Power Rankings: East teams make big gains
Phillies reclaim top spot, followed by Yanks; Marlins leap up list
Many baseball prognosticators picked the Phillies and the Red Sox to dominate play in their respective leagues this season.
Some picked the Rangers to defend the American League crown. Others said the Yankees or the Rockies would be the dominant teams in April, and in every month that followed.
But the Indians?
Who thought the Marlins would be among the most powerful teams in the baseball?
You did. Here's where your vote counts.
Welcome to this week's edition of the 2011 version of the MLB.com Power Rankings, where fans can now rank their top 15 teams and view their picks right alongside the picks from the experts at MLB.com. Together, the picks from the fans and experts form the "MLB.com Energy Power Rankings presented by Reebok ZigTech."
Fans who participate in the rankings have a chance to win two tickets to watch a team of their choice during the 2011 regular season.
For the second consecutive season, MLB.com set up a panel of experts to vote on the top 15 teams each week. Two former Major League players -- Larry Dierker and Jeff Nelson -- are part of the process, as is Carlton Thompson, vice president and executive editor of MLB.com. Former general manager and current MLB.com analyst Jim Duquette, along with MLB.com columnists Mike Bauman, Hal Bodley, Anthony Castrovince, Dave Feldman, Alden Gonzalez, Marty Noble and Jesse Sanchez are also part of the group. Results will be revealed every Monday through the rest of the regular season.
Agree? Disagree? The power is yours.
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The Phillies have won five in a row and sport the best record in baseball. They are living (pitching) up to the lofty expectations placed upon them.
The appropriately nicknamed Bronx Bombers lead the Major Leagues with 36 home runs and have hit a homer in 16 of 18 games this season.
The Rangers are deep, and the roster depth is paying dividends in the absence of AL MVP Josh Hamilton and reigning AL Rookie of the Year Neftali Feliz, who are both on the DL.
The Rockies appear to have solved their woes on the road. The club is 8-3 away from Coors Field so far this season after going 31-50 in 2010. The not-so-good news? They're 6-4 at home.
The Marlins have won eight of their past 10 games despite a slumping Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez is hitting .182 for the season and in the midst of a 2-for-27 skid.
The Indians are healthy, they have more experience this season and the offense is clicking. Through 21 games, the Indians have scored 105 runs and allowed 80. Last season, they gave up 106 more runs than they scored.
A recent losing streak has dropped the club's record to 11-11, but the Reds still rank first in the Major Leagues in runs scored and RBIs.
The Tigers have won four in a row, including a three-game sweep of the White Sox. Magglio Ordonez's tricky ankle is improving and responding to consistent play.
The Red Sox are pitching their way to victory. During the last nine games, Boston starting pitchers are 7-0 with a 0.88 ERA. Carl Crawford, who is hitting .171, had consecutive multihit games for the first time this season over the weekend.
Starters Jered Weaver and Dan Haren are arguably the best 1-2 punch in baseball, but the Angels' offense has been inconsistent. The club managed only five runs during a four-game sweep at the hands of the Red Sox.
A streaking Andre Ethier is the hottest hitter in the game, and the offense is starting to come together. The Dodgers scored 27 runs while taking two of three games against the Cubs over the weekend.
The Cardinals moved into sole possession of first place in the National League Central after winning two of three games against the Reds. However, Albert Pujols left Sunday's game with mild tightness in his left hamstring and he's not sure when he will be ready to return to the field.
The Brewers are 7-3 at Miller Park and have won all three of their home series. Can they keep the winning streak at home alive when the Reds come to town this week?
The Rays have won 10 of their past 13 games and their starters have pitched at least seven innings in 11 of those games.
The reigning World Series champions have been outscored, 28-11, during their current four-game losing streak but hope to return to the win column this week against the Pirates.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.