1. St. Louis Cardinals (19-6, previous No. 4) – The loss of Adam Wainwright for the year has apparently given the Cardinals some motivation as they have won seven games in a row and now are up 5.5 games in the NL Central. Michael Wacha will look to pick up the slack, as he’s already racked up four wins.
2. Houston Astros (18-8, previous No. 7) – No one, and I mean no one saw this start by the Astros coming. Houston won 10 straight games before losing Monday night to open a seven-game lead in the AL West. Dallas Keuchel’s 0.80 ERA is the best in baseball.
3. Detroit Tigers (17-9, previous No. 2) – Led by their offense, Detroit is leading the AL Central. Miguel Cabrera has the third-best average in the AL at .366, while Joakim Soria is tied for the most saves in baseball at 10. If the Tigers’ pitching can be anywhere above average, they will be in the playoff hunt all year because their offense is one of the best in the game.
4. Los Angeles Dodgers (16-9, previous No. 6) – The Dodgers have won seven of their last 10 and are 13-2 at home to open a three-game lead in the NL West. Their plus-33 run differential is second-best in the NL. Adrian Gonzalez continues to rake, hitting .362 with eight home runs and 20 RBI, all in the top three in the NL.
5. Kansas City Royals (16-9, previous No. 3) – Kansas City has lost two straight games, but still have the best run differential in the game at plus-45. Kendrys Morales has got off to a hot start to the year at the plate, as his 21 RBI are fifth in the American League.
6. New York Yankees (16-10, previous No. 5) – The Yankees have won seven of their last 10 games, including a three-game sweep over the weekend of the Red Sox at Fenway. It was their first three-game or more sweep at Fenway since 2006. The big story with the Yankees is Alex Rodriguez as his next homer will pass Willie Mays on the all-time list.
7. New York Mets (16-10, previous No. 1) – The Mets have lost seven of their last 10 games, but they still hold a 3.5 game in the NL East, which shows just how good of a start they got off to and how poor the rest of the NL East is. Matt Harvey and Bartolo Colon are two of the best pitchers in the league, which will carry them for the bulk of the season.
8. San Diego Padres (14-13, previous No. 9) – Aside from the Dodgers leading the way, the rest of the NL West is separated by just 2.5 games. The Padres offense is one of the best in the game as they have scored 131 runs, the most in the NL and second-most in all of baseball.
9. Tampa Bay Rays (14-12, previous No. 13) – Led by their pitching staff, the Rays have made a move up the AL East standings by winning six of their last 10 games. They have allowed the third fewest runs in the AL, but the issue is their offense as one of the worst in the league, averaging just over 3.5 runs a game.
10. Minnesota Twins (14-12, previous No. 22) – The Twins came out of nowhere this past week, as they have won five straight and eight of 10 games. Closer Glen Perkins has nine saves, the second-most in the AL.
11. Chicago Cubs (13-11, previous No. 10) – Despite Jon Lester picking up his first win of the year this past week, the Cubs have lost three games in a row. It will be interesting to see just how long the Cubs can remain over .500 moving forward.
12. San Francisco Giants (13-13, previous No. 24) – The defending champs have gotten better of late after a slow start, but the offense still can’t get anything going, scoring 81 runs, good for the second-fewest in the National League. This is with Angel Pagan batting .350, fifth in the NL.
13. Washington Nationals (13-14, previous No. 28) – As was expected, the Nationals have began to make their run up the standings, winning three straight games and six out of 10 games. Max Scherzer’s 1.26 ERA is the lowest in the National League.
14. Toronto Blue Jays (13-14, previous No. 18) – The issue for Toronto is for as good as their offense is, their pitching is just as bad. They are averaging just under 5.5 runs a game, while allowing just over five. There needs to be better balance for the Blue Jays to make any kind of run.
15. Baltimore Orioles (12-11, previous No. 15) – As has been the case in recent years, the Orioles are being carried by their offense, scoring 5.22 runs per game, but needing the pitching to be better. Adam Jones is one of the best hitters in the game, batting .402, the best in the AL.
16. Pittsburgh Pirates (12-13, previous No. 12) – It’s been an up-and-down start to the year for the Pirates as they have dropped three straight to now trail the Cardinals by seven games. Despite being a game under .500, they have a run differential of plus-15 and with how strong their pitching is they should get back into the playoff mix.
17. Boston Red Sox (12-14, previous No. 8) – It was a tough week for the Red Sox as they have lost seven of 10 and four in a row, including a weekend sweep at home by the Yankees. The starting pitching appeared to start to click, but that came to an end and now the team’s concerns shift to Hanley Ramirez and his injured left shoulder.
18. Atlanta Braves (12-14, previous No. 14) – It’s been an average season for the Braves, which was what was expected coming in. Atlanta isn’t the same team as in the past, as they have dealt away a lot of their top talent.
19. Cincinnati Reds (12-13, previous No. 16) – Cincinnati is seven games out of first in the NL Central after getting off to a mediocre start. The issue for the Reds is they have the worst bullpen ERA in the league, making it tough to get much going.
20. Miami Marlins (12-14, previous No. 26) – Miami has won seven of their last 10 games, and despite the average start, they’ve received tremendous starting pitching. They could be a team to look for to go on a midseason run.
21. Colorado Rockies (11-13, previous No. 11) – Colorado has dropped five straight games to now trail Los Angeles by 4.5 games in the NL West. The Rockies will always have one of the better offenses in the game, and thus far have been led by DJ LeMahieu who is hitting .392, the second-best in the NL.
22. Los Angeles Angels (11-15, previous No. 17) – The Angels have lost four in a row, but are in second place in what is so far the worst division in the league in the AL West. With the Astros leading the division, that likely won’t last all year, so despite the rough start the Angels are certainly not out of it.
23. Seattle Mariners (11-15, previous No. 20) – Even with Nelson Cruz’s MLB-leading 14 home runs, the Mariners offense has scored the fewest runs in the American League. Even being four games below .500, the AL West isn’t strong so there’s room for a resurgence.
24. Oakland Athletics (11-16, previous No. 23) – It’s been a strange part of the season for the A’s as they have scored 138 runs, the second-most in the AL, have a run differential of plus-17, but are 7.5 games out of first place and have lost seven of 10 games.
25. Arizona Diamondbacks (10-14, previous No. 21) – New year, same story for the Diamondbacks as with Paul Goldschmidt’s .356, fourth in the NL, average, the team is still in the basement of the NL West.
26. Philadelphia Phillies (10-17, previous No. 25) – Even with winning two games in a row, the Phillies are still in last place in the NL East, 6.5 games out of first place. Offense is the major issue, scoring a league-low 77 runs.
27. Cleveland Indians (9-15, previous No. 29) – Injuries have made it tough for the Indians to make any sort of run to open the year. Already seven games out of first, and not much talent on the roster, it will be tough for Cleveland to climb back into things.
28. Texas Rangers (9-16, previous No. 27) – The rough couple of seasons continues in Texas. It will be interesting to see if they will look to deal away any of their players to try and build for the future.
29. Chicago White Sox (8-14, previous No. 19) – Things are back to what many thought the year would be for the White Sox, as they have lost five straight and seven of ten to be back in last place in the AL Central.
30. Milwaukee Brewers (8-18, previous No. 30) – Milwaukee fired Ron Roenicke and hired Craig Counsell after just 25 games of the year, hoping the give the team new life.