April 28, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Tony Paul

Tony Paul's Week 4 MLB Power Rankings: Surprising Braves on top; Tigers drop to No. 8

Robbie Ray is 2-2 with a 1.93 ERA in 23.1 innings for the Toledo Mud Hens this season. (Robin Buckson / Detroit News)

Tony Paul goes around the league, with the fourth of his weekly Major League Baseball power rankings:

1. Braves (last week 3): It’s absolutely amazing that with all their pitching injuries, they’re pitching better than anyone. That’s depth.

2. Brewers (1): In 25 games, their starting pitchers have produced 20 quality starts – seven straight entering Monday.

3. Giants (7): They’re like the Brett Saberhagen of the 2000s. Good every other year. World champs in 2010, 2012 and …

4. Yankees (9): Alfonso Soriano is closing in on becoming just the seventh player with at least 1,000 hits in each league.

5. Dodgers (2): Shocking, more drama in La-La land. Clayton Kershaw says he’s ready, the Dodgers want another rehab start.

6. Cardinals (10): Not a bad start, considering nine of their first 26 games have been at home. A 10-day trip looms, too.

7. Rangers (12): They’ve been ailing, but they’re getting healthy.

8. Tigers (5): With the doubleheaders starting to stack up later in the year, it’s time to see what Robbie Ray’s made of.

9. A’s (4): Few run the bases better. They’ve attempted 19 stolen bases this season, and have been successful 18 times.

10. Nationals (8): Uh-oh. Wilson Ramos and Ryan Zimmerman are out, and now Bryce Harper’s on the disabled list, too.

11. Rockies (19): They’re impressing, despite star slugger Carlos Gonzalez’s prolonged slump. He’s hit .130 his last 13 games.

12. Phillies (15): Who would’ve thought Ben Revere (.334) has MLB’s highest batting average dating back to last May 1?

13. White Sox (14): No rookie ever had a more productive April, offensively, than Jose Abreu, the best signing of the winter.

14. Red Sox (20): Now that John Farrell has ignited the pine-tar debate, somebody is going to check Clay Buchholz’s hair.

15. Rays (6): Oddly, they’re struggling to pitch. So much so, they’ve reached out to Erik Bedard to replace Matt Moore.

16. Mets (25): Might not be a bigger surprise team than the supposedly hapless Mets, who are thriving without Matt Harvey.

17. Twins (18): Chris Colabello has become a fascinating story. Signed as an undrafted free agent, he has a whopping 27 RBIs.

18. Pirates (13): The shine might be coming off closer Jason Grilli, the ex-Tiger who’s blown three of his seven save chances.

19. Mariners (11): Robinson Cano might be missing the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium. He has just one home run.

20. Orioles (24): Amazingly, they’re struggling the power department – even going 40.2 innings without a homer at home.

21. Indians (17): The new-look bullpen, Sunday’s loss aside, has been pretty strong, stranding 34 of 37 inherited runners.

22. Angels (21): While Josh Hamilton’s absence hurts a lot, at least Albert Pujols is swinging like the Albert Pujols of old.

23. Blue Jays (16): Offense wasn’t supposed to be the issue, but five regulars are hitting below .200, including Jose Reyes (DL).

24. Royals (28): The Royals continue to wait for Mike Moustakas to finally turn that corner. He’s hardly this .159 hitter.

25. Reds (26): What a start by Johnny Cueto, who’s made six starts spanning 47 innings – and allowed a measly 22 hits.

26. Marlins (22): They’ve got a boatload of pitching, and not enough offense. The trade deadline should be fascinating.

27. Padres (23): Their bullpen is dominant, from top to bottom. Don’t be surprised if Huston Street finally is on the move.

28. Cubs (27): Two guys the Tigers supposedly watched, Darwin Barney and Nate Schierholtz, are hitting a combined .181.

29. Astros (29): Pretty unbelievable a team with as little talent had no use for new Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez.

30. Diamondbacks (30): The rotation, once a strength, is in shambles, opening up another shot for Homer’s Josh Collmenter.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

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