Cardinals rise to No. 2

Updated: April 30, 2012, 12:14 PM ET
Week:

ESPN.com

Despite going 3-3 last week, the Texas Rangers continue to have the best record in baseball. Because of that, they retain the top spot in our MLB Power Rankings for Week 5.

The St. Louis Cardinals move up two spots to claim the No. 2 spot, while the Tampa Bay Rays, who were 5-1 last week, rise five spots to No. 3. The Los Angeles Dodgers (No. 4) and Washington Nationals (No. 5) round out the top five.

Tell us what you think about this week's Power Rankings: Use the hashtag #ESPNMLBPOWER or join the discussion on Facebook.

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. Nearly all team comments come courtesy of the fan bloggers on the SweetSpot Blog Network. Meanwhile, you can rank the teams yourself.

2012 Power Rankings: April 30
RANKTEAM / RECORD TRENDINGCOMMENTS
1
--

Last Week: 1
Elvis Andrus has reached base in 18 consecutive games, and during that span he's batting .286 with a .378 on-base percentage. -- ESPN.com
2
2
Last Week: 4
The Cardinals' bullpen let a couple of games slip away in Chicago, but the pitching staff overall continues to stymie the opposition with a 3.19 fielding-independent pitching (third-best in the National League) and the lowest walk rate in baseball (1.97 BB/9). -- Matt Philip: Fungoes
3
Rays
14-8
5
Last Week: 8
If this were pro wrestling, the Rays would be coming home from Texas in possession of the AL West championship belt after going 5-1 against two West favorites, the Rangers and Angels, last week. -- Mark Heilig: The Ray Area
4
1
Last Week: 5
The Dodgers had a 4-2 week against the top two teams in the NL East, thanks to not just Matt Kemp but also the starting pitching posting a 1.73 ERA in 45 2/3 innings (7 2/3 innings per start) with a 0.88 WHIP. -- Jon Weisman: Dodger Thoughts
5
1
Last Week: 6
The Nationals' pitching is still great (2.33 team ERA), but you don't win with pitching alone. In losing its past four games, Washington has scored a mere six runs, and only 29 runners have scored in its past 11. -- Harper Gordek: Nationals Baseball
6
3
Last Week: 3
David Robertson hasn't allowed a run in 10 appearances (10 innings pitched) so far, and he has recorded 15 strikeouts and issued just three walks. -- ESPN.com
7
Braves
14-8
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Last Week: 7
The Braves lost just one series in April and had two five-game winning streaks in the month. Atlanta was 21st in baseball in OBP last year at .308, but so far this year, the offense is 12th at .325. -- David Lee: Capitol Avenue Club
8
Tigers
11-11
6
Last Week: 2
The Tigers' recent slide has warranted certain well-deserved questions about their ability to run away with the AL Central. However, one must also remember that last year the Tigers were 12-15 at the end of April and sat in third place in the division. Then, they finished within two wins of a World Series berth. -- Josh Worn: Walkoff Woodward
9
1
Last Week: 10
After the Jays swept the lowly Royals and were swept by the Orioles, one thing is certain: Jays ace Ricky Romero is the team's streak starter and slump buster. In his past 17 starts dating back to 2011, Romero is 11-2 with a 2.61 ERA. More importantly, the Blue Jays are 14-3 in that span. -- Callum Hughson: Mop-Up Duty
10
Red Sox
10-11
14
Last Week: 24
The pitching was much better last week. The starters went 5-1 with a 4.00 ERA, but the relievers were the real surprise with a 1.06 ERA. The Red Sox will need more of that to keep winning games. -- Troy Patterson: Fire Brand of the AL
11
2
Last Week: 9
The Phillies will end April below .500. However, they are averaging fewer than 3.2 runs per game. From that perspective, being below .500 is not so bad. -- Bill Baer: Crashburn Alley
12
6
Last Week: 18
Just 22 games into the season, Baltimore already has matched its 2011 total for come-from-behind wins in the seventh inning or later (five), making up more than one-third of its total victories in 2012 (14). -- Nick Faleris: Camden Depot
13
Giants
12-10
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Last Week: 13
Tim Lincecum threw 121 pitches against the Padres on Saturday, the most by any starting pitcher in the National League thus far. One has to wonder whether Bruce Bochy will push his starting pitching to the limit now that Brian Wilson is out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. -- Chris Quick: Bay City Ball
14
2
Last Week: 16
The Indians went 3-3 on their brief homestand, but there was something missing against the Royals and Angels this week -- the long ball. The Indians' power outage has reached 11 straight games without a homer; this was after they hit 16 home runs in their first nine games. -- Stephanie Liscio: It's Pronounced Lajaway
15
3
Last Week: 12
Mediocre pitching has the Diamondbacks treading water at 11-11: a 4.10 team ERA (12th in the NL), 22 homers allowed (tied for second-worst in the league) and an opponent OPS of .795 against their relievers (worst in the NL). Daniel Hudson and Takashi Saito need to return from injury soon. -- Diane Firstman: Value Over Replacement Grit
16
Mets
13-9
2
Last Week: 14
After losing five of six, the Mets have won five of six and are now four games over .500 despite being outscored by 19 runs (107-88). They're the only team in baseball with a winning record and a minus-10 or more run differential. -- Joe Janish: Mets Today
17
Reds
11-11
4
Last Week: 21
Jay Bruce has homered in four straight games, and just like that, the Reds have won three straight series. They'll finish April with a .500 record (after playing wretched baseball for most of the month). Maybe that glass isn't half-empty after all. -- Chad Dotson: Redleg Nation
18
Rockies
10-11
1
Last Week: 19
Jamie Moyer isn't the only Rockie defying Father Time. After his game-tying, pinch-hit grand slam on Sunday, 38-year-old Todd Helton leads the Rockies with a .939 OPS. He is also tied for the team lead in home runs, RBIs and walks despite just 63 plate appearances. -- Logan Burdine: Blake Street Bulletin
19
8
Last Week: 11
A sputtering offense (18 runs in their past seven games) has the Pale Hose sitting at .500 but only one game behind the first-place Indians. Every AL Central team is below .500 at home, including Chicago at 4-7. Jake Peavy likely will be AL pitcher of the month for April (1.67 ERA, 21 hits, five walks, 33 strikeouts in 37 2/3 innings). -- Diane Firstman: Value Over Replacement Grit
20
Brewers
10-12
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Last Week: 20
The Brewers own the National League's worst run differential at minus-25 and are better than only the Twins (minus-36) in MLB. Perhaps not playing the Cardinals again until July will help. Despite taking two of the first six meetings from the NL Central leaders, Milwaukee has been outscored by 21 runs in the contests. -- Jack Moore: Disciples of Uecker
21
1
Last Week: 22
Former top prospect Michael Saunders struggled mightily at the big league level from 2009 to 2011, but a big week in which he hit four doubles and two home runs has propelled his slash line (AVG/OBP/SLG) to .258/.347/.515 through the first 20 games of the season. -- Jon Shields: Pro Ball NW
22
1
Last Week: 23
A demoralizing ninth-inning loss to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon kept the A's from having a 4-2 week. Being last in the AL in runs scored, with 15 percent fewer runs than the next-worst team, does not bode well for their chances to approximate a .500 winning percentage in the long term. -- Jason Wojciechowski: Beaneball
23
8
Last Week: 15
Josh Johnson struck out eight batters in five innings on Sunday, but he's still getting hit around some and hasn't yet pitched to his known effectiveness this year. -- Dave Gershman: Marlins Daily
24
Angels
7-15
7
Last Week: 17
The bullpen is a serious issue, but the team scored only nine runs in six games last week. The promotion of mega-prospect Mike Trout should help, but Albert Pujols' struggles must end soon before this season is lost. -- Hudson Belinsky: Halos Daily
25
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Last Week: 25
Clint Barmes is not getting it done offensively (.149 average, .186 on-base percentage in 20 games) as the Pirates' everyday shortstop. -- ESPN.com
26
Astros
8-14
1
Last Week: 27
There aren't a lot of good reasons to watch the Astros right now, but what a reason you've got in Jose Altuve. The diminutive second baseman is third in the NL in batting average (.373), fourth in on-base percentage (.418) and fifth in OPS (.984). -- Austin Swafford: Austin's Astros 290 Blog
27
Royals
6-15
1
Last Week: 28
Third baseman Mike Moustakas is closing April on fire, hitting .412 in his past 10 games. In 20 games this season, Moose has 10 extra-base hits and owns a slash line of .315/.375/.534. -- Craig Brown: Royals Authority
28
Cubs
8-14
1
Last Week: 29
Derrick Rose's torn ACL has Cubs fans distraught. It means they can't use the Bulls as a diversion and will have to watch Cubs baseball. -- Joe Aiello: View from the Bleachers
29
Padres
7-16
1
Last Week: 30
The Padres managed a 2-4 week despite scoring more than two runs only once against the Giants and Nationals. The NL's seventh-best team ERA (3.42) and opponent OPS (.675) keeps them from futility. -- Diane Firstman: Value Over Replacement Grit
30
Twins
6-15
4
Last Week: 26
The Twins have allowed 120 runs this year -- that's one more than the Nationals and Cardinals have combined to give up. Twins pitchers own a 7.43 ERA in the first three innings of games. It's ugly. -- Nick Nelson: Twins Daily