Sports

The Times' MLB rankings

Zach Helfand ranks the 30 Major League Baseball League teams.

Last week's ranking in parenthesis. Statistics are through Friday's games.

1. KANSAS CITY: The Royals defense already has saved 29 runs. The next-closest team has saved 15. (1)

2. ST. LOUIS: Played 19 consecutive games against the dregs of the NL — Brewers, Reds, Nationals and Phillies. (2)

3. HOUSTON: Don't look now, but the Astros have won eight in a row. Actually look now. It can't last much longer. (14)

4. DETROIT: This team has never-ending closer issues. Joe Nathan underwent Tommy John surgery on Wednesday. (4)

5. DODGERS: Tried to move them to No. 4, sprained a finger typing, may be headed to writers' disabled list. (6)

6. BOSTON: The Red Sox have allowed the second-most runs in baseball. (3)

7. N.Y. YANKEES: Masahiro Tanaka is shut down again, and could be headed toward Tommy John surgery. (9)

8. CHICAGO CUBS: Normally, Wrigley Field is charming and the team stinks. This year, it's reversed. (8)

9. PITTSBURGH: Andrew McCutchen, hitting below the Mendoza line, tweeted that he and his bat had a long, hard talk. (12)

10. N.Y. METS: With three losses in four games the Mets are starting to look like the Mets were supposed to look. (10)

11. SAN DIEGO: The offense is much improved, but the defense is among the league's worst. (5)

12. ANGELS: Are the Angels weathering some cold bats or just overachieving with a mediocre lineup? (15)

13. TAMPA BAY: Chris Archer has fewer walks (six) than most starters have given up runs. (17)

14. COLORADO: Starters have an earned-run average above 5.00. That's bad even for the Rockies. (7)

15. WASHINGTON: April is usually Bryce Harper's month. He hit five homers and knocked in 15 runs this year. (13)

16. MIAMI: Watch out. The Marlins won eight of nine after a 3-11 start. (25)

17. BALTIMORE: Who else was expecting the warehouse in right field to unfurl a "0" banner to mark the attendance? (18)

18. TORONTO: Doing their best, in both halves of innings, to solve baseball's hitting issues. (11)

19. SEATTLE: OK, it's April, but Nelson Cruz is on pace to break the single-season home-run record. (19)

20. CINCINNATI: Before Bryan Price's profane rant, the Reds had lost four straight. After? 5-5. Not %^@#!#& bad. (21)

21. ARIZONA: Scary moment when Archie Bradley was struck on the side of his face by a line drive. (24)

22. OAKLAND: Under .500 despite outscoring opponents, but we've read this book before. It should even out. (16)

23. MINNESOTA: Joe Mauer's playoff beard is further evidence that Minnesota is a hockey state. (27)

24. CHICAGO WHITE SOX: The White Sox have never won a game in an empty stadium. (22)

25. SAN FRANCISCO: A few more weeks like this and the Giants might just finish fourth in the NL West. (28)

26. ATLANTA: Started with five straight wins — and have just six wins since. (23)

27. TEXAS: Rangers lost four in a row after acquiring Josh Hamilton. He's not with team, but, just saying. (26)

28. CLEVELAND: Trevor Bauer is a rare bright spot. The UCLA product is 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA. (20)

29. PHILADELPHIA: The Phillies won two games after last week's rankings — then lost four. Progress? (29)

30. MILWAUKEE: Maybe Ryan Braun didn't get off easy for cheating and lying after all. He's stuck on the Brewers. (30)

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