The team with the best run differential in baseball also has the biggest lead in its division, and while it's way too early to declare a runaway winner, it's fair to say it's good to be a Minnesota Twin these days.
The Twins are the only team in baseball with a double-digit lead in their division, and they're also the only team in the American League Central with a winning record. They're 11 1/2 games in front of the White Sox and Indians.
The Twins have a run differential of +109, 10 runs better than the Astros (+99) and 15 better than the Dodgers (+94).
The AL Central race may not be the most suspenseful, but it's among the more interesting so far in 2019. Last year, there was a feeling in the industry the Twins were on the cusp of putting it all together and making a real push. Clearly, they're delivering.
Biggest jump: Not a lot of movement this week. Two teams jumped two spots: the Brewers, from No. 10 to 8, and the D-backs, from No. 16 to 14. The Brewers have won five of their past seven games, while scoring 48 runs and hitting 20 home runs during that stretch.
Biggest drop: Again, not a lot of movement. The Padres dropped two -- from No. 13 to 15, as did the Pirates -- No. 15 to No. 17. The Padres have lost five of seven, and in those five losses, they've scored a total of nine runs.
Power Rankings Top 5
1) Astros (1 last week)
The Astros are playing with a roster that's a little bit Major League, and a little bit Triple-A. And they keep winning. Since May 27, without Carlos Correa, George Springer and Jose Altuve, they've won five of six against the Cubs and A’s.
During that stretch, Michael Brantley is 9-for-22 (.409) with a six-game hitting streak, and Alex Bregman is 8-for-25 (.320) with two homers and five RBIs.
2) Dodgers (2)
The Dodgers are on pace to win a franchise-record 111 games, and they've won 41 of their initial 60 contests for the first time since 1974, when they started out 42-18 before losing the World Series to the Athletics. Also, they've won 30 of 41 games against right-handed starting pitchers this season.
3) Twins (4)
Minnesota has won 15 of its past 18 games, scoring 137 runs with 36 homers. With their win on Sunday, the Twins reached 40 wins faster than any season in the franchise’s 119 seasons in the league, which includes the Washington Senators. And how about Jake Odorizzi? He's 8-0 with a 1.02 ERA (6 ER/53 IP) since April 17. Six of his past seven starts have been scoreless outings, and he has not allowed a run in 16 1/3 innings.
4) Yankees (3)
Even with their loss to the Red Sox on Sunday night, the Yankees have won 15 of their last 19 games. They're 20-6 since May 5, and 30-10 since April 19. Also, they're 13-1 in their past 14 series, after going 1-4 in their first five. Gary Sanchez continues to rake -- his 18 homers prior to the All-Star break are tied for the most by a Yankees catcher in the first half. Yogi Berra had 18 long balls in 1956.
5) Rays (6)
They dropped three of four to the red-hot Twins over the weekend, but still, the Rays are 8-4 in their past 12 games, and they have the fifth-best record in baseball and the fourth-best run differential. They could make up some ground this week with a three-game set in Detroit before they play four in Boston next weekend, including a doubleheader at Fenway on Saturday.
The rest of the Top 20:
- Cubs (5)
- Phillies (7)
- Brewers (10)
- Braves (8)
- Red Sox (9)
- Indians (11)
- A’s (12)
- Cardinals (14)
- D-backs (16)
- Padres (13)
- Rockies (17)
- Pirates (15)
- Rangers (19)
- Mets (18)
- Reds (NR)