The Boston Red Sox topped our MLB Power Rankings last week. And they haven’t lost a game since.
So you know what that means, don’t you? The Red Sox — the unbeatable Red Sox, as we’ll call them this week — are No. 1 again. They’re currently riding an eight-game winning streak after beating the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.
We’ve seen a lot of shuffling in the top three spots of the Power Rankings lately, but this week was a no-brainer. Elsewhere in the Power Rankings: The A’s are on the rise, the Braves and Phillies got squeezed out of the top 10 and the Nationals continue to plummet.
1. Red Sox (64-29; last week: 1)
What will it take for a team to knock the Red Sox out of the top spot? Boston has shown few weaknesses this season. The team leads the league in runs scored, and has lost just one game in July.
2. Astros (62-32; last week: 2)
Want to know how much better Justin Verlander has been with the Astros? He’s already surpassed his 4.1 fWAR from last season in only 19 starts. The gains Verlander made with the team down the stretch have carried over into 2018. At 35, he’s posting the best strikeout rate, walk rate and ERA of his career.
3. Yankees (59-31; last week: 3)
The Yankees have one of the best offenses in the majors. By wRC+, they are neck and neck with the Astros for that distinction. That’s not good enough in New York, though. The team is reportedly looking to get even better by going hard after Manny Machado. It’s a move that would make George Steinbrenner proud.
4. Mariners (57-35; last week: 4)
The Mariners haven’t played poorly in July, but they’ve still lost ground in the wild-card hunt. The Athletics are suddenly surging, and could prove troublesome for Seattle in the second half. The team’s rotation took another hit Tuesday, as Felix Hernandez was placed on the disabled list. One of Jerry Dipoto’s signature trades might be just what the team needs as the deadline approaches.
5. Brewers (55-37; last week: 5)
Of all the teams in the running for Machado, the Brewers need him the most. The team’s shortstops have combined to hit .200/.263/.399 over 442 plate appearances. The only team that has had worse production from that position is the Kansas City Royals.
6. Cubs (52-37; last week: 7)
Despite spending millions on starting pitching in the offseason, the Cubs may have to add another member to their rotation at the deadline. Jose Quintana hasn’t been himself this season, Yu Darvish can’t get back on the field and Tyler Chatwood is threatening to have more walks then strikeouts this season.
7. Indians (49-41; last week: 9)
Cleveland may have the biggest division lead in baseball, but that doesn’t mean they should stand pat at the deadline. The bullpen continues to be a problem. The team’s relievers have combined for a 5.13 ERA. A healthy Andrew Miller isn’t enough to fully solve that.
8. Dodgers (49-42; last week: 11)
The rough start is a thing of the past. After going 11-14 in April, the Dodgers have slowly evened things out. A 17-9 June put them back into playoff contention, and a similarly strong July would elevate them to their rightful place at the top of the NL West.
9. D-backs (51-41; last week: 8)
Remember Paul Goldschmidt’s awful start? After hitting .209 at the end of May, Goldschmidt has hit .381/.476/.748, with 13 home runs, since June 1.
10. A’s (51-41; last week: 12)
The A’s have surged to 11 games above .500 despite an injury-riddled rotation. Trevor Cahill, Pete Blackburn, Daniel Gossett, Daniel Mengden and Andrew Triggs are all on the team’s disabled list. Those five players have combined to start 41 games with the club in 2018.
11. Braves (50-40; last week: 6)
12. Phillies (51-39; last week: 10)
13. Giants (48-46; last week: 13)
The Braves and Phillies continue to be neck and neck in the NL East — if not for the red-hot A’s and the still-rising Dodgers, they’d be top 10 teams. The Giants aren’t doing quite as well as Atlanta or Philly, but they’re still trying to make the case that they’re contenders. All three will be interesting to watch as the trade deadline approaches.
14. Rockies (46-45; last week: 17)
15. Angels (47-45; last week: 14)
16. Cardinals (47-43; last week: 16)
*Breaks into song* Whoooooo are you? Who, who? Who, who? The Rockies, Angels and Cardinals have all looked good at times and not so great at other times. These days they’re just a bit above .500, but not inspiring a ton of October hope. As we start to figure out whether teams are buyers or sellers for the trade deadline, all three have some self-examination in front of them.
17. Rays (47-44; last week: 18)
18. Nats (46-45; last week: 15)
What’s more surprising? The Rays having more wins than the Nats at this point or the Nats hovering around .500? The Nats haven’t shook off their June funk at the start of the July, and that’s starting to get a lot more important, considering their World Series aspirations.
19. Pirates (42-49; last week: 19)
20. Blue Jays (42-48; last week: 20)
21. Twins (40-49; last week: 25)
22. Tigers (40-54; last week: 21)
23. Rangers (40-53; last week: 22)
24. Reds (41-51; last week: 24)
25. Padres (40-54; last week: (23)
Congrats to the Padres on getting win No. 40 on Tuesday night. And congrats to the Reds, who aren’t in our bottom group this week after winning seven of their last 10. While the Reds are enjoying good times, the rest of this group is not. They’re getting further and further on the wrong side of .500.
26. Marlins (38-56; last week: (26)
27. Mets (36-53; last week: (27)
28. White Sox (30-61; last week: (28)
29. Royals (26-65; last week: (29)
30. Orioles (26-66; last week: (30)
Here are our bottom five, all of whom who have yet to hit the 40-win threshold. Some, looking at you, Royals and Orioles, haven’t even hit 30. There aren’t a ton of positives to be found around this section of the list, sorry to say. May the chase for 40 (or 30) be with you, bottom six.
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