The Red Sox are back, and so is Big Papi, who hasn’t seemed to skip a step after missing the beginning of the season. One month in the books and Boston is sitting on top of the AL East standings.
2. Rangers 16-9 +2
The lineup has turned the power back on, and young, inexperienced pitchers Nick Tepesch and Justin Grimm are looking like seasoned veterans after the news that ace Matt Harrison will be out until July.
3. Braves 15-9 -2
The Braves aren’t quite as dominant as they were at the beginning of the season, but are still strong with Justin Upton’s slugging — if he can continue his hot streak.
4. Rockies 15-10 +2
This season’s biggest surprise hasn’t let down yet. The Rockies are showing the baseball world they have their eyes set on another long October playoff run. 5. Royals 13-9 +6
The Royals are still sitting on top of their division at the end of April, making themselves at home for the long haul of the season if the excellent pitching and hitting can continue.
6. Cardinals 14-10 -2
Four teams look to be strong enough to take the NL Central, but the Cardinals are always one of the toughest outs in the division. Strong pitching and timely hitting makes a winning formula in St. Louis. 7. Giants 13-12 -5
What’s wrong with Matt Cain? The pitcher isn’t anywhere near the level of success he had last season, but at least the Giants are getting contributions from other sources to remain one of the league’s best. 8. Tigers 13-10 +2
Swept by the Angels, then gets a sweep against the Braves; these Tigers are hard to figure out. If Anibal Sanchez can even come close to repeating his 17 strikeout outing against Atlanta, Detroit can go far this season. 9. Orioles 15-10 +3
There appears to be no slowing down the Orioles’ lineup as long as Chris Davis and Adam Jones keep hitting. The rotation is starting to show signs of improvement, making Baltimore a dangerous opponent.
10. Athletics 14-12 -7
It was a rough week for the Athletics, losing three straight series. After being one of the best teams rolling out of the gates, Oakland has fallen flat as the first month of the season reaches an end. 11. Nationals 13-12 -2
The Nationals were below .500 for the first time since 2011 after getting swept by the Cardinals, but made a comeback looking dominant against another highly ranked opponent in the Reds to get back on track.
12. Yankees 15-9 +2
No Derek Jeter? No problem. The shortstop vows to play again this season, but the Yankees appear to doing just fine without their captain. Mariano Rivera has come back this season playing like he is still far away from retirement. 13. Reds 14-12 -6
The Reds perhaps got a little complacent with three straight series wins against sub-.500 opponents until getting a reality check visiting the Nationals. Cincinnati needs consistency to win the tough NL Central. 14. Pirates 15-10 +3
Will this be the year the Pirates finally finish above .500? If they can keep up this progress, it could be possible as they continue to take series after series from legit teams.
15. Diamondbacks 15-10 -2
Solid defense is the key to the Diamondbacks’ success early in the season. They might not have the most exciting team on the field, but solid fundamentals will get you far in this league.
16. Brewers 12-11 +3
Nothing like a nine-game winning streak to get back on track. The Brewers shook off their woes from earlier in the month to start winning just as people were starting to write them off.
17. Mets 10-13 -1
The Mets aren’t looking as good as they were at the start of the season, but Matt Harvey is still the talk of the Big Apple with his exceptional play for the first month of the season.
18. Dodgers 12-12 -3
Matt Kemp is turning around a bad start to the season, but the Dodgers still need him to be better. Hanley Ramirez’s probable return should create a spark in the lineup, taking some pressure off Kemp.
19. Rays 12-13 +1
As the calendar turns over to May, David Price finally picked up his first win but his ERA still makes him look like a bottom-of-the-rotation pitcher instead of a Cy Young winner. Matt Moore is filling the void, as he has yet to lose a game.
20. Angels 9-15 -2
The Angels were expected to do good things this season but have yet to live even close to those expectations. Road games haven’t been good for the Halos as they have only won three games away from Anaheim as of Sunday.
21. Blue Jays 9-17 +1
Things are looking bleak in Toronto. The Blue Jays aren’t playing well enough to pull ahead or keep the lead in close games with a team that, on paper anyway, should have several All-Star players.
22. Phillies 12-14 -1
The Phillies are showing signs of breaking out of their slump as the bats have shown more life as of late. That’s helped out their struggling pitching staff, which has taken longer than expected to settle in for the long season. 23. White Sox 10-14 +2
Run support is still a problem for the White Sox, but, luckily, Jake Peavy is pitching well enough in his starts to make it by most teams. Still, pitchers always like to have some support behind their work. 24. Twins 11-10 -1
The weather in Minnesota is finally starting to warm up as May approaches, but the lineup hasn’t gotten the memo as the bats remain cold. 25. Mariners 11-16 +1
Times aren’t the best for the Mariners, but at least fans have Felix Hernandez to look forward to every five days. The Seattle ace picked up his 100th career win vs. the Astros last week.
26. Indians 9-13 -2
The Indians’ pitching is still a problem, as this team tends to streak in the wrong direction. The offense can only do so much with the players they currently have on the roster.
27. Cubs 9-15 —
The Cubs finally won another series this season. Unfortunately it came against the Marlins, who have had the roughest start in baseball for the first month of the season. 28. Padres 9-15 —
The Padres have managed a few exciting wins this season, but long losing streaks have proved to be their downfall this season with a rebuilding team.
29. Astros 7-18 —
The Astros find themselves right back at the bottom. After looking to have a few sparks, Houston isn’t adjusting as well as it hoped to the American League.
30. Marlins 6-19 —
Giancarlo Stanton was able to get the monkey off his back, hitting his first home run of the season. He then went 3-for-3, knocking out two home runs against the Cubs on Sunday to avoid a sweep.