Tribe making noise in Power Rankings
Rangers, Cards, Yanks hold down top three spots for successive week
The Indians are on a scorching run, leaving many Cleveland faithful to believe this year could finally belong to the Tribe.
It's hard to blame them.
Sunday's win against Seattle was Cleveland's 20th victory in its past 27 games. What's more, the Tribe's 17-4 stretch entering Monday's game against the Mariners is the franchise's best 21-game span since September 2007.
Sure, the Indians have a recent history of getting off to fine starts and struggling in the second half of the season, but maybe this year will be different.
What's certain is that it won't be an easy ride for the Tribe. The Rangers, Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Rays and Orioles also have their eyes on a World Series trophy, the ultimate baseball prize.
The question remains: Which American League team has the most power?
Moreover, how does the AL's best stack up against the Cardinals, Braves, Reds and the rest of the National League's best?
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.
Texas boasts the best record in baseball and has won eight of its past 10 games. Yu Darvish is living up to all of the expectations placed upon him, and things couldn't get better in the Lone Star State. The team just called up infielder Jurickson Profar, MLB.com's No. 1-ranked prospect.
Last week: 1
Only the Rangers have a better record than the NL Central-leading Cards, but the club could face challenges ahead. St. Louis will be without starter Jaime Garcia, who was placed on the disabled list with a left shoulder strain, and there is some concern that he might need surgery.
Last week: 2
The first-place Yanks have won their past two and have been on a roll since starting the season with a 1-4 record. Robinson Cano continues to be the offense's driving force, leading the team in almost all offensive categories and playing like an AL MVP Award candidate. Mariano Rivera is 16-for-16 in saves. Mark Teixeira is eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list next month, but the Yankees are not sure when he will return.
Last week: 3
Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce are all riding hitting streaks, while Shin-Soo Choo has been a catalyst at the top of the lineup all season. Johnny Cueto is expected to be back from the disabled list to start Monday night, and that's only going to make a good pitching staff even better.
Last week: 6
5. Red Sox
The second-place Sox have won five in a row and are coming off of a three-game weekend sweep of the Twins. Jon Lester has been dominant, John Lackey is pitching consistently and the bullpen is about to get closer Andrew Bailey back from the disabled list, adding even more depth to a group that has been dominant lately.
Last week: 7
Cleveland is among the hottest teams in baseball. Sunday's win was the Tribe's 20th in 27 games. Mark Reynolds leads the team with 12 home runs and 37 RBIs. He also has 44 strikeouts.
Last week: 13
Justin Upton was the NL Player of the Month in April and continues to play like an NL MVP Award candidate. The outfielder leads the big leagues in homers with 14, and his teammates have combined to slug 55 homers, second only to Colorado (58) in the NL.
Last week: 10
Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen understandably have received much of the attention, but Wandy Rodriguez and the rest of the pitching staff have been effective all season and should get their due. Bucs pitchers lead the NL in strikeouts with 362 and are second in ERA at 3.33.
Last week: 9
Paul Goldschmidt is emerging as a superstar in the desert, and no one will be surprised to see him suit up for the NL come the All-Star Game in July. Brandon McCarthy has thrown 17 consecutive scoreless innings and has found his groove on the mound for first-place Arizona.
Last week: 11
There are many reasons why the defending World Series champions are only two games back in the NL West standings, and Marco Scutaro is one of the big ones. He is riding a 17-game hitting streak and has multiple hits in three consecutive contests and 10 of his past 11. What's more, Scutaro is hitting .486 with five doubles, two triples, a home run and six walks during his streak.
Last week: 4
Miguel Cabrera is reminding everyone why he is the reigning AL MVP Award winner and why he is considered the favorite again this season. He hit three home runs on Sunday against the Rangers and is leading the big leagues with a .387 batting average, 83 points higher than he was hitting at this time last season. Cabrera also has three more home runs and 13 RBIs more than he did at this point last season.
Last week: 8
Colorado won three of four against San Francisco over the weekend, and the Rockies have their eyes aimed on the top spot in the NL West entering this week's showdown with the first-place D-backs. Colorado will get an additional boost when Michael Cuddyer (neck injury) returns from the disabled list this week.
Last week: 14
Matt Moore's efforts on the mound this year have already reached historic proportions. The 23-year-old's 8-0 start is the best by a player so young since Babe Ruth did the same in 1917. Tampa Bay has won three in a row and eight of its past 10 games.
Last week: 15
The Nats were without Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper and Wilson Ramos, who are recovering from injuries, on Sunday but remain within striking distance of the first-place Braves in the NL East. Jordan Zimmermann anchors the rotation with a 7-2 record and a 1.62 ERA, while Stephen Strasburg pitched eight innings for the first time in his career in his last outing.
Last week: 12
The O's have seen better days. The club has lost five in a row and is four games behind the first-place Yankees in the AL East. All-Star closer Jim Johnson has blown two consecutive save opportunities, and the starting pitching has managed only two quality starts in the past nine games.
Last week: 5
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.