MLB Power Rankings: Just call the Yankees the Bronx Bombers again, and our No. 1
For the first time in several years, the best team in baseball is the New York Yankees
The top of the Official Power Rankings this week would have looked pretty familiar at many different points in history, but it hasn't even been a possibility much in the past several years.
This is a phrase that's bound to draw equal parts adulation and disdain from around Major League Baseball fandom: The New York Yankees have the look of the best team in baseball.
Just last July, the Yankees were in the process of an on-the-fly rebuild, a process that culled the likes of Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez, landed lots of high-upside prospects in trades and led to seeing MLB debuts from hotshots like Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge.
Now they sit at 21-10, owners of six- and eight-game winning streaks already on the still-fledgling season.
In Judge, they Yankees have a kid who is playing like an MVP candidate. Sanchez is starting to come around after his return from injury. Twenty-three-year-old Luis Severino has shown flashes of frontline starter ability thus far while young Jordan Montgomery is holding his own at the back-end of the rotation. Ronald Torreyes has filled in the infield beautifully and he's still only 24.
The veterans are killing the ball offensively, too. Starlin Castro has been among the league leaders in hits and average throughout the season. Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Chase Headley have been good while Matt Holliday has been great. Aaron Hicks is hitting like he never has before.
Overall, the Yankees offense is among the best in baseball in runs, home runs, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. No need to stick with the "Baby Bombers" moniker. This group embodies the ol' Bronx Bombers nickname.
It's not as though they haven't had to deal with any adversity, either. Sanchez has only appeared in 10 games. Didi Gregorius opened the season on the DL and has only logged 11 games himself. Greg Bird was hitting poorly and is now injured. There's been inconsistency in the rotation and overall the Yankees' strength of schedule rates out as one of the toughest in all of baseball. They also started the season 1-4.
Though many had the Red Sox and Blue Jays ahead of the Yankees in preseason predictions -- along with some for the Orioles or even Rays -- the Yankees have raised their postseason chances to 82.2 percent, per the SportsLine model.
There's certainly some regression to be had in several places on offense (we can start with Castro), but there are also players who will get better. I can't be sure the Yankees last here at the top in the only Official Power Rankings the Internet has more than just this week, but they 100 percent look the part of a season-long playoff contender.
Quite simply: The Bronx Bombers are back. I'm sure they are really sorry if it hurts your feelings.
As always, feel free to hit me up and tell me how awesome I am: firstname.lastname@example.org or @MattSnyderCBS. Don't lie and say I'm not awesome, either.
|1||Yankees||The Yankees lost Monday, so at least we know that's still possible.||2||30-13|
|2||Astros||You know how they were playing well without Carlos Correa going yet? In his last 15 games, he's hitting .323/.373/.581 with eight doubles and three homers. The biggest division lead in baseball belongs to the Astros.||--||30-18|
|3||Orioles||Yes, the Zach Britton news hurts, but it's not a crushing blow or anything given the Orioles' bullpen personnel and how skilled Buck Showalter is at using it. I'm still digging this team overall.||1||14-32|
|4||Nationals||The bullpen is a serious concern, but the Nationals will have plenty of time to address it, given that no one in the NL East is going to seriously push them.||3||24-21|
|5||Rockies||I keep having people tell me via email and Twitter that the Rockies are "overrated" or "all hype" and I can't figure out where these people think this supposed hype is coming from. I see a team playing like one of the best five in baseball that almost no one outside the Mountain Time Zone is talking about. It's OK if you think they'll regress -- though I happen to think they are totally legit -- but find me the hype before bringing such nonsense.||4||25-22|
|6||Indians||As quietly as a pitcher of his caliber on the defending AL champs can be, Carlos Carrasco has quietly been ridiculous this season. He's now sitting with a 1.86 ERA and 0.77 WHIP.||1||22-23|
|7||Red Sox||The offense was a surprising issue for a bit, specifically the power, but the Red Sox have scored 11, 17 and 7 runs, respectively, in the past three games. Maybe they're awake now.||1||32-15|
|8||Dodgers||Overall, the Dodgers have been playing good baseball for the last few weeks. The four-game series in Colorado starting on Thursday will be very fun. A nice test for both teams, really.||1||20-26|
|9||Cardinals||Remember that 3-9 start? The Cardinals have gone 15-5 since then and hold first place in the NL Central.||4||25-19|
|10||Cubs||The champs don't look great right now, but they've played one of the toughest schedules in the majors and the following players have been underachieving to this point in the season: Anthony Rizzo, Ben Zobrist, Kyle Schwarber, Addison Russell, Willson Contreras, Jake Arrieta, John Lackey and you could argue Kyle Hendricks and Jon Lester have as well. Things even out here eventually and the Cubs still take the Central.||2||25-19|
|11||Brewers||Between the home runs and stolen bases, this is one of the most fun teams, offensively, to watch. At least that's the case unless you are their opponent.||3||28-19|
|12||Reds||And now they're hot again! Since tumbling down the rankings in time for last week, the Reds have won six out of seven. I really admire this group's tenacity.||15||16-32|
|13||Twins||Boy, that run differential really took it on the chin Saturday and Sunday, huh?||2||19-23|
|14||Diamondbacks||The bad news is the losses are starting to pile up. The good news is they're coming against good teams. The bad news is those games all count the same. More bad news is the Snakes are 1-5 since last ranking, so they tumble a bit.||4||25-21|
|15||Mets||Through a bunch of on- and off-field crap, the Mets have managed to win eight of their last 11 and are back to .500. Pretty remarkable. Several players deserve credit, but I'm not sure anyone should get more than Michael Conforto. He endured riding pine far too often early and then has been outstanding in the absence of Yoenis Cespedes.||7||23-19|
|16||Tigers||Finally, mercifully, Brad Ausmus removed Francisco Rodriguez from the role of closer. Had he done so before the weekend, the Tigers would be in much better shape. It was obvious all year K-Rod had nothing, too. Maybe be more proactive than reactive? Just spitballin'.||4||20-26|
|17||Mariners||James Paxton, Felix Hernandez, Drew Smyly and Mitch Haniger are on the DL and the Mariners have rebounded from a 2-8 start to climb to within a game of .500. If they can just tread water until the staff gets relatively healthy, the Mariners will contend. I'm still holding out hope for the broken playoff drought happening this year.||7||27-19|
|18||White Sox||Well, that's a 1-5 week for the Sox. The bright side is the Padres are coming to town later this week.||7||13-30|
|19||Athletics||Yonder Alonso said heading into the season he wanted to hit the ball in the air more. He's doing it and already has a career high 11 home runs.||9||25-22|
|20||Pirates||This probably deserves its own column at some point, but it's pretty amazing how quickly things went south here. The Pirates won 98 games in 2015.||1||26-20|
|21||Rays||It's still relatively early, but, man, Kevin Kiermaier's been really bad so far after signing that extension in the offseason.||4||22-23|
|22||Angels||Roller coaster season alert! (Man, I love these far too much) The Angels started off 6-2, then lost nine of 10, then won eight of 10 and have now lost five of seven.||6||26-21|
|23||Rangers||The Rangers have lost seven of their last 10 games. In that stretch, they've scored two or fewer runs five times. Then they exploded for 11 on Tuesday, but it was against what's left of Jered Weaver, so I'm not sure that should even count. PAGING ADRIAN BELTRE! (Not just for his skills. I really just miss him).||--||18-30|
|24||Phillies||The Phillies have lost nine of their last 11 and they had a lead in seven of those nine losses. I'm picturing a die-hard Phillies fan sitting there staring at the TV screen and saying "I ******* hate baseball!" We've all been there, fellow fan. Hang in there.||6||26-18|
|25||Marlins||This is a season-altering spiral. The Marlins have now lost 11 of their last 14. IMPORTANT: I said season "altering," not ending. They do get to play 162 of these games, you know.||5||17-29|
|26||Blue Jays||It's pretty amazing how quickly Jose Bautista just fell apart. He was top 10 in MVP voting in 2015 and now a contender would be hard pressed to justify him in the lineup.||1||22-25|
|27||Royals||So are the Royals fans gonna stuff the All-Star ballot boxes again? *Ducks*||3||14-32|
|28||Padres||They've lost five of six, but it could be worse. They could be the Giants.||2||20-28|
|29||Braves||So much for me wondering if they were getting hot last week. They're 0-5 since. Meantime, Freddie Freeman's been possibly the best hitter on Earth since the middle of last season. Even after going 0 for 4 on Tuesday, he's hitting .336/.455/.727 this season. Give him some help and he'll start getting the credit he deserves.||8||28-17|
|30||Giants||Mark Melancon is on the disabled list for the first time in his career. That pretty well sums things up here, no?||1||24-24|
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