Welcome to the second edition of The Intermission's MLB Power Rankings. Here, our baseball editors rank where each team stands after a month through the season.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (18-7)
Previous Rank: 1 (-)
The Dodgers pitching has been on another level this season. The starting rotation, which is playing like the best in baseball, has a combined 1.59 ERA and leads the MLB in WHIP and hits allowed per game (3.5). Clayton Kershaw, in particular, has been electric. The 34 year-old future Hall of Famer, who many thought his best days were behind him, has notched a 2.35 ERA in four starts and 30 strikeouts in just 23 innings pitched.
2. New York Mets (19-9)
Previous Rank: 2 (-)
We’re around the 30 game mark and the Mets are looking legitimate. Obviously we can’t be so sure how things will end up, but if I’m a Mets fan I’m feeling very optimistic. Jacob deGrom’s injury drew a lot of concern to whether the Mets could start the season well, but with Taylor Megill and Chris Bassitt joining Max Scherzer as pitchers with an ERA below three, it makes many wonder just how scary they’ll be when deGrom does return.
3. New York Yankees (18-7)
Previous Rank: 10 (+7)
Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo have been on fire for the Bronx Bombers. The two have combined for 18 home runs so far on the year, knocking nine bombs a-piece. The Yankees also ended April on a tear, going on an eight-game winning streak and an 11-game streak until the Blue Jays ended it; good for the longest winning streak so far in this young season.
4. Milwaukee Brewers (19-9)
Previous Rank: 11 (+7)
Hey Milwaukee, guess what? Your team can hit now! That’s right, the Brewers lead the majors in runs scored with 136. For a team that was known as a pitching-first club going into the season, the uptick in scoring can mean that maybe they’re a sneaky pick for the best record in baseball come season’s end. Not too many guys in the lineup are particularly mashing, either. But, Rowdy Tellez has been on fire with a .926 OPS so far, and combining that with the timely efforts of the rest of the lineup has been instrumental to their scorching start.
5. Tampa Bay Rays (18-10)
Previous Rank: 7 (+2)
Despite all of the injuries to the Rays pitching, this team is still getting it done. They rank in the top 10 for nearly every team pitching stat. Corey Kluber, in particular, has been great. The 36 year-old boasts a 2.36 ERA through his first four starts of the season. The bullpen has also been great, ranking fourth in the MLB in bullpen ERA (2.79).
6. Toronto Blue Jays (17-12)
Previous Rank: 3 (-3)
Toronto has a lot of work to do. Yes, the Blue Jays still have a positive record and likely will keep it for the remainder of the season, but winning a division requires more than a winning record. While the pitching has found its groove thanks to Kevin Gausman and Alek Manoah having CY Young caliber seasons to start, it's the hitting that needs more juice. Vladimir Guerrero Jr has been very good to start, but he can do better than an .897 OPS. Getting Teoscar Hernandez back is huge, though, and maybe now the offense will start to show some fight again.
7. San Diego Padres (18-10)
Previous Rank: 15 (+8)
Eric Hosmer has been a menace at the plate for San Diego. The veteran first baseman owns a blistering .371 batting average to go along with a 1.013 OPS to start the year. Teammate Manny Machado has also been great, boasting a .382 average with seven bombs to his name so far this season. The two have been the catalyst to a great start for San Diego this season. And Fernando Tatis Jr. isn’t even back yet. That’s scary.
8. Los Angeles Angels (18-11)
Previous Rank: 14 (+6)
Shohei Ohtani has basically been invisible at the plate this year, but the Angels are actually doing better. Though that may not make any sense, it’s what happens when a team with no pitching finally adds a bit of pitching. While the strikeout numbers are down, Noah Syndergaard has been good at limiting runs as proven by his 2.63 ERA and only one home run surrendered. Oh, also Mike Trout happened…and Taylor Ward too apparently?
9. Houston Astros (17-11)
Previous Rank: 6 (-3)
Surprisingly, it’s been the Astros’ pitching that’s been getting them wins right now; not the hitting. Justin Verlander has been exceptional, owning a 1.93 ERA to go along with a league-leading 0.71 WHIP so far. Once the offense, which ranks 20th in the MLB right now, gets their footing back, this will be one scary team.
10. San Francisco Giants (15-12)
Previous Rank: 4 (-6)
For a team that looked all but guaranteed to follow up with another 100-win season, things haven’t been as sweet for the Giants as they were recently on a five-game slide. But, these things happen and despite the fall in the rankings, there are a few bright spots that fans in the Bay Area should be thankful for. This includes Carlos Rodon, who has lowered his FIP to 1.39 (!!!) and has barely let anyone on base. If this continues, all the Giants need to do is have the lineup back him up (oh and Logan Webb needs to do better too).
11. St. Louis Cardinals (16-11)
Previous Rank: 12 (+1)
St. Louis has experienced a nice start to the year and a lot of that credit goes to the two-headed monster of Nolan Arenado and Tommy Edman. The two have a combined .333 batting average to go along with nine combined home runs to start the year. The pitching has also been great, ranking third in ERA (3.09) to start the year.
12. Minnesota Twins (17-11)
Previous Rank: 18 (+6)
Newly acquired shortstop Carlos Correa has been pretty hollow at the dish so far, but that hasn’t stopped the Twins from taking first place in the AL Central. Byron Buxton is raking as usual, with nine home runs and an OPS at 1.064. His efforts will always be there when healthy, but it’s the emergence of rookie starter Joe Ryan that has made the difference on the mound. An ERA of 1.63 is superb, and if this keeps up then honestly the Twins have a chance.
13. Colorado Rockies (16-11)
Previous Rank: 20 (+7)
The Rockies are… good? That’s a shocker. But they are, and most of the credit goes towards an offense that's ranking first in nearly every offensive category so far. C.J. Cron has been a man on a mission, knocking in an MLB-leading nine home runs and NL-leading 24 RBIs this season. It’s tough to say if they’ll keep up this pace in an ultra-competitive NL West, but things are looking good in Colorado so far.
14. Chicago White Sox (13-13)
Previous Rank: 5 (-9)
BOOOOOOO. This was supposed to be a year where the White Sox ran away with the division and they have done nothing good. They’re frauds, get rid of them! Okay on a serious note, this team needs to go on a tear. They’ve recovered from a frightening 8-13 start, but now it’s time to show what they’re made of and take back the first place spot. The pitching has been great, but the bats look anemic. Tim Anderson and Andrew Vaughn can’t be the only guys with an OPS above .800 if Chicago wants a chance at the division title.
15. Seattle Mariners (12-16)
Previous Rank: 13 (-2)
Ever since April 27th, the Mariners have been struggling. The club has only managed to put together one win since then and have plummeted down to third in the AL West. New acquisitions Robbie Ray and Jesse Winker haven’t experienced great starts in their new homes. While there’s plenty of time for them to turn it around, there is some cause for concern in Seattle right now.
16. Atlanta Braves (13-16)
Previous Rank: 8 (-8)
Another year, another slow start for the Braves. We know the story about how things ended last year, but this year the league got more competitive and they can’t afford to play the Cinderella story again. Austin Riley looks like the same player as last year at least, owning an .871 OPS with seven bombs so far. Ronald Acuna Jr is also back and if he can regain his normal form post-injury, then Atlanta will quickly emerge as a contender once again.
17. Cleveland Guardians (13-14)
Previous Rank: 17 (-)
Jose Ramirez is a demon. The superstar third baseman boasts a 1.054 OPS to go along with an MLB-leading 29 RBIs to start the season. Rookie Steven Kwan is also making his case as an early Rookie of the Year candidate, owning a .328 average while striking out only seven times on the season. But despite this great start for Cleveland’s offense and decent start for the pitching, this team isn’t winning as much as you’d think they’d be. It could be the sign of bigger things to come in Cleveland.
18. Texas Rangers (10-14)
Previous Rank: 23 (+5)
This record isn’t so bad for the Rangers given how they started the season, but the struggles of Corey Seager and Marcus Semien have been even more concerning. If neither of the two guys you spent over $500 million on can’t put up an OPS over .750, then the club’s concerns go deeper than just having a bad season. At least they may have found their starting catcher going forward, as Jonah Heim has been knocking the cover off the baseball in his limited playing time so far.
19. Boston Red Sox (10-18)
Previous Rank: 9 (-10)
What is going on in Boston? The team is sitting in dead-last in the AL East (yes, even behind the Orioles) so far this season. The bats have been dead; the team ranks 25th in the league for runs scored and near the bottom for every offensive category. For a team that was gauged as a top five offense heading into this season, this is a shocker to say the least.
20. Philadelphia Phillies (11-15)
Previous Rank: 16 (-4)
All the stars, yet no results. What gives? There are players in the lineup like Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins who need to step it up, but other teams have similar hitting issues and have navigated the ship just fine so far. The biggest concern is that Zack Wheeler has an ERA above four and doesn’t look as sharp. With a bullpen as shaky as theirs, the Phillies can’t afford to have their ace take a step back. They have the manpower to turn it around, but the results need to be seen and not just exist in theory.
21. Miami Marlins (13-14)
Previous Rank: 22 (+1)
The Marlins are doing decent and their young pieces (other than Taylor Rogers) are developing well, and that’s all the rebuilding Marlins can ask for right now. Starting pitchers Sandy Alcantara, Pablo Lopez and Jesus Luzardo headline a scary Miami rotation while second baseman Jazz Chizholm is enjoying a great start to the season. This team could be something scary sooner than later.
22. Arizona Diamondbacks (14-14)
Previous Rank: 28 (+6)
Is there magic in the Chase Field air conditioning or something? The fact that a 52-win team a year ago has an even record almost 30 games into the new season is a bit cool. Sure, chances are they’ll fall in a dangerous NL West and still be bad, but they should be proud of the fight they’re putting up right now. Merrill Kelly has been otherworldly with a 1.22 ERA and a WHIP barely over one, so hopefully for Diamondbacks fans he keeps up this pace.
23. Pittsburgh Pirates (11-15)
Previous Rank: 27 (+4)
Bryan Reynolds isn’t enjoying a great start after an impressive breakout season last year. The center fielder has been struggling, owning a .217 batting average with a putrid .653 OPS so far. A lone bright spot for Pittsburgh has been Ke’Bryan Hayes, who boasts a .304 average while bringing exceptional defense at his position for Pittsburgh.
24. Chicago Cubs (9-17)
Previous Rank: 19 (-5)
The Cubs aren’t good and the record shows that. Not much scoring input from a bland lineup was expected, and the pitching is nothing beyond mediocre. Despite this, I’m sure fans at Wrigley Field are loving their newest sensation in Seiya Suzuki, who’s sporting a very impressive .848 OPS and looks to be transferring all the skills he showed off in Japan.
25. Baltimore Orioles (10-16)
Previous Rank: 29 (+4)
Baltimore is somehow not last in the AL East just over one month into the season. Not many people probably saw that coming. While last season’s breakout stars Cedric Mullins and Ryan Mountcastle haven’t had ideal starts to the year, they haven’t been terrible. One of the lone bright spots for Baltimore has been starting pitcher Bruce Zimmerman, who owns a team-leading 2.59 ERA in four starts so far this season.
26. Detroit Tigers (8-18)
Previous Rank: 21 (-5)
The Tigers were many people’s surprise pick for a playoff spot this year, and despite getting new pieces in the offseason, they somehow look worse. Javier Baez can barely hit, Austin Meadows doesn’t hit for power at all and Eduardo Rodriguez has been rather unspectacular. This makes up a recipe for mediocrity, and if they don’t turn it around then it’s going to be a disappointing season in Detroit.
27. Oakland Athletics (10-17)
Previous Rank: 25 (-2)
After a surprisingly decent start to the season, the Athletics followed that up with seven straight losses to slip to fifth in the AL West (probably where they’ll stay for the rest of the season). That’s not much of a shocker though, especially after this team unloaded most of their talent from last season’s squad.
28. Washington Nationals (10-19)
Previous Rank: 26 (-2)
SOTO SHUFFLE TIME! Okay, other than him the Nationals have basically no one and it’s proven that this is going to be another year to watch their young players develop. Wait, Josh Bell has a .997 OPS? Okay well make that two players. But they still have a long way to go until they’re ready, and it won’t be anytime soon.
29. Kansas City Royals (8-15)
Previous Rank: 24 (-5)
Andrew Benintendi continues to be a lone bright spot on a putrid Kansas City team. The 27 year-old is batting .354 on the year; good for first in the AL and third in the MLB. What’s been surprising is how veteran catcher Salvador Perez has been struggling. While he does have five home runs so far, he also owns a putrid .167/.211/.378 slashing line on the year.
30. Cincinnati Reds (4-23)
Previous Rank: 30 (-)
I’m sorry Joey Votto.