the Mets at home to kick off the week, the Braves climb three spots in this week's rankings thanks to another dominant series against the division-rival Nationals.

    They are now 5-1 on the year against the Nationals and 3-3 against everyone else, so the fact that they don't play the Nationals again until June 19 could hurt them. In all seriousness, though, the Braves have done a fantastic job overcoming injuries to their pitching staff to start the season strong, and their best baseball is still ahead of them.

    Aaron Harang turned in two more quality starts and is now 2-1 with a 0.96 ERA in his three starts this season. His surprise contribution, coupled with a fantastic first start by Ervin Santana, is enough to officially put any concerns about the rotation holding up in the rearview.

    The team's 2.44 ERA is good for third best in the MLB right now, and the offense is doing enough to back the rotation, especially with Justin Upton going through one of his hot streaks at the moment.

4. St. Louis Cardinals (7-5, Previous: 1)

28 of 31

    Yadier Molina
    Yadier MolinaAssociated Press

    Last Weeks Results: 4-2

    vs. Cincinnati Reds (2-1)
    vs. Chicago Cubs (2-1)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Milwaukee Brewers (3)
    at Washington Nationals (4)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    C Yadier Molina (11-for-24, 3 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Michael Wacha (2 GS, 2 W, 12.1 IP, 12 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 11 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    It has not been the best of starts to the season for the Cardinals. They are hitting just .236 as a team, and the bullpen has been roughed up to the tune of a 5.35 ERA and a pair of losses.

    Despite those issues, the Cardinals have still managed to win three of four series to kick off the season, and they find themselves in second place in the NL Central.

    Getting Allen Craig (.122 BA, 0 HR, 3 RBI) and Jhonny Peralta (.111 BA) going would certainly help improve the offense, and the bullpen should sort itself out. They have a tough week ahead of them, though, as they meet a red-hot Brewers team followed by a tough Nationals rotation.

    Another week with two series wins would likely be enough for them to climb back to the top of these rankings considering who they'd be beating to do that.

3. Oakland Athletics (8-4, Previous: 10)

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    Josh Donaldson
    Josh DonaldsonUSA TODAY Sports

    Last Weeks Results: 5-1

    at Minnesota Twins (3-0)
    at Seattle Mariners (2-1)

     

    This Week's Opponents

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

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B Josh Donaldson (9-for-28, 3 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 6 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Dan Straily (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    Despite opening the season without two projected starters, Jarrod Parker (Tommy John surgery) and A.J. Griffin (flexor muscle), the Athletics lead all of baseball with 10 quality starts and pace the AL with a 1.95 starting pitching ERA.

    Left-hander Scott Kazmir left his Sunday start with triceps tightness, and the team certainly can't afford for that to be anything more than a precautionary measure. For now, though, the rotation looks like a serious strength.

    Offensively, the biggest takeaway from this past week was seeing third baseman Josh Donaldson finally get things going at the plate. After finishing fourth in AL MVP voting last season, he was just 3-for-26 last week.

2. Los Angeles Dodgers (9-4, Previous: 4)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Weeks Results: 4-1

    vs. Detroit Tigers (1-1)
    at Arizona Diamondbacks (3-0)

     

    This Week's Opponents

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

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Adrian Gonzalez (9-for-22, 2 2B, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 6 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Hyun-Jin Ryu (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    The injury to Clayton Kershaw still cannot be understated. It is the first time in his career that he's landed on the DL, and he is as important to the long-term success of his team as anyone in the league.

    That being said, the Los Angeles Dodgers have looked awfully good here in the early going. The Diamondbacks are certainly sick of playing them, as the Dodgers have already beat them five times this season.

    A strong start for Dan Haren has been a major bonus, especially with Kershaw ailing. Meanwhile, the offense is still not firing on all cylinders, and if Matt Kemp and/or Yasiel Puig get hot, look out.

1. Milwaukee Brewers (10-2, Previous: 14)

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    Carlos Gomez (left) and Ryan Braun
    Carlos Gomez (left) and Ryan BraunAssociated Press

    Last Weeks Results: 6-0

    at Philadelphia Phillies (3-0)
    vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (3-0)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. St. Louis Cardinals (3)
    at Pittsburgh Pirates (4)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    RF Ryan Braun (10-for-24, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 7 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Wily Peralta (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K)

     

    Team Analysis

    Am I ready to name the Brewers the favorites to win the World Series? No, but there is no question that they have been the best team in baseball through the first two weeks, and it would be wrong to have them anywhere but the top spot.

    Pitching has been the story, as the team's 1.80 ERA leads all of baseball, and it's gotten nine quality starts in 12 games so far. The bullpen has been even better than the rotation, posting a minuscule 0.82 ERA and 0.76 WHIP.

    The offense hasn't been half bad, either, as the Brewers are hitting .271 as a team. Aramis Ramirez (.872 OPS, 1 HR, 11 RBI), Ryan Braun (.887 OPS, 3 HR, 10 RBI) and Carlos Gomez (1.117 OPS, 4 HR, 9 RBI) are all off to good starts.

    It's not an easy week ahead by any means, as Milwaukee will face the Cardinals and Pirates. I think we will know if this team is for real when these rankings roll around next Monday.

     

    For all things baseball, follow me on Twitter.


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