MLB Power Rankings: Phillies, Guardians Close in on Top 10, NL West Race Heats Up

Joel ReuterJune 21, 2022

MLB Power Rankings: Phillies, Guardians Close in on Top 10, NL West Race Heats Up

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    Cole Burston/Getty Images

    The New York Yankees and New York Mets continue to sit atop their respective leagues and atop our weekly MLB power rankings, but as usual there was no shortage of jockeying for position behind them.

    The Philadelphia Phillies and Cleveland Guardians each gained a few more spots in their slow climb toward the top 10, while the Tampa Bay Rays (1-5) and Seattle Mariners (2-6) were this week's biggest fallers.

    As always, if a team keeps winning, it will keep climbing these rankings. If a team is losing, a slide is inevitable. The beauty of this exercise is that it's a fluid process and things will continue to change.


    Note: Statistics and analysis reflect games through Sunday. Team records have been updated to include Monday's results.

Nos. 30-26

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    Luis Garcia (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

    30. Oakland Athletics (23-45)

    Previous Rank: 30

    The Athletics are 3-13 in June following two more series losses last week. The offense is averaging just 2.6 runs per game during that stretch, and nearly a quarter of their runs came in a 10-5 victory over Cleveland two weeks ago.


    29. Kansas City Royals (24-42)

    Previous Rank: 29

    The Royals won the "Battle for the Bottom" over the weekend, taking two of three from the Athletics in Oakland, but only after a series loss to the San Francisco Giants. Reliever Scott Barlow has a 1.55 ERA and 1.03 WHIP with eight saves and four holds in 25 appearances, and he could be a hot commodity at the trade deadline.


    28. Washington Nationals (24-46)

    Previous Rank: 24

    The Nationals snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 9-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday. Shortstop Luis Garcia is hitting .360 with a 152 OPS+ in 78 plate appearances since he was recalled from the minors on June 1, and the former top prospect still has a chance to be a major piece of the long-term puzzle.


    27. Cincinnati Reds (23-43)

    Previous Rank: 28

    The Reds have gone 4-3 against the Arizona Diamondbacks and 2-9 against everyone else this month, and they remain staked to their spot in the NL Central cellar as a result. After a brutal start to the season, Tyler Mahle has a 1.30 ERA with 36 strikeouts in 27.2 innings over his last four starts.


    26. Detroit Tigers (26-41)

    Previous Rank: 25

    In what is quickly shaping up to be a lost season for the Tigers, the debut of top prospect Riley Greene on Saturday provided reason for excitement. The No. 2 prospect on B/R's recently updated Top 100 list, Greene had two hits and four walks in his first nine plate appearances in the majors.

Nos. 25-21

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    Johnny Cueto (Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    25. Chicago Cubs (25-42)

    Previous Rank: 27

    The Cubs finally snapped a 10-game losing streak with a 1-0 win over the streaking Atlanta Braves on Friday, and they followed that up with a 6-3 victory on Saturday before getting shut out in the series finale. Willson Contreras is in a great position to start the All-Star Game for the third time in his career after another strong week at the plate.


    24. Pittsburgh Pirates (27-39)

    Previous Rank: 23

    After playing competitive baseball over the first two months of the season, the Pirates have stumbled to a 2-11 record in their last 13 games. Outfielder Jack Suwinski provided a memorable performance on Sunday with a three-homer game that included a walk-off blast, and that was followed by news that top prospect Oneil Cruz is joining the MLB roster.


    23. Seattle Mariners (29-39)

    Previous Rank: 17

    The Mariners fell six spots after going 2-6 against the Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Angels last week. The M's offense has been shut out four times in the last nine games, and they are hitting just .213/.303/.343 as a team in June. That has undermined a starting rotation that ranks 11th in the majors with a 3.73 ERA.


    22. Los Angeles Angels (33-37)

    Previous Rank: 26

    After taking four of five from the Seattle Mariners, the Angels have some much-needed momentum heading into their nine-game homestand. Third baseman Anthony Rendon is out for the season following wrist surgery, and it will fall to some combination of Matt Duffy and Tyler Wade to handle the hot corner for now.


    21. Chicago White Sox (32-33)

    Previous Rank: 21

    The White Sox improved to 18-16 on the road this year with a 4-2 week away from Guaranteed Rate Field, though they did drop two of three to the Houston Astros after sweeping the Detroit Tigers. Veteran Johnny Cueto tossed seven shutout innings in a win on Saturday, and he has a 2.95 ERA in 42.2 innings on the year.

Nos. 20-16

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    Jerar Encarnacion (Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)

    20. Texas Rangers (31-35)

    Previous Rank: 20

    The Rangers split a four-game series with the Detroit Tigers last week after dropping two of three to the Houston Astros, and they continue to hover just below the .500 mark. With scheduled days off on Monday and Thursday, they'll have a chance to reset a bit in the coming week.


    19. Baltimore Orioles (30-38)

    Previous Rank: 22

    It was a successful week for the Orioles, who split a four-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays before taking two of three from the Tampa Bay Rays. The O's have played a ton of games against in-division foes already this year, going a respectable 15-19 against arguably the toughest division in baseball.


    18. Miami Marlins (29-36)

    Previous Rank: 16

    The Marlins pulled within three games of the .500 mark earlier this month, but they went 2-4 last week to lose some of the ground they made up. Outfielder Jerar Encarnacion hit a grand slam in his MLB debut on Sunday after hitting .313/.385/.518 with 13 home runs in 57 games in the minors.


    17. Colorado Rockies (30-37)

    Previous Rank: 19

    The Rockies were swept by the Cleveland Guardians at the start of last week, and then they returned the favor by sweeping the San Diego Padres over the weekend. Veteran Charlie Blackmon is swinging a hot bat in June with a .333/.366/.577 line that includes 10 extra-base hits and 14 RBI in 18 games.


    16. Arizona Diamondbacks (32-37)

    Previous Rank: 18

    The D-backs avoided getting swept by the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday and then took two of three from the Minnesota Twins over the weekend. The foursome of Zac Gallen (12 GS, 2.91 ERA), Merrill Kelly (14 GS, 3.46 ERA), Madison Bumgarner (14 GS, 3.45 ERA) and Zach Davies (13 GS, 3.78 ERA) has been an unexpected strength of the roster.

Nos. 15-11

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    Emmanuel Clase (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

    15. Tampa Bay Rays (36-31)

    Previous Rank: 10

    The Rays were 11 games over .500 on June 9, but they have not won consecutive games since. They fell to 2-7 in their last nine games with series losses to the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles on the road last week, and they are now 15-17 away from Tropicana Field on the year.


    14. Milwaukee Brewers (39-30)

    Previous Rank: 15

    An eight-game losing streak earlier this month sent the Brewers tumbling down the rankings, but they swept the Cincinnati Reds over the weekend and finally appear to have some momentum once again. Veteran Lorenzo Cain was designated for assignment on Saturday, with Tyrone Taylor pushing his way into the starting center field job.


    13. Minnesota Twins (38-30)

    Previous Rank: 9

    The Twins have gone 8-9 with a minus-nine run differential in June, and their advantage in the AL Central standings has all but evaporated in the process. A big three-game series at home against the Cleveland Guardians kicks off on Tuesday, and the Twins took the first series of the year in May.


    12. Cleveland Guardians (34-28)

    Previous Rank: 13

    The Guardians improved to 13-4 in June following series wins over the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers on the road last week, and they trimmed the gap to just one game in the AL Central standings entering play on Monday. The bullpen ranks second in the majors with a 2.81 ERA, led by flame-throwing closer Emmanuel Clase.


    11. Philadelphia Phillies (36-32)

    Previous Rank: 14

    The Phillies are now 14-3 since Rob Thomson replaced Joe Girardi in the manager's seat after going 6-2 against the Miami Marlins and Washington Nationals last week. The bullpen remains a work-in-progress, but the lineup has been one of the best in baseball of late and the starting rotation is a clear strength led by Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola.

Nos. 10-6

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    Brendan Donovan (Joe Puetz/Getty Images)

    10. St. Louis Cardinals (38-31)

    Previous Rank: 12

    The Cardinals entered the week tied for first in the NL Central standings with the Milwaukee Brewers, and those two teams kicked off a four-game series in Milwaukee on Monday. Rookie Brendan Donovan played first base, second base, third base and right field last week, and he's hitting .315/.424/.434 in 170 plate appearances on the year.


    9. San Francisco Giants (37-29)

    Previous Rank: 11

    The Giants have picked up three straight series wins while going 7-2 in their last nine games entering play on Monday, and they have been steadily climbing these rankings over the last four weeks. Rookie Luis Gonzalez has settled in as the starting right fielder and primary leadoff hitter, and he's hitting .303/.363/.454 in 171 plate appearances on the year.


    8. Los Angeles Dodgers (40-25)

    Previous Rank: 7

    A mediocre month of June continued for the Dodgers last week as they went 3-2 but suffered a series loss to the Cleveland Guardians. Their upcoming nine-game road trip could be their ticket back into the top five, or it could be what finally knocks them out of a top-10 spot if they can't get on track.


    7. San Diego Padres (42-27)

    Previous Rank: 5

    The Padres were dealt a major blow when Manny Machado had to leave Sunday's game with an ankle injury. X-rays came back negative and he was diagnosed with an ankle sprain, but the MVP candidate will still miss time. After getting swept by the Colorado Rockies over the weekend, they'll need to avoid a slide in the coming days.


    6. Boston Red Sox (37-31)

    Previous Rank: 6

    With series wins over the Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals last week, the Red Sox improved to 13-4 in June, but they still sit double-digit games back in the AL East standings as the New York Yankees have been equally impressive of late. Nick Pivetta is pitching like a Cy Young candidate right now with a 1.77 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 61 innings over his last nine starts.

Nos. 5-1

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    Michael Harris II (Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    5. Toronto Blue Jays (38-29)

    Previous Rank: 4

    The Blue Jays dropped a spot after splitting a four-game series with the Baltimore Orioles and dropping two of three to the New York Yankees, but they still entered this week with a plus-24 run differential in June. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is hitting .311/.386/.676 with eight home runs and 17 RBI in 18 games this month.


    4. Houston Astros (41-25)

    Previous Rank: 8

    After consecutive series losses two weeks ago, the Astros righted the ship last week, taking two of three from the Texas Rangers and Chicago White Sox. Their next nine games are all against the New York Yankees and New York Mets, giving them a golden opportunity to prove they belong in the conversation of top-tier teams.


    3. Atlanta Braves (39-29)

    Previous Rank: 3

    The Braves ran their winning streak to 14 in a row before dropping two of three to the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field over the weekend. A homestand against the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers now awaits this coming week. Rookie center fielder Michael Harris II is hitting .321/.346/.538 in 81 plate appearances since debuting last month.


    2. New York Mets (45-24)

    Previous Rank: 2

    The Mets moved to 23-10 at home with series wins over the Milwaukee Brewers and Miami Marlins last week, and the pitching staff also picked up its 10th shutout of the year on Tuesday. Their continued success with Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer and Tylor Megill all on the injured list speaks volumes of their pitching depth.


    1. New York Yankees (50-17)

    Previous Rank: 1

    The Yankees went 5-1 last week to improve to 15-2 with a plus-64 run differential in June, and they are simply on another level right now. The offense leads the majors in home runs (110), the starting rotation leads the AL in ERA (2.80), and the bullpen continues to impress despite numerous injuries to key relievers.

Complete Rankings

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    Mark Blinch/Getty Images

    Complete Rankings

    1. New York Yankees
    2. New York Mets
    3. Atlanta Braves
    4. Houston Astros
    5. Toronto Blue Jays
    6. Boston Red Sox
    7. San Diego Padres
    8. Los Angeles Dodgers
    9. San Francisco Giants
    10. St. Louis Cardinals
    11. Philadelphia Phillies
    12. Cleveland Guardians
    13. Minnesota Twins
    14. Milwaukee Brewers
    15. Tampa Bay Rays
    16. Arizona Diamondbacks
    17. Colorado Rockies
    18. Miami Marlins
    19. Baltimore Orioles
    20. Texas Rangers
    21. Chicago White Sox
    22. Los Angeles Angels
    23. Seattle Mariners
    24. Pittsburgh Pirates
    25. Chicago Cubs
    26. Detroit Tigers
    27. Cincinnati Reds
    28. Washington Nationals
    29. Kansas City Royals
    30. Oakland Athletics

Highlight of the Week: Jack Suwinski's 3-HR Game

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    Justin Berl/Getty Images

    Outfielder Jack Suwinski began the 2022 season as the No. 24 prospect in the Pittsburgh Pirates' farm system, according to Baseball America.

    The 23-year-old made his MLB debut on April 26, and he has been a bright spot for the Pirates in the early going with a 119 OPS+ and 11 home runs in 162 plate appearances. Three of those long balls came Sunday when he etched his name in the record books.

    Suwinski became the first rookie in MLB history with a three-homer game that included a walk-off home run. He took San Francisco Giants starter Alex Cobb deep in the fourth inning, reliever Sam Long yard in the sixth inning, and he delivered the decisive blow leading off the bottom of the ninth against Tyler Rogers.

    "I was just like: 'No way, man. No way that's going,'" Suwinski told reporters of his game-winning blast. "That guy is hard to hit off of. Coming from that low under there, it's not an easy at-bat."

Team of the Week

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    Paul Goldschmidt (Joe Puetz/Getty Images)

    C Willson Contreras, CHC
    (11-for-29, 3 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI)

    1B Paul Goldschmidt, STL
    (14-for-30, 3 2B, 4 HR, 11 RBI)

    2B Jake Cronenworth, SD
    (16-for-29, 6 2B, 4 RBI)

    3B Manny Machado, SD
    (10-for-27, 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI)

    SS Corey Seager, TEX
    (8-for-23, 2 2B, 3 HR, 4 RBI)

    OF Charlie Blackmon, COL
    (11-for-26, 2 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBI)

    OF Michael Harris II, ATL
    (9-for-24, 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI)

    OF Teoscar Hernandez, TOR
    (9-for-29, 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI)

    DH Luke Voit, SD
    (10-for-30, 6 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI)

    SP Tyler Mahle, CIN
    (1 GS, ND, 9.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 12 K)

    SP Miles Mikolas, STL
    (1 GS, W, 8.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K)

    SP Carlos Rodon, SF
    (1 GS, W, 8.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K)

    SP Tyler Anderson, LAD
    (1 GS, W, 8.1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K)

    SP Nick Pivetta, BOS
    (2 GS, 2 W, 15.0 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 6 BB, 13 K)

    RP Emmanuel Clase, CLE
    (4 G, 4/4 SV, 4.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K)

Award Rankings

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    Spencer Strider (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

    AL MVP

    1. Aaron Judge, NYY
    2. Jose Ramirez, CLE
    3. Rafael Devers, BOS


    NL MVP

    1. Paul Goldschmidt, STL
    2. Manny Machado, SD
    3. Bryce Harper, PHI


    AL Cy Young

    1. Shane McClanahan, TB
    2. Nestor Cortes, NYY
    3. Alek Manoah, TOR


    NL Cy Young

    1. Joe Musgrove, SD
    2. Sandy Alcantara, MIA
    3. Tony Gonsolin, LAD


    AL Rookie of the Year

    1. Jeremy Pena, HOU
    2. Julio Rodriguez, SEA
    3. Brock Burke, TEX


    NL Rookie of the Year

    1. Spencer Strider, ATL
    2. Brendan Donovan, STL
    3. Luis Gonzalez, SF


    Stats courtesy of MLB.com and Baseball Reference unless otherwise noted.

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