Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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St. Louis Cardinals still in Power Rankings spotlight

The St. Louis Cardinals are at it again. They are still the top team in baseball, without question. But for how long? The Cincinnati Reds and Boston Red Sox are continuing to battle for the top spot as well, but that shouldn't come as a surprise.

St. Louis Cardinals still in Power Rankings spotlight

St. Louis Cardinals´ Matt Holliday, right, and Carlos Beltran celebrate after scoring on a two-run double by Yadier Molina during the fouth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs on Monday, June 17, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Holliday, right, and Carlos Beltran celebrate after scoring on a two-run double by Yadier Molina during the fouth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs on Monday, June 17, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The St. Louis Cardinals are at it again. They are still the top team in baseball, without question. But for how long? The Cincinnati Reds and Boston Red Sox are continuing to battle for the top spot as well, but that shouldn't come as a surprise. 

What is surprising is the eight-game winning streak the Toronto Blue Jays are on but even though they have that going for them right now, they are not yet at .500.

Overall, the last week hasn't been very entertaining compared to other weeks so without further adieu, here are your Power Rankings:

1. St. Louis Cardinals (46-26)

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The Cards lost the series 2-1 to the New York Mets last weekend but that does not matter because they are still the best team in baseball. Starting pitcher Adam Wainwright leads the NL with 10 wins. Carlos Beltran knocked in two home runs in a 13-7 win over the Marlins Sunday.

This week’s series: Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers

2. Cincinnati Reds (44-29)

Starting pitcher Johnny Cueto returned from the 15-day disabled list Sunday and allowed only one run over six innings in a 5-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. Run support from Donald Lutz, Joey Votto, Zack Cozart and a homer from Jay Bruce helped Cueto pick up his fourth win of the season.

This week’s series: Pittsburgh Pirates and Arizona Diamondbacks

3. Boston Red Sox (44-30)

After losing the series 3-1 to the Baltimore Orioles, the Red Sox bounced back in both games of a doubleheader Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Rays. They beat they Rays 5-1 in the first game and then 3-1 in the second.

This week’s series: Tampa Bay Rays and Detroit Tigers

4. Oakland Athletics (43-31)

The A’s have pushed the Rangers out of first place in the AL West, but they still need to hold on to their spot against Texas in a four-game series this week. Starting pitcher Bartolo Colon got his ninth win in Sunday’s 10-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

This week’s series: Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners

5. Atlanta Braves (43-30)

After being swept by the San Diego Padres, the Braves went on a three-game winning streak. But the Mets ended that streak by winning both games of a doubleheader Tuesday. The Braves scored just four runs in both games but that hasn’t hurt their No. 1 spot in the NL East.

This week’s series: New York Mets and Milwaukee Brewers

6. Baltimore Orioles (42-31)

The Orioles are creeping up on the Red Sox in the AL East, especially after a 3-1 series win against the Sox last weekend. First baseman Chris Davis came through for the O’s with a walk-off single in the 13th inning last Thursday to beat the Sox 5-4. Davis has 24 home runs along with 61 RBI so far this year.

This week’s series: Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays

7. Pittsburgh Pirates (42-30)

The last week for the Pirates has been a bit of a roller coaster. If one thing (or one person) remains somewhat consistent for the Bucco’s (other than Andrew McCutchen), it is third baseman Pedro Alvarez. He leads the team with 15 homers and already has 13 hits in June. He recorded 16 hits in May, along with six homers.

This week’s series: Cincinnati Reds and Los Angeles Angels

8. Detroit Tigers (39-31)

Pitcher Max Scherzer extended his record to 10-0 in Monday’s 5-1 win over the O’s. The last pitcher to go 10-0 in a season was Roger Clemens in 1997, so it’s kind of a big deal. The Tigers lead the AL Central and are 5-5 in their last 10 games.

This week’s series: Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox

9. New York Yankees (39-32)

Sunday’s 5-4 win over the Los Angeles Angels snapped the Yankees’ five-game losing streak. Mariano River recorded the final out in the bottom of the ninth inning as the bases were loaded with Albert Pujols at the plate. The Yanks are only three and a half games back in the AL East but the O’s and Red Sox are still making them work hard to compete in the division.

This week’s series: Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays

10. Texas Rangers (39-32)

It’s a good thing the Rangers showed up to play some baseball Monday because they were headed for major disaster. Well, at least continuing down that path since they lost six games in a row. Nelson Cruz knocked in two homers in the 8-7 win Monday against the A’s. Even though they were in a black hole for those six games, they are two games behind the A’s in the AL West.

This week’s series: Oakland A’s and St. Louis Cardinals

11. Colorado Rockies (37-35)

It’s bad news in Colorado for the Rockies as they placed shortstop Troy Tulowitzki on the disabled list last Friday. He is out four-to-six weeks with a broken rib. They look to better their road record (14-19) on a nine-game road trip over the next week.

This week’s series: Toronto Blue Jays and Washington Nationals

12. Arizona Diamondbacks (39-33)

The Diamondbacks only scored six runs in the three-game series against the San Diego Padres last weekend, which contributed to four consecutive losses. This all comes after the bench-clearing brawl that erupted early last week against the Dodgers, resulting in numerous suspensions and fines for both teams.

This week’s series: Miami Marlins and Cincinnati Reds

13. Tampa Bay Rays (37-35)

The Rays were looking to see what top prospect Wil Myers could bring to the big leagues when they promoted him in time to face the Red Sox. He started both games in a doubleheader Tuesday and went 1-7 at the plate.

This week’s series: Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees

14. San Diego Padres (36-36)

Up until Tuesday the Padres were winning games left and right. Seven straight wins for the club got them closer in the race for leaders in the NL West. They are just three games behind the first place D-backs.

This week’s series: San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers

15. San Francisco Giants (37-34)

The Giants faced a tough schedule last week on the road in Pittsburgh and Atlanta, and only came out with two wins. They look to increase their home record (23-12) the rest of the week, especially since they face the Marlins starting Thursday.

This week’s series: San Diego Padres and Miami Marlins

16. Kansas City Royals (34-36)

The Royals did not have a problem taking a series 3-1 against the Rays last week. They outscored the Rays 25-11 in the four-game series. They aren’t too far behind the Indians for second place in the AL Central and can potentially push them out if they keep playing well.

This week’s series: Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox

17. Cleveland Indians (36-35)

The Indians finally bounced back from their seven-game losing streak that started in the beginnning of June. They've won each of their last three series and could take another one this week at home against the Twins. Pitcher Justin Masterson picked up his ninth win Wednesday. 

This week's series: Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins

18. Washington Nationals (35-36)

Just when the Nats were about to get swept by the Phillies Wednesday, Ian Desmond decided he was not letting that happen. He picked the 11th inning with the bases loaded to knock one out of Citizens Bank Park for his first career grand slam, lifting Washington to a 6-2 in extra innings. 

This week's series: Philadelphia Phillies and Colorado Rockies

19. Philadelphia Phillies (35-38)

The battle for second place in the NL East has been painful to watch lately. The Phillies and Nats have struggled offensively and injuries for both teams have been piling up. The Phils had their chance to sweep the Nats and stay in second place in the division, but pitcher Michael Stutes gave up a grand slam in the 11th inning. They are now eight games behind the first-place Braves and one game behind the second-place Nationals.

This week's series: Washington Nationals and New York Mets

20. Toronto Blue Jays (35-36)

All the way at the bottom of the AL East, the Blue Jays are going streaking! Eight consecutive wins for this clubhouse, four of which were against the Rangers. There is potential to keep the ball rolling on this streak at home through the weekend, but even if that happens they’re still seven and a half games back in their division.

This week’s series: Colorado Rockies and Baltimore Orioles

21. Seattle Mariners (32-41)

Pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma is proving he fits well in the rotation at the number two spot. He’s 7-2 thus far and his ERA (2.06) isn’t too bad either. His next start is Friday against Bartolo Colon (9-2) and the A’s, which should be a decent pitching matchup at least.

This week’s series: Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics

22. Minnesota Twins (31-36)

The Twins just barely avoided a sweep by the Tigers last weekend and managed to come out with a 6-3 win Saturday. A boost from two wins (so far) in a three-game series against the White Sox should ignite some fire for their upcoming six-game road trip.

This week’s series: Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians

23. Los Angeles Angels (32-40)

It’s strange what a $125 million contract can do to a man. Or not do, for Josh Hamilton’s sake. A depressing .213 average at the plate for the outfielder doesn’t help the state of the Angels. They are 10 games back in the AL West, but at least they have Mike Trout. In his honor, the Angels gave fans these hats.

This week’s series: Seattle Mariners and Pittsburgh Pirates

24. Los Angeles Dodgers (30-40)

In Matt Kemp’s absence, the Dodgers are clearly struggling. They are eight games back in the NL West and their last 10 games do not prove they are headed in a positive direction. Thanks to an RBI-single from Juan Uribe last Saturday, the Dodgers managed to get a 5-3 win in 11 innings against the Pirates. A tough road trip lies ahead.

This week’s series: New York Yankees and San Diego Padres

25. Milwaukee Brewers (29-41)

We’ve made it to the part in the Rankings where the wins are officially below 30. The Brewers look to reach that mark this week against another less-than-30-wins team in the Astros. A 10-1 loss Tuesday made that milestone much harder when Matt Dominguez hit a grand slam for the Astros.

This week’s series: Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves

26. Chicago Cubs (29-41)

The Mets pulled the plug on a series sweep by the Cubs. Then Chicago struggled in a series against St. Louis. Starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija took the mound Tuesday and made things better with a 4-2 win. Better until they lost again Wednesday.

This week’s series: St. Louis Cardinals and Houston Astros

27. Chicago White Sox (29-40)

The White Sox dropped three-out-of-four to the Astros last weekend. In the first game of the series, pitcher Chris Sale appeared to be throwing well. Over eight innings, the lefty allowed five hits and recorded 14 strikeouts. But the White Sox lost 2-1 to the Astros. Bummer.

This week’s series: Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals

28. New York Mets (27-41)

For as poorly as the Mets have been playing this season, things were looking up for a moment on Tuesday. A doubleheader against the Braves resulted in 10 runs and two wins. They could see 30 wins soon.

This week: Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies

29. Houston Astros (27-46)

The Astros destroyed the Brewers 10-1 Tuesday. Jordan Lyles picked up the win. But even after that and four consecutive wins last week, the Astros are still 15½ games back in the AL West. If there was one way to describe the state of the Astros, this fan nailed it.

This week’s series: Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs

30. Miami Marlins (22-49)

The Marlins take the cake for last place team in Major League Baseball. Twenty games back in the NL East, this team is struggling to stay somewhat relevant. Monday’s 3-2 win over the Diamondbacks came with the help of two homers from Giancarlo Stanton. Other than that, the Marlins will try to see 30 wins before the end of the season.

This week’s series: Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants

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