Published On: Mon, May 7th, 2018

MLB Power Rankings: Yankees dethrone Red Sox at the top

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Welcome to the fourth 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 May 21.

1. New York Yankees

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
24-10 9-1 12 (+11)

The Yankees have dominated a rather daunting stretch of their schedule, taking 16 of 18 games against playoff contenders – Indians, Astros, Angels, Twins, and Blue Jays – and looking every bit like the World Series contenders they were projected to be.

2. Boston Red Sox

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
25-9 6-4 1 (-1)

Though most attention is on the streaking Yankees, the Red Sox still own baseball’s best record and a three-game winning run of their own. The two AL juggernauts start a three-game set in New York on Tuesday.

3. Arizona Diamondbacks

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
23-11 6-4 3 (-)

The Diamondbacks’ 9-4 record in one-run games is a testament to the strength of their ridiculously stingy bullpen, which leads the majors in both ERA (2.19) and shutdowns (42).

4. Houston Astros

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
21-15 4-6 2 (-2)

Gerrit Cole continues to assert his dominance on the mound after rolling through the Diamondbacks, striking out 16 and allowing a single hit in a complete-game shutout. He’s arguably been the most impactful offseason acquisition and could compete for his first Cy Young.

5. Los Angeles Angels


RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
21-13 5-5 5 (-)

Is there anything more special than watching Mike Trout homer during a Shohei Ohtani start? That happened Sunday for the first-place Angels, who’ve won five of six.

6. Atlanta Braves

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
19-14 6-4 18 (+12)

Being swept by the Giants over the weekend somewhat curtails the Braves’ ascent, but this team is fun to watch. Ronald Acuna hasn’t missed a beat since his promotion, either, batting .326/.367/.565 with a pair of homers in his first 11 games.

7. St. Louis Cardinals

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
20-12 7-3 13 (+5)

The Cardinals may be top of the NL Central, but the loss of stalwart Yadier Molina for a month because of an unfortunate shot to the groin is a big one. Molina has averaged close to 140 games per season over the last three years.

8. Milwaukee Brewers

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
20-15 4-6 8 (-)

The Brewers aren’t scoring runs (3.8 per game) and have been shut out seven times already, but sit just 1 1/2 games out of first in the NL Central. They can thank their pitching staff and its 3.40 ERA for that.

9. Washington Nationals

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
18-17 7-3 10 (+1)

Since moving to the leadoff spot, Bryce Harper has drilled four home runs in six games. A healthy Harper and being able to roll out Max Scherzer every fifth day (15 Ks in 6 1/3 innings on Sunday) will help right the ship in no time.

10. Chicago Cubs


RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
16-15 5-5 11 (+1)

According to Joe Maddon, the Cubs – losers of five straight – are finally starting to offer constructive criticism to Yu Darvish, who owns a 6.00 ERA and hasn’t made it out of the fifth inning in three of his last four starts.

11. Cleveland Indians

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
17-17 3-7 7 (-4)

The once-powerful bullpen is no more. Over the past two weeks, Indians relievers own an 8.93 ERA and have allowed 43 earned runs, 60 hits, 23 walks, and 11 homers in 43 1/3 innings. Andrew Miller can’t return soon enough.

12. Seattle Mariners

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
19-14 6-4 19 (+7)

It won’t be the same without Ichiro, but the Mariners are simply too good to donate a roster spot to the 44-year-old icon. Since losing three straight games to Houston in mid-April, the Mariners have won four of five series.

13. Colorado Rockies

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
20-15 7-3 14 (+1)

As expected, the Rockies are going deep with regularity, but the offense has been surprisingly punchless. As a unit, they’re hitting .228/.306/.396 with Ian Desmond, Pat Valaika, and Carlos Gonzalez failing to deliver with any kind of consistency.

14. Toronto Blue Jays

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
19-16 5-5 6 (-8)

Getting Josh Donaldson back from injury is huge, even if he doesn’t seem himself just yet. He hit two homers in his first three games after being activated but went hitless over the three-game weekend set against the Rays.

15. Los Angeles Dodgers


RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
15-19 4-6 9 (-6)

Already off to a rough start, the Dodgers were decimated by injuries last week, losing Corey Seager for the year to a torn UCL while also placing Clayton Kershaw (biceps tendonitis) and Hyun-Jin Ryu (groin strain) on the DL. At this rate, they’re going to need much more than Manny Machado.

16. Philadelphia Phillies

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
18-15 3-7 15 (-1)

The Phillies are clearly on their way back to respectability, but they don’t have the “beating division rivals” thing down yet. Against NL East opponents, they’re 7-13; against everyone else, they’re 11-2.

17. Pittsburgh Pirates

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
19-16 5-5 17 (-)

After leading the NL Central on April 29, the Pirates are starting to look like the team most people expected them to be, losing four of six in May. Despite the slump, Corey Dickerson is raking (2 HRs, 8 RBIs, .946 OPS).

18. New York Mets

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
17-15 2-8 4 (-14)

Following a promising start, the Mets have come crashing back down. A power outage from the offense is part of the problem as Mets hitters have gone deep just 10 times in the last two weeks – the worst mark in the majors. At least Matt Harvey is no longer a distraction.

19. Oakland Athletics

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
18-16 5-5 20 (+1)

Signed to a one-year, $1.5-million deal in March, Trevor Cahill has quietly been excellent for the Athletics, posting a 2.25 ERA and 0.96 WHIP across four starts and striking out 12 Orioles over six innings in his last outing.

20. San Francisco Giants


RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
19-15 8-2 21 (+1)

No Johnny Cueto. No Madison Bumgarner. No Mark Melancon. But, somehow, the Giants own a winning record thanks to a suddenly impressive offense led by … Alen Hanson, who has five extra-base hits in eight games despite never posting an OPS above .651 entering the season.

21. Tampa Bay Rays

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
15-17 6-4 25 (+4)

Rays hitters surprisingly own the second-best average and on-base percentage in the American League. A big part of that comes from utility man Daniel Robertson, who is hitting .295/.439/.487 with three homers and 18 walks.

22. Texas Rangers

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
13-23 4-6 24 (+2)

Cole Hamels is pitching his way to becoming a strong trade chip for Texas come July. The veteran left-hander owns a 2.60 ERA over his last three starts, striking out 18 while limiting opponents to a .209 average.

23. Minnesota Twins

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
13-17 5-5 16 (-7)

The Twins have started disappointingly and things won’t get any easier as the Cardinals, Angels, Mariners, and Brewers make up their next 12 games. Minnesota has only played seven games within its own division, the fewest of any team in the weak AL Central.

24. Detroit Tigers

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
14-19 4-6 22 (-2)

The Tigers certainly haven’t been good, but it could be a lot worse! Their minus-9 run differential is actually second-best in the division.

25. San Diego Padres


RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
13-22 4-6 23 (-2)

No team has received a lower percentage of quality starts than the Padres (29 percent), whose starters have combined for an ugly 5.29 ERA. At least staff ace *checks notes* Joey Lucchesi (3.13 ERA; 3.81 FIP) is off to a good start, though.

26. Miami Marlins

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
13-20 7-3 28 (+2)

J.T. Realmuto is doing his best to ensure he’s traded by July, as the 27-year-old catcher has hit .328/.406/.557 (173 OPS+) with four homers in 16 games since coming off the DL on April 17.

27. Chicago White Sox

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
9-23 3-7 27 (-)

The future may be bright, but the present remains bleak: The White Sox just got swept at home by the flailing Twins, and hold the second-worst record in the AL. The power has been there, though, with four batters notching six or more home runs.

28. Baltimore Orioles

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
8-26 2-8 26 (-2)

When your team is built around offense and its OPS (.650) is only better than the Marlins, a winning record is unlikely. Baltimore sits 17 back in the division and with each passing day, a trade of Machado seems more likely.

29. Kansas City Royals

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
11-23 6-4 29 (-)

There’s some good coming from the scuffling Royals as Jorge Soler (.935 OPS) and Alex Gordon (.288 AVG) are suddenly hitting. Too bad their once-dominating bullpen is a thing of the past (5.83 ERA, .289 opp. avg.).

30. Cincinnati Reds

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
8-26 3-7 30 (-)

As tantalizing as Billy Hamilton’s speed remains, you can’t steal bases if you can’t get on in the first place. He’s drawing more walks but is still batting only .204 and he has swiped just five bags in the first 32 games.

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)



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