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MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 MLB Teams Stand at the 1-Quarter Mark

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistMay 12, 2014

MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 MLB Teams Stand at the 1-Quarter Mark

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    The curse of the No. 1 spot in these rankings finally comes to an end, as the San Francisco Giants managed to hold on to the top spot with a 4-3 week on the road, but there were plenty of other shakeups in the rankings this week.

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

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

    At this point, teams have enough games under their belts that preseason expectations no longer play much of a factor in where they are slotted, though the sample size is still small enough that there were some drastic rises and falls.

    All that said, 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.

     

    *All stats courtesy of MLB.com, unless otherwise noted. All injury information via MLBDepthCharts team pages.

30. Houston Astros (12-26, Previous: 30)

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    Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 2-5

    at Detroit Tigers (1-3)
    at Baltimore Orioles (1-2)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Texas Rangers (3)
    vs. Chicago White Sox (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B Matt Dominguez (9-for-28, 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Jarred Cosart (2 GS, W, L, 13 IP, 12 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 6 K)

     

    Quarter-Mark Overview

    While they have shown some signs of improvement here in the early going, the Houston Astros remain the worst team in baseball through the first quarter of the season and still look to have a good deal of work to do as far as their rebuild is concerned.

    An MLB-worst 6.06 bullpen ERA has essentially cancelled out a moderately improved starting rotation, while the offense still lacks any sort of consistent threat, as the team is hitting a league-low .222. The arrival of top prospect George Springer has been some cause for excitement, but he's off to a slow start and has not exactly provided a spark.

29. Chicago Cubs (12-24, Previous: 26)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 1-6

    vs. Chicago White Sox (0-2)
    at Chicago White Sox (1-1)
    at Atlanta Braves (0-3)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at St. Louis Cardinals (4)
    vs. Milwaukee Brewers (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B Mike Olt (5-for-21, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Jeff Samardzija (2 GS, 2 ND, 15 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 14 K)

     

    Quarter-Mark Overview

    Though they have just nine wins as a staff, the starting rotation has been a bright spot for the Chicago Cubs so far, with Jeff Samardzija (0-3, 1.45 ERA) and Jason Hammel (4-1, 2.45 ERA) both throwing the ball very well and both looking like they could net a solid return come July.

    The offense is still a work in progress as the team awaits the arrival of a number of top prospects, but bounce-back seasons from Anthony Rizzo (.886 OPS, 7 HR, 18 RBI) and Starlin Castro (.282 BA, 5 HR, 16 RBI) are big for the team's long-term outlook.

28. Arizona Diamondbacks (15-25, Previous: 29)

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    Matt York/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 4-2

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

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Washington Nationals (3)
    vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    RF Gerardo Parra (9-for-26, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 7 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Bronson Arroyo (1 GS, W, 7.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K)

     

    Quarter-Mark Overview

    The Arizona Diamondbacks have now won three straight series and are 7-3 in their last 10 games after starting the year 8-22. They move up just one spot in the rankings for now, but another big week against a pair of solid NL opponents could start them climbing more quickly.

    Their starting rotation remains the worst in all of baseball with a 5.47 ERA, and they have already used eight different starters this year. Offensively, Paul Goldschmidt (.321 BA, .902 OPS) and Miguel Montero (.287 BA, .846 OPS) have been great, while shortstop Chris Owings looks like the front-runner for NL Rookie of the Year so far in a fairly weak class.

27. Tampa Bay Rays (16-22, Previous: 18)

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 1-5

    vs. Baltimore Orioles (0-3)
    vs. Cleveland Indians (1-2)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Seattle Mariners (3)
    at Los Angeles Angels (4)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    LF David DeJesus (9-for-21, 3 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Erik Bedard (1 GS, W, 6 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K)

     

    Quarter-Mark Overview

    The terrific starting pitching that has been a cornerstone of their success has simply not been there for the Tampa Bay Rays so far this season, and they have struggled as a result. Matt Moore is lost for the year, while Alex Cobb and Jeremy Hellickson remain sidelined, and in their absence, David Price (4.53 ERA) and Chris Archer (5.16 ERA) have failed to step up.

    The offense is averaging a respectable 4.21 runs per game, as the lineup has no glaring hole at this point, but until the Rays start to throw the ball better, they will continue to struggle. They will look to get on track with a West Coast road trip this coming week.

26. New York Mets (17-19, Previous: 16)

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 1-5

    at Miami Marlins (0-3)
    vs. Philadelphia Phillies (1-2)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at New York Yankees (2)
    vs. New York Yankees (2)
    at Washington Nationals (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B David Wright (10-for-27, 4 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Zach Wheeler (1 GS, ND, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 5 BB, 7 K)

     

    Quarter-Mark Overview

    After making a strong run at a spot in the top 10, the New York Mets have gone 2-8 in their last 10 games to slide back down to the bottom third of the rankings. The pitching was all that was keeping the team afloat, and with an NL-worst 4.74 ERA since the start of May, the Mets have come crashing back to Earth.

    Jon Niese (2-2, 2.17 ERA) and Dillon Gee (3-1, 2.73 ERA) remain a terrific one-two punch, but the other three starters all have an ERA over 4.25. There have been some bright spot offensively, namely Daniel Murphy (.317 BA, .822 OPS), but there have also been some major holes, with Curtis Granderson (.185 BA, .585 OPS) being the most notable.

25. Philadelphia Phillies (17-19, Previous: 19)

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    Norm Hall/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 2-5

    vs. Toronto Blue Jays (0-2)
    at Toronto Blue Jays (0-2)
    at New York Mets (2-1)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Los Angeles Angels (2)
    vs. Cincinnati Reds (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    RF Marlon Byrd (11-for-26, 6 2B, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Cole Hamels (2 GS, 2 ND, 13 IP, 17 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, 16 K)

     

    Quarter-Mark Overview

    The Philadelphia Phillies looked like they could be poised to rise in the rankings after a nice 8-4 run entering last week, but a four-game sweep at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays effectively slowed that momentum, and they again find themselves in the bottom third of the rankings.

    Chase Utley (.338 BA, .945 OPS) has managed to maintain his hot start, and the offense as a whole has been better than expected thanks to a healthy start to the year. Cole Hamels looked strong his last time out (7 IP, 1 ER, 10 K), and if he can get on track, the rotation has a chance to be a legitimate strength. Still it's hard to see this team finishing any better than third in the NL East and right around .500.

24. San Diego Padres (18-21, Previous: 27)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    vs. Kansas City Royals (1-2)
    vs. Miami Marlins (3-1)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Cincinnati Reds (3)
    at Colorado Rockies (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    LF Seth Smith (14-for-28, 5 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Robbie Erlin (2 GS, W, ND, 13.1 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 12 K)

     

    Quarter-Mark Overview

    At a meager 2.97 runs per game, the San Diego Padres remain the lowest-scoring offense in baseball, yet they are somehow just three games below .500 on the year. They currently rank 10th in starter ERA (3.58) and second in bullpen ERA (2.13), as a relatively unknown staff has gotten off to a very nice start.

    Ace Andrew Cashner (2-5, 2.86 ERA) and closer Huston Street (11-of-11 SV, 0.56 ERA) in particular are off to very good starts. However, newcomer Seth Smith (.330 BA, .995 OPS) has been the lone standout offensively, and the struggles of Yonder Alonso (.200 BA, .513 OPS) and Jedd Gyorko (.162 BA, .505 OPS) remain a serious concern for the team's long-term outlook.

23. Chicago White Sox (19-20, Previous: 25)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    at Chicago Cubs (2-0)
    vs. Chicago Cubs (1-1)
    vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (1-2)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Oakland Athletics (3)
    at Houston Astros (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Jose Abreu (9-for-26, 3 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Jose Quintana (2 GS, L, ND, 13 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 8 K)

     

    Quarter-Mark Overview

    On the strength of one of the best offenses in baseball, led by breakout rookie Jose Abreu (.936 OPS, 13 HR, 37 RBI), the Chicago White Sox are off to a surprisingly good start this season. However, as the bats start to level off, there is a serious question as to whether their pitching can pick up the slack, especially with ace Chris Sale sidelined with an arm injury.

    Still, there's a lot to like about how they have played so far, and if nothing else, solid starts from guys like Alexei Ramirez (.333 BA, 5 HR, 26 RBI) and John Danks (3-2, 4.93 ERA, 4.51 FIP) have given the team some useful trade chips to work with once again.

22. Minnesota Twins (17-19, Previous: 23)

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    Ann Heisenfelt/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 3-4

    at Cleveland Indians (1-3)
    at Detroit Tigers (2-1)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Boston Red Sox (3)
    vs. Seattle Mariners (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    SS Eduardo Escobar (8-for-23, 5 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Phil Hughes (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 8 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K)

     

    Quarter-Mark Overview

    A year after their starters posted an MLB-worst 5.26 ERA, leading to the big-money signings of Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes, the Minnesota Twins are actually a tick worse so far this year, with an AL-worst 5.36 ERA from their starting rotation.

    Hughes (4-1, 3.92 ERA) has managed to rattle off four quality starts in a row, posting a 2.05 ERA over that span, but he's the only starter who currently has an ERA under 4.50. The team's offense was a huge surprise early on, but things have started to regress back toward expectations since.

    A nice series win over the Detroit Tigers on the road is a good indication that this team could be a thorn in the side of some contenders this year, but the Twins still have some work to do before they are contenders themselves.

21. Pittsburgh Pirates (16-21, Previous: 28)

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 4-2

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

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Milwaukee Brewers (3)
    at New York Yankees (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Ike Davis (10-for-21, 3 2B, 2 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Charlie Morton (2 GS, ND, L, 14 IP, 10 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K)

     

    Quarter-Mark Overview

    After falling to No. 28 last week, their lowest ranking in a very long time, the Pittsburgh Pirates bounced back with a pair of series wins against two of the better teams in the National League. There are still legitimate concerns about whether this team can duplicate last year's success, but this was certainly a step in the right direction.

    The acquisition of Ike Davis (.286/.384/.413) is looking better and better, and the team has finally started to provide reigning NL MVP Andrew McCutchen with some offensive support.

    The starting rotation currently sits 26th in the MLB with a 4.47 ERA, though, and while the bullpen has a solid 2.74 ERA and 12 wins, it is just 8-of-17 on save chances.

20. Toronto Blue Jays (18-20, Previous: 22)

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    Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    at Philadelphia Phillies (2-0)
    vs. Philadelphia Phillies (2-0)
    vs. Los Angeles Angels (0-3)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Los Angeles Angels (1)
    vs. Cleveland Indians (3)
    at Texas Rangers (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Edwin Encarnacion (9-for-28, 2 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Mark Buehrle (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K)

     

    Quarter-Mark Overview

    The Toronto Blue Jays have been all over these rankings so far this season, as inconsistency from their starting rotation has left them looking like a different team on a weekly basis. The offense is going to be there, though, and with Melky Cabrera (.333 BA, .889 OPS) hitting like pre-suspension Melky Cabrera, it may be even better than last year's group.

    However, outside of veteran Mark Buehrle (6-1, 1.91 ERA), no starter has an ERA under 4.00, and the team has managed just 16 quality starts in 38 games. Drew Hutchison and R.A. Dickey have shown signs of being reliable arms, though, and if the team can find four viable arms behind Buehrle, it has a legitimate shot to contend in the wide-open AL East.

19. Cleveland Indians (18-20, Previous: 24)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 5-2

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

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Toronto Blue Jays (3)
    vs. Oakland Athletics (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    LF Michael Brantley (10-for-28, 3 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Josh Tomlin (2 GS, 2 W, 12.2 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K)

     

    Quarter-Mark Overview

    After a surprise run to the playoffs last year, the Cleveland Indians are off to a shaky start this season, as their rotation has not been as good as hoped and the offense has had to deal with a handful of slow starts from key guys.

    Danny Salazar (1-2, 5.27 ERA) has been a huge disappointment after being pegged by many as a potential breakout star, but the rotation looks to be in better shape after Josh Tomlin replaced Carlos Carrasco as the No. 5 starter.

    Offensively, only Michael Brantley (.286 BA, .906 OPS) and the injured Jason Kipnis (.255 BA, .806 OPS) have put up an OPS over .800, and guys like Nick Swisher (.215 BA) and Carlos Santana (.130 BA) have to get things going at the plate.

18. Kansas City Royals (18-19, Previous: 21)

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    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    at San Diego Padres (2-1)
    at Seattle Mariners (2-2)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Colorado Rockies (2)
    vs. Baltimore Orioles (4)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Eric Hosmer (14-for-31, 3 2B, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

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

     

    Quarter-Mark Overview

    The same offensive issues that plagued the Kansas City Royals in the first half last year have reared their ugly head once again. While the team is averaging a respectable 4.00 runs per game, too many key guys have scuffled at the plate so far.

    The Royals have somehow managed just 16 home runs in 37 games, as the struggling Mike Moustakas (.165 BA) leads the team with four long balls. The trio of James Shields, Jason Vargas and Yordano Ventura has been terrific atop the rotation, and Danny Duffy could help shore up another spot.

    The bullpen looks strong once again as well, and if the team can just get starter Jeremy Guthrie (0-2, 5.21 ERA) on track, its pitching looks like a real strength.

17. Seattle Mariners (19-18, Previous: 20)

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 5-3

    at Oakland Athletics (3-1)
    vs. Kansas City Royals (2-2)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Tampa Bay Rays (3)
    at Minnesota Twins (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    LF Dustin Ackley (7-for-19, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Hisashi Iwakuma (1 GS, W, 8 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 7 K)

     

    Quarter-Mark Overview

    After starting the season just 7-13, the Seattle Mariners have righted the ship and gone 12-5 since, winning four straight series before splitting a four-game stand with the Royals over the weekend. Considering they have still not had their rotation at full strength at any point, their best baseball may still be ahead of them, but there are some issues to sort out.

    Outfield production has been hit-and-miss. James Jones (7-for-18, 2 2B) looks like he could be the answer in center field, but Brad Miller (.138 BA, .391 OPS) has to provide something offensively at shortstop or the team will be forced to make a change. Still, this team looks like it could be relevant for the long haul, especially if Robinson Cano (112 AB, 6 XBH, 1 HR) remembers how to hit for power.

16. Washington Nationals (19-18, Previous: 12)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 2-4

    vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (2-1)
    at Oakland Athletics (0-3)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Arizona Diamondbacks (3)
    vs. New York Mets (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    RF Jayson Werth (8-for-21, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Tanner Roark (1 GS, ND, 7.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K)

     

    Quarter-Mark Overview

    The Washington Nationals welcomed back catcher Wilson Ramos and right-hander Doug Fister (4.1 IP, 9 H, 5 ER) last week, but they are still without Ryan Zimmerman and Bryce Harper, who are both dealing with thumb injuries. The team struggled mightily without Harper in the lineup last year, and it will need to keep the same from happening this year, with the star out until July.

    If Fister can pitch like he's capable of and Gio Gonzalez (1-3, 5.05 ERA on the road) can turn things around, the Nationals rotation still has a chance to be one of the game's best. Getting back All-Star shortstop Ian Desmond (.202 BA, .535 OPS, 1 HR) would be a major boost as well.

    Considering everything this team has had to deal with so far, a 19-18 record is very respectable.

15. Los Angeles Angels (19-17, Previous: 17)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 4-2

    vs. New York Yankees (1-2)
    at Toronto Blue Jays (3-0)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Toronto Blue Jays (1)
    at Philadelphia Phillies (2)
    vs. Tampa Bay Rays (4)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    2B Howie Kendrick (8-for-22, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 6 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Jered Weaver (2 GS, 2 W, 14.1 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 12 K)

     

    Quarter-Mark Overview

    Even with the loss of Josh Hamilton, who was one of the hottest hitters in baseball when he went down with a thumb injury, the Los Angeles Angels currently have the highest-scoring offense in the AL at 5.17 runs per game, and they have done a great job backing an improved pitching staff.

    Newcomer Tyler Skaggs (2-1, 4.99 ERA), has an inflated ERA thanks to a start in which he allowed six runs in 2.2 innings, but he has a 3.14 ERA and four quality starts in his other six outings. The rotation as a whole ranks 11th in the MLB with a 3.63 ERA, and if the Angels can get the bullpen straightened out, this team looks like a serious contender.

14. Miami Marlins (20-18, Previous: 15)

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    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    vs. New York Mets (3-0)
    at San Diego Padres (1-3)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Los Angeles Dodgers (3)
    at San Francisco Giants (4)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    RF Giancarlo Stanton (9-for-23, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Tom Koehler (1 GS, ND, 8 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K)

     

    Quarter-Mark Overview

    Last week's results were very indicative of the Miami Marlins' season so far. With a sweep of the Mets at home, the team is now 17-5 in Miami, but in dropping three of four to the Padres in San Diego, its road record is now just 3-13. Until the Marlins prove they can win outside of their home park, it's impossible to call them a top-10 team.

    Still, this is a vastly improved team over the one that lost 100 games last season, starting with an offense that ranks second in the NL at 4.42 runs per game after the Marlins were the lowest-scoring team in baseball last year. The pitching was expected to be good, and it has been, as their 3.60 team ERA shows. This upcoming week will be a big one in proving they can win on the road, as they take on a pair of tough NL West teams.

13. Cincinnati Reds (17-19, Previous: 11)

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    Al Behrman/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 2-3

    at Boston Red Sox (0-2)
    vs. Colorado Rockies (2-1)

     

    This Week's Opponents

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

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    3B Todd Frazier (5-for-20, 1 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Johnny Cueto (1 GS, ND, 8 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K)

     

    Quarter-Mark Overview

    Their losing record may suggest that they should be slotted lower in these rankings, but the Cincinnati Reds have been playing much better baseball since opening the season 4-9. They have also had a tough schedule to deal with of late, with four of their last five series against teams with a winning record.

    The return of closer Aroldis Chapman over the weekend should give the struggling bullpen a boost, though the starting rotation is still without Mat Latos and recently lost Tony Cingrani as well. Those two join Jay Bruce and Devin Mesoraco on the DL, as the Reds have been hit hard by injuries. Once they get healthy their best baseball is likely still ahead of them.

12. Texas Rangers (19-19, Previous: 7)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 2-5

    at Colorado Rockies (0-2)
    vs. Colorado Rockies (1-1)
    vs. Boston Red Sox (1-2)

     

    This Week's Opponents

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

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    SS Elvis Andrus (11-for-26, 4 2B, 1 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Yu Darvish (1 GS, W, 8.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 12 K)

     

    Quarter-Mark Overview

    If you had told the injury-riddled Texas Rangers that they would be 19-19 through their first 38 games and just four games back in the AL West, they likely would have been thrilled, and they are still waiting on a number of guys to get healthy. Left-hander Martin Perez is the latest to be bit by the injury bug, as he'll miss at least one start with elbow soreness.

    Top prospect Rougned Odor got the call-up last week after Donnie Murphy, who was already filling in for the injured Jurickson Profar at second base, hit the DL.

    As their depth continues to be tested, the Rangers continue to play solid baseball, and if they can just keep their heads above water, they could make a serious run once they are at full strength.

11. Boston Red Sox (19-18, Previous: 14)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 4-1

    vs. Cincinnati Reds (2-0)
    at Texas Rangers (2-1)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Minnesota Twins (3)
    vs. Detroit Tigers (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    DH David Ortiz (8-for-19, 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP John Lackey (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 9 K)

     

    Quarter-Mark Overview

    Things finally seem to be falling into place for the Boston Red Sox after a slow start, as they have gone 6-2 in their last eight games and recorded series wins against the Oakland Athletics, Cincinnati Reds and Texas Rangers. They are a very different team than the one that won it all last year, but they still look like contenders nonetheless.

    This year's team has relied far more heavily on its pitching staff after leading all of baseball in scoring just a season ago, and the arms have answered the bell, with a solid 3.68 team ERA. If Clay Buchholz (2-3, 6.44 ERA) can figure things out and the team can get more consistent production in left and center field, the Red Sox could be in good position to defend their AL East title.

10. New York Yankees (19-17, Previous: 10)

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 3-3

    at Los Angeles Angels (2-1)
    at Milwaukee Brewers (1-2)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. New York Mets (2)
    at New York Mets (2)
    vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Mark Teixeira (6-for-23, 1 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Hiroki Kuroda (1 GS, ND, 7.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K)

     

    Quarter-Mark Overview

    With a rotation that currently includes Vidal Nuno, David Phelps and Alfredo Aceves, one has to wonder how long the New York Yankees can continue posting a winning record. But for the time being, they are still finding ways to win games. Getting Michael Pineda back healthy and pitching like he was will be key, but this team will still need to look to acquire another starter, likely before July rolls around.

    Offensively, Yangervis Solarte is currently the only player under 30 who receives any regular playing time, yet the team has managed to stay healthy and currently ranks ninth in the MLB with 4.31 runs per game. With Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann and Derek Jeter all hitting .250 or worse, though, there is still room for the offense to improve.

9. Los Angeles Dodgers (20-19, Previous: 6)

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    Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 2-5

    at Washington Nationals (1-2)
    vs. San Francisco Giants (1-3)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Miami Marlins (3)
    at Arizona Diamondbacks (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    RF Yasiel Puig (7-for-19, 1 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Clayton Kershaw (2 GS, W, ND, 14 IP, 16 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 18 K)

     

    Quarter-Mark Overview

    Their 2-5 record last week was certainly not great, but welcoming back ace Clayton Kershaw and seeing him throw the ball well in his first two starts back is huge for the Los Angeles Dodgers moving forward. The bullpen may be the biggest area of concern right now, as it has a 3.94 ERA with 11 losses and five blown saves in 17 chances.

    Catcher has been an issue with A.J. Ellis on the DL, and Los Angeles could now be without third baseman Juan Uribe after he strained a hamstring over the weekend.

    This team has very little in the way of position player depth outside of the outfield, so the Uribe injury could be a serious issue. But for the time being, the Dodgers still look like one of the better teams in the NL, even with some clear issues to sort out.

8. Atlanta Braves (21-15, Previous: 9)

24 of 31

    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 4-2

    vs. St. Louis Cardinals (1-2)
    vs. Chicago Cubs (3-0)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at San Francisco Giants (3)
    at St. Louis Cardinals (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Freddie Freeman (8-for-23, 3 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Julio Teheran (1 GS, ND, 8 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K)

     

    Quarter-Mark Overview

    As the Atlanta Braves offense continues to struggle, the team is now 29th in the MLB in runs per game at a meager 3.19—leading only the San Diego Padres in that category. Luckily, the Braves have gotten an MLB-best 2.55 ERA from their starting rotation, but counting on the rotation to continue shouldering so much of the load is a recipe for disaster.

    This team has to find someone outside of Freddie Freeman that it can count on to produce at the plate week in and week out. Justin Upton and Evan Gattis both have solid numbers on the year, but they are also two of the streakiest hitters in baseball. Jason Heyward (.209 BA, .626 OPS) continues to be one of the biggest disappointments in the league, as he has all the talent in the world and simply has to give the team more than he has production-wise.

7. St. Louis Cardinals (19-19, Previous: 8)

25 of 31

    Jason Getz/Associated Press

    Last Week's Results: 3-3

    at Atlanta Braves (2-1)
    at Pittsburgh Pirates (1-2)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Chicago Cubs (4)
    vs. Atlanta Braves (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    SS Jhonny Peralta (8-for-24, 2 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Adam Wainwright (1 GS, W, 8 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K)

     

    Quarter-Mark Overview

    The St. Louis Cardinals will continue to get the benefit of the doubt as long as their starting pitching continues to pitch at an elite level—and it has so far this season with a 2.81 ERA. The Cardinals are too talented offensively to keep struggling like they have, but even with just 3.68 runs per game of offense, they are a .500 team thanks to their arms.

    Adam Wainwright (6-2, 2.02 ERA) has been fantastic, and every starter, including injury replacement Tyler Lyons, has an ERA under 4.00 at this point. The Cardinals bullpen cost them two games last week and needs to get on track as well, but unless their starting pitching falls off, they will remain a top-10 team with the potential to again shoot up to No. 1 if their offense picks it up.

6. Baltimore Orioles (20-15, Previous: 13)

26 of 31

    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 5-1

    at Tampa Bay Rays (3-0)
    vs. Houston Astros (2-1)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Detroit Tigers (3)
    at Kansas City Royals (4)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    LF Steve Pearce (6-for-17, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Wei-Yin Chen (1 GS, W, 7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K)

     

    Quarter-Mark Overview

    The Baltimore Orioles took care of business against a pair of teams they were expected to beat last week, and they are now 11-5 in their last 16 games. They are currently 9-3 in one-run games and 4-0 in extra innings, and they have won the close games that often separate a contender from a pretender.

    The starting rotation is still a concern, though, and even in a good week, they still got just three quality starts in six games. But Ubaldo Jimenez seems to be coming around after his usual slow start to the season, and that should give them a boost.

    Once Manny Machado shakes off the rust, the offense should again be one of the AL's best, and Nelson Cruz (.896 OPS, 10 HR, 30 RBI) has already been a steal at $8 million.

5. Milwaukee Brewers (24-14, Previous: 3)

27 of 31

    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 3-3

    vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (1-2)
    vs. New York Yankees (2-1)

     

    This Week's Opponents

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

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    CF Carlos Gomez (8-for-22, 1 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 6 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Kyle Lohse (1 GS, ND, 6 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K)

     

    Quarter-Mark Overview

    The slide back to mediocrity that many have been expecting has yet to happen for the Milwaukee Brewers, and even in a down week while they were dealing with injuries to Aramis Ramirez and Ryan Braun, they managed to come away with a 3-3 record and a series win against a solid Yankees team.

    That said, this team is incredibly thin on position player depth, and it can't afford to be without the aforementioned Ramirez and Braun for long. Last year, the Brewers struggled mightily with those two on the shelf, but their pitching staff is much stronger this time around, as the rotation is solid top to bottom and the bullpen is one of the best around.

    That should be enough for the team to avoid a serious fall-off with those two sidelined, but their health is still a serious concern.

4. Oakland Athletics (23-15, Previous: 4)

28 of 31

    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    vs. Seattle Mariners (1-3)
    vs. Washington Nationals (3-0)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Chicago White Sox (3)
    at Cleveland Indians (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Brandon Moss (9-for-28, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Tommy Milone (1 GS, W, 8 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 K)

     

    Quarter-Mark Overview

    Despite being without starters Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin, the Oakland Athletics have again been one of the best teams in the AL thanks to some unheralded names stepping up in the rotation and an offense that is again better than the sum of its part in averaging 4.92 runs per game.

    Jesse Chavez (2-1, 2.47 ERA) has given the team a huge boost after the injuries forced him to move from the bullpen to the rotation, while Sonny Gray (4-1, 2.17 ERA) has emerged as a bona fide ace. Meanwhile, catcher Derek Norris (78 AB, .385 BA, 1.069 OPS) has opened some eyes offensively as he looks to stake his claim to an everyday job.

3. Colorado Rockies (23-17, Previous: 5)

29 of 31

    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    vs. Texas Rangers (2-0)
    at Texas Rangers (1-1)
    at Cincinnati Reds (1-2)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Kansas City Royals (2)
    vs. San Diego Padres (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    SS Troy Tulowitzki (9-for-24, 1 2B, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 7 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Jordan Lyles (2 GS, 2 W, 14 IP, 11 H, 4 ER, 5 BB, 13 K)

     

    Quarter-Mark Overview

    With an offense that is hitting a combined .302/.350/.505 and averaging 5.75 runs per game, it's no surprise that the Colorado Rockies have been one of the best teams in the NL so far, but it's an improved starting rotation that is the real X-factor for them.

    A 4.11 ERA from their starters is a solid improvement over the 4.57 mark they posted last year, and with Jordan Lyles (5-0, 2.66 ERA) looking like one of the best pickups of the offseason and a healthy Jhoulys Chacin primed to give the staff a boost, this group looks to be for real.

    The offense could regress a bit, but there is no reason the team can't lead the league in scoring this year. Troy Tulowitzki (.395 BA, 1.263 OPS, 11 HR) would be NL MVP if the season ended today, and Nolan Arenado recently snapped a 28-game hitting streak, as he has been a breakout star in his sophomore campaign.

2. Detroit Tigers (21-12, Previous: 2)

30 of 31

    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 4-3

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

     

    This Week's Opponents

    at Baltimore Orioles (3)
    at Boston Red Sox (3)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    1B Miguel Cabrera (9-for-27, 1 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 6 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Max Scherzer (2 GS, 2 W, 14 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 15 K)

     

    Quarter-Mark Overview

    Dropping a series to the Twins at home is not great, but the Detroit Tigers are still 11-4 in their last 15 games. And with Miguel Cabrera finally flashing some power and injured starter Anibal Sanchez expected back this coming weekend, things are looking good for the AL's top team in these rankings.

    A shaky bullpen has been the team's biggest issue so far this season, but with Joe Nathan finally settling into the closer's role and guys like Evan Reed and Ian Krol starting to establish themselves as reliable options, it's not as big of an issue as it may seem.

    As long as the Tigers avoid injury, this again looks like the team to beat in the AL Central and one of the premier teams in the AL.

1. San Francisco Giants (24-14, Previous: 1)

31 of 31

    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Results: 4-3

    at Pittsburgh Pirates (1-2)
    at Los Angeles Dodgers (3-1)

     

    This Week's Opponents

    vs. Atlanta Braves (3)
    vs. Miami Marlins (4)

     

    Silver Slugger of the Week

    C Buster Posey (10-for-22, 4 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Top Pitcher of the Week

    SP Madison Bumgarner (1 GS, W, 8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K)

     

    Quarter-Mark Overview

    A 4-3 week on the road against a pair of solid teams is enough to keep the San Francisco Giants in the top spot for another week, as no one else separated itself from the pack to make a run at No. 1.

    The Giants now head home for seven games before heading to Colorado next week for what should be a great series.

    The addition of Tim Hudson (4-2, 2.09 ERA) and a healthy Ryan Vogelsong (1-1, 3.93 ERA) has the rotation looking like a strength once again. Meanwhile, the offense is the best it has been in years, and while the loss of Brandon Belt to a fractured thumb hurts, the team should still be able to put up runs consistently with a much more balanced attack than in years past.

     

    For all things baseball, follow me on Twitter.

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