Thanks to a 10-game win streak, the Astros have bashed their way into the top five of this week's Power Rankings, while the slumping White Sox continue to fall.

By Staff
May 04, 2015

The Cardinals remain first in our latest Power Rankings, but this week's big story is the rapid rise of the Astros. On the strength of a 10-game win streak and the second-best record in baseball, Houston has rocketed all the way from 11th place to third in the rankings. Overall, St. Louis hung on to the top spot thanks to three of the six first-place votes this week, with the Dodgers right behind them at No. 2. The Astros check in at third, with another red-hot American League team, the Yankees, jumping up to fourth. The Royals round out the top five.

Last September's collapse, horrible 2015 start spell end for Roenicke

It's been all systems go in Houston through the first month of the season, with the team sporting an 18–7 record and a two-game lead in the AL West. The Astros bashed their way through a perfect 7–0 week, sweeping the Padres and the Mariners thanks to some stellar offense. In those seven games, Houston crushed 18 home runs—more than nine different teams have on the season—and now leads the majors with 40 round-trippers. Leading the home run barrage was Evan Gattis. The burly designated hitter was ice cold to start the year, hitting just .156/.194/.250 with 22 strikeouts and three walks in 67 plate appearances through April 27. But last week, Gattis exploded for five homers and 12 RBIs, including a two-homer game to finish Houston's sweep of Seattle on Sunday.

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On the opposite end of the spectrum from the Astros are the rapidly sinking White Sox, who are 8–14 on the year and fell all the way to 28th in this week's rankings. Chicago has lost five straight games and went winless last week, getting routed by the Orioles in an empty Camden Yards and then dropping a entire four-game series to the Twins on the road. Pitching has been the sore spot for the White Sox, who gave up 39 runs in those five games. Jeff Samardzija's 4.78 ERA is the best mark among the team's five main starters, and the back of the rotation has been absolutely hammered, with John Danks and Hector Noesi sporting ERA+ marks of 66 and 62, respectively. Most troubling, however, has to be the slow start from Chris Sale. The White Sox' ace has a 5.32 ERA in 22 innings and was lit up by Minnesota in his lone start last week, giving up nine runs (eight earned) in just three innings. Sale's peripherals are still relatively strong (8.2 strikeout-per-nine ratio and only two walks per nine), but the results have yet to come for the lanky lefthander.

April non-stars: Choo, Utley among those hoping for brighter days

Speaking of the Twins, they were one of this week's biggest risers, going all the way from 28th to 19th. They had a slow start to the week, dropping two of three to Detroit, but a four-game sweep of Chicago has them sitting a game above .500 at 13–12 and just 3 1/2 games back of the Tigers in the AL Central. Minnesota's bats did the heavy lifting last week, scoring 45 runs in seven games, including 12- and 13-run outbursts against the White Sox. Trevor Plouffe led the way with three homers and 11 RBIs, and Danny Santana hit a scorching .393 (11-for-28), but the Twins could use more pop. Their 16 home runs rank next-to-last in the American League, and of their seven players to have gone yard, only one—Plouffe, with five—has hit more than two. Three Twins regulars haven't hit a longball yet, including Joe Mauer, though the veteran first baseman does have a solid 117 OPS+ on the season and a team-high .382 on-base percentage.

1St. Louis Cardinals
last week: 1
points: 177

Low Vote: 2nd (3x)

2Los Angeles Dodgers
last week: 3
points: 168

Low Vote: 5th

3Houston Astros
last week: 11
points: 164

Low Vote: 8th

4New York Yankees
last week: 8
points: 153

Low Vote: 10th

5Kansas City Royals
last week: 4
points: 152

Low Vote: 13th

6Detroit Tigers
last week: 5
points: 151

Low Vote: 11th

7New York Mets
last week: 2
points: 143

Low Vote: 11th

8San Diego Padres
last week: 7
points: 130

Low Vote: 12th

9Chicago Cubs
last week: 9
points: 125

Low Vote: 13th (2x)

10Baltimore Orioles
last week: 16
points: 124

Low Vote: 19th

11Pittsburgh Pirates
last week: 6
points: 114

Low Vote: 16th

12Tampa Bay Rays
last week: 10
points: 110

Low Vote: 16th (2x)

13Washington Nationals
last week: 21
points: 106

Low Vote: 17th (2x)

14Miami Marlins
last week: 14
points: 101

Low Vote: 24th

15Oakland Athletics
last week: 15
points: 91

Low Vote: 22nd

16Boston Red Sox
last week: 13
points: 83

Low Vote: 22nd (2x)

17Los Angeles Angels
last week: 12
points: 81

Low Vote: 21st (2x)

18Toronto Blue Jays
last week: 17
points: 80

Low Vote: 20th (3x)

19Minnesota Twins
last week: 28
points: 74

Low Vote: 24th

20San Francisco Giants
last week: 27
points: 71

Low Vote: 28th

21Cincinnati Reds
last week: 24
points: 68

Low Vote: 24th

22Atlanta Braves
last week: 18
points: 67

Low Vote: 27th

23Arizona Diamondbacks
last week: 25
points: 57

Low Vote: 29th

24Seattle Mariners
last week: 22
points: 54

Low Vote: 25th (2x)

25Cleveland Indians
last week: 23
points: 43

Low Vote: 26th

26Colorado Rockies
last week: 20
points: 31

Low Vote: 26th (5x)

27Texas Rangers
last week: 26
points: 26

Low Vote: 29th

28Chicago White Sox
last week: 19
points: 24

Low Vote: 29th (2x)

29Milwaukee Brewers
last week: 30
points: 13

Low Vote: 30th (2x)

30Philadelphia Phillies
last week: 29
points: 9

​Low Vote: 30th (4x)

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