The Sun's national baseball writer, Peter Schmuck,...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

The Sun's national baseball writer, Peter Schmuck, ranks the major leagues' 28 teams.

1. Cleveland Indians -- 3 -- Hitting anything that moves, and have .314 team batting average to prove it.

2. New York Yankees -- 2 -- Wetteland blows first save Wednesday. Yanks still win. Bad sign for other AL East contenders.

3. Philadelphia Phillies -- 14 -- Surprising Phils suddenly are strong-arming NL East.

4. Atlanta Braves -- 1-- Just keep that funny-looking Olympic mascot out of sight and everything will be fine.

5. Boston Red Sox -- 8 -- Rocketless Red Sox taking off anyway.

6. Toronto Blue Jays -- 4 -- Plenty of fight left in defending World Series champions.

7. Seattle Mariners -- 5 -- Could be breakthrough season, if the roof doesn't fall in again.

8. Milwaukee Brewers -- 9 -- Bud ball is taking AL Central by storm.

9. Colorado Rockies -- 6 -- Big series against Giants leaves Rockies a mile high.

10. Houston Astros -- 12 -- Have played fewest home games of any big league team, but are impressive 7-3 on the road.

11. Los Angeles Dodgers -- 10 -- Best Chris Berman nickname yet: Hideo "I ain't going to work on Maggie's farm" Nomo.

12. Chicago Cubs -- 15 -- Bullinger, Navarro have turned pitching staff around.

13. San Francisco Giants -- 11 -- Lost some steam in Colorado after 8-2 run.

14. California Angels -- 20 -- Don't let winning record fool you. They'll need a miracle even in weak AL West.

15. Montreal Expos -- 7 -- Playing pretty well until they ran into red-hot Phillies.

16. St. Louis Cardinals -- 13 -- Viable contender in wide-open NL Central.

17. Kansas City Royals -- 17 -- It's hard to look good playing against the Indians right now.

18. Cincinnati Reds -- 23 -- Excuse me, maam, but isn't that a little big to be a rabbit's foot.

19. Baltimore Orioles -- 19 -- Things were looking up until they flopped at Fenway.

20. Chicago White Sox -- 18 -- As soon as opponents stop hitting the ball to Ventura, they'll be back in business.

21. Texas Rangers -- 21 -- Clearly miss injured Gonzalez and departed Canseco.

22. San Diego Padres -- 16 -- Recently heard in new owners box: "Oh, so that's why we don't sell any tickets."

23. Oakland A's -- 25 -- Don't despair, McGwire, Stew are bouncing back.

24. New York Mets -- 28 -- Climbed out of Power Ratings cellar with competitive series against Braves.

25. Florida Marlins -- 26 -- Big series starts Monday. Phillies vs. Fillets.

26. Minnesota Twins -- 22 -- Should have been separated at birth.

27. Detroit Tigers -- 24 -- Playing below expectations, which weren't very high to begin with.

28. Pittsburgh Pirates -- 27 -- Maybe they can hit the city up for another loan.

Note: Statistics through Wednesday's game.

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