Rangers, Cards, Tigers rise to top of rankings

Texas takes top spot after sweeping Boston while St. Louis, Detroit make big leaps

Rangers, Cards, Tigers rise to top of rankings

The standings tell a tale that fans in Boston, St. Louis and Texas have to love.

It goes something like this: The Red Sox, Cardinals and Rangers all share the best record in the big leagues, should be considered the most powerful clubs in the big leagues and one of those teams will win the ultimate prize, right?

Maybe.

The winner of the World Series is not determined by a team's regular-season record after one month, and that's likely only one of the many reasons that fans in Cincinnati, Atlanta, Washington and across the country believe this could be the year their team wins it all.

Records, as we all know, only tell part of the story.

Here's what we know for certain: Yu Darvish is pitching like an ace, never count out the Giants or the Yankees, the Cardinals are on a roll, and the Royals and Pirates look like they are for real.

And no one should ever forget that the Tigers are the defending American League champions.

Here's what we want to know: Who do you think should be no. 1 on the MLB.com Power Rankings?

Once again, it's time to hear your voice and your vote.

MLB.com has set up a panel of experts to vote on the top 15 teams each week. The group includes MLB.com vice president and executive editor Carlton Thompson, VP and executive producer Jim Jenks, columnists Mike Bauman, Hal Bodley, Anthony Castrovince, Richard Justice, Matthew Leach, Terence Moore and Tracy Ringolsby, reporters Barry M. Bloom, Marty Noble, Jesse Sanchez and Lyle Spencer, and MLB Network analyst Mitch Williams.

Agree? Disagree? The power to rank the teams is yours.

1. Rangers
The Rangers are coming off a three-game sweep of the Red Sox, and with a record of 20-11, they have matched a club record for best start through 31 games. Darvish is pitching like a true ace and leads the big leagues with 72 strikeouts.
Last week: 2

2. Cardinals
The Cards are riding a six-game winning streak, have won seven straight road games for the first time since 2004 and Jaime Garcia is in a groove on the mound. The left-hander pitched eight innings on Sunday for his third victory in a row and has allowed only one run in each of those outings.
Last week: 10

3. Tigers
The Tigers might be the most dangerous team in all of baseball when they are clicking on all cylinders. Their four-game sweep of the Astros over the weekend included a no-hit bid by Justin Verlander on Sunday and a six-RBI game by Miguel Cabrera on Saturday. The defending AL champs have won nine of their past 10 games.
Last week: 12

4. Red Sox
A rough weekend in Texas does not diminish the fact that the Red Sox still lead the AL East and share the best record in the Majors. What's more, their starting pitching has been solid all season, David Ortiz has a hit in 25 consecutive games dating back to last season and Mike Napoli has driven in 31 runs.
Last week: 1

5. Yankees
There's no way to overstate the importance of Robinson Cano to the Yanks' offense. Cano, who leads the team in almost every offensive category, has hit safely in six straight and in nine of his past 10 games. However, he has managed to drive in just five runs in his past 11 games.
Last week: 4

6. Giants
Never count out the reigning World Series champions. The Giants have won six in a row and have moved to the top of the standings in the National League West. They have rallied for a victory in 12 of their 19 wins.
Last week: 14

7. Braves
Everyone knows the Braves and Justin Upton are off to a hot start this season, but things could really heat up in Atlanta soon. Catcher Brian McCann will be activated from the disabled list to make his season debut.
Last week: 3

8. Rockies
Troy Tulowitzki already has 27 RBIs, including a career-high 22 in April, and Carlos Gonzalez is playing like an MVP. The offensive production from rookie third baseman Nolan Arenado has been a welcome addition to an already potent offense.
Last week: 9

9. Royals
The Royals have won four in a row and seven of their past 10 games, remaining within striking distance of the first-place Tigers in the AL Central. The offense has struggled at times, but the pitching has been solid, allowing only 103 runs through 27 games. Only the Rangers (98) and Cardinals (99) have allowed fewer runs.
Last week: 8

10. Orioles
Third baseman Manny Machado is on a hot streak. His 11-game hitting streak ended on Friday, but he hit safely in his next two contests. He is batting .386 with seven doubles, a triple, three homers and 10 RBIs in his past 13 games.
Last week: 5

11. Reds
The Reds are rolling. They are coming off a three-game sweep of the Cubs and bring a 12-4 record at Great American Ball Park into a six-game homestand. They have yet to lose a home series. Brandon Phillips, who has five home runs and 27 RBIs, left Sunday's game in the eighth inning after a fifth-inning collision with center fielder Shin-Soo Choo, but is expected back in the lineup.
Last week: 11

12. Nationals
Few pitchers are off to a stronger start than Jordan Zimmermann, who is riding an 18-inning scoreless streak. He also has two complete games, including a shutout, and opponents are batting .168 against him. The Nats have won two in a row and trail the first-place Braves by two games in the NL East.
Last week: 13

13. A's
The A's sport a dominating 13-3 record within the AL West but are just 5-11 outside the division. They'll look to improve on that mark this week with four games against the Indians before a stretch of six games against the Mariners and Rangers.
Last week: 15

14. Pirates
Starling Marte is having a breakout season and has some folks wondering if he could be this year's Mike Trout. The rookie has a .325 batting average, five homers, 16 RBIs, and is 10-for-12 in stolen-base attempts through the first 30 games in his first full big league season. By comparison, Trout sported a .303 average, five homers, 16 RBIs and was 8-for-10 in stolen-base attempts through 30 games last year.
Last week: 7

15. D-backs
Is Arizona just a middle-of-the-pack team or does it have enough firepower to win the NL West? The D-backs are one game over .500 and are 8-8 at home. Paul Goldschmidt, Martin Prado and Gerardo Parra have paced the offense so far, but the club could use more offensive production from Miguel Montero.
Last week: 6