Every Monday morning, a look at the top dozen teams in baseball ... and the best of the rest.
On to the rankings…
Ranking | Team | Record | Last Week
1 Los Angeles Dodgers (39-22) (3)
Finally, a new No. 1. With Matt Kemp still on the disabled list, the Dodgers keep piling up victories. On Sunday, Andre Ethier, who was invited by Kemp to compete in the Home Run Derby at Kauffman Stadium on July 9, hit a grand slam in a win over Seattle.
2 Tampa Bay Rays (35-25) (2)
More fun in Tampa Bay. Victories, yes, but the latest odd story came on Sunday, when a dugout phone malfunctioned in Miami and manager Joe Maddon turned to Wil Rhymes to sprint to the bullpen to deliver the orders.
3 Texas Rangers (35-26) (1)
The Rangers have still scored 71 more runs than their opponents this year, but they are now just 12-14 since May 13 — the day before they started a two-game series against the Royals.
4 Washington Nationals (35-23) (4)
The Nationals stayed in first place in the NL East by sweeping the Red Sox at Fenway Park this past weekend.
5 New York Yankees (34-25) (5)
New York’s Russell Martin hit two homers on Sunday, including a walk-off blast in the ninth to finish off a Subway Series victory against the Mets. He then proceeded to bomb the celebration with the most awkward of awkward falls. (He’s OK, folks!)
6 Atlanta Braves (34-26) (9)
So... can we get Brandon Beachy some run support? The Braves' workhorse is just 5-4 despite a major-league-leading 1.98 ERA among starting pitchers.
7 Chicago White Sox (33-27) (6)
White Sox lefty Chris Sale is having a Cy Young caliber season: He’s now 8-2 with a 2.05 ERA (0.92 WHIP) and 76 strikeouts in 74 2/3 innings.
8 Los Angeles Angels (32-29) (10)
If the season ended today, the Angels would be left out of the AL playoff picture. But when it’s all said and done, expect LA to have enough firepower to lock down an AL Wild Card spot.
9 San Francisco Giants (34-27) (12)
Believe it: Tim Lincecum is 2-7 with a 6.00 ERA in 13 starts — and the Giants are just 3-16 in Lincecum’s last 19 starts, dating back to last year. And yet, the Giants are still in position to battle for a wild card in the NL. One reason: Barry Zito is 5-3 with a 3.24 ERA.
10 Cincinnati Reds (32-27) (8)
Who’s the favorite in the NL Central? The Reds are now tied with the Pirates for first place. But the Cardinals, 31-30, still have the best run-differential in the National League. Can the Pirates really make it a three-team race?
11 Toronto Blue Jays (31-29) (16)
Life in the NL East: Toronto has outscored opponents by 33 runs … and is still buried in fourth place.
12 Pittsburgh Pirates (32-27) (21)
It’s Bucs Fever: Part II in Pittsburgh. One year after rolling into the All-Star Break with a winning record, the Pirates are at it again. We dock a few points for fattening up on the Royals’ anemic (at the moment) offense, but the Pirates have won 12 of 15 and are tied for first in the NL Central.
The best of the rest:
13 Baltimore Orioles (34-26) (13)
14 St. Louis Cardinals (31-30) (15)
15 Cleveland Indians (32-27) (17)
16 Miami Marlins (31-29) (7)
17 New York Mets (32-29) (11)
18 Boston Red Sox (29-31) (14)
19 Arizona Diamondbacks (30-30) (22)
20 Philadelphia Phillies (29-33) (18)
21 Detroit Tigers (28-32) (19)
22 Seattle Mariners (28-32) (24)
23 Milwaukee Brewers (24-30) (23)
24 Colorado Rockies (24-35) (25)
25 Houston Astros (26-34) (26)
26 Kansas City Royals (24-34) (20)
27 Minnesota Twins (24-35) (28)
28 Oakland A’s (26-35) (27)
29 Chicago Cubs (20-40) (30)
30 San Diego Padres (20-41) (29)