1. Chicago Cubs
Previous Rank: 2
Took 2 out of 3 from main challengers in St. Louis and the lineup is producing without much help yet from Geovanny Soto, Milton Bradley and Derrek Lee.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers
Previous Rank: 9
Simply has the best lineup in the NL and maybe all of the majors. Billingsley and Kershaw have pitched like absolute aces so far.
3. Toronto Blue Jays
Previous Rank: 7
Lineup has been amazing so far but the team has yet to play the powers of the AL East and I am still unconvinced they are a legitimate threat to win the AL East.
4. Florida Marlins
Previous Rank: 8
Off to a torrid start and could very well win the NL East this year with that pitching staff, but they have already played 6 games against Washington.
5. New York Yankees
Previous Rank: 5
This team would be a lot better if they stopped throwing Chein-Ming Wang out there every 5th game. The Yankees are 7-3 in games that Wang does not pitch.
6. Boston Red Sox
Previous Rank: 4
They have a decision on what to do with David Ortiz as he is hitting .170 with 0 home runs. He is not the force he used to be.
7. Saint Louis Cardinals
Previous Rank: 14
The team is off to a great start due to Albert Pujols (whose Sportscenter commercial I love) in full effect. The question is whether they can survive without Chris Carpenter. They won't win the NL Central but they are a threat to win the Wild Card.
8. Tampa Bay Rays
Previous Rank: 1
This team is struggling to get production out of Upton, Crawford and Burrell so far, but the team does not need to panic yet. The bullpen on the other hand is a big issue.
9. Chicago White Sox
Previous Rank: 15
Carlos Quentin is mashing just as like last year as he leads the majors with 7 home runs. Just think how many he will hit when it warms up in Chicago. He could hit 50 this year.
10. New York Mets
Previous Rank: 6
They are struggling to find pitching after Johan, but Pelfrey and Maine are better than their 8 and 7 ERA's show. They should still contend in the NL East.
11. Detroit Tigers
Previous Rank: 13
This team is playing well and might actually be getting Joel Zumaya back. Miguel Cabrera is an absolute masher.
12. Atlanta Braves
Previous Rank: 9
Fell back to earth by getting swept by the Marlins but they still have enough pitching and hitting to compete with the Marlins and the rest of the NL East.
13. Minnesota Twins
Previous Rank: 10
The bullpen is a big concern especially with Jesse Crain headed for the DL, but the rotation is starting to look better and if Glen Perkins keeps pitching 8 innings it might not be such a huge problem.
14. Philadelphia Phillies
Previous Rank: 12
The lineup is producing as Raul Ibanez has made the transition to Philly very nicely, but if Cole Hamels can not turn it around they have no chance of winning the NL East.
15. Los Angeles Angels
Previous Rank: 3
I don't know what this organization did but they seem to be cursed. John Lackey, Ervin Santana, Kelvim Escobar, Dustin Moseley, and Vladimir Guerrero are all on the DL and they have to still deal with the tragedy of Nick Adnehart. If they can get healthy they should still win the AL West.
16. Cincinnati Reds
Previous Rank: 21
Is over .500 despite slow starts by Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips, Jonny Cueto, and Edinson Volquez. That could be attributed to playing Pittsburgh, Houston and Milwaukee.
17. Kansas City Royals
Previous Rank: 23
Zach Grienke is out of the gates fast with a 34 inning scoreless streak dating back to last year, but they will be without Alex Gordon for two months. I just don't see enough offense to win or compete in the AL Central.
18. Seattle Mariners
Previous Rank: 22
The team will hold 1st place in the AL West due to Bedard and Felix until the Angels decide to get healthy and take it back.
19. San Diego Padres
Previous Rank: 27
They have not cooled down yet beating the Mets and Phillies, but I still refuse to believe in this team. The only thing is this start will lead to them keeping Peavy and Chris Young until the All-Star break instead of the end of May.
20. Oakland A's
Previous Rank: 19
Taking 2 out of 3 from Boston was good and despite of going 1-2 against Toronto holding them to only 10 runs in 3 games is something to hang your hat on. The problem is Holliday and Giambi have yet to hit a home run. The team only has 3 home runs total.
21. Texas Rangers
Previous Rank: 18
This team is fun to watch unless you want them to win or you like pitching. 80 runs in 12 games is astonishing. The real astonishing thing is they are doing that while Josh Hamilton and Chris Davis are slumping.
22. Arizona Diamondbacks
Previous Rank: 16
The team is really missing Brandon Webb who should be back in the next two weeks, but the question is whether the team can improve on its .215 batting average. The offense will likely keep them from competing with the Dodgers this year.
23. Milwaukee Brewers
Previous Rank: 17
A poor start by Yovanni Gallardo has really hurt this team as the pitching staff lacks depth. But a schedule of Mets, Cubs and Reds have also contributed to a slow start.
24. Cleveland Indians
Previous Rank: 20
Improved slightly this week taking advantage of the Chein-Ming Wang and a good start by Cliff Lee but the pitching is just not good enough.
25. Baltimore Orioles
Previous Rank: 24
The were given a large dose of reality by being swept by the Red Sox. It may be a long season but Adam Jones so far looks like an absolute stud and #1 prospect Matt Wieters should be called up within the month.
26. Pittsburgh Pirates
Previous Rank: 29
Great starts by Paul Moholm or Zach Duke and enough pieces in the lineup should make this team not the worst in the MLB.
27. San Francisco Giants
Previous Rank: 26
Finally got a good start by Lincecum and Randy Johnson took a no-hitter to the 7th inning. They just don't have the offense to compete but could work it's way up to a .500 team.
28. Colorado Rockies
Previous Rank: 25
Terrible bullpen and pitching has been a problem but this team has had to play the Dodgers, Cubs, and the Phillies so far. That would raise any pitching staff's ERA.
29. Houston Astros
Previous Rank: 28
Being swept by the Cardinals and the Reds solidifies their status as a second-class citizen in the NL Central. They for some reason used this to give manager Cecil Cooper an extension.
30. Washington Nationals
Previous Rank: 30
This franchise is an absolute disgrace as they blew 9th inning leads in all 3 games to the Marlins and even the jersey makers don't care about this team.
Stud of the Week: Ian Kinsler, TEX
Stats: .555 2 HR 6 RBI 6 SB
Honorable Mention: Zach Grienke, Matt Kemp, Carlos Pena, Carlos Quentin, Chad Billingsley, Glen Perkins
Dud of the Week: Chien-Ming Wang, NYY
Stats: 2 Starts 2.1 IP 16 ER 14 Hits 2 K
Dishonorable Mention: Saul Rivera, Zach Miner, Ubaldo Jimenez, Ryan Spilboroghs, Jordan Schafer, Randy Winn
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