MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand on Memorial Day

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistMay 30, 2016

MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand on Memorial Day

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    Kyle Hendricks tossed a complete game for the Chicago Cubs last week.
    Kyle Hendricks tossed a complete game for the Chicago Cubs last week.Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    As we honor the men and women who have given their lives for the United States this Memorial Day, the 2016 MLB season continues chugging along.

    The Chicago Cubs appeared to be in danger of losing their stranglehold on the No. 1 spot in our MLB power rankings with a 4-7 stretch of games heading into last week, but they got back on track with a big series win against the rival St. Louis Cardinals.

    The rest of the top 10 remains in flux, though.

    The San Francisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Dodgers all received a nice bump after strong weeks, while the Seattle Mariners, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies are heading in the other direction.

    There was also significant movement in the bottom half of the rankings, with the Houston Astros and Milwaukee Brewers making noise.

    One thing remains true: These rankings are a fluid process, with teams moving up or down based on where they ranked the previous week. If a club keeps winning, it will keep climbing—it's as simple as that.

    Here's a look at where all 30 MLB teams stand.

30. Cincinnati Reds (16-34, Previous: 28)

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    Dan Straily
    Dan StrailyDavid Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 1-5

    Swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers and losers of two of three against the Milwaukee Brewers, the Cincinnati Reds now find themselves in the No. 30 spot for the first time this year.

    They are now 1-9 in their last 10 games and currently boast an MLB-worst minus-100 run differential, and the Brewers have opened up a seven-game lead for fourth place in the NL Central standings.

    While the pitching staff has been an absolute mess (collective 5.54 ERA), Dan Straily continues to be a pleasant surprise after being claimed off waivers April 1.

    In eight starts since joining the rotation, the 27-year-old is 2-2 with a 2.98 ERA, 1.123 WHIP and a .195 opponent batting average.

     

    Hitter of the Week

    • LF Adam Duvall (6-for-21, 1 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Dan Straily (L, 7.0 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 11 K)

29. Atlanta Braves (14-35, Previous: 29)

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    Julio Teheran
    Julio TeheranJason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-4

    If only the Atlanta Braves could play the Miami Marlins every week.

    After being swept by the Milwaukee Brewers, the Braves took two of three from the Marlins to close out the week. They are now 5-1 against Miami with a plus-nine run differential, compared to 9-34 with a minus-83 run differential against everyone else.

    Julio Teheran continued to pitch well with two strong starts last week, and he now has a 2.77 ERA and 1.068 WHIP in 11 starts. That makes him one of the league's most attractive trade chips, but he won't simply be flipped for prospects, according to general manager John Coppolella.

    "The days of us trading players like Teheran for prospects are over," he told Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. "We need to get better at the major league level. We would have to be overwhelmed to move Teheran."

    Rosenthal went on to say the team is looking for a hitter of comparable quality and age in return.

     

    Hitter of the Week

    • 3B Gordon Beckham (6-for-20, 1 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Julio Teheran (ND, L, 12.1 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 15 K)

28. Minnesota Twins (15-34, Previous: 30)

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    Joe Mauer
    Joe MauerJennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-2

    The Minnesota Twins fell to the bottom spot in these rankings last week, but they climb back up to No. 28 thanks to a series sweep against a good Seattle Mariners team to wrap up last week.

    An offense that has sputtered all season has now piled up 25 runs during its current four-game winning streak, and the Twins will look to keep that going against the Oakland A's and Tampa Bay Rays this coming week.

    Joe Mauer entered last week with just two home runs in 179 plate appearances, but he's now homered in three straight games and launched four total last week.

    However, the surprise of the week was left-hander Pat Dean.

    In his fourth MLB appearance and just the second start of his career, he completely shut down a good Mariners offense in Seattle, as he held it to just four hits and two earned runs in seven innings of work to outduel Felix Hernandez and earn his first win.

     

    Hitter of the Week

    • 1B Joe Mauer (11-for-25, 4 HR, 7 RBI, 7 R)

     

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Pat Dean (W, 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 K)

27. San Diego Padres (20-31, Previous: 25)

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    Christian Friedrich
    Christian FriedrichJake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 1-5

    "GM A.J. Preller remains open-minded on all of his players," Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports said in a recent video running down the latest trade rumblings.

    That certainly sounds like a shift in philosophy from a year ago, when a sub-.500 San Diego Padres team sat on its hands as the deadline came and went.

    They're now 11 games under .500 after being swept by the San Francisco Giants and dropping a series to the Arizona Diamondbacks, and they have plenty of attractive chips if they do plan to sell aggressively.

    James Shields to the Chicago White Sox picked up some steam last week, per Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, though left-hander Drew Pomeranz remains their most valuable chip. The 27-year-old enters the week with a 2.48 ERA (eighth in NL) and 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings (sixth in NL) and is under team control through the 2018 season.

     

    Hitter of the Week

    • 3B Yangervis Solarte (8-for-21, 3 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Christian Friedrich (W, 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K)

26. Los Angeles Angels (22-28, Previous: 23)

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    Albert Pujols
    Albert PujolsKelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-4

    With a chance to make up some ground in the AL West standings and potentially get their season on track, the Los Angeles Angels lost two of three to both the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros last week.

    That drops them to six games under .500 and just a half-game out of last place.

    With three home runs last week, Albert Pujols is now tied with Mike Trout for the team lead with 11, but he's still hitting only .229/.307/.427 on the year.

    On the mound, Matt Shoemaker has emerged as the team's best starter in recent weeks. After opening the year with an 8.49 ERA in his first seven starts, he's turned in a pair of gems against the Baltimore Orioles (7.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 12 K) and Houston Astros (8.1 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 11 K).

    "This is reminiscent of a couple years ago, but with a little something extra," manager Mike Scioscia told reporters (via the Los Angeles Times). "These last two games have been as good as you can pitch."

     

    Hitter of the Week

    • DH Albert Pujols (6-for-25, 1 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Matt Shoemaker (W, 8.1 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 11 K) 

25. Colorado Rockies (23-26, Previous: 22)

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    Tyler Chatwood
    Tyler ChatwoodRon Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-5

    A .500 team heading into last week, the Colorado Rockies slipped back under that mark with series losses to the Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants.

    Pitching is once again the big issue, but there have been some promising signs in that department from the likes of Tyler Chatwood and Jonathan Gray. Chatwood threw seven innings of one-run ball last week to improve to 6-3 with a 2.69 ERA and 1.147 WHIP in 63.2 innings of work.

    Meanwhile, Gray went 7.1 innings and allowed five hits and two runs for his second win. His 5.95 ERA for the year doesn't look great, but that's inflated by a pair of awful starts in which he allowed a combined 15 earned runs in seven innings.

    In his other five starts, he's gone 2-0 with a 3.06 ERA and 0.959 WHIP.

     

    Hitter of the Week

    • RF Carlos Gonzalez (14-for-29, 1 3B, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 8 R)

     

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Tyler Chatwood (W, 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K)

24. Milwaukee Brewers (23-27, Previous: 27)

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    Jonathan Villar
    Jonathan VillarBenny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 5-1

    The Milwaukee Brewers took care of business against two of the worst teams in baseball last week, sweeping the Atlanta Braves and taking two of three from the Cincinnati Reds to prove they are a tier above those cellar-dwelling clubs.

    It was also another big week for shortstop Jonathan Villar.

    Acquired from the Houston Astros during the offseason in exchange for right-hander Cy Sneed, Villar was expected only to keep the shortstop position arm for Orlando Arcia, but instead he's one of the biggest surprises of the season so far.

    The 25-year-old is hitting .307/.409/.426 with 15 doubles, and with four more stolen bases last week, his MLB-leading total in that category is up to 18.

    Even if he doesn't have a long-term place on the team, he now joins Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy as a high-end trade chip once July rolls around.

     

    Hitter of the Week

    • SS Jonathan Villar (10-for-22, 2 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 8 R, 4 SB)

     

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Jimmy Nelson (W, ND, 13.1 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 13 K)

23. Oakland Athletics (22-29, Previous: 24)

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    Rich Hill
    Rich HillTommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-3

    The Oakland Athletics dropped two of three to the Seattle Mariners but rebounded with a series win over the Detroit Tigers to break even on the week and remain seven games under .500.

    All eyes remain on veteran left-hander Rich Hill, who may wind up being the prize of the trade deadline.

    With two more terrific outings last week, he's now 8-3 with a 2.25 ERA (second in AL), 1.125 WHIP (12th), 74 strikeouts (third) and a .207 opponent batting average (fifth). If the A's don't find a trade package to their liking, they could also opt to hold on to him and extend a qualifying offer in what is expected to be an extremely thin free-agent market for starting pitching.

    On the offensive side of things, Khris Davis is swinging a hot bat and now ranks among the AL leaders in home runs (14, second), RBI (34, 13th) and slugging (.525, 16th).

     

    Hitter of the Week

    • LF Khris Davis (8-for-23, 4 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Rich Hill (2 W, 14.1 IP, 13 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 15 K)

22. Tampa Bay Rays (22-26, Previous: 20)

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    Brandon Guyer
    Brandon GuyerKim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-5

    The Tampa Bay Rays managed to pick up just one win each in their series with the Miami Marlins and New York Yankees, and they now sit seven games back in the AL East cellar.

    All-Star closer Brad Boxberger is now on the rehab trail, and he'll be a welcome addition to a bullpen that ranks 17th in the majors with a 3.85 ERA. However, he won't immediately jump back into the ninth-inning job, according to Sam Blum of MLB.com.

    Alex Colome has taken over closing duties in his absence, and he's converted all 12 of his save chances with a 1.23 ERA, 0.773 WHIP and 11.9 K/9.

    Outfielder Brandon Guyer has also been afforded an extended opportunity now that Kevin Kiermaier is sidelined, and he's been the team's best hitter with a .311/.406/.549 line that includes 11 doubles and six home runs in 144 plate appearances.

     

    Hitter of the Week

    • LF Brandon Guyer (8-for-26, 3 2B, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 6 R)

     

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Jake Odorizzi (W, L, 12.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 13 K)

21. Arizona Diamondbacks (23-29, Previous: 19)

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    Archie Bradley
    Archie BradleyJennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-4

    Swept by the Pittsburgh Pirates to begin last week, the Arizona Diamondbacks managed to avoid slipping further back in the NL West standings with a series win against the San Diego Padres over the weekend.

    Notably, former No. 7 overall pick Archie Bradley was recalled from the minors to make his third start of the season on Sunday. He was hit hard his first two times out, to the tune of a 7.84 ERA, but he allowed just four hits and three earned runs while setting new career bests in innings (7.1) and strikeouts (nine) on Sunday.

    It sounds like that will be enough to keep him in the rotation for the time being, according to this from manager Chip Hale, per MLB.com: "The maturity level was so high just from conversations we had with him...just the focus he had on getting back and how he was going to get back—not by luck, but by pitching his way back up here. Now he's done a nice job in his first outing and he's going to continue in this rotation for a while."

     

    Hitter of the Week

    • CF Chris Owings (7-for-22, 4 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Archie Bradley (W, 7.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 9 K)

20. Houston Astros (22-29, Previous: 26)

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    Dallas Keuchel
    Dallas KeuchelTroy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 5-1

    Now this is the Houston Astros team we were expecting to see in 2016.

    The No. 6 team in our Opening Day rankings bottomed out at No. 26, but now it's back on the upswing after an impressive performance last week. A sweep of the Baltimore Orioles at home and a series win over the Los Angeles Angels on the road leaves the Astros within a half-game of third place in the AL West, but there's still a lot of ground to make up after the early hole they dug themselves.

    The starting rotation still isn't where it needs to be, as it ranks 24th in the league with a 4.92 ERA. A strong start from ace Dallas Keuchel was a positive, though.

    Now the Astros look to keep this momentum going against the Arizona Diamondbacks and Oakland Athletics this coming week.

     

    Hitter of the Week

    • RF George Springer (10-for-27, 2 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Dallas Keuchel (W, 7.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K)

19. Detroit Tigers (24-25, Previous: 18)

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    Justin Verlander
    Justin VerlanderRick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-3

    The Detroit Tigers shot up eight spots (No. 26 to No. 18) in last week's rankings, and they'll tread water for the time being after taking two of three from the Philadelphia Phillies but dropping two of three to the Oakland Athletics.

    The pitching staff has had its fair share of problems this year, but Justin Verlander is once again looking like an ace. After putting up a 6.49 ERA through his first six starts, he's 2-1 with a 1.19 ERA and 0.824 WHIP in his last four and has struck out 10 batters in consecutive outings.

    If Verlander can keep pitching at that level and Jordan Zimmermann can return strong from the groin strain he suffered last week, suddenly the Tigers have a formidable one-two punch atop their staff.

    The pressure is on the pitching staff with the offense averaging a solid 4.49 runs per game on the year.

     

    Hitter of the Week

    • DH Victor Martinez (11-for-22, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 1 R)

     

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Justin Verlander (W, 8.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 10 K)

18. Toronto Blue Jays (26-26, Previous: 21)

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    Russell Martin
    Russell MartinDan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-2

    It was a good week for the Toronto Blue Jays, as they picked up series wins over the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox to pull to .500 on the season and five games back in the AL East race.

    A right quad injury has landed Troy Tulowitzki on the disabled list, but the injury is not expected to sideline him beyond the 15-day time frame.

    "I think I needed more time to get over the hump," Tulowitzki told reporters, per ESPN.com. "There was a couple things that made me realize that I wasn't myself out there. I just felt it too many times."

    Meanwhile, catcher Russell Martin is finally starting to find his offensive stroke.

    After a miserable .150/.224/.167 line in April that included just one extra-base hit and four RBI, he's batting .222/.281/.346 in May and is coming off of a three-homer week.

     

    Hitter of the Week

    • C Russell Martin (6-for-19, 1 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 6 R)

     

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP J.A. Happ (W, 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K)

17. Miami Marlins (26-24, Previous: 17)

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    Marcell Ozuna
    Marcell OzunaGeoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-3

    The Miami Marlins remain a potentially dangerous team capable of making a serious climb up these rankings if all of the pieces fall into place, but that has yet to happen.

    A series loss to the Atlanta Braves effectively cancelled out taking three of four from the Tampa Bay Rays, and they remain at the No. 17 spot for now, 3.5 games back in the NL East.

    For all of the attention heaped on Giancarlo Stanton and, to a lesser extent, Christian Yelich, it's center fielder Marcell Ozuna who has been the team's best outfielder and best all-around offensive player this year. The 25-year-old is hitting .344/.392/.598 with 10 doubles, four triples, 10 home runs and 27 RBI.

    Those numbers are impressive enough on their own, but his month of May has been otherworldly: .434/.469/.745 with 17 extra-base hits and 25 runs scored.

    "He had a good spring and a rough start in which he tried too hard early on," manager Don Mattingly told reporters, including Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. "But he’s capable of this. This is not just [that] he’s hot. I think this is something he can do regularly."

     

    Hitter of the Week

    • CF Marcell Ozuna (15-for-28, 3 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 8 R)

     

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Jose Fernandez (W, 7.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 12 K)

16. Philadelphia Phillies (26-24, Previous: 11)

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    Aaron Nola
    Aaron NolaBill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 1-5

    Is this the beginning of the end for the Philadelphia Phillies' surprise run at contending in 2016?

    With a series loss to the Detroit Tigers and a sweep at the hands of the Chicago Cubs, the upstart Phillies are now 2-7 in their last nine games after starting the season 24-17.

    A negative run differential that currently stands at minus-43 was always a sign of an impending regression, and a lack of offensive firepower has been their biggest issue, as their .653 OPS as a team ranks 28th in the league.

    That takes nothing away from their terrific start, though, as this team was expected to reside near the bottom of these rankings for the entirety of 2016.

    Even if they're coming back to earth, it's an exciting time to be a Phillies fan, with a good young core exceeding expectations and an impressive wave of prospect talent expected to arrive in the majors as 2016 progresses.

     

    Hitter of the Week

    • 1B Tommy Joseph (6-for-19, 1 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R)

     

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Aaron Nola (W, 6.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K)

15. Chicago White Sox (27-24, Previous: 9)

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    Austin Jackson
    Austin JacksonJerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 1-6

    After spending five weeks in the top 10 in these rankings, including a pair of weeks in the No. 2 spot, the Chicago White Sox find themselves in a free fall. It's been an ugly couple of weeks on the South Side, as they've gone 4-14 in their last 18 games after a 23-10 start.

    Much of that has had to do with a lack of offense, as they've been held to two or fewer runs six times during that 18-game span. Mat Latos has also experienced a crash, with a 7.09 ERA in his last five starts, while the bullpen has struggled after a dominant first month.

    This is a talented White Sox team, but at this point, it's fair to say they played over their heads in April.

     

    Hitter of the Week

    • CF Austin Jackson (12-for-26, 2 2B, 1 3B, 4 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Carlos Rodon (ND, 5.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K)

14. St. Louis Cardinals (26-25, Previous: 14)

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    Matt Adams
    Matt AdamsJake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-4

    In a big week against two of the best teams in the National League, the St. Louis Cardinals managed to escape with a 3-4 record. They dropped two of three to the rival Chicago Cubs before splitting a four-game series with the Washington Nationals.

    Matt Adams has been swinging a hot bat of late (.379/.431/.672 line in May), and that's helped to offset some of the regression from guys like Jeremy Hazelbaker and Yadier Molina.

    Offense isn't the issue, though, with the team scoring 5.41 runs per game. It's a shaky starting rotation that has left the Cardinals hovering around the .500 mark.

    The best staff in baseball a year ago was expected to be even better with a healthy Adam Wainwright, but instead the Cardinals have seen their starters' ERA climb from 2.94 to 4.49, good for 19th in the majors.

    An even more telling stat is their quality start percentage, which stood at 65.4 percent (106/162) last season but is now down to 49.0 percent (25/51).

     

    Hitter of the Week

    • 1B Matt Adams (8-for-14, 3 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 3 R)

     

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Jaime Garcia (W, 7.0 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K)

13. New York Yankees (24-25, Previous: 13)

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    Nathan Eovaldi
    Nathan EovaldiAdam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-3

    The Toronto Blue Jays snapped the New York Yankees' six-game winning streak Wednesday, but the Yanks closed out the week with a series victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on the road.

    After an 8-14 month of April that included a minus-30 run differential, they've gone 16-11 with a plus-11 so far in the month of May.

    Credit an improved offensive attack for that turnaround.

    The Yankees scored an MLB-worst 74 runs and 3.36 runs per game in April, but that improved to 4.30 runs per game this month, which helped take some pressure off of their pitching staff.

    The starting rotation is still a significant question mark, but they've thrown the ball better of late. Nathan Eovaldi, in particular, has dazzled in recent weeks, having gone 5-0 with a 2.03 ERA and a .204 opponent's batting average over his last five starts.

     

    Hitter of the Week

    • 3B Chase Headley (6-for-14, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Nathan Eovaldi (2 W, 12.0 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 12 K)

12. Cleveland Indians (26-22, Previous: 15)

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    Josh Tomlin
    Josh TomlinDavid Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-3

    The Cleveland Indians have done a great job keeping their heads above water without Carlos Carrasco in the rotation. Now that he's close to returning, they could be ready to push their way into the top 10.

    They took three of four from a nose-diving Chicago White Sox team last week but dropped two of three against the Baltimore Orioles, which leaves them in the No. 12 spot for the time being.

    Overcoming the loss of Carrasco, who is sidelined with a hamstring injury, has been a team effort. In particular, though, Josh Tomlin has performed well as the de facto No. 3 starter, going 4-0 with a 3.44 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in five starts this month.

    After working four innings in a rehab outing for Double-A Akron on Saturday, Carrasco will throw a side bullpen session Monday, per Zack Meisel of Cleveland.com. From there, the team will decide if he needs another rehab start or is ready to rejoin the rotation, according to Meisel.

     

    Hitter of the Week

    • 1B Mike Napoli (7-for-22, 1 3B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 7 R)

     

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Josh Tomlin (W, 8.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K)

11. Seattle Mariners (28-21, Previous: 5)

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    Robinson Cano
    Robinson CanoJoe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-4

    The Seattle Mariners climbed into the top five of these rankings for the second time last week, but they drop back out of the top 10 this week after the Minnesota Twins swept them at home.

    Consider it a temporary setback for a Mariners team that looks very much the part of a legitimate contender this season after a busy winter from new general manager Jerry Dipoto.

    Dipoto made a number of moves this offseason to shore up the roster, but the best to date looks to be the acquisition of center fielder Leonys Martin from the division rival Texas Rangers.

    After falling out of favor in Texas and spending much of last season in the minors, Martin is hitting .262/.339/.483 with nine home runs, 20 RBI and eight stolen bases. Coupled with his stellar defensive work in center field, that has him as a 1.9 WAR player so far, good for seventh among all center fielders.

    He's just one more weapon in a vastly improved Mariners lineup.

     

    Hitter of the Week

    • 2B Robinson Cano (9-for-25, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Hisashi Iwakuma (W, 7.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K)

10. Baltimore Orioles (28-20, Previous: 6)

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    Mark Trumbo
    Mark TrumboKen Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 2-4

    The Houston Astros swept the Baltimore Orioles at the start of last week, but Baltimore clings to a spot inside the top 10 thanks to a weekend series win over a good Cleveland Indians team.

    It was another sketchy week from everyone in the starting rotation not named Chris Tillman, which has been the story for much of the year.

    Tillman is now 7-1 with a 2.92 ERA, 1.129 WHIP and a .203 opponent's batting average. He's also contributed seven of the team's 20 quality starts.

    Even with an offense that is piling up runs, this team needs to find consistency in the rotation behind Tillman to be taken seriously as contenders. For now, the Orioles sit a game back in the AL East standings, but simply trying to outslug your opponents is not a sustainable recipe for success.

     

    Hitter of the Week

    • RF Mark Trumbo (8-for-27, 3 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Pitcher of the Week

    • RP Zach Britton (2/2 SV, 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K)

9. New York Mets (28-21, Previous: 8)

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    Steven Matz
    Steven MatzGeoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-3

    The New York Mets picked up a huge series win against the Washington Nationals at the start of last week, but they were unable to parlay that into weekend success. They dropped two of three to the Los Angeles Dodgers and still sit one game back in the NL East standings.

    The starting rotation is falling short of expectations but has still been terrific aside from the struggling Matt Harvey. Left-hander Steven Matz looks like the heavy favorite for NL Rookie of the Year honors.

    After throwing eight scoreless innings against the Nationals on Wednesday, Matz is now 7-1 with a 2.36 ERA and 0.987 WHIP. He's been the team's best starter aside from breakout superstar Noah Syndergaard.

    Going forward, that standout rotation will need to continue to shoulder the load with the offense struggling. The Mets are hitting an MLB-worst .209 as a team in May while averaging 3.04 runs per game.

    New York acquired veteran James Loney from the San Diego Padres last week as a stopgap option for the injured Lucas Duda at first base. He hit .342/.373/.424 in 169 plate appearances for Triple-A El Paso.

     

    Hitter of the Week

    • 2B Neil Walker (8-for-20, 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Steven Matz (W, 8.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K)

8. Los Angeles Dodgers (27-24, Previous: 16)

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    Chase Utley
    Chase UtleyAndy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 5-1

    The Los Angeles Dodgers dropped to their lowest ranking of the year last week when series losses to the Los Angeles Angels and San Diego Padres earned them the No. 16 spot.

    However, a sweep of the Cincinnati Reds and a series victory over the New York Mets thanks to another terrific outing from ace Clayton Kershaw on Sunday Night Baseball vaults them back into the top 10.

    With 10 more strikeouts on Sunday, Kershaw has now punched out double-digit batters in seven of his last eight starts. His strikeout-to-walk ratio gets more and more ridiculous each time he takes the mound, as it now stands at 105-to-5.

    As for reinforcements for Kershaw in the rotation, left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu suffered a setback last week when he experienced soreness in his surgically repaired left shoulder. He's been scratched from his scheduled Monday rehab start as a result, per Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times, and a timetable for his return is still unclear.

    The slow return of Ryu played a part in opening the door for 19-year-old Julio Urias to make his MLB debut last week. He lasted just 2.2 innings and allowed five hits, four walks and three earned runs with nerves no doubt playing a factor, but he also flashed the plus stuff that makes him such a highly regarded asset.

     

    Hitter of the Week

    • 2B Chase Utley (7-for-20, 1 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 6 R)

     

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Clayton Kershaw (W, ND, 16.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 17 K)

7. Kansas City Royals (27-22, Previous: 12)

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    Salvador Perez
    Salvador PerezPeter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 5-1

    After three straight weeks outside of the top 10, the Kansas City Royals jump back up to the No. 7 spot after picking up a series win against the Minnesota Twins and sweeping the Chicago White Sox.

    It came at a price, though.

    Catcher Salvador Perez suffered a quad contusion that will sideline him seven to 10 days, but the big blow came earlier in the week when third baseman Mike Moustakas was likely lost for the year to a torn ACL. Moustakas will get a second opinion on the injury, but it appears as though he's headed for surgery.

    Those two join Alex Gordon (fractured wrist) and Kris Medlen (rotator cuff inflammation) on the disabled list. With so many key pieces missing, the Royals have their work cut out for them in the coming weeks.

    First baseman Eric Hosmer will need to keep doing what he's doing to carry the offense, as he's hitting .319/.368/.532 and is on pace for career-best power numbers with 11 doubles, nine home runs and 30 RBI.

    Keep an eye on Brett Eibner, who has already provided a spark with a 5-for-11 showing in three games. The 27-year-old is seeing his first MLB action but has raked at the Triple-A level. He posted an .878 OPS with 23 doubles, 19 home runs and 81 RBI last season, and he had a .948 OPS with 10 home runs and 28 RBI in just 181 plate appearances prior to his promotion this year.

     

    Hitter of the Week

    • C Salvador Perez (10-for-19, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 5 R)

     

    Pitcher of the Week

    • RP Wade Davis (3/3 SV, 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K)

6. Washington Nationals (30-21, Previous: 2)

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    Ryan Zimmerman
    Ryan ZimmermanSteve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-4

    The Washington Nationals entered last week with a chance to make a run at the No. 1 spot in these rankings, or at the very least solidify their standing as the league's second-best team.

    Instead, they lost two of three to the division rival New York Mets and split a four-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals, leaving them clinging to a one-game lead in the NL East.

    It wasn't all bad, though.

    Ryan Zimmerman finally did some damage in the middle of the lineup, and Anthony Rendon had a nice 7-for-21 week that included a pair of home runs. Catcher Wilson Ramos continued his impressive start, too.

    Ramos leads all catchers with at least 100 plate appearances in batting average (.336), on-base percentage (.380), slugging (.529) and OPS (.909) while adding nine doubles, six home runs and 25 RBI.

    Meanwhile, the pitching staff remains the strength of the team. Washington ranks second in team ERA (2.99), second in starter's ERA (3.13) and fourth in reliever's ERA (2.66).

     

    Hitter of the Week

    • 1B Ryan Zimmerman (9-for-27, 1 2B, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Stephen Strasburg (2 W, 12.2 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 15 K)

5. Pittsburgh Pirates (28-21, Previous: 10)

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    Gregory Polanco
    Gregory PolancoCharles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 5-2

    While they still trail the Chicago Cubs by 6.5 games, the Pittsburgh Pirates have started to separate themselves from the St. Louis Cardinals, as they now hold a three-game lead for second place in the NL Central.

    A 5-2 showing last week earns them the No. 5 spot, despite a series loss to the Texas Rangers over the weekend. This Pirates team could get significantly better in June, too.

    Once the Super Two deadline passes, expect one or both of Jameson Taillon (55.1 IP, 1.79 ERA, 0.795 WHIP, 8.8 K/9 in Triple-A) and Tyler Glasnow (56.0 IP, 2.25 ERA, 1.232 WHIP, 11.1 K/9) to join the pitching staff. Both are capable of making an immediate impact.

    With Jon Niese pitching significantly better as of late, Juan Nicasio appears to be in the most danger of losing his rotation spot. He didn't exactly get a vote of confidence from manager Clint Hurdle after allowing four runs in 4.2 innings last time out, per Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

     

    Hitter of the Week

    • RF Gregory Polanco (10-for-26, 2 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 6 R)

     

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Jon Niese (W, 6.0 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K)

4. Boston Red Sox (30-20, Previous: 4)

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    Steven Wright
    Steven WrightPeter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 3-3

    The Boston Red Sox split last week with a series win over the Colorado Rockies and a series loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, but they remain among the league's elite teams heading into June.

    Manager John Farrell finally pulled the trigger on demoting Clay Buchholz to the bullpen after he went 2-5 with a 6.35 ERA in 10 starts.

    That move coincided with the return of left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, who was expected to be a significant part of the team's rotation before suffering a knee injury in spring training.

    Steven Wright claimed the final rotation spot in what looked like a stopgap situation, but he's gone 4-4 with a 2.52 ERA and 1.104 WHIP, so Buchholz ended up as the odd man out.

    "While he might not like the current situation, that's where we are. If he pitches to his talents and abilities, that role can potentially change," Farrell told reporters Saturday.

    Meanwhile, the offense continues to strike fear into opposing pitchers. They lead the majors in runs scored (295) and runs per game (5.9).

     

    Hitter of the Week

    • DH David Ortiz (7-for-16, 4 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 4 R)

     

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Steven Wright (W, 7.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K)

3. Texas Rangers (29-21, Previous: 7)

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    Adrian Beltre
    Adrian BeltreKevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 4-2

    The Texas Rangers were one of just three teams to spend each of the past six weeks inside of the top 10 in these rankings. They extend that streak to seven weeks after picking up series wins over the Los Angeles Angels and Pittsburgh Pirates.

    Already the best starting rotation in the American League with a 3.49 ERA, the Rangers welcomed back ace Yu Darvish last week.

    In his first start since August 9, 2014, Darvish went five innings and allowed three hits, one walk and one earned run while striking out seven.

    Catcher Bobby Wilson had only good things to say about Darvish when talking to reporters after the game:

    It was about as electric stuff as I've seen since I've been in the big leagues. It was so impressive the way he came out and pumped his heater in there -- 97 and 98 with sink -- and he threw all of his pitches.

    He had a good curveball, a good slider and a good cutter, and he struck [John] Jaso out with a changeup on the last pitch he threw. When he's on the mound, the electricity in the ballpark is heightened so much. It excited everybody.

    With Darvish back in the mix, the Rangers look like the team to beat in the American League.

     

    Hitter of the Week

    • 3B Adrian Beltre (7-for-21, 1 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 6 R)

     

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Martin Perez (2 W, 12.0 IP, 12 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 9 K)

2. San Francisco Giants (32-20, Previous: 3)

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    Johnny Cueto
    Johnny CuetoIsaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 5-1

    In almost any other season, the San Francisco Giants' recent run of success would have them positioned in the No. 1 spot, but they'll have to settle for No. 2 for now.

    After a 17-18 start to the season, the Giants have gone 15-2 in their last 17 games, winning five consecutive series.

    Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija have been the best 1-2-3 in any rotation in baseball, and even with Jake Peavy struggling, the starters have a 3.52 ERA that ranks sixth in the majors.

    The offense scuffled a bit in May and averaged just 3.96 runs per game, but that's been more than enough support for the pitching staff. They led the majors with a 2.44 ERA this month.

    The Giants kicked off a road trip with a series win over the Colorado Rockies this past week. They're now set to take on the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals before returning to AT&T Park next week.

     

    Hitter of the Week

    • C Buster Posey (7-for-19, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 7 R)

     

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Johnny Cueto (2 W, 15.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 11 K)

1. Chicago Cubs (34-14, Previous: 1)

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    Kyle Hendricks
    Kyle HendricksDennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week: 5-1

    The Chicago Cubs endured their first rough patch of the season with a 4-7 stretch of games leading up to last week, but a 12-run explosion against the rival St. Louis Cardinals appears to have righted the ship.

    The Cubbies enter the week riding a five-game winning streak, and they lucked out by missing Clayton Kershaw in their four-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers that begins Monday.

    Their pitching staff remains the best in baseball by a wide margin with a 2.65 ERA, and No. 5 starter Kyle Hendricks got in on the fun Saturday with a complete-game victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

    Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant may be the faces of the offense and Jason Heyward the marquee offseason acquisition, but no one has been better than Ben Zobrist, who is hitting .351/.451/.542.

    Bryant (37, second), Rizzo (36, third), Zobrist (35, seventh) and Addison Russell (30, 15th) all rank among the top 20 in the NL in RBI.

    On the pitching side, Jake Arrieta (1.72, second), Jason Hammel (2.17, fifth) and Jon Lester (2.48, eighth) all rank in the top 10 in ERA, with Hendricks (2.93, 20th) and John Lackey (3.16, 25th) not far behind.

    The Cubs' run differential stands at plus-131—nearly twice as high as the next-closest team. Only the Toronto Blue Jays (plus-221) had a better run differential all of last season.

     

    Hitter of the Week

    • 2B Ben Zobrist (12-for-24, 3 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 6 R)

     

    Pitcher of the Week

    • SP Kyle Hendricks (W, 9.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K)

     

    All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted. Hitter and pitcher of the week stats reflect the week running from Monday, May 23 to Sunday, May 29.