1. St. Louis Cardinals (2)- Albert Pujols is the best young hitter in baseball, and now sits at the top of the home run leader board with 21 dingers. Add to that the fact that only David Eckstein and Hector Luna are hitting .300 along with Pujols and you have to wonder why pitchers continue to throw to him.
2. Detroit Tigers (5)- The Tigers are for real this season, and are currently tied for first place in the American League Central. Magglio Ordonez looks to be playing at 100% lately, and now has 11 home runs and a .316 batting average.
3. Chicago White Sox (1)- Freddy Garcia is 7-1 on the young season, and Scott Podsednik is stealing bases again. Jim Thome may be the best off-season pick up in all of baseball, as the White Sox are once again in the driver’s seat in the AL Central.
4. Cincinnati Reds (4)- The Reds are turning a lot of heads around baseball, and the Reds-Tigers series should be able to draw a lot of fans. The last time these two teams both finished a year over .500 was 1988, so this series is starting to take on a new meaning.
5. Boston Red Sox (8)- Boston has won seven of their last ten games, and showed once again how much they dominate the Baltimore Orioles. They currently sit atop the American League East, and Josh Beckett’s 6-1 record must be making the Yankees cringe.
6. New York Mets (3)- The Mets have a three-game lead in the National League East, and they can take the series from the Yankees on Sunday. David Wright seems to always get the big hit at the right time, and Carlos Beltran already has 11 home runs this season.
7. New York Yankees (6)- The Yankees brass are becoming more and more frustrated with Alex Rodriguez, and so are the fans. Chien-Ming Wang is 3-0 in his last three starts, and has posted a 2.05 earned run average. Jorge Posada, who had driven in 12 runs during a seven-game stretch, is hurting.
8. Houston Astros (7)- The Astros are now the front-runner in the Roger Clemens sweepstakes, and a decision may be coming soon, as the Rocket has stepped up his workouts. Brad Ausmus is having a good year, and is currently third in the National League with a .336 batting average.
9. Oakland Athletics (18)- The A’s make a huge leap in this week’s power rankings, rising to number nine from number 18. They are now a part of the Barry Bonds storyline, as Brad Halsey let up #714 to the slugger on Saturday. Eric Chavez has finally started a season off hot, and he drove in his 29th run on Saturday.
10. Toronto Blue Jays (10)- The Jays are turning the race for the American League East crown into a three team battle, mostly due to the fact their 1-2-3 hitters are all batting over .330. Rookie starter Casey Janssen was perfect through six against the Angels this past week.
11. Arizona Diamondbacks (15)- The Diamondbacks are tied with the Rockies for first place in the National League West, as Shawn Green is having one of his better years in recent memory. Jose Valverde is one of the top save guys in the National League, and looks to have the make up to be one of the better closers in baseball.
12. Philadelphia Phillies (9)-The Phillies are on downward spiral, and after their loss on Saturday, have now dropped five straight ballgames. The need to get their act together fast, as they head to New York for a three-game series against the Mets starting on Tuesday. Ryan Howard has 13 home runs and 33 runs batted in.
13. Texas Rangers (12)- The Rangers have one of the best lineups in all of baseball, as six of their nine regular starters are all batting over .300. They currently have a 22-20 record, which ties them for first place with the Oakland A’s in the American League West.
14. Colorado Rockies (11)- The Rockies are having a surprisingly good season in 2006, and are currently five games over .500. They are tied with the Arizona Diamondbacks for first place in the NL West, and they have two batters in the top-10 in batting average in the National League.
15. Atlanta Braves (16)- The Braves have been hot lately, winning seven of their last ten contests, but they are still only at .500 for the season. Catcher Brian McCann leads the National League in batting, and they have two batters (Andrew Jones and Jeff Francoeur) in the top four in runs batted in.
16. San Diego Padres (13)- The Padres look to avoid the sweep on Sunday, as they try to take one from the Seattle Mariners. The good news is that Chan Ho Park is starting for them on Sunday, as Park has allowed only one earned run in his last 22 innings of work.
17. Los Angeles Dodgers (20)- The Dodgers move up three spots this week, as they have won seven of their last ten games. They are now three games over .500, and are currently one game out of first place in the NL West.
18. San Francisco Giants (22)- The Giants are two games out of first place in the National League West, though they are currently in last place. Barry Bonds hit his 714th home run on Saturday, after a nine-game drought without one.
19. Cleveland Indians (17)- The Tribe goes for the series win against Pittsburgh on Sunday, as they try to continue their winning ways. Grady Sizemore is absolutely killing the ball as of late, and C.C. Sabathia looks to be back at 100%. In his last start, Sabathia threw a complete game, while striking out nine.
20. Milwaukee Brewers (21)- The Brewers look to avoid the sweep on Sunday, as they send Chris Capuano to the hill. Capuano is having a great season, posting a 2.67 earned run average, but he has a 4-3 record. Geoff Jenkins blasted his seventh home run of the season on Saturday, and Prince Fielder is batting .308 on the young season.
21. Minnesota Twins (14)- The Twins look to sweep the Brewers on Sunday, as rookie right-hander Boof Bonser makes his first Major League start. He will be the third straight starter under 25 for the Twins, as Francisco Liriano and Scott Baker started the first two games of the series.
22. Baltimore Orioles (23)- The Orioles still cannot figure out the Boston Red Sox, and they now are 6.5 games back of them in the American League East. Bruce Chen has yet to win a game this season, and Rodrigo Lopez has an 8.07 earned run average. Miguel Tejada is a bright spot, batting .353 so far this season.
23. Tampa Bay Devil Rays (26)- Scott Kazmir is making the Mets look very dumb for trading him for Victor Zambrano. As Zambrano’s career may be over, Kazmir is coming into his prime, and is the youngest player to get to six wins in a season this quickly since John Smoltz in 1989.
24. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (19)- The Angels have been one of the biggest disappointments in baseball this season, as they are currently nine games under .500. They have lost four straight games, and are on the verge of being swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday. They recently place Edgardo Alfonso on waivers, as they try to shake up their roster.
25. Chicago Cubs (25)- The Cubbies have lost seven of their last ten games, and they currently have no everyday starter batting over .300 for the season. Kerry Wood was hit pretty hard in his return to the rotation, and on Sunday they have to try to avoid the sweep against the White Sox.
26. Seattle Mariners (24)- About the only good thing to happen to the Mariners this season is the fact that they play in the American League West. They are currently seven games under .500, and are somehow only 4.5 games out of first place.
27. Washington Nationals (27)- Alfonso Soriano is currently tearing the cover off the ball, and has homered in three straight games. Tony Armas Jr. is putting together a nice season, and Jose Vidro is batting .342.
28. Pittsburgh Pirates (28)- Jason Bay has been a bright spot on a roster that does not have much star power. The Pirates are mired in another bad season, and you have to wonder how much longer they can be so bad. At least they get the All-Star Game this season.
29. Kansas City Royals (29)- The Royals have lost five straight, and are pretty much out of the running in the American League Central all ready this season. Barring a miracle, it is going to be another long season in Kansas City again.
30. Florida Marlins (30)- You have to feel bad for Marlins’ fans, who have seen their stars shipped off so many times during their short franchise history. Mike Jacobs is starting to hit the ball well, and has boosted his average almost 30 points in the past two weeks.