MLB power rankings: Beware the Giants

Off-season acquisition Tim Hudson has been a big part of a dominant Giants' pitching staff.

Winners of nine of their last 10 games, the Giants move into the top spot. After holding the Braves to just three runs in a three-game sweep, can San Francisco’s pitching keep it up without injured Matt Cain?

The Brewers took two of three games against the Cardinals but dropped a four-game series against the Reds. With Ryan Braun on the DL and Carlos Gomez’s looming suspension, who will step up in the lineup?

Riding a five-game winning streak entering the week, the Tigers are set to face the Astros and Twins during a seven-game home stand. Detroit could have some serious momentum after the week is over.

The one-two-three punch of Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir and Jesse Chavez is making the A’s a tough team to beat once again, but the bullpen still needs to step up to the next level.

Can a team win with offense alone? The Rockies are proving it can be done. Colorado has won five-straight series with baseball’s best offense despite its pitchers’ continuing struggles.

Clayton Kershaw is set to return from the DL on Tuesday, but the Dodgers lost Hyun-Jin Ryu to the 15-day DL. Despite being down another pitcher, LA is looking fine with Kershaw rejoining Zack Greinke and Dan Haren.

The Rangers’ bats went quiet last week, resulting in a sweep at home against the A’s. The offense was able to get back on track Sunday against the Angels backing staff ace Yu Darvish in a 14-3 rout.

D-backs headlines

The starting pitching is supposed to be St. Louis’ strongest asset, but with Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha taking the loss in consecutive starts, the Cardinals are sitting with a .500 record entering the week.

Just a week ago, it looked as if the Braves were going to sprint through the summer into October, but after a six-game losing streak, Atlanta has put every other NL East team at most 1.5 games out of first place.

The Reds took three of four from the Brewers to gain some momentum. They are hoping Jay Bruce’s DL stint won’t halt the recent surge.

The Nationals haven’t blown any doors off with a luke-warm start, but they’ve yet to spend a day under .500 this season in an increasingly interesting NL East race.

CC Sabathia isn’t looking like the ace his exorbitant contract suggests after allowing 19 hits in his last 8.2 innings pitched, due in part to his steep drop in velocity this season.

The bats have yet to find their groove as the calendar turns to May, but Jon Lester continues to pitch at a high level after striking out a career-high 15 batters in eight scoreless innings Saturday against the A’s.

Just as David Freese was looking to break out of his slump at the plate, he lands on the DL with a broken finger as a result of being hit by a pitch.

Ubaldo Jimenez finally turned in a quality start, picking up a win against the Twins Friday night.

Gallery

With Alex Cobb and Jeremy Hellickson still far from returning, and Matt Moore gone for the season, the Rays’ fill-in pitching staff, led by Erik Bedard, has been doing a decent job keeping Tampa Bay afloat.

Offensive inconsistency is plaguing the Royals as the second month of play begins. The talent is there but will need to click soon before Kansas City gets buried in the standings.

The Mets expected Curtis Granderson to be a solid force in the lineup, but the outfielder is hitting .173/.281/.269 with only two homers after one month with his new team.

If the Phillies want to make a surprise run this season, they will need Cole Hamels to get it going. The lefty started the season on the DL but has underwhelmed with a 6.75 ERA in two starts this season.

After sweeping the Braves to begin the week and taking two of three against the Dodgers over the weekend, the Marlins are sitting at 16-15 overall, including a 14-5 record at home.

Rookie Jose Abreu continues to rake, but the rest of the offense is cooling off considerably. Considering the struggles of the pitching staff, the White Sox could be in trouble.

A struggling bullpen has been the primary culprit in the Blue Jays losing four consecutive series.

The Mariners’ offense continues to struggle, but with the return of Hisashi Iwakuma, who allowed four runs in 6.2 innings Saturday, the pressure should lighten some.

The Twins were swept by the Dodgers at home but gained back some momentum with a series win against the Orioles over the weekend.

Corey Kluber was lights out on Sunday, striking out a career-high 13 batters over eight innings in a no-decision against the White Sox.

Pittsburgh finally won a series, taking two of three against the Blue Jays. They’ll need to turn things around quickly before the season gets out of hand.

How bad are the Padres offensively? As a team they are averaging fewer than three runs per game, and a good chunk of the lineup is hitting below .200 entering the week.

Starlin Castro is batting .375 in eight games out of the cleanup slot and Anthony Rizzo continues to produce at an impressive rate.

Quality starts from Bronson Arroyo and Brandon McCarthy last week have the Diamondbacks hoping their pitching woes are behind them.

George Springer has yet to produce in the majors after tearing up the minors. With the Astros freefalling once again, other top prospects could get a call soon.