May 28, 2013
1. Cardinals (2): They haven't lost a series in May, with a win over Clayton Kershaw on Sunday their latest achievement. Their pitching depth is being tested, but they still have Michael Wacha in the wings. That's impressive.
2. Tigers (4): Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder are Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris to the third power.
3. Rangers (1): Rotation behind Yu Darvish doesn't scare anyone, especially with Alexi Ogando on the DL. It will be interesting to see if Jon Daniels trades for pitching again in July.
4. Reds (3): Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips are the best 3-4 combination in the NL, and they feed off Shin-Soo Choo, who has been baseball's best leadoff man.
5. Braves (7): Mike Minor has been a quiet assassin. He's 12-6 with a 2.29 ERA in 24 starts since the All-Star break last year.
6. Red Sox (5): You know the owners loved taking three of four from Terry Francona's Indians, who were on an 18-6 roll entering the series at Fenway Park.
7. Pirates (9): Wandy Rodriguez is showing why he was acquired at the trade deadline a year ago. He has become as comfortable in Pittsburgh as he once was in Houston, winning his last four starts. And Jason Grilli is on pace to go 65-for-65 in save situations.
8. Yankees (8): Mark Teixeira could be back for the weekend series. His wrist has felt great in workouts.
9. Giants (11): With the rotation underperforming, this is a bad time to lose setup man Santiago Casilla. But Bruce Bochy has a great feel for piecing his pitching staff together. It showed in taking two of three from the Rockies and Nationals.
10. Indians (6): Coming off a tough week against the Red Sox and Tigers.
11. Nationals (12): Yes, Stephen Strasburg still can dominate. Just ask the Phillies and Giants after his starts against them last week.
12. Rays (10): James Loney and Kelly Johnson, the alpha and omega of power/strikeout hitters, have joined Evan Longoria in keeping Tampa Bay afloat for two months.
13. Orioles (15): Buck Showalter has his hands full handling Jim Johnson, whose confidence has been shattered with four blown saves and three losses in his last six outings.
14. Athletics (16): You better believe the Rangers noticed when they won eight of nine entering this week.
15. Diamondbacks (13): No more washing the dishes for Ian Kennedy, who will miss at least one start after cutting his finger over the sink.
16. Rockies (14): Won four of seven in two recent series against the Giants to solidify their standing as NL West contenders.
17. Angels (19): Jered Weaver returns to face the Dodgers this week and joins a team that has gained a pulse in the last week, scoring five-plus runs in eight consecutive games. The stretch from here to the All-Star break will go a long way in determining if they can make up for a 15-27 start.
18. White Sox (20): John Danks' solid return provided a nice lift, as has Dylan Axelrod in winning his last three starts.
19. Phillies (17): Cole Hamels is a big bowl of frustration.
20. Dodgers (22): Freeway Series and trip to Coors Field offer Matt Kemp a nice stage to get himself turned in the right direction. It had to get his attention that Don Mattingly double-switched him out of Saturday's game and started Skip Schumaker in center field Sunday.
21. Blue Jays (23): Memorial Day is an important milestone, and the go-for-it Blue Jays are still buried in last place.
22. Royals (18): The team that led the majors in scoring in spring training was ranked 22nd at the end of the weekend. Kansas City's best hitter in terms of OPS: Miguel Tejada, who is 12th on the team in at-bats.
23. Padres (24): Second baseman Jedd Gyorko has an .885 OPS in May. He'll be a Rookie of the Year candidate if he can keep that up.
24. Brewers (26): Dropped two of three to the Pirates after Ryan Braun voiced his feeling of hopelessness.
25. Mariners (21): GM Jack Zduriencik has shaken up his roster, shipping out Jesus Montero with no timetable for him to return. Newly promoted infielder Nick Franklin has been a numbers producer in the minors.
26. Twins (25): The bottom has dropped out.
27. Mets (27): Matt Harvey got knocked around by the Reds but escaped with a no-decision, remaining unbeaten. That's something.
28. Cubs (28): If Alfonso Soriano is going to have a big May, he better start crushing the ball. It has been his best month historically but nothing special this time.
29. Astros (29): Change of leagues means no Silver Boot series against the Rangers this week.
30. Marlins (30): Put up 34 runs in an 18-game stretch through the weekend sweep at U.S. Cellular Field.
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