by Patrick DeCola
2. Tampa Bay Rays (Up 5)
Carlos Pena seems to be enjoying his return to the Trop. The slugger hit .500 with two homers and seven RBIs in the season-opening sweep of the Yankees.
3. Texas Rangers (Same)
OK, Yu Darvish. That was your one mulligan Luckily, you had the Rangers offense to bail you out and give you the win despite allowing four runs in the first.
4. Arizona Diamondbacks (Up 4)
No D’Backs players have put up any eye-popping stats thus far, but the team began the season by sweeping division rival San Francisco.
5. St. Louis Cardinals (Up 4)
Adam Wainwright failed to impress in his first major league appearance since 2010, but the Cardinals have the best offense in baseball through the first five games, tops in the league in runs scored and second in batting average.
6. New York Yankees (Down 5)
The last time the Yankees started 0-3? Look back to 1998, when the Bombers finished 114-48 and won the World Series.
7. Los Angeles Angels (Down 5)
C.J. Wilson gave the Angels exactly what they wanted in his first start (7 IP, 1 ER) but Vernon Wells (.143 avg.) is looking like he might not bounce back from a career-worst year in 2011.
8. San Francisco Giants (Down 3)
With Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and Madison Bumgarner all roughed up in the Arizona series, Barry Zito (yes, Barry Zito) played the role of stopper in the victory over the Rockies on Monday. It was Zito’s first shutout since April 18, 2003, the third longest drought in major league history.
9. Toronto Blue Jays (Up 7)
The Jays are ranked this high because following the series at home with Boston, 16 of their next 19 games are against the Orioles, Royals, and Mariners. The Jays could be sitting in first place come May.
10. Washington Nationals (Up 7)
Stephen Strasburg was lights out in his first start of 2012, of course, but Adam LaRoche has paced the Nats’ hot start with a .467 avg. and 1.396 OPS.
11. Philadelphia Phillies (Down 5)
Phillie fans are getting impatient as they await the return of Ryan Howard in early May. They have a right to be, as Philadelphia is batting .198 through four games.
12. Cincinnati Reds (Up 3)
Jay Bruce already has three dingers, while young shortstop Zack Cozart is making a name for himself with a 1.563 OPS.
13. Milwaukee Brewers (Same)\
Corey Hart is on fire right out of the gate, with three home runs and an outrageous OPS of 1.783, good for first in the NL.
14. New York Mets (up 12)
Nobody expected the Mets to jump out to a 4-0 start, but solid production on the mound keyed by Johan Santana, Jonathan Niese, and Frank Francisco have got New York sitting pretty atop the NL East.
15. Boston Red Sox (Down 5)
In the 29 games from September 2 to April 8, Red Sox starters are 4-14 with a 7.45 ERA. Yikes.
16. Atlanta Braves (Down 6)
Last season’s September collapse has carried over into this season, as the Braves can’t seem to score any runs nor prevent them..
17. Colorado Rockies (Down 3)
When Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki are a combined 6-for-31 to start the season, it’s an indicator that things aren’t going so well.
18. Miami Marlins (Down 6)
One week in and manager Ozzie Guillen’s comments on Fidel Castro have already brought a massive distraction to his club and his team will continue to suffer because of it.
19. Los Angeles Dodgers (Up 4)
All those “Beast Mode” commercials must be true, as Matt Kemp’s (.412 avg., 8 RBIs) hard offseason work continues to pay off.
20. Kansas City Royals (Up eight)
Alex Gordon has yet to register a hit this season, but opening the season by winning two-of-three in Los Angeles doesn’t go unnoticed.
21. Seattle Mariners (Up eight)
Is this the re-emergence of Chone Figgins? The 34-year-old, who has yet to live up to the $36 contract he signed in 2010, is batting .381 to open the season.
22. Oakland A’s (Down 2)
Yoenis Cespedes (3 HR, 7 RBI) is off to a faster start than projected, but the A’s still sit dead last in the division.
23. Baltimore Orioles (Up 4)
It’s tough to believe they’re for real because of last season’s 6-1 start and 63-92 finish, but strong pitching from Jake Arrieta and Jason Hammell has some people jumping on the wagon.
24. Chicago White Sox (Same)
Adam Dunn hit his record eighth-straight Opening Day home run, but it’s more of the same as the slugger is batting .154.
25. Pittsburgh Pirates (Same)
Andrew McCutchen, a career .265 hitter in April, is batting .364 to open the season. This might finally be the year the 25-year-old has the breakout we’ve been promised.
26. Cleveland Indians (Down 7)
Grady Sizemore is back on the DL and the team is batting .153 through the first four games. The only way things could be worse is if they were the Twins.
27. San Diego Padres (Down 9)
The young Padres will go through their share of adjustment periods as they develop, but some of the young talent showed its face in the first week in Cameron Maybin and Chase Headley.
28. Houston Astros (Up 2)
The Houston Astros are one of three teams in the majors with four quality starts from their pitchers. You read that correctly.
29. Minnesota Twins (Down eight)
The Twins became only the third major-league team in the past 40 years to begin a season with four consecutive losses while scoring two or fewer runs in each game.
30. Chicago Cubs (Down eight)
The bottom of the NL Central is always the worst spot to be in. Instead of being behind three or four teams in the standings, the Cubs are looking up at five. That might not change this season.
Copyright 2012 by SportsData