Now that I have explained the criteria, lets rank these teams already. Let the debating begin.
1. Texas Rangers: (6-2) I had the Rangers missing the playoffs, simply being the odd team out. It looks kind of silly right now, with the Angels and Red Sox struggling. In my opinion, there is no doubt the Rangers have played the best right now and should be number one in these rankings. Factor in they are the two time defending AL Pennant winners, they take the honors with the first number one ranking of the 2012 season.
2. Detroit Tigers: (5-2) The Tigers should have no problem taking care of the AL Central. They will miss Doug Fister, which may give some other teams hope for a little while. But, this team will score runs and they should have little to worry about.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers: (7-1) I picked the Dodgers to make the postseason this year. They have gotten off to a better start than even I thought they would. I like a lot of the moves they made this offseason, such as Mark Ellis, Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang. We will find out soon how real this team is.
4. Arizona Diamondbacks: (5-2) It seems the Diamondbacks have picked up right where they left off last season. The pitching staff is better with Trevor Cahill and Jason Kubel gives the lineup more depth. Expect this to be a top team for the majority of the season.
5. Tampa Bay Rays: (4-3) The Rays have dropped 3 out of 4 after sweeping the Yankees to start the season. They will benefit from having an elite manager and will strike some fear into that of the New York Yankees.
6. New York Yankees: (4-3) The Yankees have put things together after a three game sweep at the hands of the Rays. Really, the only thing keeping them from being higher ranked is the first three losses and the fact the starters did not pitch well the first time through the order. Expect them to make a jump in two weeks.
7. St Louis Cardinals: (5-3) There will be some concern over the return of Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwight got lit up against the Cubs yesterday. Otherwise, I think this team should be fine, assuming Wainwright simply had a bad day. I like the team's ability to score runs with the middle of that order. They will miss Tony LaRussa, but they should be right with the Brewers and Reds as the favorites to win the NL Central.
8. Washington Nationals: (6-2) The Nationals are the sleepers in the National League. Of course, they will have to play at this level for a sustained period of time to be taken more seriously. If their pitching keeps them in games while Michael Morse is out and until Bryce Harper is ready, they have a real shot.
9. Philadelphia Phillies: (3-4) The Phillies are the first team ranked with a losing record on this list. In two weeks, records will carry a little more weight. Despite being two games behind the Mets in the standings, they still have the edge at this point. Remember barely one week has been played in the season.
10. Toronto Blue Jays: (4-3) Toronto looks like they may be for real. They have been pretty impressive, in spite of a 4-3 mark at this point. They have their word cut out for them in the AL East, but if Boston continues to struggle, the Blue Jays could be a legitimate Wild Card candidate.
11. Chicago White Sox: (4-2) New manager Robin Ventura has gotten this team off to a good start one week into the season. There is some talent on the field here. I think it will be tough for them to compete with the Tigers, though.
12. New York Mets: (5-2) The Mets were the toughest team to rank. Many do not expect this team to be competitive, but yet they deserve some credit for starting 5-2, particularly after a nice win over Cliff Lee and the Phillies. But, I cannot put them in the top ten, at this point, as they have to continue this pace over a longer stretch of the season.
13. Cincinnati Reds: (3-5) I still like the Reds to win the AL Central. 8 games is too little to make any changes over. I like the rotation and think they bullpen may still be fine, even without Ryan Madson. I see them moving up this list the next time I do my rankings.
14. Los Angeles Angels: (2-5) The Angels were my number one pick to start the season. They have not had a good first week. I see the offense clicking eventually. I am giving them the benefit of the doubt right now, but will not when I do the rankings again in two weeks.
15. Boston Red Sox: (2-5) The Red Sox are another team getting perhaps a little too much credit for having talent. This will not bode the same in the next rankings. I think two more weeks is a fair enough assessment to see where the Red Sox are at.
16. San Francisco Giants: (3-4) The Giants pitching will lead to better results, as they have won 3 out of 4 since losing their first 3. Like a bunch of the higher ranked teams, the Giants' ranking is based on their losing record.
17. Milwaukee Brewers: (4-4) I said earlier that I expect the Brewers to overachieve a little bit this season. They have a better team than they are getting credit for. I like the rotation and the bullpen is top line. Offensively, I see the combination of Mat Gamel and Aramis Ramirez finishing closer to the combined numbers of Prince Fielder and Casey McGehee finished with last year.
18. Baltimore Orioles: (4-3) The Orioles start the rankings with the lowest of any team with an over .500 record. Manager Buck Showalter has done wonders with this team's confidence, but there is a distinct talent differential between them and the rest of the division. If Toronto is for real, it will be tough for Baltimore to compete with the rest of the division.
19. Miami Marlins: (3-5) Should there be concern over manager Ozzie Guillen's comments about Fidel Castro? Josh Johnson has not gotten into a grove yet and the rough start sees this team drop to start my rankings. They are a lot better than they have played, which is the theme of this list.
20. Kansas City Royals: (3-4) The Royals are the team many have picked to be a sleeper this season. They have not been battle tested enough to get the benefit of the doubt. Look for them to gel at some point of the season.
22. Colorado Rockies: (3-4) The Rockies are a good offensive team. There are some doubts about their pitching, as it may be a matter of giving them some time. Offensively, they should be fine. Their record, at this point, may be an indication of how well the Dodgers and Diamondbacks have played. They are better than this ranking.
23. Atlanta Braves: (3-4) It is good to see the Braves rebound after getting swept by the Mets. I still am not impressed with this team's offense and think they have to win more games before they could be considered a contender again. There is also a chance they are a little better than they have played.
24. Cleveland Indians: (2-4) The Indians may be the first team to make a panic move, by signing Johnny Damon. Damon should help and provide some leadership. The Indians are off to a bad start and it is obvious they have more talent than they have shown on the field so far. Look for them to move up this ladder on my next list.
25. Oakland Athletics: (4-4) I picked the A's to be the worst team in baseball, and they have been better than that, so far. I don't think they have enough pitching to contend. Yoennis Cespedes may be the real deal, though, and that may be enough to get them to out-perform somebody.
26. Chicago Cubs: (3-5) The Cubs have some good pieces, particularly in their rotation with Garza and Dempster. I think Brian LaHair will have a big season for them. But, they have too many flaws, both in their lineup, bullpen and back of the rotation and have not been impressed with their start. Yesterday'd rout of the Cardinals notwithstanding.
27. Pittsburgh Pirates: (2-5) A lot has been expected from this bunch, like a winning record. After a nice opening series win at home VS Philadelphia, they have struggled, dropping the last 3 games.
28. Houston Astros: (3-4) Yes, the Astros are 3-4. But this may be as high as they are ranked all season. There is not much talent on this team and they should be scared of starting a losing streak they may not be able to get out of. The best they can do is hang in there.
29. Minnesota Twins: (2-5) The Twins had Justin Mourneau and Joe Mauer hit HRs in the same game for the first time in a couple years. That has been their lone bright spot so far. They are not the worst team, talent wise, but the lesser talented teams have played better to this point.
30. San Diego Padres: (2-6) The Padres were expected to finish near the bottom of the standings. They have played the worst of the bottom teams, so they get to be ranked the worst, at this point.