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The Times' major league baseball rankings

St. Louis Cardinals lead the pack on Memorial Day weekend

May 25, 2013|By Kevin Baxter
  • Cardinals third baseman David Freese celebrates after hitting a two-run home run against the Dodgers on Friday night.
Cardinals third baseman David Freese celebrates after hitting a two-run… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)

With a nod to the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, Sunday's Indianapolis 500, Times staff writer Kevin Baxter offers a speedy look at Major League Baseball. (Statistics through Friday's game. Last week's rankings in parentheses):

RUNNING IN CLEAN AIR

1. ST. LOUIS Spinning its wheels: Loss of Garcia leaves MLB's best staff down five pitchers (1)

2. TEXAS Closing quickly: Bullpen has blown only one of 17 save opportunities (2)

3. CINCINNATI Chapman's fastball is slowing down to a career-low 97.3 mph (5)

4. PITTSBURGH Liriano is second Pirate in 95 years to give up a run or less while winning first three starts (12)

5. N.Y. YANKEES After sitting out 39 games because of a broken foreman, Granderson is out because of a broken finger (3)

6. ATLANTA Speeding Braves have three regulars (Uggla, Heyward, B.J. Upton) hitting under .186 (11)

7. CLEVELAND Indians revving their engines with an AL-best 16-7 record in May (4)

8. DETROIT Cabrera driving Tigers, who are 10-1 in games in which he hits a home run (6)

9. COLORADO High-octane offense leads NL in scoring, tied for division lead in wins (16)

10. ARIZONA Ex-Angel Corbin (7-0, 1.44 ERA) is second in NL in wins, second in MLB in ERA (10)

11. BOSTON Red Sox getting traction from retreads Napoli (36 RBIs) and Uehara (1.83 ERA, 10 holds) (9)

HANGING WITH THE PACK

12. SAN FRANCISCO Sputtering Giants' once-vaunted rotation is 15-15 with NL's third-worst ERA (4.65) (8)

13. OAKLAND After leading MLB in April, A's scoring down 21/2 runs per game in May (17)

14. TAMPA BAY Opponents hitting AL-low .175 against Moore (8-0, 2.29) (14)

15. BALTIMORE Steering goes out for Orioles, who lose seven of 10 games to fall to third in AL East (7)

16. WASHINGTON Going the distance: Zimmermann leads MLB with three complete games (13)

TRYING TO AVOID A CRASH

17. ANGELS Winners of a season-best six games in a row, Angels are second in MLB in HRs in May with 32 (27)

18. CHI. WHITE SOX Rios on MLB-best 18-game hitting streak, leads outfielders in assists with six (19)

19. PHILADELPHIA Utley latest Phillie to go to the pits for repairs, joining Halladay, Ruiz on disabled list (20)

20. KANSAS CITY After a fast start Royals spinning out, falling below .500 with 7-14 record in May (15)

RUNNING LOW ON GAS

21. SEATTLE Mariners hitting MLB-worst .211 with runners in scoring position (18)

22. SAN DIEGO Cabrera burning up the track with MLB-best 18 steals in 22 tries (24)

23. TORONTO Lowly Blue Jays shift gears, win seven of 11, but have a long way to go to escape last place (28)

INTO THE WALL

24. DODGERS Mattingly's future as crew chief dims as team is 6-14 in May (26)

25. MILWAUKEE Wheels are coming off for Brewers, who started month by losing 13 of 15 games (22)

26. N.Y. METS Only Brewers have a worse run differential than Mets (-37) in May (23)

27. CHI CUBS Grinding the clutch: Cubs are last in MLB with 104 walks (25)

28. MINNESOTA Twins can't find brakes to stop slide, lose MLB-worst 10 games in a row (21)

29. HOUSTON 5.40 ERA, 17-game deficit in AL West have Astros in danger of being lapped (30)

30. MIAMI Opposing pitchers have a 2.33 ERA against powerless Marlins, 1.66 below MLB average (29)

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