MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand After 6 Weeks

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2021

MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand After 6 Weeks

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    Jed Jacobsohn/Associated Press

    There's a new No. 1 team in this week's MLB power rankings.

    How far did the Los Angeles Dodgers fall? Who took over the top spot? What did another strong week by the New York Yankees do for their placement?

    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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    Charlie Blackmon
    Charlie BlackmonDavid Zalubowski/Associated Press

    30. Detroit Tigers (10-24)

    Previous Rank: 30

    The Tigers have not won consecutive games since taking three in a row from the Houston Astros on April 12-14, posting a 4-18 record since that unlikely sweep. Rookies Casey Mize (6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER) and Tarik Skubal (5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER) threw the ball well last week, and this season will be all about the progress of Detroit's young talent.

         

    29. Colorado Rockies (12-22)

    Previous Rank: 29

    After picking up a series win over the San Francisco Giants early last week, the Rockies were swept by the St. Louis Cardinals on the road over the weekend to keep them firmly planted in the No. 29 spot. Veteran Charlie Blackmon hit .148 in his first 19 games, but he's batting .349 with a .429 on-base percentage in his last 12 through Sunday.

        

    28. Pittsburgh Pirates (14-20)

    Previous Rank: 24

    The Pirates were 12-11 on April 27 and significantly exceeding expectations, but they went just 2-8 in their next 10 games, including series losses to the San Diego Padres and Chicago Cubs last week. They claimed outfielder Ben Gamel off waivers from Cleveland on Sunday, and there could be lots of roster shuffling and attempts at marginal improvement as the season progresses.

            

    27. Minnesota Twins (12-20)

    Previous Rank: 21

    After climbing a few spots in last week's rankings following a series win over the Kansas City Royals, the Twins went 2-4 last week and dropped three of four to the Texas Rangers to tumble back down to the bottom five. With a 1-11 record and seven blown saves in 12 chances, the bullpen has played a major part in their struggles.

         

    26. Baltimore Orioles (16-19)

    Previous Rank: 26

    Beginning April 30, the Orioles won back-to-back series over the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners, which included a no-hitter by John Means on Wednesday that was a first for Baltimore since 1991 and first for a single O's pitcher since Jim Palmer in 1969. However, Baltimore then lost three straight to Boston over the weekend before avoiding a sweep Monday.

Nos. 25-21

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    Brad Keller
    Brad KellerCharlie Riedel/Associated Press

    25. Washington Nationals (13-17)

    Previous Rank: 13

    It was a tough week for the Nationals, who were swept by the Atlanta Braves in three games before suffering back-to-back walk-off losses to the Yankees on Saturday and Sunday. Offseason additions Josh Bell (.141 BA, 43 OPS+) and Kyle Schwarber (.193 BA, 75 OPS+) have not provided the middle-of-the-order production expected.

         

    24. Arizona Diamondbacks (16-19)

    Previous Rank: 14

    The D-backs had won 10 of 13 entering last week, but consecutive three-game sweeps at the Miami Marlins and New York Mets sent them tumbling back down the rankings. They are 9-14 with a minus-18 run differential away from Chase Field. It's still hard to know what to make of this team.

          

    23. Los Angeles Angels (16-18)

    Previous Rank: 16

    As the mirage that was a 6-2 start continues to fade, the Angels slip further and further down the rankings. They suffered a four-game sweep at the hand of the Tampa Bay Rays last week before rallying to take two of three from the Dodgers, who are in a tailspin. The starting rotation has a 5.12 ERA.

        

    22. Miami Marlins (15-19)

    Previous Rank: 25

    The Marlins outscored the D-backs by a staggering 20-4 in a three-game sweep last week but dropped two of three to the Milwaukee Brewers to halt them from climbing any higher. They began a 10-game road trip Monday as they look to prove they are more than just an also-ran in the wide-open National League East. Jazz Chisholm Jr. will begin a rehab assignment Tuesday, and he could return to action later this week.

         

    21. Kansas City Royals (16-17)

    Previous Rank: 12

    The Royals have crashed back to earth since sprinting out of the gate with a surprising 15-8 start. With a 1-9 record and minus-37 run differential in their last 10 games, they have fallen from first to third in the American League Central and from the top 10 to the bottom 10 in these rankings. The future is still bright, but the present could include another year of rebuilding.

Nos. 20-16

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    Adolis Garcia
    Adolis GarciaJae C. Hong/Associated Press

    20. Seattle Mariners (18-17)

    Previous Rank: 11

    According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, outfielder Jarred Kelenic will be called up to join the MLB roster Thursday. The team's top prospect was off to an 8-for-18 start with two home runs in his first four games at Triple-A, and Mariners left fielders are hitting just .193. After series losses to the Orioles and Rangers last week, the M's could use a spark.

          

    19. Cincinnati Reds (16-16)

    Previous Rank: 19

    The Reds appear to have stopped the bleeding that was a seven-game losing streak, and off days Monday and Thursday last week afforded them a chance to rest and reset. Wade Miley provided the highlight with a no-hitter Friday, and Sonny Gray tossed seven shutout innings Wednesday as he continued to settle in.

              

    18. Texas Rangers (18-19)

    Previous Rank: 27

    With three consecutive series wins, the Rangers have clawed their way back to relevance in a season wherein most expected them to be a rebuilding afterthought. Led by veteran closer Ian Kennedy (10/10 SV, 2.40 ERA), the cobbled-together bullpen has been surprisingly effective. Center fielder Adolis Garcia (159 OPS+, 9 HR, 26 RBI) is making a strong case in the AL Rookie of the Year race.

        

    17. Chicago Cubs (17-17)

    Previous Rank: 28

    The Cubs won five in a row last week, including a pair of walk-off victories against the Dodgers, and that could be just the hot streak they needed to jump-start a sputtering season. Right-hander Zach Davies (7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R) had his best start in a Chicago uniform Friday, and rookie Keegan Thompson (3 G, 7.2 IP, 0 R) has provided a boost as a multi-inning weapon.

        

    16. Toronto Blue Jays (17-16)

    Previous Rank: 10

    Starting pitching is an issue for the Blue Jays. They have a winning record despite a group that ranks 26th in the majors with a 4.88 ERA, and they have already used 12 different starters. Sorting that out will be the key to contending.

Nos. 15-11

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    Zack Wheeler
    Zack WheelerDerik Hamilton/Associated Press

    15. Philadelphia Phillies (18-17)

    Previous Rank: 23

    The trio of Zack Wheeler (7 GS, 2.83 ERA, 0.97 WHIP), Aaron Nola (8 GS, 3.59 ERA, 1.03 WHIP) and Zach Eflin (7 GS, 3.38 ERA, 1.13 WHIP) is the Phillies' biggest strength, but the back of the rotation and relief corps are major concerns. A 5-2 week moved them into the upper half of the rankings, but there's work to do.

         

    14. Atlanta Braves (17-17)

    Previous Rank: 22

    The Braves entered last week mired in a four-game losing streak, but righted the ship by going 5-1 to move back to .500. It might be time to consider sending Cristian Pache (.107/.153/.196) back to the minors for a bit more seasoning, but the fact that Ender Inciarte and Guillermo Heredia are sidelined with hamstring injuries complicates things.

         

    13. Tampa Bay Rays (19-17)

    Previous Rank: 20

    The Rays are 6-2 in their last eight games and up to second in the AL East after they were in the cellar May 1. They have fared much better on the road (12-7, plus-14 run differential) than they have at home (7-10, minus-13), and they will be put to the test this week when they welcome the Yankees and Mets to Tropicana Field.

        

    12. New York Mets (16-13)

    Previous Rank: 15

    Don't look now, but Francisco Lindor is 6-for-14 with one double, one home run and four walks in his last four games, and the Mets have won them all as part of a five-game winning streak. If the lineup starts producing on a regular basis, New York could put some distance between it and the rest of a sputtering division.

         

    11. Cleveland (18-14)

    Previous Rank: 17

    Despite ending up on the wrong end of a no-hitter Friday for the second time this season, Cleveland posted a 5-1 record last week. It is 10-3 in its last 13 games, and a pitching staff that ranks eighth in the majors with a 3.51 ERA has been the ticket to success. Will the club hit enough to contend?

Nos. 10-6

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    Yordan Alvarez and Alex Bregman
    Yordan Alvarez and Alex BregmanFrank Franklin II/Associated Press

    10. Los Angeles Dodgers (18-17)

    Previous Rank: 1

    The Dodgers are 5-15 in their last 20 games since looking like a juggernaut during a 13-2 start. They went 2-8 during a 10-game road trip that wrapped up with a 2-1 loss in which they managed just four hits against the Angels on Sunday. How long before patience turns to panic?

         

    9. Houston Astros (18-17)

    Previous Rank: 6

    The Astros split their week with a series loss to the Yankees and a series win over the Blue Jays, but they still have the third-best run differential in baseball at plus-33. The foursome of Yordan Alvarez (187 OPS+, .362 AVG), Yuli Gurriel (170, .333), Alex Bregman (141, .312) and Michael Brantley (140, .310) has been as productive as any middle of the order in baseball.

         

    8. New York Yankees (18-16)

    Previous Rank: 18

    After bottoming out at No. 26 in these rankings three weeks ago, the Yankees are back in the top 10 thanks to a 12-5 record in their last 17 games. They begin a 10-game road trip Tuesday against the Rays, and as long as the starting rotation keeps holding up its end of the bargain, they could be pushing for a spot inside the top five in short order.

        

    7. Milwaukee Brewers (19-16)

    Previous Rank: 2

    A six-game losing streak bumped the Brewers back five spots in the rankings, but they rebounded nicely with wins Saturday and Sunday to salvage a three-game series with the Marlins and build some momentum for the week ahead. Credit manager Craig Counsell for effectively mixing and matching amid a flurry of injuries, and the return of catcher Manny Pina should help bring some stability.

         

    6. San Diego Padres (19-16)

    Previous Rank: 3

    The Padres won or split four straight series before dropping two of three at the Giants over the weekend, but they still look like a team waiting to hit its stride. An 11-run explosion Sunday to avoid a sweep could be what they needed to start playing up to their potential.

Nos. 5-1

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    Nolan Arenado and Yadier Molina
    Nolan Arenado and Yadier MolinaJeff Roberson/Associated Press

    5. Chicago White Sox (19-13)

    Previous Rank: 9

    Luis Robert will not need surgery to repair the torn hip flexor that is expected to sideline him for three to four months, but the White Sox still have a massive hole to fill in center field. They went 4-1 last week with a sweep of the Royals, and they lead the majors with a plus-53 run differential.

         

    4. Boston Red Sox (22-14)

    Previous Rank: 8

    Since starting 0-3, the Red Sox have not had a losing streak of more than two games, and they took care of business last week with a 5-1 showing against the Tigers and Orioles to solidify their hold on the top spot in the American League East. Nick Pivetta (7 GS, 5-0, 3.19 ERA) has been an X-factor, and each game marks one step closer to Chris Sale's return.

         

    3. San Francisco Giants (21-14)

    Previous Rank: 5

    The Giants avenged a road series loss to the Padres two weekends ago by taking two of three from San Diego at home over the weekend, and they hold the top spot in these rankings among National League West teams. The 2.99 ERA posted by the starting rotation has been the biggest reason for their early success, and it will be the key to holding on as contenders.

        

    2. St. Louis Cardinals (21-14)

    Previous Rank: 7

    The Cardinals are 13-4 in their last 17 games, shaking off an 8-10 start to climb to the top of the National League Central. Jack Flaherty (7 GS, 6-0, 2.83 ERA) is back to pitching like an ace, the bullpen is rounding into form, and newcomer Nolan Arenado is heating up with a .364/.432/.697 line and six extra-base hits in nine May games.

        

    1. Oakland Athletics (21-15)

    Previous Rank: 4

    The Athletics are 21-9 since dropping six straight to begin the season, and with the Dodgers, Brewers and Padres sliding following disappointing weeks, they are now baseball's No. 1 team. That ranking will be put to the test during a three-game series against the Red Sox in Boston, but this team didn't win 13 in a row in April by accident.

Complete Rankings

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    Will Newton/Associated Press

    Complete Rankings

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

Highlight of the Week: Two More No-Hitters!

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    The record for no-hitters in a season is eight all the way back in 1884, while the modern record is seven, which has happened three different timesin 1990, 1991 and 2012.

    At the rate we're going, the record books are going to be rewritten.

    Joe Musgrove and Carlos Rodon tossed no-hitters in April, and two more pitchers joined that list last week when Orioles ace John Means and Reds veteran Wade Miley authored the best starts of their careers.

    The 28-year-old Means is in the midst of a breakout season, transitioning from de facto ace on a rebuilding team to bona fide ace and one of the best pitchers in baseball. He has a 1.37 ERA, 0.67 WHIP and 50 strikeouts in 46 innings over seven stats.

    The only thing that kept him from a perfect game was Sam Haggerty's reaching on a dropped third strike, and Haggerty was promptly thrown out trying to steal second base.

    For the 34-year-old Miley, it was a convincing sign that he has returned to form after a disappointing 5.65 ERA in 14.1 innings last season in the first year of a two-year, $15 million deal with the Reds.

    It was his first complete game since 2016 and the second shutout of his 11-year career.

    Who will be the next pitcher to throw a no-hitter in 2021?

Team of the Week

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    Miguel Rojas
    Miguel RojasLynne Sladky/Associated Press

    C J.T. Realmuto, PHI
    (7-for-22, 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI)

    1B Yuli Gurriel, HOU
    (8-for-22, 3 2B, HR, 7 RBI)

    2B Marcus Semien, TOR
    (11-for-29, 3 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI)

    3B Nolan Arenado, STL
    (9-for-25, 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI)

    SS Miguel Rojas, MIA
    (11-for-24, 3 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 5 RBI)

    OF Adolis Garcia, TEX
    (13-for-28, 2B, 4 HR, 12 RBI)

    OF Andrew McCutchen, PHI
    (10-for-26, 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI)

    OF Avisail Garcia, MIL
    (10-for-20, 2B, HR, 6 RBI)

    DH Yordan Alvarez, HOU
    (13-for-25, 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI)

    SP John Means, BAL
    (1 GS, W, 9.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 12 K)

    SP Wade Miley, CIN
    (1 GS, W, 9.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K)

    SP Zack Wheeler, PHI
    (1 GS, W, 9.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K)

    SP Huascar Ynoa, ATL
    (2 GS, 2 W, 13.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 10 K)

    SP Zach Plesac, CLE
    (1 GS, ND, 8.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K)

    RP Matt Barnes, BOS
    (3 G, 2/2 SV, 3.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K)

Way-Too-Early Award Rankings

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    Mike Trout
    Mike TroutMark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    AL MVP

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

       

    NL MVP

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

       

    AL Cy Young

    1. John Means, BAL
    2. Gerrit Cole, NYY
    3. Tyler Glasnow, TB

       

    NL Cy Young

    1. Jacob deGrom, NYM
    2. Brandon Woodruff, MIL
    3. Kevin Gausman, SF

       

    AL Rookie of the Year

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

       

    NL Rookie of the Year

    1. Trevor Rogers, MIA
    2. Dylan Carlson, STL
    3. Ryan Weathers, SD

           

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

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