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After last week’s lack of turnover in the top 10, things definitely got shaken up this week — and not just because we have a new No. 1, with the Houston Astros Jersey reclaiming the top seed from the Washington Nationals Jersey. The New York Yankees Jersey took a slight step back while retaining their edge over the Baltimore Orioles Jersey in the AL East race, and the Los Angeles Dodgers Jersey made their own move into the top five with a 7-2 run.
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Editor’s PicksVote: Cubs Confidence MeterThe Cubs have fallen under .500. Do fans still feel there’s a dynasty in the works at Wrigley? Or is there an outbreak of agita on the North Side?
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Perhaps the biggest power move within this week’s reshuffle was made by the St. Louis Cardinals Jersey, with their return to the top 10 while taking over first place in the NL Central and moving past the Cubs in the Power Rankings with their weekend series win over Chicago to drop the Cubs below .500.Game James Paxton Jersey Among the teams that made a move up in the rankings, nobody soared higher than the Toronto Blue Jays Jersey, who moved up eight slots to get back inside the top 20 with their climb back toward .500 and relevance. Not far behind them were the similarly slow-starting Texas Rangers Jersey, who moved up six slots apiece. Kids James Paxton Jersey The biggest decline probably isn’t a surprise, as the New York Mets Jersey tumbled six slots. That caps a week packed with more drama: Matt Harvey Jersey’s suspension and subsequent shellacking by the Brewers, plus the loss of closer Jeurys Familia Jersey for at least three months after surgery to remove a blood clot from his shoulder. Stay tuned for your next dose of Mets mayhem. This week’s voters are Bradford Doolittle, Eric Karabell, Tim Kurkjian, David Schoenfield and Mark Simon. Week 5 rankings | Week 4 | Week 3 | Week 2 | Week 1 | Preseason 1. Houston Astros JerseyRecord: 26-12 Week 5 ranking: No. 3 The Astros have won 11 of 14, a run of success that elevated them back atop the rankings. Their one-two punch of Dallas Keuchel Jersey and Lance McCullers Jersey Jr. has been even better than expected, as those two have combined for a 2.51 ERA and the Astros are 13-3 when one of them starts. — David Schoenfield, ESPN.com 2. Washington Nationals JerseyRecord: 24-13 Week 5 ranking: No. 1 We’ve officially reached the “run-and-hide” portion of the Nationals’ schedule because their next 18 games are against the Pirates, Braves, Mariners, Padres, Giants and Athletics, all teams currently under .500. The Nats’ next game against a team that currently has a winning record is June 5 against the Dodgers, which will be the teams’ first meeting since Clayton Kershaw Jersey came out of the bullpen to get the save in Game 5 of the 2016 NLDS. — Mark Simon, ESPN Stats & Information 3. New York Yankees JerseyRecord: 22-13 Week 5 ranking: No. 2 The Yankees hadn’t lost more than two in a row since they lost three straight April 5-8, but last week they lost three in a row again while scoring three runs or fewer in each of those games. They didn’t have more than seven hits in any of those losses after going six straight with at least 10 hits (all wins). Sunday’s 11-hit, 11-run explosion to win the first game of their doubleheader was getting back to business as usual. — Sarah Langs, ESPN Stats & Information 4. Los Angeles Dodgers JerseyRecord: 22-16 Week 5 ranking: No. 7 In winning seven of their past nine, the Dodgers have basically relied on pitching and Cody Bellinger’s power (five of the team’s 12 home runs). The Dodgers rank this high before Corey Seager Jersey or Yasiel Puig Jersey have gotten hot — though both homered Sunday — or Rich Hill Jersey has gotten healthy. Although the rotation should be reshuffled with Hill due back from the DL, Alex Wood Jersey might be tough to take out after he whiffed 29 batters in 16 innings across three turns. — Christina Kahrl, ESPN.com 5. Baltimore Orioles JerseyRecord: 22-14 Week 5 ranking: No. 5 Dylan Bundy Jersey has a 2.26 ERA, which puts him among the AL’s top 10 and best on the Orioles. The No. 4 overall pick of the 2011 draft appears to have finally figured it out, posting a better ERA this season than either of the players taken before him that year who are currently in the majors; Gerrit Cole Jersey (No. 1, Pirates) has a 3.06 ERA and Trevor Bauer Jersey (No. 3, Diamondbacks) has a 6.92 ERA for the Indians. — Sarah Langs, ESPN Stats & Information 6. St. Louis Cardinals JerseyRecord: 21-15 Week 5 ranking: No. 12 After starting the season 3-9, the Cardinals have been the best team in baseball, and it has mostly been because of their pitching. Mike Leake Jersey continues to lead the way for the rotation, and Lance Lynn Jersey looks like his old self after missing all of last season with Tommy John surgery. Dexter Fowler Jersey has shaken off his slow start to get things started at the top of the order. And despite a low batting average, Matt Carpenter Jersey has been getting on base and slugging at career-high rates. — John Fisher, ESPN Stats & Info 7. Chicago Cubs JerseyRecord: 18-19 Week 5 ranking: 4 The Cubs dropped below .500 after a frustrating 2-4 week that started with a loss in an 18-inning game Sunday night and including playing a doubleheader in Colorado two days later. Joe Maddon noted his team’s sleep deprivation, sounded off after the slide rule cost his club a run Saturday and derided the game’s safety rules on Sunday. — Paul Hembekides, ESPN Stats & Information 8. Boston Red Sox JerseyRecord: 19-18 Week 5 ranking: No. 10 With 12 strikeouts in seven innings against the Rays on Saturday, Chris Sale Jersey has 10-plus K’s in seven straight starts and is one start from tying the major league record held by both Pedro Martinez … and Chris Sale Jersey (he did it in 2015). Sale has fanned 38.8 percent of the batters he has faced, which would be a record; Pedro fanned 37.5 percent of his batters in 1999. — David Schoenfield, ESPN.com 9. Colorado Rockies JerseyRecord: 24-15 Week 5 ranking: No. 8 After getting a weekend split from four games with the Dodgers, what’s a team gotta do to get some respect? Winning at Coors Field wasn’t what hampered past Rockies contenders; road woes did, and this year’s Rockies are off to an 11-5 start outside Denver. If the Rockies romp during their season-high 10-game road trip that starts Tuesday, the Dodgers should worry. One thing they hope to find on the road? Carlos Gonzalez Jersey’s bat — CarGo is homerless with a .535 OPS in May. — Christina Kahrl, ESPN.com 10. Cleveland Indians JerseyRecord: 19-17 Week 5 ranking: No. 6 The Indians’ mediocre start enters another week. Edwin Encarnacion Jersey has been in a season-long slump and needs to start hitting if he’s going to play as big a role as expected in Cleveland’s bid to contend. But a bigger concern might be the starting pitching; the Indians’ touted rotation ranks last in the league in ERA after ranking second in the AL last season. — Michael Bonzagni, ESPN Stats & Information 11. Arizona Diamondbacks JerseyRecord: 21-18 Week 5 ranking: No. 9 Although Chase Field slightly mutes their excellent pitching performance, the D-backs’ staff ranks among MLB’s best in strikeout rate and ERA+. So why aren’t the D-backs doing better in the standings? A big problem is that the offense hasn’t been strong since busting out double-digit scores four times in their first 14 games and has dropped to just 22nd in runs per game since. You can bet that the plan to add a humidor at home to keep balls in the yard won’t turn that around. — Christina Kahrl, ESPN.com 12. Minnesota Twins JerseyRecord: 19-15 Week 5 ranking: No. 15 The Twins are still in first place and have already spent more time there than they did in the previous three seasons combined. Jose Berrios started 2017 looking far readier to deliver on the potential that made him a first-round pick in the 2012 draft. His season debut Saturday was the best start of his young career, 7? innings of two-hit, one-run ball. He never lasted more than six innings in an MLB game last season and posted an 8.02 ERA. — Sarah Langs, ESPN Stats & Information 13. Cincinnati Reds JerseyRecord: 19-18 Week 5 ranking: No. 17 Joey Votto Jersey continues to swing a hot bat. The notorious slow starter owns the best walk-to-strikeout ratio in the NL (25 walks to 19 K’s) and has a hit in 16 of his past 18 games. After their surprising start, the Reds’ relevance in the NL Central race is about to get a big test: seven of Cincinnati’s next 10 games come against last season’s World Series teams, the Cubs and Indians. — Paul Hembekides, ESPN Stats & Information 14. Milwaukee Brewers JerseyRecord: 21-17 Week 5 ranking: No. 20 The Brewers know their strength, and that’s pounding the ball on offense. They lead the league in homers and are second in runs, and that’s with Eric Thames predictably cooling off a little bit. Keon Broxton Jersey and Travis Shaw Jersey have been on fire, and Matt Garza Jersey has given the rotation a boost since he came off the DL. Chase Anderson Jersey continues to pitch well, allowing two or fewer earned runs in five of his seven starts. — John Fisher, ESPN Stats & Info 15. Texas Rangers JerseyRecord: 19-20 Week 5 ranking: No. 21 Despite everything that has gone wrong — Sam Dyson Jersey, no Adrian Beltre Jersey, Rougned Odor Jersey ‘s .252 OBP, Mike Napoli Jersey ‘s .225 OBP — the Rangers are back to one game under .500. Where would they be without Joey Gallo Jersey? He’s going for maybe the best sub-.200 season ever, as he is batting .195 but slugging .537 and on pace for 50 home runs and 112 RBIs. — David Schoenfield, ESPN.com 16. Detroit Tigers JerseyRecord: 18-18 Week 5 ranking: No. 11 Some things are turning around for the Tigers. They might have a new closer in Justin Wilson Jersey after he struck out the side in his first save chance since he took over the role. J.D. Martinez Jersey is back from a foot injury and seems to have not missed a beat. The Tigers are back home all week after a 5-4 West Coast road trip, which could set them up for a good run. — Michael Bonzagni, ESPN Stats & Information 17. Tampa Bay Rays JerseyRecord: 19-21 Week 5 ranking: No. 13 Given the pitching they went up against this week, it’s not surprising that the Rays dropped below .500. They ran into the pitcher with arguably the best changeup going (Jason Vargas Jersey), the now super-nasty curveball of Nathan Karns Jersey and the all-around dynamic assortment from Chris Sale Jersey. Meanwhile, the Rays have a pitching problem to figure out: how to get Blake Snell Jersey right. He was demoted to Triple-A with a 4.71 ERA. — Mark Simon, ESPN Stats & Information 18. Toronto Blue Jays JerseyRecord: 17-21 Week 5 ranking: No. 26 The Jays finally got the strong week they needed to rebound from their slow start by winning seven of eight games. As their fortunes have rebounded, so have Jose Bautista Jersey’s. After he hit just two home runs in his first 33 games this season, he has hit three in his past five games, boosting his OPS from .553 to .641. He had a 16 percent hard-hit rate in those first 33 games and has a 31 percent mark in his past five. — Sarah Langs, ESPN Stats & Information 19. Seattle Mariners JerseyRecord: 17-21 Week 5 ranking: No. 18 For a brief moment, there was hope that the Mariners could overcome all the injuries, as they were 17-17 on Wednesday after winning six of seven, but four straight losses in Toronto sent the season spiraling downward — with four-fifths of the projected rotation now on the DL. Even the replacements are getting hurt, as Ryan Weber Jersey injured his biceps in his first start. — David Schoenfield, ESPN.com 20. New York Mets JerseyRecord: 16-20 Week 5 ranking: No. 14 The Mets filled out their “Make Baseball Unfun Again” bingo card on Saturday night in Milwaukee, with a runner getting picked off second base for the second straight day, a fielder making two errors on one play, a walk to the opposing pitcher and a starting pitcher who averaged more than 20 pitches per inning. Combine that and their injury woes (to their best hitter, pitcher and closer), and the Mets are much closer to being a bad team than a good one. — Mark Simon, ESPN Stats & Information 21. Los Angeles Angels JerseyRecord: 19-21 Week 5 ranking: No. 16 Angels fans breathed a collective sigh of a relief with the news that Mike Trout Jersey would not need a DL stint for his hamstring. He hit his 10th homer on Saturday, and it was the fastest he has reached that mark in his career (33 games). Albert Pujols Jersey continues to inch closer to the 600-homer plateau (he’s at 596 and counting), seeking to become the ninth player to reach the mark. — Paul Hembekides, ESPN Stats & Information 22. Chicago White Sox JerseyRecord: 17-18 Week 5 ranking: No. 19 The White Sox suffered a six-game losing streak last week behind abysmal starting pitching, getting a 6.82 ERA from their rotation over that span. Should they continue to slide, expect Jose Quintana Jersey trade talks to ramp up again. The 28-year-old lefty is under a team-friendly contract that with two club options runs through 2020, which adds to his value. — Paul Hembekides, ESPN Stats & Information 23. Oakland Athletics JerseyRecord: 16-21 Week 5 ranking: No. 28 Yonder Alonso Jersey’s hot start continued this week, and it seems legit. He’s among the AL leaders in hard-hit percentage, and he has made some real changes to his swing. More than 50 percent of his balls in play this year have been hit in the air; that’s after he had a 30 percent fly ball percentage last year. He could be a major trade chip for the A’s come July. — Michael Bonzagni, ESPN Stats & Information 24. Philadelphia Phillies JerseyRecord: 14-21 Week 5 ranking: No. 24 The Phillies’ schedule got tougher in the past two-plus weeks and they haven’t been able to keep up. Their bullpen continues to struggle, and their rotation has been awful. But there are some bright spots in the lineup. Aaron Altherr Jersey has been great since he was pressed into regular duty, and Cesar Hernandez Jersey continues to be one of the best hitting second basemen in baseball. — John Fisher, ESPN Stats & Information 25. Miami Marlins JerseyRecord: 14-22 Week 5 ranking: No. 23 The Marlins might have done what they needed to get the most out of Jose Urena Jersey, who has made two good starts since he was plugged into the starting rotation due to injury issues. But is this something that can last? There’s reason to be skeptical. Urena’s ERA is 1.98, but his FIP is 4.28. His changeup has gotten a lot of outs, but batters’ miss rate on it has dipped from 33 percent last season to 14 percent in 2017. — Mark Simon, ESPN Stats & Information 26. San Francisco Giants JerseyRecord: 15-24 Week 5 ranking: No. 25 The Giants won three consecutive games for the first time this season by taking their past three games — including that 17-inning marathon Friday night — against the Reds. According to Elias, Buster Posey Jersey’s walk-off home run to win that game was the latest by inning in franchise history. It was also the longest game by innings in MLB history in which the winning team had both leadoff and walk-off home runs. — Sarah Langs, ESPN Stats & Information 27. Pittsburgh Pirates JerseyRecord: 16-22 Week 5 ranking: No. 22 After briefly showing signs of life, the Pirates’ offense has returned to anemic levels. Only one team has fewer home runs this season. Andrew McCutchen Jersey is a major culprit, as he has come off the worst season of his career with an even slower start. Jameson Taillon Jersey’s injury will hurt; along with Gerrit Cole Jersey and Ivan Nova Jersey, the Pirates had a very nice top three in the rotation before Taillon went down. — John Fisher, ESPN Stats & Info 28. Kansas City Royals JerseyRecord: 16-21 Week 5 ranking: No. 29 The Royals capped a big week with a series sweep of the Orioles — all three one-run wins. They can thank their surging offense led by Eric Hosmer Jersey, Salvador Perez Jersey and Lorenzo Cain Jersey. On the pitching side of the ledger, Jason Vargas Jersey still leads the majors in ERA. But despite all of that good news, the early hole the Royals dug for themselves might be too big to climb out of. — Michael Bonzagni, ESPN Stats & Information 29. Atlanta Braves JerseyRecord: 13-21 Week 5 ranking: No. 27 At age 31, Tyler Flowers Jersey is looking like an all-around catcher, not just a one-dimensional one. He’s hitting .353 with a .470 on-base percentage. Flowers also has (maybe) improved upon his biggest issue: an inability to prevent stolen bases. He has thrown out three of 14 base stealers in 2017 after throwing out a woeful 2-for-62 in 2016. His pitch framing is still good; Flowers rates behind only Martin Maldonado Jersey for best in the majors in earning extra called strikes so far. — Mark Simon, ESPN Stats & Information 30. San Diego Padres JerseyRecord: 14-25 Week 5 ranking: No. 30 The Padres’ implosion is picking up speed, with their current 2-9 tumble capped by Sunday’s eight-run eighth inning to blow a save against the White Sox. With just one series against a below-.500 team in their next seven, the bad news isn’t about to stop. But GM A.J. Preller’s goal of accumulating talent got a boost with the trade for Cubs outfielder Matt Szczur Jersey, and the former prospect finally gets a chance to play regularly. — Christina Kahrl, ESPN.com