MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand Entering Week 6

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistMay 8, 2017

Teammates greet New York Yankees' Aaron Judge in the dugout after he hit a solo home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays in New York, Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Kathy Willens/Associated Press

Teams such as the Washington Nationals, Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros and Cleveland Indians are right where we expected them to be through 30 or so games.

However, the New York Yankees, Cincinnati Reds and Colorado Rockies are surprise division leaders, while the Toronto Blue Jays, Texas Rangers and San Francisco Giants are still trying to stabilize.

There won't be as much wholesale shifting in these weekly rankings in the months ahead. For now, though, things continue to shuffle quite a bit from top to bottom.

As always, this is a fluid process, with teams rising and falling based on where they were ranked the previous week. If a team keeps winning, it will keep climbing—it's as simple as that.

With that in mind, here's an updated look at where all 30 teams stand:

RankTeamOverall W/LLast WeekChange
1img Washington Nationals21-104-2img
2img Houston Astros21-115-2img1
3img New York Yankees20-95-1img1
4img Baltimore Orioles20-105-2img3
5img Boston Red Sox17-144-3img
6img Colorado Rockies20-124-2img3
7img Chicago Cubs16-153-4img5
8img Cleveland Indians
9img St. Louis Cardinals16-144-2img2
10img Los Angeles Dodgers17-143-2img2
11img Arizona Diamondbacks18-152-4img1
12img Seattle Mariners15-174-2img5
13img Detroit Tigers15-153-3img
14img Milwaukee Brewers16-163-3img
15img Chicago White Sox15-152-5img3
16img Minnesota Twins15-143-3img
17img Los Angeles Angels16-172-4img2
18img Cincinnati Reds17-146-1img6
19img New York Mets14-164-2img
20img Tampa Bay Rays16-174-3img3
21img Pittsburgh Pirates14-173-4img1
22img Oakland Athletics14-173-3img4
23img Texas Rangers13-192-5img5
24img Philadelphia Phillies13-172-5img4
25img Miami Marlins13-172-5img4
26img San Francisco Giants11-212-4img2
27img Toronto Blue Jays11-203-3img2
28img Atlanta Braves11-181-5img3
29img San Diego Padres12-201-4img2
30img Kansas City Royals10-203-4img


Biggest Risers

Scott Feldman tossed a four-hit shutout against the San Francisco Giants on Sunday.
Scott Feldman tossed a four-hit shutout against the San Francisco Giants on Sunday.Michael E. Keating/Associated Press

Cincinnati Reds (up six spots)

The roller-coaster ride that has been the 2017 Reds continued last week, as they climb six spots in the rankings following series wins over the Pittsburgh Pirates and Giants.

Even with veteran Scott Feldman tossing a complete-game shutout Sunday, the Reds still have the worst starters' ERA in baseball, at 5.20, and their rotation has worked just 154.0 innings—good for 28th in the majors.

Yet they continue to find ways to win games. The bullpen has picked up the slack on the mound with a 3.12 ERA, and the offense is averaging an impressive 5.3 runs per game.

"This year, I feel like there's this energy about us that if we play like we can, we're going to win," shortstop Zack Cozart told Chris Haft and Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. "It kind of reminds me of 2012 and '13. We're not that far yet obviously into the season. But there's that same energy where you just show up and expect to win. It's been a couple of years since we've had that energy."

Rookie standout Amir Garrett was optioned to Triple-A last week in an effort to limit his innings, as the team will go with a four-man rotation thanks to off days Wednesday and again next Monday.

The red-hot Yankees and recently swept Giants await this coming week.


Seattle Mariners (up five spots)

Count the Mariners among the teams that were happy to see the calendar turn over to May, as they closed out the first month of the season at 11-15.

Things have already gone considerably better since, as they picked up series wins over the Los Angeles Angels and Rangers last week and are 13-9 in their past 22 games after a dreadful 2-8 start.

Staying hot could be tough with a patchwork rotation, as Felix Hernandez (shoulder inflammation), James Paxton (forearm strain) and Drew Smyly (flexor strain) are all on the shelf. Meanwhile, Hisashi Iwakuma (bruised knee) had his most recent start pushed back.

Winning away from Safeco Field remains an issue as well.

While they've gone 10-5 with a plus-23 run differential at home—including last week's performances—they're just 5-12 with a minus-14 mark on the road.

They'll look to buck that early trend with trips to Philadelphia and Toronto on the docket for the upcoming week. After that, 18 of their next 26 games will be at home.


Biggest Fallers

Anthony Rizzo is one of a number of Cubs hitters who has gone ice-cold at the plate, hitting .103 with a .416 OPS in May.
Anthony Rizzo is one of a number of Cubs hitters who has gone ice-cold at the plate, hitting .103 with a .416 OPS in May.John Minchillo/Associated Press/Associated Press

Chicago Cubs (down five spots)

It was only a matter of time before the Chicago Cubs started playing up to expectations or slipping down these rankings, and after a weekend sweep at the hands of the Yankees, it's the latter.

The team's starting rotation continues to struggle mightily in the first inning, pitching to an unbelievably bad 11.32 ERA.

Meanwhile, the offensive attack has gone cold in May, as they're hitting .217 as a team and striking out nearly 20 percent of the time.

Brett Anderson recorded a grand total of five outs in his two starts last week, allowing 13 hits and 12 earned runs in the process before landing on the disabled list with a back strain.

Short starts like those, along with Sunday's 18-inning contest, have left the bullpen overtaxed. It wouldn't be surprising to see some fresh arms called up in the next few days.

This is still as talented a team as any in baseball, and it's not time to hit the panic button just yet. With the Rockies and rival St. Louis Cardinals awaiting this week, though, they'll need to quickly move on from a tough weekend.


Texas Rangers (down five spots)

The Rangers have lost four consecutive series since sweeping a four-game set from the Kansas City Royals, going 4-9 with a minus-13 run differential during that span.

It was the Houston Astros and Mariners who bested them last week, dropping their record to 8-14 against the rest of the AL West. They went an impressive 47-29 against divisional foes a year ago.

A.J. Griffin and Andrew Cashner have played well with Cole Hamels on the disabled list, and the rotation as a whole has been a surprising strengththe Rangers rank fourth in the majors with a 3.44 starters' ERA.

However, the bullpen ranks 29th (5.63 ERA) and has converted just three of 11 save chances, while the offense is hitting .219 and averaging a middle-of-the-road 4.4 runs per game.

Getting Hamels (strained oblique) and star third baseman Adrian Beltre (calf strain) back healthy will give them a boost, but they'll need to keep their heads above water in the meantime.

A home/road split with the San Diego Padres and a weekend series at home with the Oakland Athletics should give them a nice opportunity to build some momentum.


MVPs of the Week

AL MVP: 1B Yonder Alonso, OAK

Stats: 25 PA, 9-for-22, 1 2B, 5 HR, 10 RBI, 5 R

Yonder Alonso looked like a potential non-tender candidate heading into the offseason after he posted a .683 OPS with seven home runs in 532 plate appearances as Oakland's everyday first baseman.

Instead, the A's brought him back at $4 million, and he's rewarded their faith with what is shaping up to be a career year.

The 30-year-old is hitting .311/.386/.667, and he's already tied his previous career high with nine home runs to go along with a team-high 24 RBI.

Alonso will reach free agency for the first time this offseason and could be a valuable trade chip this summer if his strong start continues.


NL MVP: CF Billy Hamilton, CIN

Stats: 35 PA, 11-for-31, 2 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 11 R, 9 SB

Billy Hamilton's speed has been on full display already this season, as he's swiped 19 bases in 21 tries and leads the league with four triples.

The issue is finding a way to consistently get on base.

Even with an 11-for-31 showing last week, he's still hitting just .248/.307/.360 on the year, and that's right in line with his .248/.298/.336 career triple-slash.

If he can stay hot at the plate and get that on-base percentage up to a more respectable level, he should have no problem eclipsing his previous high of 58 stolen bases.


Stats of the Week

Let's dive right into some of the better nuggets from around the league:

We'll start with the New York Yankees' Aaron Judge, as imposing a bat-swinger as you'll find in today's game.

The 6'7", 282-pound behemoth became the youngest player in MLB history and the only rookie ever with 13 home runs in his team's first 26 games.

Alongside fellow gargantuan Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins, he's helping make "exit velocity" an indelible part of the MLB lexicon.

Daren Willman @darenw

% of batted balls 115 MPH+ by season 2017 - Judge 14.3% 2015 - Stanton 9.6% 2016 - Stanton 8.7% 2017 - Gallo 3% 2017 - Stanton 2.6%

On the other end of the spectrum, we have the 6'0", 160-pound speedster Hamilton, who hit his 14th career home run on his 1,685 plate appearance last week.

He also stole his 200th career base, becoming the fourth-fastest player to reach that mark since 1900, needing just 424 games.

The 26-year-old has nine stolen bases already in May—more than any other team—and his 19 thefts on the year are surpassed by just seven clubs.

Then we have Sunday night's 18-inning marathon game between the Yankees and Cubs, which saw plenty of history made.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, it was the longest interleague game in MLB history, and the Elias Sports Bureau noted it was the longest game in the history of Sunday Night Baseball, which spans more than 600 games.

However, it was both teams' staggering inability to put the bat on the ball that carried the day.

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Yankees-Cubs is 1st game in MLB history in which each team struck out at least 21 times

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

44 K now by Cubs and Yankees combined, breaking the MLB record set in 1971 by the Angels and Athletics https://t.co/Kpah5Pe72D

Jeremy Frank @MLBRandomStats

#Yankees vs #Cubs today: 22 strikeouts in 68 PA Tony Gwynn vs #Cubs in his career: 26 strikeouts in 727 PA

few much-needed hours of sleep will almost certainly trump extra time in the cage for both clubs heading into Monday's action.


Must-See Upcoming Matchup

Manuel Balce Ceneta/Associated Press

Baltimore Orioles vs. Washington Nationals (May 8-11)

There are plenty of good individual and team matchups on tap for the week ahead.

The NL Central-rival Cubs and Cardinals square off in St. Louis, and a pair of AL division leaders in the Astros and Yankees meet in New York. Meanwhile, Danny Duffy vs. Dylan Bundy, Marcus Stroman vs. Carlos Carrasco and Robbie Ray vs. Ivan Nova are among the notable pitching duels on tap.

That said, the series to watch will be the four-game home/road split between two of the five teams that have reached the 20-win mark in the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals.

The Orioles have dominated the Battle of the Beltways of late, as they've won five straight season series and gone a combined 17-7 during that span. However, slowing down this Nationals team will be no easy task, as they lead the majors with a plus-53 run differential and 6.3 runs per game.

With both teams falling inside the top five in this week's rankings, this could well be a battle for the No. 1 spot next Monday.


All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs unless otherwise noted and current through Sunday, May 7.

Have thoughts on our new power rankings format or looking for someone to yell at about where your favorite team was slotted in the latest rankings? I'll meet you the comments section.