Reds, White Sox make leaps in Rankings
Rangers, Dodgers maintain grasps on top two spots in voting
Josh Hamilton and Matt Kemp deserve all the attention they have received this season when discussing the best players in the game.
They are two of the most powerful players on two of the most powerful teams -- the Rangers and Dodgers -- in the big leagues.
Maybe it's time to add Paul Konerko and the Chicago White Sox to the discussion.
The White Sox slugger is riding a 14-game hitting streak and leads the big leagues with a .395 batting average. He is batting .407 (35-for-86) with six home runs, 18 RBIs and 18 runs scored this month through Monday's games.
The White Sox are on a winning streak and have emerged as a challenger in the American League Central to the first-place Indians.
How do the White Sox compare to the Rangers and Angels?
Also, what's happening in Baltimore? And can you believe what's taking place at Nationals Park?
History reminds us to never count out the Rays and don't forget about the Yankees.
It's time to discuss the most powerful teams in the game and it's time to hear your voice.
For the third season, MLB.com has set up a panel of experts to vote on the top 15 teams each week. Three former Major League players -- Larry Dierker, Mitch Williams and Frank Thomas -- are part of the process, as are columnist Peter Gammons and Carlton Thompson, vice president and executive editor of MLB.com. Former general manager and current MLB.com analyst Jim Duquette, along with MLB.com columnists Mike Bauman, Hal Bodley, Anthony Castrovince, Richard Justice, Matthew Leach and Jesse Sanchez are also part of the group.
Agree? Disagree? The power is yours.
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Hamilton's amazing season should not overshadow what Nelson Cruz has been doing at the plate for the two-time defending AL champs. Over his last 19 games, Cruz is batting .364 with five home runs and 21 RBIs. He's batting .421 during the current homestand, with three home runs and 11 RBIs.
The Dodgers have the best record in baseball and Kemp, who many believe to be the best player in the game, is expected back in the lineup Tuesday. Kemp (hamstring) finished his two-game rehab assignment 5-for-7 with two home runs and five RBIs.
The Rays won two of three against the Red Sox over the weekend and are tied with Orioles for the top spot in the AL East. Help is on the way. Hideki Matsui, who signed a Minor League contract, was called up to the Major Leagues for Tuesday's game against the White Sox.
The Nationals are 10 games over .500, lead the National League East by 2 1/2 games, and things could get even better in June. Here's why: outfielder Michael Morse (strained lat) is inching closer to a return from the disabled list.
The Yankees have won five of their last six games and are only 2 1/2 games out of the top spot in the AL East. Derek Jeter is hitting .335 and Andy Pettitte (2-1, 2.53 ERA) has been a pleasant surprise. Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano each have seven home runs along with 19 RBIs and 20 RBIs, respectively.
There is no shortage of power in St. Louis. The Cardinals became the first Major League team to have three players reach the 10-homer mark: Carlos Beltran (15), David Freese (10) and Matt Holliday (10). The Cardinals have hit a NL-best 65 homers this season.
The Central-leading Reds are third in the NL with 53 homers. They are Major League-best 21-5 when they hit at least one home run in a game.
Konerko is riding a 14-game hitting streak and leading the Majors with a .395 batting average. He is batting .407 (35-for-86) with six home runs, 18 RBIs and 18 runs scored this month. The White Sox have won six in a row and 10 of 11.
Mark Reynolds is back off the disabled list and Brian Roberts could return some time next month. The club could use a boost after having lost six of its last eight games and is in a dogfight with the Rays for the top spot in AL East.
The Marlins are 19-8 in May, which ties the franchise mark for the most wins in any month. Can they set a new record? It's hard to doubt the Marlins with the way Giancarlo Stanton, Logan Morrison, Jose Reyes and Co. are playing.
The resilient Indians are playing without Asdrubal Cabrera (left hamstring), catcher Carlos Santana (mild concussion) and designated hitter Travis Hafner (right knee) but they remain on top in the AL Central. Chris Perez has converted 17 consecutive save opportunities.
The Angels have won seven in a row, Albert Pujols is producing and Mark Trumbo is coming into his own at the plate. Can the Angels catch the Rangers? Fans in Anaheim sure think so.
David Wright is in an 0-for-14 slump but is still hitting .373 and the Mets remain within striking distance of the first-place Nationals in the NL East. The club will be tested as the next eight opponents all have records above .500.
As expected, Gregor Blanco and Melky Cabrera have provided a spark to the club's offense and they are part of the reason the Giants are only 6 1/2 games behind the first-place Dodgers in the NL West. Pablo Sandoval (left hand injury) could be weeks away from returning to the lineup.
The Red Sox have not had a winning record all season and will get a chance to move past the .500 mark Tuesday against Detroit and Justin Verlander. It could be a tough task, especially when you consider Dustin Pedroia left Monday's game with a jammed right thumb. Also, it's Justin Verlander.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.