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Chicago Tribune MLB Power Rankings

Published: Monday, June 17, 2013 6:35 p.m. CDT

(MCT)

Last week's ranking in parentheses.

1. Cardinals (1): Slowed down a little since a 23-7 stretch April 30-June 1. But they have lost more than two games in a row only once and never more than three. Starting pitching limits losing streaks.

2. Tigers (3): Every blown save is a cause for major concern. Dave Dombrowski continues his methodical search for the veteran he wants to close games in October. The next six weeks will be interesting. Don't discount the chances of picking up Jonathan Papelbon.

3. Reds (6): Dusty Baker can't beat the Cubs every time he comes to Wrigley Field. But 12 of the last 13 isn't bad.

4. Braves (2): Dropped five of seven on the West Coast, including three tough losses in a row to the Padres.

5. Athletics (7): Bartolo Colon can't be suspended soon enough for the Rangers' benefit. He has won his last six starts, and the A's are 11-3 when he takes the mound. Given that he already has one strike against him, a Biogenesis sanction would be career-threatening for the 40-year-old ace.

6. Red Sox (5): They just keep riding the 20-8 start.

7. Rangers (4): Teamwide slump produced six home losses in a row against the Indians and Blue Jays before the A's arrived Monday. The four-game series brings a sense of foreboding to a franchise that lost its grip on the AL West a year ago by losing five of seven to the A's down the stretch.

8. Pirates (10): There was nobody like Gerrit Cole in the rotation when strong first halves turned into nightmare second halves in 2011 and '12. No walks in 12 innings is the most impressive stat from the 2-0 start to his career.

9. Orioles (11): Chris Davis' totals project to 53 home runs and 139 RBIs. He has 42 home runs and 105 RBIs in 500 at-bats since the All-Star Game a year ago.

10. Rays (9): It took 57 RBIs in 64 games with Triple-A Durham, but top prospect Wil Myers earned a promotion and will make his big league debut Tuesday. He'll be the everyday right fielder and could improve a lineup that's already pretty strong _ fourth in the AL in runs despite the departure of B.J. Upton.

11. Yankees (8): Coming off a tough week on the West Coast.

12. Royals (20): After ranking last in the AL in ERA in 2010 and 12th and 10th the last two years, the Royals are leading the league. They have given up only 2.2 runs per game in June, when they've played nine games against the Rangers, Tigers and Rays.

13. Padres (22): Only the Cardinals have had a better record since April 23. San Diego is 30-19 since its 5-15 start and surprisingly ranks seventh in the NL in scoring.

14. Diamondbacks (12): In the aftermath of the Dodgers brawl and the previous Carlos Quentin-Zack Greinke encounter, it wouldn't appear this is the most accountable bunch of players. If Ian Kennedy doesn't want to be labeled a headhunter, he should hit fewer batters.

15. Rockies (14): Can Josh Rutledge and Tyler Colvin provide enough support to keep them afloat until Troy Tulowitzki returns from his latest injury?

16. Nationals (15): Dying a slow death because of a lineup that through Sunday had outscored only the Marlins. Michael Morse is missed.

17. Giants (13): Shutout by the Braves' Julio Teheran on Sunday night left the defending champs 16-21 since May 5.

18. Indians (19): Corey Kluber has beaten Stephen Strasburg and Derek Holland in his last two starts.

19. Blue Jays (21): Four-game sweep at Texas has increased their mathematic playoff hope from about 2 percent to 12 percent. The run to the All-Star break will be crucial in limiting the impact of a 10-21 start.

20. Angels (18): Back-to-back rough starts for Jered Weaver, whose return had provided some reason to believe.

21. Dodgers (16): Matt Kemp isn't expected to return for at least one more week. They're not going anywhere until he is right again, no matter how long it takes.

22. Phillies (17): Why wouldn't they trade Jonathan Papelbon?

23. Twins (24): Rebuilt rotation is last in the AL with a 5.14 ERA.

24. Brewers (25): Yovani Gallardo has a 15-inning scoreless streak.

25. Mariners (27): Nick Franklin and Mike Zunino have improved the lineup.

26. Astros (29): Dallas Keuchel is pitching with purpose after not making the team out of spring training.

27. White Sox (23): The plan was to win with pitching and defense, but the injury-ravaged pitching staff has no margin for error with their hitters producing an AL-worst .293 on-base percentage. Chris Sale is fourth in the AL with a 2.90 ERA and third with a 0.90 WHIP but has lost his last three starts, including a 14-strikeout game against the Astros, to fall to 5-5.

28. Cubs (26): Wild newcomer Henry Rodriguez represents a huge project for pitching coach Chris Bosio. His fastball was averaging 97 mph for the Nationals _ he had registered triple digits _ but he beats himself with lack of control.

29. Mets (28): Marlon Byrd has 11 home runs and could be in play for a trade at the deadline.

30. Marlins (30): Lineup looks a lot different when Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison are in it.

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