We’re halfway through May and things are starting to heat up around the league, leading to some rankings shifts. Aaron Judge is out of his offensive slump. San Francisco and St. Louis continue to stay ahead of everyone in their division. Shohei Ohtani hit a home run in the 9th inning to avoid a sweep in Boston. Both the Padres and Dodgers are getting back on track after playing terribly to begin this month. Some great storylines have captivated the game recently and there is more to come in this upcoming week!
Here is my weekly installment of “Robert’s MLB Top-10 Power Rankings.”
10. Cleveland Indians (22-18)
5-5 in their last ten, Cleveland only moved one spot up the rankings. Moving down the rankings is what every MLB team wants. Shane Bieber has had 20 consecutive starts with eight or more strikeouts. He has emerged as an early Cy Young candidate. Franmil Reyes has single-handedly carried this team offensively recently. Cleveland is within striking distance of Chicago, so look to see if they make a push to the top of the division this week.
9. New York Yankees (23-19)
I’ve decided to flip-flop teams this week, as New York was in the 10th spot last week and Cleveland was in the 9th spot. As I mentioned at the top of this article, Big ole Aaron Judge is out of his slump. Similar to Stanton, both hitters have their good and bad moments. Consistency is going to be extremely important for the Bronx Bombers.
Switching gears, New York’s pitching has improved during this much improved month of April. Gerrit Cole is among the early Cy Young candidates. The addition of Kyle Higashioka behind the plate as a starter has the pitching staff more at ease.
That's Cole control. pic.twitter.com/97BQx50DX9 — New York Yankees (@Yankees) May 18, 2021
8. Houston Astros (24-18)
Being healthy has been a struggle all season. Playing any outfield position has its challenges. Offensively, there’s not one easy out in this lineup. Yordon Alverez is batting around .350, and when he does that, this team is dangerous. Manager Dusty Baker has turned this team around after having multiple players test positive with COVID-19.
After a long homestand, the Astros will now be back on the road. Can they overcome their road struggles? We will have to watch and find out!
7. Toronto Blue Jays (23-17)
Playing away from your home ballpark all season must be extremely difficult. Although, apparently for Toronto, it’s not difficult. They will be hosting Boston starting on Tuesday. This set up the opportunity for Toronto to take an AL East division lead.
Press RT if you ❤️ this team! #WeAreBlueJays pic.twitter.com/fkDdnMSulF — Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) May 19, 2021
6. San Diego Padres (26-17)
Going into last week, San Diego was looking up at San Francisco in the division. Now coming into this week, they are within a striking distance. 8-2 in their last ten, look for this team to heat up and start getting back on track. Like every MLB team, health is always a concern. With multiple players in COVID-19 protocols, this team is worried about more than the game of baseball.
On the pitching side of things, Padres fans have been happy with what they’ve been up to. Yu Darvish was traded in the off-season and has not missed a beat. He is a crucial part of this team’s success and will likely be the deciding factor on how this team finishes the season.
5. LA Dodgers (24-18)
We had this conversation last week. I’m not going to overreact about this team’s struggles. Until the Dodgers get their key player back, their struggles will continue. Each week, frustration is mounting with how inconsistent the team is performing. The NL West will no longer be a cakewalk like many thought.
After all the negatives you can think about, let’s not forgot about positive things to talk about. Max Muncy has been an offensive powerhouse. Mookie Betts is back to his usual self at the plate. Cody Bellinger is expected to be back soon. Come later this month, expect the Dodger blue to be right back on top of the NL standings.
Set the tone, @mookiebetts! pic.twitter.com/xJLaEcRSF0 — Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) May 19, 2021
4. Boston Red Sox (25-18)
Boston’s home woes came back again on Sunday as they blew a 5-4 lead in the 9th inning. Before Sunday, Matt Barnes was lights out on the mound. That being said, they’re still on top of the AL East. Starting Tuesday, the Red Sox have a huge series on the road against the Blue Jays. If they’re able to win that series, they will widen their lead in the division.
3. Oakland As (26-17)
In the AL West, things are starting to tighten up as Oakland is up only a half-game. Good pitching sets everything up for this team. Offensively, there is not one single batter batting over .300 right now. Going forward, Oakland needs to produce more runs to keep pace in their division. Matt Olsen and Ramon Laureano have been constant hitters at the top of the As order.
Back at it 🌊 #RiseAndGrind pic.twitter.com/vvKQBOUbZX — Oakland A's (@Athletics) May 18, 2021
2. St. Louis Cardinals (24-18)
After going 6-4 in their last ten, the Cardinals were moved out of that number one spot. Tyler O’Neill has emerged as a surprise player offensively through over 40 games.
1. Chicago White Sox (25-16)
7-3 in their last ten, the Southsiders from Chicago are in the number one spot in this week’s rankings. After two serious injures to the top of their lineup, this team has missed a step. Jose Abreu picked up the slack, and he’s Abreu-ly one of the best hitters in the American League. His batting average might be low, but he’s already driven in 33 RBI’s.
Chicago’s pitching has been spectacular throughout the first almost 40 games of this season. Carlos Rondon is making pitching look easy, as he has a below 2 ERA. Dylan Cease is moving up the rotation, so be sure to look out for how he pitches this upcoming week.