The Boston Red Sox once firm grip on the top spot in the Yahoo Sports MLB Power Rankings is finally starting to loosen. But the truth is, that says more about how well the teams directly behind them are performing of late.
On the strength of their ninth straight series win to begin the season, the Arizona Diamondbacks are now running parallel with Boston for the league’s top record. Meanwhile, the New York Yankees have finally surged into the top five on the heels of a successful west coast road trip. The rest of the top 10 looks pretty familiar, but a few middle tier teams seem poised to break through with another good week.
Here’s our full 30 for this week. Check back next Wednesday to see if the Red Sox can keep holding on to No. 1.
1. Red Sox (22-8; last week: 1)
The Red Sox didn’t dominate this week, but their 22-8 record is still very, very good. Good enough, in fact, to hold onto the top spot for another week. The top five is getting tighter, but the Red Sox’s potent mix of offense and pitching helps the king stay the king for another week.
2. Diamondbacks (21-8; last week: 2)
Arizona has closed the gap between it and the No. 1 spot. A.J. Pollock has been absolutely on fire lately — he earned MLB player of the month honors for April. That and the D-backs’ fantastic pitching has been the key to their early success.
3. Astros (20-11; last week: 3)
Astros’ starters Justin Verlander, Charlie Morton and Gerrit Cole have three of the top four ERAs in the American League. That’ll play.
4. Yankees (19-10; last week: 7)
Here come the Yankees! We’ve said in the past how we’ve been waiting for them to click, and we saw it last week. They rattled off nine straight wins before the Astros broke their streak. Dangerous, they look dangerous.
5. Cubs (16-11; last week: 10)
The Cubs impressed with a four-game sweep of the Brewers. Now that they’re playing consistently and avoiding rainouts, the Cubs seem to have found a little more of a groove — a Wednesday beatdown by the Rockies notwithstanding.
6. Mets (17-10; last week: 5)
The Mets’ offense might leave a little something to be desired and the Matt Harvey sideshow is in full swing, but there’s still plenty to be happy about in Queens. Mainly that they’re so far ahead of the Nats.
7. Blue Jays (17-13; last week: 8)
The Blue Jays win and lose in bunches — but they also score in bunches too. They rank third in runs scored.
8. Indians (16-13; last week: 6)
The Indians aren’t running away with the AL Central like everybody expected. But we have no doubts they’re the class of the division.
9. Phillies (16-13; last week: 12)
Losers of four in a row entering play Wednesday, the Phillies have still impressed regardless. Their 3.70 team ERA is equal to Cleveland’s — ask anybody in Philly, they’ll take that.
10. Brewers (18-13; last week: 9)
The Brewers are streaking — after winning eight in a row, they lost four in a row and now they enter play Wednesday with two straight wins.
11. Angels (17-12; last week: 4)
The Angels were riding high a couple weeks ago, but they’ve run into a few AL East buzzsaws. They got swept by the Yankees and the Red Sox, but at least they won two of three against the Astros.
12. Pirates (17-13; last week: 13)
The Pirates continue to exceed expectations and it may not last all season, but hey, they just swept the Cardinals in three games.
13. Cardinals (17-12; last week: 11)
The Cardinals have the fifth best ERA in baseball — they’ll take that. Problem is, two teams in their division are ahead of them.
14. Braves (17-11; last week: 14)
Like a lot of people, we’re not convinced the Braves are really, really real. But a month in, they’re still better than anybody expected.
15. Mariners (17-11; last week: 19)
The Mariners powered their way to three wins in four games against the Indians, which is a nice statement for this team.
16. Nationals (14-16; last week: 17)
We’re a bit more bullish on the Nats than their record says, but we believe in Max Scherzer and Bryce Harper and the gang in the long-term.
17. Rockies (17-15; last week: 16)
For as much as we hear about the Rockies offense, these are troubling numbers: they rank last in batting average and 29th in on-base percentage.
18. A’s (14-15; last week: 20)
The A’s continue to have one of the best offenses in the game — somewhat surprisingly. Sean Manaea also has the best ERA in the A.L. There could be something brewing in Oakland.
19. Dodgers (12-17; last week 15)
Nothing is going the Dodgers’ way. They lost consecutive series to the Marlins and Giants. Now they’ve lost four games in a row, including two to the D-backs. Add that Corey Seager is out for the year and this whole season has turned into an uphill climb.
20. Giants (16-15; last week: 21)
The good: S.F. took three of four from L.A. The bad: Johnny Cueto is going to see Dr. James Andrews because of his elbow.
21. Twins (10-16; last week: 18)
All you need to know: The Twins rank 27th in runs scored and 29th in ERA.
22. Tigers (13-16; last week: 22)
The AL Central is so bad that the Tigers are actually in second place.
23. Rays (13-16; last week: 23)
Blake Snell has been pretty good this year, so there’s that.
24. Rangers (12-20; last week: 24)
That -47 run differential looks worse by the week.
25. Padres (11-21; last week: 25)
Even in a messy NL West, the Padres can’t escape the cellar.
26. Marlins (11-18; last week: 29)
We’ll be nice to the Marlins this week. They’ve won four in a row against the Rockies and Phillies.
27. White Sox (8-20; last week: 27)
Their pitching has been really bad, but here’s a bright spot: The White Sox are top-10 in slugging percentage.
28. Orioles (8-21; last week: 26)
The Orioles have hit 32 homers this season (not bad) but they’ve scored only 100 runs (very bad).
29. Royals (8-22; last week: 28)
The Royals have the worst run differential in the game. That tells you all you need to know.
30. Reds (7-23; last week: 30)
The Yankees won more games in a row last week than the Reds have this season.
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