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BTB Power 30

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  1. Orioles (1) - Baltimore keeps chugging along, winning 7 of their last 10 and improving to 29-16. They're battling injuries right now; J-Lo broke his hand. We'll see if they make a move to compensate.
  2. White Sox (4) - Jumped up two spots due to yet another solid week. They still have the best record in baseball and, even if they went .500 here on out, they'd still have 90 or 91 wins. Even with that, they're stealing below the break-even point (67.5% in 74 attempts) and they're hitting .252/.318/.402
  3. Marlins (5) - The Marlins did what they needed to do with their schedule advantage: beat up on the D'Rays. They also continue to own the Phillies, taking two out of three yet again, and, as of writing, are 2 games up in the loss in first place.
  4. Twins (6) - Those pesky Twinkies really have a nice nucleus these days. Morneau is slumping a bit, but their pitching, led by Carlos Silva and his 2 walks in 60 innings, is exceptional.
  5. Cardinals (2) - They've won 7 of 10 and yet they dropped 3 spots. That's mainly due to Pythagenport, which ranks the Cards at #11. Either way, they should have the division fairly locked up by July.
  6. Red Sox (9) - Jason Varitek is hitting .326/.383/.582, tops among catchers around the bigs. Some fat third baseman is also hitting real well when he manages to play; The Greek God of the BB is hitting .353/.463/.441 in limited at bats.
  7. Braves (3) - Injuries shredding their already-questionable pitching staff. Hampton was due to regress, so losing him to injury isn't that big a loss, but Thomson hurts. If Davies keeps pitching well, they'll be OK.
  8. Yankees (12) - Still scalding hot even though they could have very easily lost the series to the Mets. Tino's cooling off; he's 2 for his last 17 with the bat.
  9. Padres (8) - Losing Loretta hurts, but it wasn't like he was hitting all that well. His isolated power of .044 was far, far too low for an everyday player, 2nd to last in the NL, only behind teammate Sean Burroughs.
  10. Blue Jays (14) - Refusing to go away, even though conventional wisdom says that they shouldn't be around with three really tough teams in the mix already. (The AL East has 4 in the top 10!) Gregg Zaun is hitting .273/.380/.465, and he's a career .250/.339/.375 hitter. Good luck to him.
  11. Nationals (7) - Injuries biting the pesky Nats (our second and final use of the word pesky) much like, well, gnats. Jose Guillen remains a crucial part of the team's success. That large falling object is Vinny Castilla regressing to the mean, as he's hit .228/.337/.329 in May.
  12. Mets (11) - It's easy to get caught up in hype about New York prospects, but, for a change, one is producing. David Wright is hitting .309/.407/.559 at the tender age of 22 years old. It's early, but damn, could he be something.
  13. Rangers (16) - The highest entry for the hapless AL West in any week we've had. They're tied for first as of now after a very hot week and are looking like a fairly solid pick to be in the race all year. Here's a strange stat: Richard Hidalgo has an .880 OPS AWAY from Coors Lite, and a .620 OPS there.
  14. Tigers (10) - The Tigers have 4 starters with slugging percentages over .450, which is surprising - Inge, Young, Guillen, and White.
  15. Dodgers (13) - Their struggles can be traced back to pitching, where they just haven't been good. They have a 4.84 team ERA, which is about as high as I can remember it having been in a long time, due to Dodger Stadium. J.D. Drew has been erratic, too; his .248/.371/.412 is well-below his expected levels. I think they'll turn it around at some point, but it has to start with some starting pitching.
  16. Brewers (17) - They beat up on one of the NL's two running jokes this year, the Rockies, most recently. In other news, Lyle Overbay is having a fantastic season, and Brady Clark, Bill Hall, Jeff Cirillo, Carlos Lee, and Russ Brayan have all been pretty good. That's a formula for a pretty good team. If the Cardinals weren't so far ahead, they'd be getting more press.
  17. Angels (21) - They still own a .297 team OBP, but they did jump up four spots. They're still a very polarizing team, but not as much as in the past, and not as much as another one on the list.
  18. Indians (19) - It's tough to saddle so much blame on one player, but is there anyone who has hurt their team more this year than Victor Martinez? The Indians haven't had any spectacular years in the lineup, but they've been average/slightly above across the board. They need that one bat... and it's supposed to be Vic. Instead, he's at .191/.266/.277. This isn't looking like the year for Cleveland.
  19. Diamondbacks (15) - The most controversial team on the list! As high as 4 (in SI.com's poll), and as low as 26 (in Pythagenport). They have a negative run differential (by 26 runs), and they're 8 games over .500. Here's one reason why they're winning: in 37 starts, Vazquez, Webb, Halsey, and Estes have a 3.41 ERA. That's a plus.
  20. Cubs (18) - Already 5.5 back of the wild card. It's still a possibility if the rotation stays healthy and they add another bat. Both big Ifs.
  21. Phillies (22) - Struggling to get their footing, it seems. Brett Myers has been excellent, but some of that comes from his .235 BABIP. His K/BB is over 4, though, and if that keeps up, he'll definitely be in the league's top 5 in ERA at year's end.
  22. Giants (20) - Ray Durham might have hit the second baseman cliff this year; his isolated power dropped off about 100 points this year. The Giants are still around, amazingly enough. Pedro Feliz has, to use the common expression, "filled in admirably" for Barry Bonds.
  23. Pirates (24) - Hanging in there in spite of a really bad first two months from Oliver Perez (he may be turning it around; stay tuned). They could win 75-80 games this year. And while some classify them there, they're much, much better than the Reds and Rockies.
  24. Mariners (25) - What's most disturbing about Beltre's early season slumps (.239/.262/.369) is the lack of walks. He has merely 5 walks (Jose Reyes territory) and has struck out 30 times. Not what you'd expect from a guy who made major strides in plate discipline last year.
  25. Devil Rays (26) - .337/.407/.538 = Delmon Young with the Montgomery Biscuits. He's coming...
  26. A's (27) - Nothing's clicking in Oakland, and, at some point, I'm going to have to give up the Oakland 1st place pick. I still believe that they're the best team in a weak division if they were healthy, but it wasn't meant to be. Bobby Kielty leads the team in VORP with 9.3.
  27. Astros (23) - Very similar to the A's in their hitting woes, but there's were more expected (Berkman will have to turn it around at some point...) For four straight years (2001-2004), I took the A's-Astros in the World Series. I didn't do it this year... that's looking solid right now.
  28. Royals (30) - Here's some good news, brought to you by Baseball America: "Despite his inexperience on the mound, Greinke commands four above-average pitches. His fastball sits between 91 and 93 mph, and he likes to move it in and out on hitters. He also has a slider with good tilt, along with a curveball and changeup. Because he has plenty of athleticism, a compact delivery and easy arm action, Greinke may increase his velocity as he progresses. If that happens, he would profile as a No. 1 starter. Greinke's infield experience makes him a good fielding pitcher who holds runners well." The bad news is pretty much everything else.
  29. Reds (29) - Things completely collapsed here. They're a bad team and it stems from an horrendous pitching staff and poor offseason evaluation of it. They're a long way from that 3-0 start.
  30. Rockies (28) - Young and crappy. I watched ESPN's DayGame on Wednesday between the Brewers and the Rockies, and the Brewers exploded in the first and never looked back. Perhaps even worse is that Ian Stewart's still not hitting; he's posting a .211/.279/.347 line in high-A. Ick.