1. St. Louis Cardinals (1)- The Cardinals remain in the top spot this week, but they could be knocked out during the upcoming week. Sidney Ponson has been a nice addition to the rotation, and Albert Pujols blasted his 24th home run of the season on Sunday. They face Roy Oswalt in the opener of a three-game set against the Astros on Monday.
2. Detroit Tigers (2)- The Tigers continue to be one of the best teams in baseball, and are showing no signs of letting up. Jim Leyland is one of the best managers in baseball, and has instilled confidence in his young ballclub. Ivan Rodriguez finally hit a home run this weekend, and before their loss on Sunday, had reeled off eight straight wins.
3. Chicago White Sox (3)- Continuing our string of teams who did not move in the rankings this week, the White Sox continue to chase the Tigers in the American League Central. Ozzie Guillen is not happy with his team’s execution, although they are currently 15 games over .500 for the season.
4. Boston Red Sox (5)- The Sox have won seven of their last ten games, and are currently two full games ahead of the Yankees for first place in the American League East. Manny Ramirez is blasting the ball, CoCo Crisp is back, and they are fresh off a four-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Congratulations to Curt Schilling on his 200th career victory.
5. New York Mets (6)- The Mets brought Orlando Hernandez back to New York this past week, as they parted ways with Jorge Julio. Carlos Beltran has almost as many home runs as he did all last season, and Kaz Matsui may have lost his starting position to Jose Valentin. They currently have a 3.5 game lead in the National League East.
6. New York Yankees (7)- Jaret Wright has pitched much better lately, and Kelly Stinnett has filled in well in place of the injured Jorge Posada. Melky Cabrera is hitting near .300 since being called up from Columbus, and in no way resembles the scared kid who was brought up last season. What is going on with Randy Johnson?
7. Toronto Blue Jays (10)- The Blue Jays nearly swept the defending World Series Champions this past weekend, and they have two of the top batting average guys in the league. Russ Johnson and Alex Rios are batting .350 or better, and they have three guys with ten or more home runs.
8. Arizona Diamondbacks (11)- Enrique Gonzalez had his Major League debut spoiled on Sunday, as the D-Backs were unable to complete the sweep of the Reds. Jorge Julio is going to bolster their bullpen, and he now has 35 strikeouts in 22.1 innings of relief. Brandon Webb moved to 8-0 on the season this past week.
9. Cincinnati Reds (4)- The Reds went 3-3 this past week, and took a big fall in the rankings. Ken Griffey Jr. continues to be a great run producer, and currently has 26 ribbies through 24 games this season. Adam Dunn has 16 home runs, despite batting only .229. The face the lowly Cubs to open the week, before playing the Houston Astros this weekend.
10. Los Angeles Dodgers (17)- The Dodgers continue to climb the rankings, as they wait on the return of Eric Gagne. He is expected back very soon, and the team is hoping he returns to his Cy Young winning form. Nomar Garciaparra continues to rake, and he is now hitting .361 on the season. Brad Penny (5-1, 2.31) is quietly having a great season, as he anchors the starting rotation.
11. Atlanta Braves (15)- Watch your back Mets, because the Braves are back on the right track. The Braves won five of their six games this past week, and currently have one of the more well-rounded lineups in all of baseball. With their rotation and that lineup, the National League East is going to be a dog fight the entire season.
12. Milwaukee Brewers (20)- The Brew Crew seems to be legit this season, as they try to contend in a very tough National League Central division. Bill Hall is putting together a great season, and is currently second in the National League with 26 extra-base hits. The currently have four regulars batting over .300, and Carlos Lee has an impressive 17 home runs.
13. San Francisco Giants (18)- Move over Babe Ruth, because Barry Bonds is now number two on the career home runs list. He blasted number 715 on Sunday, and he can now rest easy until he begins to seriously creep up on Hank Aaron. Armando Benitez has a 0.87 ERA in ten appearances this season, and Matt Cain seems to have turned a corner in his development.
14. Texas Rangers (13)- The Rangers can have a winning week if they can beat the Oakland Athletics on Sunday night. Five of their regulars are currently batting over .300 this season, and Ian Kinsler has been a nice callup, as he is batting .419 since his promotion.
15. Houston Astros (8)- The Astros were in the top-ten last week, but after a very bad week, they are currently in the middle of the pack. In their seven games this week, they won only two games, which is bad considering the played against the Nationals and the Pirates. Morgan Ensberg and Lance Berkman have combined for 31 home runs, and Craig Biggio pasted Frank Robinson for 40th place on the all-time hit list.
16. Colorado Rockies (14)- The Rockies added another footnote to their franchise history, as they surrendered Barry Bonds’ 715th home run on Sunday. The Rockies have been a pleasant surprise this season, as they are apart of a National League West that currently has all their teams over .500. There is something seriously wrong with Clint Barmes, who is currently batting only .194 this season.
17. Philadelphia Phillies (12)- The Phillies welcomed back Aaron Rowand this past week, and in the process, got one of their emotional leaders back. Ryan Howard has turned into one of the best hitters in the National League, and has combined with Pat Burrell to hit 30 home runs already this season.
18. San Diego Padres (16)- Jake Peavy set a team-record on Sunday, as he struck out 16 batters in his start against the St. Louis Cardinals. Rob Bowen and Vinny Castilla made their return to the Padres’ lineup on Sunday, as they try to keep pace with all the other teams in the National League West.
19. Oakland Athletics (9)- The Athletics took a big dive in the rankings this week, as they lost their first five games of the week before winning on Saturday. They can make it two straight on Sunday, as they send Kirk Saarloos to the hill to face Texas. Barry Zito did what an ace is supposed to do, as he stopped the bleeding on Saturday.
20. Cleveland Indians (19)- The Indians played only five games this week, as they lost three. C.C. Sabathia has been unbelievable this season, and he baffled the Twins in his start this past week. In six starts this season, Sabathia has posted a 1.52 earned run average, and has tossed two complete games.
21. Minnesota Twins (21)- The Twins are trying to right their ship, as they now have three young starters in the rotation. Boof Bonser has looked impressive since joining the rotation, and Francisco Liriano appears to be the real deal. Michael Cuddyer is quietly putting together a nice season.
22. Baltimore Orioles (22)- Miguel Tejada is putting together another MVP-type season, as he continues to anchor the Orioles lineup. Pitching has been a problem for the Orioles this season, as Bruce Chen has still not won a game this year. Kris Benson has pitched well, winning six of his ten starts this season.
23. Seattle Mariners (26)- The Mariners lost five of their seven games this past week, and were swept by the Minnesota Twins. This team is lost, and are going to need an overhaul if they want to be successful again. Ichiro is having a good season, batting .327, and he may be shipped out of Seattle very soon.
24. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (24)- Jered Weaver made his Major League debut this past week, and he was definitely as good as advertised. He threw seven shutout innings, allowed only three hits, and struck out five. Vlad is having a great season, batting .323, and blasting 13 taters.
25. Tampa Bay Devil Rays (23)- It was another rough week for the Devil Rays, as they won only one of their seven games this past week. That stretch included a sweep at the hands of the Boston Red Sox, and a near sweep in Toronto. One bright spot has been Carl Crawford, who is turning into a superstar.
26. Washington Nationals (27)- The Nationals are playing poorly, but they have some things to be happy about. Mike O’Connor has been great since being promoted to the big leagues, and Alfonso Soriano is blasting home runs. Ryan Zimmerman is the best young third baseman in baseball.
27. Pittsburgh Pirates (28)- After being swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks earlier in the week, the Pirates played great this weekend, nearly sweeping the Houston Astros. Jason Bay is absolutely raking this season, blasting 16 home runs, and posting a .309 batting average.
28. Chicago Cubs (25)- The Cubbies are really bad this season, and it is only getting worse. They need Kerry Wood to shake off the rust really soon, or they risk falling so back in the NL Central that they may not be able to make a run.
29. Florida Marlins (30)- The Marlins are finally out of the cellar in our rankings, as they played some good baseball this past week. After sweeping the Chicago Cubs, they nearly won the series against the Mets, and are starting to actually look like a Major League ballclub.
30. Kansas City Royals (29)- Welcome to the cellar Kansas City, as you are now officially the worst team in baseball. They are not in the race, they won’t ever be in the race this season, and they really don’t have any players worth watching.