The Tigers continue to roll, thanks to DH Victor Martinez, who's putting up monster numbers in the last year of his contract. (Robin Buckson / Detroit News)
Tony Paul goes around the league, with the sixth of his weekly Major League Baseball power rankings:
1. Tigers (last week 2): They’ve beaten up on weak competition. The next six series — Orioles, Red Sox, Indians, Rangers, A’s, Mariners — will be quite telling.
2. Giants (1): Everything’s still going swimmingly, though they were dealt a blow. Slugger Brandon Belt (thumb surgery) is out at least six weeks.
3. Rockies (6): They’re clicking big-time on offense, with contributions from the obscure, as well the long forgotten. Justin Morneau’s batting .329.
4. Brewers (3): Ryan Braun (oblique) could be back in the lineup as early as Tuesday, but now Aramis Ramirez (hamstring) could be out for a while.
5. Braves (4): Pitching has greatly impressed, but outside of Freddie Freeman (20 RBIs) and Justin Upton (19 RBIs), the offense has been a flat-out dud.
6. A’s (5): With Josh Donaldson and Yoenis Cespedes in the fold, who would’ve thought Derek Norris would be leading the ballclub in OPS (1.069)?
7. Orioles (16): Slugger Chris Davis (left side) returns in time to face the Tigers this week, but Matt Wieters (elbow) now is headed to the disabled list.
8. Dodgers (8): Not the start they envisioned, not with that payroll. Carl Crawford (.255/.279/.340) is reverting back to his awful Red Sox performance.
9. Yankees (7): If Derek Jeter doesn’t start hitting, don’t be surprised if the Yankees emerge as the Tigers’ competition for shortstop Stephen Drew.
10. Red Sox (15): Highlight of their week? They broke up Yu Darvish’s no-hit bid. It would’ve been the first no-no against Boston since Chris Bosio in ’93.
11. Cardinals (11): Former Tiger Jhonny Peralta has 32 hits for his new team. Half have been for extra bases — that’s eight doubles and eight home runs.
12. Nationals (9): Not the ideal start to his Nationals career for ex-Tiger Doug Fister, who allowed five earned runs on nine hits Friday. He struck out two.
13. Mariners (17): When will Robinson Cano start hitting for power? He has just a single home run, same as Abraham Almonte and Stefen Romero.
14. Angels (21): Somehow, the ageless Raul Ibanez has 19 RBIs — that’s five more than Prince Fielder, if you wondered — even though he’s hitting .140.
15. Marlins (22): A team to watch. That said, Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal says ace Jose Fernandez is going on the DL. If that’s serious, forget about it.
16. Rangers (10): Darvish is now being referred to as the Dave Stieb of this generation, with two no-hitters broken up with two outs in the ninth inning.
17. White Sox (14): As good as their offense is (second in baseball in runs), their pitching is equally as bad (fourth-worst ERA). They’re a year away.
18. Indians (23): They’re starting to find their groove again, though there is growing uncertainty over shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera’s future in Cleveland.
19. Phillies (12): Chase Utley is 35, but he’s playing like he did when he was in his 20s. He leads the league with 15 doubles, and boasts a .396 OBP.
20. Rays (18): David Price and Chris Archer are a combined 5-5 with a 4.82 ERA. That has to turn around, and soon, to get back in the AL East race.
21. Twins (19): Props to Ron Gardenhire for giving us a heated umpire encounter Sunday. Expanded replay has sucked some of the fun from the game.
22. Mets (13): The Mets, 2-8 in their last 10 games, are starting to come back to reality, just as most expected they would. There’s just not enough talent.
23. Reds (24): Closer Aroldis Chapman is back from that awful liner to the head, and in his debut, he showed no lingering effects (one inning, three K’s).
24. Pirates (20): The Pirates may confirm my theory. Teams that are a surprise playoff team one year often struggle the next. Why’s that? Expectations.
25. Blue Jays (25): They probably are praying Jose Bautista stays healthy for a change. If he does, he could command a huge haul on the trade market.
26. Diamondbacks (30): The White Sox might’ve won a trade between the teams this offseason, but the Diamondbacks won the series over the weekend.
27. Padres (27): Here’s another trade candidate to watch: closer Huston Street and his 0.56 ERA. It helps that they can always have Joaquin Benoit close.
28. Royals (26): Billy Butler, Eric Hosmer and Alex Gordon have combined to hit three home runs. The stunning lack of power in K.C. has continued.
29. Cubs (28): Big decision looming: To trade or sign ace Jeff Samardzija, a free agent in 2016. They have so many needs, dealing him might make sense.
30. Astros (29): They’re not good, at all. Nobody’s suggesting otherwise. But they showed in a four-game series in Detroit that the future might be just fine.