The weekly power rankings are out and the members of the top tier have clearly separated themselves thus far. I'm still not completely sold on the Brew Crew, but they have earned their place with an impressive start. Much like the elite, the bottom is getting all too comfortable with their standing.
The Top Tier: Cream of the Crop
The class of the American League has already established a sizeable lead over the rest of the division. They have the look of a hungry team that has been close a few times and are now focused on winning it all.
San Francisco Giants
What a race the NL West is going to be. Colorado might fade, but the Dodgers and Giants will go at it all summer long. One thing is for sure: San Fran will never lack in the confidence department. They are 8-2 this month against contenders LA and Atlanta-- a good sign for them going forward.
Josh Donaldson really makes this team go. Anyone who thought his 2013 was a fluke was sadly mistaken. The rest of the lineup doesn’t blow you away, but they always seem to get someone to clutch up to the plate. It's time to give Bob Melvin a little more credit for making this team believe it is better than everyone else.
The late signing of Kyle Loshe last year flew under the radar, but it is starting to pay big dividends. Speaking of underrated, its time to give Jonathan Lucroy his due respect. Any catcher that hits in the middle of the order and can get the most out of his pitching staff is supremely valuable.
Los Angeles Angels
I think the league may have awoken a sleeping giant, when Mike Trout goes into the biggest slide of his young career and it coincides with a hot streak. That is a good thing. Garrett Richards has been a difference maker as a backend starter.
The Bottom Tier: Bottom of the Barrel
You have to admire their grit and toughness, but after a while losing takes a toll. In an eight-game span earlier in May, the Astros lost five games by one run each. Do you build on that? I hope they keep their heads up because they are in for a long 10-game road trip.
The Cubs could very well claim the title as worst in baseball. With a dismal May, Chicago has settled into their usual bottom-feeder status. They do have young talent in the minors, but this team is years away. What do we do in the meantime, Theo?
Starting their slow climb out of a monstrous hole, the D-Backs will have to do more than sacrifice a live chicken to turn around their issues at home. At 4-18, it is hard to be that bad on your own turf. Even worse is being kicked around by their hated rivals the Dodgers and more specifically Zach Grienke.
I'm a huge Ryne Sandberg fan, but this roster is a broken-down hay-burner. The J-Roll, Howard, Utley primes were so yesterday. At least Chase is giving it his all, hitting a crisp .347. It looks like the Phillies will be eating salary and flipping veterans at the end of July.
The Bucs looked like the 2013 edition in a recent four-game winning streak over the Giants and Cards, but then they promptly dropped three of four to halt any momentum. Road woes (5-12) have cooked them thus far. Starling Marte could end up being a star, but don’t be afraid to put the bat on the ball a little more often.