Welcome to the third edition of The Intermission’s MLB Power Rankings. Here, our baseball editors rank where each team stands two months into the season.
By: Thomas Gotzamanis and Lucas Reyes
1. New York Mets (35-18)
Previous Rank: 2 (+1)
It’s been a glorious stretch for the Mets lately. There are lots of reasons for their success, especially with their pitching taking a step forward with the absence of Max Scherzer. But, the hot bat of Luis Guillorme has been an interesting storyline. The second baseman is dominating pitchers with a .356 batting average and a .448 on-base percentage and no one is talking about it. Combine that with the improved bats of the rest of the infield (especially Jeff McNeil), and it’s no wonder they’re taking the league by storm.
2. New York Yankees (37-15)
Previous Rank: 3 (+1)
The Yankees have been playing some great baseball this season. The pitching has been on another level, ranking first in runs allowed (3.1), hits allowed (7.2) and opponent batting average (.217). The one who’s been leading this surge has surprisingly not been Gerrit Cole, but instead Nestor Cortes Jr. Nasty Nestor boasts an absurd 1.70 ERA on the year, good for second in the MLB. Not to mention Aaron Judge who’s leading the league in home runs and RBIs. This team is scary.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers (34-17)
Previous Rank: 1 (-2)
Getting swept at home by the Pittsburgh Pirates will definitely leave a mark, but it could be worse. Despite this, the Dodgers still lead the NL West and look like the favourites to keep that standing. Despite how their wicked pitching continues to mow down opposing hitters, it’s even better to see that Mookie Betts is back. His 1.008 OPS leads the team, and another MVP could be in the cards for him if he keeps this up.
4. Houston Astros (33-18)
Previous Rank: 9 (+5)
An 11 game-winning streak in May coupled with the Angels collapsing has seen the Astros take back control of the AL West in commanding fashion. While the offense is still underperforming relative to Houston’s standards, the pitching has been elite, boasting a league best 2.84 ERA.
5. Toronto Blue Jays (30-21)
Previous Rank: 6 (+1)
It’s been a much different story for the Blue Jays recently, as their offense is finally clicking again. They’re winners of eight straight and are scoring over seven runs a game in their last seven contests. Not only that, but the pitching remains dynamite. Kevin Gausman leads the show, posting an MLB-low 1.57 FIP, and has yet to walk double digit batters 10 starts into the year. If some of the remaining struggling players can pick it up, watch for this team to dominate.
6. Milwaukee Brewers (33-20)
Previous Rank: 4 (-2)
Corbin Burnes continues to showcase why he may be the best pitcher in the league. The 27 year-old owns a 1.95 ERA through two months and doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. Not to mention closer Josh Hader, who’s yet to give up a run in 16 innings of action while notching a league-leading 18 saves.
7. San Diego Padres (30-21)
Previous Rank: 7 (-)
The Padres are looking solid so far. Holding onto the first wild card spot without their best player is worthy of applause, but they’re going to need a bit more going forward. There are bright spots that are really shining, with Manny Machado and Joe Musgrove being the obvious ones. But, rookie Mackenzie Gore and his 1.71 ERA can’t be ignored, and he looks to be a big part of this franchise going forward.
8. St. Louis Cardinals (30-22)
Previous Rank: 11 (+3)
The Cardinals continue to loom right behind the Brewers for the top spot in the NL Central. While Nolan Arenado and Tommy Edman have been stellar for St. Louis, it’s been the resurgence of Paul Goldschmidt that’s really been the key for the Cardinals. The 34 year-old has rewinded the clock back to 2013, as he owned an absurd .398 batting average in May coupled with a 24-game hitting streak that’s still going!
9. Minnesota Twins (31-23)
Previous Rank: 12 (+3)
It hasn’t been an amazing past couple of games for the Twins, but they’re proving last year to be a fluke. Nothing about this team particularly stands out, but it’s solid across the board. Trevor Larnach has also been a pleasant surprise, putting up an .846 OPS in 34 games so far this season. If he can keep this production up, it quietly makes for one of the better outfields in baseball.
10. Tampa Bay Rays (31-21)
Previous Rank: 5 (-5)
Despite all the injuries this squad is facing, they're still finding ways to somehow win games and stay competitive. Shane McClanahan has been excellent for Tampa Bay. He boasts a 2.01 ERA through his 10 starts on the year.
11. San Francisco Giants (28-23)
Previous Rank: 10 (-1)
It’s clear this team isn’t as good as last year, but they’re still a playoff team. The pitching in particular has gone down, but the bats are still swinging hard. Bringing in Joc Pederson has paid off tremendously, with the former arch-rival posting a .923 OPS and slugging 12 home runs already.
12. Texas Rangers (24-26)
Previous Rank: 18 (+6)
After a putrid start to the season, the Rangers responded by going 17-9 in May and breaking into the third spot in the AL West. And this happened with Marcus Semien still batting like Helen Keller at the plate. He owns a terrible .193 batting average and just ONE home run on the year. At least Texas has Martin Perez, who leads the MLB in ERA (1.42). This team is just weird.
13. Los Angeles Angels (27-26)
Previous Rank: 8 (-5)
The Angels look bad again! The mirage is slowly fading and reality is starting to kick in. The bullpen is starting to wear down and the hitting can only keep up for so long. They do have the manpower to turn it around and get themselves back on their feet, but an eight game losing streak that has yet to be snapped isn’t a good sign of things. If they can ride off the bats of Mike Trout and Taylor Ward they may be okay. But, the league race is tightening up and they’re currently eating dust.
14. Atlanta Braves (25-27)
Previous Rank: 16 (+2)
It only feels like a matter of time before the Braves turn everything around and start winning games again, right? While there isn’t that much cause for concern as we saw this exact same script last season, it would be more reassuring for Braves fans if the former World Series champions were at least above .500 two months through the season.
15. Boston Red Sox (24-27)
Previous Rank: 19 (+4)
It’s like the Red Sox trying to embody a roller coaster. They started the season looking really bad, then Trevor Story turned into Babe Ruth and they were good again, but now they look mediocre. A plus-22 run differential doesn’t matter if you’re under .500, and while the bats look good, the team lacks cohesiveness. At least Rafael Devers has a .974 OPS! That’s good, right?
16. Cleveland Guardians (23-24)
Previous Rank: 17 (+1)
This team feels like they should be doing better than they are. The stars, particularly Jose Ramirez and Shane Beiber, are playing well. Tristan McKenzie has even been great, boasting a 2.65 ERA on the year. Cleveland also owns a +23 run differential which is good for ninth in the league, yet still sit under .500. Weird stuff.
17. Chicago White Sox (23-27)
Previous Rank: 14 (-3)
This team looks bad. No hitting, mediocre pitching, and overall dysfunction. It’s just cold players everywhere and a run differential worse than the Reds (seriously). The White Sox need to get it together because there is too much talent to be struggling like this. If someone other than Tim Anderson and Andrew Vaughn could hit for an .800-plus OPS, that would be a good start.
18. Miami Marlins (21-29)
Previous Rank: 21 (+3)
For a team ranking in the top 10 for nearly every offensive and pitching category, you’d be expecting better results in the win column. Jorge Soler and Jazz Chisholm have been great for Miami, owning a combined 19 home runs on the year. Sandy Alcantara and Pablo Lopez have also been steller for the rotation, tallying a combined 1.91 ERA so far. Don’t be surprised if this team plays the dark horse for a playoff spot in the upcoming future.
19. Philadelphia Phillies (23-29)
Previous Rank: 20 (+1)
The Phillies are mediocre! Are you surprised? No? Okay, just take another MVP season from Bryce Harper and get out of here.
20. Seattle Mariners (22-29)
Previous Rank: 15 (-5)
If you go on Twitter you would think Robbie Ray bombed the city of Seattle. Their fans are unhappy and rightfully so. A lot of new players that were highly advertised aren’t showing up and it’s drowning their postseason hopes early on. For now, they can enjoy Ty France as he continues to destroy pitchers night in and night out. His .917 OPS is scary and they at least deserve him.
21. Arizona Diamondbacks (26-27)
Previous Rank: 22 (+1)
Arizona isn’t terrible. That’s a shocker. But a lot of that credit goes towards Madison Bumgarner and Zac Gallen having great seasons. Gallen looks like a premier pitcher in the league, boasting a blistering 2.32 ERA through nine starts. Mad Bum has also turned back the clock, recording a 3.31 ERA on the season. Not to mention Christian Walker, who hits 13 moonshots on the year. This team isn’t terrible anymore.
22. Colorado Rockies (23-28)
Previous Rank: 13 (-9)
Hey what’s that team that hits really well every year but always has horrendous pitching? I think they wear purple and play in the ozone layer? I don’t know, I'm just asking for a friend, they say they’re collapsing and only have one good hitter. Oh, they have another guy named Yonathan Daza with a .415 on-base percentage? Cool I guess!
23. Baltimore Orioles (22-32)
Previous Rank: 25 (+2)
Fun fact: the Baltimore Orioles have scored more runs this season than the Toronto Blue Jays. Who could’ve guessed that? This team is alright. No one has been amazing, but there haven't been many guys who have been terrible. Playing in the AL East doesn’t really help much though.
24. Cincinnati Reds (18-33)
Previous Rank: 30 (+6)
After an April that made everyone think they were trying to mimic the 1899 Cleveland Spiders, the Reds turned in a pretty solid month of May. The team is still bad, but they’re not last anymore and have been showing some fight. Going from 4-24 to 18-32 is a surefire improvement, and they earned their bump in the rankings.
25. Pittsburgh Pirates (22-28)
Previous Rank: 23 (-2)
Pittsburgh owns the NL’s second worst run differential (-77) and yet sit in third place in the NL Central. Jose Quintana has enjoyed a great season so far, recording a 2.32 ERA through 10 starts. With the playoffs pretty much out of question for Pittsburgh, unloading Quintana could command a pretty penny from contenders this trade deadline.
26. Chicago Cubs (22-30)
Previous Rank: 24 (-2)
The Cubs are not good, but not the worst. They’re in a boring phase though, and nobody really stands out other than Willson Contreras and his .931 OPS. It’s going to be a long season for Cubs fans, so just enjoy what you get, I guess.
27. Detroit Tigers (21-31)
Previous Rank: 26 (-1)
A group of blind 10 year-olds could swing a bat better than this Tigers offense right now. Okay, that’s maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but is it really? Javier Baez has not been good, owning a putrid .197 batting average alongside just three home runs. For a team that many expected to possibly contend for a playoff spot this season, this is more than disappointing to say the least.
28. Oakland Athletics (20-33)
Previous Rank: 27 (-1)
There’s not much to really say here. The bullpen is mediocre and nobody can hit. It’s really boring to watch but at least the pitching trio of Frankie Montas, Paul Blackburn and Cole Irvin have been a pleasant surprise, with all three owning a sub-three ERA.
29. Washington Nationals (19-35)
Previous Rank: 28 (-1)
It’s rock bottom for the Nationals currently. The pitching is a collective cookie dispenser and Juan Soto looks lost compared to his usual self. At least Josh Bell is still hitting well with an .822 OPS. At least they won a ring while their old core was together, because this new one needs a lot of time.
30. Kansas City Royals
Previous Rank: 29 (-1)
The worst run differential in the league. Terrible offense. Terrible pitching. This team sucks. Nuff’ said.