Every second week, CBCSports.ca's Mike Dennis breaks down the balance of power in Major League Baseball.
1. TEXAS RANGERS[no change]
Record : 35-26
Last 10 : 4-6

Even the Rangers have a hiccup once in a while, getting stifled on three hits while surrendering 12 runs to the punchless Oakland A’s. In the no surprise category, Josh Hamilton was named American League player of the month for the second straight month.
2. LOS ANGELES DODGERS[no change]
Record : 39-22
Last 10 : 7-3

The Dodgers have settled back to earth as well losing more than they’ve won in the last 10 games. Still they’re second in team batting average and near the top in pitching with Andre Ethier on pace for about 135 RBIs.
3. WASHINGTON NATIONALS[no change]
Record : 35-23
Last 10 : 6-4

Nationals are the only club with an ERA below three runs a game and they’ve been great at home. Now Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper and company get to test themselves against the American League East as they play five interleague series in succession against teams with winning records.
4. CHICAGO WHITE SOX[up from 19]
Record : 33-27
Last 10 : 5-5

Raise your hands all those who thought Chris Sale would be leading American League starters in earned-run average in June? OK, Robin Ventura, put your hand down. They’re giving the Tigers something to think about in the AL Central. Adam Dunn 18 homers! Alex Rios, becoming a real player again. Wow.
5. TAMPA BAY RAYS[no change]
Record : 35-25
Last 10 : 6-4

Yes, pitching can take you THIS far. The Rays’ worst starter is Matt Moore, whom experts say has better stuff than David Price who started the season 7-3 with a 2.44 ERA. Eva and Evan Longoria aren’t in the lineup but the Rays still have plenty of sting in the win column. Newest attraction: Godzilla Matsui.
6. MIAMI MARLINS[up from 11]
Record : 31-29
Last 10 : 3-7

Hey, they’re taking dead aim at The Thing, that Miamiesque sculpture thingy behind the fence in Marlins-land. Giancarlo Stanton has been punishing it, now former Marlin Dan Uggla of the Braves bashed it. Next up, probably pitcher Carlos Zambrano who has 24 career homers.
7. SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS[up from 18]
Record : 34-27
Last 10 : 7-3

Tim Lincecum, two-time Cy Young winner took an 0-4 record and 5.58 ERA into his start previous to Sunday and gave up just one hit with eight strikeouts in five innings. But he allowed four runs in the other inning he pitched and the Giants eventually lost. They’re 2-10 in his starts.
8. NEW YORK YANKEES[up from 9]
Record : 34-25
Last 10 : 8-2

Looks like it will be Andy Pettitte starring in the remake of Pride of the Yankees. The soon-to-be 40-year-old lefty ran his record to 3-2 and dropped his ERA to 2.78 with 7.1 innings of shutout baseball, with 10 K’s against Tampa Bay. Just imagine if he wasn’t rusty from taking 16 months off.
9. NEW YORK METS[up from 10]
Record : 32-29
Last 10 : 4-6

From the bionic arm of no-hit man Johan Santana to the fluttering butterfly offerings of R.A. Dickey the Mets continue in the race for NL East supremacy. The two hurlers have combined for 11 wins while 3B David Wright continues to challenge for the batting title.
10. BALTIMORE ORIOLES[down from 6]
Record : 34-26
Last 10 : 5-5

A stretch of four wins in 14 games changed the Orioles’ tune as injuries threatened to wipe out their entire outfield. Nick Markakis joined Nolan Reimold on the DL and Adam Jones, freshly signed to a long-term contract, battled through wrist problems. Mr. Perfect, closer Jim Johnson, blew a save after opening the season with 17 successful attempts.
11. CINCINNATI REDS[up from 14]
Record : 32-27
Last 10 : 4-6

The Reds are benefitting from playing in the lacklustre NL Central and as the only team well above .500 they’re in the driver’s seat. Aroldis Chapman has four wins, six saves and still hasn’t given up a run this season. That’ll play.
12. ATLANTA BRAVES[down from 4]
Record : 34-26
Last 10 : 8-2

Tim Hudson went into Miami and shut out the Marlins with a complete game five-hitter to run his record to 4-2. A revived Martin Prado is leading the offence while manning third base for Chipper Jones. Biggest problem is a poor record within the division.
13. TORONTO BLUE JAYS[no change]
Record : 31-29
Last 10 : 5-5

Shifted into the No. 2 spot in the lineup, Colby Rasmus enjoyed his first career five-hit game and Brett Lawrie thrived as the leadoff hitter hiking his average near .290. Jose Bautista is up to 15 homers, 40 RBIs and still isn’t locked in yet. June could be explosive.
14. CLEVELAND INDIANS[down from 8]
Record : 32-27
Last 10 : 5-5

Those Lake Erie midges that the Indians sometimes summon to bother the opposition (remember when they swarmed Joba Chamberlain of the Yankees?) might be useful against left-handed starters. The Clevelanders were only 5-12 against portside hurlers.
15. BOSTON RED SOX[up from 16]
Record : 29-31
Last 10 : 3-7

Daniel Bard’s Wild Thing imitation at the Rogers Centre (six walks, two hit batters in less than two innings) earned the Red Sox starter a trip to Rhode Island. Also a change of jersey to Pawtucket at AAA. Despite missing as many as three regulars the Boston attack is second only to Texas.
16. LOS ANGELES ANGELS[up from 21]
Record : 32-29
Last 10 : 6-4

While waiting for Albert Pujols’s bat to heat up – it finally did with eight homers in May – the Angels solved another problem with a little Colombian magic. He’s called Ernesto Frieri, obtained from San Diego, and he’s striking out nearly two batters per inning, now as the Angels closer.
17. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS[down from 7]
Record : 31-30
Last 10 : 4-6

A repeat World Series triumph may not be in the Cards for St. Louis. O.K. that’s stating the obvious but the club’s troubles extend beyond winning only one of a four-game series against the Mets. Lefty starter Jamie Garcia bowed out after allowing six runs in two innings against the Astros. Only Lance Lynn’s 8-2 record is keeping them around .500.
18. PITTSBURGH PIRATES[up from 20]
Record : 32-27
Last 10 : 8-2

The best team in Pennsylvania? Easy, it’s the Pirates. Yes, they’re above .500 again. James McDonald has an ERA of 2.14 and has allowed one run or less in five of his last six starts. Andrew McCutchen leads the Buckos in hits, homers, RBI and stolen bases. There’s hope in western Pa.
19. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES [down from 15]
Record : 29-33
Last 10 : 2-8

Hello there, Phillies. Cliff Lee (0-3) can’t buy a win. Roy Halladay’s got three more weeks on the sidelines before he can begin to throw again. Jonathan Papelbon is trying to assign umpires to the minor leagues. For the love of (manager) Charlie Manuel these aren’t your father’s Phillies. Not even close.
20. DETROIT TIGERS[down from 12]
Record : 28-32
Last 10 : 5-5

Right there in the race for most disappointing contender, your Detroit Tigers. You might call them hamstrung with catcher Alex Avila going on the DL with a hamstring problem just days after his backup Gerald Laird dove into a base as he felt his hamstring knot up. Even Justin Verlander lost three starts in a row for the first time since 2008.

21. MILWAUKEE BREWERS[up from 22]
Record : 28-32
Last 10 : 6-4

Zack Greinke lent his talent appraising eye to the Brewers’ war room during the amateur draft and then used his arm to become only the fourth pitcher to win his first 15 decisions in a ballpark since 1900 (Miller Field) with a 12-strikeout, two-hit, seven-inning shutout. Maybe Zack won’t leave as a free agent after the season after all.

22. SEATTLE MARINERS[up from 25]
Record : 27-35
Last 10 : 5-5

66 runs in a nine-game road trip. By the Mariners? Returning Ichiro to the leadoff spot didn’t create this chain reaction, did it? Kyle Seager has knocked in 22 of his 36 runs with two outs. Still don’t have 10 wins at home for the season yet.
23. ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS[no change]
Record : 30-30
Last 10 : 8-2

Lyle Overbay and John McDonald have two of the best averages on the Diamondbacks but have combined for only 42 hits. Paul Goldschmidt, who took over first base for Overbay, leads the team in homers and RBI and rookie Wade Miley has a 7-2 record.
24. OAKLAND ATHLETICS[down from 17]
Record : 26-35
Last 10 : 4-6

Since the swinging-and-missing A’s know they aren’t going to get any offence they’re outpitching opponents to keep fans entertained. Rookie Jarrod Parker one-hit Texas for eight innings and the rejuvenated Bartolo Colon, age 39, shut out the Rangers on five hits in back to back starts.
25. KANSAS CITY ROYALS[down from 24]
Record : 24-34
Last 10 : 4-6

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.
26. COLORADO ROCKIES[up from 28]
Record : 24-35
Last 10 : 4-6

Hard to say how the Rockies managed to win seven of 10 games recently when their team ERA is over five runs a game and the top winner on the staff tops out at three victories. Carlos Gonzalez carries on as a one-man offence with Troy Tulowitzki sidelined but prospects aren’t too lofty in the Mile High City.
27. HOUSTON ASTROS[no change]
Record : 26-34
Last 10 : 4-6

At least the Astros won their trade with Boston when they received everyday shortstop Jed Lowrie (.283, nine homers) for reliever Mark Melancon, who imploded with the Red Sox and just returned from a stint at AAA Pawtucket. We’ll see how Houston does when they move to the AL West next year.

28. MINNESOTA TWINS[up from 30]
Record : 24-35
Last 10 : 7-3

When Justin Morneau’s back, Joe Mauer’s hurting. Back and forth they go, swapping maladies. Mauer is bothered by a thumb problem now just as Morneau has begun to heat up. That 5.15 team ERA isn’t helping much either.

29. SAN DIEGO PADRES[no change]
Record : 20-41
Last 10 : 3-7

Carlos Quentin couldn’t have been much hotter in his scalding return from the DL. After missing 49 games due to knee surgery, the two-time all-star with the White Sox banged out 13 hits including five homers in his first seven games back. He’ll soon surpass Chase Headley, virtually the only Padre that’s shown any sock.
30. CHICAGO CUBS[down from 26]
Record : 20-40
Last 10 : 2-8

The Cubs got their man, drafting Florida high school outfielder Albert Almora as the 6th pick overall in the amateur draft. So give them three, four, five years and he’ll be ready to help their lineup. Shhh, don’t want to scare the youngster.