Royals take over the No. 1 spot

Updated: May 25, 2015, 10:14 AM ET
Week:

ESPN.com

In Week 8 of our rankings, our panel of experts clearly stated that the Kansas City Royals are baseball's best team, as they move into the top spot for the first time in four weeks. The St. Louis Cardinals, our top team in each of the past three weeks, fall one spot to No. 2. The Washington Nationals are the big risers as they move up three spots to No. 3.

This week's voters were Jim Bowden of ESPN Insider, Eric Karabell of ESPN Fantasy, Tim Kurkjian of ESPN and David Schoenfield of the SweetSpot Blog Network/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.

2015 Power Rankings: May 25
RANKTEAM / RECORD TRENDINGCOMMENTS
1
Royals
28-15
2
Last Week: 3
The Royals have yet to lose three games in a row, even though the team's batting line has declined from .306/.362/.450 in April to .265/.306/.410 in May. After taking two of three from St. Louis, 14 of their next 20 are on the road. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
2
1
Last Week: 1
The Cardinals salvaged a win in their series against the in-state rival Royals, and Randal Grichuk returned from the disabled list to play a big role in the field and at the plate. Matt Holliday also extended his on-base streak to 41 consecutive games. -- Matt Philip (@fungoes), Fungoes
3
3
Last Week: 6
Bryce Harper leads the majors in several offensive categories, including runs scored (39) and walks (39). -- ESPN.com
4
Tigers
26-19
--

Last Week: 4
It was an up and down week for the Tigers, who started by losing three in a row and then turned things around with three straight wins before losing again on Saturday. Designated hitter Victor Martinez is on the disabled list with knee inflammation, leaving a big hole in the lineup. -- Erin Saelzler (@walkoffwoodward), Walkoff Woodward
5
Astros
29-16
--

Last Week: 5
Can the Astros keep scoring runs like this -- third in the AL -- even though they rank 13th in the league with a .303 OBP? Seems unlikely, in part because they're hitting .250/.333/.450 with runners on base compared to .220/.285/.393 with the bases empty. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
6
Dodgers
26-17
4
Last Week: 2
The Dodgers snapped a 35-inning scoreless drought in the fifth inning of Friday's game. Yasmani Grandal had to leave that game, and subsequently hit the seven-day DL, with a concussion. The starting pitching depth took another serious hit as Hyun-Jin Ryu underwent season-ending surgery on his left shoulder to repair a torn labrum. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Replacement Grit
7
Giants
25-20
6
Last Week: 13
The Giants reeled off eight straight wins before falling to Colorado on Saturday, but continue to fire on all cylinders. The pitching staff held opponents scoreless over 34 consecutive innings and the lineup features eight regulars hitting over .280. -- Andrew Tweedy (@WCBGiants), West Coast Bias
8
Rays
24-21
4
Last Week: 12
Miraculously, the Rays enter Memorial Day in control of the American League East. That might say more about the rest of the division than Tampa Bay. The resilient Rays continue to get by with a makeshift roster. Under rookie manager Kevin Cash, the club has already used 15 rookies in 2015. It is an unlikely recipe for success, but for now, it will do. -- Tommy Rancel (@trancel), The Process Report
9
Cubs
24-19
2
Last Week: 7
The Cubs currently have two hitters in the NL's top 10 for offensive WAR, Anthony Rizzo (second at 2.2 WAR) and Kris Bryant (10th at 1.6 WAR). -- Joe Aiello (@VFTB), View from the Bleachers
10
Twins
25-18
4
Last Week: 14
Kyle Gibson has a 1.54 ERA over his past six starts. During that stretch (41 innings pitched), he's allowed only three home runs. -- ESPN.com
11
Angels
22-22
1
Last Week: 10
Even with Matt Shoemaker's struggles (13 home runs and a 6.29 ERA in 44.1 innings), the Angels rank third in the AL in rotation ERA. The big difference for Shoemaker: Last year, batters hit .160 with one home run off his splitter/changeup; this year, they're hitting .207 but with seven home runs. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
12
Mets
24-21
3
Last Week: 9
The numbers are ugly for Jonathon Niese. He has an ERA of 9.00 over his past three starts and he has allowed 24 hits during that stretch. -- ESPN.com
13
Yankees
22-22
5
Last Week: 8
The Yankees haven't won a game since May 16 and they've been outscored 47-23 by their opponents in those six losses. When they can hit, they can't pitch or play defense, and when they can't hit, they also can't pitch or play defense. It has been a week of awful and sloppy baseball, and if things don't pick up soon, something drastic will have to happen. -- Stacey Gotsulias (@StaceGots), It's About the Money
14
Orioles
19-22
6
Last Week: 20
Manny Machado may be struggling a bit defensively, but he's currently posting career highs in batting average (.286), on-base percentage (.347) and slugging percentage (.474). -- Matt Kremnitzer (@mattkremnitzer), Camden Depot
15
Pirates
21-22
1
Last Week: 16
Gerrit Cole, A.J. Burnett and Francisco Liriano each fanned 10-plus batters in a sweep of the Mets, the first time a team's starting pitchers each won while recording double-digit strikeouts in a single series. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
16
3
Last Week: 19
It was another .500 week for the Mariners, who dropped both of Taijuan Walker's past two starts after he yielded four earned runs in each. Kyle Seager has begun to get into the home run fun after hitting just two bombs in April. His solo shot on Sunday was his fifth in May. -- Jeff Wiser (@outfieldgrass24), Inside the 'Zona
17
Padres
21-24
6
Last Week: 11
Another start with little or no run support for Andrew Cashner, who got a no-decision Friday despite six innings of five-hit, one-run (unearned) ball. Through Friday, no pitcher has been the victim of more unearned runs (12) than Cashner. Entering Saturday, Will Middlebrooks, Jedd Gyorko and Alexi Amarista were hitting a combined .204 in 354 plate appearances. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Replacement Grit
18
Indians
20-23
7
Last Week: 25
The Indians started the week with a loss (but a series win) against the Rangers and then another loss against the White Sox. Since then, they've just kept winning -- six straight victories to be exact, the longest since this time last year. Best week ever? How about best week so far this season? -- Susan Petrone (@susanpetrone), It's Pronounced "Lajaway"
19
Braves
22-21
3
Last Week: 22
The Braves made it two weeks in a row with a winning record, going 8-4 since getting swept by the Nats. The good news is they're doing it while letting the kids play. Mike Foltynewicz and Williams Perez are rookies in the rotation, while Jace Peterson and Todd Cunningham are playing prominent roles in the lineup. The kids will be put to the test in their first big 10-game West Coast road trip. -- Martin Gandy (@gondeee), Chop County
20
Red Sox
21-23
3
Last Week: 17
The Red Sox were rewarded for their patience in Mike Napoli, who hit four home runs in a three-game set against the Angels over the weekend. But the best news may be that their pitching may have turned a corner, as they held the Rangers and Angels to three or fewer runs in all but one of the past six games. -- Ryan P. Morrison (@ryanpmorrison), Inside the 'Zona
21
2
Last Week: 23
The White Sox failed to score four runs even once in a 2-4 homestand against the Twins and Tigers, and have now regained a very deserved ownership of the AL Central cellar and the worst run differential in the AL. -- James Fegan (@TheCatbird_Seat), The Catbird Seat
22
4
Last Week: 26
Two D-backs players have taken a big step forward in their bids for national attention. Yasmany Tomas followed up his .333 April cameo with a .333 average in May, and he also has five extra-base hits this month. Meanwhile, Chase Anderson has a 2.54 ERA after eight starts, finally getting his first win of the season Wednesday by holding the Marlins to one run in eight innings. -- Ryan P. Morrison (@ryanpmorrison), Inside the 'Zona
23
Rangers
21-23
1
Last Week: 24
Josh Hamilton is slated to return on Monday and Matt Harrison looks like he will be back soon. The Rangers lead the majors in runs scored in May (121). -- Brandon Land (@one_strike_away), One Strike Away
24
6
Last Week: 18
The Blue Jays find themselves in a big hole, losing 11 of their last 15 games. They are a dismal 2-10 in one-run games and are fielding a team with two corner infielders who are attempting to play the outfield. The return of Jose Reyes should help kick-start the offense. Thankfully, a weak division is allowing this team to stay in contention. -- Chris Sherwin (@CWSherwin), Blue Jays Plus
25
Reds
18-25
10
Last Week: 15
The Reds have lost eight games in a row, getting outscored 54-19 during that stretch. In the first six of those eight losses, Reds starters allowed 33 runs in 25.2 innings. And did I mention that Johnny Cueto is hurt now? -- Chad Dotson (@dotsonc), Redleg Nation
26
3
Last Week: 29
Over his last 10 games, Ryan Howard is hitting .425 with four home runs and now ranks seventh in the NL with a .550 slugging percentage. Still, he's owed $60 million for this year and next and his WAR is 0.3, so his trade value is still nonexistent. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
27
Brewers
16-29
1
Last Week: 28
The Brewers endured a rough road trip, closed by a series loss at Atlanta. While the starting pitchers appeared ready to improve at times, the relievers worked overtime throughout the week. -- Nicholas Zettel (@spectivewax), Disciples of Uecker
28
Rockies
17-25
2
Last Week: 30
After losing 11 in a row, the Rockies battled back to split their series with the Dodgers, Phillies and Giants, but their lack of consistency on both offense and defense, mixed with injuries to some key players stills finds them at the bottom of the NL West standings. -- Matthew Quintana (@QMoney09), Rockies Zingers
29
2
Last Week: 27
Stephen Vogt continues to put up impressive numbers. He's third in the American League in OPS (1.013) and RBIs (33) and fourth in on-base percentage (.408). -- ESPN.com
30
Marlins
18-27
9
Last Week: 21
Henderson Alvarez's return to the rotation lasted two starts, as he's back on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. Joining him is the very ineffective Mat Latos (1-4, 6.12). Latos has left knee inflammation. No players were at the annual fundraiser benefiting the Marlins' Reviving Inner Cities Program (RBI) on Thursday, irritating team president David Samson. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Replacement Grit

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