Will the Best Team Please Stand Up?!
Well apparently it is bad luck for your team to be #1 in my rankings. We still haven’t had a team hold that top spot for consecutive weeks. So who will be the next team to try to defeat the King’s Curse? Scroll and find out.
- San Diego Padres (30-17) +3
I am sorry Padres fans. This probably means your team is going to have a tough week. But as of right now, this one is easy. San Diego is scorching hot. Fernando Tatis Jr. is destroying the baseball and the pitching has been great. They have won 12 straight and just bullied the Mariners over the weekend. Right now, no team in baseball wants to play San Diego. That will probably change next week though.
- Boston Red Sox (29-19) +3
Wow the AL East is a blast to watch! The top four teams are all playoff caliber teams but right now I trust Boston the most. The pitching situation could still be better but the hitting is top notch. For the first time in forever, the East Coast bias isn’t a bad thing.
- Los Angeles Dodgers (29-18) +7
Who would have thought it would be a Corey Seager injury that would wake up the defending champs? Seven straight wins puts them right on the heels of the NL West leading Padres. I give credit where credit is due. Albert Pujols so far is working out alright.
- New York Yankees (28-19) +3
The Yankees are the most inconsistent team in the top 10. When they’re hot, they are a World Series contender. When they are struggling, they are a 4th place team in the division. Bad news for the American League is right now, they are starting to catch fire.
- Tampa Bay Rays (29-19) +4
10 straight wins for the Rays have them rolling and now tied atop the division with Boston. The young guys are starting to show up which means Wander Franco should be called up soon. This team still has a lot to prove but so far they are showing last year was no fluke.
- Oakland A’s (28-20) -4
After dropping a big series to Houston, Oakland bounced back with a series win over the Angels. Good news though is the Astros got swept over the weekend and the schedule is very friendly coming up. Three with Seattle and four with the Angels should help the A’s get back on track.
- Houston Astros (26-21) -4
It started off as a great week for the Astros after taking two of three from the first place A’s. It then turned into the exact opposite of great when they were swept by the Rangers over the weekend. Things are not going to get easier as they take on the Dodgers and Padres this week. This five game stretch will tell us a lot about the legitimacy of this team with the current pitching situation.
- Chicago White Sox (26-19) -7
It was a tough weekend in the Bronx for Chicago. They are still going to win the division by a very wide margin. The only question for this team is will Luis Robert and/or Eloy Jimenez be good to go come October? If the answer is yes, they are my pick to win the AL pennant.
- San Francisco Giants (28-19) -3
It seems like the Giants have met their match. They got outplayed in every aspect over the weekend by the Dodgers. Even taking one game would have been great but they couldn’t pull it off. They get another crack at the defending champs this weekend. If they can’t take care of business there, they will solidify themselves as a Wild Card team at best.
- St. Louis Cardinals (26-20) +1
The Cardinals continue to do just enough to stay ahead as the favorites in the NL Central. The Cubs though are lurking in the shadows. They can’t get too comfortable just doing enough. It’s time to put the foot on the gas. A road trip visiting the White Sox, Diamondbacks and Dodgers is a tough stretch but great teams win during tough stretches.
- Buffalo Blue Jays (23-22) -3
A stretch of games against the three teams ahead of them in the division is not going well. They lost two of three to Boston and have dropped the first three of the series with the Rays. A sweep over the Yankees can ease the pain but that is unlikely. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is a superstar though.
- Chicago Cubs (24-22) +7
The Cubs are feeling it this month. They are 13-7 in May and they have lost the seven games by a combined…7 runs. A series win over the first place Cardinals just added to the momentum. Three games with the Pirates followed by three with the Reds could have the Cubs atop the division by next week’s rankings.
- Cleveland Indians (25-20) -1
Once again Cleveland had a great week series followed up by a bad weekend series. They got a series win in Anaheim but returned home to drop a series to the last place Twins. Also, Franmil Reyes is now sidelined 5-7 weeks. That’s a massive blow to an already struggling lineup.
- New York Mets (21-20) -1
The Mets are still leading a very crowded division. The best news though is the return of Jacob deGrom this week. Anytime you have the best pitcher on the planet, you have a shot. A lot of other injuries still linger, but remaining in first place has Mets fans feeling good.
- Atlanta Braves (23-24) +3
Atlanta took out all their anger on the Pirates after a series loss to the Mets. Over the four game series, the Braves outscored Pittsburgh 37-9. Austin Riley has been a spark for this lineup that is getting better. However they need to win division games. They get another crack at the first place Mets this weekend but have a two game set against Boston to worry about first.
- Milwaukee Brewers (24-23) -2
This team has had a very rough month. They need Christian Yelich to hit if they want to retake the top spot in the division. The pitching is there but they need help on offense. They just traded for Willy Adames from the Rays so we will see if that can light a spark for the Brew Crew.
- Miami Marlins (23-24) +5
The Marlins just took two out of three from both Philadelphia and first place New York. It’s time to keep an eye on the Marlins. This rotation is quietly dominating and the offense is doing just enough. In this division, starting pitching very well may decide who makes the postseason.
- Texas Rangers (22-27) +8
As a Mariners fan, I thought there was a chance my team would have back-to-back Rookie of the Year winners. Adolis Garcia has crushed those hopes. He has been an absolute force at the plate. Other than him though, the Rangers have struggled. A sweep of the Astros is a nice way to end the week.
- Philadelphia Phillies (23-25) -3
The Phillies are pretty banged up right now. They have lost three straight series including a divisional loss to Miami. Now they are starting a 10 game road trip with trips to Miami, Tampa Bay and Cincinnati. It’s going to be a rough end of the month for Philly.
- Washington Nationals (20-23) —
A sweep of their geographical rivals Baltimore was a great way to end a subpar week. They dropped three of four with the Cubs. With everyone else in the division finding some momentum, the Nats are the clear bottom dwellers for now.
- Kansas City Royals (22-23) +3
After an 11 game losing streak, the Royals have a large hole to dig themselves out of. Going 4-1 this week is a step in the right direction. If they can take the series this week over Tampa Bay, they’ll be well back on their way to being a playoff contender. But the division is going to be a very large uphill climb.
- Cincinnati Reds (20-25) -5
The only reason the Reds aren’t lower on this list is their hot start. Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker are the only bright spots on this team. They do have a much more manageable schedule this week with four against Washington before visiting Wrigley for a series with the red hot Cubs.
- Seattle Mariners (22-26) -8
As a Mariner fan, this week sucked. The M’s went 0-6 being swept by the Tigers and no-hit for the second time this season. They also got bullied by the Padres. Now this roster is heavily depleted all around. Ace Marco Gonzalez should return soon which will help, but the bats need to get going. To make things worse, they take on the A’s for three and the Rangers, who already swept them this season.
- Los Angeles Angels (20-27) -3
The Angels may have another MVP on their roster with Shohei Ohtani but once again they won’t be close to the playoffs. Two months without Mike Trout and the worst rotation in baseball is a nightmare scenario. Enjoy Ohtani Angel fans. That’s the highlight of 2021 for this team.
- Detroit Tigers (18-29) +5
Back to back winning weeks have dug the Tigers out of the bottom of these rankings. Add in a Spencer Turnbull no-hitter and the TIgers are really feeling good. Now they take on Cleveland and the New York Yankees this week. Life comes at you fast. The momentum will be tested this week.
- Colorado Rockies (19-29) +2
The Rockies are actually above .500 on the road this season. That’s a solid foundation to a season. However on the road they are 2-17. That is horrifying. They travel to Queens and Pittsburgh this week so there is an opportunity to add some road wins to their resume.
- Minnesota Twins (18-29) +2
The Twins finished .500 this week. That is the first time they have achieved that since the last week of April. They also got their first extra innings win on Sunday. They’re still going to need to do better if they don’t want to be sellers come July.
- Arizona Diamondbacks (18-30) -5
The Diamondbacks are 4-18 in May and have lost eight straight. Ketel Marte has returned but this team is in deep trouble. Also, if we are counting seven inning no-hitters, give Pedro Martinez a perfect game.
- Pittsburgh Pirates (18-28) -2
Luckily for the Pirates, they aren’t at the bottom of this list…yet. They were embarrassed by the Braves over the weekend and haven’t shown any promise in stopping their slide. If they lose their weekend series at home with Colorado, they will be #30 next week.
- Baltimore Orioles (17-30) -5
A Cy Young contender finds his team in last place in my rankings. John Means will be in the conversation at the end of the season and Trey Mancini should have Comeback Player of the Year locked up. But since Means no-hitter, they are 2-13. They get the Twins to try to get some momentum before taking on the White Sox. On second thought, Baltimore needs a couple of wins and some help from the Pirates to get out of last place.
Matthew graduated in 2019 from Washington State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication with a specialization in Media and Journalism Production. He currently is a broadcaster and writer at Eli Sports Network. Baseball and football are his specialties but Matt covers anything he can. Follow him on Twitter @matt_king19