Two months into the 2021 MLB season, it appears we are back to somewhat normalcy. After a shortened 2020 season, the game of baseball needed a full 162 games. Ballparks all over America are beginning to open stadiums to full capacity. Preseason predictions have gone down by the wayside. June is coming, and the heart of baseball season is right around the corner!
Here is my weekly installment of “Robert’s MLB Top-10 Power Rankings.”
10. San Francisco Giants (33-20)
6-4 in their last ten, the Giants will remain in the same spot as last week. In a very competitive NL West, San Francisco has stayed afloat. A combination of phenomenal pitching and timely hitting have been critical for the Giants to win games. LA and San Diego cooled off at the start of May. Now they are both playing great baseball. If the Giants can get through June still in contention, it will be a huge victory!
9. Chicago Cubs (29-23)
After a terrible start to the 2021 season, The northside of Chicago began to worry. You don’t have to worry now the Cubs are one of the hottest teams in baseball right now. Kris Bryant is batting over .300 and has already driven in 34 runs. Javier Baez made arguably the best baserunning decision in MLB history last week in Pittsburgh. One through nine in the lineup, everyone contributes in different ways to get this team back in the NL Central division title conversation.
Switching gears, Jake Arrieta’s return to Chicago was just what this team needed. His ERA is high, but he logs a lot of innings. Pitching last year in the Postseason was the ultimate downfall of this team. If Jake can stay healthy, the Cubs have a real chance to compete for a division title with St. Louis slipping.
Javier Báez. El Mago. The Magician. pic.twitter.com/yZX7HgUFCU — Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 27, 2021
8. Houston Astros (28-24)
Once again, Houston cannot seem to get themselves out of the eighth spot in my rankings. 4-6 in their last ten, Astros fans are beginning to get restless again. Pitching will be something this team needs to address at the deadline. Only 1.5 games back of Oakland going into June, people shouldn’t press the panic button. Yuli Gurriel and Jose Altuve are having an explosive offensive season so far this year. Carlos Correa has hit eight home runs of the season. Offensively, this team should be fine to score 5-6 runs a game.
7. St. Louis Cardinals (30-23)
After putting this team a couple of weeks ago in the #1 spot, they’ve fallen under hard times. 5-5 in their last ten games, the Cardinals have dropped in this week’s rankings. Luckily, other teams in their division outside of Chicago aren’t very competitive. Nolan Arenado has been everything St. Louis wanted when they traded for him in the offseason. Batting .284, he is a powerhouse in the heart of their batting order.
LET IT FLY INTO THE POOL! (almost) pic.twitter.com/zqHpwbX2nt — St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) May 30, 2021
6. Boston Red Sox (32-20)
Boston is still standing as one of the more surprising teams in MLB this year. J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts set the tone for Boston’s offense. Alex Verdugo, in his second year with the Red Sox, has improved offensively. Defensively, manager Alex Cora moved Verdugo to Center Field. This move has helped his overall game.
On the pitching side of things, the Red Sox recently have gotten good performances from Nathan Eovaldi. Before this weekend, Nathan was struggling with his command. Matt Barnes has already proved his doubters wrong saying he couldn’t be a shutdown closer. He has 12 saves this season. Boston’s bullpen will need to be addressed at the deadline, but Adam Ottavino has solidified his spot as a setup man in the 8th inning with an ERA of 0.79 in his last twelve appearances.
5. Oakland Athletics (31-24)
5-5 in their last ten, Oakland moves back a couple of spots in this week’s rankings. In first place in the AL West, the Athletics have turned things around after a terrible start. Matt Olsen’s offensive numbers once again this year are impressive. His consistency gives this team’s lineup confidence that they will score runs. Outside of Matt Olsen, all the other eight batters in Oakland’s lineup have to set up. The highest batting average on the team belongs to Romon Laureano. He’s batting .257 with 11 home runs.
4. Tampa Bay Rays (35-20)
The team from Tampa has moved up my rankings. Tyler Glasnow and Rich Hill have solidified the top of the Rays rotation. Tops in the AL East, look for Tampa to make transactions and trades. Tampa’s bullpen has been used a lot recently and will need to rely on its starting pitching staff to throw more innings. Besides that, this Rays team has a chance to go back to the world series again!
116 MPH x 20° = 2 runs pic.twitter.com/NAQSJwbxDl — Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) May 30, 2021
3. Los Angeles Dodgers (31-22)
An important series at home against St. Louis is yet another tough series. The Schedule for LA has not been too kind to them. Before today, LA had to play San Francisco in two separate series five days apart from each other. Cody Bellinger is back from injury and will give this lineup and much-needed boost. Justin Turner and Max Muncy carried the Dodger’s offense while Cody was out. Now that he has returned expect both Max and Justin to continue through their offensive success.
Clayton Kershaw’s so far this season has been his usual self out on the mound. A 3.33 ERA is not Kershaw’s usual number, but he has 77 strikeouts. Walker Buehler has taken over the #1 in their rotation and has an ERA of 2.66.
2. Chicago White Sox (32-20)
Two teams for Chicago are on this week’s rankings. Yermin Mercedes showed up on the scene to begin this year and hasn’t slowed down. Jose Abreu will be in the conversation yet again for AL MVP. Pitching has been a factor in this team’s success. Lance Lynn has been fantastic for the White Sox starting rotation. With a 1.37 ERA, Lance has shown why he is a top 25 pitcher in the game right now.
1. San Diego Padres (34-20)
For the second straight week, San Diego reigns at the top spot. 7-3 in their last ten, The Padres are in first place in the NL West. Fernando Tatis Jr. will be in the conversation for NL MVP for years to come. He is an amazing player that makes everyone around him better. San Diego’s pitching staff has been consistently good recently. Trent Grisham sulfites the top of the Padres order. Manny Machado has fit in nicely into this powerful lineup.
There's a tie at the top. League-leading No. 16 for El Niño.#HungryForMore pic.twitter.com/PCSlzI4N3D — San Diego Padres (@Padres) May 31, 2021
Be sure to comment your thoughts about my MLB rankings below. Did I get them right? Is there a team I forgot? Be on the lookout once again next week for my rankings and other E2G articles!