There has been more games played now, so we have hit a point where there can be more of an emphasis on win/ loss record. All MLB records are current for the exception of the Rays/ Rangers game which was not played yet when this article was written. Notice: teams are not ranked based on winning percentage or win/ loss record. Without further due, here is my power rankings with the next one coming in about two weeks.
1. Texas Rangers: (16-5) It is hard to debate the Rangers are off to the best start in the game. Josh Hamilton is on fire, and it is scary if he can stay healthy and keep his pace up. The team is showing a cohesiveness which has a lot to do with the team staying in tact and winning over the past couple of years. There is little to argue about with the Rangers being the top team in baseball right now.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers: (16-6) Matt Kemp looks like the NL MVP to start the season and I feel this is a team that will surprise some people. I think they made a handful of underrated moves bringing in useful pieces such as Mark Ellis, Aaron Harang, Chris Capuano, Todd Coffey and Jamey Wright. In addition to their contribution on the field, they are all good clubhouse guys and can help some younger players like Chad Billingsley, Andre Ethier, Dee Gordon and Javy Guerra. I am not surprised by this team's start.
3. St. Louis Cardinals: (14-8) There is still doubt that this team cannot go on without Tony LaRussa, Albert Pujols and Dave Duncan. Matt Carpenter has filled in nicely for the injured Lance Berkman. Kyle Lohse, Lance Lynn and Jake Westbrook have led a pitching staff that has been as good as anybody. It seems like this team plays with confidence, something that will benefit them in a wide open NL Central.
4. Tampa Bay Rays: (13-8) The Rays had a bad stretch already and have rebounded well. Starting pitching will be a strength but the bullpen has pitched better than expected. The lineup may be a little short, but will benefit from the return of CF BJ Upton. Ultimately, they need a little more depth which would make free agent DH Hideki Matsui a fit if he chooses to sign. They may have to swing a deal for a starting catcher. Overall, they have a solid chance of winning the AL East because of their pitching.
5. Washington Nationals: (14-8) The Nationals have struggled over the past week but they are still off to one of the best starts in the National League. Their pitching is for real and the team will benefit from the addition of OF Bryce Harper. The next couple of weeks will be interesting though; it will be interesting to see where they are the next time I do my rankings.
6. New York Yankees: (12-9) It is hard to deny the fact that this team is good. Offensively they can outscore anybody and they have the best set of relievers in the game. They have some questions in the back of the rotation, but that should work itself out with the return of Andy Pettitte.
7. Atlanta Braves: (14-8) The Braves have made the biggest jump since the last time I did my rankings. They are scoring runs now and despite having to send Jair Jurrjens to AAA, the pitching staff has held up. The return of Tim Hudson will make them better.
8. San Francisco Giants: (12-10) Tim Lincecum has pitched much better in his last couple of starts and they have done a little better scoring runs. Melky Cabrera may very well be able to back up his 2011 season. I think offensively the Giants are in a much better place than a year ago.
9. New York Mets: (13-9) The Mets are getting rewarded for their start by making the top ten here. Though they have not been dominant, this team has found a way to win games, as evidenced in Sunday's win in Colorado. My belief in this team will be more evident in my next set of rankings which will be in about two weeks.
10. Baltimore Orioles: (14-8) The Orioles are another example of a team being rewarded for its start. It is hard to see them being ahead of the Yankees, Rays and even Red Sox and Blue Jays in that division. They are, as of now, but it is something that may not last. Chen and Hammel have been tremendous, as they had no starting pitching last year. Similar to the Mets, this team has to stay consistent for an extended period of time before I totally buy in.
11. Detroit Tigers: (11-11) The Tigers are having a down part of a season which will happen to everybody. It will be a matter of time before they get back to where they belong. The Delmon Young thing will become an issue if it is not resolved and he is back on the field. I think they did the right thing by putting him on the restricted list as well as the release of 3B Brandon Inge. Doug Fister will be back soon to help out the starting pitching and hopefully the bullpen will pitch a little better.
12. Toronto Blue Jays: (12-10) It is amazing that Jose Bautista has continued to play at the level he has been at. The bad news about Dustin McGowan should not effect the starting rotation. Brandon Morrow had a nice performance yesterday, hopefully that can continue. This team will be in the race all season, especially the wild card race.
13. Cincinnati Reds: (11-11) The Reds have not gotten off to the start I thought they would, but I still see them winning the NL Central.
14. Arizona Diamondbacks: (11-11) The D'Backs are not going under the radar this season so it is not surprising to see them off to a slow start. Their team is too talented and deep for them to not win a lot of games. I expect this to happen soon.
15. Cleveland Indians: (11-9) The Indians have a chance to take early control of the AL Central with the Tigers struggles. Now is their time to shine.
16. Philadelphia Phillies: (10-12) I still think the Phillies will be ok in the end. Its hard to see anyone else as the team to beat since they have won the last five NL East crowns. Cliff Lee to the DL should not be a big deal; he'll be back soon. But they have to get back to consistently scoring runs by the time Ryan Howard and Chase Utley return, not just after.
17. Boston Red Sox: (10-11) The Red Sox have played much better since last week's disaster against the Yankees. I still have faith in this team in spite of the injuries and the discomfort in the clubhouse. But right now, they are the 17th best team in the game.
18. Chicago White Sox: (11-11) The White Sox starting pitching has been tremendous. But, they have struggled particularly in the past week. If the pitching holds up, they will be in the race.
19. Colorado Rockies: (10-11) The Rockies have been up and down so far to start the season. Just like the next four teams, there is no expectation for this team over the next couple of weeks.
20. Milwaukee Brewers: (10-12) Mat Gamel and Aramis Ramirez should provide some more offense. The starting pitching has struggled surprisingly, was thought to be a strength.
21. Seattle Mariners: (11-12) The Mariners have some good starting pitching with King Feliz, Jason Vargas and even Charlie Furbush. The question will be about how well they can hit.
22. Oakland Athletics: (11-12) Yonesis Cespedes has made this team better than I thought they would be. Bartolo Colon and Tom Milone have improved the starting rotation.
23. Pittsburgh Pirates: (9-12) The Pirates have AJ Burnett back and I still think .500 is approachable. Pedro Alvarez may have found his groove, which makes them more dangerous.
24. Miami Marlins (8-13) The switching of Jose Reyes to the number two spot in the batting order may end up hurting more than helping. We will find out how this team can deal with adversity the way they handle this tough start. This has become the first challenge for new manager Ozzie Guillen, outside for the results of his Fidel Castro comments.
25. Los Angeles Angels: (7-15) The Angels are the biggest disappointment so far. Already, they have made some moves, releasing OF Bobby Abreu, calling up OF Mike Trout and making LHP Scott Downs the closer, replacing Jordan Walden. Albert Pujols will be back to form soon. The first question that comes up is about chemistry, so we'll see if this becomes an issue.
26. Houston Astros: (8-14) The Astros are getting a break here because they have played better than expected. They have been competitive. JD Martinez has played extremely well and gives them a power bat they did not think they had starting the season.
27. Chicago Cubs: (8-14) The Cubs are at a crossroads. They have a handful of players they would like to trade, such as Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Marmol. And they have Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster who can be had for the right price. I like Starlin Castro and think Brian LaHair can hit 30 HRs. It might fall apart, and if it does, it will be a long way before this team is competitive again.
28. Kansas City Royals: (6-15) The Royals have a very talented young team and are going in the right direction. But a 12 game losing streak is tough to take early in the season and that has to be factored in when ranking these teams. The Royals have played better and I expect them to be much higher the next time I do my rankings.
29. San Diego Padres: (7-15) I have not liked the direction this team has been heading in. Hopefully a new owner comes in soon and bails this team out so they can give their fans what they deserve.
30. Minnesota Twins: (6-15) I like the fact that Justin Mourneau is off to a good start and Joe Mauer seems to be ok after injury problems last season. But their pitching has been terrible and it is hard to see this working out this season.