It’s Father’s Day weekend and teams are almost universally dealing with significant injuries. Which teams are in it to win it?
As we get to the middle of June, Major League Baseball is facing another self-imposed public relations nightmare.
This sticky situation has players all over the game questioning the integrity of the commissioner’s office and each other. And we’re already starting to see significant injuries that a few players, including Tyler Glasnow, who are directly blaming the new rule change for causing.
Some teams have been able to overcome injuries, others have struggled to do anything right with a full roster. And the dumpster in Arizona just keeps burning.
Let’s jump into our June 18 updated power rankings.
1. Chicago White Sox
The White Sox have the best record in baseball and they’re doing it without two of their most important players – Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez. Earlier this week they lost second baseman Nick Madrigal for the rest of the season but Jimenez is close to getting back to baseball activities. This White Sox team is good, deep and rolling in a soft AL Central — but their series against the Rays showed they’re legit.
2. Oakland A’s
Winners of six straight entering Thursday, Oakland is back on a really good roll. They’ll need to stay hot to keep Houston in the rearview mirror, but the A’s are once again bucking expectations and winnings important games. Will they be active at the deadline?
3. San Francisco Giants
How about the Bay Area holding down two of our top three overall spots this week? The Giants just keep winning games and are holding off the Dodgers and Padres (for now). What was supposed to be a potential rebuild year has become an intriguing year that might make the Giants a buyer at the deadline.
4. Los Angeles Dodgers
They’re sprinting after the Giants right now, but had to put Cody Bellinger back on the IL earlier this week. Their pitching has been terrific and they’re generating just enough offense… to have the best run differential in the National League. The NL West is going to be fun to watch before the deadline.
5. Boston Red Sox
They’re behind Tampa in the standings but the injury to Glasnow gives us pause in our power rankings. Boston could get Chris Sale back at some point later this summer, which could be a big difference maker down the stretch.
6. Tampa Bay Rays
The situation became complicated for Tampa when Glasnow got hurt. Their rotation is now relying heavily on lefties, and there are teams at the top of the AL (specifically Chicago) that crush left-handed pitching. Will they ever buy at the deadline? This would be the year to do it. Of course, they could just call up Wander Franco, too.
7. Houston Astros
They can’t be happy with Andy Martino’s new book, and Alex Bregman went down with an injury earlier this week. But the Astros continue to pile up runs and find enough pitching to win games. They’re chasing the A’s right now but Houston appears to be ready to compete until the end.
8. New York Mets
We’re a little fearful with Jacob deGrom going for yet another MRI, even though he continues to downplay the soreness. He’s having an historic season and the Mets’ hanging on to first place has been especially impressive given the number of injuries they have had thus far.
9. Milwaukee Brewers
Milwaukee’s top three starters stack up with any rotation in baseball and Josh Hader continues to be almost untouchable. They’re in a fight with the Cubs for the top of the NL Central and might need to add a bat (or two) at the deadline. The Wily Adames acquisition has been marvelous.
10. Chicago Cubs
The Cubs had a scare earlier this week when their MVP candidate, Kris Bryant, was hit on the hand with a pitch. The x-rays were negative but so was a lot of the series with the Mets. What was supposed to be a sell year on Chicago’s north side may have become a buying season.
11. Cincinnati Reds
Suddenly the Reds are chasing both Chicago and Milwaukee and Luis Castillo still hasn’t looked as good as we hoped before the season. It appears the NL Central is going to be a three-team race but the Reds have emerged as the third dog.
12. Cleveland Indians
How long can they stay close to the White Sox with their offense? The Tribe have been fascinating this season in post-Lindor transition, and all the credit should go to Terry Francona for another great job on the bench.
13. San Diego Padres
The Padres are in a rough stretch right now, winners of two of their last ten against some pretty good teams. They’ll need to right the ship quickly if they want to keep pace with LA and San Francisco.
14. Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto is .500 but their run differential is plus-47 — more than 50 runs better than the Yankees. With all due respect to Fernando Tatis, Jr. and Ronald Acuna, Jr. the most exciting player in the game right now might be Vladimir Guerrero, Jr.
15. New York Yankees
The offense has been underwhelming all year and now we’re worrying about Gerrit Cole’s state of mind in the wake of the new ball-substance rule being put in place. Add to that the allegations of sign stealing earlier this week and it’s a tough time to be a fan of the pinstripes.
16. Philadelphia Phillies
Philly has won seven of their last ten but Bryce Harper’s health continues to be a significant concern. It’s hard to know who these Phillies are, but they’re doing the best job of chasing the Mets right now in the division.
17. St. Louis Cardinals
The loss of Jack Flaherty from an already-suspect rotation has been a big blow for the Cardinals. After making the big deal for Nolan Arenado, will they be pressured to go big again (maybe more than once) to get back into the race in the Central?
18. Washington Nationals
Will they rally again this year and make things interesting or will Max Scherzer be the biggest arm on the market at the trade deadline? Washington made some interesting moves in free agency before this season but they haven’t paid off on the field yet.
19. Atlanta Braves
The young pitching in Atlanta hasn’t been able to stay healthy, which sucks for Braves fans because the offense is dynamic. There’s no way they sell at the deadline… right?
20. Seattle Mariners
The Jarred Kelenic call-up didn’t work, but the Mariners still have some of the more talented outfield prospects in the game coming at some point. Kyle Lewis missing a big chunk of the season has been a big blow to the roster.
21. LA Angels of Anaheim
Mike Trout going down was brutal but Shohei Ohtani continues to be must-watch television. You just have to wonder how long the Angels keep missing the mark every offseason with their additions and still, somehow, keep Trout happy enough to stay there.
22. Detroit Tigers
Casey Mize has every reason to be pissed off about the umps making him change gloves, but his arm plays. Matt Manning is coming, too. The arms are going to be scary in Detroit.
23. Miami Marlins
When they get Sixto Sanchez back in the rotation the Marlins might be in a place to make things interesting in the NL East late this season. They’re young and starting to bring up their youngsters. If you haven’t watched Jazz Chisholm yet, make sure you do — he’s special.
24. Colorado Rockies
Where will Trevor Story be playing to finish the year? And will the Rockies do better on that deal than they did on the Arenado debacle? Those are the biggest questions in Denver right now.
25. Kansas City Royals
The Royals are back on the wrong end of a streak right now and it’s getting late for them to figure it out. Maybe they’ll be motivated to bring up Bobby Witt, Jr. at some point?
26. Minnesota Twins
What a sad, pathetic year for the Twins. The important question now is, given how well the White Sox are playing and the ages on the roster in Chicago, should the Twins sell at the deadline?
27. Texas Rangers
The Rangers should go into sell mode soon, and there could be a line around the block for Joey Gallo. They’ll be big-time players in free agency this winter but right now they’re terrible.
28. Baltimore Orioles
Cedric Mullins is hope for the future in Baltimore but some of their veterans might be on the way out soon. Both Mullins and John Means should be All-Stars this year.
29. Pittsburgh Pirates
They’re trying so hard to be the worst team in baseball it’s sad they aren’t dead last in our power rankings. But there is a team that’s playing worse than Pittsburgh.
30. Arizona Diamondbacks
They might never win a road game again. Seriously.
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