At this point in the season, only one of my preseason division winners currently lead their division. Other than the White Sox, things have not gone the way I saw it two months into the season. On the bright side, we have a familiar team at the top of these rankings. Let’s get right into it.
- San Diego Padres (34-20) —
Well we finally did it! A team is #1 for two weeks in a row. Fernando Tatis Jr. is without question the most exciting player in baseball. This team has a ton of depth and seem to be the most consistent team in a top heavy NL West. The Padres are looking like they could have something special this year.
- Tampa Bay Rays (35-20) +3
Talk about a team completely flying under the radar. The Rays just dominated the month of May going 22-6 and rocketing to the top of the AL East. The lineup is coming into a grove now and the rotation and bullpen have put opposing offenses on lockdown. It’s a stacked division though, so they can’t afford many slip ups.
- Chicago White Sox (33-21) +5
The White Sox goal is to stay towards the top of the division until they can get healthy. They are doing that and then some! The rotation is very balanced with Lucas Giolito, Hector Rodon and Lance Lynn. Yermin Mercedes has hit a bit of a skid which could be a little worrisome. But this team is clearly still the best team in the Central and when they get the pieces back, are a serious World Series contender.
- Boston Red Sox (32-21) -2
The Red Sox are going to beat the mid and bottom tier teams. They have been doing that all season. We need to start seeing them beat legit World Series contenders. The lineup is going to be able to put the team in a position to win. Can the pitching hold up its end of the deal? Three at Houston and three at the Yankees this week could give us some answers.
- San Francisco Giants (34-20) +4
What a series for the Giants this weekend! They took 3 of 4 from the Dodgers and are tied with the Padres for the top spot in the division. Kevin Gausman really needs to get more attention for the season he’s having. Through May, he is 6-0 with a 1.40 ERA. If he keeps it up it will be a two horse race for the NL Cy Young.
- Los Angeles Dodgers (32-22) -3
The Dodgers just continue to go back and forth depending on the week. They did get Cody Bellinger back and AJ Pollock might return soon too. TTwo things could help the Dodgers catch San Diego. The first is if Mookie Betts can return to form. The other is to hang around close enough until Corey Seager makes his return. Regardless, they have to play better than they did this week.
- St. Louis Cardinals (30-24) +3
The Cardinals are getting things figured out. Yadier Molina is now contributing a lot on offense to go along with his elite defense. The bad news though is the Cubs are red hot and have actually past St. Louis for first place. All things considered though, the Cardinals just need to take care of their own business and should control this division at the end of the season.
- Oakland A’s (31-25) -2
It wasn’t an ideal week for Oakland. They dropped two out of three to Seattle at home and then split a four game set with the Angels. They still sit at the top of the AL West but their run differential is worrisome for a 1st place team at -11. Houston is getting hot and it feels like Oakland’s time at the top of the AL West is running out.
- Houston Astros (29-24) -2
The Astros had a chance to pass Oakland in these rankings and the division but struggled against the Dodgers and Padres. The bullpen continues to be absolutely awful and is the only real weak spot with this team. The schedule is not friendly to start the month of June so it could be a tough couple of weeks for Houston.
- Chicago Cubs (30-23) +2
Ladies and gentlemen, the hottest team in the National League. The Cubs are rolling and everyone is contributing. I thought for sure this team would be sellers come July. At the start of June they sit in first place in the Central and are beating some really good teams. Will the last ride for this core get a happy ending after all?
- New York Mets (26-20) +3
Jacob deGrom is unfair. He has a 0.71 ERA while also batting .450. We could actually see two starting pitchers win MVP this year. While they lead the division, injuries and rainouts are creating an extremely tough June. The fact that they finished May with the only winning record in the division is extremely promising.
- Buffalo Blue Jays (27-25) -1
I am a big fan of this Blue Jays team. They had a good week but I can’t stop thinking about how much they struggled with Boston and Tampa Bay. The young core is good and Marcus Semien has been outstanding. Is Alek Manoah the answer? I guess we’ll wait and see.
- Milwaukee Brewers (29-25) +3
There is no question that the Brewers are being carried by their starting pitching right now. A sweep of the Nationals really gives Milwaukee some momentum and Brandon Woodruff was straight up dominant this week. They are still looking up at the Cubs and Cardinals though. They get a chance to beat up Arizona this week which should keep them headed in the right direction.
- New York Yankees (29-25) -10
It was a miserable week for the Yankees. They got beat up by the Blue Jays and then swept by the Tigers. Now they have three with the Rays and three with Boston. It would be the most Yankee thing if they went out and won both of those series.
- Cleveland Indians (29-24) -2
Cleveland is a benefactor of playing in a pretty bad division. They get to beat up the Twins, Royals and Tigers and get beat by pretty much everyone else. They get a chance to make a statement against the White Sox before playing Baltimore this weekend. I expect another .500 week for the Tribe.
- Seattle Mariners (28-27) +7
What a weird couple of weeks for the Mariners. They went 0-6 against the Tigers and Padres and followed that up going 6-1 against Oakland and Texas. The injuries though make me very hesitant to put them up this high. Also, Jarred Kelenic has not been the spark they were hoping for. However JP Crawford and Tom Murphy have weirdly got this offense playing much better.
- Atlanta Braves (25-26) -2
Absolutely horrifying news out of Atlanta. The Marcell Ozuna domestic violence is absolutely disgusting. There is no room for it not only in the game but in this world. This will be the last time that I will ever mention Ozuna in these rankings.
- Kansas City Royals (26-26) +3
Salvador Perez is on a power surge. Andrew Benintendi looks like his old self. They also get a pretty manageable schedule this week with the Pirates and Twins. If they can get Whit Merrifield to start hitting again, they’ll be back in the Wild Card race.
- Miami Marlins (24-28) -2
When the Marlins score, they normally win. The bad news is that they are 26th in baseball in runs scored. They are 5th in fewest runs allowed. That combination doesn’t mix very well. If they can just get the bats to room temperature, they could take the East with how things shape up right now.
- Philadelphia Phillies (25-29) -1
The injury situation in Philadelphia is not getting any better. Roman Quinn is done for the year, Bryce Harper remains sidelined and Didi Gregorius is still dealing with an elbow injury. Rhys Hoskins and Jean Segura are quietly putting up good numbers but they need to get healthy to make a run at the division.
- Cincinnati Reds (24-28) +1
If you are a Reds fan, at this point you are watching the games for Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos. The pitching is bad and the rest of the lineup is bad. The Pirates are the only thing saving the Reds from the cellar.
- Detroit Tigers (22-32) +3
How about these Tigers?! They had a winning month of May going 14-13. The focus of their rebuild has been pitching and they are seeing some real positive signs. Casey Mize, Spencer Turnbull, and Tarik Skuball all had a solid month. Things might not be so bad in Detroit. You know, other than being Detroit.
- Los Angeles Angels (24-30) +1
I don’t even know what to say about the Angels anymore. Anthony Rendon played well this week but Shohei Ohtani missed a start due to traffic. Los Angeles is just weird.
- Minnesota Twins (22-31) +3
Just when it looked like the Twins were turning things around, they lose a series to Kansas City. It just clearly is not their year. Ever since Buxton went down, things have just been worse. Get ready for the Minnesota sale next month.
- Washington Nationals (21-29) -5
A week after sweeping Baltimore, the Nats take a tumble down these rankings. Strasburg could hit the shelf now which would take away from an already shaky rotation. Max Scherzer is looking like he will be the biggest trade piece this season.
- Texas Rangers (22-33) -8
The Rangers might be the streakiest team in baseball. One weekend they are sweeping the Astros. The next week they get swept by the Angels in three and the Mariners in four games. The one consistent is Adolis Garcia who continues to rake.
- Pittsburgh Pirates (20-33) +2
If you don’t watch many Pirates games, which I am sure is true for most, then you might not know that Adam Frazier is a hitting machine. He is now hitting .335 and is setting up to be a nice trade piece for the Pirates to shop around.
- Colorado Rockies (20-34) -2
If the Rockies aren’t playing at home, they are at the bottom of these rankings. If they are playing at home, they are middle of the pack at best. Bad news though is that you have to play road games too.
- Arizona Diamondbacks (19-36) -1
May is over and the Diamondbacks finished this month going…5-23. Even worse is that they only have one trade asset and Ketel Marte has struggled staying healthy this season. At least they get the sun a lot.
- Baltimore Orioles (17-37) —
John Means is good. Cedric Mullins and Trey Mancini are having good years. The rest of this team? Big yikes.
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