The Cardinals make their first appearance at the top of the rankings this week, but most definitely not their last. Their starting pitchers have gone 18 games without allowing a home run, and they are getting hits up and down their lineup. David Freese has been great early, as the third baseman is hitting .333 so far.
Previous Ranking: 6
2. Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays drop a spot this week, but that is only because the Cardinals are playing so well right now. David Price has looked like an ace this season, and Wade Davis has been very good as well. It will be tough to see Carl Crawford go if he leaves after the season ends.
Previous Ranking: 1
3. New York Yankees
For a team doing so good, the Yankees have some big question marks on their team. They sent Curtis Granderson to the Disabled List, and Javier Vasquez has been miserable in 2010. Francisco Cervelli has looked very good in limited action.
Previous Ranking: 2
4. Minnesota Twins
The Twins lost their first series to end April, but still hold a lead in the American League Central. Francisco Liriano has been a beast this season, and Carl Pavano and Kevin Slowey have been solid. Matt Guerrier is very underrated.
Previous Ranking: 3
5. San Diego Padres
The biggest surprise of the National League West, the Padres have been consistent all season long, and currently lead the division. They recently ended a four-game winning streak, and Jon Garland has proven to be a huge pickup for the squad.
Previous Ranking: 5
6. New York Mets
All of a sudden, the Mets are the darlings of the National League East, and need a win on Sunday to win a series against the hated Philadelphia Phillies. Ike Davis has been the jolt in the arm the team needed, and a bat to replace Carlos Beltran, who may not be back for some time. Mike Pelfrey was pasted in his last outing.
Previous Ranking: 17
7. San Francisco Giants
If they do make the playoffs, the Giants will be a team to be reckoned with. They have some of the best starters in baseball, and most of them are still very young. Matt Cain got his first win of the season on Saturday
Previous Ranking: 7
8. Philadelphia Phillies
Roy Halladay is on his way to winning a National League Cy Young, after shutting out the Mets this past weekend. They can take over first place with a win on Sunday, which is where most experts believe they will finish the season.
Previous Ranking: 4
9. Detroit Tigers
Johnny Damon was Johnny on the Spot on Saturday, as his walk-off led the team to victory. Rick Porcello has looked better lately, and Jim Leyland can no longer smoke in the dugout. Justin Verlander goes for his second win on Sunday.
Previous Ranking: 9
10. Oakland Athletics
Josh Donaldson got his first Major League hit on Saturday, a home run against the Toronto Blue Jays, so a congratulations goes out to him. The A's has gotten some great relief pitching from Brad Ziegler, and Andrew Bailey may be one of the top closers in all of baseball.
Previous Ranking: 10
11. Washington Nationals
The Nationals are another team who remains to beat expectations, and they have some power arms waiting in the wings. Stephen Strasburg and Drew Storen are both ticketed for Triple-A Syracuse, and could be with the team before the All-Star break. If they can stay in the hunt, they could make a big splash in 2010.
Previous Ranking: 20
12. Chicago Cubs
The Cubbies have a dominant young lineup, and Ryan Theroit and Kosuke Fukudome have hit early and often. They need to get some kind of production from Aramis Ramirez, who suddenly is a weak part of their lineup. Alfonso Soriano has shown his pop lately.
Previous Ranking: 19
13. Texas Rangers
The Rangers welcomed back Ian Kinsler on Friday, and he has paid instant dividends in the lineup. He makes that lineup whole again, and the Rangers should move up the rankings just because of him. C.J. Wilson is just fun to watch pitch.
Previous Ranking: 23
14. Florida Marlins
Chris Volstad and Josh Johnson are two of the better young pitchers in the National League, and they have helped the Marlins get where they are in the NL East. The team is hoping Cameron Maybin can show a better batting eye, which will lead to more runs for the lineup. Jorge Cantu already has 25 runs batted in.
Previous Ranking: 8
15. Cincinnati Reds
The Reds put together a nice five-game winning streak this past week, before it was snapped by the rival Cardinals. The bats have been inconsistent in 2010, as no regular is batting over .300, but they have had some nice pitching. They make a huge jump this week.
Previous Ranking: 28
16. Los Angeles Angels
Jered Weaver has become a legitimate staff ace this season, and is no longer following good starts with tough ones. The big question on everybody's mind: When is Brandon Wood going to start hitting?
Previous Ranking: 16
17. Toronto Blue Jays
Shawn Marcum needs to get that first win of the season, and he will go for it on Sunday. Vernon Wells has been a monster in 2010, and is beginning to dot the Blue Jays record books. They need to get it in gear, as they have lost seven of their last ten.
Previous Ranking: 11
18. Arizona Diamondbacks
The bats have been good this season, as they rank second in the National League in team batting average. Kelly Johnson and Mark Reynolds both have nine home runs in the early going, but Justin Upton has still yet to find his groove. Dan Haren may set a career-high in wins in 2010.
Previous Ranking: 26
19. Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox continue to tread water in the American League East. David Ortiz is pretty much done, and Dice-K was lit up in his season debut. The division has a little more depth to it in 2010, and the Sox are in danger of digging a hole they cannot get out of.
Previous Ranking: 21
20. Atlanta Braves
The lineup has been sink or swim, and there is not telling where this team would be without Jason Heyward and Martin Prado. Derek Lowe has not looked good this season, as 60 percent of their rotation in struggling in 2010. Tim Hudson and Tommy Hanson have been lights out in 2010.
Previous Ranking: 22
21. Chicago White Sox
How does Juan Pierre have only one runs batted in through 92 at-bats in 2010? Gordon Beckham has struggled, as has Carlos Quentin, as their lineup has just not been there this season. Andruw Jones has been a beat in 2010, and already has eight home runs.
Previous Ranking: 24
22. Cleveland Indians
The Indians need to get Austin Kearns more at-bats, as he has been one of the more consistent bats in the lineup this season. This team does not have much pop, and it is shocking that Matt LaPorta has no home runs in 2010. Mitch Talbot has been the best starter of the bunch thus far this season.
Previous Ranking: 18
23. Colorado Rockies
The Rockies need to get into a groove, as the National League West is up for the taking. They have some of the best young talent in baseball, and their prospects need to start stepping it up. Jhoulys Chacin will get his first start of the 2010 season on Sunday, and was a dominant minor league pitcher.
Previous Ranking: 12
24. Seattle Mariners
The team got to see just how dominant Cliff Lee can be, as he made a spectacular return to the American League. The left-hander threw seven shutout innings, striking out eight, and this team should skyrocket with him and King Felix in the rotation. Ichiro already has 33 hits this season.
Previous Ranking: 13
25. Milwaukee Brewers
The Brew Crew have to be happy with the acquisition of Randy Wolf, who has brought stability to the rotation. The team should get Jim Edmonds back on Sunday, and Yovani Gallardo is a legitimate staff ace. Get Well Soon Bob Uecker.
Previous Ranking: 14
26. Kansas City Royals
Boy, if this team could get some pitching. The Royals are currently second in the American League in team batting average, but their staff is very inconsistent. If only they could trot out Zach Greinke everyday.
Previous Ranking: 29
27. Pittsburgh Pirates
What is going on with Garrett Jones? The former career minor leaguer has come back to earth, and needs to figure it out quickly. Jeff Karstens will look to build on his last start on Sunday.
Previous Ranking: 27
28. Los Angeles Dodgers
Probably the biggest disappointment of the early season, the Dodgers are in last place in the NL West. With all the big names on this roster, it is amazing how much they have struggled. Their big problem has been pitching, as their lineup is one of the better collection of hitters in the National League.
Previous Ranking: 15
29. Houston Astros
The top three in the Astros' rotation have been great in 2010. The problem is, the rest of the staff has not followed suit, and their lineup has been anemic. Lance Berkman has only played in ten games, and Carlos Lee is batting under the Mendoza Line.
Previous Ranking: 25
30. Baltimore Orioles
The Orioles look like they may be here all season long, though they did not look terrible against the Yankees this past week. Alfredo Simon has taken over as the team's closer, and has looked good in three appearances.
Previous Ranking: 30