Welcome to July, when things get hot around Major League Baseball.
Is your hot stove working? Or are you putting a For Sale sign up in front of your favorite team? The calendar has flipped to July, which means we have a draft, the All-Star Game and a trade deadline all coming in the next few weeks.
What a time to be alive!
Things are great in some cities… not so much for Yankees and Cubs fans right now. But which team tops our weekly MLB Power Rankings? Let’s update the list for the first time in the game’s most intriguing month.
1. Boston Red Sox
Yankees fans don’t want to hear it but the Red Sox are hot. Winners of six straight and seven of their last ten, Boston is now on top of the American League East. And they’re getting closer to the return of Chris Sale.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers
Yes, they got no-hit by the Cubs last weekend. But they then rolled Chicago in the rest of the series and haven’t lost since. The Dodgers are closing on the Giants in the National League West and look like the team we expected them to be all year.
3. San Diego Padres
Winners of nine of their last ten, the Padres are right on the Dodgers’ (and Giants’) heels. Fernando Tatis, Jr. continues to be a dominant offensive force.
4. Milwaukee Brewers
Say what you want about their schedule being soft in June, the Brewers have won eight straight (including a stunning sweep of the Cubs) and have blown the National League Central open. They’re now comfortably in front of the division and look strong enough to hang on.
5. San Francisco Giants
They still own the best record in baseball (for now) but have lost their last three, allowing the hot Dodgers and Padres to climb back into their rearview mirror. The NL West is getting exciting!
6. Chicago White Sox
Even with all their injuries, the White Sox are still on top of the AL Central and have handled their business against the underwhelming Twins this week. They could have both Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert back in August, too.
7. Toronto Blue Jays
The Jays are 8-2 in their last 10 and are starting to get a little separation from the Yankees in the standings. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is a front-runner for AL MVP right now but won’t participate in the Home Run Derby, which makes us sad.
8. New York Mets
No offense? No problem. The Mets have been able to sit on top of the NL East for two months in spite of their injuries and lack of scoring. At some point the offense has to hold up its end of the bargain, however.
9. Houston Astros
Last week’s No. 1 has lost four straight so they slide a bit. The offense is still potent but the pitching needs to hold up its end of the bargain.
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10. Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays have lost their last three but still have a +75 run differential as we begin July. Wander Franco is worth the price of admission. Tampa is still hanging onto second in the AL East.
11. Oakland A’s
Oakland is now a half-game behind the Astros in the AL West. They sent Jesus Luzardo down to get his stuff right; he’s an important arm for them now and in the future.
12. Washington Nationals
Kyle Schwarber hit 16 home runs in June.
13. Seattle Mariners
If Oakland and Houston don’t pay attention, the Mariners are going to make their lives miserable down the stretch. Seattle has won seven of their last ten and have more young bats and arms coming.
14. Cleveland Indians
Their offense wasn’t great before Josh Naylor’s horrific injury but now they’re in a tough spot chasing Chicago. The rest of the AL Central is a dumpster fire so it will be interesting to see how Cleveland plays out the next few weeks before the deadline.
15. Chicago Cubs
They haven’t won a game since the combined no-hitter against the Dodgers. Things are really bad in Chicago and what was a surprisingly positive couple months has derailed into a potential sell in Chicago.
16. St. Louis Cardinals
The Cubs have opened the door for St. Louis to be relevant in the division again, something that felt impossible a week ago. They need to add at the deadline if they’re going to make a serious run but they’re at least inching closer to second place.
17. Cincinnati Reds
The Reds’ offense is the best in their division but their pitching has been inconsistent all year. If they can put it together and get Luis Castillo on track they could sprint past the Cubs and Cardinals.
18. Detroit Tigers
Yeah, what the hell. We’re putting the Tigers in the top 20 this week. Detroit has won seven of their last ten and the youth movement appears to be as-advertised. Casey Mize is going to be a legit ace soon.
19. Atlanta Braves
Their 20-run outburst on Wednesday night was pretty — unless you’re a Mets fan. They have been frustrating in every way all season but still have the talent to make the NL East interesting in the next couple months.
20. New York Yankees
21. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Shohei Ohtani was the headline in their series at the Yankees. He was dominant at the plate in the first two games and then had the worst start of his career in the third game. That sums up the entire year for the Angels.
22. Philadelphia Phillies
One day, Aaron Nola looks like a Cy Young candidate. The next, he looks like a fifth starter. If the Phillies could get any consistency from part of their roster they could be dangerous. But they haven’t.
23. Miami Marlins
The Marlins have the best run differential in the bottom ten teams in the league right now and have more pitching coming. They need bats, but might wait for this winter to make their big move.
24. Colorado Rockies
Colorado has won their last three and will have the nice marketing moment with Trevor Story in the Home Run Derby. Then the fire sale begins. Can they get these trades right?
25. Texas Rangers
Winners of six in their last ten, the Rangers could be one of the most active and fascinating teams before the deadline. Joey Gallo could be the biggest piece available this month. But will he go?
26. Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore has won their last three so they get a bump here. We’re all-in for Trey Mancini to win the Home Run Derby in Denver and Cedric Mullins is the real deal. But there’s a lot still missing in Baltimore.
27. Minnesota Twins
Josh Donaldson should worry about winning games and not picking fights with the White Sox pitching staff. They’re awful and should sell at the deadline.
28. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates suck, but somehow there are two teams below them in our power rankings this week.
29. Kansas City Royals
Losers of eight in a row, the Royals need to start making room for their young stars of tomorrow. It’s time for Bobby Witt Jr. to make his way to KC.
30. Arizona Diamondbacks
The DBacks appear to have last place on lock right now. There’s a lot of quit in that roster, and the veterans should all go to start the rebuild. Where will MadBum, Eduardo Escobar and maybe Ketel Marte wind up before the deadline?