Every second week, CBCSports.ca's Mike Dennis breaks down the balance of power in Major League Baseball.
1. NEW YORK YANKEES[up from 8]
Record : 41-27
Last 10 : 8-2

A little 10-game winning streak and voila! Look who’s on top of the American League East. The Bronx Bombers were the first team to surpass 100 home runs and Alex Rodriguez, even with a modest-for-him 11 homers, 32 RBI, managed to tie Lou Gehrig for most grand slam homers at 23.
2. LOS ANGELES DODGERS[no change]
Record : 42-8
Last 10 : 4-6

Surprisingly that it’s Chris Capuano who leads the Dodgers in wins (eight) and earned -run average (2.71) ahead of Clayton Kershaw, but the latter hasn’t enjoyed the same offensive support, especially with injured Matt Kemp still sidelined. Shortstop Dee Gordon among the steals leaders though his batting average is low.
3. TEXAS RANGERS[down from 1]
Record : 43-7
Last 10 : 9-1

No surprise that Yu Darvish would run his record to 9-4 and now he has a batting average with his first major league hit as he singled at San Diego. Fill-in starter Scott Feldman notched his first win of the season, at the Padres’ expense, after a 0-6 start.
4. WASHINGTON NATIONALS[down from 3]
Record : 40-27
Last 10 : 6-4

First, Nationals manager Davey Johnson had the glove of Tampa Bay’s Joel Peralta checked, leading to the relief pitcher’s eight-game suspension for excessive use of pine tar. But Johnson soon may have to put a restraining order on his ace Stephen Strasburg, who faces an innings limitation after last year’s elbow surgery. Strasburg, 9-1, struck out 110 batters in his first 84 innings.
5. SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS[up from 7]
Record : 38-32
Last 10 : 4-6

Tim Lincecum (2-8) and Barry Zito (5-5) may be lost in the San Francisco Bay area fog as far as their pitching goes, but Matt Cain is still able to turn heads with his fascinating form. The powerful righty followed up his perfect game with his eighth straight win.
6. CINCINNATI REDS[up from 11]
Record : 38-30
Last 10 : 6-4

Joey Votto of the Reds is making a nice bid for his first batting as he hit .367 through June 21. The Toronto-born first baseman finished second in the National League in average two years ago when he collected the MVP award.
7. BALTIMORE ORIOLES[up from 10]
Record : 39-30
Last 10 : 6-4

The Orioles received a nice boost with the return of second baseman and leadoff man Brian Roberts, who missed more than a year due to concussion symptoms. The career .281 hitter has 274 stolen bases.
8. TAMPA BAY RAYS[down from 5]
Record : 38-31
Last 10 : 4-6

Not exactly a shining week for the Rays. The core of the team, third baseman Evan Longoria, had to back off a rehab assignment, rookie of the year Jeremy Hellickson went on the DL with arm soreness and there was that Maddon Meltdown. Manager Joe got into a hissy fit with Davey Johnson over the Peralta pine tar episode calling him among other things, a coward. Say it ain’t so, Joe.
9. NEW YORK METS[no change]
Record : 38-32
Last 10 : 6-4

Not sure if a July trip to Kansas City was in R.A. Dickey’s plans at the beginning of the season, but the Mets hurler better put aside some all-star time to represent the National League. Back to back one-hitters a la Dave Stieb of the Blue Jays and a 11-1 record will do that for you.
10. ATLANTA BRAVES[up from 12]
Record : 37-32
Last 10 : 3-7

The Braves started slowly, gathered momentum to challenge in the NL East and then Brandon Beachy went down. The 23-year-old was chopping down hitters with a league-leading 2.00 ERA when word came he had partially torn his elbow ligament and required Tommy John surgery. Bummer!.
11. CHICAGO WHITE SOX[down from 4]
Record : 36-33
Last 10 : 3-7

Currently battling Cleveland for AL Central supremacy, the White Sox continue to travel on the backs of captain Paul Konerko, the revived Adam Dunn and the reconstructed Jake Peavy. The unheralded Konerko leads the AL in average; Dunn tops all MLB with 23 homers and Peavy has been remarkably steady with a 6-3 record and 2.74 ERA.
12. PITTSBURGH PIRATES[up from 18]
Record : 36-32
Last 10 : 5-5

It’s a given that Andrew McCutchen provides all-star offence for the Pirates, but who knew A.J Burnett would take to western Pennsylvania so well. That adds up to a 7-2 record, 3.52 ERA and a nice 1-2 punch at the front of the rotation with James McDonald (6-3).
13. LOS ANGELES ANGELS[up from 16]
Record : 38-32
Last 10 : 7-3

Never mind Albert Pujols and the recently activated Jered Weaver, these Angels are soaring on the wings of rookie Mike Trout and sophomore Mark Trumbo. Call them T ‘n T. Trumbo, with 17 homers, hits balls hard and far enough to draw praise from Pujols while five-tool player Trout leads the team in average and steals while playing Gold Glove-calibre defence in centre.
14. CLEVELAND INDIANS[no change]
Record : 36-32
Last 10 : 5-5

The Indians are the epitome of hot and cold, sweeping Cincy after dropping an interleague series to the Pirates. Johnny Damon is helping to keep the chill off, outfitting his teammates with monogrammed bathrobes for the clubhouse. The veteran DH is also finally heating up with the bat as well.
15. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS[up from 17]
Record : 35-35
Last 10 : 4-6

The Cardinals weren’t sure that Carlos Beltran (19 homers, 48 RBIs) would be the one to carry the offence while Matt Holiday was missing, but the Cards also took a turn for the better with Allen Craig heating up. After missing time with a hamstring injury Craig leads the club in average with nearly an RBI per game since his return.
16. BOSTON RED SOX[down from 15]
Record : 36-33
Last 10 : 7-3

Fenway Park’s clubhouse is 100 years old, but toxic? Not according to Big Papi, David Ortiz, who ripped the media for harping on all things negative in Boston. The 36-year-old Ortiz is on pace for a 40-homer/100-RBI campaign and continues to punish left-handed pitchers, tattooing the Green Monster with his opposite field drives.
17. TORONTO BLUE JAYS[down from 13]
Record : 35-34
Last 10 : 5-5

You have to love the first four hitters in the Blue Jays lineup. Brett Lawrie, Colby Rasmus, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion are certainly driving the ball. But losing three-fifths of their rotation (Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek, Drew Hutchison) is clearly going to destroy both the bullpen and the club’s confidence.
18. MIAMI MARLINS[down from 6]
Record : 33-36
Last 10 : 2-8

A Miami vice for the Marlins is a June swoon that threatens to send manager Ozzie Guillen seeking asylum in Cuba. While Giancarlo Stanton and Hanley Ramirez supply the power and Jose Reyes the speed, the Marlins pitching has gone south, especially in interleague play.
19. ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS[up from 23]
Record : 34-35
Last 10 : 5-5

While hovering near the .500 mark, the Diamondbacks got to celebrate Aaron Hill’s cycle against Seattle. Hill finished off the fifth cycle in Arizona’s history with a seventh-inning homer. Inspired, the D-backs smashed six home runs one night later to again punish the M’s.
20. DETROIT TIGERS[no change]
Record : 34-35
Last 10 : 7-3

A little Austin Jackson seems to be going a long way towards reviving the toothless Tigers. They’ve roared back into the AL Central chase with a nice 7-3 record once the speedy centre-fielder returned from injury. Jackson’s replacement, Quintin Berry, provided a walk-off hit in extra innings against the Cardinals.
21. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES [down from 19]
Record : 33-38
Last 10 : 4-6

Jim Thome did what he does best, smashing four home runs as a DH during interleague play. Only problem is interleague play ends this weekend and Thome goes back to being the occasional bat off the bench. The other problem is that the Phillies already have a lot of occasional bats.

22. MILWAUKEE BREWERS[down from 21]
Record : 32-37
Last 10 : 5-5

Nice to see Ryan Braun hit his stride as he reached the 20-homer plateau during the Brewers home-run extravaganza against the Blue Jays. The teams combined for 16 long balls in the three game series.

23. OAKLAND ATHLETICS[up from 24]
Record : 34-36
Last 10 : 8-2

A change in positions was the turning point to get Brandon Moss and his bat into the Oakland A’s lineup. The outfielder-turned first baseman didn’t pan out with Boston, Pittsburgh or Philadelphia but was named an AL player of the week once he joined the A’s and had seven homers in his first 14 games.
24. KANSAS CITY ROYALS[up from 25]
Record : 31-36
Last 10 : 7-3

The foresight to sign Jonathan Broxton despite doubts about his recovery from injury is paying off for the Royals. As a replacement for closer Joakim Soria, Broxton’s provided 18 saves in 21 opportunities. Meanwhile, the KC offence is not a sunshine band of sluggers with no one hitting over .300.
25. SEATTLE MARINERS[down from 22]
Record : 30-41
Last 10 : 3-7

After struggling in his return to the lead-off spot Ichiro Suzuki reached the 2,500 hit-mark in just his 12th big-league campaign. Justin Smoak is providing the rest of the fire for the attack as the only Mariner in double figures in homers and the RBI leader with 31.
26. HOUSTON ASTROS[up from 27]
Record : 28-41
Last 10 : 3-7

That annual summer festival in Houston that the Astros like to call the trade deadline square dance is heating up. Stepping to the forefront in the exchange of partners are Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers, the latter with additional value with 16 saves. Swing your partners, round and round.

27. MINNESOTA TWINS[up from 28]
Record : 27-41
Last 10 : 3-7

OK, I’m not going to talk about Joe Mauer’s latest injury. How about the legend of Trevor Plouffe? He celebrated his 26th birthday mid-month with his seventh homer in as many games and ninth for the month of June. Entering this year, Plouffe had 10 homers his entire career.

28. COLORADO ROCKIES[down from 26]
Record : 26-42
Last 10 : 2-8

Nice that former Blue Jay Marco Scutaro agreed to slide over to second base for the Rockies. Now he’s back at shortstop again, but the bad news for the Denver ballclub is that Troy Tulowitzki is out of the lineup due to groin surgery. Vancouver’s Jeff Francis had a nice start helping the Rockies knock off the Phillies.
29. SAN DIEGO PADRES[no change]
Record : 24-46
Last 10 : 4-6

Here’s all you need to know about the Padres. As a team they’ve hit fewer homers than the combination of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. And they’re tied with the Cubs for the least amount of wins.
30. CHICAGO CUBS[no change]
Record : 24-45
Last 10 : 5-5

The Cubs got a nicely pitched game out of potential trade piece Ryan Dempster against the Red Sox in the first meeting of team president’s Theo Epstein old and new teams. Then Dempster went on the DL putting his exchange value into the dumpster.