This week, they made a nice jump from 16 up to 10, and they're starting to validate their place among the top 3rd in the league. Let's see how long they can keep that up.
A few other teams shifted around a bit, including my Red Sox taking another fall, and another change at #1.
Without further ado, here are this week's rankings:
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (Last week: 2) - Once again, the Dodgers take over the top spot, thanks to their 7 wins out of their last 10 games. They're still going strong, despite missing MVP candidate Matt Kemp.
2. Washington Nationals (3) - The good news: They just swept the Red Sox. The bad news: Well, it was only the Red Sox. This is still an excellent team, though, and that series was just more evidence of that.
3. Texas Rangers (1) - The Rangers are actually hitting a rough patch, going 4-6 in their last 10 games. For the first time in a while, they no longer have the best record in the AL. I'd still take them over anyone else, though.
4. New York Yankees (10) - The Yankees have caught fire as of late, winning their last 3 and 8 of their last 10. This is what people expected of them, and it looks like they're here to stay, if history serves.
5. Tampa Bay Rays (5) - They now have the best record in the AL, a half game ahead of the Yankees and Rangers. They still have a rather inept lineup though, and that will cost them at some point.
6. Atlanta Braves (14) - Winners of 8 of their last 10, the Braves are really hitting their stride. It's a bit unfortunate for them that they're in the same division as the Nationals, who are shaping up to be one of the NL's best.
7. San Francisco Giants (11) - The Giants are loving the bat of Melky Cabrera, who is quite a surprise so far, currently leading the NL with a .364 batting average. Also, Santiago Casilla, who was their backup to the backup closer, is sitting on 16 saves.
8. Chicago White Sox (4) - Paul Konerko has taken the MLB lead with a remarkable .365 batting average, 27 points ahead of Josh Hamilton, his nearest AL competitor. And I thought he was going to decline this year.
9. Baltimore Orioles (8) - The Orioles are the only team with a winning percentage over .550, and still a negative run differential. If Wei-Yin Chen can overcome the hype around Yu Darvish, he could win AL Rookie of the Year.
10. Pittsburgh Pirates (16) - As I said before, I was a bit harsh on them last week. Consider this an apology. Also: Aside from his one bad outing when he gave up 12 runs in 2.2 innings, AJ Burnett has a 1.89 ERA.
11. LA Angels of Anaheim (17) - The emergence of Mark Trumbo has really lit a fire under this team. He's 3rd in the AL with a .326 batting average, and has 14 HR and a 1.011 OPS. He was 2nd in ROY voting last year, and is now an MVP candidate.
12. Toronto Blue Jays (13) - Jose Bautista is really starting to come on strong, and now has 17 HR and 44 RBI. He and his teammate Edwin Encarnacion are both tied for 4th in the AL in both categories.
13. Cincinnati Reds (9) - Joey Votto is hitting the cover off the ball, batting .355 with 10 HR and 38 RBI. Unfortunately for the Reds, he's their only hitter with a .300+ average. They'll need help at some point.
14. Cleveland Indians (15) - They're not that good, but closer Chris Perez still somehow leads the MLB in saves, with 20. If only Ubaldo Jimenez would revert back to his 2010 form, when he was a legitimate ace.
15. St. Louis Cardinals (19) - The Cards have a +55 run differential, 2nd in all of baseball trailing only the Rangers. Yet somehow, they only have a 31-30 record. They need to use their runs more wisely, apparently.
16. Arizona Diamondbacks (20) - Paul Goldschmidt is turning it on as of late, currently riding a rather impressive 17-game winning streak. They've now won 5 straight, and 8 of their last 10 games.
18. Miami Marlins (6) - Another team that is slipping badly, they've now lost 6 in a row. Last week, they looked like contenders on the rise. This week, they look like pretenders, plummeting down the standings.
19. Boston Red Sox (12) - Just when things were starting to look good, the Sox ran into the the buzzsaw that is the Washington Nationals. They got swept, and were lucky to even keep the games close.
20. Detroit Tigers (21) - Their power duo of Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera are looking good, combining for around a .316 batting average, 23 HR, and 91 RBI so far, but they'll need more than that to win.
21. Milwaukee Brewers (24) - Corey Hart and his 13 HR are making a decent attempt at replacing the aforementioned Prince Fielder's absence, and Ryan Braun is once again one of the best overall hitters in baseball.
22. Philadelphia Phillies (18) - Somehow, the Phillies just aren't winning for Cliff Lee. He's 0-3 right now, despite a rather respectable 3.18 ERA. The team is 3-7 in Cliff Lee's starts this year, and have averaged only 3.4 runs in support of him.
23. Seattle Mariners (23) - Jesus Montero is the leading offensive candidate for AL Rookie of the Year, in my opinion. Unfortunately for him, it's almost definitely going to a pitcher this year. Sorry, bro.
24. Houston Astros (26) - Jed Lowrie has been a nice surprise for the Astros, combining with guys like Jose Altuve, Carlos Lee, and Chris Johnson to form a decent core to their lineup. But Wandy Rodriguez is their only starter with a sub-4.50 ERA.
25. Minnesota Twins (28) - Shocking new: The lowly Twins have won 7 of their last 10 games. If I didn't know better, I'd think they might have potential. Unfortunately, I know better, and this team isn't going anywhere.
26. Oakland Athletics (27) - The offensively challenged Athletics have no regular players hitting above .275, so their solid young pitching is getting pretty much wasted. Moneyball might need a re-evaluation.
27. Kansas City Royals (25) - After a decent 6-2 stretch, the Royals have now lost 4 straight. One of their lone bright spots is closer Jonathan Broxton, and even HIS job was in jeopardy at one point.
28. Colorado Rockies (22) - Carlos Gonzalez continues to be one of the best hitters in baseball, and is 2nd in the NL in both HR and RBI. Sadly, it takes 9 to make a lineup, and he's just not enough.
29. Chicago Cubs (29) - Their signing of Jorge Soler should excite Cubs fans, but much like their playoff chances, he's a long way from being a Major League reality. But hey, at least it's a step in the right direction, right?
30. San Diego Padres (30) - The Padres have the worst run differential in baseball, the worst record in baseball, and... well... I think you get the point. Once again, this is the worst team in baseball.
Where did I go wrong? Let me know where you agree or disagree.