MLB Power Rankings: Nationals, Twins, Giants surge

John Lackey has been outstanding for the Cardinals this season.Getty Images

1. St. Louis Cardinals (29-16, previous No. 1) – St. Louis continues to have the best record in the game, and along with that the best run differential at plus-56. Young right-hander Michael Wacha has got off to a hot start to the season, posting seven wins, which are tied for first in the NL, and a 1.87 ERA, fifth in the NL.


2. Houston Astros (29-17, previous No. 2) – The AL West is having a tough start to the season, and the Astros have taken full advantage, opening a 5.5 game lead. They are the only team in the division with a positive run differential. Dallas Keuchel’s six wins are second-most in the AL and his 1.98 ERA is third.


3. Kansas City Royals (28-16, previous No. 3) – Known for their pitching, the Royals’ offense is actually what is leading the way so far. As a team, Kansas City is averaging 4.82 runs per game and Kendrys Morales is leading the American League with 37 RBI, as the Royals are leading the AL Central.


4. Washington Nationals (27-18, previous No. 7) – Washington has won eight of its last 10 games and now leads the NL East. Bryce Harper has put on an offensive clinic this season, as he’s hit 16 home runs and has driven in 41, first and second in the NL respectively. Their pitching is also coming around with Max Scherzer’s 1.67 ERA being fourth in the NL.


5. Los Angeles Dodgers (27-17, previous No. 4) – The Dodgers are 20-6 at home, but only 7-11 on the road, as they lead the NL West by two games. Adrian Gonzalez’s .344 average is second in the National League, while Zack Greinke’s 1.48 ERA is also second in the NL. Los Angeles’ pitching and defense has been very good overall, allowing an average of 3.48 runs per game.

6. Minnesota Twins (26-18, previous No. 10) – The Twins are one of the hottest teams in the game, as they have won three straight and seven of their last 10 games to jump to second in the AL Central. Closer Glen Perkins has 16 saves, which is the most in all of baseball.

7. San Francisco Giants (26-20, previous No. 12) – San Francisco is one of the hottest teams in the National League as it has won eight of 10 games and now trails the Dodgers by just two games in the NL West. Brandon Crawford has been one of most valuable players as his 2.5 WAR is fourth in the NL.

8. Detroit Tigers (26-20, previous No. 5) – It wasn’t a good week for the Tigers as they havedropped three straight games and are now in third in the AL Central, behind the Royals and surging Twins. While the Tigers’ pitching isn’t what it once was, Miguel Cabrera once again is one of the best hitters in the game, as his .344 average is second in the AL and his 11 homers place him fourth.

9. New York Mets (25-21, previous No. 6) – The Mets lost their division lead, as the Nationals have overtaken them for the top spot in the NL East. Their 7-15 mark on the road has held the team back through 44 games. Everyone knows how good Bartolo Colon and Matt Harvey have been, but for their success to continue they are going to need to get some better offensive production up and down their lineup.

10. Chicago Cubs (24-20, previous No. 9) – Chicago has lost two straight and is 4.5 games behind the Cardinals for first in the NL Central. Fortunately for the Cubs, it seems like Jon Lester is back pitching like the ace he was supposed to be, as in the month of May he’s 4-0 over five starts with a 1.85 ERA.

11. Tampa Bay Rays (24-22, previous No. 11) – Even though they have lost two straight, the AL East is the worst it's been in yearsso the Rays are still in first place, a half game up over the Yankees. Right-hander Jake Odorizzi has a 2.31 ERA, which is fifth in the AL. Once again the general theme for the Rays has been good pitching, but below average hitting has hurt as they'vescored just three total runs in theirlast three games.

12. New York Yankees (23-22, previous No. 8) – It was a tough week for the Yankees with things going from bad to worse. They have dropped eight of their last 10 games to fall out of first place in the AL East. Through it all, Mark Teixeira is still second in the AL with 13 homers.

13. Los Angeles Angels (23-22, previous No. 13) – While the Angels are in second place in the AL West, they aren’t the Angels of the past. Their pitching has struggled and Mike Trout has been doing it all offensively, as his 2.8 WAR is tied for the best in the American League.

14. Atlanta Braves (22-22, previous No. 16) – The Braves have won seven of their last 10 games to get back to .500 and are now 4.5 games out of first in the NL East. While there aren’t many positives with the Braves' pitching staff, closer Jason Grilli has 13 saves, which are tied for third in the National League.

15. Pittsburgh Pirates (22-22, previous No. 17) – Pittsburgh has won four games in a row, but it has been only enough to get the Pirates back to .500 and 6.5 games behind the Cardinals in the NL Central. A.J. Burnett has been a pleasant surprise to open the season, as the right-hander has a 1.37 ERA, which is the best in baseball.

16. Texas Rangers (22-23, previous No. 25) – Texas has had a sudden resurgence, winning six straight and seven of 10. The Rangersare now 6.5 games out of first in the NL West. Prince Fielder’s .365 batting average is best in the American League.

17. Arizona Diamondbacks (21-23, previous No. 24) – Arizona has played better baseball of late as it has closed the gap in the NL West to now only trailthe Dodgers by six games. Paul Goldschmidt’s 38 RBI are third in the NL.

18. Seattle Mariners (21-23, previous No. 21) – For the Mariners, the start to 2015 has been rather disappointing as they are seven games out of first in the AL West.This,despite Felix Hernandez having seven wins, the most in the AL and Nelson Cruz’s 17 homers, the most in all of baseball.

19. Boston Red Sox (21-24, previous No. 18) – The roller coaster continues for the Red Sox as they cannot get any consistency. On nights they get good pitching they can’t get good hitting and viceversa.Good news: Mike Napoli had five homers on a six-game homestand last week to seemingly break out of a early season slump. Bad news: Boston has a minus-37 run differential, the second-worst in the AL.

20. San Diego Padres (21-25, previous No. 14) – Things have gone downhill for the Padres as they have dropped eight of their last 10 games to fall seven games out of first in the NL West. Their pitching, which was solid to open the season, is now allowing over 4.5 runs a game.

21. Toronto Blue Jays (21-26, previous No. 20) – It’s been a frustrating season in Toronto as the team has averaged 5.38 runs per game, the most in the majors, butit remains inlast place in the AL East. It’s been the same tune for many years, as the Blue Jays just can’t get good pitching.

22. Baltimore Orioles (20-22, previous No. 23) – It’s been a mediocre start for the Orioles as they are two games below .500 in a bad AL East. What’s held them back is their play on the road, as they are just 6-13 away from Camden Yards. Fortunately for them, the division is there for the taking.

23. Cleveland Indians (20-24, previous No. 27) – Cleveland is making a run to get back into things in the AL Central, winning seven of its last 10 games. Jason Kipnis is pacing the offense with a .337 average, good for fourth in the AL, and his 2.7 WAR is third in the American League.

24. Chicago White Sox (19-23, previous No. 15) – It’s getting ugly quickly in Chicago as the White Sox have dropped three straight and six of 10 and now sit in last place in the AL Central. Their minus-47 run differential is the worst mark in the American League. Offense has been the biggest issue, averaging just 3.40 runs a game.

25. Philadelphia Phillies (19-28, previous No. 22) – After a strong week the Phillies have fallen back to Earth, going just 5-5 over their last 10 games. They have a run differential of minus-56, which is the worst mark in baseball. Philadelphia just can’t score any runs, 3.17 a game, the fewest in the majors.

26. Colorado Rockies (18-25, previous No. 30) – The Rockies have won three straight games to climb back to eight games out in the NL West, but unlike in years past, they aren’t playing well at home. Colorado is 8-13 at home on the year.

27. Cincinnati Reds (18-26, previous No. 19) – The Reds are simply a disaster right now, losing nine straight games. Theyeven had a game where manager Bryan Price was ejected before it even started, as he was tossed exchanging lineup cards.

28. Miami Marlins (18-28, previous No. 26) – Apparently a manager change couldn’t fix the Marlins as they have lost eight of their last 10 games and now sit in last place in the NL East, 9.5 games behind the Nationals.

29. Oakland Athletics (17-30, previous No. 29) – Oakland has won three games in a row, but that doesn’t mean much as it is in last place in the AL West – a full 12.5 games out of first place. The A'swill need to pick things up soon before it is too late.

30. Milwaukee Brewers (16-30, previous No. 28) – The Brewers’ 16-30 record is the worst in the National League, as they have dropped seven of their last 10 games. They’ve allowed an average of just under five runs a game, which is also the worst mark in the NL.

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