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Our MLB power rankings

Chicago White Sox pitcher Carlos Rodon throws against Texas during the first inning on April 23, 2016, in Chicago. In the shadow of the Cubs and overlooked in the AL Central, the Sox have quietly built the best record in the American League.
Chicago White Sox pitcher Carlos Rodon throws against Texas during the first inning on April 23, 2016, in Chicago. In the shadow of the Cubs and overlooked in the AL Central, the Sox have quietly built the best record in the American League. The Associated Press

1. Chicago Cubs (No. 1 in last week’s rankings): Cubs could be in market for catcher if Miguel Montero’s back problems turn out to be persistent.

2. Washington Nationals (3): Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy are only Nats with hot bats.

3. Chicago White Sox (6): Liberated from any preseason expectations, Chicago’s other team is thriving in subdued spotlight.

4. New York Mets (17): Second baseman Neil Walker began weekend with nine home runs; his single-season high is 23.

5. Pittsburgh Pirates (4): Bucs aren’t wowing anybody with power, but their on-base percentage is the best in baseball.

6. Kansas City Royals (2): Defending champs appeared bedeviled during three-game sweep by Angels in Anaheim.

7. Los Angeles Dodgers (7): Returning to sea level after visiting Denver, hitters to blame for four-game sweep at hands of Marlins.

8. Boston Red Sox (18): David Ortiz on career extra-base hit No. 1,118, which vaulted him past Jimmy Foxx and Ted Williams for 18th on all-time list: “That’s what happens when you play a long time. Man, I’m old.”

9. Texas Rangers (5): When Elvis (Andrus) doesn’t leave the building, he’s often worth an RBI triple.

10. St. Louis Cardinals (10): Starters Adam Wainwright and Mike Leake have disappointed, but Cards can mash.

11. Baltimore Orioles (11): That 7-0 burst out of the gate didn’t provide much of a cushion.

12. Seattle Mariners (16): M’s new CEO offers profile of ideal leader for ownership group: a local guy with a ton of money and a deep affection for baseball.

13. Arizona Diamondbacks (13): Manager Chip Hale on Chase Field playing as a launching pad: “It’s balls flying, a fast infield, a fast outfield. What’s 12-7 here could be 5-2 someplace else.”

14. Los Angeles Angels (21): Nicknames built on combining the syllables of first and last names are tiresome, but starting pitcher Nick Tropeano’s — “NiTro” — is pretty cool.

15. San Francisco Giants (24): Pitcher Jeff Samardzija went into weekend with five RBIs, two fewer than Buster Posey.

16. Cleveland Indians (19): In throes of sophomore slump, starting pitcher Cody Anderson has been sent to Triple-A to polish delivery mechanics.

17. Philadelphia Phillies (22): Rebound from 0-4 start can be traced to surprisingly effective pitching.

18. Detroit Tigers (8): Manager Brad Ausmus on Tigers taking three of four against Oakland after getting swept by Cleveland last weekend: “It’s amazing, isn’t it? Your season’s over one day, and four days later, you’re contenders.”

19. Oakland Athletics (9): Starters aren’t equipped to compensate for bottom half of batting order, which is a succession of automatic outs.

20. Tampa Bay Rays (20): Rays are treading water in up-for-grabs AL East.

21. Colorado Rockies (14): Colorado adept at solving big deficits, but converting comebacks into victories is another proposition.

22. Toronto Blue Jays (12): Vaunted offense stymied by 28.7 percent strikeout rate.

23. Miami Marlins (27): Until PED users face a lifetime ban for their first offense — and the testing process is made more vigilant — guys like Dee Gordon will be tempted to beat a flawed system.

24. New York Yankees (25): Infielder Ronald Torreyes, the Yanks’ version of Astros’ dynamo Jose Altuve, is vying for regular playing time.

25. Houston Astros (26): AL West favorites have too much talent to spend summer wallowing in fifth place.

26. Cincinnati Reds (15): Trio of reinforcements off the DL figure to solidify shaky starting rotation.

27. Milwaukee Brewers (23): By any measure, either traditional (5.71 ERA) or advanced (35.8 percent hard contact), Brewers pitching ranked last through first three weeks.

28. Minnesota Twins (29): A 21-year-old named Jose Berrios, who made his debut Wednesday, is Twins’ youngest starting pitcher since Pat Mahomes in 1992.

29. San Diego Padres (28): Listless Padres finally exploded for nine runs last week against Giants ... and lost because the pitchers surrendered 10 earned runs.

30. Atlanta Braves (30): Fredi Gonzalez survived 0-9 start, but his future as manager is more a matter of hours than days.

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