7:49 PM CDT, May 20, 2013
1. Rangers (1): How good of a team do you have to be to beat the Tigers when Miguel Cabrera hits three home runs? Texas did that after putting Ian Kinsler on the DL on Sunday. Alexi Ogando is another recent addition to the DL.
2. Cardinals (2): Baseball's best starting pitching and four regulars with an .800-plus OPS compensate for David Freese's troubling start.
3. Reds (5): Johnny Cueto's return follows a stretch in which Dusty Baker's team went 21-12 with the opening-day starter sidelined. Pretty impressive.
4. Tigers (4): With Justin Verlander losing to Yu Darvish, the Tigers won only one of four games at Texas over the weekend. Max Scherzer and Verlander will try to get them back on course in Cleveland.
5. Red Sox (13): John Lackey has allowed one earned run or none in three of six starts since coming off the disabled list.
6. Indians (11): For all the headlines about Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn, the one-year, $6 million deal with Mark Reynolds has been the deal with more impact. Justin Masterson is turning into a true ace, and Zach McAllister is quietly becoming a trusted sidekick.
7. Braves (7): Back home after playing 26 of the first 40 games on the road, they swept the Dodgers. But the season-ending injuries to Jonny Venters and Eric O'Flaherty leave rookie Luis Avilan as the only lefty in the bullpen.
8. Yankees (9): Curtis Granderson becomes the first regular to return. Mark Teixeira could be back within 10 days, and Alex Rodriguez in six to eight weeks.
9. Pirates (12): Jason Grilli has gone 17-for-17 in save situations, giving the 36-year-old 22 career saves. Why didn't someone think of this sooner?
10. Rays (10): They're scoring more runs in May (6.2 per game) than anyone.
11. Giants (3): The last time around the rotation, Ryan Vogelsong, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito were hammered for 34 runs in 232/3 innings. That raised the vaunted group's season ERA to 4.87, which ranks ahead of only the Brewers among NL teams. Vogelsong is the biggest question mark. He just can't figure himself out.
12. Nationals (8): Above .500 only on the strength of a 7-2 start. Hitting .222 in May, which is becoming a serious concern.
13. Diamondbacks (14): Brandon McCarthy's first win was a three-hit shutout. He could be huge for Arizona.
14. Rockies (15): Very impressive in coming back from a tough loss Thursday to take three out of four from the Giants. The rotation has a 4.38 ERA, which ranks 11th in the NL.
15. Orioles (6): Picked a bad week to have a bad week with so many other strong teams playing solidly. The troubling sign is they are only 9-5 since April 24 when they score five-plus runs, with 12-10 and 10-6 losses to the Rays over the weekend. Where did the efficiency go?
16. A's (17): Josh Donaldson is becoming a major player. His .919 OPS ranks behind only Miguel Cabrera (1.116), Evan Longoria (.968) and David Wright (.944) among third basemen.
17. Phillies (18): Ryan Howard hasn't been a dominant force. Perhaps it's because of his left knee, which he has admitted has bothered him since spring training.
18. Royals (16): They're 3-6 in James Shields' starts, thanks to a recurring lack of support.
19. Angels (24): Jered Weaver threw a simulated game Friday and should begin a rehab assignment this week. He can't get back soon enough for team missing his toughness.
20. White Sox (23): After annihilating the Angels in back-to-back starts, Chris Sale faces 6-0 Clay Buchholz on Wednesday. That should be a great matchup.
21. Mariners (20): Raul Ibanez has been on a tear.
22. Dodgers (21): Trip to Miller Park offers Matt Kemp a chance to start hitting for power. Don Mattingly would love to see it.
23. Blue Jays (25): Remember when Melky Cabrera looked like he would be a killer for the Blue Jays. That — among many other projected positives — hasn't happened. But it still might.
24. Padres (27): Could this be a solid lineup in the near future? Switch-hitting shortstop Everth Cabrera is an underrated asset and everything revolves around Chase Headley. Yasmani Grandal will be interesting to watch when he returns from his 50-game suspension.
25. Twins (19): Super steady streak ended when they got swept by the Red Sox over the weekend. Starting pitchers lasted fewer than five innings three times in a span of four games, which will kill a staff.
26. Brewers (22): 12-3 stretch in April has become a distant memory during a nightmare May.
27. Mets (26): At least Matt Harvey and David Wright should give them two players when they host the All-Star Game.
28. Cubs (28): The audition begins for Matt Garza.
29. Astros (30): Chris Carter is emerging as a reliable run producer.
30. Marlins (29): Imagine how interesting this weekend's series at U.S. Cellular Field would be if Ozzie Guillen hadn't been fired. What would he say about this mess?
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