MLB Power Rankings: Rays Reclaim No. 1 Spot, Braves Rise, Mets Continue Free Fall

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    AP Photo/Mike Carlson

    The No. 1 and No. 2 teams in last week’s MLB power rankings squared off over the weekend as the Tampa Bay Rays took two of three from the Texas Rangers, so it shouldn’t be difficult to guess who sits in the top spot this week.

    Just behind them in the rankings, the Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees all suffered a pair of series losses, which meant a major shakeup in the top 10 and an opportunity for the Los Angeles Angels to join that group and the Miami Marlins to be on the doorstep.

    Further down the rankings, the New York Mets have plummeted outside of the top 20, while a shocking series sweep by the Oakland Athletics means there is also a new No. 30 overall team.

    Keep in mind, these rankings are a fluid process, with teams rising and falling based on their recent performance relative to where they landed in the previous week’s rankings.

    Note: Statistics and analysis reflect games through Sunday. Team records have been updated to include Monday’s results.

Nos. 30-28

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    Scott BarlowEd Zurga/Getty Images

    30. Kansas City Royals (18-48)

    Previous Rank: 29

    Last Week: 0-3 @ MIA, 0-3 @ BAL

    After going 0-6 and getting outscored 41-14 last week, the Royals have now been on the wrong end of seven different series sweeps. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, relievers Scott Barlow and Aroldis Chapman are both available and could be packaged together in a deal.

    29. Oakland Athletics (18-50)

    Previous Rank: 30

    Last Week: 2-1 @ PIT, 3-0 @ MIL

    Where did that come from?! The Athletics had not won more than two games in a row all season before ripping off a five-game winning streak, capped off by sweeping the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field. They scored 32 runs last week after plating just 87 runs in 29 games during the month of May.

    28. Washington Nationals (26-38)

    Previous Rank: 28

    Last Week: 0-2 vs. ARI, 1-2 @ ATL

    After playing competitive baseball for most of May, the Nationals are 3-9 with a minus-25 run differential in their last 12 games and looking more like the team many expected them to be here in the early stages of a rebuild. Continued development from guys such as MacKenzie Gore, Josiah Gray, Luis Garcia and Keibert Ruiz will be the gauge of a successful season.

Nos. 27-25

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    Nolan JonesMatthew Stockman/Getty Images

    27. Detroit Tigers (27-37)

    Previous Rank: 25

    Last Week: 0-3 @ PHI, 0-3 vs. ARI

    The Tigers are 0-9 with just 19 runs scored to kick off June, and they now rank dead last in the majors in batting average (.232), OPS (.647) and runs scored (223). Young outfielder Riley Greene and left-hander Eduardo Rodríguez have been the team’s two best players this year by a landslide, and both are currently on the injured list.

    26. St. Louis Cardinals (27-40)

    Previous Rank: 26

    Last Week: 1-2 @ TEX, 1-2 vs. CIN

    The Cardinals climbed all the way up to No. 13 in these rankings just three weeks ago while riding an 11-3 hot streak. Since then, they have gone 6-12 with four series losses and a pair of series splits, and they are back to being a bottom-five team as a result. Their sputtering offense has scored three or fewer runs 12 times in the last 16 games.

    25. Colorado Rockies (28-40)

    Previous Rank: 23

    Last Week: 0-3 vs. SF, 1-2 vs. SD

    The Rockies had been playing well at home until last week, and it took a walk-off win on Sunday to avoid back-to-back series sweeps. Former Cleveland top prospect Nolan Jones is hitting .360/.407/.680 with four doubles, four home runs and 12 RBI in 15 games since he was called up from Triple-A on May 26, and he delivered the walk-off blast on Sunday.

Nos. 24-22

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    Lucas GiolitoSarah Stier/Getty Images

    24. Chicago Cubs (28-37)

    Previous Rank: 20

    Last Week: 0-1 @ SD, 0-3 @ LAA, 2-1 @ SF

    Veteran right-hander Marcus Stroman is the NL leader in ERA (2.42), WHIP (1.04) and pitching WAR (3.3), which should make him a hot commodity at the trade deadline if the Cubs continue to struggle. With 12 of their next 17 games at home, where they’ve been much better this year, the next few weeks could ultimately decide if they can salvage this season.

    23. New York Mets (31-35)

    Previous Rank: 15

    Last Week: 0-3 @ ATL, 1-2 @ PIT

    Fill in the blank: The 2023 New York Mets are the most disappointing team since ____.

    Over the past three weeks, baseball’s most expensive team has gone 6-12 and fallen below the .500 mark on the year. That includes a 1-8 record and minus-17 run differential in their last nine games, and Justin Verlander getting shelled for seven hits and five runs in three innings against the rival Atlanta Braves on Thursday was their season in a nutshell.

    22. Chicago White Sox (29-38)

    Previous Rank: 21

    Last Week: 2-1 @ NYY, 1-2 vs. MIA

    The White Sox started June on a high note with a five-game winning streak and a pair of walk-off wins against the Detroit Tigers, but a weekend series loss to the Miami Marlins halted that momentum. With just six hits and one earned run allowed over 13 innings in his last two starts, Lucas Giolito is again pitching like a legitimate frontline ace.

Nos. 21-19

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    Andrew AbbottDylan Buell/Getty Images

    21. San Diego Padres (31-34)

    Previous Rank: 22

    Last Week: 1-0 vs. CHC, 1-1 vs. SEA, 2-1 @ COL

    It was a strong week for the San Diego pitching staff, with Blake Snell (2 GS, W, 13.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 20 K), Joe Musgrove (1 GS, ND, 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 8 K) and Michael Wacha (1 GS, W, 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 7 K) all throwing the ball well. Given how wildly inconsistent the offense has been, that could be the key to turning things around.

    20. Philadelphia Phillies (32-34)

    Previous Rank: 27

    Last Week: 3-0 vs. DET, 2-1 vs. LAD

    The Phillies are trending in the right direction with three straight series wins, and third baseman Alec Bohm returned to action on Sunday after missing 10 games with a hamstring injury. They are 19-11 with a plus-18 run differential at Citizens Bank Park, compared to 13-22 with a minus-51 differential on the road, and they will look to reverse that trend this week.

    19. Cincinnati Reds (32-35)

    Previous Rank: 24

    Last Week: 1-0 vs. MIL, 2-1 vs. LAD, 2-1 @ STL

    There is a lot of excitement surrounding the Reds right now. With the influx of young talent and a 12-8 record in their last 20 games, they could still be a factor in a wide-open NL Central race. Left-hander Andrew Abbott became the latest top prospect to make his MLB debut for the Reds last Monday, and he tossed 11.2 scoreless innings in his first two starts.

Nos. 18-16

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    Josh NaylorNick Cammett/Getty Images

    18. Seattle Mariners (32-33)

    Previous Rank: 18

    Last Week: 1-1 @ SD, 1-2 @ LAA

    Following a 2-6 road trip, the Mariners have fallen back below the .500 mark. The pitching staff has allowed at least 10 runs six different times in the last 14 games, and the back of the rotation has become a major question mark with Robbie Ray and Marco Gonzales both on the injured list.

    17. Boston Red Sox (33-34)

    Previous Rank: 16

    Last Week: 0-1 vs. TB, 1-2 @ CLE, 2-1 @ NYY

    The Boston rotation is slowly rounding into form, led by a healthy James Paxton who has a 3.81 ERA and 36-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 26 innings over five starts, though Chris Sale is now sidelined with shoulder inflammation. They won their first series of the year against the rival New York Yankees last week, and they welcome them to Fenway Park this weekend.

    16. Cleveland Guardians (31-34)

    Previous Rank: 19

    Last Week: 2-1 vs. BOS, 2-1 vs. HOU

    Behind strong weeks at the plate from Josh Naylor (12-for-25, 3 2B, 7 RBI) and José Ramírez (10-for-23, 2 2B, 4 HR, 8 RBI), the Guardians piled up 38 runs in six games and are now working on four series wins and a four-game split in their last five series. With 12 of their next 18 games against teams with a losing record, the coming weeks are a golden opportunity to climb back above the .500 mark.

Nos. 15-13

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    Patrick BaileyDustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    15. San Francisco Giants (34-32)

    Previous Rank: 17

    Last Week: 3-0 @ COL, 1-2 vs. CHC

    The Giants have lost two of their last three series since going 17-12 with a plus-21 run differential in May, and they will look to right the ship early this week before squaring off against the rival Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend. Catcher Joey Bart was activated from the injured list and optioned to the minors over the weekend as rookies Patrick Bailey and Blake Sabol will split catching duties.

    14. Milwaukee Brewers (34-32)

    Previous Rank: 11

    Last Week: 0-1 @ CIN, 2-1 vs. BAL, 0-3 vs. OAK

    How will the Brewers respond to getting swept by the Oakland Athletics? Their current four-game losing streak has dropped them to second in the NL Central standings, and it’s fair to wonder if an offense that ranks near the bottom of the league in batting average (.229, 27th), OPS (.683, 25th) and runs per game (4.05, 25th) will be this team’s undoing.

    13. Pittsburgh Pirates (34-30)

    Previous Rank: 14

    Last Week: 1-2 vs. OAK, 2-1 vs. NYM

    The Pirates ran their winning streak to six games with a victory over the Oakland Athletics last Monday, and a weekend series win over the New York Mets gave them a one-game lead in the NL Central standings. They have gone 10-4 against the rest of the division this year, and their next nine games are against the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers.

Nos. 12-10

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    Luis ArráezMichael Reaves/Getty Images

    12. Minnesota Twins (33-33)

    Previous Rank: 10

    Last Week: 0-3 @ TB, 2-1 @ TOR

    The Twins have held at least a share of the AL Central title since April 10, and they picked up a quality series win against the Toronto Blue Jays on the road last week. Second baseman Jorge Polanco joined a long list of players on the injured list with a hamstring injury, and top prospect Edouard Julien was recalled from Triple-A to replace him in the starting lineup.

    11. Miami Marlins (37-30)

    Previous Rank: 13

    Last Week: 3-0 vs. KC, 2-1 @ CWS

    The starting rotation of Sandy Alcantara, Jesús Luzardo, Edward Cabrera, Eury Pérez and Braxton Garrett is the biggest reason the Marlins have been surprise contenders in the NL East. Meanwhile, an offense led by Jorge Soler, Luis Arráez and Bryan De La Cruz is doing just enough to keep them in games, and they have taken care of business against lesser opponents in recent weeks.

    10. Los Angeles Angels (37-31)

    Previous Rank: 12

    Last Week: 3-0 vs. CHC, 2-1 vs. SEA

    The Angels improved to 20-14 at home with a pair of series wins last week, and now their inconsistent play on the road will be put to the test against the Texas Rangers. Shohei Ohtani is hitting .388/.444/.878 with six home runs and 13 RBI in his last 12 games, and while he has been a bit inconsistent of late on the mound, he still has a 3.32 ERA and 102 strikeouts in 76 innings with an MLB-best .172 opponents’ batting average.

Nos. 9-7

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    Bobby MillerRich Schultz/Getty Images

    9. New York Yankees (38-29)

    Previous Rank: 5

    Last Week: 1-2 vs. CWS, 1-2 vs. BOS

    The Yankees are now 8-10 when Aaron Judge is missing from the lineup after a pair of series losses with him nursing a sprained toe last week, and their overreliance on one player to make their offense go is a major concern. Left-hander Carlos Rodón threw a pair of live batting practice sessions last week, and he has another scheduled for Thursday before potentially starting a rehab assignment.

    8. Toronto Blue Jays (37-30)

    Previous Rank: 9

    Last Week: 3-1 vs. HOU, 1-2 vs. MIN

    Taking three of four from the Houston Astros was a statement series for the Blue Jays, and even with a weekend series loss they are still 11-5 in their last 16 games. Their status as a top-10 team will be put to the test this coming week when they square off against the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles on the road.

    7. Los Angeles Dodgers (37-29)

    Previous Rank: 6

    Last Week: 1-2 @ CIN, 1-2 @ PHI

    The Dodgers have lost four of their past five series, and they continue to fall well short of being a top-tier team away from Dodger Stadium with a 17-19 record and minus-five run differential on the road. They will look to get back on track when they welcome the Chicago White Sox and San Francisco Giants to town. Rookie Bobby Miller is quickly pushing his way into the NL Rookie of the Year picture, going 3-0 with a 0.78 ERA and 0.83 WHIP in his first four starts.

Nos. 6-4

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    Gunnar HendersonMitchell Layton/Getty Images

    6. Houston Astros (37-29)

    Previous Rank: 3

    Last Week: 1-3 @ TOR, 1-2 @ CLE

    The Astros will be without star Yordan Álvarez for the foreseeable future as he landed on the injured list with a strained oblique last week. They suffered back-to-back series losses last week, but a nine-game homestand against NL teams with a losing record should help them get back on track. Infielder Mauricio Dubón is hitting .342 this month and will likely take over as the team’s primary leadoff hitter in a lineup shuffle.

    5. Arizona Diamondbacks (41-25)

    Previous Rank: 8

    Last Week: 2-0 @ WAS, 3-0 @ DET

    The D-backs improved to 11-2 in their last 13 games with an undefeated week on the road, and it is becoming easier and easier to buy them as legitimate title contenders in 2023. Rising star Corbin Carroll is hitting .395/.452/.868 with four doubles, four home runs and 11 RBI in June, and he is quickly going from NL Rookie of the Year favorite to a legitimate NL MVP candidate.

    4. Baltimore Orioles (41-24)

    Previous Rank: 4

    Last Week: 1-2 @ MIL, 3-0 vs. KC

    For the seventh week in a row, the Orioles are a top-five team in our power rankings. Hyped rookie Gunnar Henderson went 10-for-19 with three home runs last week, raising his OPS nearly 100 points in the process, and he now has a 124 OPS+ and 1.2 WAR in 57 games after a slow start. Getting him rolling could really help bridge the gap until Cedric Mullins returns from a groin strain.

Nos. 3-1

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    Tyler GlasnowJulio Aguilar/Getty Images

    3. Atlanta Braves (40-26)

    Previous Rank: 7

    Last Week: 3-0 vs. NYM, 2-1 vs. WAS

    The Braves have regained the top spot among NL teams with a 7-2 start to June, and they strung together seven straight wins before losing on Sunday. Top prospect AJ Smith-Shawver made his first MLB start on Friday and allowed three hits and two unearned runs over 5.2 innings while throwing 86 pitches. He could be a major X-factor going forward with Max Fried and Kyle Wright on the injured list.

    2. Texas Rangers (41-24)

    Previous Rank: 1

    Last Week: 2-1 vs. STL, 1-2 @ TB

    The Rangers had a chance to solidify what proved to be a controversial decision to bump them up to No. 1 in the rankings last week, but they fell back down to No. 2 after dropping two of three on the road against the Tampa Bay Rays. Circle your calendars now for the July 17-19 series in Arlington, as there’s a good chance these will still be baseball’s top two teams a month from now when they face off again.

    1. Tampa Bay Rays (48-21)

    Previous Rank: 2

    Last Week: 1-0 @ BOS, 3-0 vs. MIN, 2-1 vs. TEX

    Behind strong starts from Tyler Glasnow (6.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 6 K) and Shane McClanahan (7.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 5 K), the Rays slowed down baseball’s highest-scoring offense and took two of three from the Texas Rangers. In three starts since returning from the injured list, Glasnow has a 2.87 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 20 strikeouts in 15.2 innings, and a great team gets even better if he can fill the role of co-ace alongside McClanahan going forward.

Complete Rankings

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    Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

    Complete Rankings

    1. Tampa Bay Rays
    2. Texas Rangers
    3. Atlanta Braves
    4. Baltimore Orioles
    5. Arizona Diamondbacks
    6. Houston Astros
    7. Los Angeles Dodgers
    8. New York Yankees
    9. Toronto Blue Jays
    10. Los Angeles Angels
    11. Miami Marlins
    12. Minnesota Twins
    13. Pittsburgh Pirates
    14. Milwaukee Brewers
    15. San Francisco Giants
    16. Cleveland Guardians
    17. Boston Red Sox
    18. Seattle Mariners
    19. Cincinnati Reds
    20. Philadelphia Phillies
    21. San Diego Padres
    22. Chicago White Sox
    23. New York Mets
    24. Chicago Cubs
    25. Colorado Rockies
    26. St. Louis Cardinals
    27. Detroit Tigers
    28. Washington Nationals
    29. Oakland Athletics
    30. Kansas City Royals

Highlight of the Week: Andrew McCutchen Joins 2,000-Hit Club

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    Justin Berl/Getty Images

    The one-year, $5 million deal that Andrew McCutchen signed to rejoin the Pittsburgh Pirates during the offseason has been more than just a farewell tour for one of the best players in recent franchise history.

    The 36-year-old has a 122 OPS+ with seven doubles, eight home runs and 23 RBI in 57 games, and he crossed a major career milestone on Sunday when he recorded his 2,000th hit, then received a lengthy ovation from the home crowd in Pittsburgh.

    “I wanted to do it here in Pittsburgh,” McCutchen told reporters. “I’m glad I was able to do it here. It was a special moment.”


    2,000 career hits for Andrew McCutchen! 🏴‍☠️

    (via @Pirates)

    He is the 291st player in MLB history to reach 2,000 career hits, and joins Miguel Cabrera (3,111), Joey Votto (2,093), Nelson Cruz (2,043) and Elvis Andrus (2,027) as the only active players in that club.

    With eight more hits, Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman will join that group.

Team of the Week

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    Corbin CarrollBruce Yeung/Getty Images

    C Gary Sánchez, SD
    (6-for-25, 2 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI)

    1B Freddie Freeman, LAD
    (9-for-21, 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI)

    2B Thairo Estrada, SF
    (7-for-26, 3 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI)

    3B José Ramírez, CLE
    (10-for-23, 2 2B, 4 HR, 8 RBI)

    SS Trea Turner, PHI
    (10-for-24, 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI)

    OF Corbin Carroll, ARI
    (11-for-22, 2 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 8 RBI)

    OF Nolan Jones, COL
    (8-for-20, 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI)

    OF Joey Wiemer, MIL
    (8-for-26, 3 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI)

    DH Shohei Ohtani, LAA
    (10-for-24, 2 2B, 3 HR, 5 RBI)

    SP Taijuan Walker, PHI
    (2 GS, 2 W, 12.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 5 BB, 13 K)

    SP Corbin Burnes, MIL
    (1 GS, W, 8.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K)

    SP Blake Snell, SD
    (2 GS, W, ND, 13.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 20 K)

    SP Lucas Giolito, CWS
    (2 GS, W, ND, 13.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 15 K)

    SP Shane Bieber, CLE

    (2 GS, W, ND, 12.2 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 11 K)

    RP Jordan Romano, TOR
    (3 G, 3/3 SV, 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K)

AL Award Rankings

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    Shohei OhtaniJayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

    AL MVP

    1. Shohei Ohtani, LAA
    2. Aaron Judge, NYY
    3. Marcus Semien, TEX
    4. Wander Franco, TB
    5. Bo Bichette, TOR
    6. Yordan Álvarez, HOU
    7. Yandy Díaz, TB
    8. Adley Rutschman, BAL
    9. Randy Arozarena, TB
    10. Adolis García, TEX

    AL Cy Young

    1. Shane McClanahan, TB
    2. Framber Valdez, HOU
    3. Nathan Eovaldi, TEX
    4. Luis Castillo, SEA
    5. Kevin Gausman, TOR

    AL Rookie of the Year

    1. Josh Jung, TEX
    2. Masataka Yoshida, BOS
    3. Hunter Brown, HOU

NL Award Rankings

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    Freddie FreemanRich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    NL MVP

    1. Freddie Freeman, LAD
    2. Ronald Acuña Jr., ATL
    3. Corbin Carroll, ARI
    4. Mookie Betts, LAD
    5. Sean Murphy, ATL
    6. Paul Goldschmidt, STL
    7. Luis Arráez, MIA
    8. Juan Soto, SD
    9. Pete Alonso, NYM
    10. Jorge Soler, MIA

    NL Cy Young

    1. Marcus Stroman, CHC
    2. Clayton Kershaw, LAD
    3. Zac Gallen, ARI
    4. Mitch Keller, PIT
    5. Bryce Elder, ATL

    NL Rookie of the Year

    1. Corbin Carroll, ARI
    2. Spencer Steer, CIN
    3. Kodai Senga, NYM

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