Pitchers dominated in yet another big week for baseball; two no-hitters were thrown this week and the AL East finally bounced back. Before we dive into the power rankings, I want to talk about a story that didn’t get a lot of mainstream media coverage.
The MLBPA (Players Association) filed a grievance against the MLB for $500 million a little over two weeks ago. The MLBPA is claiming that MLB prolonged negotiations last year and cut 20 games that the league could have played; the PA is asking for $25 million per game for the players to split evenly. In response to the grievance, the MLB filed a counter grievance stating that they couldn’t guarantee safe working conditions for players and that is why the season was only 62 games long last year.
Why does any of this matter? The timing of the MLBPA filing this grievance is terrible for the league because if this issue goes into arbitration (which most experts assume it will), and the case isn’t resolved by December 31st, the MLB has to negotiate a new Collective Bargaining Agreement in 2022. My guess is that the MLBPA will cave and pay the players themselves; meanwhile, they use it as leverage for the next CBA to get higher minimums salaries for players. This is a story that could span the entirety of the MLB season; so for now, let’s get into some rankings!
- San Francisco Giants (+4)
For the first time this month, we have a new number one in the rankings. The Giants have played great baseball all year; but more importantly, they are leading the toughest division in the MLB. Johnny Cueto is finally healthy again and should be making his first start this weekend in nearly two weeks, but overall the pitching has been dominant for the Giants. I think the key thing to watch going forward is the schedule. As the month of June kicks off, the NL West begins playing long series against each other and that will be a huge test for the Giants.
- Chicago White Sox (+1)
The temptation to put the Sox as the number 1 team in the rankings was really strong. I love this Chicago White Sox team even if Tony Larussa’s ethic remarks are borderline obnoxious. This week Larussa criticized Yermin Mercedes for swinging on a 3-0 pitch (he hit a home run) against the Twins after the White Sox were leading 15-3. I personally have no issue with Mercedes swinging, and if the Twins were worried about him going yard they could have walked him. Distractions aside, I think the White Sox are in a very good place going into the end of the month.
- Boston Red Sox (-2)
The Boston Red Sox fell this week, but only because the AL East is BACK! The AL East started the year off slow, but the Yankees have caught fire, the Blue Jays are competitive, and the Rays are finding ways to win games. The Red Sox have the toughest schedule in baseball until mid-July; and if they can’t win consistently, they will end up at the bottom of the division.
- San Diego Padres(+6)
- Houston Astros (+4)
In keeping with the theme of this ranking; the Houston Astros are BACK! Astros have been on an absolute streak the last few weeks and it continued this week as they handed the Rangers a 4 game sweep in Arlington. Can Houston keep this momentum up? Only time will tell.
- St. Louis Cardinals (-2)
The NL Central has become a little bit more competitive as of late, but the Cardinals remain on top. Cardinals have a HUGE series against the Chicago Cubs this weekend.
- Los Angeles Dodgers (+4)
I have been openly critical of the Dodgers the last few weeks; however, the Dodgers scraped together a few wins and played really well this week. The biggest issue for the Dodgers is the injury bug, at one point this season 5 of the starters were out on injury. If the Dodgers can stay healthy they can find their way back to the top of the NL West.
- Oakland Athletics (-6)
- Tampa Bay Rays (+6)
- New York Yankees (+2)
Aaron Judge is finally hitting the ball consistently and that in turn makes the AL East more exciting.
- Cleveland Indians (-5)
- Toronto Blue Jays (-4)
- New York Mets (-6)
- Chicago Cubs(+4)
THE CUBS ARE WINNING AGAIN! Being a Chicago Cubs fan (I know you couldn’t tell by that first sentence), it is exhausting watching this team play really great and then falling off the face of the planet. Grandpa Ross is really making good changes with how he is managing the bullpen, and it’s a huge reason why the Cubs are looking good again.
- Philadelphia Phillies (-1)
- Milwaukee Brewers (-3)
The Brewers were swept by the Royals this week in a 2 game series and are 4-6 in their last ten games. My gut tells me this just one of the many roller coasters that the Brewers will have this season; give this team a week and they will be back in the lead for the NL Central.
- Seattle Mariners (-)
- Kansas City Royals (+3)
The Royals finally snapped an 11 game losing streak and fired back by splitting a 4 game series with the White Sox and sweeping the Brewers. I still believe the Royals are going to sell at the deadline; but on the off chance they become buyers, look for them to improve at third base.
- Miami Marlins (+3)
- Atlanta Braves (-)
- Cincinnati Reds (-5)
- Washington Nationals (+7)
- Los Angeles Angels (+1)
- Pittsburgh Pirates (+2)
- Texas Rangers (-6)
The Rangers built a new stadium that opened in 2020; since its opening Globe Life Field has been home to an MLB Post Season Division Series, an MLB Championship Series, a World Series, and two no-hitters; all of these were accomplished by teams not named the Texas Rangers.
- Arizona Diamondbacks (-3)
- Baltimore Orioles (-2)
- Detroit Tigers (-)
- Colorado Rockies (-2)
- Minnesota Twins (-)
It will be very interesting to see if the Twins decide to sell off pieces of this team. The Twins have a lot of older players and the young guys are in the last year of their contracts.
Tell us what you think! Do you agree with where your favorite team ended up in this week’s power rankings? Share your reactions in the comments below.