You'll see far less movement in this week’s Rotoworld MLB Power Rankings than in any other previous edition we’ve published this year. That’s probably because the season is getting closer to the halfway point and we all have a better feel for who these teams are, though we can’t guarantee the wild fluctuations are over. This is baseball, after all, and judging teams on a week-to-week basis is a fool’s errand.
Of course, I’m happy to be your fool.
The biggest risers this week are the Cubs, Mariners, and Indians, who all deservingly jumped three spots. The Phillies fell three spots and the Pirates should have dropped at least one spot, but they’re being buoyed for now by the true doormats of the league.
Last Week: 2
The Yankees took two of three from the Mets in this weekend’s Subway Series at Citi Field, moving to 20-10 on the road. They are 22-9 at home. Aaron Judge hit his 18th home run of the season in Saturday’s victory. He’s sporting a .961 OPS, which is tops among all Yankees regulars. The starting pitching depth is going to be tested with Masahiro Tanaka out multiple weeks because of injuries to both of his hamstrings. Sonny Gray stepped his game up in his last start June 6 against the Blue Jays, allowing just two hits over eight shutout innings. It was his first scoreless outing since he joined the Yankees last July.
Last Week: 1
Boston lost two of three this weekend to the White Sox, who sit next-to-last in this week’s rankings. That’s baseball. The Red Sox welcomed Mookie Betts back from the disabled list on Monday night and rebounded for a 2-0 extra-innings victory over the Orioles, with Steven Wright again looking sharp in his second turn through the starting rotation. Wright, who’s filling in for the injured Drew Pomeranz, boasts a 1.21 ERA in 29 2/3 innings (two starts, six relief appearances) this year. He might run away with the rotation spot given Pomeranz’s early-season struggles. Andrew Benintendi went 2-for-3 with two walks in Monday’s win at Baltimore, raising his OPS to .929. As an indicated of how locked in he is, his OPS was .786 on May 18 and .721 on May 8.
3. Houston Astros
Last Week: 3
Houston split a two-game series with the pesky Mariners last week before sweeping a four-game set against the Rangers. George Springer hit a first-pitch homer in Sunday’s series finale and then scored the winning run in the top of the ninth inning on a somewhat controversial delayed balk call. Springer is batting .336/.419/.593 with seven home runs, 20 RBI, four stolen bases, and 23 runs scored over his last 29 games. Dallas Keuchel struggled mightily on Sunday, yielding six runs -- five earned -- on 13 hits over just 4 1/3 innings, but the Astros’ pitching staff as a whole still leads all major league teams with a 2.93 combined ERA. No other staff has a combined ERA under 3.18.
4. Chicago Cubs
Last Week: 7
The Cubs jumped into first place in the National League Central with a 7-2 extra-innings win over the Brewers on Monday night at Miller Park. It’s the first time they’ve stood alone at the top of the division standings since April 30. Anthony Rizzo hit a towering first-pitch go-ahead homer in the 11th inning Monday, giving him 11 home runs and 46 RBI in 54 games this year. He has a somewhat underwhelming .246/.346/.444 overall batting line, but that’s far better than the .195/.301/.358 slash line he was sporting just over three weeks ago. Rizzo is rounding into form and Jon Lester looks better than ever. The veteran left-hander allowed just one hit over seven scoreless innings in his last start Saturday against the Pirates, dropping his season ERA to 2.22.
5. Seattle Mariners
Last Week: 8
Seattle is 20-7 since losing Robinson Cano to an 80-game drug suspension back on May 15. That’s the best record in the American League during that span, which is both confusing and inspiring. Nelson Cruz went yard twice Monday in the Mariners’ 5-3 victory over the visiting Angels and now has five home runs over his last six games. Jean Segura had three hits in four at-bats on Monday and currently ranks second among all major league hitters in batting average (.343), behind only Mookie Betts. Staff ace James Paxton struck out 10 batters over seven innings on his last turn through the rotation Sunday versus the Rays, moving to 6-1 on the season with a stellar 111/25 K/BB ratio in 89 1/3 frames. He has a 3.02 ERA and 1.01 WHIP.
6. Milwaukee Brewers
Last Week: 4
The Brewers have lost five of their last seven games and six of their last nine, including Monday night’s series opener against the visiting Cubs. For the first time since mid-May, Milwaukee does not have a share of first place in the National League Central. That could change by the end of the day Tuesday because the new division leaders are at Miller Park, but the Brewers are 1-8 against the Cubs this year and 12-15 against all NL Central opponents. They’ve put up a 27-12 record against everybody else. Eric Thames was activated off the disabled list Monday after missing six weeks with a torn ligament in his left thumb, but the Brewers don’t have an obvious spot to play him with Jesus Aguilar showing so well at first base.
7. Washington Nationals
Last Week: 6
Max Scherzer suffered his first loss since April 4 in Sunday’s series finale against the Giants, but the Nationals’ offense was more to blame for that one, as the final score was 2-0. Scherzer struck out nine batters over seven innings and now has a league-leading 142 strikeouts in 94 2/3 innings this season, to go along with a 0.85 WHIP and 2.00 ERA. The 33-year-old right-hander is cruising toward a third straight National League Cy Young Award. Washington will have to survive for a bit without Stephen Strasburg, who finished third in the National League Cy Young Award balloting last season. He landed on the disabled list Saturday with right shoulder inflammation.
8. Atlanta Braves
Last Week: 5
The Braves have been bested in consecutive three-game series, but they still have a share of first place in the National League East standings and it sounds like Ronald Acuna (knee) might be ready to return from the disabled list later this week. He had a .779 OPS with five home runs through his first 29 major league games when he injured himself running down the first base line on May 27. It looks like Nick Markakis, a 13-year major league veteran, could be headed to his first All-Star game at age 34. He’s batting .327/.388/.492 and is currently tied with teammate Freddie Freeman for the National League lead in hits (85).
9. St. Louis Cardinals
Last Week: 9
Alex Reyes is done for the season following surgery to repair a torn tendon in his right lat muscle and Carlos Martinez has struggled in two starts since returning from a lat injury of his own, but the Cardinals continue to stay afloat due to incredible starting pitching depth. 22-year-old right-hander Jack Flaherty allowed just one run on three hits and a walk in Monday night’s series opener against the Padres, a 5-2 victory for St. Louis. He has a 2.96 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and 48/11 K/BB ratio in 45 2/3 innings this season. Miles Mikolas is 7-1 with a 2.27 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, and 58/9 K/BB ratio in 79 1/3 innings. Michael Wacha: 2.47 ERA in 76 2/3 frames. Jose Martinez is among the hottest hitters in baseball and Marcell Ozuna has caught fire too.
10. Cleveland Indians
Last Week: 13
We’ve been waiting all year for the Indians to get it going, and it seems they’re finally ready to put some distance between themselves and the rest of the American League Central. Carlos Carrasco struck out 11 batters over seven scoreless innings and Michael Brantley hit his 11th home run of the season Monday in Cleveland’s 4-0 blanking of the White Sox. It was the 11th win for the Tribe in their last 15 games. Brantley is batting .317/.361/.534 in 241 plate appearances this season, and he’s on pace for personal-bests in both home runs and RBI. Assuming continued good health, this could be a career year for the 31-year-old outfielder, who finished third in the American League MVP voting in 2014.
11. Los Angeles Dodgers
Last Week: 12
The Dodgers got their act together in the second half of May and are now 7-2 in June. Max Muncy, a 27-year-old journeyman who had to settle for a non-guaranteed minor league contract last April, boasts a 1.001 OPS in 152 plate appearances this season and has homered in three straight games. Joc Pederson has hit six home runs in his last seven games. Cody Bellinger is starting to flash some power too. The Dodgers’ starting rotation has been decimated by injuries, but Ross Stripling is doing his best to keep the staff afloat. The 28-year-old right-hander holds a brilliant 1.33 ERA and 53/4 K/BB ratio in 40 2/3 innings since grabbing a rotation spot in early May.
12. Los Angeles Angels
Last Week: 10
The big headline right now for the Angels is the status of two-way star Shohei Ohtani, who was placed on the disabled list Friday with a Grade 2 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. That’s a diagnosis that often leads to Tommy John surgery, though for now the Angels are cautiously optimistic that Ohtani will be able to return shortly after the All-Star break -- probably as a hitter first, and then maybe as a pitcher eventually if his arm holds up. Ohtani has posted a 3.10 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 61/20 K/BB ratio over his first 49 1/3 major league innings, and he’s slashed .289/.372/.535 with six home runs over his first 129 plate appearances as a part-time designated hitter. Losing him until 2020 would be a big blow to the entire baseball universe.
13. Arizona Diamondbacks
Last Week: 14
It looked like the Diamondbacks might full-on collapse in May as injuries piled up all along their roster, but they’ve taken advantage of a softer schedule of late to record 10 wins in their last 13 games. Paul Goldschmidt's sudden but hardly unexpected resurgence is a big reason the Snakes were able to dig themselves out of that hole. The star first baseman was batting .198 with a .675 OPS on May 22. Since then, he has tallied 26 hits in 17 games, with 16 of those hits going for extra bases. His season OPS is all the way up to .863. Clay Buchholz holds a miraculous 1.88 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, and 21/3 K/BB ratio over his first four starts (24 innings) with Arizona, and it looks like Robbie Ray (oblique) could come off the disabled list by the end of June.
14. Philadelphia Phillies
Last Week: 11
Philly is 2-7 since the calendar flipped to June and in danger of losing serious ground to the Nationals and Braves in the NL East standings. Jake Arrieta has struggled in his last two starts. Vince Velasquez remains a one-man rollercoaster ride. Aaron Nola has been excellent, but the Phillies probably need to add another reliable starting pitcher to make a run at a postseason spot. They might need another hitter too. Odubel Herrera raked for much of April and May, but he’s batting .136/.190/.153 over his last 63 plate appearances. Still, his .786 OPS leads all Phillies regulars -- which isn’t a good thing.
15. Oakland Athletics
Last Week: 16
Oakland just took three of four from the Royals, with Matt Chapman leading the way offensively. He went 7-for-13 in the four-game set, including a go-ahead homer in the bottom of the eighth inning of Sunday’s series finale. Chapman had a rough May at the plate, but his defense at the hot corner never suffered and he currently ranks third among all MLB third basemen in FanGraphs’ version of wins above replacement (2.5 fWAR), behind only Jose Ramirez (4.3 fWAR) and Nolan Arenado (2.6 fWAR). Khris Davis hit two home runs on Friday and has 17 homers and 46 RBI in 57 total games this season.
16. San Francisco Giants
Last Week: 15
Madison Bumgarner struggled in his second start of the season Monday night against the typically-punchless Marlins, yielding four earned runs on six hits and a walk over 5 1/3 innings. He also got knocked around a bit in his season debut last week against the Diamondbacks and is currently sporting a 4.76 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in 11 1/3 frames since returning from a fractured left pinkie finger. The Giants need him to be an ace if they’re going to contend for a spot in the postseason. As is, San Francisco’s starting pitchers have combined for a 4.69 ERA, which ranks 23rd among all major league teams. Johnny Cueto (elbow) and Jeff Samardzija (shoulder) are still probably weeks away.
17. Colorado Rockies
Last Week: 17
The Rockies lost their series finale in Cincinnati last Thursday before getting swept by the Diamondbacks in a three-game weekend series at Coors Field. Colorado is under .500 for the first time since early April and currently sitting in fourth place in the National League West standings. Jon Gray has surrendered 22 earned runs on 38 hits and 11 walks over his last five starts covering 23 1/3 innings. That works out to an 8.49 ERA and 2.10 WHIP. Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, and Trevor Story have hit the ball well, but lineup depth is a big issue for this team. Rockies first basemen are slashing .181/.277/.336.
18. Pittsburgh Pirates
Last Week: 18
The fall continues for the Pirates, who sat alone in first place in the National League Central standings as recently as May 17. They are 6-17 over their last 23 games, which is the worst record in the majors during that stretch. Austin Meadows continues to flourish and Francisco Cervelli is on pace for career-high numbers across the board, but the rest of the offense has been utterly stagnant. Josh Bell, who was a finalist for National League Rookie of the Year in 2017, is batting just .236/.325/.367 with four home runs in 265 plate appearances this season. Gregory Polanco, despite reshaping his body this winter, currently holds a .206 batting average and .308 on-base percentage.
19. Minnesota Twins
Last Week: 19
Minnesota has lost four of its last six games, scoring just eight combined runs in those four losses. Eddie Rosario (.909 OPS, 14 HR, 43 RBI in 62 games) and Eduardo Escobar (.908 OPS, 12 HR, 39 RBI in 59 games) are among the biggest breakout stars of the first half, but as a team the Twins currently rank 23rd in runs scored. Joe Mauer has been sidelined since May 19 with lingering concussion symptoms, and free agent addition Logan Morrison is batting just .193 with a .654 OPS in 56 games this season. LoMo put up a career-high .868 OPS with 38 home runs and 85 RBI in 149 games last year with the Rays.
20. New York Mets
Last Week: 20
The Mets beat the Yankees in the finale of the three-game Subway Series on Sunday night at Citi Field, but they had lost their previous eight games and are 11-25 since the beginning of May. Noah Syndergaard has been on the disabled list since May 26 with a strained ligament in his right index finger, and he reaggravated the injury while playing catch late last week. Yoenis Cespedes (hip, quad) also suffered a setback this weekend while on a minor league rehab assignment. Adrian Gonzalez was given his release before Monday’s off day after batting .237/.299/.373 across 187 plate appearances.
21. San Diego Padres
Last Week: 23
The Padres have played pretty well for the last three-plus weeks, but a bad first month sunk this team and they don’t have the bats or arms to completely dig themselves out. Jordan Lyles carried a perfect game into the eighth inning on May 15 against the Rockies, but he has allowed 23 earned runs on 42 hits in 27 2/3 innings since. Wil Myers remains on the disabled list with a strained left oblique and it sounds like the earliest he could return is mid-July. The 27-year-old has appeared in just 10 games this season. Look for the San Diego front office to soon begin shopping closer Brad Hand, who boasts a 1.89 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 33 1/3 frames.
22. Tampa Bay Rays
Last Week: 22
Tampa Bay defeated Toronto in Monday night’s series opener at Tropicana Field, but it was just the second win for the Rays in their last 11 games. Chris Archer landed on the disabled list last Tuesday with an abdominal strain and then suffered a setback this weekend while attempting to resume mound work. There is no timetable for his return to the Rays’ rotation -- a rotation that currently features only three dedicated starters in Blake Snell, Nathan Eovaldi, and Ryan Yarbrough. The other two rotation spots are being filled with a variety of bullpen arms. And yet the offense is a bigger issue for the Rays than pitching. Tampa Bay ranks fourth in runs allowed and 22nd in runs scored.
23. Detroit Tigers
Last Week: 21
The Tigers went on a nice run at the end of May, but they’ve lost three consecutive three-game series. Victor Martinez is slashing just .244/.308/.348 with four home runs in 59 games this season, and yet manager Ron Gardenhire continues to bat him in the heart of the lineup. Miguel Cabrera has zero home runs and one RBI since returning from a right hamstring strain at the beginning of this month. Jeimer Candelario is the only Tigers hitter with a double-digit home run total. Detroit has tallied just 54 home runs as a team, the second-lowest total in the majors, ahead of only the Marlins. The pitching staff ranks 21st in the majors with a 4.30 combined ERA.
24. Toronto Blue Jays
Last Week: 24
Toronto swept a four-game weekend series against the Orioles before falling 8-4 to the Rays on Monday night at Tropicana Field. Sam Gaviglio entered the day Monday with a shiny 2.51 ERA, but it shot up to 3.66 after he surrendered five earned runs on seven hits and two walks over just 3 1/3 innings versus Tampa Bay. Blue Jays starters on the whole have produced a 5.03 combined ERA in 358 innings this season. Marcus Stroman remains on the disabled list with shoulder fatigue and All-Star closer Roberto Osuna has been on administrative leave since his arrest on May 8 in Toronto for allegedly assaulting a woman.
25. Texas Rangers
Last Week: 25
The Rangers just got swept the Astros in a four-game set at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, surrendering 24 runs in those four losses. Matt Moore yielded six runs -- five earned -- over just three innings in Sunday’s series finale versus Houston and now owns a 7.88 ERA and 2.04 WHIP in 13 appearances this season. The former top prospect has allowed a whopping 88 hits in 56 innings. Free agent addition Mike Minor had a 3.86 ERA on April 20, but he has posted a 6.50 ERA in eight starts since. Cole Hamels is the only Rangers starter with an ERA under 4.00, and he’s probably going to get traded within the next month.
26. Miami Marlins
Last Week: 28
The Marlins are 4-3 over their last seven games and no longer have the worst run differential (-106) in the major leagues -- that honor is shared by the Orioles and Royals (-110) -- but this is still very clearly an awful team. Miami pitchers have registered a combined 4.89 ERA, which ranks 27th in the major leagues. Miami hitters have produced the second-lowest total runs of all major league clubs, and they rank dead-last in team OPS (.656). At least J.T. Realmuto is producing and boosting his trade stock. The 27-year-old catcher went 3-for-4 with a homer and three runs scored on Monday night against the Giants and is slashing .301/.369/.528 in 45 games this season.
27. Cincinnati Reds
Last Week: 26
Cincinnati had lost 13 straight games against the division-rival Cardinals before earning a 6-3 win in Sunday’s series finale at Great American Ball Park. Scooter Gennett drove in two runs in that victory and is batting .340/.376/.556 with 12 home runs and 47 RBI in 64 games this season. Dating back to the beginning of the 2017 campaign, the 28-year-old second baseman holds a .311/.354/.540 batting line with 39 home runs and 144 RBI over his last 205 games. It will be intriguing to see what kind of return he might fetch for the rebuilding Reds ahead of the July 31 trade deadline. Gennett currently ranks fifth in the National League in OPS (.932). Eugenio Suarez (.954) ranks third.
28. Chicago White Sox
Last Week: 29
The White Sox managed to take two of three from the Red Sox this weekend at Fenway Park before getting blanked 4-0 by Carlos Carrasco and the Indians in Monday night’s series opener back home at Guaranteed Rate Field. Lucas Giolito surrendered four earned runs on four walks and four hits over five innings in that loss to Cleveland and now holds a 7.09 ERA and 34/43 K/BB ratio in 66 total innings this season. The 23-year-old former top prospect would probably have been sent back to the minors weeks ago if he played for a different team. Matt Davidson got off to a great start this year, but he is 2-for-24 with 14 strikeouts since returning from a back injury on June 5.
29. Kansas City Royals
Last Week: 27
Kansas City has already launched into selling mode, as outfielder Jon Jay was traded to the Diamondbacks last Wednesday for a couple of minor league pitchers. Mike Moustakas could very well be next, and should have appeal to any contending team in need of power and help at third base. Moustakas has put up an .812 OPS with 13 home runs and 42 RBI in 65 games this season, and his defense at the hot corner has been far better than it was last year. Kelvin Herrera also figures to be dealt away before the July 31 trade deadline. The impending free agent closer holds a dominant 0.73 ERA with 22 strikeouts and zero walks in 24 2/3 innings this season. He is 14-for-15 in save opportunities.
30. Baltimore Orioles
Last Week: 29
Baltimore got swept in a four-game weekend series in Toronto and failed to score a run for 12 innings in Monday night’s series opener against the Red Sox, a 2-0 loss. Chris Davis went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts in that game and is now batting .150 with a .454 OPS and 86 strikeouts in 229 plate appearances this season. The 32-year-old is still owed around $114 million. That contract is absolutely unmovable, but the Orioles should start selling off whatever they can. Manny Machado is obviously their biggest trade chip. Zach Britton, who came off the disabled list Monday, could be another one.