MLB Power Rankings: West is best as Giants, A’s, Dodgers, Angels surge
1. San Francisco Giants (37-20, previous: 1) – The Giants continue to roll and have even separated themselves from the rest of the National League as they have now won eight of their last 10 games. It isn’t just one strong area in which the Giants are excelling as they are among the best in the league both offensively and from the mound. They have the second-best team ERA (3.02) and average 4.33 runs per game, third in the NL. San Franscico has a good chance to keep its momentum going with its next three series’ coming against below average teams in the Reds, Mets and Nationals.
2. Oakland Athletics (35-22, previous: 2) – Oakland is not just winning a bunch of games, it is dominating and blowing away its competition. The Athletics have a plus-115 run differential this year, which is more than 50 runs better than any other team in the league. It’s tough to find a flaw as they lead the American League in runs per game at 5.19 and have the best team ERA at 2.93, more than half a run better than the second-best team. The A’s begin a nine-game road trip this week, but that shouldn’t stop their momentum as they have the most road wins (18) in the American League.
3. Milwaukee Brewers (35-23, previous: 4) – After struggling a bit the past few weeks, the Brewers have picked it up, winners of seven of their last 10 games to open up a five-game lead in the NL Central. Milwaukee’s offense continues to lead the way as it has averaged 4.24 runs a game, fifth in the National League. The Brewers will complete a home-and-home series with the Twins before taking on the Pirates over the weekend.
4. Toronto Blue Jays (34-24, previous: 3) – The Blue Jays had an unreal month of May to climb to the top of the American League East and have won eight of their last 10 games. Toronto’s plus-39 run differential is the second-best in the AL and the only positive one in the AL East. It’s hard to see the Blue Jays playing like this the entire season, but for now they are one of the better stories in the game.
5. Detroit Tigers (31-22, previous: 8) – The good news: the Tigers are in first place in the AL Central. The bad news: they aren’t playing good baseball, as they’ve lost two straight and six of their last 10. Offense has been an issue of late as in their last seven losses, they’ve scored two runs or less six times. Detroit will play its next six games at home, hosting the Blue Jays and Red Sox.
6. Atlanta Braves (31-25, previous: 5) – Although it may not be the most exciting baseball, the Braves are consistent year-in-and-year-out, especially with their starting pitching as once again this season their 2.91 starter’s ERA is the best in MLB. They’ve been fortunate to be in a below average NL East as no one has really challenged them, which seems to be the case once again this year. Atlanta will play two games with Seattle before going out West for seven games.
7. Los Angeles Dodgers (31-28, previous: 9) – Unfortunately for the Dodgers, they are in the NL West with the powerful Giants running away with the division – San Fran has a seven-game lead. Los Angeles has an impressive 18-11 mark on the road, but are just 13-17 at home. They average 4.32 runs per game, fourth in the NL, but cannot seem to get consistent pitching to this point in the year.
8. Los Angeles Angels (30-26, previous: 7) – The Angels have been solid the past few weeks, but with the way Oakland’s playing the Halos have now fallen 4.5 games behind in the division. Los Angeles’ offense continues to impress though, as it is averaging 4.77 runs per game, third in the American League.
9. St. Louis Cardinals (30-28, previous: 5) – St. Louis has lost two straight and six of its last 10 games to now fall five games behind the Brewers in the NL Central. The Cardinals’ pitching and defense has been suspect as in their last five losses they’ve allowed six or more runs. They will finish a home-and-home series with the Royals before taking on the surging Blue Jays on the road over the weekend.
10. New York Yankees (29-27, previous: 11) – New York has lost two in a row and in doing so has allowed Toronto to open a four-game lead in the American League East. The Yankees’ offense has been shut down of late as in their last six games they have averaged just 2.5 runs per game. Overall for the year they have scored 4.14 runs a game, 11th in the American League. The Yankees will now host the red-hot Athletics for three games, before departing for a 10-game West Coast trip.
11. Texas Rangers (29-28, previous: 14) – Texas is playing better baseball of late, but is still third in the AL West behind the Angels and the soaring A’s. The Rangers have won six of their last 10 games, but are still searching for consistency from their pitchers as they currently have a 4.29 team ERA. The Rangers will now open a nine-game homestand, taking on the Orioles, Indians and Marlins.
12. Seattle Mariners (29-28, previous: 15) – Seattle has won three games in a row, but because of such a poor start it is tied for third in the AL West, six games out of first place. Their pitching has exceeded expectations as they have a team ERA of 3.52, second in the AL. Seattle has just begun a seven-game road trip with stops in New York, Atlanta and Tampa Bay.
13. Baltimore Orioles (28-27, previous: 13) – Although the Orioles have won two in a row, it came following a four-game losing streak, which has them in third place in the AL East. The O’s are currently playing below .500 ball at home (11-12), which is one thing to point to as they look to get back to the top of the AL East. Baltimore will wrap-up a 10-game road trip in Texas before hosting the best team in the AL, the Athletics, over the weekend.
14. Miami Marlins (28-28, previous: 12) – It has been an up-and-down season for the Marlins as it seems as though they will have one good week followed by a bad week followed by a good week again, but even with the inconsistency they’re in second place in the NL East. The Marlins’ offense has carried them as they average 4.55 runs per game, second in the NL.
15. Colorado Rockies (28-28, previous: 10) – It hasn’t been a strong stretch for the Rockies as they have lost four straight and eight of their last 10 games to drop to third place in the NL West. Their offense is among the best in the game, but they have been shutout twice in their last 10. Colorado will return home for 10 games where it hopes to get some momentum going. The Rockies are 16-7 this year at Coors Field.
16. New York Mets (28-29, previous: 25) – The Mets are playing much better baseball of late, winning seven of their last 10 games to climb back into the thick of the NL East. The biggest reason for the turnaround for New York has been its exceptional pitching and defense as in its last 11 games it has allowed just 2.43 runs per game. The Mets will look to continue their recent hot streak with a three-game series against the Cubs before a tough test over the weekend against the Giants.
17. Chicago White Sox (29-30, previous: 16) – The White Sox are in second place in the AL Central, but it is one of the worst divisions in the league. Chicago has scored the fourth most runs per game in the American League, but they have a 4.35 team ERA, the second-worst in the league, which is the main reason why they sit a game below .500. They will finish out a series in Los Angeles against the Dodgers before going slightly south for a weekend series with the Angels.
18. Cleveland Indians (28-30, previous: 19) – The Indians didn’t play very well to open the season, but have won four in a row as they look to get things kick-started. Cleveland has performed well at home as it is 19-11 at Progressive Field. After two more games against the Red Sox the Indians will hit the road for 10 straight.
19. Boston Red Sox (27-30, previous: 27) – After looking like the worst team in baseball 10 days ago, the Red Sox rattled off seven straight wins before their loss to the Indians Monday night. Their seven straight victories tied a major league record for the most wins following a double-digit losing streak. The biggest key to their turnaround has been the improvement of the starting rotation as they had a 2.88 ERA during the win streak. Boston will wrap up its series with the Indians and then travel to Detroit for a weekend series with the Tigers.
20. Washington Nationals (27-28, previous: 18) – Washington is another team that has underachieved this season. The Nationals have lost seven of their last 10 games, but remain within striking distance of the Braves in the NL East. The Nats will look to gain some ground in the standings as they will take on the Phillies and then the struggling Padres over the weekend.
21. Pittsburgh Pirates (27-30, previous: 21) – Pittsburgh as started to play like it did for the majority of last season, winners of six of 10. Although the Pirates’ pitching has improved, they still have a 3.90 team ERA, which is good for 12th in the National League.
22. Kansas City Royals (27-30, previous: 17) – It is fairly safe to say the Royals have underachieved this year as they are three games below .500 two months into the season. A lack of offense has been the biggest reason why they’ve struggled as they have the second-worst team on-base percentage in the AL and the worst slugging percentage. A turnaround doesn’t seem likely, at least in the short-term, as they will finish a home-and-home with St. Louis before a weekend series with the Yankees.
23. Cincinnati Reds (26-29, previous: 24) – The Reds have won three games in a row, but have their work cut out for them to get back in the NL Central race. A big issue for the Reds has been their lack of offensive production as they are only averaging 3.49 runs per game, the third-fewest in the NL. This will most definitely need to improve if they have any chance of making a run at the postseason.
24. Minnesota Twins (26-29, previous: 20) – The Twins have lost seven of their last 10 games and the biggest reason why has been a lack of offense as in their last 11 games they have averaged just 2.72 runs per game. The Twins have also posted a minus-23 run differential, the worst in the AL Central on the year.
25. San Diego Padres (26-31, previous: 23) – We’re two full months into the season and the Padres’ offense still can’t get anything going. They average 3.23 runs a game, the fewest in baseball, and have the worst team batting average and team on-base percentage in the National League. San Diego will host the Pirates and Nationals this week.
26. Philadelphia Phillies (24-31, previous: 26) – A lot of things can be pointed to in regards to the poor start to the year for the Phillies, one of which being their 24-31 record at home. Also, they have a minus-41 run differential, the only negative one in the NL East and second-worst in all of the National League. Philadelphia will next play six straight games on the road, taking on the Nationals and Reds.
27. Houston Astros (24-34, previous: 29) – The Astros caught fire this past week as they won seven straight games, but they have now lost two in a row since. They were getting good pitching and defense as in the seven wins they allowed three runs or less in six games. Houston will host the Angels before traveling to Minnesota for a weekend series with the Twins.
28. Tampa Bay Rays (23-35, previous: 22) – Things have gone from bad to worse for the Rays as they have dropped seven in a row and are now 11 games back in the AL East race. Tampa Bay has a run differential of minus-40, the second-worst in the American League, only in front of the Astros. Tampa is also averaging the second-fewest runs per game at 3.76. It’s been a tough year so far to say the least for Joe Maddon and the Rays.
29. Arizona Diamondbacks (23-36, previous: 28) – It has been two months to forget for the Diamondbacks as they are 13 games below .500, have the second fewest wins in all of baseball and own a minus-65 run differential, which is the worst in all of the MLB. A 9-22 home record doesn’t help the cause either.
30. Chicago Cubs (20-34, previous: 30) – There isn’t much to say anymore about the Cubs as they have lost six of their last 10 games and have the most losses in all of baseball. It will be interesting to see how active they will be at next month’s trading deadline.
*All stats and records are as of Tuesday, June 3.
Follow Metro sports writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter: @RyanHannable