MLB Power Rankings: Who's the New No. 1 Team After Week 7?

Jim MancariCorrespondent IMay 23, 2011

MLB Power Rankings: Who's the New No. 1 Team After Week 7?

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    Through nine weeks, the MLB season is in full swing.

    So far, very few teams have been able to separate themselves from the pack.

    Those teams that have begun to distance themselves will look to keep up their hot starts throughout the summer, while the middle-of-the-road teams will look to go a run.

    Here is a power ranking of all the 30 teams at this point in the season.

30. Houston Astros

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    The Houston Astros may not have the worst record in the league, but they are the easy choice for last place on this list.

    The team appears to be just going through the motions already.

    Jim Crane recently bought the team, so maybe Houston can turn it around over the next few years.

29. Minnesota Twins

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    Who would have thought that the Minnesota Twins would have the worst record in the league?

    Injuries, especially to Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, have plagued the Twins, and the rest of the players have not been able to pick up the slack.

    While these two players are hard to replace, the Twins still have the personnel to put wins on the board.

    Maybe Minnesota can get hot, but they are still digging themselves a very deep hole.

28. San Diego Padres

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    The loss of Adrian Gonzalez has severely hindered the San Diego Padres’ offense.

    Heath Bell has been great coming out of the bullpen, but his save opportunities are few and far between.

    He might be traded before this season ends.

27. Los Angeles Dodgers

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    The Los Angeles Dodgers have a ton of financial problems following the McCourt divorce.

    The Giants and Rockies will be tough on the Dodgers down the stretch, and Los Angeles may look to trade some of its veteran players.

    Jonathan Broxton, Rafael Furcal and Casey Blake may all call somewhere else home by the end of the season.

26. Washington Nationals

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    The Washington Nationals will be a very good team once their top prospects pan out.

    Stephen Strasburg is ahead of schedule in his rehab, and Bryce Harper is tearing up the minor leagues.

    The team does have some talented pieces, but the future appears even brighter for the Nats.

25. Chicago White Sox

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    The Chicago White Sox bullpen has been abysmal this season, which has led to a poor start.

    Ozzie Guillen may be on the hot seat if the team can’t turn it around.

    The offense and starting pitching are built for success, but the White Sox will need a better performance out of the bullpen.

24. Chicago Cubs

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    The Chicago Cubs are setting themselves up for a massive fire sale around this year’s trade deadline.

    Though they are only a few games under .500, the Cubs don’t look like they’ll be putting it together this season.

    Aramis Ramirez, Kosuke Fukudome and Carlos Pena are all candidates to be traded, as the Cubs will attempt to make a play for Albert Pujols.

23. Oakland Athletics

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    The Oakland Athletics improved their offense this offseason to add to their very good young starting pitching.

    However, the offense hasn’t panned out as planned, and the team lost Dallas Braden for the season.

    Trevor Cahill has been a stud, and maybe they can get hot in a division where no one is pulling away.

22. Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Though expectations weren’t high heading into this season, the Arizona Diamondbacks have battled to a .500 record under manager Kirk Gibson.

    The team has some good young hitters and pitchers who they should be able to build around for the next few seasons.

    They may trade a few players, but the core should remain intact.

21. Baltimore Orioles

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    The Baltimore Orioles were the talk of the league over the first week of the season.

    However, they have back down to earth and sit at three games under .500.

    Buck Showalter has his team playing good baseball, and Baltimore has gotten a decent performance out of their starting pitching, especially Zach Britton.

    This team could get hot, but they’ll have the obstacle of trying to pass some good teams in the division.

20. Pittsburgh Pirates

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    The Pittsburgh Pirates will be a competitive team in another few years.

    They have done a nice job developing young, talented players like Andrew McCutchen, Jose Tabata, Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez.

    With a few young pitching prospects waiting in the wings, watch out for the Pirates over the next couple of seasons.

19. Seattle Mariners

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    The Seattle Mariners are still a few years away from competing consistently.

    The team has some great young arms, especially Felix Hernandez and Michael Pineda, who can carry the staff for hopefully the next decade.

    Give them a few years, and they’ll be back to playing good baseball.

18. Kansas City Royals

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    The Kansas City Royals have a very bright future.

    They have the best farm system in the game, and have also gotten some productivity out of their young players.

    Though this doesn’t look like the year for the Royals, the team should field a competitive product the next few years.

17. New York Mets

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    The New York Mets are in an odd situation.

    The team is a few games under .500, and plays in one of the tougher divisions in the league.

    If the Mets can get hot, the team may make a play for a wild-card berth.

    However, the Mets may wind up going through a fire sale if they can’t turn it around.

16. Detroit Tigers

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    The Detroit Tigers are a .500 team right now, but may be candidates to make a late season push.

    If the Indians cool down, the Tigers can give them a run for their money.

    Detroit will need some more offensive production from its lineup, especially the outfield.

    Justin Verlander will lead a decent pitching staff in giving the Tigers a chance down the stretch.

15. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

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    The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim seemed like a good pick for the AL West title.

    The team is sitting at .500, but are only a half game behind the Rangers.

    The Angels will rely on their veteran players to get them over the hump. The wild card may be out of the question, so the team will look to make as much noise in the division as possible.

14. Toronto Blue Jays

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    The Toronto Blue Jays are suffering from playing in a division with the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays.

    The team is sitting at .500, and has shown they can play good baseball.

    Jose Bautista is one pace to have an even better season than last year.

    Toronto has good young pitching, and is on the verge over the next few years on making noise in the division.

13. Colorado Rockies

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    The Colorado Rockies were the best team in the league over the first two weeks, but they have cooled down significantly.

    Troy Tulowitzki was an offensive machine early in the season, but has lost his productive stroke. Carlos Gonzalez still hasn’t found his stroke.

    However, the Rockies should be able to regroup and make a run at the playoffs.

12. Milwaukee Brewers

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    Now that Zack Greinke has returned, the Milwaukee Brewers are poised to challenge the Cardinals and Reds for bragging rights in the NL Central.

    They have a great starting pitching staff and an offense that can put up runs.

    The Brewers should keep up their pace of play, meaning Prince Fielder will at least remain in Milwaukee for the rest of the season.

11. Texas Rangers

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    The defending AL champion Texas Rangers are only a game over .500, but are holding down first place in the AL West.

    Josh Hamilton should hopefully be returning healthy in time for the team to make a serious run to defend their title.

    The combination of clutch hitting plus a good pitching staff should allow the Rangers to return to the postseason.

10. Atlanta Braves

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    The Atlanta Braves have great starting pitching that they plan on riding down the stretch.

    Though currently in third place, the Braves might be the favorite to capture the NL Wild Card for the second straight year.

    Atlanta also has a solid lineup that can put up serious runs. The team got off to a slow start, but has battled back to three games over .500.

9. Cincinnati Reds

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    The Cincinnati Reds are the defending NL Central champions, but will have to fend off the Cardinals to repeat.

    Joey Votto and the rest of the offense have been productive, and the team’s young starting pitching had kept the team in games.

    Dusty Baker and company should be right there down the stretch, but do they have what it takes to defend their title?

8. Boston Red Sox

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    After a terrible start, the Boston Red Sox have been showing good signs over the last few weeks.

    They are right on the cusp of the lead in the AL East, but still have the Yankees and Rays to contend with.

    The pitching and hitting have been coming around, so the Red Sox are in store for an exciting summer.

7. Florida Marlins

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    The Florida Marlins have been one of the surprise teams in the NL so far.

     The team won’t exactly score a ton of runs, but the Marlins pitching have kept them in games all season.

    Josh Johnson recently went on the disabled list, but he was pitching lights out ball until then.

    Leo Nunez has been one of the most dominant closers in the league this season.

    Good pitching will allow the Marlins to continue their winning ways.

6. New York Yankees

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    The New York Yankees are a home run hitting machine.

    Most of the runs they’ve scored this year have been via the home run.

    While it’s carried them through the first part of the season, how long can this power surge continue?

    The starting pitching was the question mark coming into the season, but it has been surprisingly good.

    However, the offense hasn’t come around yet, besides the home runs.

    There’s still no real cause for concern though in the Bronx.

5. Tampa Bay Rays

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    The Tampa Bay Rays have gotten off to a good start this season, as they continue to rely on their young talent.

    Sam Fuld is making himself a household name, with his good speed and defense.

    The Rays will look to duke it out with the Yankees over the next few months.

4. San Francisco Giants

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    The defending world champion San Francisco Giants have picked up where they’ve left off.

    With the Rockies struggling after their hot the start, the Giants have been able to establish a 3.5-game lead.

    While it’s still early, the Giants can begin to pull away if they keep up their fast pace.

3. St. Louis Cardinals

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    The St. Louis Cardinals have one of the best middle of the orders in the whole game, with Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday and a rejuvenated Lance Berkman.

    The pitching has held up, which has allowed the Cardinals to establish a 2.5-game lead in the NL Central.

    If the hitting remains constant, the Cardinals should be able to hold off the Reds, but this division rivalry should be interesting down the stretch.

2. Philadelphia Phillies

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    The Philadelphia Phillies have been just as advertised this season, especially in the starting pitching department.

    Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee easily form the best one-two punch in the game and will be a tough matchup for any team, especially in the playoffs.

    The team still looks to be the favorites to represent the NL in the World Series.

1. Cleveland Indians

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    Can you believe the Cleveland Indians have the best record in the big leagues?

    The Indians have been the talk of the league so far, with their great starting pitching and clutch pitching.

    The young players have been coming through early on. While many doubters haven’t quite jumped on the bandwagon, the Indians must be taken seriously until they show signs of fading.

    They may not have the biggest names, but the team is playing great baseball.