MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand After 5 Weeks

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistMay 4, 2021

MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand After 5 Weeks

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    Morry Gash/Associated Press

    With three new teams entering the top 10 and a serious debate over the No. 1 spot, the only thing that's clear five weeks into the 2021 MLB season is that there's still a lot of baseball to be played.

    Did the Los Angeles Dodgers hold onto their No. 1 ranking? How high did the Houston Astros and St. Louis Cardinals climb after strong weeks? How far did the Chicago Cubs fall after two more series losses?

    As you dig in to this latest update to our weekly power rankings, remember that this is all about performance rather than potential and future outlook.

    If a team is winning, it's 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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    Nick Solak and Isiah Kiner-Falefa
    Nick Solak and Isiah Kiner-FalefaRichard W. Rodriguez/Associated Press

    30. Detroit Tigers (8-21)

    Previous Rank: 30

    The Tigers have amassed a staggeringly bad minus-62 run differential through their first 29 games, including being outscored by 25 runs during a 1-6 showing last week. There is no question that this is the worst team in baseball right now.

         

    29. Colorado Rockies (10-18)

    Previous Rank: 27

    With series losses to the San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks last week, the Rockies fell back to the No. 29 spot after showing some signs of life two weeks ago with a three-game winning streak. Expect this team to be firmly entrenched in the NL West cellar the rest of the way.

         

    28. Chicago Cubs (12-16)

    Previous Rank: 24

    A 2-5 showing and two more series losses last week moves the Cubs one step closer to a summer fire sale. On a positive note, Kris Bryant is absolutely raking right now with a .323/.405/.708 line that includes 10 doubles, nine home runs and 22 RBI, and he could be the prize of the trade deadline. Infielder Nico Hoerner is hitting .389 with a .500 on-base percentage in 44 plate appearances since being recalled from the minors.

        

    27. Texas Rangers (13-17)

    Previous Rank: 29

    The Rangers are not going anywhere this season, but there have been some promising takeaways from the first month of the season. The new-look middle infield of Nick Solak and Isiah Kiner-Falefa looks great, Kyle Gibson is pitching his way into being a sought-after trade chip, and veteran Ian Kennedy has converted all seven of his save chances with a 2.25 ERA, 0.75 WHIP and 12.0 K/9 after signing a minor league deal.

         

    26. Baltimore Orioles (14-15)

    Previous Rank: 28

    The O's had a productive week, as they split a four-game series with the New York Yankees and took two of three from a red-hot Oakland Athletics team over the weekend. This team has a chance to be a thorn in the side of AL contenders all year, especially when John Means (6 GS, 3-0, 1.70 ERA, 0.84 WHIP) is on the mound.

Nos. 25-21

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    Richard Rodriguez
    Richard RodriguezPaul Sancya/Associated Press

    25. Miami Marlins (11-16)

    Previous Rank: 26

    With Starling Marte, Jazz Chisholm, Brian Anderson and Jorge Alfaro all on the injured list, the Marlins are missing a lot of their offensive firepower right now. They scored only four runs in three games while being swept by the Washington Nationals over the weekend, but they did take two of three from a very good Milwaukee Brewers team to start the week.

         

    24. Pittsburgh Pirates (12-16)

    Previous Rank: 17

    Will the No. 17 spot be the Pirates' peak this year? They were outscored by 16 runs during a 1-4 performance last week, and their minus-26 run differential on the season is the worst in the National League. If they continue to slide, guys like Richard Rodriguez, Adam Frazier and Kyle Crick will be hot commodities at the trade deadline.

         

    23. Philadelphia Phillies (14-15)

    Previous Rank: 20

    The search for a competent center fielder continues in Philly with Odubel Herrera off to a 1-for-19 start since being added back to the active roster. There is still plenty of time to make a move in a wide-open NL East division, but there are also a lot of areas of underperformance on the roster. The back of the starting rotation, the bullpen and the left side of the infield have all fallen short of expectations so far.

          

    22. Atlanta Braves (12-16)

    Previous Rank: 22

    The Braves were dealt a major blow Saturday when catcher Travis d'Arnaud suffered a torn ligament in his left thumb and landed on the 60-day injured list. With Alex Jackson also sidelined with a hamstring injury, William Contreras and veteran Jeff Mathis were both called up from the alternate site. After sweeping the Cubs last week, the Braves are now 5-2 against the North Siders on the year and 7-14 against everyone else.

         

    21. Minnesota Twins (11-16)

    Previous Rank: 25

    The Twins came out the other end of a brutal 2-13 stretch of games with three wins in four games to close out last week. With seven games against the Rangers and Tigers this coming week, they'll have a chance to make a solid push back up the rankings. Rookie Alex Kirilloff slugged four home runs in three games against the Kansas City Royals over the weekend.

Nos. 20-16

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    Corey Kluber
    Corey KluberTerrance Williams/Associated Press

    20. Tampa Bay Rays (15-15)

    Previous Rank: 15

    With Willy Adames hitting .167/.202/.289 on the year and Wander Franco ticketed for Triple-A to start the MiLB season, it's only a matter of time before we see baseball's top prospect in Tampa Bay. With that said, an underperforming starting rotation has been the biggest issue for the Rays so far, and they have already started shaking things up there with Shane McClanahan joining the staff. Can they stop their slide down the rankings after a 3-4 week?

           

    19. Cincinnati Reds (13-14)

    Previous Rank: 18

    The Reds seemed intent on turning the bullpen into a weakness when they traded Raisel Iglesias and non-tendered Archie Bradley during the offseason, and they have succeeded. The relief corps ranks 29th in the majors with a 5.76 ERA and has seven blown saves in 12 chances. That coupled with the early struggles of Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray in the rotation has undermined an improved offense.

         

    18. New York Yankees (14-14)

    Previous Rank: 23

    The Yankees made the most of a favorable week on the schedule, splitting a four-game series with the Orioles in Baltimore before sweeping the Tigers and tossing a pair of shutouts over the weekend. Corey Kluber recorded his first two quality starts in a Yankees uniform, including eight shutout innings of two-hit, 10-strikeout ball Sunday. That should provide a welcome momentum boost.

           

    17. Cleveland (14-13)

    Previous Rank: 21

    With a .207 average (29th in MLB) with a .666 OPS (25th in MLB), Cleveland has been dragged down by its offense all season. Luckily, the pitching staff is good enough for them to contend in spite of that, and they picked up a pair of series wins last week against the Twins and White Sox. The one-two punch of James Karinchak (13 G, 2 SV, 4 HLD, 0.00 ERA, 19.3 K/9) and Emmanuel Clase (13 G, 5 SV, 0.00 ERA, 9.5 K/9) at the back of the bullpen is filthy.

          

    16. Los Angeles Angels (13-14)

    Previous Rank: 13

    The steady slide continues for an Angels team that played over its head during a 7-3 start to the year. It's a broken record at this point, but the Angels will go as far as the starting pitching allows, and with a 5.56 ERA that ranks 29th in the majors, it looks like it's going to hold them back once again.

Nos. 15-11

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    Juan Soto
    Juan SotoAlex Brandon/Associated Press

    15. New York Mets (11-12)

    Previous Rank: 10

    The Mets took two of three from the Phillies over the weekend after dropping a pair of games to the Boston Red Sox to start the week. Outside of Jacob deGrom's brilliance, this has looked like an extremely average team in the early going, and their ranking now reflects that as they sit squarely in the middle of the pack at No. 15 overall. Francisco Lindor has to start hitting at some point, right?

         

    14. Arizona Diamondbacks (15-13)

    Previous Rank: 16

    The D-backs are 10-3 with a plus-19 run differential in their last 13 games, and they moved above .500 on the year by taking three of four from the Rockies over the weekend. The bullpen is shaky and the lineup is currently without Ketel Marte, Christian Walker, Kole Calhoun and Tim Locastro, but there's no ignoring the fact that they keep winning.

         

    13. Washington Nationals (12-12)

    Previous Rank: 19

    The Nationals are the best team in the NL East right now. That isn't saying much, but with a 7-3 record in their last 10 games, they're playing solid baseball right now. Juan Soto is expected to be activated from the injured list in the near future as he's on the mend from a shoulder strain, and the offense will welcome him back with open arms.

        

    12. Kansas City Royals (16-11)

    Previous Rank: 9

    The Royals drop a few spots after losing a weekend series to a floundering Twins team, but they are still off to an excellent start this year. Top prospect Daniel Lynch made his MLB debut on Monday, and Kris Bubic was also recalled from the alternate site. Those two young left-handers have a chance to be major X-factors on the pitching staff this year.

         

    11. Seattle Mariners (16-14)

    Previous Rank: 5

    A four-game losing streak, including three straight to start their four-game series with the Houston Astros, bumps the Mariners out of the top five in the rankings. They did rebound to take two of three from the Angels over the weekend, and with two off days on Thursday and Monday scheduled around series with the Orioles and Rangers, they'll have a nice chance to reset this coming week.

Nos. 10-6

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    Carlos Martinez
    Carlos MartinezGene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    10. Toronto Blue Jays (14-13)

    Previous Rank: 14

    With sluggers George Springer and Teoscar Hernandez back from the injured list, the Blue Jays finally seem to be hitting their stride coming off a three-game sweep of the Braves in which they piled up 26 runs. The starting rotation is still a question mark, but the bullpen has been a pleasant surprise with a 2.61 ERA that ranks fourth in the majors.

         

    9. Chicago White Sox (15-12)

    Previous Rank: 8

    With a plus-28 run differential that is the third-highest in baseball, the White Sox are a better team than their record suggests. They rank in the top 10 in both ERA (3.64, eighth) and OPS (.733, eighth), which is a good indication of how well-rounded their roster has been. Now if someone could just convince Tony La Russa to stop giving Leury Garcia (37 OPS+) and Jake Lamb (54 OPS+) semi-regular playing time.

         

    8. Boston Red Sox (17-12)

    Previous Rank: 4

    The Red Sox hit a bump in the road when they lost three of four to the Rangers over the weekend, but the schedule smiles on them this coming week with three games against the Tigers and four with the Orioles. The starting rotation has essentially been a collection of guys who fit best as a No. 3/4 starter on a contending team, which raises some questions about the sustainability of their AL East lead. For now, they're still the top dogs.

          

    7. St. Louis Cardinals (17-12)

    Previous Rank: 11

    With a weekend sweep of the Pirates, the Cardinals improved to 8-2 in their last 10 games, and center fielder Harrison Bader returned from the injured list Friday to stabilize the outfield. The early success of Carlos Martinez (6 GS, 3.72 ERA, 1.02 WHIP) has provided the rotation with a major boost, especially considering Dakota Hudson and Miles Mikolas are on the shelf.

            

    6. Houston Astros (15-13)

    Previous Rank: 12

    The Astros struggled through a 1-9 stretch of games in mid-April, but they have since gone 8-3 with a plus-33 run differential to climb back toward a spot inside the top five in these rankings. They picked up series wins over the Mariners and Rays last week, and now they head to New York to take on the Yankees for three games. First baseman Yuli Gurriel is having the best season no one is talking about with a .327/.421/.520 line and more walks (16) than strikeouts (12) in 114 plate appearances.

Nos. 5-1

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    Anthony DeSclafani
    Anthony DeSclafaniJeff Chiu/Associated Press

    5. San Francisco Giants (17-11)

    Previous Rank: 6

    Outside of Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff in Milwaukee, there's a strong case to be made that Kevin Gausman (6 GS, 2.04 ERA, 0.91 WHIP) and Anthony DeSclafani (6 GS, 2.00 ERA, 0.94 WHIP) have been the best one-two punch in baseball so far this year. Who saw that coming? The Giants lost two of three to the Padres over the weekend, but they still climbed into the top five for the first time this year.

         

    4. Oakland Athletics (18-12)

    Previous Rank: 3

    The Athletics finally cooled off a bit last week, splitting a four-game series with the Rays before dropping two of three to the Orioles over the weekend. That cost them one spot in the rankings, but this is still a top-five team based on the way they've played for the last four weeks. De facto closer Lou Trivino deserves a ton of credit for the job he's done stabilizing the bullpen after Trevor Rosenthal was injured.

         

    3. San Diego Padres (17-13)

    Previous Rank: 2

    The Padres split two games with the D-backs and then took two of three from the Giants over the weekend, but they have been overtaken for the No. 2 spot by a team that swept them two weeks ago. With the minor league season set to start, it's fair to start wondering how long before we see MacKenzie Gore in the MLB rotation. Fellow rookie Ryan Weathers (16.1 IP, 0.55 ERA, 0.61 WHIP) has been spectacular filling in amid multiple injuries.

         

    2. Milwaukee Brewers (17-12)

    Previous Rank: 7

    In the last two weeks, the Brewers have swept the San Diego Padres and taken three of four from the Los Angeles Dodgers. They also dropped two of three to the Marlins last week or they might have snagged the No. 1 ranking, but they still jumped up five spots to enter the week nipping at the Dodgers' heels for the No. 1 spot. With 11 members of the 40-man roster currently on the injured list, it's no small feat they're playing so well.

             

    1. Los Angeles Dodgers (17-12)

    Previous Rank: 1

    The Dodgers are still baseball's top team, but what was once a Grand Canyon sized-gap between them and the rest of MLB has all but disappeared. For those wondering why they're still ranked ahead of the Brewers, remember this is relative to last week's baseline. The Brewers started last week at No. 7 and lost a series to the Marlins, so while they climbed five spots, the overall picture and their starting point wasn't quite enough to move them all the way up to No. 1.

Complete Rankings

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    Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

    Complete Rankings

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

Highlight of the Week: Anthony Rizzo Strikes Out Freddie Freeman

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    I've watched this highlight at least a dozen times now, and I still can't help but smile from start to finish every time.

    It's easy to forget sometimes that baseball is a children's game.

    Veteran first basemen Freddie Freeman and Anthony Rizzo are two of the best personalities in the sport, and here they are, just two big kids having fun in what could otherwise be a slog through the late innings in a 10-0 blowout.

    Over the course of a long season, moments like this can help put things into perspective.

    It's just a game.

Team of the Week

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    Kris Bryant
    Kris BryantMorry Gash/Associated Press

    C Buster Posey, SF
    (10-for-17, 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI)

    1B Carlos Santana, KC
    (10-for-23, 2 HR, 5 RBI)

    2B Ozzie Albies, ATL
    (11-for-29, 5 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI)

    3B Kris Bryant, CHC
    (10-for-24, 3 2B, 4 HR, 10 RBI)

    SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa, TEX
    (9-for-26, 3B, 3 HR, 4 RBI)

    OF Jared Walsh, LAA
    (12-for-23, 2 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI)

    OF Byron Buxton, MIN
    (10-for-21, 3 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI)

    OF Aaron Judge, NYY
    (8-for-20, 2 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI)

    DH Giancarlo Stanton, NYY
    (13-for-26, 2 2B, HR, RBI)

    SP Anthony DeSclafani, SF
    (2 GS, W, L, SHO, 15.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 12 K)

    SP Dylan Cease, CWS
    (1 GS, W, SHO, 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K)

    SP Tyler Glasnow, TB
    (1 GS, W, 7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 10 K)

    SP Corey Kluber, NYY
    (2 GS, 2 W, 14.2 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 15 K)

    SP Carlos Martinez, STL
    (2 GS, 2 W, 15.1 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 7 K)

    RP Ian Kennedy, TEX
    (4 G, 3/3 SV, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K)

Way-Too-Early Award Rankings

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    Mike Trout
    Mike TroutMike Carlson/Associated Press

    AL MVP

    1. Mike Trout, LAA
    2. Byron Buxton, MIN
    3. J.D. Martinez, BOS

       

    NL MVP

    1. Ronald Acuna Jr., ATL
    2. Kris Bryant, CHC
    3. Jesse Winker, CIN

       

    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. Emmanuel Clase, CLE

       

    NL Rookie of the Year

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

           

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