Sports

The Times' Major League Baseball rankings

Kevin Baxter ranks the 30 teams. Last week’s ranking in parentheses, statistics are through Friday’s games:

1. MILWAUKEE: Brewers haven’t won 17 of first 23 games since 1987. They also lead MLB with 15 sacrifice bunts. (1)

2. ATLANTA: Braves (2.19 team ERA) have held opponents to two or fewer runs 14 times in 22 games. (3)

3. OAKLAND: A’s rotation (AL-best 2.67 ERA) has 18 quality starts in 23 games. (2)

4. TEXAS: Among AL teams Rangers have the second-most wins (14) and the most players (11) on the disabled list. (4)

5. DETROIT: Victor Martinez has more homers (three) than strikeouts (MLB-low two) in 74 at-bats. (14)

6. N.Y. YANKEES: They lost as many starting pitchers — one for 10 days, one for the year — as they lost games last week. (7)

7. COLORADO: LaTroy Hawkins, the oldest pitcher in the majors, has seven saves and a 2.89 ERA in 10 games. (15)

8. SAN FRANCISCO: Nearly a third of the Giants’ wins have gone to Jean Machi, who leads MLB relievers with four. (8)

9. N.Y. METS: Pitching (5-1, 1.83 ERA in the last week) lifts streaking Mets to second in NL East. (17)

10. ST. LOUIS: Think they miss Carlos Beltran? Cardinals’ right fielders are hitting an MLB-worst .133/.194/.189. (5)

11. DODGERS: Behind Brian Wilson (0-2, 15.75), bullpen leads MLB with 8 losses; has blown four of 12 save chances. (6)

12. ANGELS: Pujols shares MLB lead with 9 HRs in 22 games. He didn’t hit his ninth home run last year until June 4. (13)

13. WASHINGTON: Closer Rafael Soriano has not allowed a run and has given up one extra-base hit in 9 games. (11)

14. CINCINNATI: Opponents hitting .172 against Alfredo Simon, who has allowed more than one run once in four starts. (19)

15. BALTIMORE: Orioles hitting .271, third-best in AL, but opponents are hitting an MLB-high .282 against them. (10)

16. KANSAS CITY: Royals have as many homers as a team (9) as Albert Pujols has by himself. (12)

17. CHICAGO WHITE SOX: Abreu shares MLB lead in HR, RBIs; Viciedo, Ramirez among top seven in average. (22)

18. TORONTO: Jose Bautista has more walks (MLB-high 27) than hits (21) in 103 plate appearances, for a .466 OBP. (9)

19. BOSTON: Relievers Capuano, Tazawa and Uehara have yet to allow a run, striking out 38, in 32 innings combined. (26)

20. SAN DIEGO: Padres relievers are the best in baseball with a 4-0 record, nine saves, a 2.02 ERA and a .205 OBA. (23)

21. PITTSBURGH: Charlie Morton (0-3, 4.35) has walked a team-high 12 batters and hit an MLB-high five in 31 innings. (16)

22. TAMPA BAY: Rays have only nine quality starts in 23 games; starters are 7-9 with a 4.45 ERA. (21)

23. MINNESOTA: Twins’ road ERA (5.52) and opponents’ BA (.306) are much higher than numbers at home (4.70, .254). (18)

24. CLEVELAND: Yan Gomes leads all catchers with six errors and three passed balls in 19 games. (24)

25. SEATTLE: Mariners’ staff posts 4.99 ERA in recent eight-game losing streak. (20)

26. PHILADELPHIA: Phillies’ third basemen hitting just .183 combined. (25)

27. MIAMI: Jose Fernandez is 13-4 with a 1.60 ERA and 182 strikeouts in 152 innings since June 1. (27)

28. CHICAGO CUBS: Jeff Samardzija winless in five starts despite a 1.53 ERA. (28)

29. HOUSTON: Astros are last in the majors in hitting (.208) and last in the AL in runs (3.0 a game). (29)

30. ARIZONA: Diamondbacks haven’t had 18 losses this early in the season since 1998, their inaugural year. (30)

kevin.baxter@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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