Updated: June 29, 2015, 12:59 PM ET

Cardinals, Royals rule; Nationals leap


ESPN.com

In Week 13 of our rankings, the St. Louis Cardinals remain the top team for the fifth straight week. The Washington Nationals, meanwhile, made a huge jump -- 10 full spots into No. 3, behind the No. 2 Kansas City Royals.

This week's voters are Jim Bowden of ESPN Insider, Eric Karabell of ESPN Fantasy, Tim Kurkjian of ESPN, David Schoenfield of the SweetSpot Blog Network/ESPN.com and Jayson Stark of ESPN.com. Most of the team comments come courtesy of the bloggers on the SweetSpot Blog Network. How do you rank all 30 teams? Go ahead and rank them yourself.

Tell us what you think about the Power Rankings. Use the hashtag #ESPNMLBPOWER.

Rk(LW)TeamRec
1(1)
Cardinals
51-24
The Cardinals swept the Cubs to extend their NL Central lead to nine games and swell their winning percentage to .680. Kolten Wong hit another double, and leads NL second basemen in slugging. -- Matt Philip (@fungoes), Fungoes
2(3)
Royals
44-28
No surprise: The Royals lead the majors in Defensive Runs Saved at +40, 11 more than the No. 2 team (San Francisco). Lorenzo Cain leads at +10 DRS, the fourth-best individual total in the majors. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
3(13)
Nationals
42-34
Good news: Since coming off his short DL stint, Stephen Strasburg has 15 strikeouts and two runs allowed in 12 innings. Bad news: Anthony Rendon is back on the DL with a strained left quad. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
4(2)
Pirates
42-33
One area the Pirates haven't been as strong is defense. A year ago they ranked sixth in the majors at +36 Defensive Runs Saved. This year, they're at -6, although the only major weakness is Pedro Alvarez at first base (-8). Considering he hasn't hit all that well (.242/.314/.434), look for the Pirates to shop for a first baseman. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
5(4)
Astros
44-34
Is Carlos Correa already the best shortstop in the American League? OK, it's a small sample size but the kid's first 20 games have been amazing: .314/.337/.593, 5 HR, 9 2B, 5-for-5 SB, just one error, +5 Defensive Runs Saved. Incredible. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
6(6)
Dodgers
43-34
After losing eight of 11 games, the Dodgers ended the week on a slightly better note, winning four of five games behind solid pitching. The Dodgers gave up just five runs in those five games, including two shutouts. Sunday was also the first win for Zack Greinke since May 5. In his previous nine starts he'd given up one ER or less in seven of them, but had nothing to show for it in the win column -- ESPN.com
7(5)
Rays
42-35
The Rays find themselves in a virtual tie at the top of the AL East with Baltimore. The division has four teams separated by just one game. While most clubs are looking externally for help, Tampa Bay should get a boost from within as Matt Moore, James Loney and John Jaso are all set to return in the next few weeks. -- Tommy Rancel (@trancel), The Process Report
8(8)
Giants
42-35
The Giants averaged just over three runs per game at home through their first 36 home games this season, but finally hit their stride last week. San Francisco exploded for 38 runs in its last five home games and sit only one game out of first place in the NL West. -- Andrew Tweedy (@WCBGiants), West Coast Bias
9(7)
Yankees
41-35
Over his past eight games, Yankees spark plug Brett Gardner has been doing it all, batting a nifty .457 with two home runs, while getting on base more than 52 percent of the time (.525 OBP). This isn't exactly new; Gardner has elevated his game in June after a slow May, hitting a robust .343/.409/.618 slashline with five home runs. -- Jason Rosenberg (@IIATMS), It's About the Money
10(10)
Cubs
39-35
Max Scherzer has turned in a start with at least eight innings pitched five times in 2015. By contrast, Jon Lester has failed to do it even once. Until the Cubs can get more from a pitcher they spent $155 million on, they cannot be considered legitimate World Series contenders. -- Joe Aiello (@VFTB), View from the Bleachers
11(12)
Orioles
41-34
Led by Zach Britton, Darren O'Day, and the surprisingly effective Chaz Roe, the superb Orioles bullpen ranks third in the American League in ERA, fifth in FIP, and fifth in strikeouts per nine innings. -- Matt Kremnitzer (@mattkremnitzer), Camden Depot
12(9)
Blue Jays
41-36
The Blue Jays went 4-2 this week, winning their tilts with both Tampa Bay and Texas. They have been playing with a much more balanced attack lately, getting it done on offense as always but also shutting opponents down with solid pitching. GM Alex Anthopoulos still has a tough few weeks ahead of him though, because this team needs an ace if they are going to try to take the division crown. -- Gideon Turk (@gideonturk), Blue Jays Plus
13(15)
Twins
40-35
Minnesota's rotation will get a boost next weekend with Ervin Santana set to return from his suspension. How long until the scuffling lineup gets a boost with the addition of top prospect Miguel Sano, who is batting .329 and slugging .671 this month at Double-A? -- Nick Nelson (@nnelson9), Twins Daily
14(17)
Tigers
39-36
The Tigers remain wildly inconsistent, with an encouraging series in Cleveland followed up with a painful loss (then two wins) against the White Sox. The bullpen remains shaky, though the early returns on Bruce Rondon are encouraging. -- Grey Papke (@walkoffwoodward), Walkoff Woodward
15(14)
Angels
39-37
How about Hector Santiago as a sleeper All-Star candidate? He's only 4-4 but has a 2.58 ERA and has allowed two or fewer runs in 10 of his 15 starts. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
16(16)
Mets
40-37
The Mets' 29-11 (.725) home record is their best start at home in team history and second best in MLB this year. They've won three straight home series and swept seven home series this season. Curtis Granderson has hit safely in each of his last eight games, going 14-31 (.452) over that stretch, and he has seven home runs in June. -- Joe Janish (@metstoday), Mets Today
17(11)
Rangers
38-38
The Rangers have lost eight of their past 10 games, including a streak of six straight. Hopefully Josh Hamilton, returning Monday, will give the Rangers' offense a boost. -- Brandon Land (@one_strike_away), One Strike Away
18(23)
Reds
34-40
In one of the more surprising developments of the season, until Sunday's nightcap in New York, Cincinnati's bullpen hadn't allowed a single earned run all week, a stretch of 26.1 innings. The club remains firmly stuck in fourth place, however, far behind the actual contenders. -- Chad Dotson (@dotsonc), Redleg Nation
19(19)
Diamondbacks
36-39
Eleven. Eleven times that since slipping under .500 in late April, they could get back to having an even record with just one win. The D-backs have lost all eleven of those games, and yet if they can find a way to surpass it, the return of Patrick Corbin could convince the team to be buyers at the deadline. -- Ryan P. Morrison (@ryanpmorrison), Inside the 'Zona
20(20)
Indians
33-41
The Indians took a beating from both the Orioles and Tigers over the past week. One bright spot? They won't see the Orioles again this season and won't have to face the Tigers again until September. They're only 3-9 against their AL Central rival, and Miguel Cabrera is hitting over .600 against the Tribe. -- Stephanie Liscio (@stephanieliscio), It's Pronounced "Lajaway"
21(21)
Padres
37-41
The Padres couldn't finish off a sweep of the Diamondbacks on Sunday, falling 6-4. Since reaching .500 on June 13, the Padres haven't been able to get back, with Sunday's loss pushing them four games under. -- ESPN.com
22(18)
Braves
36-40
The Braves have missed Freddie Freeman, out of action with a bone bruise until the All-Star break. They are 4-6 since he's been out, and the lineup without him has struggled to score runs, averaging just over two runs per game. They've scored multiple runs in just five of their past 90 innings. -- Martin Gandy (@gondeee), Chop County
23(24)
Athletics
34-44
After winning five straight and looking like they might work their way back into contention, the A's had a rough end of the week, getting swept at home by the Royals. The offense went cold, scoring just seven runs in the three losses, dropping Oakland back to 10 games under .500. ? ESPN.com
24(22)
Mariners
34-42
Since his eight-inning, two-hit, zero-walk, eight-strikeout gem on May 29, Taijuan Walker has been consistently dominant. In his past six starts, Walker sports a 1.91 ERA in 42.1 innings -- and a 44:3 strikeout to walk ratio that makes it look like he's toying with opponents. -- Jeff Wiser (@outfieldgrass24), Inside the 'Zona
25(27)
Rockies
33-42
Nolan Arenado has nine home runs and 21 RBIs during his 15-game hitting streak and Troy Tulowitzki has an impressive streak of his own, reaching base safely in 27 games, yet the Rockies still find themselves in last place. -- Harrison Williams (@HarrisonC_W_), Rockies Zingers
26(28)
White Sox
32-42
The White Sox spiral to the bottom of the AL continues despite the best efforts of Adam Eaton, who has hit .290/.371/.484 in June with three home runs. Eaton hit one, very wind-aided home run in all of 2014. -- James Fegan (@TheCatbird_Seat), The Catbird Seat
27(26)
Red Sox
34-43
Clay Buchholz has strikeout and walk rates that suggest he's deserved better than the 3.68 ERA he takes with him into his next start. And with a 2.91 ERA since the beginning of May, Buchholz may soon be the most intriguing trade target available in July. -- Ryan P. Morrison (@ryanpmorrison), Inside the 'Zona
28(25)
Marlins
31-46
In a season full of disappointment for the Marlins, losing Giancarlo Stanton to a broken bone in his wrist might be the biggest blow of all. If nothing else, Marlins fans (and really all baseball fans) used to be able to look forward to watching almost-nightly replays of Stanton launching 480-foot homers. Hopefully Stanton comes back launching homers later this summer. -- ESPN.com
29(29)
Brewers
29-48
As rumors surfaced that the Brewers front office might not be actively pursuing rebuilding trades, the big league team flashed promise and reminders of futility during a 4-3 stretch. The trouble is, even if the Brewers are better than their current record, their 2015 hole is too deep to compete. -- Nicholas Zettel (@spectivewax), Disciples of Uecker
30(30)
Phillies
27-50
Everything you need to know about this year's Phillies seems to be incapsulated in right fielder Jeff Francoeur's apparent inability to throw a baseball during Sunday's loss to the Nats. If you haven't seen the video, seek it out. -- ESPN.com

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