In a close vote, there's a new No. 1

Updated: April 27, 2015, 12:09 PM ET
Week:

ESPN.com

Heading into Week 4 of the season, there has been no runaway leader in the race to be baseball's best team. In a close vote among our five-person panel, the Kansas City Royals edged out the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals to claim the top spot in our rankings. The Detroit Tigers, our No. 1 team in each of the past two weeks, dropped to fourth after going 3-4.

This week's voters were 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.

2015 Power Rankings: April 27
RANKTEAM / RECORD TRENDINGCOMMENTS
1
Royals
12-6
1
Last Week: 2
Anything happen this week with the Royals? They lost some momentum on Sunday, dropping two games, but their plus-30 run differential remains best in the majors. Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, Kendrys Morales and Alex Gordon all have .370 OBPs or higher. Not bad considering Gordon led the team last year at .351. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
2
Mets
14-5
4
Last Week: 6
Despite dropping two of three to the Yankees, the Mets begin the week with the best record in the majors. Bartolo Colon and Matt Harvey are the first NL pitching duo since 2008 to both start the season 4-0 and the first duo in Mets history to do so, and Harvey is only the second pitcher in team history to begin two seasons 4-0 (Jerry Koosman was the first, in 1968 and '73) -- Joe Janish (@metstoday), Mets Today
3
2
Last Week: 5
The pitching staff -- with an MLB-best 1.99 ERA and second-best 2.87 FIP -- is propelling the Cardinals team to a fast start. The only thing that threatens to derail them is health. They await official news on the status of Adam Wainwright in the wake of his recent ankle injury. -- Matt Philip (@fungoes), Fungoes
4
Tigers
13-6
3
Last Week: 1
No team can maintain the pace the Tigers set at the start of the season, but Detroit had a rather abrupt fall to earth last week, losing three of four to the Yankees as well as the first game of its series against the Indians. The pitching has especially struggled, posting a 6.80 ERA in those five games before righting the ship with wins over Cleveland on Saturday and Sunday. -- Erin Saelzler @walkoffwoodward), Walkoff Woodward
5
2
Last Week: 3
Brandon McCarthy, signed to a four-year, $48 million contract in the offseason despite a history of shoulder issues, departed Saturday's game with elbow tightness. He has surrendered nine homers and compiled a 5.87 ERA in 23 innings this season, but is 3-0. Yasiel Puig, meanwhile, is on the disabled list with a hamstring strain. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Replacement Grit
6
2
Last Week: 4
Through Saturday's games, MLB had tracked 752 batted balls with a velocity of 105 mph or higher. Media darlings Mike Trout, Adam Jones and Josh Donaldson were tied for second place with 11 of those batted balls. Hanley Ramirez held first place all by himself -- with 18. -- Ryan P. Morrison (@ryanpmorrison), Inside the 'Zona
7
13
Last Week: 20
After a dreary start to the season, the Yanks have won eight of their past 10 games. Mark Teixeira, forever a slow starter and April washout, has been on fire, bashing eight home runs and driving in 18 runs to lead the team. Now if only Chase Headley and Brian McCann (a combined .233 batting average, sub-.300 OBP) would warm up. -- Jason Rosenberg (@Jason_IIATMS), It's About the Money
8
Padres
11-9
1
Last Week: 7
San Diego and Los Angeles combined for seven homers in Saturday's game at Petco Park, only the seventh time in park history a game has featured at least seven HRs (there have been three eight-homer games). Ian Kennedy returned from the DL to yield three of those seven homers in 4 1/3 innings. Andrew Cashner's past three starts: 19 innings, 2 earned runs, 20 strikeouts. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Replacement Grit
9
6
Last Week: 15
Just a few days ago, the Pirates were 6-8 after suffering a ninth-inning loss to the Cubs. Now they've reeled off five wins in a row, two over the Cubs and three over the Diamondbacks. Oh, and they're winning even though Andrew McCutchen is batting .186. -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
10
Cubs
10-7
4
Last Week: 14
Through the first three weeks of play, the Cubs have thrown out just one runner trying to steal in 14 attempts (7.14 percent), which ranks last in all of baseball. -- Joe Aiello (@VFTB), View from the Bleachers
11
1
Last Week: 10
The Blue Jays have scored the most runs in baseball, the starting pitchers have been decent and the relievers have left a lot to be desired. The lack of depth in that bullpen is showing, as manager John Gibbons has been forced to rely on Miguel Castro and Roberto Osuna, both 20, far too often, which could cause some fatigue issues if their workloads aren't reduced soon. -- Gideon Turk (@GideonTurk), Blue Jays Plus
12
Astros
11-7
13
Last Week: 25
They won five of six in Seattle and Oakland and finish up a tough road trip in San Diego. They're hitting only .224 and they lead the majors in strikeouts, but their opponents are hitting just .219, and the Astros have outhomered them (21 to 13) and drawn more walks (65 to 44). -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
13
5
Last Week: 8
It's the 20th anniversary of Coors Field, yet the franchise has never won the National League West title. The Rockies play 12 straight games against NL West rivals until May 10. That may be the best way to measure how talented this team is compared to others in the division. -- Richard Bergstrom (@RockiesZingers), Rockies Zingers
14
Rays
11-8
7
Last Week: 21
The Rays' ragtag bunch continues to hover near the top of the American League East despite a dozen or so players on the disabled list. Drew Smyly and James Loney returned over the weekend to help take another series from Toronto. Jake McGee and Alex Colome could join them soon. -- Tommy Rancel (@trancel), The Process Report
15
Angels
9-10
3
Last Week: 12
Six of the 10 Angels regulars are hitting .222 or worse, and five of those six are well below the Mendoza Line. If the Halos want to stay afloat, they're going to need at least a few of those guys to turn it around. As good as Mike Trout is, even he can't make up for half the lineup tanking. -- Nathan Aderhold (@AdrastusPerkins), Halos Daily
16
3
Last Week: 13
The Nationals have lost five games in a row for the first time since coming out of the All-Star break in July 2013. -- Harper Gordek (@harpergordek), Nationals Baseball
17
8
Last Week: 9
Since being activated from the disabled list last week, Jimmy Paredes has hit three home runs in seven games. Prior to that, he had only five career homers in parts of four major league seasons. -- Matt Kremnitzer (@mattkremnitzer), Camden Depot
18
7
Last Week: 11
Scott Kazmir (0.99 ERA in four starts) and Sonny Gray (1.91 ERA in four starts) continue to impress. -- ESPN.com
19
3
Last Week: 16
Reality is starting to hit the Braves, who aren't hitting, aren't pitching well and have suffered a defensive regression. There is still a chance to salvage a winning April as the Nationals come to town this week. -- Martin Gandy (@gondeee), Chop County
20
Reds
8-10
3
Last Week: 17
The Reds during the weekend celebrated the 25th anniversary of the club's most recent World Series championship. Meanwhile, the current version of the Redlegs was swept by the Cubs and has now lost four of five this season to a franchise that hasn't won a title since 1908, but is headed in a decidedly different direction than Cincinnati. -- Chad Dotson (@dotsonc), Redleg Nation
21
3
Last Week: 18
A quartet of Mariners -- Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, Kyle Seager and Austin Jackson -- had strong weeks at the plate while Felix Hernandez, Taijuan Walker and J.A. Happ turned in impressive starts. The team went just 3-3, however, as inconsistent pitching performances plagued Seattle. -- Jeff Wiser (@outfieldgrass24), Inside the 'Zona
22
Giants
8-11
4
Last Week: 26
The Giants have rebounded and won four of five games, riding the hot bat of Justin Maxwell. The 31-year-old non-roster invitee is hitting .308 while subbing for the injured Hunter Pence. -- Connor Grossman (@connorgrossman), West Coast Bias
23
4
Last Week: 27
Emerging star Christian Yelich, off to a lackluster start this season, hit the disabled list with a bulging disk in his lower back. Jose Fernandez will throw a bullpen session Monday in his continuing recovery from Tommy John surgery. Miami hosts the Mets this week, seeking revenge after getting swept in a four-game series in New York earlier this month. -- Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Replacement Grit
24
2
Last Week: 22
With a 1.45 ERA in 18 2/3 innings, Archie Bradley is looking the part of the ace that the team has so desperately missed since Patrick Corbin's elbow injury. On Saturday, Rubby De La Rosa made it look like Bradley may not be alone by tossing a seven-inning gem with eight strikeouts and zero walks. -- Ryan P. Morrison (@ryanpmorrison), Inside the 'Zona
25
6
Last Week: 19
The Indians wrapped up a frustrating road trip by losing their series against the division rival White Sox and Tigers. The one bright spot was a 13-1 romp over Detroit on Friday, in which Danny Salazar struck out 11 and looked like the pitcher they have hoped he'd become. Brandon Moss also has started to heat up, hitting .353 the past week with nine RBIs. -- Susan Petrone (@susanpetrone), It's Pronounced "Lajaway"
26
3
Last Week: 23
Paying $46 million is an awful lot for a closer, but David Robertson has struck out 17 of the 29 batters he has faced, pitched eight scoreless innings and recorded a win and a save on Sunday. Thanks in part to his efforts, the White Sox are almost out of their early-season hole. -- James Fegan (@TheCatbird_Seat), The Catbird Seat
27
Twins
8-10
1
Last Week: 28
The Twins took two of three in Seattle and now return home for a 10-game stretch at Target Field, where they've already won two series against division foes. After a 1-5 start, they righted the ship in a hurry. -- Nick Nelson (@nnelson9), Twins Daily
28
4
Last Week: 24
A depleted pitching staff and underperforming lineup have the Rangers looking up at the rest of the AL West. The organization is on the verge of welcoming back an old friend in Josh Hamilton, with hopes that he can help turn the team's fortunes around. -- Brandon Land (@one_strike_away), One Strike Away
29
1
Last Week: 30
I hate to pick on the Phillies, because they did just take two of three from the Braves, but they're hitting .214/.269/.319 as a team and have a .588 OPS. That's barely better than the career OPS of former Phillies infielder Steve Jeltz (.576). -- David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield), SweetSpot
30
1
Last Week: 29
In a week where the Brewers' recent formula continued, the most notable news came from the front office. With owner Mark Attanasio backing his GM and manager, there are no foreseeable changes to answer for the worst start in franchise history. The players are now the central focus, which means they hopefully will improve their performance. -- Nicholas Zettel (@spectivewax), Disciples of Uecker

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