MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand After 1 Month

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 26: Eric Hosmer #30 and Manuel Margot #7 of the San Diego Padres celebrate after beating the against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on April 26, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

With the first month of the 2019 MLB season now in the rearview, the self-imposed restriction that prevents teams from moving more than five spots in either direction in our weekly power rankings has been lifted.

At this point, small sample sizes become legitimate trends and early surprises and disappointments start to become more telling indications of what to expect the rest of the way.

Still, it's important to remember, this is a fluid process. Teams will 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.

Here are the rankings:

 Updated Rankings 
1img Tampa Bay Rays (18-9)img1
2img Los Angeles Dodgers (19-11)img1
3img Houston Astros (17-11)img
4img St. Louis Cardinals (17-10)img2
5img New York Yankees (17-11)img2
6img Philadelphia Phillies (16-12)img2
7img Minnesota Twins (16-9)img3
8img San Diego Padres (16-12)img5
9img Seattle Mariners (18-13)img
10img Milwaukee Brewers (15-14)img5
11img Chicago Cubs (14-12)img1
12img New York Mets (14-13)img1
13img Cleveland Indians (15-12)img2
14img Atlanta Braves (13-14)
15img Arizona Diamondbacks (16-13)img5
16img Pittsburgh Pirates (12-14)img2
17img Oakland Athletics (14-16)img1
18img Colorado Rockies (13-15)img4
19img Texas Rangers (14-13)img
20img Toronto Blue Jays (14-14)img4
21img Washington Nationals (12-14)img4
22img Boston Red Sox (11-17)img6
23img Los Angeles Angels (12-17)img2
24img Cincinnati Reds (11-16)img1
25img Detroit Tigers (12-14)img
26img San Francisco Giants (11-17)img
27img Baltimore Orioles (10-19)img2
28img Chicago White Sox (11-14)img1
29img Kansas City Royals (9-19)img1
30img Miami Marlins (8-20)img


Teams That Impressed

Eddie Rosario
Eddie Rosario/Getty Images

The Minnesota Twins and San Diego Padres continue to play good baseball, and they have now climbed inside the top 10 in our rankings after once again posting a winning record last week.

The Twins have done it with one of the most complete offensive attacks in baseball.

Eddie Rosario (.948 OPS, 11 HR, 24 RBI) is an early AL MVP candidate, Jorge Polanco (.337 BA, 1.022 OPS, 15 XBH) is off to a red-hot start, Nelson Cruz (.970 OPS, 5 HR) has been worth every penny, Max Kepler (.912 OPS, 7 HR) has backed up his early extension, and catcher Mitch Garver (47 PA, 1.239 OPS, 5 HR) has taken his game to another level.

The starting pitching is also coming around, and the late-inning tandem of Blake Parker and Tyler Rogers is holding the bullpen together.

As for the Padres, the pitching staff has been the big story, as they rank fifth in the majors with a 3.56 ERA.

The patchwork starting rotation, in particular, has been far better than expected with a 3.53 ERA that ranks sixth. Rookie Chris Paddack already looks like an ace, and unheralded lefty Nick Margevicius (5 GS, 3.60 ERA, 1.08 WHIP) has been a revelation.

Further up the rankings, the Tampa Bay Rays reclaimed the No. 1 spot with a 4-1 week that included series wins over the Kansas City Royals and Boston Red Sox.

As long as the Rays keep pitching at such an extremely high level, with a 2.95 ERA that leads baseball, they have to be viewed as serious contenders. The offense doesn't need to be anything more than middle-of-the-road for them to succeed.

The St. Louis Cardinals (5-1) and New York Yankees (6-1) also solidified their places as top-five teams with strong showings. The Cardinals swept the Milwaukee Brewers and took a weekend series from the Cincinnati Reds, while the banged-up Yankees keep finding ways to win with an 11-2 record in their last 13 games and a plus-37 run differential on the year that trails only the Rays (+44).

A bit further down the rankings, the Chicago Cubs and Colorado Rockies won both of their series last week, as the two teams that appeared in last year's NL Wild Card Game look to reestablish themselves as top-tier contenders after disappointing starts.

The Arizona Diamondbacks swept a four-game series from a hot Pittsburgh Pirates team before dropping two of three to the Cubs over the weekend, which was still enough to send them climbing.


Teams That Disappointed

Gio Gonzalez
Gio GonzalezMichael Owens/Getty Images

Let's start with the Seattle Mariners (2-4) and Milwaukee Brewers (2-4).

Both of these teams have played well this season, and both righted the ship with strong weekend showings after being swept in their first series last week. Still, with the Twins and Padres climbing, someone had to fall.

Bringing back veteran left-hander Gio Gonzalez could pay dividends for a Brewers team that has not gotten the stabilizing performance it had hoped for in the rotation from the young trio of Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta. He jumped right into the fray with five strong innings of six-hit, two-run ball in a no-decision Sunday.

As for the Mariners, tough weeks from Erik Swanson and Mike Leake in the rotation and a middling performance from what had been a high-powered offense led to their less-than-stellar showing.

After climbing up to No. 14 last week, an 0-6 week from the Pittsburgh Pirates dropped them under .500 and back into the bottom half of the rankings. They now have a minus-21 run differential that is surpassed in futility by only the Miami Marlins (-58) among NL teams.

The Atlanta Braves (2-4) also took a tumble following series losses to the Rockies and Reds, and in a tight NL East battle, weeks like that will need to be few and far between.

Meanwhile, the Washington Nationals (2-4) and Boston Red Sox (2-4) have now officially fallen out of the top 20 after entering the season with sky-high expectations. Both teams are still capable of getting on track, but they no longer get the benefit of the doubt with the calendar turning over to May.

Less shuffling at the top of the rankings the past two weeks is a telling sign that teams are starting to settle into their positions as contenders or also-rans, and for teams that are falling short of expectations, the time is now to pick up the pace before the hole gets too deep.


Players of the Week

AL Hitter: Luke Voit, New York Yankees

Luke Voit
Luke VoitSarah Stier/Getty Images

Stats: 13-for-30, 2B, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 10 R

So much for that inevitable regression.

Luke Voit was traded from the Cardinals to the Yankees last July in an under-the-radar move that wound up paying immediate dividends, as Voit hit .333/.405/.689 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI in 39 games.

The 28-year-old had always shown good power potential in the minors, but some level of regression seemed unavoidable, and rumors swirled all offseason about the Yankees potentially pursuing a more established option at first base.

One month into 2019, it looks like staying the course with Voit was the right decision.

While he hasn't quite matched his numbers from last year, he's not far off with a .935 OPS, eight home runs and 25 RBI in 28 games. That production has gone a long way toward propping up a lineup that has been without Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Miguel Andujar, Gary Sanchez and others at various points.

On top of his strong counting stats, Voit has also continued to display excellent on-base ability with a 39-game on-base streak that stretches back to last September. That's the longest such streak by a Yankees player since Mark Teixeira reached base in 42 straight in 2010, according to Pete Caldera of NJ.com.

Where would the Yankees be right now without Voit?


AL Pitcher: Reynaldo Lopez, Chicago White Sox

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - APRIL 28: Reynaldo Lopez #40 of the Chicago White Sox pitches in the first inning during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Guaranteed Rate Field on April 28, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Stats: 1 GS, W, 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 14 K

Reynaldo Lopez looked like a potential breakout candidate heading into 2019 after quietly putting together a strong 2018 campaign that included a 3.91 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 151 strikeouts in 188.2 innings.

Instead, he struggled mightily in the early going, posting an unsightly 12.15 ERA over his first three starts.

After righting the ship with back-to-back quality starts, he turned in the most dominant performance of his young career Sunday against the Detroit Tigers.

He recorded 18 outs on the day, and 14 of them came via the strikeout, easily surpassing his previous career high of 11, which he set during his rookie season with the Washington Nationals in 2016.

"Today's outing was one of the best of my career, definitely," Lopez told reporters after Sunday's game. "You can compare this with one or two from last year. Everything worked perfectly, and I felt good."

The 25-year-old is one of the most promising young pieces for a Chicago White Sox team on the rise, and he has a chance to lead the staff long-term if he can continue stringing together quality starts and racking up strikeouts.


NL Hitter: Eduardo Escobar, Arizona Diamondbacks

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - APRIL 28:  Eduardo Escobar #5 of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrates after hitting a solo home run against the Chicago Cubs during the fourth inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 28, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christi
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Stats: 12-for-25, 3 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 8 R

A career year in 2018 netted Eduardo Escobar a three-year, $21 million deal from the Diamondbacks at the start of an offseason that also included the trade of superstar Paul Goldschmidt.

The D-backs looked to be headed for a fire sale at one point this offseason, and that made the Escobar signing something of a head-scratcher. Instead, they pulled back after the Goldschmidt trade, and Escobar has been a big part of the club's solid 16-13 start.

The 30-year-old hit .272/.334/.489 with 48 doubles, 23 home runs and 84 RBI last season, and he has improved his triple-slash numbers across the board thus far with a .286/.367/.514 line that was boosted by a big week last week.

The D-backs swept the Pirates to kick off last week, and Escobar was the catalyst with three consecutive three-hit games and a 9-for-15 showing overall.

If he can keep producing at this level all season, he'll be well worth the modest investment.


NL Pitcher: Chris Paddack, San Diego Padres

PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 12:  Starting pitcher Chris Paddack #59 of the San Diego Padres pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of an MLB game at Chase Field on April 12, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
Ralph Freso/Getty Images

Stats: 1 GS, W, 7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K

Rookie right-hander Chris Paddack surprised more than a few people by breaking camp with a spot in the San Diego rotation, and he's backed it up with a fantastic start to his MLB career.

Through five starts, Paddack has posted a 1.67 ERA and 0.67 WHIP while allowing a .112 opponents' batting average and racking up 30 strikeouts in 27 innings.

He finally earned his first MLB win Wednesday against the Seattle Mariners, allowing just one hit and one walk over seven scoreless innings.

"How good he can be, it's up to him," veteran teammate Ian Kinsler told reporters. "He obviously has the foundation and the makeup where the sky's the limit."

The 23-year-old was brilliant in the minors last season in his return from Tommy John surgery, posting a 2.10 ERA, 0.82 WHIP and 120 strikeouts in 90 innings, so his impressive performance was not completely unexpected.

Still, few anticipated he'd be this good this soon, and he looks the part of a long-term ace.


Must-See Upcoming Matchup

Max Kepler
Max KeplerJim McIsaac/Getty Images

Minnesota Twins vs. New York Yankees (Friday-Sunday)

The Yankees' high-powered offense hit a record-setting 267 home runs last season, and—even ravaged by injuries this year—they are still among the MLB leaders in home runs (46, fifth), runs scored (155, t-fourth) and OPS (.799, eighth).

Meanwhile, the Twins offense has been among the best in baseball in 2019.

The AL Central leaders are pacing the majors in OPS (.846) while averaging 5.6 runs per game, and it has been a total team effort.

While the two teams have yet to meet this season, the Yankees dominated the series last year with a 5-2 record and plus-20 run differential, and it was the Yankees who eliminated the Twins in the 2017 Wild Card Game.

The Twins will have the veteran trio of Kyle Gibson, Jake Odorizzi and former Yankee Michael Pineda on the mound in the three-game series, while the Yankees will hand the ball to James Paxton, J.A. Happ and Domingo German.

A strong performance last week vaulted the Twins into the top 10, while the Yankees climbed as well after a pair of series wins. Whoever comes out on top here should have a spot inside the top five locked up next week.


All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs unless otherwise noted and accurate through Sunday's games.