FLYING HIGH: The O's, under Buck Showalter, are taking the A.L. East by storm. How long can they keep it going? Are they this year's October surprise? Photo courtesy: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

We’re halfway through May and the talented teams that continue to struggle are beginning to feel the pressure increase exponentially. An interesting case study will be the Marlins versus the Angels. Both teams had slow starts out of the gates but Miami is turning it around. If the trends continue, Miami may find themselves in a pennant race by the All-Star Break while Los Angeles’ season may be over in June.

Speaking of Los Angeles, if you told me L.A. and Texas were the two best teams in baseball before the season, I might’ve believed you. But the Los Angeles DODGERS? No way. Last year’s big surprise, the Diamondbacks, came out of the same division and it may be Chavez Ravine’s turn to steal the limelight.

Also further validating their hot start is the Orioles. I didn’t want to believe there was anything behind how Baltimore came out of the gates, but they’re starting to change my mind. Buck Showalter doesn’t just have this team firing on all cylinders, he’s mainlining NOS into the engine.

But those are just the highlights from the last two weeks. Here are the latest COMPLETE rankings…


1. Texas Rangers | 23-12 (10-6 Home, 13-6 Road) [Change From Last Ranking: ± 0]
Texas and L.A. really are 1a and 1b. Josh Hamilton is putting the “power” in Power Rankings.

2. Los Angeles Dodgers | 23-11 (15-3 Home, 8-8 Road) [+ 1]
Chavez Ravine continues to be the Dodgers’ best friend. For now, they’re the top dog in the N.L.

3. Atlanta Braves | 22-13 (8-5 Home, 14-8 Road) [+ 1]
Sweeping St. Louis on the road was huge. This Braves team looks a lot like the ones from the ’90s.

4. Baltimore Orioles | 22-13 (11-8 Home, 11-5 Road) [+ 7]
Went 7-2 against the Red Sox, Yankees, and Rays the past two weeks. These birds might be for real.

5. Washington Nationals | 21-13 (12-4 Home, 9-9 Road) [± 0]
The injuries are mounting but so are the W’s. If this team ever gets healthy, you better watch out.

6. St. Louis Cardinals | 20-14 (8-7 Home, 12-7 Road) [- 4]
Were continuing to cruise before getting swept by the Braves. No one is challenging them in the Central.

7. Tampa Bay Rays | 21-14 (13-3 Home, 8-11 Road) [- 1]
The struggles continue on the road. That needs to change before they can crack the Top 5.

8. New York Yankees | 19-15 (11-8 Home, 8-7 Road) [- 1]
3rd in the A.L. East is 1st in almost any other division. The Pineda injury may prove to be catastrophic.

9. Detroit Tigers | 17-17 (9-9 Home, 8-8 Road) [- 1]
Their record screams “.500”, their roster says they’re better. It’s time the Motor City to get going.

10. Toronto Blue Jays | 19-16 (8-7 Home, 11-9 Road) [+ 3]
Oh, Canada! This Toronto club is sneaky good. Just ask the top-ranked Rangers who lost 2 of 3 to them.

11. New York Mets | 19-15 (10-6 Home, 9-9 Road) [- 1]
Only .500 since the last time we checked in. You can’t help but to feel a downturn is coming.

12. Miami Marlins | 18-16 (8-6 Home, 10-10 Road) [+ 10]
The talent swarmed to South Beach, and now it’s starting to produce. A crushing 8-2 in their last 10.

13. Cincinnati Reds | 17-16 (9-8 Home, 8-8 Road) [+ 1]
Starting to look like they can compete with St. Louis. Happy to be done with the Nationals for 2012.

14. Cleveland Indians | 18-16 (8-10 Home, 10-6 Road) [+ 1]
Have gotten hotter at home but colder on the road. Leads the A.L. Central with a narrow 1-game lead.

15. San Francisco Giants | 17-17 (8-7 Home, 9-10 Road) [- 6]
Already 6 games behind the Dodgers. May not have the offense needed to play catch-up out West.

16. Oakland Athletics | 18-17 (9-10 Home, 9-7 Road) [+ 8]
Somehow still above .500. Can’t help but to wonder where they’d be had they not traded away so much.

17. Philadelphia Phillies | 16-19 (7-9 Home, 9-10 Road) [± 0]
They continue to underperform. The injuries have left them in the dust in the N.L. East rat race so far.

18. Pittsburgh Pirates | 16-18 (10-8 Home, 6-10 Road) [+ 7]
Actually have a winning record since the last ranking. Better road trips would improve their stock.

19. Arizona Diamondbacks | 15-20 (7-12 Home, 8-8 Road) [- 7]
The hot start is all but gone. Already 8.5 games back, the season may quickly be ending in May.

20. Boston Red Sox | 15-19 (7-11 Home, 8-8 Road) [- 4]
Too busy playing golf to be concerned with baseball. Winning .441 isn’t going to cut it in this division.

21. Chicago White Sox | 16-19 (6-11 Home, 10-8 Road) [- 3]
From winning record, to.500, to losing record. The White Sox are settling into expectations.

22. Milwaukee Brewers | 15-19 (9-9 Home, 6-10 Road) [- 3]
Still can’t get it together. Unfortunately, Milwaukee is doing the exact opposite of turning it around.

23. Los Angeles Angels | 15-19 (9-8 Home, 6-11 Road) [- 2]
Their struggles are well documented, but that doesn’t change the fact they’re last in the A.L. West.

24. Seattle Mariners | 16-20 (7-8 Home, 9-12 Road) [- 1]
Got swept by Rays, almost got swept by Yankees. They’re the glorified doormat we expected.

25. Houston Astros | 15-19 (10-8 Home, 5-11 Road) [+ 3]
Actually haven’t been half bad at home. Road games have been a totally different story.

26. Colorado Rockies | 13-20 (8-10 Home, 5-10 Road) [- 6]
They have stars but not W’s. They’re the anti-Dodgers. Might they actually miss Jimenez?

27. Kansas City Royals | 13-20 (4-13 Home, 9-7 Road) [± 0]
4-3 at home since last ranking is a heck of an improvement over 0-10. But the woes are still aplenty.

28. Chicago Cubs | 14-20 (9-10 Home, 5-10 Road) [- 2]
The rise of Bryan LaHair is as much an indictment of this team’s talent level as anything else.

29. San Diego Padres | 12-23 (9-14 Home, 3-9 Road) [± 0]
Haven’t done anything with twice as many home games as road games. It’ll only get tougher from here.

30. Minnesota Twins | 10-24 (6-12 Home, 4-12 Road) [± 0]
Fresh out of excuses, this is just a bad baseball team. Will be down here all year long.

NOTE: This story was originally published on SportsHead. To read this article and others click here.
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