When it comes to baseball in the summertime, everyone’s faces light up. Well, we are beginning the start of summer. The saying “April showers bring May flower” couldn’t be more true. Temperatures all across this great country are skyrocketing. We all know what that means: baseball season is in full swing. About 50 games into the 2021 MLB season, almost every team knows where they stand. Corey Kluber and Spencer Turnbull both threw no-hitters last week. Two of the best rivalries in baseball played this weekend. As we end the month of May, this has been another great month of competitive baseball.
Here is my weekly installment of “Robert’s MLB Top-10 Power Rankings.”
10. San Francisco Giants (28-19)
For almost two months, the San Francisco Giants have shocked everyone. Coming into last week, they had one of the best records in the league. It appears now after this weekend, things have changed. 5-5 in their last ten, things are starting to trend the wrong direction. Both San Diego and LA are beginning to heat up again, and for the Giants, that’s a bad sign if they want to contend for a NL West title.
On the other hand, Gabe Kapler’s managerial style has worked up to this point. He is getting a lot of production from players that many have wrote off. At the begin of this year, Kevin Gausman and Anthony DeSclafani were not supposed to make significant impact. Both players are making impacts not only on the field, but in the locker room.
Buster with the two-run homer 💪 pic.twitter.com/rSzwZ0oZRu — SFGiants (@SFGiants) May 23, 2021
9. Tampa Rays (29-19)
In a tie for first place in the AL East, Tampa has been red hot. They have now won ten games in a row. After losing both Blake Snell and Charlie Morton, everyone thought the Rays weren’t going to be very good. Well, look now; they’re right back in the thick of things. As a whole, this team is finding different ways to win.
The reason for Tampa only be #9 thought is simple: can we trust this team going forward? That answer has yet to be solved. If Tyler Glasnow continues to pitch lights out, this Rays team has a great chance to be in the playoffs. Mike Zunino has emerged as a bright spot behind the plate and offensively.
8. Houston Astros (26-21)
Not far behind Oakland, Houston is a real threat to content. 6-4 in the last ten, things haven’t changed. Carlos Correa has been the x-factor throughout this season for Houston. Pitching still is a question for this team but, Cristian Javier’s performance as of late is a positive sign. My only concern with the Astros is whether they can stay healthy. The Astros have what it takes. It’s just the matter of when everything is going to come together.
Brand new ballgame.#ForTheH pic.twitter.com/2G2znYHRy9 — Houston Astros (@astros) May 22, 2021
7. New York Yankees (28-19)
After sweeping the Chicago White Sox this past weekend, New York fans can rejoice. This team has weathered the storm after a terrible start. Successful starting pitching leads the Yankees’ offense to feast off of opposing pitchers. Similar to last year, everything revolves around Aaron Judge’s presence. When Aaron is hitting for power, this Yankees team will be tough to beat. Third basemen, Gio Urshela, has given this team a spark at the bottom of their lineup.
6. LA Dodgers (29-18)
The “Dodger Blue” made a big statement in San Fransisco this past weekend. This series was magnified when Giants’ batters were exposed by LA’s Pitching. Playing a rival also makes this matchup even more meaningful. A couple of weeks ago, the wheels were falling off with this team. Talent outweighs a lot of their inconsistencies as they get healthier. Nobody wants to play them. Chris Taylor and Max Muncy continue to play solid defensively and driving in runs.
Couldn’t #BeatLA. pic.twitter.com/2HpkytQu5l — Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) May 23, 2021
5. Chicago White Sox (26-19)
After being #1 in my rankings last week, South Siders in Chicago might be not happy with me. Did the White Sox forget their bats in the clubhouse? It sure seemed like it. Over the weekend, White Sox batters struggled against Yankees pitching. When you’re considered a top team in the AL, you need to play like it. 4-6 in their last ten games, Chicago needs to turn things around.
I’m sure you’ve heard enough about the negatives, let’s talk about why this team was ranked so high last week. Tim Anderson is batting over .290 and is arguably the best shortstop in the game today. Yermin Mercedes is on a tare offensively. He came onto the scene last year and has never looked back.
4. Boston Red Sox (29-19)
7-3 in their last ten, all three of those losses have come at terrible times. Watching their AL East lead slip away at the end of May, Boston needs to stay patient. Chris Sale is expecting to be back come the middle part of the summer. Closer Matt Barnes has kept this bullpen afloat by bailing multiple late relievers out of jams. Similar to a lot of teams, great pitching has led to even better offense. J.D. Martinez is a perfect example of that. He already has 12 home runs on the season, along with Rafael Devers with 13.
Back-to-back games. Back-to-back tonight. pic.twitter.com/O91UVC63Qp — Red Sox (@RedSox) May 23, 2021
3. Oakland As (28-20)
Eight games over .500, The As have been playing consistent baseball. Consistent baseball is going to win you a lot of games. Nothing wrong with that. Matt Olsen has been carrying his weight and his teammates’ too offensively recently. Guys like Mark Canha and Matt Chapman must step up for this team to be considered a top-two team in my rankings.
The Oakland As pitching has once again been solid this year. Similar to the Tampa Rays, their roster is constantly changing with new young pitchers. Being a small market team has not slowed down Oakland’s success on the field. Chris Bassitt and Sean Manaea will be the x-factors for this team moving forward to keep the opposing team off the scoreboard.
2. St. Louis Cardinals (26-20)
For the second straight week, the Cardinals are in my #2 spot in the rankings. Nolan Arenado is single handedly carrying the offense right now. Yadier Molina is heating up at the plate and is an encouraging sign. The NL Central is always a difficult division to win because both Chicago and Milwaukee aren’t too far behind St. Louis. A blockbuster matchup with the White Sox is upcoming this week. Can they get out of this mini-slump? We will have to watch and find out!
1.San Diego Padres (30-17)
Making a major leap in the rankings this week, San Diego back on track to be one of the best teams in baseball. 9-1 in their last ten, this team is trending in the right direction. They’ve won nine straight and have made doing it look effortless. Fernando Tatis Jr. is batting over .300 with power and athleticism at the plate. He is truly the Padre’s anchor. When he is playing well, the whole team feeds off of his energy. Young star Jake Cronenworth is also finding success this season. He contributes not only at the plate but on the field as well.
Fernando Tatis Jr.'s last four games: > 11 for 14 > 4 home runs > 12 RBI > 27 total bases > A couple bat flips > AHHHHHHHHHHHHH pic.twitter.com/iEZuR5Xqfa — San Diego Padres (@Padres) May 24, 2021