Who needs a no-hitter? We’re all throwing no-hitters!
It’s May 21 and there have been six* (seven in my opinion) no-hitters thrown already this year. The latest, by Corey Kluber on Wednesday, was the second against the Texas Rangers this year and was the second in as many nights.
Are no-hitters still special? Absolutely.
Is the frequency with which teams are getting shut down a problem? Hell yeah.
But there are still teams putting up big offensive numbers this year. Pitchers are dominating but runs are still getting scored. And some teams are doing a better job than others at surviving the injury problems that are plaguing baseball early this year.
Let’s update our Power Rankings. Feel free to let us know what we got right or wrong!
1. Chicago White Sox
We’re on #TeamYermin right now. Let the kid’s play, Tony! Shut up and manage. The Sox are the best team in the American League and took two of three in Minnesota despite the circus surrounding their manager apparently hating home runs.
2. San Diego Padres
Fernando Tatis, Jr., returned to the lineup with a bang this week. The Padres have done a better job of surviving their injury and COVID absences than any team in baseball thus far.
3. San Francisco Giants
Let’s give Gabe Kapler his flowers. The Giants were supposed to be a bottom feeder in the NL West this year yet here we are with them keeping the rival Dodgers in the rearview mirror. Can they sustain it? We’ll see.
4. Boston Red Sox
The top four teams in the AL East are over .500, making it the only division in the American League with that many teams in the playoff hunt as we near the end of May. The Red Sox have a gem in Nick Pivetta, who has been an pleasant surprise in their rotation.
5. Oakland A’s
It sounds like Jesus Luzardo and AJ Puk could be back soon, which would be an enormous help to the A’s staff. They’re 12-6 away from Oakland… will that become a permanent reality for the franchise soon?
6. Houston Astros
Even with Carlos Correa struggling, the Astros have the most potent offense in baseball. It doesn’t look like Oakland is going away, so the AL West could be a fun division to watch the whole year.
7. Los Angeles Dodgers
More love for the west coast. The Dodgers have been able to hang around in spite of their injury issues thanks to pitching and timely offense. They expected the Padres to be there; the Giants are complicating what was supposed to be a two-horse race.
8. Toronto Blue Jays
They’ll move their “home” games to Buffalo soon, but the Jays have been playing well no matter where the first pitch is thrown. They get the nod in front of Tampa because they have a stronger run differential.
9. Tampa Bay Rays
Win streaks change the dynamics early in the season, and Tampa’s been able to string a few together. Now we all patiently wait until Wander Franco gets a phone call.
10. New York Yankees
Corey Kluber’s no-hitter was exciting. But the Yankees are still fighting their way to the top of the toughest division in baseball. Will they make a deal to fix some of their issues early this season because of the depth in the AL East?
11. St. Louis Cardinals
Should the be higher? Perhaps, based on their record and run differential. But the Cardinals showed some holes while getting swept by the Padres earlier this week. Beating up bad teams helps the record but we’re skeptical of St. Louis being a top ten squad.
12. Cleveland Indians
The Tribe are looking up at the White Sox, but the rest of the AL Central hasn’t been very good in May. Their pitching has been really good; their offense has been good enough. Will they add to make a wild card push?
13. New York Mets
The Mets have 14 players on the IL. Fourteen. And Francisco Lindor hasn’t played nearly as well as fans or the front office expected. Yet here we are with them in the mix on top of the NL East. If they get healthy, they could be dangerous. And Noah Syndergaard might not be far away.
14. Chicago Cubs
The Cubs’ offense has been… hard to read. They’re averaging the most runs in baseball in May, yet they only have a small run differential on the season. Kris Bryant has been playing at an MVP level all over the field.
15. Philadelphia Phillies
Will the Phillies be the team that pushes the Mets for the top spot in the division? Right now they’re hanging around while JT Realmuto struggles to stay on the field.
16. Milwaukee Brewers
Their pitching has been dominant. Their offense has been a ghost far too often, and Christian Yelich is still listed as TBD on the injury report. They’ve been close the last few years. Will they make a big trade to go for it this year? Or ride with the team they have right now?
17. Atlanta Braves
We keep watching the Braves, wondering when the pitching and hitting will all click at the same time for a couple weeks. But it hasn’t happened yet. Ronald Acuna, Jr., might be the best player in the game right now but the numbers around him in a potent lineup have been disappointing thus far.
18. Miami Marlins
The Marlins have the worst record in the league for a team with a positive run differential. Their pitching has been good. Their bats have been injured and inconsistent. Jazz Chisholm appears to be the real deal, however. The longer we watch him the more we believe he’s going to be a threat for a long time.
19. Cincinnati Reds
Luis Castillo has been the biggest pitching disappointment in baseball this season. Some thought he was a Cy Young darkhorse; his ERA makes him appear to be more of a back-end starter. He’s too good to stay this bad. Their offense has been good enough to keep them afloat.
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20. Detroit Tigers
Highlighted by Spencer Turnbull’s no-hitter, the Tigers have won eight of their last ten. This ranking is well higher than their record indicates but they’ve been hotter than most of the teams in the lower half of the league over the past two weeks.
21. Washington Nationals
They’re just getting Juan Soto back in the lineup regularly, so let’s see how this plays out. They’ve started bad every year under Dave Martinez, and their pitching is good enough to make them interesting.
22. Kansas City Royals
It’s been an up-and-down season so far in KC, who looked like a team that wanted to compete at the end of April. Their veteran lineup is trying; their young arms are playing catch-up.
23. Seattle Mariners
The youth movement has begun in Seattle, but Mitch Haniger has been their best player all season. They’ve been on the wrong end of two no-hitters already this year.
24. Shohei Ohtani
Why mention the rest of the Angels when it’s been the Ohtani Show all year. With Mike Trout out for 6-8 weeks, they desperately need Anthony Rendon to stay healthy and start producing in a big way.
25. Texas Rangers
If you haven’t watched Adolis Garcia play yet, find a way to make that happen. He’s been a breakout player for the Rangers this season (when they aren’t getting no-hit).
26. Baltimore Orioles
We love Cedric Mullins and John Means has the look of a legit ace. But the young team around them has a long way to go in the brutal AL East. The future may be bright in Baltimore but the present will see some tough days.
27. Arizona Diamondbacks
Their pitching has been terrible (outside of MadBum’s no-hitter). But at least they got Nick Ahmed back in the lineup.
28. Pittsburgh Pirates
Without Ke’Bryan Hayes in the lineup it’s been tough to watch in Pittsburgh. They’ll need to improve to get their fans from the Penguins’ postseason to the Steelers reporting.
29. Colorado Rockies
The For Sale sign has been up since the Nolan Arenado deal. The only question is when the next significant trade happens.
30. Minnesota Twins
Unfortunately for the Twins, Willians Astudillo isn’t the only “pitcher” giving up bombs this year. Their offense has been a huge disappointment and their bullpen is a mess.