MLB Power Rankings: The Giants take a hit, White Sox find a groove

MLB Power Rankings: The Giants take a hit, White Sox find a groove

Every week,​ we​ ask all​ of our baseball​ writers​ — both the​ local​ scribes​ and the national team,​ more​ than​​ 30 writers in all — to rank the teams from first to worst. Here are the collective results, the TA30.


Just because Mother’s Day is over and you’ve put away your Day-Glo pink chest protector doesn’t mean we should stop thinking about things from the perspective of all the moms out there. For some of us, our mother is our biggest fan, our most insightful coach. With every barrel, every well-executed slier, every botched double-play turn and hanging curve inexplicably popped to second, there is surely a mom out there trying to wrap it into the bigger picture.

Let’s channel them today if we can.

1. Los Angeles Dodgers

Record as of 5/9: 19-7
Last Power Ranking: 1

Mom bragged to all her friends about: How the Dodgers are running away with the highest run differential in baseball, and not because they’re scoring a ton, but because they are suppressing runs like heavy-duty weed spray. They are among the best pitching teams. Tyler Anderson is their fifth starter and he has a 2.78 ERA. They have perhaps the most bullpen depth in the game and yet, through one month, those relievers have pitched the fewest innings of any team. Dodgers just started a stretch of 31 games in 30 days. And that bullpen could not be more ready.

Mom is silently judging the team about: Having just two hitters (Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts) among the majors’ top 50 at the moment. And as a team, the Dodgers have been a mediocre offense, ranking right about league average by fWAR and slightly better by wOBA. It’s no dire straits — they have the best K/BB ratio and third-best OBP in the league. But they’re gonna need to score more at some point. Hints under the surface say they’re ready to break out.

2. New York Yankees

Record as of 5/9: 19-8
Last Power Ranking: 2

Mom is just so proud she might very slightly tear up over: How happy she is that the Yankees are playing so, so well, and that the Red Sox are playing so, so poorly. Nestor Cortes Jr.’s steady development from effective swingman to reliable rotation mainstay. Every time she’s on one of her morning walks in her Yankees hoodie and someone yells “27 rings!” at her.

Mom is worried about: Whether the Yankees are going to pony up for Aaron Judge given how much money he’s made himself over the first few weeks of the season. How Luis Medina’s command is coming along in the minors. How the Yankees could have lost even a single game to this year’s Red Sox team.

3. New York Mets

Record as of 5/9: 20-10
Last Power Ranking: 3

Mom already put this on the holiday card (in May): The Mets are the first team to reach 20 wins. And while the Phillies might not be a great team at the moment, the National League East is no pushover. And the Mets laid down the law already. That seven-run rally Thursday in Philadelphia — including a six-spot in the ninth — was some kind of statement. Even in May. “A night like tonight makes you realize what could be,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. Forget about the Phillies. The Mets are well ahead of the defending champion Braves, too. Maybe it matters and maybe it doesn’t, but it does count.

Mom wants you to think this over really hard: That combined no-hitter aside, the Mets have sported a middling bullpen. And that was before Trevor May landed in the infirmary with a stress reaction in his arm. At some point this season, games will get shorter and bullpens will get longer and the Mets will have to counter-punch. That’s a problem that can wait, though. And whatever, that’s what trade deadlines are for.

4. Milwaukee Brewers

Record as of 5/9: 19-10
Last Power Ranking: 6

Mom wants you to know she loves you very much: The Brewers have the runaway best pitching staff in the majors and, frankly, it’s not even close. This is wild because, as they sit, the Brewers might not have a pitcher within the top five in the National League. Corbin Burnes and Eric Lauer combined are the WAR equivalent of Carlos Rodón, basically. And that’s great. They are Voltron. In Formula One racing, they keep track of “manufacturer points” or “constructor standings.” Baseball should have a team pitching award. Because right now, the Brewers are the Ferrari of MLB.

If the other kids jumped off a cliff, would you, too? Rowdy Tellez is crushing the baseball, a welcome pillar at first base in Milwaukee. But he’s also emblematic of the Brewers’ offense. They are true-outcoming too much. The Brewers lead the league in home runs, but are among the bottom third in K/BB ratio.

5. Tampa Bay Rays

Record as of 5/9: 18-11
Last Power Ranking: 9

Mom left her laptop open and the open tabs were interesting: Ken Rosenthal’s article hoping the future of baseball will be hitters as skillful and entertaining as Wander Franco. A Stuff+ leaderboard that might just be a spreadsheet she made herself. A very long forum discussion on the benefits of arm-angle diversity in bullpen composition. Brett Phillips’ Instagram page.

Mom has some questionable Twitter likes of: People second-guessing the immediate results of the Austin Meadows trade. MLB Pipeline tweets of how close Matthew Liberatore is to the majors. Tweets that are just Brett Phillips’ strikeout rate. A link to a DRaysBay discussion forum on whether relying on the constant and careful maintenance of a 40-man roster completely stocked with viable major-league depth is a sustainable model.

6. San Diego Padres

Record as of 5/9: 19-10
Last Power Ranking: 7

Mom is a little tipsy and is feeling euphoric that: Manny Machado is the first-month MVP in the National League. The Padres’ offense is rolling even though Fernando Tatis Jr. (broken wrist) is still on the shelf. And their rotation still isn’t at full strength. But Blake Snell will probably return later this week — and the Padres’ big-name rotation will be whole again for the first time since they started spending wildly in the winter of 2020. Blake Snell, Mike Clevinger, Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove and Sean Manaea are about to be together at last. The Padres are a second-place team not even close to their ceiling.

Mom rolled her eyes at: That outfield in San Diego — the one that is among the least productive in the majors, about equal to the Rangers’ outfield. The Padres have a pitching surplus. Would they dare tempt fate to find more offense for the outfield? Or, have you never heard the name A.J. Preller?

7. Toronto Blue Jays

Record as of 5/9: 17-13
Last Power Ranking: 9

Mom was holding court at Tim Horton’s talking about: How “any true competitor knows” that wins and losses mean more than some “hokey stat” like run differential. How that heartwarming video of a Jays fan giving a ball to a child Yankees fan “would have never happened in a place like Calgary.” That she remembers how hard it was to learn where everything was at her new office when she started her new job, and everyone should extend Yusei Kikuchi the same amount of grace.

Mom lost her rec league curling match in extra ends and spent the drive home muttering about: How it defies all reason that a team with this much offensive talent could struggle so much with runners in scoring position. How the pitcher is in trouble in those situations, not you! That she tried to tell some of the folks down at Tim’s that there were warning signs at the end of last season with Hyun Jin Ryu. That everyone waved it away when she said, “as Teoscar goes, we go.” Now, who is laughing?

8. Los Angeles Angels

Record as of 5/9: 19-11
Last Power Ranking: 8

Mom put an agenda item in her next work meeting just so she could talk about: How awe-inspiring Shohei Ohtani is when he’s rolling on the mound, which has been a frequent occurrence of late. How the talent level in the Angels lineup always made this kind of hot start possible, and it was just a matter of time. How once Anthony Rendon gets comfortable with his surgically repaired hip, it’s over for you clowns.

Pretty sure mom “accidentally” hung up when you brought up: The current state of the six-man rotation and the feasibility of maintaining it all year long. The state of the bullpen and just Angels pitching in general. The middle infield depth chart and David Fletcher’s achy hip. Pretty much anything that isn’t the primary superstars of the team. These are the Angels, after all.

9. Houston Astros

Record as of 5/9: 18-11
Last Power Ranking: 12

Mom sort of looks ready to fight when: Someone is on the wrong side of the José Siri-Chas McCormick debate. Anyone questions whether it was the right move to give the shortstop job to Jeremy Peña. People sleep on the overall depth of the Astros bullpen. Somebody dares to talk bad about Dusty.

Mom also sort of looks ready to fight when: The roster forces a choice between Niko Goodrum and Aledmys Díaz getting an at-bat. Someone asks if this is the beginning of the end for Yuli Gurriel. The Pedro Báez signing gets referenced. Someone asks if the AL West is the Angels’ division now that their stars are finally healthy.

10. San Francisco Giants

Record as of 5/9: 16-12
Last Power Ranking: 4

Mom thinks you can do better if you just put your mind to it: Mike Yastrzemski splashed a homer into McCovey Cove on Sunday to push his team to a 4-3 victory over the Cardinals, giving the Giants back-to-back wins for the first time this month. They were riding a five-game losing skid. Now they’re tied with the Rockies (the Rockies) for third place in the West. One month in, with a single series loss, and this is a fourth-place team. The Giants are not a fourth-place team, c’mon. Their next series is a three-gamer in San Francisco against those Rockies. Third place is on the line.

Mama said there’d be days like this: It’s tough to be Joey Bart. He’s struck out in more than half his at-bats this season. He’s hitting .164. And the Giants hosted Buster Posey Day on Sunday as a convenient reminder of what’s expected of him. There is always somebody chasing you in this game, even if they’re metaphorical ghosts.

11. Minnesota Twins

Record as of 5/9: 18-11
Last Power Ranking: 10

Mom is talking a lot of smack about: The ample AL Central lead in just early May. How Carlos Correa is not just a legitimate team leader who brings tons of experience and legitimacy to the Twins, but is super smart about advanced statistics and totally does not have a broken finger. How all the young players blossoming and a few key veterans signing is blending just as well as she was trying to tell everyone in March, but no one would listen.

One time Mom was in the kitchen late at night and confessed she’s worried about: Having four (five?) members on the starting pitching depth chart on the injured list at one time. Byron Buxton dodging major injuries so far but picking up a couple of leg issues that are reminiscent of what’s troubled him in the past. Having 10 players on the injured list for a team that was supposed to need things to break right for everything to come together.

12. St. Louis Cardinals

Record as of 5/9: 16-12
Last Power Ranking: 11

Mom thinks you can be anybody you want to be: The Cardinals have played well through a month, although they’ve feasted on some cake in the schedule, with an 11-6 record against losing teams and a 5-6 mark against winning teams. At the moment, the Cards are in a logjam of wild-card hopefuls. The NL is jammed with bubble teams. And dollars to gooey butter cake that this fight will extend all season. But Nolan Arenado is an MVP candidate. If the bullpen comes around, the Cardinals might be the kind of team to catch fire and join the elite.

Watch your mouth – Mom started following you on Twitter: That bullpen is iffy and there’s nothing like a blown late-inning lead to bring out the swear jar. Ryan Helsey brings them hope, though.

13. Chicago White Sox

Record as of 5/9: 14-13
Last Power Ranking: 19

Mom is so proud of: How big and strong her little Timmy Anderson has grown since she last saw him. All that hard work Dylan Cease has put in to becoming what everyone in his corner knew he could be — though she would like to talk to him about that mustache. Liam Hendriks pouring his heart out as the whole bullpen starts to find its groove. How a six-game winning streak cancels out everything everyone was worried about during the eight-game losing streak.

Mom hasn’t posted on Facebook in a while because: She doesn’t want a bunch of people filling up the comments about how another player is injured, with a bunch of mean jokes about how the team can’t hit. She does not want to get into an argument with her brother-in-law about Tony La Russa again.

14. Atlanta Braves

Record as of 5/9: 14-16
Last Power Ranking: 14

Mom would like us all to just take a deep breath: One month in, and the Braves have a losing record. And that’s OK because they’ve been here, done that. “It doesn’t surprise me where they’re at,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said of the red-hot Mets. The weekend was a great reminder of what the Braves can be. Max Fried and Charlie Morton tag-teamed two starts to win a series against the Brewers, keeping Milwaukee from becoming the first 20-game winners in the majors. And Matt Olson is still raking.

But Mom’s patience is running thin: About that team OBP south of .300. You can’t score if you’re not on the field. And in total, the Braves’ lineup has been below league average this season. And they are a bottom-five team in strikeout rate. Maybe the worry-warts are on to something.

15. Colorado Rockies

Record as of 5/9: 16-12
Last Power Ranking: 18

Mom wants you to be grateful for the little things: The Rockies started this season ranked 25th and now they are the median team in the majors. Chad Kuhl, Colorado’s newest fifth starter, has a 1.82 ERA through five starts by discovering that the key to pitching is throwing strikes. And their lineup has reversed so much of what nagged at them the past three years — they are striking out a lot less (sixth-best K rate) and getting on base a lot more (second-best OBP).

But Mom won’t let you forget that: The Rockies aren’t really climbing through the ranks — they’re falling up. Colorado’s best pitcher, Germán Márquez, is a wreck, with the second-highest ERA in the league among qualified starters. And they just lost a series at Arizona after managing one run total in three games against Diamondbacks starters. Rockies are 11-5 at Coors Field and 5-7 on the road (sound familiar?) and they have played the easiest schedule in the majors so far, with just one series against a currently winning team. A three-game series at San Francisco this week is a true test.

16. Miami Marlins

Record as of 5/9: 13-15
Last Power Ranking: 15

Mom winked when nobody else was looking, just to let you know you are loved: Pablo López is on a Cy Young pace, with a 1.00 ERA through six games (4 earned runs in 36 innings), the lowest qualified ERA in the majors. And Jazz Chisolm Jr., in just his second full season, is going to be an All-Star. He’s like a more patient version of Wander Franco but with a higher slugging percentage. This is why the Marlins were a sneaky preseason playoff pick.

Mom needs to sit down and close her eyes for just a minute: First, the Marlins won seven in a row, with series victories over the Braves, Nationals and Mariners. Then they lost the next six in a row, including a Diamondbacks sweep and a series loss to the Padres. This is exhausting to watch.

17. Philadelphia Phillies

Record as of 5/9: 12-16
Last Power Ranking: 16

Mom is gonna be over here waiting for you to figure out: What is with this Phillies team? They nicked Max Scherzer for his first loss in nearly a year in the first game of a double dip Sunday. Then in the second game, Chris Bassitt steamrolled them. But they were rained out twice in New York because this Phillies season is still stalled. They’ve won just two series, against the A’s to open the season and a four-game sweep of the Rockies.

Go ahead. Take your time. It’s not like Mom has anything better to do: Really, what’s the hold-up? It’s not like anything is especially terrible about these Phillies. But they are much closer to the lowly Nationals than the Mets. What do you know about this team, in this season, that says they have a chance to overcome the Mets in the East? “I feel like in every series we’ve had a chance to win every game,” Jean Segura told reporters Sunday. “Even in the no-hitter in New York, there were a lot of good at-bats, a lot of walks, a lot of lineouts.” Yeah, sure, but you were still no-hit.

18. Seattle Mariners

Record as of 5/9: 13-16
Last Power Ranking: 13

Mom wrote you an email that was supposed to be about a family gathering but spent half the time talking about: How the excitement about Erik Swanson’s breakout in the bullpen is not so much about Erik Swanson but the organization’s potential to produce a litany of Erik Swansons. Her journey to buy tickets to watch the major-league debut of vaunted, big-stuff pitching prospect George Kirby.

Mom did not reply to an email that brought up: What has recently become of vaunted, big-stuff pitching prospect Matt Brash. That gutting three-run bomb that Paul Sewald gave up in the ninth the other night. How all the mounting injuries might be worse than losing all those games in a row. A 7,000-word expository essay on why the pitching has actually been a bigger disappointment than the offense thus far.

19. Cleveland Guardians

Record as of 5/9: 14-14
Last Power Ranking: 20

Mom is always bringing up how: That young man Steven Kwan is just so impressive. That some of the people who rushed to criticize the Mike Clevinger trade from the Cleveland side might want to take a look in the mirror. That the Guardians and their offense haven’t been nearly as bad as some people — who probably just feel bad about themselves at the end of the day — said they were going to be.

Mom changes the subject when asked about: Who is going to help out José Ramírez in the middle of the order if Franmil Reyes won’t do it? And is that Amed Rosario guy that she was so excited about still around, and what is happening with him? 

20. Arizona Diamondbacks

Record as of 5/9: 15-14
Last Power Ranking: 25

Guess who wrote “I ❤️   YOU” on the napkin in your lunchbox? Not to be outdone by the toughest division in baseball, the Diamondbacks aren’t just holding on; they’re winning. They are 15-14 after the first month. Madison Bumgarner, Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly all have sub-2 ERAs. No other division in baseball has four winning teams, let alone five. But the NL West does. Thanks to the Diamondbacks.

Mom needs help setting up a group text thread because: Behind that rotation is a leaky ship of a bullpen, the second-worst relief corps in the majors. Mark Melancon can hold on as closer as long as the D-Backs give him a lead and his curveball is biting. And when it’s not, then the Rockies put up a three-spot.

21. Boston Red Sox

Record as of 5/9: 10-19
Last Power Ranking: 17

Mom talks to the grocery store cashier about: How great some of those plans the Sox made to patch together spots in the starting rotation are working out. Rebound signing of a struggling vet (injury aside)? Promotion of a promising reliever? She’s just so proud!

Mom’s been skipping church to avoid talking about: The bullpen, those blowout losses and how the bullpen contributes to those blowout losses. The top free agency signing getting booed at home. A possible showdown for fourth place in the AL East with the Baltimore Orioles. How she’ll need to go to confession to talk about what she blurted out about the bullpen on Saturday.

22. Texas Rangers

Record as of 5/9: 11-15
Last Power Ranking: 26

A few Shiner Bocks and Mom won’t stop talking about: The more long-term signs of growth in the Rangers organization — their improvements in catching instruction and an expansion in mental health resources for players that acknowledges the sky-high stress levels of MLB. How the consistency of Dane Dunning’s command means more to his future projection than his “so-called stuff” that would lead to him being categorized as a back-end starter.

Mom broke an empty bottle of Shiner Bock and brandished it when: Any free agent signing save for Corey Seager is brought up, even as a passing mention, which is leading to a bit of a toxic home environment. It’s suggested that it’s an open question of who will finish last place in the AL West. The roof is opened at Globe Life Field, which is against stadium policy.

23. Oakland Athletics

Record as of 5/9: 10-18
Last Power Ranking: 22

Mom is at least willing to talk about: How nice Cristian Pache is to fans on his Twitter account and in person. Where some of the young players can pick up some opportunities to develop in the majors, since opportunities are obviously going to be very plentiful going forward.

Can you believe that Mom actually wrote on the marker board on the refrigerator that she will not discuss: The AL West standings. The home attendance or being asked to Google what’s the lowest home attendance in MLB history. The city of Las Vegas as an entity. How well Chris Bassitt, Starling Marte, Sean Manaea and Matt Olson are all doing this season. Dave Kaval’s Twitter account.

24. Chicago Cubs

Record as of 5/9: 9-18
Last Power Ranking: 21

Mom spent too much money on that bat for it to stay on your shoulder: The Cubs have one of the worst called-strike percentages in the game. And this is kinda, sorta by design. “The product of who we are, we’re gonna have more looking strikes,” manager David Ross said. “If you’re going to command the zone, you’re going to strike out looking more than if you chase. That’s kind of how it works.” Uh, OK. So is it good news or bad news that the Cubs struck out seven times Sunday in a blowout loss to Walker Buehler and the Dodgers, and all them were on swinging strikes?

Mom wants you to think about your future: That’s why they’re already wondering about the trade deadline in Chicago. Expectations were low for these Cubs, but even then, they’re underachieving with the second-worst lineup and fourth-worst pitching staff in the majors through the first month.

25. Kansas City Royals

Record as of 5/9: 9-16
Last Power Ranking: 24

Mom has videos saved on her phone of: MJ Melendez collecting his first big league hit. One of Amir Garrett’s really good sliders that he commands for a strike. A postgame interview of Brad Keller after one of his best starts, where he doesn’t even say anything particularly noteworthy, he just seems very content about his work and his life in general.

Mom is getting a little bit tired of talking about: Who has scored the fewest runs in all of baseball. What it means that the two highest-paid hitters on the team can’t manage a .600 OPS. What the first year of the Royals’ contention window is, and young starting pitchers who are not Brad Keller. Whether Adalberto Mondesí is ever going to get the chance for another healthy season.

26. Pittsburgh Pirates

Record as of 5/9: 11-16
Last Power Ranking: 27

Mom would like it if you called her now and then: An interesting turn is taking place in Pittsburgh. The Pirates are rethinking how they use pitchers, from starters through the closer, with an amorphous approach heavy on middle relief and not dependent on set roles. Through 27 games, Pirates starting pitchers still don’t have a victory. No other team in baseball’s history went more than 21 games into a season without a win (the 1988 Orioles had held the record at 21). A decade ago, the Rockies called this the “piggyback,” and they nearly got laughed out of the league. Now it’s a smart play.

Mom just can’t right now: Pirates are a third-place team, sure. But their 11-16 record is 12th in the NL and they are just 3-8 in the past two weeks. Still, the Bucs are third in the Central and 4-2 against the Cubs. And that counts for something.

27. Detroit Tigers

Record as of 5/9: 8-19
Last Power Ranking: 23

Mom wrote on the refrigerator marker board when: Alex Faedo finally made it to the big leagues after all those injuries and tough times. Gregory Soto took a nice deep breath and had himself a very good homestand. And Kody Clemens and so many of the young kids put together a nice month of April in what is still a promising farm system.

Mom gets quiet and looks out the window when: She gets asked the team’s record, or if she thinks Jonathan Schoop is going to pick up his player option. She finishes reminiscing about something good Akil Baddoo did last year. She looks up how many regular members of the lineup still have zero home runs.

28. Baltimore Orioles

Record as of 5/9: 11-17
Last Power Ranking: 29

Mom would be proud of: The non-atrocious state of the run prevention — which seems to have some progress and possible reasons for hope behind it — and that ever-beautiful supply of top prospects. How if Boston wants fourth place in the AL East, they’ll have to come and take it!

Mom lies to the neighbors about: Timing up a left-field reconstruction that reads as an absurd overreaction to the home run spike, perfectly alongside the home-run rate completely collapsing. Whether it’s bad to have a uniquely slow offensive start amid a uniquely slow offensive year for the league. That they are probably still worse than the Red Sox.

29. Washington Nationals

Record as of 5/9: 10-20
Last Power Ranking: 28

Mom wants to know why you can’t be more like him: Juan Soto has one of the most discerning eyes in the game, with the third-highest walk rate, and a preternatural ability to hit everything, with one of the best contact rates on pitches outside the zone. You just can’t nibble against Soto. He dominates the black. Serve up a pitch and hope for the best. Over the past two weeks, behind Soto and Josh Bell, the Nationals were one of the best slugging teams in the league.

[Deep sigh]: It was two Power Rankings ago, but the cloud of that eight-game losing skid in April is still hanging over the Nats. They’ve lost four of their past five, including a walk-off defeat Sunday in Anaheim after Shohei Ohtani doubled and Anthony Rendon singled in the ninth. It just feels like another skid is right around the corner.

30. Cincinnati Reds

Record as of 5/9: 5-23
Last Power Ranking: 30

Mom wants to know if you actually looked in the mirror before you left the house today: There was only one consensus pick this week in The Athletic’s MLB Power Rankings. That’s right. The Reds were tagged 30th by every voter. This is incredible. We can’t agree on anything. But these Reds are so bad, they forced Jayson Stark to type the phrase “worse than the 1899 Spiders.” Yeesh.

The bottom has been firmly set by the Reds. On the bright side, Hunter Greene’s arm is still attached and Luis Castillo returns Monday.

It’s bad, sure, but Mom will love you no matter what.

(Photo of Joc Pederson: David Crane / MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)


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