MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand After 2 Months

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistMay 25, 2021

MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand After 2 Months

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    Gregory Bull/Associated Press

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

    For the first time all season, we're seeing a divide between baseball's upper-echelon teams and the field, and that gap is likely to grow in the weeks to come as the serious title contenders separate themselves from the pack.

    As you dig in to this latest update, 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.

    Off we go.

       

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

Nos. 30-26

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    Miguel Sano
    Miguel SanoJae C. Hong/Associated Press

    30. Pittsburgh Pirates (18-28)

    Previous Rank: 27

    The Pirates were outscored by 34 runs during a 1-5 week that included series losses to the St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves, including a 20-1 shellacking Friday night. Following a surprising 12-13 April, things have come crashing down in May with a 6-15 record and minus-62 run differential.

        

    29. Baltimore Orioles (17-30)

    Previous Rank: 26

    With a 2-13 record in their last 15 games, the Orioles have tumbled back to the bottom of the American League. Ace John Means (9 GS, 4-0, 1.70 ERA, 58.1 IP) is an AL Cy Young Award contender, and Trey Mancini (141 OPS+, 12 2B, 10 HR, 41 RBI) is one of baseball's best comeback stories, but the roster is still a long way from contending.

        

    28. Arizona Diamondbacks (18-30)

    Previous Rank: 23

    The D-backs closed April on a 9-2 hot streak that pushed them up to No. 14 in these rankings. With a 1-11 record in their last 12 games, including an eight-game losing streak entering Tuesday, they have plummeted to the bottom tier of teams. Ketel Marte finally returned to action Wednesday after missing 37 games with a strained right hamstring, though he has gone 2-for-14 in his first five games back.

           

    27. Minnesota Twins (18-29)

    Previous Rank: 30

    The Twins took two of three from Cleveland over the weekend for their first series win since May 2. It's a start, but there's still a long way to go to erase a brutal beginning. With Jorge Polanco and Nelson Cruz banged up, Miguel Sano hit five home runs last week, including a three-homer game against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday.

         

    26. Colorado Rockies (19-29)

    Previous Rank: 29

    Swept by the San Diego Padres to kick off last week, the Rockies bounced back with a sweep of the floundering D-backs. German Marquez (7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R) and Austin Gomber (6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R) threw the ball well, and former top prospect Brendan Rodgers was activated from the injured list as he looks to finally deliver on his huge potential.

Nos. 25-21

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    Spencer Turnbull
    Spencer TurnbullTed S. Warren/Associated Press

    25. Los Angeles Angels (20-27)

    Previous Rank: 25

    With Mike Trout sidelined with a strained right calf and the starting rotation struggling to an MLB-worst 5.52 ERA, the Angels are going nowhere fast. Series losses to Cleveland and the Oakland Athletics and a doubleheader split with the Twins last week dropped them to 8-15 with a minus-31 run differential in May, and their season could effectively be over by the time Trout returns. At least Shohei Ohtani is super fun to watch.

        

    24. Detroit Tigers (18-29)

    Previous Rank: 28

    The Tigers swept the Seattle Mariners to start last week and were quietly 9-4 in their last 13 games entering a seven-game homestand Monday. Right-hander Spencer Turnbull became the first Detroit pitcher in a decade to throw a no-hitter when he blanked the Mariners on Tuesday and the first not named Justin Verlander to throw one since Jack Morris in 1984.

       

    23. Cincinnati Reds (20-25)

    Previous Rank: 17

    Jesse Winker (183 OPS+, .355/.412/.684, 13 HR) and Nick Castellanos (180 OPS+, .356/.417/.669, 12 HR) are raking. But that didn't stop the Reds from going 1-6 last week, which dropped them to fourth in the National League West and the bottom third of these rankings. Losing Wade Miley to a sprained left foot will put even more pressure on an underperforming starting rotation.

           

    22. Seattle Mariners (22-26)

    Previous Rank: 16

    The Mariners appeared to be building momentum with three straight wins entering last week, but they suffered back-to-back sweeps against the Tigers and Padres while getting outscored by a staggering 36 runs in six games. Jarred Kelenic went 2-for-19 last week, and Logan Gilbert lasted just 2.2 innings in his second MLB start, but they are still capable of providing major sparks once they settle in.

            

    21. Washington Nationals (20-23)

    Previous Rank: 22

    The Nationals swept the first Beltway Series against the Orioles over the weekend, but that was after their struggles on the road had continued with three losses in four games to the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Kyle Schwarber (7-for-25, 2 2B, 3 HR) and Josh Bell (9-for-22, 2B, HR) had productive weeks; it would go a long way if they got going.

Nos. 20-16

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    Adolis Garcia
    Adolis GarciaRay Carlin/Associated Press

    20. Texas Rangers (22-27)

    Previous Rank: 24

    This season continues to be a roller coaster for the Rangers, who snapped a 1-9 stretch by sweeping a three-game series against the Houston Astros with a pair of walk-off wins over the weekend. If nothing else, the youth movement is fun to watch, with the middle infield of Nick Solak and Isiah Kiner-Falefa playing well and the unheralded 28-year-old Adolis Garcia making a strong early case for AL Rookie of the Year honors.

        

    19. Philadelphia Phillies (23-25)

    Previous Rank: 15

    With series losses to the Miami Marlins and Boston Red Sox, the Phillies closed last week below the .500 mark once again after clawing back above that line with a strong start to May. The back of the starting rotation continues to be a major question mark, while the lineup is without J.T. Realmuto, Didi Gregorius and Scott Kingery.

        

    18. Atlanta Braves (23-24)

    Previous Rank: 18

    The Braves outscored the Pirates by a staggering 33-3 in a three-game sweep over the weekend. Granted, it was the Pirates, but that could be exactly the type of thing that jump-starts a lineup that has underperformed. Third baseman Austin Riley slugged six home runs last week, and he's hitting .320/.414/.549 with eight doubles, nine home runs and 21 RBI in 181 plate appearances.

           

    17. Miami Marlins (23-24)

    Previous Rank: 21

    The Marlins are 8-7 against NL East opponents after series wins over the Phillies and New York Mets last week, and continued success in that area would serve them well in a wide-open division. Rookie right-hander Cody Poteet has a 1.06 ERA and 0.71 WHIP in 17 innings over his first three starts, and he tossed seven scoreless innings against the Mets on Sunday.

         

    16. Kansas City Royals (22-23)

    Previous Rank: 20

    With a two-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers and a series win over the Tigers, the Royals are trending in the right direction after an 11-game losing streak that started May 2 sent them spiraling down the rankings. Their whole is greater than the sum of their parts, and it would be unwise to count them out as a factor in the AL wild-card picture.

Nos. 15-11

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    Willy Adames
    Willy AdamesAaron Doster/Associated Press

    15. Toronto Blue Jays (23-23)

    Previous Rank: 11

    With an 11-5 start in May, the Blue Jays were knocking on the door of the top 10, but a five-game losing streak bumped them down a few spots. Teoscar Hernandez is hitting .354/.424/.549 with 19 RBI in 21 games this month, and he has helped carry the offense alongside AL MVP candidate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. while the lineup has lost George Springer and others to injuries.

       

    14. Milwaukee Brewers (24-23)

    Previous Rank: 13

    It's been a rocky month for a team that ended April with a 16-10 record and a two-game lead in the NL Central. In one of the first notable trades of the year, the Brewers acquired shortstop Willy Adames and right-hander Trevor Richards from the Tampa Bay Rays for relievers Drew Rasmussen and J.P. Feyereisen. The 25-year-old Adames is controllable through the 2024 season and has shown flashes of being an impact player.

       

    13. Cleveland (25-20)

    Previous Rank: 12

    Losing slugger Franmil Reyes (140 OPS+, 11 HR, 29 RBI) for five to seven weeks with a strained left abdominal was a huge blow for a lineup that was already thin. Cleveland will be relevant as long as it keeps pitching well, but after two losses in three games against the last-place Twins over the weekend, mediocrity might be its ceiling.

       

    12. Chicago Cubs (24-22)

    Previous Rank: 19

    The Cubs looked lost when they were shut out April 27 and April 28 and fell to 10-14. Since then, they are 14-8 with a plus-34 run differential, and after a 5-2 showing last week, they are on the cusp of a spot in the top 10. Javier Baez delivered the decisive blow in a 2-1 extra-innings victory over the rival St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday that secured a series win, and that could prove to be a jumping off point.

       

    11. New York Mets (21-20)

    Previous Rank: 14

    The Mets beat the Marlins Friday with this starting lineup: 3B Jonathan Villar, SS Francisco Lindor, RF Cameron Maybin, LF Dominic Smith, C Tomas Nido, 2B Jose Peraza, 1B Brandon Drury, CF Johneshwy Fargas, SP Marcus Stroman. The fact that they are still finding ways to win with 16 players on the injured list begs the question of just how good they can be once they are healthy.

Nos. 10-6

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    Edmundo Sosa
    Edmundo SosaJeff Roberson/Associated Press

    10. St. Louis Cardinals (26-21)

    Previous Rank: 8

    The Cardinals have dropped two of their last three series with a two-game sweep of the lowly Pirates sandwiched in between, but they still look like the team to beat in the NL Central. Rookie Edmundo Sosa has done a fantastic job filling in for the injured Paul DeJong at shortstop, hitting .387/.500/.516 with three extra-base hits and a steal in 38 plate appearances. There always seems to be a capable backup in St. Louis.

       

    9. Houston Astros (26-21)

    Previous Rank: 5

    The Astros were poised to climb after starting last week by taking two of three from the Athletics, who were No. 1 in last week's rankings, but they were swept by the Rangers over the weekend with a pair of extra-inning losses. How long before Yuli Gurriel (157 OPS+, .319/.391/.536, 15 2B, 7 HR, 38 RBI) starts getting national attention for the season he's having?

       

    8. San Francisco Giants (28-19)

    Previous Rank: 2

    The Giants were swept by the rival Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend, which snapped a five-game winning streak. Despite that hiccup, they look like a bona fide contender thanks to a better than expected pitching staff and a handful of veterans who have found the fountain of youth at the plate. With another strong showing last week, shortstop Brandon Crawford has a 144 OPS+ and leads the team in home runs (11), RBI (29) and runs (26).

       

    7. Oakland Athletics (28-21)

    Previous Rank: 1

    The bad news is the Athletics are no longer No. 1 after a 3-3 week in which they posted a minus-three run differential and suffered a series loss to the division-rival Astros. The good news is their next 22 games entering Monday were against teams with losing records. They need to seize this opportunity to build a cushion in the AL West.

       

    6. Boston Red Sox (29-19)

    Previous Rank: 6

    The Red Sox took two of three from the Blue Jays and Phillies last week, but their lead in the AL East has evaporated as the Rays and New York Yankees have come on strong. The lineup is going to keep piling up runs, so Boston will likely go as far as its inconsistent starting rotation allows. The return of Chris Sale can't come soon enough, but players such as Eduardo Rodriguez and Nathan Eovaldi also need to pull their weight.

Nos. 5-1

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    Gavin Lux
    Gavin LuxDavid Zalubowski/Associated Press

    5. Chicago White Sox (27-19)

    Previous Rank: 3

    Swept by the Yankees over the weekend, the White Sox no longer have baseball's best run differential, though their plus-64 mark is still tops in the AL ahead of the Astros' (plus-59), Red Sox's (plus-47) and Rays' (plus-44). With a 6-9 record against teams above .500 and a 12-11 record away from home, they still have something to prove, but the South Siders have as much talent as any team.

       

    4. New York Yankees (28-19)

    Previous Rank: 7

    The Yankees have won six in a row and have a 12-3 record in their last 15 games. The starting pitching has drastically improved, and while Corey Kluber stole the headlines last week with a no-hitter, Domingo German, Jordan Montgomery and then Gerrit Cole also tossed seven scoreless innings in three straight starts. Even with Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks on the injured list, this team is firing on all cylinders.

       

    3. Los Angeles Dodgers (29-18)

    Previous Rank: 9

    With 11 wins in their last 12 games, and a seven-game winning streak entering Tuesday, the Dodgers are back to looking like themselves after a few rough weeks. Since taking over as the starting shortstop for the injured Corey Seager, Gavin Lux is hitting .379/.438/.655 with two doubles, two home runs and nine RBI in eight games.

       

    2. Tampa Bay Rays (30-19)

    Previous Rank: 10

    With a 6-4 victory over the Blue Jays on Sunday, the Rays ran their winning streak to 10 games and claimed at least a share of the AL East lead for the first time since the second day of the season. Taylor Walls is off to a 3-for-8 start with a pair of doubles since taking over at shortstop after Willy Adames was traded to the Brewers on Friday. How long before Wander Franco takes his place?

       

    1. San Diego Padres (30-18)

    Previous Rank: 4

    Not only did the Padres sweep the Rockies and Mariners during a 6-0 week, but they also dismantled them with a plus-35 run differential. Trent Grisham landed on the injured list Monday, and Manny Machado could join him, but even without them, San Diego has enough firepower to support a pitching staff that leads the majors by a wide margin with a 2.59 ERA.

Complete Rankings

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Complete Rankings

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

Highlight of the Week: Two More No-Hitters!

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    Through his first four starts in a New York Yankees uniform, Corey Kluber posted a 5.40 ERA and never completed five innings.

    In the five starts since, he has a pristine 1.78 ERA and a .171 opponents' batting average, and he blanked the Texas Rangers for his first career no-hitter Wednesday.

    "I've never been part of one [or] witnessed one, let alone thrown one," Kluber told reporters. "So, more than anything, it was a lot of fun to be a part of."

    One day earlier, Detroit Tigers right-hander Spencer Turnbull threw a no-no of his own, striking out nine and needing 117 pitches to keep the Seattle Mariners out of the hit column.

    The 28-year-old has quietly been the Tigers' most effective starter over the past few seasons, and he had a 2.88 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in six starts this year before he pitched against Cleveland on Monday.

    "I don't really know how to think of it in a historical perspective," Turnbull told reporters. "Just for myself, obviously, it's the greatest achievement in my life so far, or at least my baseball career. It's by far the best night of my life. And it's definitely one of those landmark stamps on my career up to this point."

    The 2021 no-hitter count is at six. Will the single-season record of eight be surpassed before the All-Star break?

Team of the Week

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    Austin Riley
    Austin RileyTami Chappell/Associated Press

    C Will Smith, LAD
    (9-for-20, 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI)

    1B Miguel Sano, MIN
    (9-for-30, 3 2B, 5 HR, 10 RBI)

    2B Jake Cronenworth, SD
    (10-for-24, 3 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI)

    3B Austin Riley, ATL
    (12-for-26, 4 2B, 6 HR, 11 RBI)

    SS Fernando Tatis Jr., SD
    (11-for-14, 4 2B, 4 HR, 12 RBI)

    OF Jesse Winker, CIN
    (11-for-27, 6 HR, 7 RBI)

    OF Nick Castellanos, CIN
    (13-for-25, 3 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI)

    OF Adolis Garcia, TEX
    (9-for-30, 2B, 4 HR, 11 RBI)

    DH Trey Mancini, BAL
    (10-for-23, 3 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI)

    SP Corey Kluber, NYY
    (1 GS, W, 9.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K)

    SP Spencer Turnbull, DET
    (1 GS, W, 9.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K)

    SP Adam Wainwright, STL
    (1 GS, ND, 8.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K)

    SP Zack Wheeler, PHI
    (2 GS, W, ND, 14.1 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 22 K)

    SP Yu Darvish, SD
    (2 GS, 2 W, 14.0 IP, 11 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 15 K)

    RP Kenley Jansen, LAD
    (4 G, 4/4 SV, 4.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K)

Award Rankings

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    Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
    Vladimir Guerrero Jr.Ben Margot/Associated Press

    AL MVP

    1. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., TOR
    2. Xander Bogaerts, BOS
    3. Mike Trout, LAA

       

    NL MVP

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

       

    AL Cy Young

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

       

    NL Cy Young

    1. Brandon Woodruff, MIL
    2. Kevin Gausman, SF
    3. Yu Darvish, SD

       

    AL Rookie of the Year

    1. Adolis Garcia, TEX
    2. Yermin Mercedes, CWS
    3. Casey Mize, DET

       

    NL Rookie of the Year

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

       

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

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