MLB power rankings: Brewers bash way to top

At 15-5, the Brewers -- coming off a nine-game winning streak -- have the best record in baseball.

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Brew Crew made a big jump to take over the top spot in this week’s rankings, but the short-handed Braves and surprising A’s are close behind.

1. Brewers    15-5     +7

The Brewers’ nine-game win streak came to an end when they dropped two to the Cardinals to start last week. Still, Milwaukee’s hot start to the season has been remarkable, as hardly anyone saw it coming prior to the season.

2. Braves    13-6     +3

Turns out injuries to the rotation were one of the best things to happen to the Braves. Aaron Harang, who joined the team late in March, has been nothing short of spectacular after failing to make the Indians’ 25-man roster.

3. Athletics    13-5     +1

The A’s enter the week with the AL’s best record, doing so with the majors’ best run differential at +32. Oakland has yet to play a team over .500, so this week’s test against the Rangers will be must-see baseball.

4. Dodgers    12-7     -1

Dee Gordon is off to a hot start this season, hitting .367/.409/.483 with an NL-leading 10 steals through Sunday, giving the Dodgers a spark at the top of the order.

5. Cardinals    11-9     +1

The Cardinals managed to stop the Brewers’ nine-game winning streak, taking the three-game series last week, but St. Louis loses Joe Kelly and his 0.59 ERA in the rotation, replacing him with Triple-A call up Tyler Lyons.

6. Tigers    9-7     -4

Offseason acquisition Ian Kinsler is paying off for the Tigers, hitting .317/.353/.476 in his first 15 games in Detroit. Miguel Cabrera, however, is still working through his rough start in ’14.

7. Rangers    11-8     +6

After plaguing the team early in the season, mostly due to injuries, the Rangers’ starting pitching is finally showing its strength. Just in time, as the A’s are still not slowing down in the divisional race.

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8. Giants    11-9     -1

The Giants’ offense is off to a slow start, but the team is hoping a three-game series in hitter-friendly Colorado this week can help San Francisco get the bats back on track.

9.  Rays    9-10     -8

The Ray’s depth was supposed to be a strong point, but when tested with two top starting pitchers hitting the DL last week, Tampa Bay struggled find wins until the offense showed up Friday and Saturday against the Yankees.

10. Yankees    11-8     —

Mark Teixeira’s return from the DL is a welcome site for the Yankees providing a stable Gold Glove Award winner at first base instead of using a variety of fill-in players since he went down on April 4.

11. Nationals    11-9     -2

Nationals manager Matt Williams showed this week he will accept nothing less than 100 percent from his players after benching young star Bryce Harper for not hustling to first base on a ground out on Saturday.

12. Royals    9-9     +5

After a rough start caused by the offense not hitting at the level it should, the Royals received the gift of playing the Astros and Twins last week and delivered with a five-game win streak that ended Sunday.

13. Red Sox    9-11     -1

The pitching, led by Jon Lester, has been lights-out this season. The bats, however, have yet to find success as the Red Sox are off to a slow start in defense of last season’s World Series title.

14. Reds    8-11     +2

Joey Votto is good, but he can’t do it all for the Reds. Enter catcher Devin Mesoraco, who returned from the DL April 8 and has be on fire since hitting .515 with three homers and 11 RBI through Sunday.

15. Pirates    9-11     -4

Pittsburgh is going to have to find a way to beat the Brewers if they’re planning on making a return trip to the playoffs. So far, the Pirates are just 1-6 against their division rivals.

16. Blue Jays    10-9     +4

Mark Buehrle has been nearly flawless for the Blue Jays this season. He is leading the league with his 0.64 ERA along with tying St. Louis’ Lance Lynn for the league’s most wins with four entering the week.

17. Indians    9-10     -3

The Indians are expecting big things from Carlos Santana this season. But so far the catcher turned third baseman has struggled, starting ‘14 with a .145 average with just one homer and three RBI in 18 games.

18. Angels    9-10     —

With Josh Hamilton out for a good chunk of the season, the Angels turn toward Albert Pujols to return to his MVP form. It appears the first baseman may be doing so with six homers and 14 RBI on the season.

19. Orioles    9-9     +2

After smashing 53 home runs last season, Chris Davis isn’t getting the chance to hit as often. He is leading the Orioles with 10 walks through Sunday, resulting in just one homer and eight RBI in 17 games.

20. Mariners    7-11     -5

Robinson Cano has one home run and just three doubles in 18 games played this season. The Mariners aren’t paying their new second baseman the big bucks to hit only singles.

21. Rockies    11-10     +2

The Rockies offense is still hitting at an amazing level with 106 runs scored through Sunday, but the pitching has still yet to come around. Jhoulys Chacin and Brett Anderson on the DL isn’t helping Colorado’s situation either.

22. White Sox    10-10     -3

Alexei Ramirez’ 17-game hitting streak came to a halt Saturday while the White Sox struggled through a rough week against Boston and Texas with the exception of Sunday’s big 16-2 win against the Rangers.

23. Padres    9-11     +1

The anemic lineup has plagued the Padres so far in the season. Bud Black needs hitters like Jedd Gyorko (.145 BA), Chase Headley (.190 BA) and Will Venable (.234 BA) to get off the snide.

24. Marlins    9-11     +2

Giancarlo Stanton is leading the league with 26 RBI through Sunday, and is tied for the league lead in home runs with six. The Marlins slugger’s 24 strikeouts in 19 games do raise a [slight] red flag, however.

25. Twins    9-9     —

The Twins hope to get more out of their staple star Joe Mauer who has struck out 22 times in 18 games. Luckily Chris Colabello hasn’t slowed down with his AL-leading 20 RBI.

26. Phillies    8-10     -4

Chase Utley is still sporting great stats; too bad the same can’t be said about the rest of the Phillies’ offense, or the bullpen for that matter.

27. Mets    10-9     —

Jose Valverde is out as the Mets’ closer after struggling recently to keep the ball in the park. Kyle Farnsworth will step in to take over the ninth-inning duties.

28. Cubs    6-12     +1

Starting pitching has performed well enough to keep the Cubs in games, but so far the offense has failed to back up the rotation’s decent outings with any runs.

29. Astros    5-14     -1

Houston wasn’t expected to compete for the playoffs, but it was thought that the Astros would at least improve. So far, it’s not looking good, as Bo Porter’s crew is in a seven-game losing streak entering the week.

30. Diamondbacks    5-17     —

Why are the Diamondbacks sitting with the MLB’s worst record entering the week? Look no further than the pitching staff’s league-worst 5.70 ERA.