Rangers, Dodgers keep rolling in Rankings
Two-time AL champs, Hollywood's finest the class of the sport
There's something special going on in Los Angeles.
Whether the Dodgers are the most powerful team in the game is up for debate. But it's hard for anyone to argue that the club's season is not right out of a Hollywood movie script.
Los Angeles has put teams away early and won games late. The Dodgers have won with Matt Kemp having one of the best starts of his career, and they've won with their All-Star on the disabled list.
They've pitched well, and they've had rookies like Scott Van Slyke pitch in.
Back in the American League, the Rangers are playing like two-time defending AL champs, while Josh Hamilton is fueling the debate that he, not Kemp, is the best overall player in the game.
In Baltimore, Adam Jones has the O's believing. In Atlanta, Chipper Jones is once again an inspiration in the clubhouse and on the field.
It's time to discuss the most powerful teams in the game, and it's time to hear your voice.
For the third season, MLB.com has set up a panel of experts to vote on the top 15 teams each week. Three former Major League players -- Larry Dierker, Mitch Williams, and Frank Thomas -- are part of the process, as are columnist Peter Gammons and 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, Richard Justice, Matthew Leach and Jesse Sanchez are also part of the group.
Agree? Disagree? The power is yours.
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The reigning AL champions lead the Major Leagues in almost every offensive category, but their pitching should not be overlooked. Yu Darvish has lived up to the hype, going 6-1 with a 2.60 ERA in his first eight starts.
The Dodgers have won four in a row, eight of their past 10 and sport the best record in Major League Baseball. Matt Kemp, Jerry Hairston Jr., Juan Uribe, Juan Rivera and Mark Ellis are all on the disabled list, but the club has not missed a beat.
The O's have the best record in the AL, and Adam Jones is a big reason for that. Jones is riding a 12-game hitting streak and leads the Orioles with 14 home runs, 29 RBIs and a .308 batting average. He's had three different hit streaks of at least 10 games this year.
Chipper Jones didn't start for the second consecutive game Sunday, but he should be back in the lineup Monday. That's great news for Atlanta. The Braves are 19-5 with Jones in the starting lineup this season and 7-11 without him.
Heading into Monday's series opener against Toronto, Tampa Bay is 6-9 in its past 15 games and 6-10 against the AL East this season. Desmond Jennings, on the 15-day disabled list retroactive with a left knee sprain, should return when he is eligible to play May 27.
The Nationals' offense is on the move. Washington is averaging 4.3 runs per game in May, compared with 3.4 in April. What's more, the Nats have scored at least five runs in six of their past 10 games and have racked up 25 home runs in their past 16 contests.
Simply put, the Cardinals are frustrated. The club wrapped up a five-game road trip with a 1-4 record and has lost eight of its past 10 games. The defense has been erratic, the starting pitching has been inconsistent and the bullpen has been scored upon in 12 of the past 13 games.
The Blue Jays continue to show signs of progress. They had won four consecutive games before a 6-5 loss to the Mets on Sunday.
The Yankees' offense is struggling, and that's one big reason why the club is 5 1/2 games behind the first-place Orioles in the AL East. The Yankees are on a 6-for-59 skid with runners in scoring position.
Ubaldo Jimenez is still searching for consistency on the mound and has been tinkering with his pitching mechanics. Johnny Damon is also trying to find his way. Signed to provide some pop to the offense, the veteran is hitting .172 and might be playing his way out of the lineup.
It's LoMo time in Miami once again. Now that first baseman Gaby Sanchez has been optioned to Triple-A New Orleans, Logan Morrison will see plenty of playing time at first base, his natural position. However, the Marlins will be without Emilio Bonifacio, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left thumb.
It's must-see baseball every time Justin Verlander takes the mound, and he reinforced that fact by throwing a one-hitter the last time out. Unfortunately for the Tigers, he can't pitch every day. The Tigers haven't won back-to-back games since defeating the Royals on April 17-18.
David Wright is already having a season to remember. He leads the Major Leagues in batting average and on-base percentage with .412 and .512 marks, respectively. He recently moved past Jose Reyes for second place on the franchise's all-time hits list.
The Phillies won six games in a row last week but once again have been bitten by the injury bug. Infielder Placido Polanco was out of the starting lineup for the fourth consecutive game Sunday because of a mild sprain in his left ankle.
The Red Sox are playing their best baseball of the season. They are 8-2 during their past 10 games and have outscored opponents, 56-25, during that stretch.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.