Home أخبار MLB Power Rankings: Orioles, Phillies, Dodgers battle for No. 1 spot as...

MLB Power Rankings: Orioles, Phillies, Dodgers battle for No. 1 spot as Braves slip

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For a good portion of this season, picking the number one team hasn’t been difficult: The Atlanta Braves. 

The Braves were my pre-spring training No. 1 and still held that spot heading into the regular season. They started 6-2 and only very slightly stumbled to 8-5 and that cost them the No. 1 for just one week. They then won 10 of their next 11 games for an 18-6 start. They were 19-7 last week and, again, it was pretty easy to just leave the Braves on top. 

This past week, the Braves went 1-5. Not only have they coughed up the best record in baseball, they actually are looking up at five different teams right now in winning percentage. Given that they were swept by one of them (the Dodgers), there’s no way I can leave them on top. 

I could see arguments that the Braves are still the best team in baseball, but I’m demoting them. I could see arguments for four other teams for the top spot, though the Guardians lost a series to the Braves last weekend and then went 3-3 this past week, including losing two of three to the Astros and then getting two of three from a terrible Angels team. As such, the Guardians have to stay a spot behind the Braves. That leaves three teams vying for No. 1. 

The Dodgers were a very strong consideration and I wouldn’t argue with anyone wanting to put them at the top, but they end up in the three hole. They have won 11 of their last 13 and this surge has them back on track to win 100 games again despite falling to 12-11 on April 20. The still-banged-up and thin rotation is concerning enough for me to leave the Dodgers very slightly behind the top two. Walker Buehler comes back this week, so we’ll see what he’s got in store for everyone this season. I won’t be a bit surprised to see the Dodgers in the top spot next week. 

I have one team in each league above the Dodgers. 

The NL team would be the Phillies. The powerful offense is a threat to torch any pitching staff on any given night. There are three starting pitchers with a sub-2.00 ERA with at least two other very capable rotation arms. The bullpen is a bit deeper than the past two years. They got off to their usual slow start, it just didn’t linger at all — to the point that we can barely even say it was a slow start. They were 2-4 and then 5-6, but the sample there was just so small. They finished April 20-11 and have now won 16 of their last 19 games. They have the best record in baseball. 

The Orioles get the honors on the AL side. They have won 15 of their last 20 and sit at 23-11 overall. This past week, they took three of four over the Yankees to grab control of the AL East and then went into Cincinnati to sweep a pretty competent Reds team. The went without 40% of their rotation for over a month this season, now having gotten one start each from Kyle Bradish and John Means. They won both games. The Orioles have a deep lineup that can hurt you in multiple ways, a strong pitching staff headed up by an ace in Corbin Burnes and so much organizational depth sitting in the minors. 

They are tied with the Phillies for the fewest losses in baseball at 11. 

For me, there wasn’t a wrong answer this week. I thought picking a top two was easy just like putting the Dodgers third was then easy for me, even if I knew it was very close. Four and five fell nicely into place as well, just as six, seven and eight did, given how everything this week unfolded. 

Choosing between the top two for the first spot was very difficult and I’m still torn. Someone has to get it, though, so let’s reveal … 

Biggest Movers

Rk

Teams

 

Chg

Rcrd


1

Orioles

The O’s have gone 11-4 away from home so far. What a rush that must be for these Road Warriors to win at such a high clip in opposing parks.

4

23-11

2

Phillies

It’s generally too early to do such things, but I had the Phillies and Orioles so close that I went to strength of schedule as a tiebreaker. The Phillies are only 3-3 against teams .500 or above (and it’s 1-2 if we went to only over-.500 teams). The Orioles, meanwhile, are 14-5 against teams .500 or better. To reiterate, this isn’t all that big a deal, I just needed a tiebreaker.

1

24-11

3

Dodgers

We already knew it was ridiculous that the Dodgers had three MVPs at the top of their order. Mookie Betts, the leadoff man, is hitting .355/.461/.587 with Shohei Ohtani following him to the tune of .355/.420/.667. Lord have mercy.

3

23-13

4

Braves

The Braves’ biggest deficit in the NL East last season was a half-game and that was when they were 2-1. By May 6, they had a six-game lead. This time around, they trail the Phillies by 2.5 games.

3

20-12

5

Guardians

They’ve lost four of seven, but it doesn’t seem like they are going anywhere. They have a fun week on tap with the Tigers (an opportunity to show them who is boss in the AL Central) and the White Sox (an opportunity to bank relatively easy wins).

3

22-12

6

Yankees

Kudos to the Yankees for bouncing back after that humbling series in Baltimore to sweep the Tigers. Are they happy with being the second-best in their division, though?

2

23-13

7

Cubs

In the face of a banged-up offense, a terrible bullpen and the ace being injured, several members of the rotation deserve major praise for stepping up. Shota Imanaga has a 0.78 ERA in six starts, Javier Assad has a 1.66 ERA in seven and Jameson Taillon has a 1.13 ERA in four.

21-14

8

Brewers

Not only do the Brewers average more than one home run and one stolen base per game, but they have seven different players with multiple homers and steals so far this season. Being able to beat teams with power and/or speed in any given game is very valuable.

20-13

9

Mariners

The Mariners have now won 13 of their last 18 games and the rotation deserves so much praise. There’s two or three potential All-Stars in there.

1

19-15

10

Rangers

Corey Seager is hitting .230/.307/.295. Several others are capable of better with the bat than they’ve shown so far. Yet they are still 10th in runs and 11th in the majors in OPS while sitting above .500. That’s probably a bit scary for upcoming opponents.

1

19-16

11

Twins

A 12-game winning streak can do wonders for a season, huh? Even with seven of those coming against the White Sox, it’s an impressive run. Plus, let’s keep in mind that in the last two weeks, the White Sox went 0-7 against the Twins and 5-1 against the Rays and Cardinals.

4

19-14

12

Royals

The concentration of wins on three specific opponents here is remarkable. The Royals are 14-3 against the Blue Jays, Astros and White Sox. They are 6-11 elsewhere. I don’t think there’s a conclusion to be drawn, really, it’s just weird/funny.

3

20-15

13

Red Sox

Through 36 games, the Red Sox’s starting rotation has a 2.10 ERA. Ridiculous.

1

19-16

14

Tigers

The Tigers are 22nd in runs, 25th in average, 25th in OPS and 24th in home runs this season. They are also sporting a winning record. Just imagine if they could hit!

18-16

15

Padres

Fun trade to land Luis Arraez for the top of the order. Now they need Xander Bogaerts to remember how to hit, Fernando Tatis Jr. to look like a superstar and Manny Machado to continue what looks like an upward trend toward his usual numbers.

4

18-19

16

Rays

They are 11 games worse than they were last season at this point. That could be misleading, of course, if you didn’t have the proper context. And hey, these Rays just swept the Mets, so there’s that.

6

17-18

17

Reds

The Boom-or-Bust Reds. They’ve scored at least seven runs 10 times and have scored two or fewer runs 11 times. TJ Friedl returns soon and perhaps he’ll help, but there’s only so much one guy can do. This might just be how the Reds will operate on offense all year. The bright side is that scoring at least seven runs in nearly 1/3 of your games is pretty damn impressive.

4

16-18

18

Mets

Francisco Lindor is coming to life, but Pete Alonso is in a funk, having gone 1 for his last 28.

2

16-18

19

Nationals

The Nats have won seven of their last 10 and are not the pushover many believed they’d be. They have three series wins against 2023 playoff teams. Well, four, technically, but I decided to strip the Marlins of their playoff berth in light of their woeful performance this season. Yes, I’m allowed to do that. It’s official.

5

17-17

20

Blue Jays

The Jays have dropped their last four series, but at least there’s a sign of life from Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Bo Bichette? Not so much.

3

16-19

21

Athletics

Regular readers know that I’ve been calling A’s ownership “Rachel Phelps” for these last few years. It’s a reference to Major League. Well, these A’s recently won eight of nine games to get to .500 and I couldn’t help but have visions of a team rallying around hatred for the owner to make a playoff run. That would be all kinds of fun. Get it done, A’s!

4

17-18

22

Giants

The Giants are now 6-13 on the road. The only teams worse on the road so far this year? Astros, Marlins, Rockies and White Sox.

4

15-20

23

Pirates

Regular readers know what we think of the Road Rockies in these parts, but a series win is a series win. It’s something the Pirates can build on. Seeing the Angels come to town next provides the opportunity to stack some wins, too.

16-19

24

Cardinals

Losing a series at home to the White Sox and getting booed by fans that allegedly never boo — but instead “cheer them out of slumps” — is a rough weekend.

4

15-19

25

Diamondbacks

They had lost seven of nine before the blowout win on Sunday. Corbin Carroll went 2 for 4 in that one, too, so maybe it’s a turning point? For now, we can’t give too much credit for one game.

4

15-20

26

Astros

We’ve seen both the 16-26 Dodgers and 19-31 Nationals end up in the World Series, so it would be beyond foolish to count the Astros out, but they just keep getting in their own way. It looked like they were getting hot with wins in five out of six games, but then they were crushed Saturday and the bullpen blew the game on Sunday. They are back to 10 games under .500.

12-22

27

Angels

The Angels have now lost 13 of their last 16 games and have scored zero or one run six times in that stretch.

12-22

28

Marlins

That’s a winning week for the Marlins (4-3), though three of those wins came over the Road Rockies, so take those with a grain of salt. Regardless, it’s enough to get the Fish out of the cellar.

2

10-26

29

White Sox

The WHITE HOT WHITE SOX have won two of their last three series. I really wouldn’t want to have to face them right now, I’m telling you. Just forfeit instead and spare yourself the indignity of what’ll happen on the field, upcoming opponents.

8-26

30

Rockies

I mentioned the “Road Rockies” in the Pirates and Marlins comments. For any newbies to these power rankings, the Rockies are now 3-16 on the road and that’s not even remotely surprising. Welcome, new Road Rockies fans.

2

8-26

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