Team Name followed by record of current week (11), then shown the record of the previous week (10) followed by a plus minus of the difference in their record from that week. For example, a 4-3 record is +1 and a 3-4 record is -1.


New York AL (40-23 from 35-22) |+4| With Alex Rodriguez falling to injury, the Yankees were fortunate to enter interleague play against the lowly Houston Astros after facing the similarly lowly Baltimore Orioles. The result was a 5-1 week and a tie of first place with the Rays after starting the week two games behind. However, three out of their next four series are against excellent National League clubs, so the next two weeks will be a good test for the defending champions. The Yankees’ move to the top of the Index is no surprise; you had to imagine it would happen eventually, but even with this happening no one should believe that it’ll stay this way. Not with three of the five best teams in baseball being in the same division.

Tampa Bay (40-23 from 37-20) |+1| There is a statistical oddity at work here and it goes by the name of one Carlos Felipe Pena. The guy is hitting an unearthly horrid .193 – in fact, since Mario Mendoza finished his career with an average of .215 (not .200 like everyone thinks), the term Mendoza Line should be changed to the Pena Line, since baseball is not very interested in making statistic anomalies accurate (whoops, that was a shot that I didn’t originally intend to make). Besides Carlos Pena has way more power than Mario Mendoza ever dreamed of having and this guy has managed to still hit cleanup on the best team in baseball despite such a poor batting average. For that fact alone this needs to be done.

San Diego (37-26 from 33-23) |+1| It was a so-so weak for the Padres who fell out of first place for the first time this season, but thanks to a three game losing streak from the Dodgers, they’ve managed to stay a game ahead. Adrian Gonzalez is as monstrous as advertised and the pitching is legit in both aspects (rotation and bullpen). If you’ve been keeping up with the weekly rankings, you’ll know that’s we’ve felt this way for a while and that won’t change.

Atlanta (37-27 from 33-24) |+1| It’s been such an up and down season for the Braves. They’ve been No-Hit and been in last place, but they’ve also been the source of excitement in Jason Heyward and, well, now they’re in first place with the second best record in the National League by a game in the loss column. The rotation looks excellent, and if Jair Jurjjens can come back to his form last year, they will be a difficult team to beat late in the season. That’s a big if.

Boston (37-28 from 33-25) |+1| There you are. We were wondering where you were, old friend. Such a long standing relationship we’ve had for so many years it felt weird that there was another in front of you. But, now that’s all in the past, you’re here in everyone’s rearview mirror and probably will be to stay.   Are the playoffs a realistic goal? Of course, just depends which of the three falls apart first. That’s all.

Los Angeles NL (36-27 from 33-24) |+0| The Dodgers sniffed first place this weekend for a split second, but getting swept by the rival Los Angeles team is no way to act when you’re in first place, which is the reason they are now in second. On a positive note, it appears that all three of their All-Star outfielders are healthy now, which is a first this season. Can the McCourt’s whittle a trade this summer? Their non-action could mean a postseason not in Chavez Ravine.

Minnesota (36-27 from 33-24) |+0| The Twins welcomed Atlanta into their home, and nearly got swept out of their own door, which is never good for anyone, but extremely odd for a team that was 20-10 at home before this weekend. Oh well, sometimes you just have those nights. On another note, Justin Morneau seems to be having the year Joe Mauer had last year. That’s always a good problem to have.

Cincinnati (36-28 from 33-24) |-1| The Reds had a bad week, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as the Cardinal’s, so Dusty Baker and Co. can chalk it up to a gimme and walk away content. Jonny Gomes continues his amazing season, which is truly a great baseball story that is not unlike Josh Hamilton’s (without the drugs). When Gomes was 16, he was involved in a car crash that killed his best friend. Gomes was sitting next to him in the back seat and emerged with only minor injuries. At 22, he had a heart attack on Christmas Eve. Two live altering incidents certainly give a man perspective. Gomes is making the best of his.

San Francisco (35-27 from 30-25) |+3| Barry Zito is a better pitcher than Tim Lincecum, at this point, and Matt Cain is even better than both of them. Buster Posey’s much needed arrival has passed, and if the Giants can add another bat, Los Angeles and San Diego need to seriously watch out. That might not even be necessary when you consider that Pablo Sandoval apparently starts hitting once June arrives (and then doesn’t stop until it gets cold), Freddy Sanchez is just getting warmed up, the aforementioned Posey is manning first base, and Aubrey Huff is having a good year.

New York NL (35-28 from 30-27) |+4| Both New York teams managed to finish the week with 5-1 records and both moved up in the standings. What’s most impressive about the Metropolitans ascension into second place is how long it has taken the team to do it, and how long they’ve just been plugging away. Already written off the postseason ticket thanks to their own trend of late season collapses, the Phillies success and the anticipated improvements to the rest of the league, we may be watching to see how long it is before injuries start to ruin their season again, but if it doesn’t happen it will be extremely interesting.

Texas (35-28 from 30-26) |+3| They received a great week when they needed it most, because the Angels are on a role and have totally forgotten that the best hitter in their lineup is missing. The Rangers continue to be impressed by Colby Lewis, who is still the best kept secret in the American League, as well as Josh Hamilton, who has managed to avoid injury and is playing like it is 2008. There aren’t many weaknesses on the team, and if the pitching can keep it up, there shouldn’t be too many worries.

Los Angeles AL (36-30 from 31-28) |+3| In fact, the absence of Kendry Morales seems like the perfect solution to get powerful Mike Napoli consistent at-bats, since he’s such a horrible catcher and all and the designated hitter spot is reserved by the knee-buckling Hideki Matsui. It’ll be interesting to see if they can keep it up, especially with their rotation so patchy.

St. Louis (34-29 from 33-24) |-4| It’s interesting to see the Cardinal’s struggling the way that they are. Dropping five games in the loss column is never good, although having a 1-6 road record isn’t really all that unexpected, so they may get a little understanding because of that. Perhaps Matt Holliday will get hot around July, like he did last year, perhaps Brad Penny and Kyle Lohse will come back soon so they can demote Adam Ottavino and P.J. Walters where they belong. The Minors.

Detroit (33-29 from 29-27) |+2| If his numbers don’t already convince you, you should watch a few Tiger’s games and witness Miguel Cabrera carry the offense on his broad shoulders. There possibly is no single offensive player that is this good in either league right now and if he can keep it up, there should be no controversy over the AL MVP when the season ends. As for Armando Galarraga, in the two starts he’s made since his Perfect Game that Wasn’t he’s given up four runs and the Tigers have won both games (Dallas Braden has had only one quality start in the six starts he’s made since his, and Roy Halladay, well he’s Roy Halladay, but he’s 1-1 since his perfect game).

Toronto (34-30 from 33-25) |-4| Although they are still four games over .500, there is little surprise that the Blue Jays are slowly falling in the AL East. They are a nice story, but don’t have the firepower to compete with the Big Three. Ricky Romero is turning into an ace and the lineup isn’t bad at all. If they were in the AL Central or West, there would be serious talk about the playoffs.

Colorado (33-30 from 29-27) |+1|Another NL West Team over .500, another team that really hasn’t performed up to its potential. The Rockies look to have a double-ace in Ubaldo Jimenez and Jeff Francis, but could use another bat in the lineup (amazing enough, it’s true). With three other teams above them in the standings and all looking for key additions in California markets, does anyone really think the Lance Berkman would approve a trade to Colorado and not one of the other three?

Philadelphia (32-29 from 30-25) |-2| Boy, nobody really thought this would happen, what with Roy Halladay on the team (and a perfect game, to boot!) and such a successful run the past two years. They’re struggling right now, there’s definitely no argument there, but every team goes through this. If they’re not around the playoff potentials come late September, it will be most surprising.

Oakland (32-33 from 30-28) |-3| The A’s early season success was nice, but now that they are hovering around .500, everyone feels a bit more comfortable. It’s always a nerve-racking experience when a horrible hitting team finds success, because then all the analysts and color commentators contradict themselves when they say, “See, these teams don’t need big bats, just big arms.” Um, excuse me, but where’s the big arm?

Florida (31-32 from 28-30) |+1| Mike Stanton’s arrival could be the start of something good in Flo-Rida. If only they didn’t have the Hanley Cancer spreading through the clubhouse. Wow, that’s saying something.

Washington (31-33 from 27-31) |+2| The Stephen Strasburg phenomenon has arrived. I’ve contemplated writing about it since Tuesday evening, but I’ve decided to let him throw a few more games before I break into his numbers so that they legitimize a little. On another note, this team looks primed for NL dominance in a few years. Seriously.

Chicago AL (28-34 from 24-32) |+2| The White Sox managed a four game winning streak before Sunday night’s game, which is impressive and pitiful. Impressive, because any streak is good. Pitiful because it’s their longest one all year.

Chicago NL (28-35 from 25-31) |-1| Ted Lilly threw a masterful gem on Sunday night and almost had it thrown away by Carlos Marmol. Still not sure if Marmol closed the door on the White Sox in the ninth inning, or if the Northsiders simply gave the game away as they have done all year.

Kansas City (27-37 from 24-34) |+0| With Zack Greinke’s interesting complete game on Sunday, it’s been assured that the Royals have so little trust in their bullpen that they’ll leave their starters out as long as they possibly can.

Milwaukee (26-37 from 22-34) |+1| The Brewers have such a fantastic lineup that it’s odd to see them eleven games under .500. Conversely, the pitching is so old and slow that it seems like they are fielding Jamie Moyer every start.

Arizona (26-38 from 22-35) |+1| The D’Backs could actually be contending in the NL West if it weren’t for their horrid bullpen. But, since they have such a bad group of hurlers, they aren’t, and won’t for a year or two.

Cleveland (25-37 from 21-34) |+1| Welcome Carlos Santana. That’s about it.

Houston (25-39 from 22-35) |-1|The battle for last in the NL Central is waging between the Astros and Pirates. Because the Pirates tossed everyone worth anything overboard last year and the Astros are planning to this summer, the award should go to Houston when all is said and done.

Seattle (24-39 from 22-34) |-3|If Mike Carp is the answer to the struggling offence, then pigs are taking flight all over the country.

Pittsburgh (23-40 from 23-33) |-6| At least Jose Tabata can provide another spark on offense, and when Pedro Alvarez comes up the Pirates can perhaps come up with enough to score more than 520 runs on the year.

Baltimore (17-46 from 16-41) |-4|Just not sure how this team is this bad. Although, someone has to be.


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