With the NBA and the NHL wrapping up their seasons, the MLB is now the only major American sports league to watch. As the season enters the dog days of the summer, early season storylines have either faded away or have become cemented as part of baseball’s landscape. Brewers first baseman Eric Thames’s bat has cooled from his early season rampage, but Yankees OF Aaron Judge has proved himself to be worth the hype time and time again. Let’s take a look at where the 30 MLB teams stack up this month.
Statistics as of morning of June 20th.
- Houston Astros (47-24, 1st AL West): Previous edition: 1
The Astros continue to be the class of baseball, as their lead over the rest of the American League has swelled to seven games. Houston has been an absolute power on the road, possessing an otherworldly 24-8 record away from Minute Maid Park. With SP Dallas Keuchel on the DL for much of the past month and close to a return, the rest of the league will be faced with an Astros team that could get even better.
2. Colorado Rockies (46-26, 1st NL West): Previous edition: 4
After getting out to a fast start, the Rockies were viewed as somewhat of a fluke and return to being the .500 team they were expected to be. However, 3B Nolan Arenado and company have not just kept the Rockies rolling, but doing even better than earlier in the year. The Rockies high-powered offense has produced 383 runs, good for a tie for 2nd in the league.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers (45-26, 2nd NL West): Previous edition: 5
The star-studded Dodgers will have their work cut out for them in the brutal NL West, but have the postseason experience to set them apart. With a run differential of +102, tops in the National League, expect the Dodgers to contend for the World Series again. Rookie 1B Cody Bellinger has been brilliant in spurts, and his 21 home runs are among the best in the league.
4. Arizona Diamondbacks (44-26, 3rd NL West): Previous edition: 9
The other surprise team to come out of the NL West, the Diamondbacks have become a force to be reckoned with in both phases of the game. 1B Paul Goldschmidt is playing like his typical self with a .324 batting average and 16 home runs, while SP Robbie Ray is emerging as one of the best young pitchers in the game. Currently riding a seven-game win streak, the Diamondbacks have been nearly impossible to beat at home.
5. Washington Nationals (42-28, 1st NL East): Previous edition: 2
While they have dipped since the last time these rankings were done, the Nats have distanced themselves from the rest of the pitiful NL East. 9.5 games up on the Braves, the Nationals would have to completely meltdown if they were to blow the division. 1B Ryan Zimmerman is no longer in Triple Crown position, but is still batting .354 with 19 homers and 54 RBIs.
6. New York Yankees (38-29, 1st AL East): Previous edition: 3
OF Aaron Judge has officially become the story of the year. The rookie is currently leading the AL in the Triple Crown categories, batting .335 with 23 home runs and 53 RBIs. With the emergence of Judge and the strong play of young OF Aaron Hicks, the Yankees may not even pursue Bryce Harper in free agency next year.
7. Boston Red Sox (39-31, 2nd AL East): Previous edition: 13
The Sox have closed the gap on the Yankees in what’s shaping up to be a tightly contested AL East. The Killer B’s of SS Xander Bogaerts and the outfield of Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley, Jr. are the core of one of the league’s best offenses, but 2B Dustin Pedroia’s injury has held back the franchise.
8. Cleveland Indians (37-31, 1st AL Central): Previous edition: 8
The Tribe has held steady as one of the league’s top teams, taking over the division lead from the upstart Twins since the last Power Rankings. They’ve done this despite being downright poor in their home park, going just 15-17 at Progressive Field. SP Carlos Carrasco has rebounded well since his injury-riddled 2016 season, sporting a 7-3 record and a 3.21 ERA.
9. Chicago Cubs (35-34, 2nd NL Central): Previous edition: 11
While the Cubs haven’t played as well as their lineup would indicate, they have played better this past month. The pitching staff has been the Achilles heel of the defending champions, with Jake Arrieta and John Lackey carrying ERAs of 4.64 and 4.85, respectively.
10. Milwaukee Brewers (38-34, 1st NL Central): Previous edition: 10
Still owning a 1.5 game lead on the Cubs in the NL Central, the surprising Brewers have ridden the duo of starting pitchers Chase Anderson and Jimmy Nelson to contention. Anderson has looked like a veritable ace thus far with a 2.92 ERA, and the return of Junior Guerra from injury and the call-up of top prospect Josh Hader will further bolster the pitching.
11. Tampa Bay Rays (37-36, 3rd AL East): Previous edition: 18
Tampa Bay has been one of the hottest teams in baseball this past month, working themselves into playoff contention in one of the league’s best divisions. As a team with a smaller payroll, the Rays have received major contributions from overlooked players like DH/OF Corey Dickerson, who has batted .325 with 15 home runs. It will be interesting to see how they deal with RP Alex Colome, who has dominated thus far, but was the subject of trade talks when it was assumed the Rays would finish in the cellar again.
12. Minnesota Twins (34-33, 2nd AL Central): Previous edition: 14
The Twins continue to impress after being viewed as a fluke to start the season atop the AL Central. While they aren’t leading the division anymore, the Twins are still in playoff contention behind SP Ervin Santana’s Cy Young-worthy campaign, though they will need more offense if they are to make the postseason.
13. Kansas City Royals (34-35, 3rd AL Central): Previous edition: 22
The Royals have been smoldering since the last power rankings, and are 8-2 in their last 10 games. Earlier in the season, the word around baseball was that the 2015 World Series champs were on the verge of a fire sale. SP Jason Vargas has been one of the AL’s best pitchers this past year, with a league leading 10 wins as well as a 2.27 ERA.
14. Texas Rangers (34-35, 3rd AL West): Previous edition: 12
While the Rangers have slightly dipped since the last power rankings, the arrow is still pointing up as they have a 7-3 record in their last 10 games. 1B/OF Joey Gallo has hit 18 home runs, but his .191 batting average leaves Texas fans wanting more from their top prospect.
15. Toronto Blue Jays (34-35, 4th AL East): Previous edition: 19
Another hot team in the AL East, the Blue Jays have improved significantly since May. With SS Troy Tulowitzki and 3B Josh Donaldson missing time with injuries, the offensive slack has been picked up by an unexpected player, 1B Justin Smoak. The veteran is in the midst of a career year, batting .300 with 20 home runs and 46 RBIs.
16. Los Angeles Angels (36-37, 2nd AL West): Previous edition: 17
The Angels have been consistently average throughout 2017, and though they are second in the division, it is unlikely they will reach the playoffs. With the league’s best player, OF Mike Trout, who just started swinging again after being sidelined with a thumb fracture, the Angels won’t be able to make any substantial noise until he returns.
17. Seattle Mariners (34-37, 4th AL West): Previous edition: 20
It’s somewhat remarkable that the Mariners are still afloat despite having a host of problems, especially in the pitching staff. With SP Felix “The King” Hernandez returning from the DL for a start this Friday, Seattle won’t have to rely on Ariel Miranda and Yovani Gallardo as much as they have.
18. Baltimore Orioles (34-35, 5th AL East): Previous edition: 7
With a 12-21 record since the last power ranking, the Orioles’ play has dropped off precipitously. All-Star RP Zach Britton’s injury hasn’t helped, and the O’s reliance on home runs hasn’t worked as well this year. Rookie OF Trey Mancini has been the team’s bright spot even in limited time, batting .305 with 12 home runs.
19. Detroit Tigers (32-37, 4th AL Central): Previous edition: 16
The Tigers continue to toil in mediocrity, going 3-7 in their last 10 games and failing to show any reason that they will be able to contend in the near future. 2B Ian Kinsler has been the team’s biggest disappointment thus far, batting only .246 with five home runs in 211 at bats.
20. Pittsburgh Pirates (32-38, 3rd NL Central): Previous edition: 24
The Bucs haven’t looked like the playoff team they were expected to be, lending more credence to the rumors of them dealing 2013 NL MVP OF Andrew McCutchen. Additionally, the suspension of OF Starling Marte for PEDs and the testicular cancer diagnosis for SP Jameson Taillon will hamper the team further.
21. Chicago White Sox (31-37, 5th AL Central): Previous edition: 21
Even though their record isn’t terrible, the White Sox are in the cellar of the AL Central and on the verge of a fire sale. Already armed with a host of prospects after trading away SP Chris Sale and OF Adam Eaton in the offseason, expect SP Jose Quintana and OF Melky Cabrera to be dealt by the trade deadline.
22. Miami Marlins (31-37, 3rd NL East): Previous edition: 29
The NL East is truly terrible outside of the Nationals, evidenced by how quickly the Marlins were able to climb back into the fight for second place in the division. OF Marcell Ozuna has been a one-man wrecking crew this year, batting .327 with 18 homers and 50 RBIs, while 1B Justin Bour and OF Giancarlo Stanton have been stellar of late as well.
23. Atlanta Braves (32-37, 2nd NL East): Previous edition: 28
The fact that the Braves are in this position at this point in the season is a positive for them, as their assemblage of unproven players and past-their-prime vets has not been entirely terrible. OF Matt Kemp, briefly the best player in baseball before his game fell off a cliff, has been seemingly revitalized and is currently batting .322 with 11 home runs.
24. St. Louis Cardinals (31-37, 4th NL Central): Previous edition: 6
The biggest drop by far since the last power ranking, the Cardinals have completely sputtered, going 10-22 since the last edition. 2B Jedd Gyorko continues to be their only source of offensive production, with their hefty offseason purchase of OF Dexter Fowler looking like a bust with each passing day.
25. New York Mets (31-38, 4th NL East): Previous edition: 23
Just two years removed from being a World Series teams, it looks like the Mets will be unable to overcome their recent string of injuries to return to the playoffs. While outfielders Michael Conforto and Jay Bruce have played well, SS Jose Reyes and OF Curtis Granderson are both flirting with the Mendoza line.
26. Oakland A’s (31-39, 5th AL West): Previous edition: 27
The A’s are only able to afford players on the cheap end of the scale, and while some of their players have delivered on their investment, Oakland simply doesn’t have enough depth to contend. 1B Yonder Alonso and DH Ryon Healy have been studs thus far, but with no pitcher throwing enough innings to even qualify for the ERA title, it will be tough for Oakland to win games.
27. Cincinnati Reds (30-39, 5th NL Central): Previous edition: 15
An early season surprise, the Reds have fallen back to Earth, and have fallen back hard. Cincinnati is 1-9 in their last 10 games, though the weak NL Central means they shouldn’t lose all hope just yet. SP Scott Feldman is currently considered the Reds’ ace, though if any team’s ace is 5-5 with a 4.20 ERA, they are in trouble.
28. San Diego Padres (28-43, 4th NL West): Previous edition: 30
A marginal improvement from the league’s most depleted roster has moved up the Padres two spots, though it is unlikely San Diego will rise out of the bottom five at any point this season. The team is batting collectively .228 and has driven in a league-low collective 258 runs. Outside of the rookie OF Hunter Renfroe, there is no reason to pay attention to this team.
29. San Francisco Giants (26-46, 5th NL West): Previous edition: 26
The Giants were expected to be a playoff contender again, though it seems their “playing poorly in odd number years” trend is continuing particularly harshly this year. C Buster Posey is playing like his MVP-caliber self again, but outside of him and SS Eduardo Nunez, the entire offense is biteless.
30. Philadelphia Phillies (22-46, 5th NL East): Previous edition: 25
Top to bottom, the Phils don’t have any fight. OF Aaron Altherr is the team’s only hope for the future success until 2016 1st overall pick OF Mickey Moniak gets called up to the bigs. The pitching staff is even worse, with SP Jared Eickhoff leading the team with a 4.81 ERA.