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

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2021

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

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    Kyusung Gong/Associated Press

    The first month of the 2021 MLB season is winding to a close, and if the rest of the schedule is anything like the first 25 games, we're in for quite a ride.

    The Oakland Athletics and Milwaukee Brewers are the big winners in this week's rankings as they climb into the top 10, while the Cincinnati Reds and Minnesota Twins tumble down the rankings from what was once a spot inside that same top 10.

    Remember as you dig in to this latest update to our weekly power rankings that this is all about performance, not potential and future outlook.

    If a team is winning, it is going to climb the rankings. If a team is losing, a slide is inevitable. The beauty of this exercise is that it's a fluid process that will continue to change throughout the year.

    Off we go.


    Statistics and analysis reflect action through Sunday's games. Records include Monday's results.

Nos. 30-26

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    Matthew Boyd
    Matthew BoydRaj Mehta/Associated Press

    30. Detroit Tigers (7-16)

    Previous Rank: 29

    After a 6-6 start to the year, the Tigers stumbled through a 1-9 stretch that has dropped them to the bottom of the rankings and saddled them with an MLB-worst minus-37 run differential. On a positive note, it looks like they might get a second chance to sell high on Matthew Boyd, who has a 1.82 ERA and 0.84 WHIP through his first five starts.


    29. Texas Rangers (9-14)

    Previous Rank: 24

    After taking two of three from the Los Angeles Angels to begin last week, the Rangers were swept by the Chicago White Sox over the weekend. Veteran Kyle Gibson (5 GS, 2.30 ERA) is shaping up to be a useful trade chip, while 28-year-old rookie Adolis Garcia (.927 OPS, 5 HR, 13 RBI) looks like he could be the answer in center field.


    28. Baltimore Orioles (10-12)

    Previous Rank: 23

    The surprise success of Cedric Mullins aside, the O's offense has been a mess. Six of the 12 players who have recorded at least 20 plate appearances are hitting below .220 on the year. John Means has been excellent in the staff ace role, and the bullpen has been surprisingly effective with a 3.09 ERA that ranks fifth in the majors, but the Orioles have to pick it up offensively.


    27. Colorado Rockies (8-14)

    Previous Rank: 30

    In a short five-game week, the Rockies took two games from the Houston Astros and two of three from the Philadelphia Phillies to claw their way out of the No. 30 spot. Outfielder Yonathan Daza is getting a crack at everyday playing time for the first time in his career, and he's hitting .325 in 42 plate appearances while playing a solid center field.


    26. Miami Marlins (10-12)

    Previous Rank: 19

    A 5-2 performance two weeks ago had the Marlins trending in the right direction, but they tumbled back down to the No. 26 spot after dropping three of four to the San Francisco Giants over the weekend. Second baseman Jazz Chisholm (.905 OPS, 4 HR) and left-hander Trevor Rogers (4 GS, 1.64 ERA, 31 K, 22 IP) are both early National League Rookie of the Year candidates.

Nos. 25-21

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    Javier Baez
    Javier BaezPaul Beaty/Associated Press

    25. Minnesota Twins (7-14)

    Previous Rank: 16

    With a 2-11 record in their last 13 games entering the week, the Twins are now in a complete free-fall down the rankings after starting the year inside the top 10. The bullpen is a mess Aside from left-hander Taylor Rogers, and the offense hasn't been good enough to shoulder the load while they sort things out on the pitching staff.


    24. Chicago Cubs (10-12)

    Previous Rank: 27

    The Cubs finally seemed to snap out of their early-season funk with a three-game sweep of the New York Mets that included a 16-run outburst Wednesday, and that bled over into the first game of their three-game set with the Milwaukee Brewers with a 15-2 victory Friday. However, they dropped their next two, and they were shut out for the third time this season on Sunday. They'll need to show sustained improvement before making a significant climb.


    23. New York Yankees (9-13)

    Previous Rank: 26

    The Yankees won three straight for the first time this year on their way to taking three of four from Cleveland over the weekend, but the same overarching concerns remain. Jordan Montgomery didn't make it out of the fifth inning in his start during that series, and Jameson Taillon was knocked around again Sunday. The offense is still sputtering along with four more games of three or fewer runs last week, bringing their season total to 13 such performances. The Cleveland series was a start, but there's a long way to go.


    22. Atlanta Braves (10-12)

    Previous Rank: 17

    The Braves were shut out in both ends of a doubleheader Sunday, including a seven-inning no-hitter by Madison Bumgarner, and their second straight losing week drops them into the bottom third of the rankings. The only regular with an OPS+ over 100 aside from early MVP candidate Ronald Acuna Jr. is Freddie Freeman, and his 110 OPS+ represents a significant drop-off from his career norm. The offense has to wake up.


    21. Cleveland (10-11)

    Previous Rank: 14

    A 1-4 week, a sub-.500 record overall and an offense that ranks 29th in the majors in OPS (.654) and 25th in runs per game (3.8) is enough to wonder if the No. 21 spot is still too high for this Cleveland team. The pitching might be good enough to keep them relevant, but the lack of offense looks poised to torpedo any hopes of legitimate contention.

Nos. 20-16

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    Madison Bumgarner
    Madison BumgarnerBen Margot/Associated Press

    20. Philadelphia Phillies (11-11)

    Previous Rank: 13

    The Phillies' record looks a lot worse when you consider they started the year 5-1. They have now lost four of their last five series since that stellar start after dropping two of three to the Giants and Rockies last week. Injuries to Jean Segura and Didi Gregorius opened the door for prospect Nick Maton to see some playing time up the middle, and he's 11-for-22 with three doubles to start his MLB career.


    19. Washington Nationals (8-11)

    Previous Rank: 21

    It was a mixed bag for the Nationals last week, as they followed up a series win over the St. Louis Cardinals by dropping two of three to the New York Mets. With Juan Soto and Stephen Strasburg both sidelined and Patrick Corbin (10.47 ERA) off to a rocky start, Washington needs some of its complementary pieces to make an impact. The Nationals' minus-24 run differential is the worst in the NL.


    18. Cincinnati Reds (10-12)

    Previous Rank: 4

    A seven-game losing streak was a less-than-ideal way for the Reds to roll into a three-game series on the road against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Two of those losses were in extra innings, and two others were by one run, but a loss is a loss. Getting Luis Castillo (6.29 ERA), Sonny Gray (7.88 ERA) and Amir Garrett (14.21 ERA) on track will be the key to righting things before the train falls off the track.


    17. Pittsburgh Pirates (11-11)

    Previous Rank: 25

    Things I didn't think I'd say in 2021: With four series wins and a four-game split with the Padres in their last five series, it might be time to start taking the Pirates seriously. Then again, with an offense that's averaging an MLB-low 3.65 runs per game and a 5.10 ERA from the starting rotation, they might want to savor this little run while it lasts.


    16. Arizona Diamondbacks (11-11)

    Previous Rank: 28

    With a 6-1 record in their last seven games as part of a 7-3 road trip, the Diamondbacks suddenly look like a team to watch in the NL wild-card picture as the season progresses. Madison Bumgarner appears to have righted the ship following seven no-hit innings on Sunday, Zac Gallen is healthy and pitching like an ace, and catcher Carson Kelly is quietly hitting .318/.500/.705 with five home runs in 62 plate appearances.

Nos. 15-11

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    Dylan Carlson
    Dylan CarlsonJeff Roberson/Associated Press

    15. Tampa Bay Rays (11-12)

    Previous Rank: 18

    The Rays put together a modest five-game winning streak that was capped off by a season-high 14 runs against the Kansas City Royals last Tuesday before dropping three of four to close out the week. Manager Kevin Cash is still trying to figure out how all the pieces fit together on a new-look pitching staff, but this team is more than capable of pushing up the rankings in the weeks to come.


    14. Toronto Blue Jays (10-11)

    Previous Rank: 20

    The Blue Jays wrapped up a series win over the Rays on Sunday with their first shutout of the year, with six pitchers combining to hold Tampa Bay scoreless after Hyun Jin Ryu lasted only 3.2 innings as the starter. That's a great example of what a weapon the pitching staff can be with so many pitchers capable of working multiple innings. It's just a matter of everyone performing up to expectations.


    13. Los Angeles Angels (11-10)

    Previous Rank: 9

    Since starting the year with a 7-3 record, the Angels have looked wildly mediocre. A 2-5 showing amid a pair of series losses last week dropped them to .500 on the year, and the pitching staff was shelled for 16 runs Saturday in a game where Shohei Ohtani saw some time in left field. The good news is that Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon are both close to returning from injury.


    12. Houston Astros (11-11)

    Previous Rank: 15

    The Astros snapped out of a 1-9 stretch to take three of four from the Angels over the weekend. They'll now try to use that as a jumping-off point for a climb back up the rankings. Props to Kent Emanuel for bailing the Astros out with 8.2 innings of relief in his MLB debut after Jake Odorizzi was removed from his most recent start with forearm tightness.


    11. St. Louis Cardinals (11-11)

    Previous Rank: 22

    A three-game sweep of the Reds over the weekend moved the Cardinals from fourth to second in the NL Central standings, and that could be how things go all year in baseball's most wide-open division. Rookie Dylan Carlson moved into the No. 2 spot in the batting order Friday, and he went 7-for-11 with a pair of three-hit games following the shuffle.

Nos. 10-6

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    Danny Duffy
    Danny DuffyCharlie Riedel/Associated Press

    10. New York Mets (9-8)

    Previous Rank: 10

    The Mets suffered a three-game sweep at the hand of the Cubs last week, but they rallied to take two of three from the Nationals over the weekend with a pair of shutouts. They scored a whopping six runs in Jacob deGrom's most recent start, finally shaking their inexplicable inability to score when he's on the mound. Can they start stringing together some wins?


    9. Kansas City Royals (14-7)

    Previous Rank: 7

    The Royals have not lost more than two games in a row all season, and after a three-game sweep of the Tigers to close out last week, they held a 1.5-game lead in the AL Central standings. Left-hander Danny Duffy leads the American League with a 0.39 ERA through his first four starts, and he'll be one to watch closely in the final season of a five-year, $65 million deal.


    8. Chicago White Sox (12-9)

    Previous Rank: 8

    The White Sox have the second-best run differential (+21) in baseball, and a weekend sweep of the Rangers vaulted them above .500 for the first time all season. Michael Kopech made a spot start Sunday in place of the injured Lance Lynn and allowed four hits and one run while racking up 10 strikeouts in five innings. Expect him to return to the bullpen as his innings are closely monitored, but what a weapon to have in a hybrid role.


    7. Milwaukee Brewers (13-9)

    Previous Rank: 12

    Since losing three straight during a 1-3 start to the year, the Brewers have not lost back-to-back games, and they made a statement last week with a three-game sweep of the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Catcher Omar Narvaez is hitting .389/.477/.574 with three home runs in 65 plate appearances to help prop up the offense while Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain are both sidelined.


    6. San Francisco Giants (15-8)

    Previous Rank: 6

    On the strength of a starting rotation that ranks second in the majors with a 2.26 ERA, the Giants are making some serious noise out of the gates this year. Kevin Gausman (5 GS, 2.14 ERA, 33.2 IP) is once again pitching like an ace, while offseason pickups Anthony DeSclafani (4 GS, 2.14 ERA), Aaron Sanchez (4 GS, 1.83 ERA) and Alex Wood (2 GS, 0.75 ERA) are all throwing the ball well. If the pitching holds up, this team can absolutely contend for a postseason spot.

Nos. 5-1

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    Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

    5. Seattle Mariners (13-10)

    Previous Rank: 5

    The Mariners weathered the storm with two games against the Los Angeles Dodgers at home and a four-game series against the Boston Red Sox on the road last week, posting a 3-3 record to maintain their hold on the No. 5 spot in the rankings. It's early, but the two-year, $4.75 million deal given to starter Chris Flexen (4 GS, 2.74 ERA) is an early contender for best bargain signing of the winter.


    4. Boston Red Sox (14-9)

    Previous Rank: 2

    The Red Sox went 4-3 last week, but they lost their hold on the No. 1 spot among AL teams to a streaking Oakland squad. A 6-1 record away from Fenway Park so far this year will be put to the test with 10 of their next 13 games on the road. As long as the key pieces of the offense stay healthy and productive, this team is going to be a factor in the AL East.


    3. Oakland Athletics (15-8)

    Previous Rank: 11

    How do you erase a disastrous 1-7 start to a new season? A 13-game winning streak would do the trick, as the Athletics vault all the way up to No. 3 in the rankings. Their streak was snapped Sunday in an 8-1 loss to the Orioles, but they have climbed to the top of the AL West standings, and everything is clicking right now on both sides of the ball.


    2. San Diego Padres (13-11)

    Previous Rank: 3

    For all those angry fans wondering why the Padres didn't leapfrog the Dodgers after taking three of four from them over the weekend, we can't just pretend that three-game sweep against the Brewers didn't happen. The Dodgers series saved them from slipping out of the No. 2 spot in a 3-4 week, but it wasn't quite enough for them to claim the top spot. Luckily, they'll have 12 more chances to make their case head-to-head before the season is over, though they don't face off again until June 21-23.


    1. Los Angeles Dodgers (15-8)

    Previous Rank: 1

    The gap between the Dodgers and the rest of the pack closed a bit during a 2-4 week, but they were so much better than everyone else during that 13-2 start that they remain the deserving No. 1 overall team. There is just not a hole on their roster right now, and a 1-3 showing in a four-game series is not enough to consider anyone else baseball's best team.

Complete Rankings

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    Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

    Complete Rankings

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

Highlight of the Week: Jacob deGrom Dominates

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    If there was any question whether Jacob deGrom was still the best pitcher on the planet following a number of dominant pitching performances across baseball over the season's first few weeks, Friday night left zero doubt.

    The two-time Cy Young winner fired a two-hit shutout at the Washington Nationals, striking out 15 batters along the way and retiring the final 19 hitters he faced in order.

    In terms of Game Score, a single-game metric used to measure a starting pitcher's overall performance in a given start, it was the most dominant performance of his storied career.

    He also went 2-for-4 with a double at the plate, and he's now 6-for-11 with two RBI and at least one hit in each of his four starts this year.

    "He is someone that I am in total awe of right now," teammate Brandon Nimmo told reporters.

    He isn't alone.

Team of the Week

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    Matt Olson
    Matt OlsonTony Avelar/Associated Press

    C Omar Narvaez, MIL
    (8-for-18, 2B, HR, 5 RBI)

    1B Matt Olson, OAK
    (9-for-24, 2 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI)

    2B Nick Maton, PHI
    (11-for-22, 3 2B, RBI)

    3B J.D. Davis, NYM
    (9-for-19, 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI)

    SS Fernando Tatis Jr., SD
    (10-for-26, 2B, 5 HR, 7 RBI)

    OF Alex Verdugo, BOS
    (11-for-23, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI)

    OF Bryce Harper, PHI
    (10-for-23, 2B, 3 HR, 3 RBI)

    OF David Peralta, ARI
    (9-for-24, 3B, 2 HR, 11 RBI)

    DH J.D. Martinez, BOS
    (10-for-26, 3 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI)

    SP Jacob deGrom, NYM
    (1 GS, W, 9.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 15 K)

    SP Madison Bumgarner, ARI
    (1 GS, W, 7.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K)

    SP Kevin Gausman, SF
    (2 GS, W, ND, 14.0 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 16 K)

    SP Julio Urias, LAD
    (1 GS, W, 7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 11 K)

    SP Danny Duffy, KC
    (2 GS, W, L, 11.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 16 K)

    RP Kent Emanuel, HOU
    (1 G, W, 8.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K)

Way-Too-Early Award Rankings

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    Yermin Mercedes
    Yermin MercedesSteven Senne/Associated Press

    AL MVP

    1. Mike Trout, LAA
    2. J.D. Martinez, BOS
    3. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., TOR


    NL MVP

    1. Ronald Acuna Jr., ATL
    2. Bryce Harper, PHI
    3. Justin Turner, LAD


    AL Cy Young

    1. Gerrit Cole, NYY
    2. Tyler Glasnow, TB
    3. Danny Duffy, KC


    NL Cy Young

    1. Jacob deGrom, NYM
    2. Corbin Burnes, MIL
    3. Joe Musgrove, SD


    AL Rookie of the Year

    1. Yermin Mercedes, CWS
    2. Michael Kopech, CWS
    3. Adolis Garcia, TEX


    NL Rookie of the Year

    1. Dylan Carlson, STL
    2. Jazz Chisholm, MIA
    3. Trevor Rogers, MIA


    Stats courtesy of and Baseball Reference unless otherwise noted.