Going into Sunday, 3 teams in the AL East had single digit losses, while only 4 teams in the rest of the league did. How does that translate to where they land in the week 4 power rankings though? Here is your top 10:
#1 Boston Red Sox
At 18-7, the Sox could not have drawn up a better start to their season. Big Papi has come back with a vengeance, hitting .516 with 11 RBI in only 8 games and newcomer Mike Napoli is leading the league with 27 RBI. Meanwhile, being paced by 5-0 Clay Buchholz, the rotation has continued to be one of the best in the game. Even the biggest of Sox fans have to be a little surprised at the amount of success this team is having so far.
#2 Atlanta Braves
The Braves have struggled since starting the season 12-2, but they still hold the best record in the NL and lead the East by 2.5 games. Also, the Braves have played twice as many games on the road so far, (16 to 8) and are headed home for a 6 game stint. This is actually what most expected from the Braves this year: streaky in both directions. Oh, and don’t forget they are still without Venters, McCann, and Heyward.
#3 Texas Rangers
All of a sudden the Rangers have come seemingly out of nowhere to lead the league in team ERA going into Sunday. Not only that, but their once sluggish offense has really picked up and they now have 4 starters who are hitting at least .295 with 11 or more RBI (Berkman, Kinsler, Cruz, and Pierzynski). Seems as if the Josh Hamilton/Michael Young effect has worn off.
#4 New York Yankees
I have the Yankees ahead of the Orioles just based on the amount of respect I have for what they have done despite all the injuries this season. While the DL tally continues to mount, this team just continues to have new people step up and keep them in the hunt. Hopefully the Yanks can keep this up until they get a lot of their pieces back. Having both the Sox/Yanks in the hunt is good for baseball.
#5 Baltimore Orioles
The Orioles sweep of the A’s, for me, was a huge statement by them. Especially since their previous 3 series were against teams that had losing records. The offense is still overachieving a little bit, I think, and will need a little more help from the starting rotation. With that being said, I thought the same thing most of last year and this team continued to win. Buck Showalter deserves way more credit than he is getting.
#6 Detroit Tigers
It was only a matter of time before this team turned it on and we may have seen just that against the Braves this past weekend. The Tigers offense is now #1 in average and OBP, while Valverde seems to have solved their closer issue. This team could go on some very impressive runs while playing this division.
#7 Pittsburg Pirates
The bullpen has been fantastic while the Pirates have won or split every series they have played against a team with a winning record this year (braves, Reds, Dbacks, and Cardinals). If the offense can find a way to be a little more productive, this team might really be able to keep themselves in the hunt.
#8 St. Louis Cardinals
If you look at overall team numbers, 2nd in ERA and 6th in runs, you would assume this team has one of the best records in baseball. Yet an incredibly shaky bullpen has the Cardinals at 14-10 after dropping 2 of 3 at home to Pittsburgh. The Cardinals have 5 relievers with an ERA over 4.00 and 3 of those are over 7.00.
#9 Washington Nationals
For a team that was supposed to be the most balanced in baseball, the Nats have been anything but, so far in 2013. Rotation: Solid. Lineup: underachieving. Bullpen: Shaky. Taking 3 out of 4 from the Reds was the first series they had won against a team other than the Marlins and White Sox, who are a combined 16-33.
Tied #10 Kansas City Royals
Not sure if having 8 off days in the month of April has contributed any to the Royals success, but I doubt they care. At 13-8 the Royals lead their division and are 6-2 at home after being so brutal at home in April last season. I really do hope the Royals can give the Tigers a run. Otherwise, this Division could be over in August.
Tied #10 Arizona Diamondbacks
I really enjoy watching this team. With what I have witnessed so far, I would probably pick this team to win the West. They aren’t dominant in any specific category, but they have thrown the ball really well (3.37 team ERA) and have managed to hit just enough. Their team makeup as a whole is really solid.
Follow Cole Stevenson on twitter: @Cole_Stevenson