MLB Power Rankings: Mariners, Orioles Streak While Giants, Guardians Stumble

Joel ReuterJuly 12, 2022

MLB Power Rankings: Mariners, Orioles Streak While Giants, Guardians Stumble

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    Alika Jenner/Getty Images

    The unofficial midpoint of the 2022 MLB season is right around the corner, as the All-Star Game will be played on Tuesday, July 19. From there, it's only a few short weeks until the annual frenzy of activity that is the trade deadline.

    Between now and then, there are roughly a dozen teams sitting on the fence between contending and non-contending that will need to make a decision. Hot streaks from the Seattle Mariners and Baltimore Orioles have made their situations all the more interesting.

    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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    Bobby Witt Jr. (William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    30. Washington Nationals (30-58)

    Previous Rank: 26

    The Nationals fall to the No. 30 spot for the first time this season after going 1-9 to begin the month of July. It's only a matter of time before they start selling off veterans. First baseman Josh Bell and designated hitter Nelson Cruz are the most obvious trade chips on the roster.


    29. Oakland Athletics (29-59)

    Previous Rank: 30

    A series win over the Toronto Blue Jays was enough to pull the Athletics out of the bottom spot. Last Tuesday marked just the second time since May 25 that they've won consecutive games. Starting pitchers Frankie Montas and Paul Blackburn figure to be in demand when the trade market heats up in the coming weeks.


    28. Kansas City Royals (34-52)

    Previous Rank: 28

    After a slow start to the season, rookie phenom Bobby Witt Jr. is now Kansas City's team leader in home runs (12) and RBI (42) to go along with 13 steals, a 103 OPS+ and 1.1 WAR in 80 games. He has been one of the few bright spots on a Royals team that has failed to take the next step forward many were expecting.


    27. Cincinnati Reds (32-54)

    Previous Rank: 27

    A weekend series sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays that included walk-off wins on Friday and Saturday gave the Reds a four-game winning streak heading into the new week. With a 2.92 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 71 innings, Luis Castillo was a deserving All-Star selection for the second time in his career.


    26. Chicago Cubs (34-52)

    Previous Rank: 23

    The Cubs were swept in a four-game series at Dodger Stadium over the weekend, and they continue to jockey for position at the bottom of the NL Central standings. All signs point to All-Star catcher Willson Contreras being dealt later this month, but how much further will they go with selling off pieces a year after a franchise-altering fire sale?

Nos. 25-21

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    Joe Mantiply (Norm Hall/Getty Images)

    25. Arizona Diamondbacks (39-48)

    Previous Rank: 24

    The D-backs took two of three from the San Francisco Giants last week before dropping three of four against the Colorado Rockies. They are now just 10-23 against the rest of the NL West. Tip of the cap to reliever Joe Mantiply (35 G, 8 HLD, 1.83 ERA, 34/1 K/BB) on a well-deserved All-Star nod.


    24. Los Angeles Angels (38-49)

    Previous Rank: 20

    The Angels began July with a nine-game road trip and went 1-8 with a minus-24 run differential. They now seem more likely to consider offers for Noah Syndergaard at the trade deadline than to be buyers who try to claw their way back into the AL West race. An upcoming stretch of games against the Astros, Dodgers and Braves could be the final straw.


    23. Detroit Tigers (36-51)

    Previous Rank: 29

    The Tigers won six in a row before back-to-back losses to the Chicago White Sox on Saturday and Sunday in a four-game series split, but that hot streak is still enough for them to climb six spots. Veteran Jonathan Schoop has gone 14-for-37 in 10 games since the calendar flipped to July.


    22. Pittsburgh Pirates (37-50)

    Previous Rank: 25

    After taking two of three from the Milwaukee Brewers on the road over the weekend, the Pirates have a multi-game cushion for third place in the NL Central standings. Outfielder Bryan Reynolds is hitting .323/.395/.564 with eight home runs and 20 RBI in 152 plate appearances since June 1.


    21. Colorado Rockies (38-49)

    Previous Rank: 22

    The Rockies were swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers last week but rebounded to take three of four from the D-backs. Prized free-agent signing Kris Bryant missed nearly two months with nagging back issues, but he was activated from the injured list on June 27 and has hit .340/.392/.660 with four home runs in 12 games since returning to action.

Nos. 20-16

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    Jazz Chisholm Jr. (Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

    20. Chicago White Sox (41-44)

    Previous Rank: 21

    The White Sox went 3-4 against the Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers at home last week, and their next 12 games will be against the Twins and Cleveland Guardians as they look to sort out where they stand in the AL Central race. With a 2.45 ERA and 133 strikeouts in 92 innings, Dylan Cease was as big of an All-Star snub as anyone when rosters were released Sunday.


    19. Texas Rangers (40-44)

    Previous Rank: 19

    After a 3-6 road trip, the Rangers returned home over the weekend and took two of three from the Minnesota Twins. They're currently on a 76-win pace after going 60-102 last season, and that potential step forward could be enough for them to stand pat at the deadline rather than selling. Buster Olney of ESPN reported in early July that a trade of All-Star Martin Perez is unlikely unless they get something "difference-making" in return.


    18. Cleveland Guardians (42-42)

    Previous Rank: 16

    Following a 1-6 week on the road against the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals, the Guardians are now 21-25 away from Progressive Field. They kick off an 11-game road trip later this month against the Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays that could shape the rest of their season.


    17. Miami Marlins (41-44)

    Previous Rank: 17

    The Marlins' record is a bit deceiving, as they've gone 12-1 against the Washington Nationals and 29-43 against everyone else. That fact will likely be enough to keep them from buying aggressively at the deadline, but don't expect them to sell either, as guys like Sandy Alcantara, Pablo Lopez and Jazz Chisholm Jr. are foundational pieces of the future.


    16. San Francisco Giants (43-42)

    Previous Rank: 14

    Starting with back-to-back walk-off losses on June 19 and June 20, the Giants have gone an NL-worst 6-14 in their last 20 games. The fact that Carlos Rodon (17 GS, 2.70 ERA, 124 K, 100.0 IP) and Logan Webb (17 GS, 2.98 ERA, 88 K, 105.2 IP) were both snubbed from the NL All-Star team is another tough pill to swallow.

Nos. 15-11

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    Luis Arraez (Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

    15. Baltimore Orioles (43-44)

    Previous Rank: 18

    The Orioles enter play on Tuesday riding an eight-game winning streak, their longest in a single season since 2005. They have gone 25-17 at Camden Yards and a respectable 15-19 against the rest of a tough AL East division, and there is promising young talent up and down the roster. They are already only nine wins away from matching their 2021 total.


    14. Tampa Bay Rays (46-40)

    Previous Rank: 11

    After series wins over the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox, the Rays wrapped up their 11-game road trip with a thud when they were swept by the Cincinnati Reds over the weekend. With Wander Franco (wrist discomfort) and Kevin Kiermaier (hip inflammation) both hitting the injured list, their depth will be tested in the coming days.


    13. Toronto Blue Jays (45-42)

    Previous Rank: 8

    With a 2-9 record to begin the month of July, the Blue Jays have toppled out of the top 10 and are in serious danger of slipping below .500 before the All-Star break if they can't right the ship quickly. They went 1-6 against the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners last week, and they'll close out the first half at home against the Philadelphia Phillies and Kansas City Royals.


    12. Minnesota Twins (48-40)

    Previous Rank: 12

    Despite a 13-15 record in June and a series loss to the Texas Rangers over the weekend, the Twins remain atop a wide-open AL Central race. After going 10-for-25 at the plate last week, Luis Arraez is now hitting an MLB-best .348 on the year, well ahead of Rafael Devers (.327) and Andrew Benintendi (.317) in the AL batting title race entering play Monday.


    11. St. Louis Cardinals (47-42)

    Previous Rank: 10

    The Cardinals drop out of the top 10 after suffering three straight series losses to begin the month of July, including a 2-5 showing against the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies last week. Luckily, that rough patch has coincided with some less-than-stellar play from the Milwaukee Brewers, so they are still well within striking distance for the NL Central lead.

Nos. 10-6

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    Carlos Santana (Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

    10. Philadelphia Phillies (46-41)

    Previous Rank: 15

    With a weekend series win over the St. Louis Cardinals, the Phillies improved to 8-5 since Bryce Harper suffered a broken left thumb. Rookie Darick Hall was promoted from the minors to fill Harper's spot on the roster, and he's done a great job picking up the slack with a 160 OPS+ and four home runs in 43 plate appearances.


    9. Milwaukee Brewers (48-39)

    Previous Rank: 6

    The Brewers have been playing sub-.500 baseball since June 1, and they suffered series losses to the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates at home last week. Finding another impact bat to join Rowdy Tellez, Willy Adames and Hunter Renfroe once he's healthy should be a priority at the deadline.


    8. Boston Red Sox (47-40)

    Previous Rank: 9

    The Red Sox came from behind to beat the rival New York Yankees on Saturday and Sunday, salvaging a four-game split in the process. Ace Chris Sale is expected to make his long-awaited season debut on Tuesday. He made four rehab starts, but never pitched beyond the fourth inning, so expect his first few outings to be abbreviated.


    7. San Diego Padres (50-38)

    Previous Rank: 7

    The Padres went 2-4 against the Seattle Mariners and San Francisco Giants last week. They have lost significant ground on the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West since the start of July, going from 2.5 games out on June 30 to eight games back entering play Monday. The return of Fernando Tatis Jr. can't come soon enough.


    6. Seattle Mariners (45-42)

    Previous Rank: 13

    The Mariners have won eight in a row and are now 16-3 in their last 19 games, during which time they've gone from 10 games under .500 to legitimate postseason contenders. Veteran Carlos Santana is hitting .282/.404/.538 for a 173 OPS+ in 47 plate appearances since the Mariners acquired him from the Kansas City Royals.

Nos. 5-1

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    Justin Verlander (Logan Riely/Getty Images)

    5. New York Mets (54-33)

    Previous Rank: 3

    The Mets have not had a winning streak longer than two games since June 18, and they've gone 9-10 in their last 19 games since that point. They went from 10.5 games up in the NL East standings on June 1 to a mere 1.5 games up entering play on Monday. Can the eventual return of Jacob deGrom provide a spark?


    4. Atlanta Braves (52-36)

    Previous Rank: 4

    During the same stretch of time where the Mets went 9-10, the Braves have gone 15-6 to considerably help close the gap in the NL East. They kept things rolling last week with series wins over the St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals. While they still trail the Mets in the standings, there's little question they belong ahead of them in these power rankings.


    3. Los Angeles Dodgers (56-29)

    Previous Rank: 5

    After an up-and-down month of June, the Dodgers have gone 9-1 with a plus-20 run differential to begin July. The bullpen trio of Brusdar Graterol (5 G, 2/2 SV, 1 HLD, 5.0 IP, 4 K), Evan Phillips (5 G, 4 HLD, 4.0 IP) and Alex Vesia (3 G, 1/1 SV, 1 HLD, 3.0 IP) have combined for 12 scoreless innings this month.


    2. Houston Astros (56-29)

    Previous Rank: 2

    The Astros are 19-5 in their last 24 games, and while they sit No. 2 in these rankings once again, they are now squarely in the conversation for the No. 1 spot. They lead the AL with a 2.97 ERA behind All-Stars Justin Verlander and Framber Valdez, and the pitching staff will need to pick up the slack with Yordan Alvarez on the injured list.


    1. New York Yankees (61-25)

    Previous Rank: 1

    The Yankees are still the No. 1 team in baseball, but the gap has narrowed in recent weeks, as the Astros have been playing great baseball and the Dodgers have heated back up. They still rank third in the majors in ERA (3.04) and first in OPS (.771), home runs (146) and runs scored (450), and they have not had a losing streak longer than three games since May 23.

Complete Rankings

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    Adam Glanzman/MLB Photos via Getty Images

    Complete Rankings

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

Highlight of the Week: Orioles Match Longest Winning Streak Since 2005

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    Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    With a 9-5 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday, the Baltimore Orioles extended their current winning streak to eight games.

    It's the Orioles' longest streak since they won 12 straight between the end of the 2015 season and start of the 2016 season, and their longest streak within a single season since April 22-May 1, 2005, according to Zachary Silver of MLB.com.

    "It's crazy,” first baseman Ryan Mountcastle told reportersο»Ώ. β€œI mean, it seems like each and every day, we just go out there and we're gonna win. I don't know. It's just this weird aura or vibe. I don't know what's going on. But it's awesome."

    The Orioles now sit at 43-44 on the season, which is no small feat for a team that won only 52 games all of last year.

    The O's have the No. 1 overall pick in the MLB draft this coming Sunday, but it could be a while before they're drafting that high again. The organization finally seems to be turning a corner.

Team of the Week

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    Kris Bryant (Norm Hall/Getty Images)

    C Adley Rutschman, BAL
    (6-for-19, 2 2B, HR, 3 RBI)

    1B Carlos Santana, SEA
    (8-for-20, 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI)

    2B Marcus Semien, TEX
    (8-for-25, 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBI)

    3B Austin Riley, ATL
    (13-for-29, 3 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI)

    SS Corey Seager, TEX
    (11-for-22, 4 HR, 9 RBI)

    OF Kris Bryant, COL
    (9-for-26, 3 2B, 4 HR, 5 RBI)

    OF Aaron Hicks, NYY
    (8-for-19, 3 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 6 RBI)

    OF Kyle Schwarber, PHI
    (7-for-22, 5 HR, 6 RBI)

    DH Matt Carpenter, NYY
    (10-for-22, 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI)

    SP Sandy Alcantara, MIA
    (2 GS, W, ND, 15.0 IP, 8 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 14 K)

    SP Johnny Cueto, CWS
    (2 GS, W, ND, 14.0 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 8 K)

    SP Shohei Ohtani, LAA
    (1 GS, W, 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 10 K)

    SP Corbin Burnes, MIL
    (1 GS, ND, 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K)

    SP Alex Wood, SF
    (2 GS, W, ND, 12.0 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 12 K)

    RP Andres Munoz, SEA
    (3 G, 2 HLD, 3.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K)

Award Rankings

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    Julio Rodriguez (Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

    AL MVP

    1. Aaron Judge, NYY
    2. Rafael Devers, BOS
    3. Jose Ramirez, CLE
    4. Yordan Alvarez, HOU
    5. Mike Trout, LAA


    NL MVP

    1. Paul Goldschmidt, STL
    2. Manny Machado, SD
    3. Pete Alonso, NYM
    4. Dansby Swanson, ATL
    5. Freddie Freeman, LAD


    AL Cy Young

    1. Shane McClanahan, TB
    2. Justin Verlander, HOU
    3. Alek Manoah, TOR
    4. Framber Valdez, HOU
    5. Martin Perez, TEX


    NL Cy Young

    1. Sandy Alcantara, MIA
    2. Tony Gonsolin, LAD
    3. Joe Musgrove, SD
    4. Corbin Burnes, MIL
    5. Carlos Rodon, SF


    AL Rookie of the Year

    1. Julio Rodriguez, SEA
    2. Jeremy Pena, HOU
    3. Joe Ryan, MIN


    NL Rookie of the Year

    1. Spencer Strider, ATL
    2. Michael Harris II, ATL
    3. Brendan Donovan, STL


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

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