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2021 MLB Power Rankings: June Edition

As we approach the midpoint of the 2021 MLB season, the teams at the top of our rankings have started to separate themselves from the pack, while others may already be thinking about next season (We’re talking about you Arizona). Come see where your favourite team ranks on the June edition of The Intermission’s MLB power rankings!

(Mike Carlson/AP)

1. San Francisco Giants (50-29)

Previous Rank: 4

San Francisco moves up after a month that has them shoot up to first in the MLB. The first team to win 50 games behind a stellar pitching staff and a booming offense, and of all teams it was the Giants. It’s been a highly improbable first half for a team that was expected to meddle in mediocrity, but you won’t see any fans in the Bay Area complaining as their team looks to make the postseason for the first time in five years. - L

2. Houston Astros (48-33)

Previous Rank: 14

Houston charged back into first place in June after commanding performances in June from Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve, and Michael Brantley. The offense ranks first in nearly every offensive statistical category, and the pitching has been above average. While the A’s are right on the Astros tail, it’s hard to say if they have what it takes to dethrone the Astros in a rammed AL West. -T

3. Los Angeles Dodgers (49-31)

Previous Rank: 5

The Dodgers had a bit of an up and down start to the season, as they began 13-2 and then almost fell back to .500. But after three months of baseball, it looks like Los Angeles has its foot pressed on the gas and is ready to take off during the next few months. They trail the Giants in the division by a narrow margin, but this team looks ready to easily secure yet another spot in the postseason come October one way or another. - L

4. Boston Red Sox (50-31)

Previous Rank: 6

After yet another month of the Red Sox leading the AL East, they’ve showcased that they are one of the best teams in baseball three months into the season. Xander Bogaerts continues to lead the Red Sox juggernaut offense, recording a hit in all but two games in June, while Rafael Devers continues to battle with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for leading the league in RBIs. Now that the Rays are starting to crumble and the Yankees and Blue Jays still far from contending, it could be the Red Sox time to start running away with the coveted No. 1 spot in the AL East.

5. San Diego Padres (49-33)

Previous Rank: 2

Fernando Tatis Jr. has arrived. Any doubts surrounding the premier shortstop were silenced in June, and he has a serious MVP case this year. In turn, it helped the Padres’ surge in the NL West title race, as they ended the month 16 games over .500 and in prime shape to do serious damage. He mashed 10 home runs during the month and saw his OPS jump to nearly 1.100. If San Diego’s lineup can get even better and the pitching can stay rock solid, then it won’t be hard for them to carry their June success over the rest of the summer and into the fall for a ticket to the October dance. - L

6. Chicago White Sox (47-32)

Previous Rank: 3

The White Sox continue to hold the top spot in the AL Central in a stranglehold. However, injuries are starting to pile up for this talented squad. Slugger Eloy Jiménez is out for the rest of the season with a chest injury, Yoan Moncada is day-to-day with a hand injury, and infielder Nick Madrigal is out for the season with a hamstring injury. While the White Sox will still probably hold off the Indians in a depleted AL Central, it’s hard to say how good this team will be if they make the postseason with many key hitters in their lineup out indefinitely. -T

7. Milwaukee Brewers (48-33)

Previous Rank: 10

If the rankings didn’t include the first half of the month, Milwaukee would probably be first. However, a jump to seven is an indication that the Brewers are serious this year, and it’s clear that they’ve been the best team in their division so far all year. While Christian Yelich hasn’t been raking the way he recently used to, he still maintained an on-base percentage over .400 during the month. Combine that with the surreal pitching from the start of the rotation to the end of the bullpen, and you’ve got a team that can make quiet, yet serious noise. - L

8. Oakland Athletics (48-34)

Previous Rank: 13

After an average May, the A’s went on a tear in June, going on a six-game winning streak and finishing the month with an 18-11 record. Matt Olson has enjoyed a nice breakout season so far as he finished the month hitting .288 to go along with 20 home runs and 53 RBIs. That’s not bad for a guy who’s been known as just a ‘power hitter’.

9. Tampa Bay Rays (47-34)

Previous Rank: 1

The Rays are still a serious team, but their slide in the latter portion of the month can’t be ignored. They got considerably worse and aren’t looking like the team they were in May. Wander Franco hasn’t been amazing, but having him on the team could be the spark they need if he picks it up quickly. It wouldn’t be crazy for a prospect to have a shaky first season, but a prospect of his caliber could be a difference-maker for a team in Tampa Bay’s situation. However, Tyler Glasnow’s injury could seriously hurt this team’s playoff chances if their bats don’t heat up. - L

10. Toronto Blue Jays (41-37)

Previous Rank: 11

Despite the Jays possessing arguably the best offense in the league one through nine, featuring multiple all-stars in Marcus Semien and Bo Bichette, and superstar Vladimir Guerrero Jr., they still don’t have a great record. That might be because of their bullpen. In June (and May), the Jays bullpen gave up the most runs after the seventh inning in the entire league. Whether it’s walking in the winning run, or just being plain bad, the bullpen has done that and even worse. Acquiring Adam Cimber is a start, but if the Jays dream of a deep postseason run, Ross Atkins and co. will need to make some acquisitions quickly. - T

11. New York Mets (41-35)

Previous Rank: 9

There has been one man who has been the story for the Mets this season: Jacob DeGrom. DeGrom had another dominant month and ended it with a league-leading 0.69 ERA, the lowest ever for a qualified starter through June. Behind him, Marcus Stroman and Taijuan Walker have also been having great seasons and have been helping New York maintain their spot in first. But if the Mets want to really be taken seriously, the lineup needs to wake up immediately, as they’ve struggled all year long and didn’t get much better this past month. - L

12. Cleveland Indians (42-35)

Previous Rank: 15

Cleveland is an interesting team. They don’t wow you with stellar pitching or amazing offensive performances. They just win games (usually close ones) a lot. The offense shoulders on Jose Ramirez, while the pitching ranks near the middle of the pack in every category. This is a team that just finds ways to win games, and they are ever so slowly sneaking up on an injury-riddled White Sox squad as time passes for the AL Central crown. - T

13. Washington Nationals (40-38)

Previous Rank: 22

This month was outstanding for Washington, and it could make a huge difference in the approach they take heading into the trade deadline. Going from eight games under .500 to two games over is huge, and several guys are to thank for that. The obvious one is Kyle Schwarber, who smacked 16 home runs during the month and turned many heads across the baseball community. Combine that with the continued dominance of Max Scherzer and the hot bats of Juan Soto and Trea Turner and you have a competent club who can make the most of the second half of the season. - L

14. Chicago Cubs (42-39)

Previous Rank: 8

The Cubs didn’t have a pretty end to June. Chicago ended the month dropping their last six games and now have lost pace in the NL Central race. The offense has been pretty stale, ranking near the bottom ten in most offensive categories. That’s not something you would expect from a team that has Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, and Anthony Rizzo. I guess it’s just not 2015 anymore. -T

15. New York Yankees (41-39)

Previous Rank: 12

The Yankees were all but crowned AL East champions prior to the season, and halfway through the year, they’ve been arguably the biggest disappointment in baseball. The pitching continues to be fine, but after three months they still haven’t figured out the hitting, and it’s been a detriment. They ended the month with the fourth-fewest runs scored in the American League and continue to fumble games they should win. The 6-11 start was nothing but a weird phase at first glance, but now it’s looking like the panic button is getting bigger and shinier as the season progresses. - L

16. Cincinnati Reds (39-40)

Previous Rank: 23

The Reds have pretty much been your usual .500 team. The team relies heavily on Nicolas Castellanos and Jesse Winker to provide runs for the team. Once those two are out, there isn’t really anyone else they can depend on. The Reds need to improve their pitching this deadline and add another batter if they truly hope to make a postseason push this season in a crowded NL Central. -T

17. Seattle Mariners (42-39)

Previous Rank: 17

Maybe the most random team in baseball with a positive record, the Mariners continue to find ways to win despite not having consistently good hitting or pitching. Seattle ended the month three games over .500 even while sporting a -47 run differential, though it looks like their luck may run out if they start getting blown out more. Nonetheless, their standing after three months has been quite impressive even if there isn’t anyone worthy of highlighting on this team. - L

18. Los Angeles Angels (39-41)

Previous Rank: 24

Shohei Ohtani is not human. The two-way star continued his MVP caliber season by hitting an astonishing 13 home runs in June while also pitching like a Cy Young candidate. Despite this, the Angels are still a subpar .500 team. It makes you wonder how long this management will be around for not being able to develop enough surrounding talent around arguably the two best players in the league. -T

19. Atlanta Braves (38-41)

Previous Rank: 18

The team that’s been treading water continues to tread, yet they still haven’t drowned nor gotten out of the water. The never-ending cycle of staying just under .500 continued over the course of the month, and at this rate, they’ll probably end the season 81-81. Ronald Acuna Jr continues to mash as he ended June with a .992 OPS, and Austin Riley continued to have a very productive breakout campaign, but there’s not much else to highlight on this squad. The Braves will need a hefty turnaround to have a chance to make the postseason, and being in a weakened NL East might be the only reason they still have a chance. - L

20. St. Louis Cardinals (40-41)

Previous Rank: 7

The Cardinals came crashing back down into reality in June after a great May, losing 18 of their 28 games in the month. Injuries might be the major contributor to this recent slump. Ace Jack Flaherty hit the 60-day IL with a significant oblique strain, and many of the relievers that had been carrying this Cardinals bullpen are now out for a significant amount of time with injuries as well. -T

21. Philadelphia Phillies (37-41)

Previous Rank: 19

The Phillies continue to be mediocre, and it doesn’t look like this roster is destined for much more. Bryce Harper has been raking, Aaron Nola is still great, and Zack Wheeler continues to have a dominant season. Wheeler’s month saw him finish with a 2.20 ERA, and his 130 strikeouts were among baseball’s best at the end of the month. Despite this, there isn’t much else helping Philadelphia, and they still look average at best. - L

22. Detroit Tigers (36-45)

Previous Rank: 21

While being nearly 10 games under .500 doesn’t seem like much of an accomplishment, it’s seen as a huge step forward in Motown. The prospects that many Tigers fans have been waiting ages for are finally stepping up. Casey Mize has been the star of this pool of up-and-coming prospects so far, finishing the month with a 3.46 ERA in 88.1 innings pitched. While the offense has been pretty lackluster so far this season, at least there’s something to look forward to in Detroit. -T

23. Miami Marlins (34-45)

Previous Rank: 16

Pitching has been a strong factor for Miami all season, but their dormant bats led them to a disappointing month that saw them fall further down the standings. Marlins fans should enjoy the likes of Trevor Rogers and Sandy Alcantara because there hasn’t been much else to enjoy. The halfway mark of the 2021 season shows that the team absolutely benefited from the shortened season last year and that they’ve still got some time before they can make serious noise over a full 162 game season. - L

24. Colorado Rockies (34-47)

Previous Rank: 27

With the Rockies looking to be sellers this upcoming trade deadline, a pitcher like German Marquez could maybe hit the market. Marquez came three outs short of a no-hitter in June and has only given up one run in his last 23 innings. While the Rockies may be hesitant to move him due to him being locked up on a team-friendly contract until 2024, it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea in order to acquire prospects to a farm system that is ranked as one of the worst in the league. -T

25. Minnesota Twins (33-45)

Previous Rank: 25

Josh Donaldson’s antics were about the most entertaining thing for Twins’ fans in June, as the team continues to have a putrid season. The hitting has been pretty good per usual, led by Byron Buxton, who continues to show he’s now a top player in the league when healthy. However, the pitching is so incredibly bad that it negates all efforts of the lineup. With the state of the American League this year, there’s virtually no chance they make the postseason. - L

26. Texas Rangers (31-49)

Previous Rank: 26

The Rangers are sellers once again as the trade deadline approaches. It makes you wonder if the team will part with slugger Joey Gallo. Gallo is having yet another ‘Gallo’ season, hitting .230/.388/.492 with 19 home runs on the season to go along with gold glove defense in right field. Many teams might give up a pretty penny to get a player like Gallo; the question is if Texas actually wants to trade their star right fielder this upcoming deadline.

27. Kansas City Royals (33-46)

Previous Rank: 20

The 16-9 start Kansas City had is all but history now, as they ended June on a freefall and ended the month on a 17-37 slide since their hot start. Salvador Perez continues to rake, as he ended the month with an .825 OPS and put himself high on many all-star ballots. But this alone couldn’t save the Royals from being bad, and they’ve fallen right back to where they were expected to be. - L

28. Pittsburgh Pirates (29-50)

Previous Rank: 28

While the Pirates are horrible this season, they do have some nice bats. Adam Frazier is an all-star and performing well, and Ke’Bryan Hayes and Bryan Reynolds are starting to heat up. While this team is clearly out of postseason contention, don’t be surprised if they choose to play last-place spoilers to teams pushing for a coveted spot in the postseason. -T

29. Baltimore Orioles (27-54)

Previous Rank: 30

Just keep it going Baltimore. Win the race for the top pick in next year’s draft because there’s nothing else to play for anymore. After a not so terrible season last year, it looked as if the Orioles were slowly on their way back up, but now it’s clear they still haven’t changed much since 2018. Cedric Mullins has been a treat to watch, though, so at least there’s one all-star level player to build around, right? - L

30. Arizona Diamondbacks (22-60)

Previous Rank: 29

How do you only get seven wins in two months and just three wins in June? Do us all a favor and delete your franchise Arizona. -T


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