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The Times' baseball rankings

Tigers and Braves move into the top two spots ahead of the steady Dodgers.

August 03, 2013|By Kevin Baxter
  • Tigers Manager Jim Leyland celebrates a victory over the Chicago White Sox with recently acquired infielder Jose Iglesias on Friday at Comerica Park in Detroit.
Tigers Manager Jim Leyland celebrates a victory over the Chicago White… (Leon Halip / Getty Images )

With the NFL exhibition season kicking off Sunday, Times staff writer Kevin Baxter takes a helmet-jarring look at how MLB's 30 teams line up. (Statistics through Friday's games. Last week's rankings in parentheses):

SPECIAL TEAMS

1. DETROIT | Monsters of the Midway are averaging MLB-best 5.15 runs a game. (7)

2. ATLANTA | High-completion rate: Braves have converted 79% of save opportunities. (9)

3. DODGERS | West Coast Offense: Dodgers topped MLB in hitting (.289) in July. (3)

4. PITTSBURGH | Pirates, 9-7 since the break, hoping to avoid another second-half collapse. (8)

5. CLEVELAND | False start: Have division's best record since opening 8-13. (12)

6. BOSTON | Running game: MLB's most successful base-stealing team with 83 in 100 tries. (6)

7. TAMPA BAY | Tampa 2: Price, Moore went 9-1, 1.84 combined in July. (1)

8. ST. LOUIS | Balanced attack: Lead NL in hitting, scoring, rank fourth in ERA. (2)

9. OAKLAND | Raiders gave up more points in 16 games than A's have given up runs in 109. (4)

10. TEXAS | Have been to 2 World Series since Cowboys last made playoffs. (13)

11. KANSAS CITY | Stopped for short gain: 9-game win streak earned 1¿1/2¿ games in division. (16)

FACING THIRD AND LONG

12. BALTIMORE | Defense-oriented: Orioles have fewest errors (33) in majors. (11)

13. CINCINNATI | Ocho cinco: Reds may win that many back-to-back for first time since 2000. (5)

14. ARIZONA | Calling an audible: Diamondbacks dump Ian Kennedy for stretch run. (10)

15. N.Y. YANKEES | Field general: Jeter homers on first pitch in his return from DL. (15)

16. WASHINGTON | Win one for the skipper: Johnson under fire over team's steep fall. (19)

TIME TO TRY A HAIL MARY

17. COLORADO | Peyton's place: Broncos camp news pushes sliding Rockies off front page. (21)

18. ANGELS | Injured reserve: Angels have lost 612 games combined to the DL. (20)

19. PHILADELPHIA | Eagles deeper at QB than Phillies are in rotation. (18)

20. SEATTLE | Hard hitters: Mariners' 35 HRs in July were second in majors. (14)

21. SAN DIEGO | Philip Rivers (15 interceptions) had better control than Marquis (68 walks). (27)

22. N.Y. METS | Daniel Murphy is as scatter-armed at 2nd as Mark Sanchez is at Jets' QB. (17)

23. TORONTO | Jays last in AL East but Grey Cup champion Argos lead their CFL division. (25)

24. SAN FRANCISCO | Fumble!! Giants 2nd in NL with 78 errors, leading to 35 unearned runs. (24)

THESE GUYS MAKE THE JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS LOOK GOOD

25. CHICAGO CUBS | High turnover rate: Cubs make 31 transactions in July. (22)

26. MILWAUKEE | Three and out: Leads MLB with 32 triples but ranks 20th with 425 runs. (23)

27. MINNESOTA | Good ground game: Deduno 2nd among pitchers with 69 groundouts in July. (26)

28. CHICAGO WHITE SOX | Team takes a knee on 2013; trades Peavy to start rebuilding. (28)

29. MIAMI | Unnecessary roughness: Marlins sack hitting coach over verbal abuse. (29)

30. HOUSTON | Missing their receivers: Astros staff has walked MLB-high 397 batters. (30)

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