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Welcome to the NBC Sports EDGE MLB Power Rankings, a weekly feature that will run every Tuesday through the end of the 2021 regular season. These rankings are not fantasy-driven in any way, though I do tend to sprinkle in fantasy-relevant nuggets here and there. Who’s hot, who’s not, who to watch -- that sort of thing. Send any and all complaints to me on Twitter: @drewsilv.
Please believe me when I tell you that I do not hate your team.
1. Tampa Bay Rays
Last Week: 1
This is the third straight week in the No. 1 spot for the Rays, who have won 24 of their last 29 games dating back to May 13 while outscoring opponents by 89 runs during that stretch. But there is a bit of a cloud over the incredible run after staff ace Tyler Glasnow left Monday night’s series opener versus the White Sox upon feeling a “tug” in his elbow. MRI results are coming Tuesday. The 27-year-old right-hander owns a 2.66 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and 123/27 K/BB ratio in 88 innings this season.
2. Chicago White Sox
Last Week: 2
Carlos Rodon flirted with another no-hitter on Sunday against the Tigers and now has a 1.89 ERA this season, to go along with a 13.1 K/9 that ranks first among all qualified MLB starters. He’s registered 97 strikeouts and only 17 walks in 66 2/3 innings, and you can count on one hand how many hits there have been off his slider all year. The news on Nick Madrigal (hamstring) obviously isn’t ideal, but Eloy Jimenez (pectoral) was medically cleared for baseball activities on Monday.
3. San Francisco Giants
Last Week: 4
With their 5-2 win over the Diamondbacks on Monday night, the Giants sit a season-high 16 games above .500 and have now been in sole possession of first place in the National League West standings every day this month. The magic continues. Keep a watchful eye on Sammy Long as he projects to work again in piggyback relief Tuesday versus Arizona. The 25-year-old left-hander struck out seven of the 14 batters he faced in a brilliant MLB debut last Wednesday afternoon at Texas.
4. Los Angeles Dodgers
Last Week: 6
The defending World Series champs won five of six games last week against the Pirates and Rangers -- as they should have -- and then stymied the Phillies by a 3-1 margin on Monday night. Max Muncy went down with an oblique strain over the weekend and Cody Bellinger could be facing another IL stint due to a hamstring issue, but depth remains a trump card for this club. Walker Buehler has not recorded a loss in 22 straight starts, the second-longest such streak in Dodgers history.
5. Boston Red Sox
Last Week: 3
Rafael Devers stroked a walk-off knock to the center field wall on Monday night in Boston as the Red Sox wound up with a split in their four-game series against the visiting Blue Jays. It felt like an important bounceback victory after the Jays won 7-2 on Saturday and then hit eight home runs as part of an 18-4 trouncing on Sunday. Those eight home runs were the most by any road team in the 109-year history of Fenway Park. Is the overachieving Sox pitching beginning to meet some natural regression?
6. Oakland Athletics
Last Week: 8
Sean Manaea tossed 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball, lowering his season ERA to 2.99, as the A’s earned an 8-5 victory over the Angels on Monday to move to 10-2 so far in June. Matt Olson stayed hot in that one with a single, a walk, and an RBI sac fly in Oakland’s five-run third inning. The 27-year-old slugger hit three home runs over the weekend versus the Royals and is up to 18 homers and 48 RBI through 62 games. He’s also sporting a .981 OPS and a career-high .290 batting average.
7. Houston Astros
Last Week: 7
Houston just went 6-3 on a season-long 10-day road trip, averaging 7.2 runs per game over that stretch. Framber Valdez has been terrific since missing the first two months of the season due to a fractured finger -- he completed seven innings for the third outing in a row in Sunday afternoon’s 14-3 rout of the Twins -- and Lance McCullers (shoulder) is set to come off the IL and start Tuesday’s series opener against the Rangers. The powerful lineup, the healthier pitching staff … look out.
8. San Diego Padres
Last Week: 5
There’s probably no reason for panic, but the Padres have a 4-11 record dating back to the closing days of May and currently reside in third place in the National League West standings, four games back of the division-leading Giants. Trent Grisham (heel) returning Sunday from a three-week absence should prove to be a nice overall boost. The dynamic outfielder delivered the only meaningful offense for the Friars in Monday’s loss at Colorado with a two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning.
9. Milwaukee Brewers
Last Week: 9
Even including Monday night’s 10-2 blowout loss to the Reds, the Brewers carry a 14-3 record since May 27 and are currently tied for first place in the National League Central. Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, and Freddy Peralta have combined for a ridiculous 1.97 ERA and 297 strikeouts in 214 1/3 innings, and closer Josh Hader is sporting a 0.68 ERA with 46 strikeouts through his 26 2/3 frames. There are offensive issues, but maybe those can soon be addressed via the trade market?
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10. Chicago Cubs
Last Week: 10
Chicago took two of three from the Padres last week and then swept a big three-game series against the arch-rival Cardinals before falling 5-2 in Monday night’s series opener versus the Mets. Patrick Wisdom remains an incredible story for the Cubs, having now slugged nine home runs in 20 games played since his promotion from Triple-A Iowa on May 25. The 29-year-old joins Hank Sauer (1949) as the only players since 1901 to hit nine-plus homers in their first 20 games with the team.
11. New York Mets
Last Week: 11
Finally, some good news on the health front for the Mets. Jacob deGrom threw a successful bullpen session on Monday and is expected to take his next turn in the rotation Wednesday against the Cubs after leaving Friday’s series opener versus the Padres with discomfort in his right flexor tendon. Jeff McNeil (hamstring) is out on a rehab assignment and likely to return before the end of this week, and both Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto could begin playing in rehab games soon too.
12. Cleveland Indians
Last Week: 13
Shane Bieber’s placement on the injured list Monday with a right shoulder strain is obviously the lead headline in Cleveland at the moment. The reigning American League Cy Young Award winner showed a significant dip in fastball velocity in his last start Sunday against the Mariners while getting lit up for a season-high five runs on 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings. Before that outing, Bieber had pitched to a 2.96 ERA and 12.9 K/9 through 13 appearances this season. There is no timetable for his return.
13. Toronto Blue Jays
Last Week: 12
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is currently the top overall vote-getter in MLB’s All-Star Game fan balloting, which is certainly deserved but maybe also somewhat surprising given that the Blue Jays haven’t played an actual “home” game in Toronto since September 2019. Vlad Jr. leads the American League in batting average (.346), home runs (22), and RBI (56). He is the first player age 22 or younger to lead his league in all three-triple crown categories this late into a season since Al Kaline in 1955.
14. Cincinnati Reds
Last Week: 15
Vladimir Gutierrez moved to 3-1 through four major league starts on Monday night against the Brewers after scattering two runs on four hits and two walks over six strong innings. The 25-year-old native of Cuba had a 2.65 ERA and 11.1 K/9 through 17 innings (three starts) this season at Triple-A Louisville prior to his promotion on May 28. And he is currently showing a 2.74 ERA, 1.087 WHIP, and 19 strikeouts across 23 frames at baseball’s highest level. Up next is a tough test at San Diego.
15. New York Yankees
Last Week: 14
It was only three weeks ago that the Yankees sat a season-high nine games above .500 with a record of 28-19. They’ve gone 5-13 since and face a tough slate this week with three games at Buffalo against the host Blue Jays and then three at home versus the hard-charging A’s. According to the Playoff Odds page at Baseball-Reference, the Bronx Bombers -- or Bronx Bummers, hey-o! -- have just a 19.3 percent chance of making the postseason and a 0.8 percent chance to win the World Series.
16. Philadelphia Phillies
Last Week: 19
Philly put together a nice stretch last week, winning four of five against the Braves and Yankees, but now comes a tough road trip through Dodger Stadium and then San Francisco’s Oracle Park. Zack Wheeler will start the series finale in Los Angeles on Wednesday, looking to pad his resume for the NL Cy Young Award. The right-hander is a legitimate contender, even in a loaded field, boasting a 2.29 ERA, 0.897 WHIP, and 112/18 K/BB ratio through 13 starts covering 90 1/3 innings.
17. Los Angeles Angels
Last Week: 21
Max Stassi was named American League Player of the Week for June 7-13 after going 10-for-22 (.455) with three home runs, three doubles, eight RBI, and nine runs scored in a span of six games. And the Angels also happened to win all six of those games. Stassi missed a good chunk of April due to a sprained thumb and also sat out much of May while recovering from a concussion, but the 30-year-old catcher has posted a shiny .323/.397/.615 batting line when healthy this season.
18. Atlanta Braves
Last Week: 17
Atlanta put a halt to a four-game losing streak on Sunday afternoon thanks to another big offensive showing from Austin Riley, who went 3-for-3 with a homer, three RBI, a walk, and two runs scored in a 6-4 win over Miami. The 24-year-old third baseman is slashing .326/.381/.709 with nine home runs, 20 RBI, and 17 runs scored over his last 23 games (97 plate appearances) dating back to May 15. He has raised his season OPS from .769 all the way to .900 in that four-week span.
19. St. Louis Cardinals
Last Week: 16
The slumping, injury-plagued Cardinals had lost nine of their last 11 games and 18 of their last 27 before edging out Miami in Monday night’s series opener at Busch Stadium. That fits into the overall theme of the season for the Redbirds, who have managed a 15-1 record against the Marlins (29-37), Pirates (23-42), Rockies (26-41), and Diamondbacks (20-47), and an 18-32 record against everyone else. As of Tuesday afternoon, St. Louis is in fourth place in the National League Central.
20. Seattle Mariners
Last Week: 19
Logan Gilbert struggled mightily in his first two major league appearances after getting called up from Triple-A Tacoma on May 13, but the talented 24-year-old right-hander delivered 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball in a win at Cleveland on Sunday afternoon and carries a 2.49 ERA and 22/6 K/BB ratio in his last four starts (21 2/3 innings) dating back to May 25. Maybe there could be a similar type of rejuvenation in store for top outfield prospect Jarred Kelenic. Cal Raleigh is knocking on the door too.
21. Kansas City Royals
Last Week: 18
Andrew Benintendi was placed on the injured list Monday with a rib fracture, which apparently occurred on a throw in Oakland this past weekend. It’s a case of injury-added-to-insult for the tumbling Royals, who’ve lost nine of their last 10 games and will now be without one of their hottest hitters for an extended period. Benintendi had a rough opening month, but the 26-year-old outfielder was batting .317/.358/.496 over 38 games (151 plate appearances) since the beginning of May.
22. Miami Marlins
Last Week: 22
Starling Marte was named National League Player of the Week for the first time in his career after going 14-for-28 (.500) with two home runs, five RBI, four stolen bases, and eight runs scored in seven games between June 7-13. He is the first Marlins player to get that nod since Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna shared Player of the Week honors in September 2017. Fittingly, the 32-year-old impending free agent outfielder is probably the biggest trade chip right now on Miami’s roster.
23. Washington Nationals
Last Week: 23
Max Scherzer left his last start Friday against the Giants due to what was initially diagnosed as a mild groin strain, and he then experienced continued discomfort while trying to throw a bullpen session on Monday. He will not take his next scheduled turn in the Nationals’ rotation this Wednesday versus the Pirates and could very well be headed to the injured list. The impending free agent -- and potential trade piece -- holds a 2.21 ERA, 0.815 WHIP, and 104/15 K/BB ratio in 77 1/3 innings this year.
24. Minnesota Twins
Last Week: 24
Kenta Maeda came off the IL on Monday, after missing three weeks with a groin strain, and looked a little more like his 2020 self in racking up seven strikeouts over four innings of one-run ball against the Mariners. But the Twins still lost that game 4-3 and are a season-worst 14 games under .500 here in mid-June. Byron Buxton can’t return soon enough. He is with the team in Seattle as he nears the tail end of his recovery from a Grade 2 hip strain that has kept him sidelined since early May.
25. Detroit Tigers
Last Week: 26
As the Tigers begin to lay out plans for the July 30 trade deadline, they’ll be hoping and praying that Matthew Boyd is at full health and able to be moved for some form of young talent. He left his start Monday night against the Royals after experiencing discomfort around his left triceps muscle in the bottom of the third inning. The 30-year-old southpaw could draw considerable interest given how he’s rebounded this year to the tune of a 3.44 ERA and 56/19 K/BB ratio through 70 2/3 frames.
26. Colorado Rockies
Last Week: 27
Austin Gomber fully tamed a dangerous Padres lineup on Monday night at Coors Field, yielding just three hits and no walks across eight scoreless innings as part of an eventual 3-2 victory for the Rockies. The 27-year-old left-hander, who was probably the headliner in the return package for Nolan Arenado, now boasts a 1.28 ERA and 41/3 K/BB ratio over his last seven starts covering 42 1/3 frames. And in his five total starts this season in the thin air of Denver, his ERA is somehow 0.95.
27. Pittsburgh Pirates
Last Week: 25
Make it a season-worst eight-game losing streak for the Pirates, who got swept by both the Dodgers and Brewers last week before falling 3-2 to the Nationals on Monday at Washington. Time to fire up the trade chatter? Adam Frazier, with his .332 batting average and .863 OPS, could draw early interest from contending teams seeking help at second base. And outfielder Bryan Reynolds is a fit for a wide range of clubs. He’s hitting .286/.389/.500 with 10 homers and 18 doubles in 63 games.
28. Texas Rangers
Last Week: 28
Texas lost two of three to the Dodgers over the weekend after splitting a two-game set with the Giants. That actually might qualify as a relatively encouraging week for this club, which has lost 23 of its last 30 games dating back to May 10. Nick Solak carried some draft-day buzz in certain fantasy circles this spring because of his power-speed skillset, but the 26-year-old is batting just .143/.211/.171 over 38 plate appearances so far in June. His season OPS was .913 on May 1. It has sunk down to .689.
29. Baltimore Orioles
Last Week: 29
The last time the O’s won a game on the road was May 5 at Seattle. They’ve suffered through 16 straight away losses since, including a three-game sweep this past weekend at Tampa Bay and a 4-3 defeat on Monday in Cleveland. John Means was probably going to be a shoo-in for the All-Star Game, but he remains in shutdown mode after being diagnosed with a shoulder strain last Sunday. Cedric Mullins would be a good pick if Baltimore is only going to get one rep. Or maybe Trey Mancini?
30. Arizona Diamondbacks
Last Week: 30
Not to be outdone by the Orioles, the last time the Diamondbacks won a road game was when Madison Bumgarner threw a seven-inning “no-hitter” on April 25 at Atlanta. They have 20 consecutive road losses, two shy of the MLB record. And they’ve dropped 34 of their last 39 games overall to fall a whopping 21 1/2 games back of first place in the National League West -- not that any D-backs fans are checking the standings these days. But, uh, those City Connect uniforms are pretty cool?