MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand Entering Week 12

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistJune 19, 2017

Colorado Rockies' Nolan Arenado, front, is doused by teammates Trevor Story, back left, and Ian Desmond after hitting a walkoff three-run home run off San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Mark Melancon in the ninth inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 18, 2017, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

There's finally a new No. 1 team in our weekly MLB power rankings, as the Houston Astros have been bumped from the top spot amid a 4-8 stretch of games and some key injuries to the pitching staff.

No one has blinked yet in the NL West, where three teams check in among the top four in our rankings and account for three of the four best records in baseball.

Further down the rankings, the Texas Rangers and Cleveland Indians are starting to make some noise, while the New York Yankees were tripped up last week and the St. Louis Cardinals continued their slide.

As always, this is a fluid process, and teams rise and fall 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:

 Updated Rankings 
1img Rockies (46-26)img1
2img Astros (46-24)img1
3img D-backs (44-26)img2
4img Dodgers (44-26)img2
5img Red Sox (39-30)img2
6img Nationals (42-27)img2
7img Brewers (38-33)img1
8img Yankees (38-29)img5
9img Indians (36-31)img3
10img Rangers (34-34)img6
11img Rays (37-35)img4
12img Cubs (34-34)img1
13img Twins (34-33)img4
14img Blue Jays (33-35)img4
15img Orioles (34-34)img2
16img Royals (33-35)img3
17img Angels (36-37)img3
18img Mariners (34-37)img1
19img Pirates (31-38)img4
20img Braves (31-37)img5
21img Marlins (30-37)img1
22img Athletics (31-38)img4
23img White Sox (31-37)img6
24img Mets (31-37)img
25img Cardinals (31-37)img7
26img Tigers (32-36)img6
27img Padres (28-42)img1
28img Reds (29-39)img7
29img Giants (26-45)img2
30img Phillies (22-46)img


Biggest Risers

A healthy Tyson Ross could be a real X-factor for the Rangers.
A healthy Tyson Ross could be a real X-factor for the Rangers.Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press


Texas Rangers (up six spots)

The Texas Rangers entered the week riding high after a three-game sweep of the Washington Nationals, and they put the finishing touches on perhaps the most impressive road trip of the season by taking two of three from the division-leading Astros.

Another series win over the Seattle Mariners at home to close out the week was the cherry on top, and with that, the Rangers have climbed back inside the top 10.

After battling injuries all season, the roster is finally starting to get healthy, as Carlos Gomez, Mike Napoli and Tyson Ross were all activated from the disabled list last week and Cole Hamels began a rehab assignment.

Ross picked up the win in his Rangers debut, allowing two hits and two earned runs while striking out five in 5.2 innings. With Andrew Cashner heading the other way and landing on the DL with an oblique strain, more of the same from Ross will certainly be welcome.

Meanwhile, the foursome of Matt Bush, Keone Kela, Alex Claudio and Jose Leclerc has settled in at the back of the bullpen, bringing stability to what was the team's most glaring weakness in the early going.

They're still 11 games behind the Astros in the AL West standings and .500 on the season entering play Monday, but the Rangers look like a team ready to go on a run.


Chicago White Sox (up six spots)

The Chicago White Sox aren't going to suddenly shift gears and abandon the idea of rebuilding because they put together one good week.

However, series wins against the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays and a plus-13 run differential over that seven-game span is enough for them to make as significant a climb as anyone in this week's rankings.

Melky Cabrera (.349 BA, .853 OPS) and Avisail Garcia (.333 BA, .881 OPS) are both swinging it well, while Matt Davidson homered five times last week to bring his season total to a team-high 15.

On the pitching side, veterans Derek Holland and Mike Pelfrey both looked sharp last week, and Jose Quintana pitched seven strong innings to finally earn his third victory of the season—his first since May 2.

With a struggling Minnesota Twins team and the last-place Oakland Athletics awaiting this coming week, don't be surprised if the White Sox continue their climb in next week's rankings.


Biggest Fallers

Adam Wainwright had his worst start of the season Saturday (1.2 IP, 9 ER).
Adam Wainwright had his worst start of the season Saturday (1.2 IP, 9 ER).Patrick Semansky/Associated Press/Associated Press


St. Louis Cardinals (down seven spots)

The St. Louis Cardinals are now 6-12 with a minus-14 run differential in the month of June after dropping series to the Milwaukee Brewers and Baltimore Orioles last week.

In fact, three of those six wins and plus-14 toward their run differential came in a sweep of the MLB-worst Philadelphia Phillies two weeks ago, or things would look even worse.

While the offense is holding its own during that span with a .775 team OPS and 4.6 runs per game, the pitching staff has been a disaster with a 5.53 ERA and just four quality starts—one of which was a complete-game shutout by Carlos Martinez.

Adam Wainwright appeared to be turning a corner with four straight quality starts after six shutout innings against the Dodgers on June 1, but he's now been shelled to the tune of a 17.42 ERA over his last three starts.

General manager John Mozeliak warned a few weeks ago that sweeping changes could be coming.

With that in mind, manager Mike Matheny might want to update his resume, and pitching prospect Luke Weaver (6-1, 2.33 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 46.1 IP in Triple-A) should probably ready himself for a spot in the big league rotation.


Cincinnati Reds (down seven spots)

The wheels have finally fallen off for a Cincinnati Reds team that was walking a tightrope of contention.

Despite an offense that has averaged a solid 4.9 runs per game and a bullpen that has quietly been one of the best in the league, there's no overcoming the league's worst starting rotation.

Just how bad have they been?

A "6.09 ERA and 24 quality starts in 68 games" level of bad.

After being swept by the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers last week, the Reds have now lost nine in a row with a minus-31 run differential during that span.

The Phillies still reside comfortably in the No. 30 spot for the time being, but if this recent trend continues, the Reds could be challenging for the leaguewide cellar before the end of the month.


MVPs of the Week

AL MVP: 3B Jose Ramirez

Stats: 16-for-31, 8 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 9 R

Since going 0-for-4 last Monday, Jose Ramirez has been as hot as any hitter in baseball, rattling off six straight multihit games—including eight doubles and three home runs.

That recent surge has raised his season batting line to .313/.369/.546, and he played a major role in a 5-2 week for the Tribe.

"It was like two weeks ago he was batting like .260 or something like that," Indians reliever Dan Otero told Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. "And all of a sudden he's back over .300. I said, 'What the heck just happened?' But, that's what he can do. He can just get hot in a hurry. He's such a good hitter and a bad-ball hitter. He can just hit anything that comes his way."

With 21 doubles and 11 home runs on the season, he quietly ranks seventh in the AL with 136 total bases. He may be en route to his first All-Star Game nod if he can keep it up.


NL MVP: SP Jacob deGrom

Stats: 2 GS, 2 W, 17.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 6 BB, 12 K

While he hasn't been bitten by the injury bug like so many of his Mets teammates, Jacob deGrom was struggling nonetheless heading into last week.

After a pair of starts in which he lasted just four innings both times out and gave up a combined 15 earned runs, his ERA had ballooned to 4.75 on the year.

However, he righted the ship with his first complete game of the season and the second of his career against the Chicago Cubs on Monday. He allowed just five hits and one earned run, walking four and striking out six.

He wasn't finished, though, as he made his second start of the week Sunday and tossed another gem, this time allowing just one unearned run on three hits over eight innings of work.

Those two outings were enough to trim his ERA back down to a respectable 3.94 on the year.

He also added his first career home run Sunday and turned 29 years old Monday, so it's been a busy seven days for the right-hander.


Stats of the Week

Let's dive right into some of the better nuggets from around the league. It was a week of notable milestones and players getting to them in a hurry.

We'll start with Cleveland Indians ace Corey Kluber, who recorded career strikeout No. 1,000 Wednesday.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he's the seventh-fastest to reach that total, needing just 148 games.

Ahead of him on that list: Kerry Wood (134), Tim Lincecum (136), Roger Clemens (143), Stephen Strasburg (144), Dwight Gooden (145) and Hideo Nomo (147).

It's easy to forget just how dominant Nomo was when he first took the league by storm.

On the offensive side of things, Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger continued to swing a hot bat. The 21-year-old crushed his 19th home run of the season Thursday.

With that, he tied 2016 rookie phenom Gary Sanchez for the most home runs over the first 50 games of a career. That record had previously been untouched since 1930, when Wally Berger hit 18 homers in his first 50 games en route to a 38-homer season.

Staying in the NL West, teammates Jake Lamb (59) and Paul Goldschmidt (57) rank first and second in the majors in RBI. That duo needed just 64 games to both reach the 50-RBI mark, the second-fastest a pair of players has reached that total in franchise history.

The fastest? Surprisingly didn't involve Luis Gonzalez, as it was instead Matt Williams and Steve Finley, who did it in 60 games during the 1999 season.

And finally, we'll round things out with one more tidbit from the NL West, as Nolan Arenado joined an exclusive group when he hit a walk-off home run to complete the cycle Sunday.

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Walk-Off HR to Complete Cycle - MLB history Nolan Arenado Carlos González Dwight Evans César Tovar Ken Boyer via @EliasSports https://t.co/z0iPBccUn9

Good stuff.


Must-See Upcoming Matchup

Opening Day starter Jon Gray could return to action this coming weekend after missing more than two months with a broken foot.
Opening Day starter Jon Gray could return to action this coming weekend after missing more than two months with a broken foot.David Zalubowski/Associated Press/Associated Press

Colorado Rockies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (Friday through Sunday)

Expect to see plenty of the NL West in this section in the weeks to come.

The Rockies will take on both the Diamondbacks and the Dodgers this week as they look to cement their place as the team to beat in what has become the division to watch.

The three-game tilt with the Dodgers this coming weekend gets the nod as our must-see matchup.

Clayton Kershaw will take the mound for the Dodgers on Saturday opposite Tyler Chatwood, and he's already gotten the best of the Rockies twice this season, lasting seven innings and allowing two earned runs in both starts.

Meanwhile, Opening Day starter Jon Gray could return to action for the Rockies in this series as well.

Sidelined since April 12 with a broken left foot, Gray worked four scoreless innings in a rehab start for Single-A Lancaster last Wednesday, and he's set to take the mound again Monday. If all goes well, he could be activated over the weekend, according to Nick Groke of the Denver Post.

Two of baseball's best teams battling for division supremacy, the game's best pitcher taking the ball Saturday and the potential return of another ace-caliber arm at some point over the weekend.

That all sounds like must-see TV.


All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs unless otherwise noted and current through Sunday, June 18.

Looking for someone to yell at about where your favorite team was slotted in the latest rankings? I'll meet you in the comments section.