Rangers, Nationals power to top of Rankings
Angels, White Sox, Reds make bold moves in MLB.com poll
This is what everybody expected from the Rangers and Angels.
The Angels have won 10 of their last 12 games -- including two of three from the Rangers over the weekend. Albert Pujols has started to hit and the race to be best in the AL West appears to have begun in earnest.
A four-game skid prompted a good old-fashioned postgame meeting from Rangers manager Ron Washington on Saturday night and his club responded with a win Sunday in Anaheim.
The Rangers still lead the Angels in the division by 4 1/2 games, but are they still the most powerful force in the game? Where would you rank the Angels?
Which team is the best team in the National League, the Dodgers or the Nationals?
Don't look now, but the Reds are on a roll.
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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After a loss Saturday night, Rangers manager Ron Washington demanded his club regain the focus that made them the two-time defending AL champs. The speech worked. The re-energized Rangers avoided a sweep by the Angels with a victory on Sunday to snap a season-high four-game losing streak.
May was a month to remember for the first-place Nats and things could get better in June. Gio Gonzalez and Bryce Harper were named May's NL Pitcher of the Month and the NL Rookie of the Month, respectively. They've also recently added veteran Mike Gonzalez to the bullpen.
The Dodgers have the best record in baseball, even without superstar Matt Kemp, but some are starting to wonder how long they can hold on to the lead in the NL West. The club has lost seven of its last 10 games and could be without Kemp (hamstring) for at least four weeks.
The Rays have moved into the top spot in the AL East and might get a boost to the lineup at the end of the month. Evan Longoria (partially torn left hamstring) should be able to start a Minor League rehab assignment in mid-June.
The Reds have won 11 of 15 to grab the division lead from the Cardinals and will look to pad the lead when they take on the second-place Pirates for three games at home starting Tuesday. The Reds, who are 15-9 at home, have hit 35 of their 58 home runs at Great American Ballpark this season.
The Marlins are in a virtual tie with Washington and New York for the top spot in the NL East. Including Sunday's 5-1 victory against the Phillies, the Marlins have won six of Carlos Zambrano's last seven starts.
The White Sox have won 10 of their past 11 games and Chris Sale is coming into his own as a starter. Sale was named the AL Pitcher of the Month for May, after going 4-1 with a league-best 1.71 ERA. He pitched a complete game Sunday for his seventh win of the season.
The Orioles have dropped nine of 12 and out of first place in the AL East, but on the bright side Adam Jones is fine. Jones, who has been bothered with right wrist soreness the last few weeks, has contusions on both wrists and hands but is expected in the lineup Tuesday in Boston.
The Yankees are coming off a 6-3 mark on a nine-game road trip and have moved within 1 1/2 games of the first-place Rays in the AL East. Alex Rodriguez has struggled with men on base this season but still has four home runs in his last 10 games.
Pujols' improved production at the plate shouldn't surprise anybody, but the impact from rookie outfielder Mike Trout has been a pleasant surprise. The Angels are 20-13 since Trout was called up on April 28; they were 6-14 before he joined the team.
It's an amazing time to be a Mets fan. The Mets won three straight over the weekend against the Cardinals, a streak that included a no-hitter by Johan Santana and another gem by R.A. Dickey.
Improved pitching, including the resurgence of Barry Zito, is a big reason why the Giants have made strides. Zito picked up his fourth victory in his last five starts Sunday and trimmed his ERA to 2.98. Starters Ryan Vogelsong (2.36) and Matt Cain (2.62) also have a sub-3.00 ERA.
The Indians have lost two in a row and seven of their last 10 games. The good news? Catcher Carlos Santana, who has been on the seven-day disabled list since May 25 due to a concussion, is scheduled to start a rehab assignment this week.
Things are looking up in Boston. The club's record is .500 and second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who has not played since May 28 because of a torn adductor muscle in his right thumb, is expected back in the lineup Tuesday against the Orioles.
The defending World Series champs are hoping to turn things around this week. The club has lost five in row, eight of its last 10 games and managed only one run scored over the weekend against the Mets.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.