The Astros lost one game. The Twins lost two. The Dodgers lost one. Each team enters a new week on winning streaks of at least three games. The Dodgers have won five straight.
I thought perhaps looking back at the month that just finished might help find some separation between the three teams. In May, the Dodgers were 19-7, which is great until you see the Astros were 20-8, which is fantastic until you realize the Twins were 21-8.
Yep, it’s that kind of race right now. So a week later, I’m shaking things up. But know this, Astros and Dodgers fans, this all remains incredibly close.
THE TOP 10
1. Minnesota Twins (40-18; last week: 3)
Your day is here, Twins fans. I know many of you have been clamoring for this No. 1 spot and I sided with the Twins for two reasons: The +109 run differential, the best in baseball, and they took three of four from the Rays at home over the weekend. Tampa Bay is also a Top-5 team.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers (41-19; last week: 2)
The Dodgers are fresh off a sweep of the Phillies, who are one of the better teams in the National League. Heck, they could be the second-best team in the NL. And the Dodgers took all three games. It speaks to how good the Dodgers are — and should be the rest of the season.
3. Houston Astros (40-20; last week: 1)
The Astros swept the A’s over the weekend and before that took two of three from the Cubs. They have the second-best run differential, the third-best winning percentage and this week, they’ve got the Mariners and Orioles ahead of them, so more winning looks likely.
4. New York Yankees (38-20; last week: 4)
The Yankees took a tough loss Sunday night, but before that, it was a solid week. They won a series against the Boston Red Sox, which let’s face it, is much more important to Yankees fans than where they sit in these Power Rankings.
5. Tampa Bay Rays (35-22; last week: 5)
The Rays, one of the best teams in the league in April, just don’t have the same swagger these days. They were 16-11 in May, which was good but certainly not as good as the other AL heavyweights.
6. Milwaukee Brewers (33-26; last week: 8)
The Brewers still baffle me a bit — their +18 run differential isn’t that of an elite team — and they haven’t been as impressive as some of the other top teams, but they’ve played the toughest schedule in the league and they keep steadily stacking wins.
7. Atlanta Braves (32-27; last week: 10)
It was actually a ho-hum week for the Braves, but they move up by virtue of not being the NL contenders beneath them in the Rankings. They lost twice to the Nats but evened things out by beating up on the Tigers.
8. Philadelphia Phillies (33-26; last week: 6)
As noted above, the Phillies were swept by the Dodgers, which, hey, it happens. Their offense is ranked 13th in baseball, which should be better considering their lineup. They’re adding Jay Bruce in a trade, though, so maybe that helps.
9. St. Louis Cardinals (30-28; last week: 15)
Want to know the recipe for breaking out of a funk and moving up in the Rankings? Sweep your biggest rivals. That’s what the Cards did over the weekend.
10. Chicago Cubs (31-26; last week: 7)
Want to know the recipe for taking a dive in the Rankings? Get swept by your biggest rivals. That’s what the Cubs did over the weekend.
11. Boston Red Sox (30-29; last week: 9)
12. Colorado Rockies (31-27; last week: 17)
13. San Diego Padres (30-29; last week: 12)
14. Arizona Diamondbacks (30-30; last week 13)
15. Texas Rangers (30-27; last week: 20)
The Red Sox are close to dipping under .500 again after losing a series to the Yankees. The Rockies are on fire with eight wins in a row. The Padres and D-backs are keeping steady, even if unspectacular. And, hey, look at those Rangers who are in second place in the AL West these days.
STUCK IN THE MIDDLE
16. Cleveland Indians (29-30; last week: 14)
17. Los Angeles Angels (29-30; last week: 19)
18. Oakland A’s (29-30; last week: 11)
19. Chicago White Sox (29-30; last week: 24)
20. New York Mets (28-31; last week: 18)
I keep wanting to believe the Indians are better than this, but they aren’t showing it. The even lost three of four to the White Sox. The A’s, after winning 10 games in a row, have now lost five straight.
IT’S NOT LOOKING GOOD DOWN HERE
21. Washington Nationals (26-33; last week: 23)
22. Cincinnati Reds (27-32; last week: 21)
23. Pittsburgh Pirates (28-30; last week: 16)
24. Seattle Mariners (25-37; last week: 22)
25. San Francisco Giants (24-34; last week: 25)
The Nats only lost one game last week. The Mariners only won one game last week. The Pirates continue to win despite a -68 run differential. he Reds are +36 but — look how close are those records are.
26. Detroit Tigers (22-34; last week: 28)
27. Miami Marlins (21-36; last week: 29)
28. Toronto Blue Jays (21-38; last week: 25)
29. Kansas City Royals (19-40; last week: 27)
30. Baltimore Orioles (18-41; last week: 30)
Down here at the bottom of things, the Marlins have reached a season-high at No. 27, while the Orioles continue to own the No. 30 spot. The Blue Jays, losers of six straight, have fallen into the bottom five of the league.