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Phil Rogers' MLB power rankings

Cardinals stay on top, while Tigers slide from 2nd to 5th

Phil Rogers

On Baseball

6:45 PM CDT, June 3, 2013

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1. Cardinals (1): Albert Pujols just keeps giving. Michael Wacha, who was selected with a compensation pick for losing Pujols, held the Royals to two hits over seven innings in an impressive debut.

2. Rangers (3): After 10 games, Jurickson Profar essentially has duplicated the .864 OPS of the man he is replacing, Ian Kinsler.

3. Reds (4): Johnny Cueto is starting to pitch like an ace.

4. Braves (5): Fredi Gonzalez goes to the three-catcher formation so he can comfortably play Brian McCann and Evan Gattis at the same time.

5. Tigers (2): Two 1-0 losses to the Pirates and a dropped series in Baltimore, the latter despite an eight-homer weekend for Detroit hitters.

6. Red Sox (6): No team has had more easy wins this year, including 11-1 over the Yankees and 9-2 over the Phillies last week.

7. Pirates (7): Didn't blink when interleague schedule called for four straight against Miguel Cabrera.

8. Rays (12): An 18-10 May has Joe Maddon's team positioned to play 13 games against the Red Sox (6), Yankees (4) and Orioles (3) in June.

9. Athletics (14): A pitching staff that had a 4.31 ERA in April was second in the AL at 3.50 for May. The bullpen is nasty, and it's showing.

10. Orioles (13): Chris Davis has taken the AL home run lead from Miguel Cabrera and entered Monday second to him in average. He has gone from streaky to steady.

11. Diamondbacks (15): Paul Goldschmidt led NL hitters with a 1.113 OPS in May. Didi Gregorius, acquired in the Justin Upton trade, brings ability and energy.

12. Yankees (8): Humbling four-game sweep at the hands of the Mets as they scored only seven runs in those games. Is the grind catching up to the patchwork lineup?

13. Giants (9): The starting rotation just keeps taking its lumps. They start the week ranked ahead of only the Brewers in the NL.

14. Indians (10): Second baseman Jason Kipnis was a killer in May — 16 extra-base hits, 22 RBIs, five stolen bases and an .880 OPS. Among regulars, Nick Swisher (.874) and Asdrubal Cabrera (.806) also had .800-plus OPS in May.

15. Rockies (16): They will miss closer Rafael Betancourt, who went on the DL with a groin strain. The good news is he should be back in a couple of weeks.

16. Nationals (11): Bryce Harper can come off the DL on June 11, but his aching left knee could be the sort of injury that bothers him the rest of the season. Safe to say the outlook is clouded with him and Stephen Strasburg out.

17. Angels (17): They lost five of seven after an eight-game winning streak, including being swept by the Astros. That will kill the momentum.

18. Phillies (19): Cole Hamels briefly pitched with a lead over the Brewers en route to an 8-5 loss Friday. It marked first time the 1-9 Hamels went to the mound leading since April 7. Think about that.

19. Dodgers (20): Good time to play the Yasiel Puig card.

20. Twins (26): Justin Morneau is the anti-Adam Dunn.

21. Padres (23): They won consecutive interleague series against the Blue Jays and Mariners.

22. White Sox (18): Their league-low .289 on-base percentage is .16 worse than the next best team, the Mariners, and they're shaking things up while Rick Hahn tries to find moves worth making.

23. Blue Jays (21): At least the Mark DeRosa signing has worked out.

24. Mets (27): Matt Harvey's eight strong innings were the centerpiece of a four-game sweep of the Yankees.

25. Royals (22): James Shields is the best 2-6 pitcher on the planet. His teammates have scored more than three runs only four times in his 12 starts.

26. Cubs (28): Matt Garza will create lots of trade interest if he keeps pounding the strike zone like he did Friday, when he worked seven innings on 93 pitches.

27. Brewers (24): Doug Melvin will be sick on Thursday night. He gave up the 17th overall pick in the draft to sign Kyle Lohse, who is 1-6 with a 4.37 ERA.

28. Mariners (25): They lost 12 of 16 to bring back that familiar funk.

29. Astros (29): Excellent run for the rotation behind Bud Norris and Jordan Lyles. The 6-1 week didn't gain them ground in rankings because they've lagged so far behind every team except the Marlins.

30. Marlins (30): They are last in the majors in many offensive categories, most significantly runs and home runs. Giancarlo Stanton had a setback in his hamstring rehab when his knees began to hurt. He's a long way from returning.

progers@tribune.com

Twitter @ChiTribRogers