Is it the Rangers or the Phillies?
How good are the Yankees? And what's going on with the Red Sox?
Here's what we know for sure:
On Monday, the Rockies will take on the Giants in Colorado in the battle for supremacy in the National League West, and in the American League West, the Rangers and Angels will square off in Texas for the top spot in the division.
Don't look now, but the Royals and the Indians, who face each other in a four-game set beginning Monday, are likely to add more intrigue to what's already been an interesting start in the AL Central.
Welcome to this week's edition of the 2011 version of the MLB.com Power Rankings, where fans can now rank their top 15 teams and view their picks right alongside the picks from the experts at MLB.com. Together, the picks from the fans and experts form the "MLB.com Energy Power Rankings presented by Reebok ZigTech."
Fans who participate in the rankings have a chance to win two tickets to watch a team of their choice during the 2011 regular season.
For the second consecutive season, MLB.com set up a panel of experts to vote on the top 15 teams each week. Two former Major League players -- Larry Dierker and Jeff Nelson -- are part of the process, as is 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, Dave Feldman, Alden Gonzalez, Marty Noble and Jesse Sanchez are also part of the group. Results will be revealed every Monday through the rest of the regular season.
Agree? Disagree? The power is yours.
|This Week||Movement||Power Player||Last Week|
The Rangers are tied with the Angels for the top spot in the AL West but have lost four of five since Josh Hamilton was injured. Three of their past five losses have come in the opposing team's last at-bat.
The Phillies lead the Major Leagues with a .296 batting average but are winning games with pitching and defense. They've hit only 11 home runs this season.
The Rockies are averaging 5.7 runs per game and have a 3.43 team ERA. Troy Tulowitzki is hitting .364 with seven home runs and 14 RBIs.
The Yankees won two of three against the Rangers over the weekend and are building momentum. Alex Rodriguez, batting an AL-leading .385 with four homers and nine RBIs, has been bothered by stiffness in his left side but does not expect to go on the DL.
The Reds' offense is clicking. The club leads the Major Leagues with 92 runs and 89 RBIs and it ranks second in home runs with 22 and a .290 batting average.
The Giants have won seven of their past 10 games since opening the season 1-4. The pitching took a hit Sunday when Barry Zito was placed on the DL with a foot strain.
Cleveland's starting rotation is 9-1 with a 1.86 ERA in the past 13 games, and the offense has been boosted by the return of Grady Sizemore, who had been out of action because of a left knee injury.
Is this the week the Angels take control of the top spot in the AL West? They've won five games in a row heading into a showdown in Texas. What's more, injured shortstop Erick Aybar is expected to return to the lineup against the Rangers.
The Royals can hit and have just enough pitching to win. They are among the Major League leaders in several offensive categories, including runs, batting average and extra-base hits.
Florida is benefiting from some much-needed relief. The bullpen boasts a 1.97 ERA, the best in the Major Leagues. The relievers are 4-2 in decisions and have five saves, all by closer Leo Nunez.
The Blue Jays trail the first-place Yankees by 2 1/2 games in the AL East standings and should get a boost this week with the return of pitchers Brandon Morrow and Frank Francisco.
The Brewers have lost three in a row, and Yovani Gallardo is struggling with his command. The right-hander has allowed 11 runs on 17 hits in 10 1/3 innings in his past two starts.
The Red Sox have won three games in a row but are 0-6 on the road this season. Carl Crawford is hitting .133 and is 1-for-17 in his past four games.
Carlos Quentin and Paul Konerko are struggling at the plate, and the White Sox have lost four in a row. They hope for better luck on the three-city, 11-game road trip that starts in St. Petersburg.
The Tigers are finding a way to win. The club managed two victories in Oakland over the weekend despite scoring only one earned run in 25 1/3 innings against the A's starters.