Published On: Mon, Jun 4th, 2018

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers, Braves keep proving they're for real

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Welcome to the sixth edition of theScore’s MLB Power Rankings for the 2018 season. Rankings will be published every other Monday throughout the season, with the next installment coming June 18.

1. New York Yankees

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
37-17 6-4 1 (-)

For all of the (justifiable) hype surrounding Shohei Ohtani, he may have some legitimate competition for AL Rookie of the Year in Gleyber Torres, whose nine homers are tops among hitters with fewer than 150 plate appearances.

2. Boston Red Sox

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
41-19 7-3 3 (+1)

Over the past two weeks, Andrew Benintendi has caught fire with five homers. It’s not a moment too soon, as the Red Sox have lost Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia to the DL.

3. Houston Astros

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
37-24 4-6 2 (-1)

The Mariners have usurped them for first place in the AL West, but the defending champs likely aren’t sweating it. A couple of uneven weeks can’t really slow the Astros down – not when they own an MLB-best plus-122 run differential and employ both Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.

4. Milwaukee Brewers


RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
37-23 6-4 5 (+1)

The Brewers’ bullpen, led by the ridiculous Josh Hader, has been lights-out, and free-agent signing Lorenzo Cain has emerged as a dark-horse MVP candidate. Oh yeah, they’re also up by two games in the NL Central. Something special is brewing in Milwaukee.

5. Atlanta Braves

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
35-24 6-4 4 (-1)

Over his past three starts, punctuated by a complete-game shutout, Mike Foltynewicz boasts a 0.82 ERA. He’s been highly touted for a long time, but now everything seems to be coming together for the 26-year-old.

6. Chicago Cubs

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
33-23 8-2 6 (-)

Despite looking up in the standings at the Brewers, the Cubs remain one of the hottest teams in baseball. They lead the National League in run creation over the past two weeks.

7. Washington Nationals

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
33-25 7-3 8 (+1)

Washington reeled off six straight wins before dropping three of four in Atlanta over the weekend. Still, the Nationals are only 1 1/2 games back of the Braves and employ three top-flight superstars, so they should be fine.

8. Seattle Mariners


RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
37-22 8-2 13 (+5)

On May 13, All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano broke his hand; the following day, he was suspended 80 games after testing positive for a banned substance. All the Mariners have done since is go a big-league best 15-5 to vault over the Astros for first place in the AL West.

9. Cleveland Indians

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
30-28 6-4 18 (+9)

While Francisco Lindor was anointed AL Player of the Month, it’s the support from Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Ramirez, and Yonder Alonso that’s made Cleveland’s offense one of the hottest in baseball.

10. Los Angeles Angels

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
32-28 4-6 10 (-)

Will 2018 be another “good but not good enough” year for the Angels? Their offense ranks fifth in the AL and the pitching staff is third by ERA. If the playoffs started now, though, they’d miss out.

11. Arizona Diamondbacks

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
31-27 6-4 9 (-2)

Given the way their stars have performed, it’s remarkable the Diamondbacks are still among the division leaders. Daniel Descalso’s second in offensive WAR behind the injured A.J. Pollock.

12. Philadelphia Phillies


RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
31-26 3-7 7 (-5)

Investing in Jake Arrieta is paying dividends for the Phillies – he owns a 2.66 ERA over his last 19 2/3 innings – but the former Cy Young winner had to call out his slumping team after they were swept by the Giants over the weekend, getting outscored 12-1 in the process.

13. St. Louis Cardinals

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
32-25 6-4 12 (-1)

Over the past two weeks, the Cardinals’ bats (except for Matt Carpenter’s) have gone cold. Nobody is scuffling harder than 2017 breakout star Tommy Pham, who owns a .160 OBP over his last 50 plate appearances.

14. Colorado Rockies

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
30-29 4-6 16 (+2)

They’re only 1 1/2 games out of first in their uniformly underwhelming division, but the Rockies – losers of four straight – have the second-worst offense in the majors, trailing only the lowly Marlins in wRC+.

15. Los Angeles Dodgers

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
29-30 7-3 19 (+4)

The surging Dodgers employ two of the hottest players on either side of the ball right now: Matt Kemp owns a .452/.468/.833 slash line over the last two weeks, while Ross Stripling’s 1.22 FIP in May was tops in the majors among qualified pitchers.

16. Tampa Bay Rays

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
28-30 5-5 14 (-2)

Sergio Romo’s getting a lot of press for his dynamic new role as the Rays’ “opener,” but their actual starting pitchers are proving to be pretty good. Nathan Eovaldi flirted with a no-hitter in his return from injury, and Blake Snell (2.36 ERA, 0.94 WHIP) has been masterful all year.

17. Oakland Athletics

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
31-29 5-5 15 (-2)

Everything about Daniel Mengden is retro: his Rollie Fingers-esque mustache, his old-school delivery, and especially his sterling 1.13 ERA over his past three starts despite his 4.50 K/9.

18. Pittsburgh Pirates

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
30-29 3-7 11 (-7)

The surprising Bucs are treading water above the .500 mark because they haven’t gotten it done inside the NL Central. Pittsburgh went 3-7 over its last 10 contests, all of them against the Cubs and Cardinals.

19. Detroit Tigers


RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
28-31 7-3 23 (+4)

Maybe “Rally Goose” will be Detroit’s good-luck charm. Since that goose interrupted play Wednesday, the Tigers are 4-1 and now sit only 2 1/2 games back of the division lead. Also, they pick first overall in Monday night’s draft.

20. New York Mets

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
27-30 2-8 17 (-3)

Not much has gone right for the Mets lately, but one positive is newcomer Jose Bautista. Since arriving in Queens after a forgettable stint in Atlanta, Joey Bats has looked a little more like his old self, hitting .281/.439/.438 with five doubles and eight walks in 13 games.

21. Minnesota Twins

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
25-30 4-6 22 (+1)

After an abysmal start to the season with his new team, Lance Lynn put together a trio of strong starts. Over his last 18 2/3 innings, he’s allowed just three earned runs, lowering his season ERA from 7.47 to 5.46.

22. San Francisco Giants

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
29-30 5-5 21 (-1)

While the Giants await Madison Bumgarner’s return, Andrew Suarez has been part Jekyll, part Hyde. At home, the left-hander has a 3.55 ERA; on the road, it’s 6.38.

23. Toronto Blue Jays


RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
26-33 3-7 20 (-3)

Following the Blue Jays’ loss in Detroit on Saturday, manager John Gibbons refused to speak with the media. Considering his team has lost 15 of its last 20 games, we don’t blame him.

24. San Diego Padres

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
27-34 6-4 25 (+1)

As the Padres’ rebuild progresses, they’ve taken the notable step from being terrible to simply uninteresting. They’re so boring that Franmil Reyes is fourth on the team in homers despite appearing in 15 games.

25. Texas Rangers

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
25-37 5-5 24 (-1)

The Rangers have the second-worst offense and starting pitching staff in the AL this season by wRC+ and FIP, only ahead of the Orioles and White Sox, respectively. Yikes.

26. Kansas City Royals

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
21-38 5-5 27 (+1)

Universally panned when it was originally signed, Ian Kennedy’s five-year, $70-million deal isn’t improving with age. Due $33 million after 2018, Kennedy’s 6.08 ERA is the worst mark in the AL.

27. Cincinnati Reds

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
21-39 4-6 29 (+2)

Scooter Gennett has more than proven that his breakout 2017 season – highlighted by that four-homer, 10-RBI game – was no fluke. He’s flirting with a batting title, and could end up being the Reds’ All-Star rep.

28. Baltimore Orioles


RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
17-41 2-8 28 (-)

We all know Mike Trout leads the league in WAR, but did you know Chris Davis ranks last in the majors – among position players and pitchers – this season with minus-1.7 WAR? Now you do.

29. Miami Marlins

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
20-39 1-9 26 (-3)

Next weekend, the Marlins will throw it back to 1993 and wear their gorgeous Florida Marlins teal jerseys for the first time since 2011. Will the iconic look distract fans from the team’s minus-117 run differential and 1-9 record over its last 10 games? Probably not.

30. Chicago White Sox

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
18-38 3-7 30 (-)

Maybe there’s a reason the Nationals were willing to part with Lucas Giolito. Among starters with at least 50 innings in 2018, his 7.53 ERA and 6.48 FIP are dead last, and the 23-year-old owns a 5.47 ERA with a 13.9 percent strikeout rate over 121 2/3 big-league innings.

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)



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