It’s probably a testament to the state of Major League Baseball right now that we have three teams constantly at the top of our weekly power rankings, but in each of the last three weeks, a different one has been No. 1.
The Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros and New York Yankees have clearly been the best three teams in baseball until this point of the season — but the question of which is *the* best is a lot tougher to answer. This week, we’re rolling with the Red Sox again, who have reclaimed the No. 1 spot from Houston, which reclaimed it from the Yankees.
They’re all great and we have plenty of baseball ahead to figure out just which team is best, but don’t be surprised if the true answer doesn’t come until the fall. Elsewhere on this week’s list, the Milwaukee Brewers and Seattle Mariners are moving up while the Pittsburgh Pirates are falling.
1. Boston Red Sox (39-17; last week 3)
Red Sox have reclaimed the honor of best record in the league and No. 1 spot in our power rankings. Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez have been on fire, making them firmly the best offense in the game right now.
2. Houston Astros (35-21; last week 1)
The Astros slip one spot on the heels of a tough road trip through Cleveland and New York. The bullpen has been an issue, blowing big leads in two games that ultimately resulted in losses during the trip. It’s one of their few weaknesses, and certainly one that will have to be addressed.
3. New York Yankees (34-17; last week: 2)
The Yankees lineup looks stronger than ever with rookie Gleyber Torres providing unexpected power and clutch hits. Greg Bird is back too and has already flexed his muscles with a home run against Justin Verlander. If they stay healthy, who will stop them?
4. Milwaukee Brewers (36-21; last week: 6)
The Brewers are avoiding losing streaks and stacking up series wins in the month of May. After defeating the Cardinals on Wednesday, the Brewers guaranteed they’ll finish the month without losing back-to-back games. The series win was their sixth in a row.
5. Atlanta Braves (32-22; last week: 4)
What a roller coaster week in Atlanta. The Braves briefly fell out of first place in the NL East, then held their breath as Ronald Acuna Jr. limped off the field with a knee injury in Boston. The good news is Atlanta got back on track to reclaim first place. The better news is Acuna could return in early June.
6. Seattle Mariners (33-21; last week: 16)
No Cano, no problem. The Mariners have been on fire the past two weeks, winning nine of 11 games plus trading for Denard Span and Alex Colome to help them catch the Astros in the AL West.
7. Washington Nationals (31-22; last week: 5)
A trip through Miami and Baltimore has helped get Washington back on track. So too has the emergence of 19-year-old outfielder Juan Soto, and the infusion of power provided by 34-year-old first baseman Mark Reynolds. Both players were promoted due to injuries, and both will be tough to remove from the lineup once Washington gets its key players back.
8. Chicago Cubs (29-22; last week: 8)
Joe Maddon’s squad is slowly trending upward, but still hasn’t hit its stride this season. It hasn’t helped that they’ve received next to nothing from prized free-agent signing Yu Darvish. It’s threatening to be a lost season for the veteran right-hander after he landed on the disabled list for the second time. An MRI found no damage to his arm. Now they need him to find his confidence.
9. Cleveland Indians (29-25; last week: 14)
The starting rotation continues to carry Cleveland. Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer, Mike Clevinger and the recently recalled Adam Plutko have a combined 2.98 ERA over 319.1 innings this season. Meanwhile, the bullpen has struggled without Andrew Miller, but the hope is he’ll return by mid-June.
10. Los Angeles Angels (30-25; last week: 9)
Somehow, Mike Trout is still finding ways to top himself. The two-time AL MVP is at or near the top of nearly every major statistical offensive category, and his five-hit game in New York was a career best across the board.
11. Colorado Rockies (30-25; last week: 11)
Don’t look now, but the Rockies are actually a first-place team. Not many people would have predicted that, especially if they knew Colorado would have a losing record (11-12) at home. Colorado’s road success (19-13) is rare, and begs the question whether they’re more likely to start winning more games at home, losing more games on the road, or both.
12. St. Louis Cardinals (29-24; last week: 10)
13. Philadelphia Phillies (30-22; last week: 7)
14. Arizona Diamondbacks (28-27; last week: 12)
15. Oakland Athletics (28-27; last week: 15)
16. New York Mets (26-26; last week: 17)
Middle of the pack: Here we find a five-pack of teams going in different directions but currently all together in the middle of the pack. Their quests are either to get closer to the top 10 or avoid the bottom 10. The Cardinals and Phillies are just outside the top 10, but it’s in sight. The A’s are holding steady and hoping either the Angels or Mariners crumble, while the D-backs and Mets are just trying to keep it together.
17. Los Angeles Dodgers (25-29; last week: 19)
Are the Dodgers starting to figure things out? They’ve won quite a few games lately — sweeping the Nats and then winning series with the Rockies and Padres. As bad as the season started for L.A., things aren’t terrible: Clayton Kershaw is back this week, the once-mighty D-backs are floundering and the Dodgers are only 4.5 games out. It could be *a lot* worse.
18. Pittsburgh Pirates (28-26; last week: 13)
It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the Pirates, who have lost nine of 11, including dropping series to the Padres, Reds, Cardinals and Cubs. They were about even with the NL Central’s top teams two weeks ago, but have now sunk into fourth place.
19. San Francisco Giants (25-30; last week: 18)
20. Tampa Bay Rays (27-26; last week: 21)
21. Toronto Blue Jays (25-31; last week: 20)
22. Minnesota Twins (22-28; last week: 22)
23. Detroit Tigers (24-30; last week: 23)
Good news, Giants, Rays, Jays, Twins and Tigers — you’re not in the bottom six this week. But that’s as good as the news gets. The Giants can hope the upcoming return of Madison Bumgarner helps them. The Rays can cross their fingers the bullpen experiment works out. The Jays can wonder how Vlad Jr. might change their fortunes. But none of these teams seem to be going anywhere too quickly these days.
24. San Diego Padres (23-33; last week: 24)
25. Texas Rangers (23-34; last week: 25)
26. Miami Marlins (20-34; last week: 27)
27. Cincinnati Reds (20-37; last week: 26)
28. Kansas City Royals (19-36; last week: 30)
29. Baltimore Orioles (17-38; last week: 28)
30. Chicago White Sox (16-37; last week: 29)
Congrats to the White Sox, who we congratulated last week for moving out of the No. 30 spot only to return to it this week. The Orioles, who still haven’t started selling off their best players for some reason, make a strong base to own the very bottom too. The rest of this list? Well, they’re probably used to being in the cellar by now.
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