MLB Power Rankings: Yankees maintain grip on No. 1

Yahoo Sports Staff

The American League East continues to dominate our MLB Power Rankings. The New York Yankees made it five straight weeks that an AL East team has held the No. 1 spot. New York surged to the top last week. They took the place of the Boston Red Sox, who topped the rankings for three consecutive weeks.

The AL West is making a strong case as well. The World Series champion Houston Astros remain in the weekly mix for consideration at No. 1, while the Los Angeles Angels have solidified themselves as a top-five team, no questions asked.

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Of course, there’s still a lot of season left to be played. We’re still two weeks away from Memorial Day, which means there’s a lot of time for the landscape to change.

The red hot New York Yankees hold on to the No. 1 spot in the Yahoo Sports MLB Power Rankings. (AP)
The red hot New York Yankees hold on to the No. 1 spot in the Yahoo Sports MLB Power Rankings. (AP)

1. New York Yankees (28-12; last week: 1)
The Yankees took over the No. 1 spot in our power rankings last week and they’re not moving. The Yankees keep winning more than they’re losing. They’re off to a 10-2 start in May and they’ve been beating good teams the past couple weeks — taking series from the Red Sox, Angels, Astros and Indians. Their offense keeps chugging along. For proof: They lead MLB in runs scored.

2. Boston Red Sox (28-14; last week: 2)
The Red Sox may have ceded the No. 1 spot to the Yankees, but they’re still keeping the distance minimal. Boston remains a juggernaut. Sure, they lost a couple against the Yankees and then a couple more to the A’s this week, but there’s little reason to doubt Mookie Betts and the crew at this point.

3. Houston Astros (27-17; last week: 4)
Oh, that Houston pitching. Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Charlie Morton still have the top three ERAs in the American League. They own, by far, the best ERA in MLB at this point and, hey, the offense is pretty darn good too.

4. Arizona Diamondbacks (25-17; last week: 3)
The D-backs’ roaring start got sideswiped this week, as outfielder A.J. Pollock — playing like an MVP candidate — hurt his thumb and will miss up to two months. This presents a significant challenge for the D-backs as Pollock was their leader in hits, homers and RBIs.

5. Los Angeles Angels (25-17; last week: 5)
Shohei Ohtani continues to be a marvel. He was slowed temporarily by an ankle injury, but has looked 100 percent over the Angels’ last six games. During that span, he’s 5-for-13 with his fifth home run of the season. On the hill, he allowed one run on three hits while striking out 11 in a win against the Twins.

6. Washington Nationals (24-16; last week: 7)
The Nats have looked more like a team that can challenge for a World Series these past few weeks. Weather deprived us of a Nats-Yankees matchup this week, which is unfortunate. For now, we’re more confident the Nats are the team we all thought they could be. Even if Braves fans disagree.

7. Atlanta Braves (25-16; last week: 11)
We’ll admit, we’ve been dubious about the Atlanta Braves from the start, but this week it’s time to give them their due — the Braves, leaders of the NL East, have finally cracked our Top 10 after another solid week. They’ve got one of the best offenses in the game right now (No. 1 in batting average, No. 2 in on-base percentage), and their pitching has been keeping up (No. 8 in ERA).

8. Philadelphia Phillies (24-16; last week: 10)
The Phillies are playing well, and hanging with the two division foes above them. Their pitching — the third-best ERA in baseball — is a big reason why. The trio of Aaron Nola, Jake Arrieta and the emerging Nick Pivetta seems to signal good things ahead in Philly.

The Milwaukee Brewers strong start has been lead by ace reliever and strikeout machines Josh Hader. (AP)
The Milwaukee Brewers strong start has been lead by ace reliever and strikeout machines Josh Hader. (AP)

9. Milwaukee Brewers (25-18; last week: 8)
10. Chicago Cubs (22-17; last week: 9)
11. Pittsburgh Pirates (25-17; last week: 15)
12. St. Louis Cardinals (23-17; last week: 12)
Let’s just address the NL Central together (minus the Reds) for this week, because they‘re all so close — four teams separated by two games. The Pirates lead the standings by the tiniest bit, but they’re streaky and the Brewers get a slight nod from us for being a bit more consistent. The Cubs lead this pack in run differential, so we still like them too. The Cardinals are right there also. This could get fun.

13. Colorado Rockies (23-20; last week: 6)
14. Cleveland Indians (21-21; last week: 14)
15. Seattle Mariners (24-17; last week: 13)
16. Toronto Blue Jays (22-21; last week: 16)
These four teams, let’s call them “good, but with issues.” They’ve all been in our top-10 at one point this season and could get back there. We’re curious when the Indians are going to hit their stride and if their bullpen can fix itself. We’re curious whether the Rockies will take advantage of Arizona’s injury woes. We’re curious what the M’s will do without Robinson Cano and we’re curious if the Jays can avoid getting the Red Sox and Yankees pulling away in the AL East. Right now, it’s all wait-and-see.

17. New York Mets (20-19; last week: 17)
18. San Francisco Giants (22-22; last week: 18)
19. Oakland Athletics (21-21; last week: 19)
20. Minnesota Twins (18-21; last week: 20)
21. Tampa Bay Rays (19-21; last week: 22)
22. Detroit Tigers (19-23; last week: 23)
“Who are you?” It sounds like a somewhat existential question, but for our purposes here, we really just want to know whether the teams like the Mets and Giants and Twins — and to a lesser extent the Rays and Tigers — will be able to muster their way any further toward the top 10 or if they’ve settled into this area for the long haul. The Mets, Giants and Twins especially seem to have an opportunity ahead of them if they can get things going in the right direction.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is searching for answers to his team’s stunningly slow start. (AP)
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is searching for answers to his team’s stunningly slow start. (AP)

23. Los Angeles Dodgers (16-25; last week: 21)
Oh, Dodgers, you still get your own blurb. We’ve tried to give the Dodgers the benefit of the doubt for weeks. They can’t really be *this* bad, right? And they keep answering: “Well, yes.” It’s time to wonder if the Dodgers have hit rock bottom yet. They’ve lost five in a row, including a four-game sweep by the Reds of all teams. Yes, the Dodgers are dealing with a lot of injuries, but it’s getting harder to believe all this could just be temporary.

24. San Diego Padres (17-27; last week: 24)
25. Texas Rangers (16-27; last week: 25)
26. Cincinnati Reds (15-29; last week: 30)
27. Miami Marlins (15-26; last week: 26)
28. Baltimore Orioles (13-29; last week: 29)
29. Kansas City Royals (13-30; last week: 27)
30. Chicago White Sox (10-29; last week: 28)
The bottom of the pack remains the bottom of the pack. They’ve changed their order some — the Reds, for instance, are out of the final spot after a strong week — but these bottom seven seem to be stuck in the bottom seven. The White Sox, who now have the fewest wins in MLB, take over the very bottom of the list this week.

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