4/22/2013 1:00 P.M. ET
Red-hot Rockies moving on up Power Rankings
By / MLB.com
The World Series trophy will not be handed out until next fall, but it's hard to blame fans for wondering what a championship in their hometown would feel like.
The Royals lead the American League Central, the Pirates are half-game out of first place in the National League Central and Rockies are the hottest team in baseball.
Could this be their year?
What's more, the Braves and Red Sox are back on top in their divisions, and there is a dogfight developing in the AL West between the Rangers and A's. Let's not forget about the Angels or the Mariners.
And just how long will be it until the Blue Jays and Rays really flex their muscles and make the AL East more interesting than it already is? Raise your hand if you think there is a surprise team out there that's going to separate itself from the competition over the next month or two.
Once again, it's time to hear your voice and your vote.
MLB.com has set up a panel of experts to vote on the top 15 teams each week. The group includes MLB.com vice president and executive editor Carlton Thompson, VP and executive producer Jim Jenks, columnists Mike Bauman, Hal Bodley, Anthony Castrovince, Richard Justice, Matthew Leach, Terence Moore and Tracy Ringolsby, reporters Barry M. Bloom, Marty Noble, Jesse Sanchez and Lyle Spencer and MLB Network analyst Mitch Williams.
Agree? Disagree? The power to rank the teams is yours.
Atlanta is tied with the Rockies for the best record in the big leagues despite losing four of its past five games, including three of four to the Pirates. Last week, Justin Upton became the first player in Braves history to hit eight home runs through the team's first 13 games, and he remains a home run threat every time he steps into the batter's box. That said, Upton is hitting .216 over his last 10 games.
Last week: 1
Texas is coming off a three-game sweep of the Mariners and has regained the top spot in the standings in the AL West. Yu Darvish is pitching like a staff ace, but the Rangers will miss starter Matt Harrison (back surgery) until the All-Star break and an already depleted starting rotation will be challenged. Again.
Last week: 5
San Francisco has won three in a row, Barry Zito is dominating once again and Pablo Sandoval is a big reason why the reigning World Series champs are just 1 1/2 games behind the hot-hitting Rockies in the division. Sandoval, who leads the team with 17 RBIs, is 10-for-19 with 13 RBIs with runners in scoring position.
Last week: 2
Colorado, which has won three consecutive series, came this close to a nine-game winning streak and is arguably the hottest team in baseball. The offense has received its fair share of attention, but Rockies starters have 11 quality starts in the first 18 games of the season.
Last week: 9
5. Red Sox
The offense is coming together and the starting pitching has been strong. How strong? Starters had allowed three runs or fewer before Sunday, when Ryan Dempster allowed four runs in the first game of the doubleheader.
Last week: 8
Nobody loves playing against AL West opponents as much as the A's do. Oakland is 11-2 against the AL West, but just 1-5 against every other team. The club could have used Yoenis Cespedes (hand injury) over the weekend, getting swept in three games by the Rays.
Last week: 4
Joey Votto is batting .328 with a .516 slugging percentage and a .522 on-base percentage. And yes, he's hitting home runs, too. The slugger went deep for the second time in two games Sunday, racking up seven hits in 11 at-bats against the Marlins during that span.
Last week: 12
The Nats have lost six of 10 games and have struggled on defense, but Bryce Harper continues to shine in his sophomore season. The young outfielder leads the team in almost every offensive category and is almost single handedly keeping the Nationals within striking distance of the division-leading Braves.
Last week: 3
Andy Pettitte is feeling strong and Mariano Rivera is 5-for-5 in save opportunities, but Derek Jeter's absence cannot be overstated. The veteran shortstop is not expected back until after the All-Star break because of a new fracture in his surgically repaired left ankle.
Last week: 13
Carlos Beltran has found his power, and it could not have come at a better time. The veteran outfielder homered in three consecutive games, raising his batting average from .227 to a season-high .268.
Last week: 11
First-place Kansas City has pitched its way to the top of the standings in the AL Central. Starters have gone at least six innings over the past seven games and into the seventh inning in six of the last eight. Overall, starters have pitched at least six innings 14 times in 17 games this season.
Last week: 15
Arizona won eight of its first 12 but dropped the first two series on the current three-city road trip. The D-backs' bullpen has been lights out, holding opponents to five runs over 32 innings over the past 12 games.
Last week: 6
The Chris Davis power show enters its fourth week and shows no signs of slowing down. The first baseman had three hits Sunday and has 10 hits in his past five games. He leads the team with seven home runs, 21 RBIs and a .403 batting average.
Last week: Not ranked
You can blame the club's recent offensive woes for the four-game losing streak. Detroit went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position Sunday against the Angels -- and 5-for-52 for the week.
Last week: 7
Milwaukee has won seven in a row to move above .500 mark for the first time since beating the Rockies on Opening Day. The Brewers could still use consistent contributions from Ryan Braun. The All-Star has four home runs and 10 RBIs in his last nine games, but he was 5-for-32 and struck out at least three times in four games during that span.
Last week: NR
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.