MLB Power Rankings: Yankees, Mets and Dodgers Battle for No. 1 Spot

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistMay 3, 2022

MLB Power Rankings: Yankees, Mets and Dodgers Battle for No. 1 Spot

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    Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

    Last week was great for two of baseball's largest markets, as the New York Yankees, New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels all entered play Monday leading their respective divisions.

    Meanwhile, impressive stretches from the Minnesota Twins and Miami Marlins have two smaller-market teams making a big jump up our weekly MLB power rankings.

    As the season progresses, the rankings will look distinctly different from the MLB standings, as hot and cold streaks play a major factor in where teams land. But for now, each club's placement is largely reflective of its record. Run differential was also key in determining where teams fell.


    Note: All statistics and analysis in this article reflect games through Sunday. Team records have been updated to include Monday's results.

Nos. 30-26

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    Josiah Gray
    Josiah GrayMitchell Layton/Getty Images

    30. Cincinnati Reds (3-19)

    Previous Rank: 30

    The Reds are dead last in the majors in team ERA (6.15), team OPS (.582) and runs scored per game (3.0), and the 8.03 ERA that the starting rotation has posted is nearly two runs higher than the next-worst team in the majors. Minor league free-agent signing Brandon Drury and 25-year-old rookie reliever Alexis Diaz are the team's two best players right now.


    29. Detroit Tigers (7-14)

    Previous Rank: 25

    After getting swept by the Minnesota Twins before suffering a series loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Tigers have slid to the bottom of the heap among American League teams with a 3-10 record in their last 13 games. Beneath the surface of their recent struggles, they have quietly received an MLB-leading 1.97 ERA from their bullpen.


    28. Kansas City Royals (7-14)

    Previous Rank: 28

    Rookie star Bobby Witt Jr. entered play Monday riding a nine-game hitting streak, during which time he has hit .314 with a .351 on-base percentage. Getting him rolling could go a long way in helping the Royals right the ship following another losing week that ended with them getting swept by the New York Yankees over the weekend.


    27. Washington Nationals (8-16)

    Previous Rank: 29

    The Nationals picked up their second series win of the year over the weekend when they took two of three from the San Francisco Giants on the road. Right-hander Josiah Gray allowed only one hit over six scoreless innings on Sunday, and he now sports a 3.12 ERA with 31 strikeouts in 26 innings as one of the most promising young players on the Nats roster.


    26. Baltimore Orioles (8-15)

    Previous Rank: 23

    The Orioles snapped a five-game losing streak with back-to-back weekend wins over the Boston Red Sox, including a walk-off win on Saturday and a season-high nine runs scored on Sunday. Left-hander Keegan Akin has been an early standout out of the bullpen with a 1.26 ERA and 0.56 WHIP in 14.1 innings.

Nos. 25-21

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    Xander Bogaerts
    Xander BogaertsWinslow Townson/Getty Images

    25. Texas Rangers (8-14)

    Previous Rank: 27

    Starters Dane Dunning (7.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER) and Taylor Hearn (5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER) both threw the ball well over the weekend as the Rangers picked up a series win over the Atlanta Braves. The pitching will likely be hit-and-miss all season, so the offense needs to pick it up with a .632 OPS that ranks 21st in the majors.


    24. Chicago White Sox (9-13)

    Previous Rank: 22

    The White Sox are banged up, but these rankings are about what a team is doing right now, not what it might be capable of doing once it returns to full strength. The South Siders snapped an eight-game losing streak with a win over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday, but they still went only 2-4 on the week, including a series loss to the Royals at home.


    23. Pittsburgh Pirates (9-13)

    Previous Rank: 16

    The Pirates managed to avoid consecutive series sweeps with a walk-off win against the San Diego Padres on Saturday, but a 1-5 showing overall last week still sends them tumbling down the rankings following a better-than-expected start. Wil Crowe (8 G, 15.2 IP, 1.15 ERA) and Dillon Peters (7 G, 13.1 IP, 0.00 ERA) have been extremely valuable multi-inning relievers.


    22. Boston Red Sox (9-14)

    Previous Rank: 20

    The Red Sox went 3-7 on their recent 10-game road trip, and they've suffered four straight series losses to AL East foes entering the new week. No one is consistently producing offensively aside from the trio of Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers and J.D. Martinez, which has undermined a pitching staff with a solid 3.59 ERA on the year.


    21. Chicago Cubs (9-13)

    Previous Rank: 19

    The Cubs have gone 3-9 in their last 12 games, and they have not won a series outright since taking two of three from the Milwaukee Brewers to open the year. Veteran closer David Robertson has been virtually untouchable this year with five saves and only one hit allowed in 10 scoreless innings, and he's a steal pitching on a one-year, $3.5 million deal.

Nos. 20-16

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    Madison Bumgarner
    Madison BumgarnerMitchell Layton/Getty Images

    20. Atlanta Braves (11-13)

    Previous Rank: 21

    Ronald Acuna Jr. is back! The 24-year-old made his season debut Thursday against the Chicago Cubs, going 1-for-5 with a pair of stolen bases in his return from a torn ACL that he suffered last summer. The Braves pulled within one game of the .500 mark before back-to-back losses to the Texas Rangers over the weekend. They now have a tough week ahead against the New York Mets and Milwaukee Brewers.


    19. Arizona Diamondbacks (11-13)

    Previous Rank: 26

    The D-backs picked up a series win over the Los Angeles Dodgers before splitting a four-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals. The trio of Zac Gallen (3 GS, 0.60 ERA), Madison Bumgarner (5 GS, 1.17 ERA) and Merrill Kelly (5 GS, 1.27 ERA) atop the starting rotation has helped them post the second-best starters' ERA (2.60) in baseball.


    18. Oakland Athletics (10-13)

    Previous Rank: 13

    The Athletics came out of the gates strong with an 8-6 record, but they've gone only 2-6 over their last three series, including a three-game sweep at the hands of the Cleveland Guardians. Third baseman Sheldon Neuse is hitting .328/.400/.463 for a 164 OPS+ in 75 plate appearances, seizing the starting third base job while Kevin Smith was on the injured list.


    17. Philadelphia Phillies (11-12)

    Previous Rank: 24

    The Phillies swept a four-game series with the Colorado Rockies at the start of last week, outscoring them by a 32-9 margin. They followed that up with a series loss to the New York Mets, but they're trending in the right direction after a rocky 4-8 start to the season. Zack Wheeler seems to be rounding into form after six scoreless innings last time out, and their rotation still has the potential to be one of the best in baseball.


    16. Cleveland Guardians (10-12)

    Previous Rank: 15

    The Guardians snapped a seven-game losing streak with a victory over the Oakland Athletics on Friday, and they went on to sweep that three-game series to salvage what had been an otherwise disastrous road trip. They now return home where they have played only six games all season, but they have a tough week ahead against the San Diego Padres and Toronto Blue Jays.

Nos. 15-11

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    J.P. Crawford
    J.P. CrawfordSteph Chambers/Getty Images

    15. Houston Astros (12-11)

    Previous Rank: 18

    Outfielder Kyle Tucker entered last week hitting .127/.213/.236 through his first 61 plate appearances, but his season stats now look considerably better after he went 13-for-25 with three doubles, two home runs and 11 RBI in his last seven games. The Astros have been a middle-of-the-pack offense thus far, so getting him going is a big boost.


    14. Seattle Mariners (12-11)

    Previous Rank: 7

    After a brief stay inside the top 10, the Mariners slide down to No. 14 following series losses to the Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins. They kick off the coming week with a big three-game series on the road against the Astros before heading home, where they've gone 7-2 with a plus-25 run differential on the year. Shortstop J.P. Crawford is hitting .372/.462/.628 and is looking like an early candidate for biggest breakout of 2022.


    13. Tampa Bay Rays (13-10)

    Previous Rank: 10

    The Rays had not lost consecutive games since April 16 prior to dropping two of three to the Minnesota Twins over the weekend. The offense has been held to three or fewer runs in 13 of their first 22 games, so getting guys like Brandon Lowe, Mike Zunino and Randy Arozarena going at the plate will be the key to their success going forward.


    12. St. Louis Cardinals (13-9)

    Previous Rank: 6

    The Cardinals have scored two or fewer runs seven times in their last 12 games, including getting shut out twice last week, yet they somehow still have a plus-19 run differential on the year. Right-hander Ryan Helsley has helped solidify the relief corps in the early going by allowing only one hit and zero walks with 16 strikeouts in 8.1 scoreless innings.


    11. Miami Marlins (12-10)

    Previous Rank: 17

    The Marlins won seven in a row before losing on Sunday, picking up series wins over the Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals and Seattle Mariners along the way. The starting rotation has been excellent, the bullpen pieces are falling into place, and young hitters Jazz Chisholm Jr. and Jesus Sanchez are developing into core players.

Nos. 10-6

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    Joe Ryan
    Joe RyanDavid Berding/Getty Images

    10. Colorado Rockies (13-9)

    Previous Rank: 4

    A drop down the rankings was inevitable for the Rockies after the Philadelphia Phillies swept them in a four-game series, though they did rebound to sweep the lowly Cincinnati Reds over the weekend. The pitching staff giving up 32 runs in four games against the Phillies is troubling given how important they've been to their early success. The upcoming week will be big in proving they belong in the contender conversation.


    9. Minnesota Twins (14-9)

    Previous Rank: 14

    The Twins are 9-1 in their last 10 games entering play Monday with a plus-32 run differential during that stretch, and they have sprinted to the top of the AL Central standings in the process. The rag-tag starting rotation of scrapheap veterans and young up-and-comers ranks fourth in the majors with a 2.62 ERA, led by rookie right-hander Joe Ryan, who has a 1.17 ERA and 0.70 WHIP in 23 innings through his first four starts.


    8. San Francisco Giants (14-8)

    Previous Rank: 3

    A two-game split with the Oakland Athletics and a series loss to the Washington Nationals is the first real hiccup we've seen from the Giants this year. With Mike Yastrzemski, Brandon Belt, Zack Littell and Dominic Leone all landing on the COVID-19 injured list, they are a bit shorthanded at the moment. A bad week has to be reflected in their spot in the rankings, but there's no major reason for concern.


    7. San Diego Padres (15-8)

    Previous Rank: 11

    The Padres improved to 10-3 since their lackluster 5-5 start to the year with series wins over the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates last week. Right-hander Mike Clevinger is scheduled to make his first start since Sept. 23, 2020, on Tuesday, and left-hander Blake Snell is also currently on a rehab assignment, so the Padres will soon have some tough decisions to make in the rotation. That's always a good problem to have.


    6. Los Angeles Angels (15-9)

    Previous Rank: 12

    The Angels are back inside the top 10 following a 6-1 week, and this team looks like a legitimate threat to win the AL West right now with a vastly improved pitching staff, a healthy Mike Trout once again performing at an MVP level, and Taylor Ward in the midst of a breakout season with a .400/.507/.764 line through 67 plate appearances.

Nos. 5-1

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    Willy Adames
    Willy AdamesIcon Sportswire/Getty Images

    5. Milwaukee Brewers (15-8)

    Previous Rank: 9

    The Brewers have four straight series wins with an 11-3 record during that stretch, and the offense is rounding into form behind their excellent pitching staff. Shortstop Willy Adames went 9-for-29 with three doubles, four home runs and 10 RBI last week, and we saw last season what a difference-maker he can be when he's swinging a hot bat.


    4. Toronto Blue Jays (15-9)

    Previous Rank: 5

    The Blue Jays took care of business against the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros last week to maintain their top-five spot in the rankings. The late-inning trio of Tim Mayza, Adam Cimber and Jordan Romano might be the best back-of-the-bullpen in baseball right now, and the starting rotation has done a great job navigating Hyun Jin Ryu missing time to forearm inflammation.


    3. Los Angeles Dodgers (14-7)

    Previous Rank: 1

    A series loss to the D-backs was enough to bump the Dodgers off their perch atop these rankings, though they still lead the majors with a plus-47 run differential. The bullpen was the issue last week with Daniel Hudson, Brusdar Graterol and Evan Phillips each taking a loss, and finding some consistency from the relief corps amid multiple injuries will be a key to their success going forward.


    2. New York Mets (16-8)

    Previous Rank: 2

    The Mets have not lost consecutive games since April 11, and they have yet to lose a series this year after taking two of three from the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies last week. The Yankees have them beat in ERA (2.72 to 2.99), OPS (.752 to .732) and run differential (+41 to +37) entering play on Monday, so when Mets fans inevitably ask why they aren't No. 1, there's your answer.


    1. New York Yankees (17-6)

    Previous Rank: 8

    Remember when the Yankees went 5-5 to start the year and fans all over the Bronx were mashing the panic button so hard it was shattering to pieces? They have since gone 11-1 with a plus-40 run differential, and they entered play on Monday riding a nine-game winning streak with three straight series sweeps. That has propelled them to the No. 1 spot in our rankings, though a tough test awaits this week on the road against the Blue Jays.

Complete Rankings

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    Aaron Judge
    Aaron JudgeJamie Squire/Getty Images

    Complete Rankings

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

Highlight of the Week: Clayton Kerhsaw Becomes Dodgers' All-Time K Leader

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    With a strikeout of Detroit Tigers rookie Spencer Torkelson in the fourth inning of his start on Saturday night, Clayton Kershaw became the all-time leader in strikeouts in the storied history of the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise, surpassing Don Sutton.

    Here's a look at the full leaderboard:

    • Clayton Kershaw: 2,700
    • Don Sutton: 2,696
    • Don Drysdale: 2,486
    • Sandy Koufax: 2,396
    • Dazzy Vance: 1,918

    Four Hall of Famers and one sure-fire future first-ballot selection.

    "Anytime you get to do something individual, record-wise, the people around you to help you celebrate are what matter the most," Kershaw told reporters after the game. "To have my teammates care about that, to have my family here and care about that and to see the fans care about it as much as they did, all of those things make it special."

    The 34-year-old has gone 3-0 with a 2.35 ERA and an NL-best 0.70 WHIP through his first four starts, compiling a terrific 30-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 23 innings along the way.

Team of the Week

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    Taylor Ward
    Taylor WardQuinn Harris/Getty Images

    C Will Smith, LAD
    (5-for-15, 2B, HR, 5 RBI)

    1B Anthony Rizzo, NYY
    (7-for-22, 2B, 4 HR, 9 RBI)

    2B Jeff McNeil, NYM
    (10-for-19, 5 2B, 3 RBI)

    3B Manny Machado, SD
    (12-for-26, 2 2B, HR, 6 RBI)

    SS Willy Adames, MIL
    (9-for-29, 3 2B, 4 HR, 10 RBI)

    OF Taylor Ward, LAA
    (13-for-29, 2 2B, 3B, 4 HR, 11 RBI)

    OF Kyle Tucker, HOU
    (13-for-25, 3 2B, 2 HR, 11 RBI)

    OF Aaron Judge, NYY
    (9-for-23, 5 HR, 11 RBI)

    DH Yordan Alvarez, HOU
    (10-for-24, 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI)

    SP Walker Buehler, LAD
    (2 GS, 2 W, 14.0 IP, 9 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 15 K)

    SP Nathan Eovaldi, BOS
    (2 GS, 2 ND, 14.0 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 13 K)

    SP Corbin Burnes, MIL
    (2 GS, ND, L, 13.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 21 K)

    SP Kevin Gausman, TOR
    (2 GS, W, ND, 13.0 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 19 K)

    SP Joe Ryan, MIN
    (1 GS, W, 7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K)

    RP Taylor Rogers, SD
    (4 G, 4/4 SV, 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K)

Way-Too-Early Award Rankings

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    Steven Kwan
    Steven KwanJason Miller/Getty Images

    AL MVP

    1. Mike Trout, LAA
    2. Jose Ramirez, CLE
    3. J.P. Crawford, SEA


    NL MVP

    1. Nolan Arenado, STL
    2. Manny Machado, SD
    3. Jeff McNeil, NYM


    AL Cy Young

    1. Justin Verlander, HOU
    2. Logan Gilbert, SEA
    3. Joe Ryan, MIN


    NL Cy Young

    1. Pablo Lopez, MIA
    2. Carlos Rodon, SF
    3. Kyle Wright, ATL


    AL Rookie of the Year

    1. Steven Kwan, CLE
    2. Joe Ryan, MIN
    3. Jeremy Pena, HOU


    NL Rookie of the Year

    1. Seiya Suzuki, CHC
    2. Joey Bart, SF
    3. MacKenzie Gore, SD


    Stats courtesy of and Baseball Reference unless otherwise noted.