Updated: Jan 14
It is now June and we plenty more baseball to come, but we finally have a large enough sample of games to begin to understand who the real contenders are this year. With that said, here is how we rank the league:
1. San Diego Padres
The Padres won 19 game in May and have a great combination of pitchers and hitters. Fernando Tatis, Jr. is also making up for the little time he lost and now has 16 homeruns on the season. He could be the best hitter in baseball right now.
2. Tampa Bay Rays
In the pre-season, a lot of the big sports pages ranked the Rays very low, but we kept them in our top ten. Tampa has obviously exceeded even our expectations, but it is hard to expect less from this well run organization. As we write this, no team has a better record on the road.
3. Boston Red Sox
Boston’s schedule only gets harder, but much credit belongs to this team that most wrote off at the beginning of the season. We will see how the Red Sox perform in June with big games against both the Astros and rival Yankees
4. San Francisco Giants
The Giants have been a pleasant surprise and currently boast one of the best records in baseball. Their bats are getting all the credit, but this pitching staff collectively ranks among the top five in baseball.
5. Chicago White Sox
At the time this is being written, the White Sox have a run differential of +80. You can’t be that good without both your hitters and pitching staff playing excellent baseball. Chicago is running away with the AL Central right now.
6. Los Angeles Dodgers
This team is on another losing streak right now. We want to see more before we write the Dodgers off, but Los Angeles can’t keep playing this like if they want to keep up with the Padres and Giants.
7. Houston Astros
Watching this team get “cheaters” chants as they go to each recently opened park has been fun. We have nothing to say about the Stro’s.
8. Oakland Athletics
Some good fortune has this team winning more than expected with a negative run differential on the season. We do not expect them to continue to win like that.
9. St. Louis Cardinals
The Nolan Arenado trade is looking like a steal for the Cards. Not to mention the resurgence of veterans Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright. This team can contend.
10. New York Mets
Injuries appear to be the biggest story out of Queens, with more than half of the players from the opening day roster currently on the IL, but we really should talk more about Jacob deGrom’s unmatched dominance.
11. Chicago Cubs
The Cubbies responded to a terrible April with a terrific May, but now they have a very grueling June ahead with games against SD, LAD, NYM, SF, STL, and MIL.
12. Toronto Blue Jays
This lineup can score runs and Vlad Guerrero, Jr. has really excelled at his new lower playing weight, but the Blue Jays starting pitchers have the fewest innings pitched in the league. Newly called up prospect Alek Manoah will hopefully help with that, but it takes more than one guy with no major league experience.
13. New York Yankees
It is never wise to write off the Yanks and you cannot hold their struggles against top teams against them, but a few of those top teams play in their division. A big series against rival Boston is lurking ahead in June.
14. Milwaukee Brewers
Milwaukee’s pitching rotation has been a bright spot for this club, but they need more runs out of this lineup that features perennial All-Stars Christian Yellich and Lorenzo Cain.
15. Cleveland Indians
It’s never good to rank among the bottom of the league against right-handed pitchers and that is exactly the problem for this Indians team.
16. Atlanta Braves
In a division that features a handful of talented pitching rotations, injuries and aging veterans on their staff are holding the Braves back. Acuna, Freeman, and company sure can score runs though.
17. Kansas City Royals
Outside of an eleven game losing streak, the Royals have not looked all bad. Kansas City is getting some solid production from veterans Sal Perez and Carlos Santana.
18. Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia has underperformed to start the season and now Bryce Harper in on the IL with a lingering wrist injury. However, the Phillies are still in the hunt with all of the NL East struggling to separate themselves.
19. Miami Marlins
At the time we wrote this, the Marlins are only one win behind the division-leading Mets. That’s how close this division is. Miami has some young pitchers to watch this year and soon they will get Sixto Sanchez back from injury.
20. Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati sure can hit, especially Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos, who could both start in the All-Star Game, but they will need better production from their pitching rotation in order to get over .500 on the season.
21. Los Angeles Angels
The Angels cut Pujols in the final year of his deal and Mike Trout is on the IL. Yikes. At least Shohei Ohtani continues to impress both at the plate and on the mound.
22. Seattle Mariners
Kelenic has lived up to the hype and looks capable of staying up for the remainder of the season. This ranking may not be impressive, but there is plenty of young, exciting talent to watch in Seattle.
23. Detroit Tigers
This young Tigers team continues to put up a fight. Detroit actually had a winning record in May, which is a positive step for this rebuilding team.
24. Washington Nationals
Whenever you are last in the NL East, a division that includes the Miami Marlins, it is not good. That’s the situation for these Nationals. Washington needs to start scoring more runs.
25. Minnesota Twins
It is too soon to write off this Twins team that had high expectations coming into the season. They went on a short skid when Buxton was forced to the IL, but there is still plenty of talent in this lineup.
26. Texas Rangers
This is really where it starts getting ugly. Each of these bottom five teams has looked like the worst in baseball on a given night. Texas ended May on a six game losing streak and have been struggling to score runs all season.
27. Pittsburgh Pirates
Pittsburgh has begun to win more games recently, but there is not enough talent on this roster truly contend.
28. Colorado Rockies
The Rockies are not so bad at home, but their complete inability to win on the road is keeping this team near the bottom of our ranks. They have only won four road games out of twenty-six road games played.
29. Arizona Diamondbacks
Arizona has the fewest wins in the NL. The D-backs did not look this bad at the start of the season.
30. Baltimore Orioles
The O’s are on a miserable losing streak right now. They lack depth in the field and seemingly have no quality arms behind John Means. Baltimore has really earned this bottom spot.