Surging clubs closing in on Power Rankings Top 5

June 26th, 2023

While there were no changes within the Top 5 this week, things are certainly tightening up atop the Power Rankings.

A team other than the Rays received a first-place vote for the first time in months, and eight teams earned Top 5 consideration -- including three NL West clubs that found themselves locked in a tight battle for the No. 5 spot.

Here are this week's rankings:

Biggest jump: The Reds made the biggest jump for the second straight week, moving up another seven spots to No. 8. They also jumped seven spots in last week’s rankings, going from No. 22 to No. 15. Cincinnati’s 12-game winning streak came to an end Saturday in a one-run loss against the NL-leading Braves. Rookie sensation Elly De La Cruz is hitting .333 with three homers, eight stolen bases and a .989 OPS through his first 17 career games -- oh, and he hit for the cycle Friday against Atlanta.

Biggest drop: The Yankees won four of six this week, including taking two of three from the AL West-leading Rangers to close the weekend, but it’s still been a rough couple of weeks in the Bronx that resulted in the club dropping four spots, from No. 8 to No. 12. New York is just 7-10 over its past 17 games, Aaron Judge has no timetable to return from his toe injury, and it remains uncertain how the Josh Donaldson situation will play out. That said, the Yanks are in a great spot to make a run this week with three games apiece against the struggling A's and Cardinals.

Power Rankings Top 5:

1) Rays, 54-27 (last week: 1)

Tampa Bay is scuffling for maybe the first time all year. Along with benching superstar Wander Franco for two games this week (though he homered in his return to the lineup Saturday), the Rays have not won any of their past four series. Their last series win came when they took two of three from the Rangers from June 9-11. Since that set, Tampa Bay split a four-game set with the last-place A’s, lost two of three to the Padres, split two with the O’s and split four games against the last-place Royals. The Rays still hold the best record in the Majors, but they’re just two games ahead of the Braves -- and only 4 1/2 ahead of the Orioles in the AL East.

2) Braves, 50-27 (last week: 2)

The Braves just keep on winning. They received one first-place vote from our panel after a week in which they went to Philadelphia and won both games against the rival Phillies, then snapped the Reds’ 12-game winning streak by winning back-to-back games in Cincinnati to close the weekend. Overall, Atlanta has won 10 of its last 11 to move within two games of the Rays for the best record in the Majors. The Marlins (six games back) are the only team in the NL East fewer than 10 games back of Atlanta.

3) Rangers, 47-30 (last week: 3)

It’s hard not to wonder what Corey Seager’s numbers might look like had he not missed more than a month earlier this season due to a strained left hamstring. The Rangers’ shortstop is hitting .349 with a 1.028 OPS. He has 10 homers and 46 RBIs in just 46 games -- that’s a 35-homer, 162-RBI pace over 162 games. Seager has had plenty of help up and down the Texas lineup -- and from the pitching staff -- on a team that finds itself with a 5 1/2-game lead in the AL West.

4) Orioles, 47-29 (last week: 4)

It was an up-and-down week for the O’s, who started by splitting a pair with the Rays before dropping a 13-1 decision in the series opener against the Mariners. Still, Baltimore closed the weekend with a pair of wins, led by the red-hot Anthony Santander. Santander not only robbed Julio Rodríguez of a home run on Sunday afternoon, but he hit one of his own -- his fifth in the past six games. The O’s have a tough stretch to end the first half, with four games against the surging Reds, six against the first-place Twins and three against the rival Yankees.

5) D-backs, 47-32 (last week: 5)

The D-backs still sit atop the NL West despite losing two of three to the Giants over the weekend. Arizona won the finale Sunday to avoid the sweep, but things won’t get any easier this week as the D-backs welcome the MLB-leading Rays to Chase Field on Tuesday to begin a three-game set. National League Cy Young candidate Zac Gallen figures to be on the mound for the series opener, which should bode well for the D-backs, considering he’s 7-0 with a 1.00 ERA in eight home starts this season.

The rest of the field of 30:

  1. Giants (12)
  2. Dodgers (6)
  3. Reds (15)
  4. Marlins (9)
  5. Astros (7)
  6. Angels (10)
  7. Yankees (8)
  8. Blue Jays (11)
  9. Phillies (13)
  10. Twins (14)
  11. Brewers (16)
  12. Red Sox (18)
  13. Padres (17)
  14. Cubs (23)
  15. Mariners (19)
  16. Guardians (22)
  17. Mets (21)
  18. Pirates (20)
  19. Cardinals (25)
  20. Tigers (26)
  21. White Sox (24)
  22. Nationals (28)
  23. Rockies (27)
  24. Royals (30)
  25. A's (29)