(Preseason rankings in parentheses)
1. Kansas City Royals. If you can back up the talk like this, you can talk. (10).
2. New York Mets. Subway Series seemed to derail momentum from fabulous start. (12).
3. St. Louis Cardinals. Being minus Wainwright hurts far more than in ’11. (5).
4. Houston Astros. Young players excelling in surprisingly weak division. (24).
5. Los Angeles Dodgers. Puig makes first trip to the DL. (3).
6. Detroit Tigers. Written off far too soon. Again. (9).
7. Chicago Cubs. It’s goofy to see empty, under-construction bleachers at Wrigley. (14).
8. Pittsburgh Pirates. McCutchen’s slow April ends with career hit No. 1,000. (2)
9. New York Yankees. It sure looks like Sabathia is flat-out finished. (18).
10. Tampa Bay Rays. Even with Maddon gone, young arms will keep them afloat. (27).
11. Boston Red Sox. Sooner or later, they’ll have to deal for Phils’ Hamels. (4)
12. Colorado Rockies. Another strong start for Tulo. (29).
13. Los Angeles Angels. It’s such a shame Trout does so much of his magic after midnight. (19).
14. San Diego Padres. New GM Preller made huge offseason impact. (13).
15. Cincinnati Reds. Rose Watch is on in year they host All-Star Game. (21).
16. Baltimore Orioles. Life became bigger than sport. (16).
17. Toronto Blue Jays. Pillar has become a defensive demon. (17).
18. Arizona Diamondbacks. Bradley OK after frightening liner off the face. (30).
19. Minnesota Twins. Will be fun to see how HOFer like Molitor does in the dugout. (28).
20. Atlanta Braves. Miller’s debut month was strong at 3-1, 2.17. (26).
21. Seattle Mariners. Far more expected than delivered so far. (6).
22. Miami Marlins. At 3-11, Redmond was nearly first skipper to the unemployment line. (11).
23. Washington Nationals. Wiping out 10-2 deficit in Atlanta could be turnaround for season. (1)
24. Chicago White Sox. Entered weekend just 2-8 on the road. (8)
25. San Francisco Giants. After a long October, April came awfully fast. (15).
26. Oakland Athletics. It looks like they won’t overachieve this time. (20).
27. Philadelphia Phillies. One seriously stale franchise. (25).
28. Texas Rangers. It’s last-chance time for Hamilton. (23).
29. Cleveland Indians. SI picked them to win the World Series? Seriously? (7).
30. Milwaukee Brewers. Hard on your fans when you’re out of it in April. (22).