Pirates quickly falling out of sight

Updated: April 28, 2014, 3:09 PM ET
Week:

ESPN.com

• Chat wrap: This week's rankings.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are nowhere near the top of our Power Rankings as they fell 11 spots to No. 24. The Milwaukee Brewers, meanwhile, hold on to the No. 1 spot for the second straight week, while the Atlanta Braves move up one spot to No. 2.

The American West-leading Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers come in at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, while the New York Yankees move into the No. 5 position to round out of the top five.

This week's voters were Jim Bowden of ESPN Insider, Tim Kurkjian of ESPN The Magazine, 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.

2014 Power Rankings: April 28
RANKTEAM / RECORD TRENDINGCOMMENTS
1
--

Last Week: 1
The Brewers wrapped up a 4-2 homestand against the Padres and Cubs on Sunday without either Ryan Braun (intercostal strain) or Jean Segura (a Braun bat-to-the-face) in the lineup. They still have the best record in baseball at 18-7, though, and open a three-game series in St. Louis on Monday. -- Ryan Topp (@RDTopp), Disciples of Uecker
2
Braves
17-7
1
Last Week: 3
Mike Minor will return this week, and the Braves will have to figure out which pitcher to kick out of the majors' best starting rotation. More than likely, David Hale will be the one to go, but his 2.31 ERA ranks among the top 20 in the National League. In fact, the other four members of the Braves' rotation all have an ERA that ranks among the top 15 in baseball. -- Martin Gandy (@gondeee), Gondeee
3
2
Last Week: 5
Scott Kazmir is 3-0 with a 1.62 ERA in five starts. He's also allowed only one home run and six walks in 33 1/3 innings pitched. -- ESPN.com
4
Rangers
15-10
4
Last Week: 8
Texas, at 15-10, is tied for the best record in the AL, but the Rangers let two potential wins get away over the weekend in Seattle. The rotation appears to be getting stronger with the return of Matt Harrison, while the bullpen has become an issue. -- Brandon Land (@one_strike_away), One Strike Away
5
Yankees
15-10
4
Last Week: 9
The Yankees finished last week 4-2 after playing two three-game series, with the Red Sox in Fenway Park and the Angels at home. They had strong pitching performances from CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka, Mark Teixeira hit a couple of home runs and they welcomed back closer David Robertson, who picked up two saves against the Angels. -- Stacey Gotsulias (@StaceGots), It's About the Money
6
Tigers
12-9
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Last Week: 6
April showers continue to steal games from the Tigers (three PPDs this season) and they continue to steal bases at a vastly-improved rate. In '13 they finished last in the AL in steals. They're currently third (19). Also speeding up in Detroit is the loss of patience for a bullpen with the 29th-ranked ERA. Despite that, they're still in first place in the AL Central. -- Ryan Callery, Walkoff Woodward
7
Dodgers
14-12
3
Last Week: 4
The Dodgers had a disappointing 2-5 week, hosting the Phillies and Rockies. They're now a poor 6-9 at home. Clayton Kershaw will make one more rehab start before returning. A bruised right thumb is the latest malady for Hanley Ramirez. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit
8
6
Last Week: 2
The Cardinals' offense continues to sputter, averaging fewer than two runs per game for the week until erupting for seven on Sunday against the Pirates to win the series as Adam Wainwright bounced back from a knee-injury scare. -- Matt Philip (@fungoes), Fungoes
9
1
Last Week: 10
As expected, the Nats have a starter showing No. 1 stuff and it's ... Tanner Roark? His 2.76 ERA isn't a fluke as his walks are low, hits are low and home runs are low. He's doing everything a successful pitcher needs to do. -- Harper Gordek (@harpergordek), Nationals Baseball
10
Giants
15-10
3
Last Week: 7
After a week of offensive woes, the Giants reversed their fortunes at home against the Indians, capped off by a walk-off three-run home run by Brandon Hicks on Sunday. Hunter Pence is also now 11-for-23 in his past six games. One of the best bullpens (2.01 ERA) in the league is keeping the Giants in close games, and they've already partaken in 12 games decided by one run. -- Connor Grossman (@GiantsBaseball), West Coast Bias
11
Rockies
14-12
5
Last Week: 16
The Rockies wrapped up another winning week, this time against two strong division rivals in the Giants and Dodgers. Winning a road series at Dodger Stadium should bolster the young team's confidence going into a softer week against the struggling Diamondbacks in the desert followed by the Mets at Coors. -- Juan Pablo Zubillaga (@rockieszingers), Rockies Zingers
12
Orioles
12-12
2
Last Week: 14
It's been an April to forget for Ubaldo Jimenez. He's 0-4 with a 6.59 ERA in five starts for the Orioles. -- ESPN.com
13
Mets
14-11
8
Last Week: 21
The Mets have won six of their past eight games as they head into a three-city, nine-game road trip. They are 6-0 when Anthony Recker starts behind the plate. -- Joe Janish (@metstoday), Mets Today
14
Red Sox
12-14
3
Last Week: 17
Streaking is normally looked down upon, but it's OK since the Red Sox haven't been doing that lately anyway. The Sox have yet to string along three straight wins this season, and Mike Napoli (.307/.402/.545) has been one of the few hitters with a pulse. Yes, the team's healthy, but a daunting homestand against the Rays, A's and Reds awaits. Out of the frying pan, and into the fire. -- Brett Cowett (@BACowett), Fire Brand of the AL
15
Angels
11-13
3
Last Week: 18
Try as they might, the Angels just can't seem to get above the .500 mark. They've had five chances already this year to slay this particular white whale, but have come up short each time. Their plus-29 run differential indicates it'll happen sooner or later, but their 2-7 record in one-run games and 4-10 mark in contests decided by three or fewer runs says otherwise. -- Nate Aderhold, Halos Daily
16
Reds
11-14
3
Last Week: 19
After winning seven of nine to climb back to .500, the Reds promptly dropped three in a row to Atlanta over the weekend. Johnny Cueto continues to dominate NL hitters; the righty is second in the league in ERA (1.15) and strikeouts (50), while leading NL starters in wins above replacement (1.9). -- Chad Dotson (@dotsonc), Redleg Nation
17
Royals
12-12
6
Last Week: 11
The Royals have the lowest rotation ERA in the AL and that's with Bruce Chen posting a 7.45 ERA through four starts. Rookie Yordano Ventura tossed his best game yet: eight shutout innings against the Orioles on Friday. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
18
7
Last Week: 25
White Sox fans are pretty upbeat considering the team effectively replaced Chris Sale with Hector Noesi over the past week. Maybe it has to do with that Jose Abreu character, who hit five home runs during that same time frame. The Sox have scored and allowed the most runs in the AL, and are thus .500. Makes perfect sense. -- James Fegan (@TheCatbird_Seat), The Catbird Seat
19
Twins
12-11
8
Last Week: 27
After four weeks, the Twins are above .500 despite having a 6.04 ERA from their rotation, which is sort of amazing. The offense continues to click with an MLB-leading .353 OBP. -- Nick Nelson (@nnelson9), Twins Daily
20
Rays
11-14
8
Last Week: 12
Pitching and defense propelled the Rays from the cellar to the ceiling of the American League. However, it was their downfall this week. Subpar pitching from replacement starters taxed the bullpen, and the defense committed four errors on Sunday. What should be a marquee matchup with the Red Sox this week is now a meeting of the bottom two teams in the AL East. -- Tommy Rancel (@TRancel), The Process Report
21
6
Last Week: 15
The Jays went 2-4 this past week against the Orioles and Red Sox, allowing over 6.5 runs per game. Toronto will finally get an extended look at opponents outside the AL East, starting with the Royals and Pirates. -- Matthias Koster (@Mopupduty), Mop-Up Duty
22
Indians
11-14
--

Last Week: 22
The top of the Indians' lineup finally started to heat up last week -- Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher hit a combined .363 over the past seven days. Unfortunately, the 4-5-6 spots in the lineup (Carlos Santana, Michael Brantley and Asdrubal Cabrera) went a combined 0-for-27 over the weekend as the Indians were swept by the Giants. -- Stephanie Liscio (@stephanieliscio), It's Pronounced "Lajaway"
23
1
Last Week: 24
Chase Utley remains healthy and productive. Together with a streaking Carlos Ruiz and excellent outings by Cliff Lee, A.J. Burnett and Cole Hamels, he helped the Phillies put together a 5-2 week. But if the bullpen, third-worst ERA in MLB, does not improve, the Phillies will have to hope for a lot of complete games. -- Ryan Sommers, Crashburn Alley
24
Pirates
10-16
11
Last Week: 13
Pirates right fielders were among the worst in the majors last year (prompting the trade for Marlon Byrd), and are struggling again with a .221/.289/.279 line, with two home runs and no doubles or triples. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
25
Marlins
11-14
1
Last Week: 26
The offense disappeared in a 2-4 week (facing the Braves and an improved Mets rotation will do that). They begin a nine-game homestand Tuesday versus the Braves, Dodgers and Mets. They're 9-4 with a 2.54 ERA and a .293 batting average in Marlins Park. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit
26
Padres
12-14
6
Last Week: 20
More injury news for the Padres, as Chase Headley landed on the DL with a strained right calf. In good news, however, Cameron Maybin returned on Sunday after missing the first 25 games with a ruptured biceps tendon and went 2-for-4. Carlos Quentin, out all season with a bone bruise in his left knee, should start a minor league rehab assignment at the end of the week. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
27
4
Last Week: 23
At least one Mariner is finally warming up. Kyle Seager hit five home runs during the week, including two on Sunday as the Mariners rallied from a 5-0 deficit to beat the Rangers. Seager hit the go-ahead three-run homer in the eighth and also had a walk-off three-run homer against the Astros earlier in the week. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
28
Cubs
8-16
1
Last Week: 29
On Sunday, Jason Hammel notched his fourth win before May 1. The last time the Cubs had a pitcher with four or more wins before May 1 was 2008, when both Ryan Dempster and Carlos Zambrano had four. The Cubs went to the playoffs that year ... just sayin'. -- Joe Aiello (@VFTB), View from the Bleachers
29
1
Last Week: 28
Things seemed to stabilize a bit in the past week for Arizona, but splitting a four-game set against the Cubs while going 3-4 for the week isn't much to brag about. The D-backs now have to deal with a foot injury to Mark Trumbo that will leave him out for 4-6 weeks, stretching the outfield thin as manager Kirk Gibson may be reluctant to play Cody Ross every day. -- Ryan P. Morrison (@InsidetheZona), Inside the 'Zona
30
Astros
9-17
--

Last Week: 30
Won two in a row versus the A's, after losing 25 of the prior 30 against Oakland. Collin McHugh became the first Astros starter to record an out in the eighth inning this year, going 8 2/3 innings in Sunday's win. A light week coming up, with only five games. Banged-up Nationals and weakling Mariners come to town. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit

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