By Kenny Howell
We have a new No. 1 in the MLB Power Rankings this week. Teams will be followed by their record and what they were last week.
1. St. Louis Cardinals (44-24) (4) - I have been resisting the urge to put the Cardinals at the top for weeks now, but I finally have to give in. They just keep winning. I was waiting until they played the Reds last weekend, who I thought was the better team, but the Cards took two of three in Cincinnati.
2. Atlanta Braves (40-28) (1) - Braves have been a bit below average this past week, but still have the best pitching staff and best defense.
3. Cincinnati Reds (41-28) (2) - I thought the Reds were the real team in the NL Central, but the Cards have finally proven to me that they are the best.
4. Oakland Athletics (41-29) (3) - All those idiots that say that Moneyball doesn't matter, look at the Oakland A's. Again. Lowest payroll in baseball and leading the NL West. Probably the best team in the AL too.
5. Baltimore Orioles (39-30) (11) - The Orioles are behind the Red Sox, but I think they could take over the AL East soon.
6. Boston Red Sox (42-28) (5) - The Red Sox have the best bats in baseball, but their pitching staff is in the bottom third of the MLB. Might be a liability long term.
7. Detroit Tigers (37-29) (8) - The Tigers are top five in hitting and pitching, but have one of the worst defenses in the MLB.
8. Pittsburgh Pirates (40-28) (7) - The Pirates are another big contender in a strong NL Central. Bats are holding them back.
9. Tampa Bay Rays (36-32) (6) - The Rays were surging the last few weeks, but have cooled back off a bit.
10. Texas Rangers (38-30) (9) - The Rangers are falling apart, losers of five in a row.
11. Arizona Diamondbacks (37-31) (10) - The Diamondbacks have been solid all year, but have lost six of their last 10.
12. San Francisco Giants (35-32) (14) - Defending World Series champs are still playing average baseball.
13. San Diego Padres (34-34) (16) - The Padres are on a tear right now, winners of five in a row and eight of their last 10.
14. Colorado Rockies (36-33) (13) - Rockies are still in good shape in the NL West thanks to big bats.
15. New York Yankees (37-31) (12) - The Yankees are in a tail spin, losing five in a row.
16. Washington Nationals (34-33) (20) - The Nats are surviving without Bryce Harper, who should resume baseball activities soon.
17. Chicago Cubs (28-38) (18) - I will never stop believing in Theo and the Cubs.
18. Seattle Mariners (31-38) (23) - The Mariners can't hit anything, but they have a top 10 pitching staff that's keeping them from the bottom.
19. Kansas City Royals (32-34) (22) - The Royals are getting back to their early season success, winning eight of their last 10.
20. Cleveland Indians (33-34) (15) - The Indians are slumping, losing seven of their last 10.
21. Chicago White Sox (28-37) (19) - The White Sox are top 10 in pitching and defense, but almost at the bottom at the plate.
22. Toronto Blue Jays (31-36) (21) - The Blue Jays are occasionally playing like the team people expected them to be. They have won four in a row.
23. Philadelphia Phillies (33-36) (17) - Phillies have dropped six of their last 10.
24. Milwaukee Brewers (28-39) (25) - Brewers playing a little better, winning six of their last 10.
25. Los Angeles Angels (30-38) (24) - Angels have won three in a row, still bad.
26. Los Angeles Dodgers (29-38) (26) - Dodgers are still bad at baseball.
27. Minnesota Twins (30-35) (28) - As are the Twins.
28. New York Mets (24-39) (27) - And the Mets.
29. Miami Marlins (20-47) (29) - The Marlins got their 20th win! Throw a party Jeffrey Loria.
30. Houston Astros (25-44) (30) - The Astros have won three in a row. Still bad.