Every second week, CBCSports.ca's Mike Dennis breaks down the balance of power in Major League Baseball.
1. TEXAS RANGERS[up from 2]
Record : 24-15
Last 10 : 5-5

Josh Hamilton’s bat is on its way to the Hall of Fame. The Rangers’ slugger slammed nine home runs with it, including four in one game. Hamilton cracked it with a single on Mother’s Day after going hitless using a pink bat. No cracks showing in the Rangers so far.
2. LOS ANGELES DODGERS[up from 3]
Record : 25-13
Last 10 : 7-3

The first team to reach 24 wins now has to carry on without OF Matt Kemp for a couple of weeks. Kemp’s hamstring injury leaves Andre Ethier to spark the offence and Ethier’s been up to the task with 34 RBIs before the quarter-mark of the season.
3. WASHINGTON NATIONALS[up from 7]
Record : 23-15
Last 10 : 5-5

An injury challenge for the Nationals came in the form of a torn ACL for catcher Wilson Ramos. Nats’ pitchers are still on target as the only team with an earned-run average below 3.00. Other highs and lows ranged from couple of homers for 19-year-old Bryce Harper to a pair in distress for pitcher Stephen Strasburg, apparent victim of an IcyHot equipment prank.
4. ATLANTA BRAVES[up from 5]
Record : 24-15
Last 10 : 6-4

The Braves began a homestand with a road record eight games above .500 which has helped maintain their lofty NL East perch. Atlanta’s home run and RBI leader Freddie Freeman missed some time with blurred vision when his contact lenses got too dry and scratched his eyes.
5. TAMPA BAY RAYS[down from 1]
Record : 24-15
Last 10 : 5-5

Rays closer Fernando Rodney has allowed only one earned run all season and was good on his first 12 save opportunities. Tampa’s in the middle of the pack in team batting and earned-run average but they follow Professor Maddon's learned approach to winning.
6. BALTIMORE ORIOLES[up from 8]
Record : 25-14
Last 10 : 6-4

The Orioles flew through what was supposed to be a difficult stretch against the Yankees (twice), Red Sox, Rangers and Rays with a 9-5 record to stay in rarified air atop the AL East. Adam Jones, with 13 homers, two in extra innings, seems to have finally arrived as a big star.
7. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS[down from 4]
Record : 22-16
Last 10 : 5-5

Carlos Beltran had 15 homers last year with the New York Mets before finishing the year with San Francisco. He had 13 homers for the Cardinals before a sore right knee limited him to one pinch-hit appearance in three games. Beneath those St. Louis arches the 35-year-old may have discovered the Fountain of Youth.
8. CLEVELAND INDIANS[up from 15]
Record : 22-16
Last 10 : 5-5

After blowing his first save opportunity of the season, Chris Perez reeled off a dozen saves for the Indians, the one AL Central team consistently above .500. Derek Lowe who had 17 losses for Atlanta last year won his sixth game in seven decisions with a complete-game shutout, retiring 22 batters on ground balls.
9. NEW YORK YANKEES[down from 6]
Record : 20-18
Last 10 : 5-5

After 608 regular-season saves from Mariano Rivera, the Yankees got only one out of their new closer David Robertson before he joined Rivera on the DL with a rib injury. Rafael Soriano, who saved 45 games for Tampa two years ago, takes over the ninth inning.
10. NEW YORK METS[up from 11]
Record : 21-17
Last 10 : 6-4

As the Mets’ David Wright rolls on into mid-May with his average still above .400, there are no discussions about a long-term contract. Wright has this year and a team option left in his deal. The team’s leading home run man, Ike Davis, is hitting much less than .200.
11. MIAMI MARLINS[up from 26]
Record : 20-18
Last 10 : 6-4

The Marlins produced five walk-off victories during their first 14 home games this season. Leading the club in RBIs were Hanley Ramirez, who originally balked about moving to third base, and Giancarlo Stanton, who also leads the team in home runs.
12. DETROIT TIGERS[down from 10]
Record : 18-20
Last 10 : 4-6

Remember when people suggested that it was unwise to sign Prince Fielder to a lengthy contract because his body might break down? Guess who’s got the longest consecutive games played streak in baseball. Yes, the Prince of Motown who’s only missed one of his last 543 starts.
13. TORONTO BLUE JAYS[down from 9]
Record : 21-18
Last 10 : 5-5

Edwin Encarnacion’s magical season continues. Not only does he have 13 homers, but now he’s plucking balls out of the seats in a rare fielding appearance at first base. Brett Lawrie’s misguided toss cost him a four-game suspension for bouncing his batting helmet off umpire Bill Miller.
14. CINCINNATI REDS[up from 18]
Record : 19-18
Last 10 : 5-5

Can't Lawrie be more like his fellow Canuck Joey Votto, who doubled his season’s homer output in one game with a three-homer attack, concluding with a walk-off grand slam? Nah, different personalities. Cincinnati’s Votto was also leading MLB with 16 doubles.
15. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES [up from 16]
Record : 20-19
Last 10 : 6-4

A personal three-game losing streak ties a career-low for the Phillies’ Roy Halladay. He’s also struggled against lowly San Diego, the only NL team to beat him twice in a season. Catcher Carlos Ruiz and Hunter Pence have been pacing the Philadelphia attack.
16. BOSTON RED SOX[up from 17]
Record : 18-20
Last 10 : 6-4

The streaky Red Sox approached .500 again thanks to five wins in a row at Fenway Park and now have a tough decision with rookie third baseman Will Middlebrooks. He had four homers and 14 RBI in his first dozen games but may have to step aside for Kevin Youkilis, returning from the DL.
17. OAKLAND ATHLETICS[up from 19]
Record : 20-19
Last 10 : 5-5

Those swinging A’s probably didn’t expect to have Josh Reddick, the former Red Sox, wielding the biggest bat but he has with new-found homer power. Reddick had seven homers in 87 games for Boston last year but leads Oakland with 10 round-trippers thus far.
18. SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS[down from 13]
Record : 19-19
Last 10 : 5-5

The Giants have to love Madison Bumgarner, off to a 5-3 start and the revival of Barry Zito, with a 2.53 ERA, but aren’t so sure about Tim Lincecum who has the worst ERA on the team. Melky Cabrera’s hitting over .350 as he continues to flourish on the coast.
19. CHICAGO WHITE SOX[down from 12]
Record : 19-21
Last 10 : 6-4

Yes, that’s Adam Dunn of the White Sox giving counsel to Albert Pujols in Los Angeles. Dunn knows all about tough transitions when switching leagues after last year’s .159 adventure as a DH. Dunn’s already passed last year’s 11 home runs and says Pujols is a far better hitter than he. Bet he’s right.
20. PITTSBURGH PIRATES[up from 23]
Record : 18-20
Last 10 : 6-4

Andrew McCutchen is sailing right along, a cut above his Pirates’ mates as he leads the team in hits, runs and stolen bases. Getting over the .500 barrier for Pittsburgh seems like negotiating the Bermuda Triangle without a compass.
21. LOS ANGELES ANGELS[up from 22]
Record : 17-22
Last 10 : 5-5

Yup, it was the hitting coach. Firing Mickey Hatcher was all it took to unlock the sleeping Angels’ giant Albert Pujols who jumped over the Mendoza line(.200 average) and produced multiple RBI in back-to-back games. Mike Trout is adapting nicely to his return to the big leagues. He’s a keeper.

22. MILWAUKEE BREWERS[down from 20]
Record : 16-22
Last 10 : 4-6

A mid-May loss to Houston dropped the Brewers’ record to the same as the long-standing NL punching bag Astros. Not good. John Axford’s save streak was stopped at 49 but the disappointing Milwaukee starters aren’t providing the team with enough leads to benefit from their decent bullpen.

23. ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS[down from 14]
Record : 17-22
Last 10 : 3-7

For the first time since 2006, the Diamondbacks dropped five consecutive home series. Then they went on the road and not only lost to 49-year-old Colorado pitcher Jamie Moyer, but allowed him to knock in two runs in a 6-1 loss.
24. KANSAS CITY ROYALS[up from 30]
Record : 15-22
Last 10 : 6-4

Look if they can sweep the Rangers, albeit in a two-game series, the Royals must have something going for themselves other than hosting the all-star game. Then they lost a couple of left-handed starters Jonathan Sanchez and Danny Duffy to the DL, so maybe not.
25. SEATTLE MARINERS[no change]
Record : 16-24
Last 10 : 3-7

The Mariners hope for smoother sailing after their current road trip that winds up in Denver. They play 28 of their first 43 games away from Seattle and aren’t exactly a draw at opposition ballparks with their .232 team average. Italian import (Sanremo, Italy) Alex Liddi leads the team in hitting.
26. CHICAGO CUBS[up from 27]
Record : 15-24
Last 10 : 3-7

Since May, 2010 when he arrived in the major leagues, the Cubs’ Starlin Castro has more hits, nearly 400, than any other player in the National League. That’s the good news. Other than that, the wait for a winning team continues.
27. HOUSTON ASTROS[down from 24]
Record : 17-21
Last 10 : 4-6

Did we say that the Astros had the same record as the Milwaukee Brewers? Too bad this year’s Brewers are playing like the 1993 version that was in American League (winning percentage .426). But that’s where the Astros are headed – to the American League.
28. COLORADO ROCKIES[down from 21]
Record : 15-22
Last 10 : 3-7

The Rockies have an earned-run average higher than any team in baseball not named Minnesota. Meanwhile clean-up hitter Troy Tulowitzki was 1-for the month of May when it comes to runs batted in. That’s not a good combination.
29. SAN DIEGO PADRES[down from 28]
Record : 14-25
Last 10 : 5-5

How do you say motley crew in Spanish? We know they’re talking about moving the fences in in San Diego but the Padres with 15 homers in 38 games might have to hit it twice to reach the seats. Chase Headley is the one man power source with five long balls.

30. MINNESOTA TWINS[down from 29]
Record : 12-26
Last 10 : 5-5

Until they swept a mini two-game series in Detroit, the Twins were on a pace reminiscent of the 1962 Mets (40-120). Yeah, that bad! Scott Diamond, out of Gueph, Ont., won his first two starts without allowing a run, after being called up from AAA Rochester.