It's Memorial Day.
That means something of far greater importance than anything baseball-related, but I'm tasked with putting together the Internet's Most Official Power Rankings, so we'll stick to sports here.
Looking back at growing up -- no, we don't need to discuss how long ago that was -- I remember always hearing that Memorial Day was a good time to take stock of things. That is, there's no reason to overreact to a few weeks in April, but through Memorial Day we've got about two months of things we've seen on the field. Sure, things can change, but, generally speaking, we should have a good idea about how the season might continue to unfold.
Existential question: Do we know what we think we know?
Probably not, but we can have some beliefs by now. It's allowed.
Knowing this, you wanna know what I believe? Here's what I believe.
- I believe the National League East is absolutely mediocre and the Braves are definitely in some trouble.
- The Red Sox are for real and the Blue Jays are still going to hang around, meaning the AL East looks like a four-team race down the stretch.
- I believe the Dodgers are still going to win the NL West, but the Padres absolutely have the stuff to push them. The Giants don't.
- The Cardinals are still probably the best bet to win the NL Central, but it's the Cubs who will test them. If ownership forces Jed Hoyer to do anything but aggressively add in front of the trade deadline, at this rate, they should be ashamed and embarrassed.
- I believe the best bet for a runaway race is the AL Central with the White Sox. That Cleveland offense is too pathetic to hang around and the Twins dug too deep a hole. The Royals are perfectly capable of maintaining their pace and winning 75-80 games, but the White Sox are headed for 95ish.
- The Astros are gonna take the AL West and that's good for baseball, because many fans view them as a villain and villains make things fun. Oh, and the Angels are a total joke. Everyone should mock them for being so awful at finding supporting cast members for their super-duper stars.
- I believe there oughta be a constitutional amendment outlawing AstroTurf
and the designated hitter. Unlike Crash Davis, I believe there should be a universal DH. Heading into Sunday, pitchers were hitting a pathetic .108/.146/.142 while striking out more than half their at-bats. If you think there's beauty in that, we have a different definition of the word.
Anyway, I hope that was fun and you caught the reference before my Crash mention. Now let's rank.
|Every week I jump through metaphorical hoops while sitting at my keyboard, trying to just not geek out over Fernando Tatis Jr. in the Padres' blurb here. I'm tired of fighting it. He rules!||--||77-75|
|Remember May 12? That's when the Rays lost to the Yankees and fell to 19-19. It wasn't even that long ago! They've gone 15-1 since.||3||94-59|
|As noted, I believe they are legit. We're gonna find out what they're made of these next few weeks. Starting Monday they have four games in Houston before three in the Bronx.||--||88-65|
|Lance Lynn finished fifth in Cy Young voting in 2019. He finished sixth last year. He's creeping up on winning one, but he might be behind a teammate (Carlos Rodon) right now.||2||86-67|
|What a great bounce-back series against the Dodgers after last weekend's debacle. I still don't believe the Giants end better than third place, but they've shown their fortitude in convincing fashion.||4||99-54|
|Uh oh! Another funk? They've now lost four of five.||4||98-55|
|Who woke up Carlos Correa and told him it was a contract year? He's on fire and has shot to the top of the Astros' WAR leaderboard.||--||91-62|
|The run differential defiance is actually pretty fun. It's not quite shades of the 2012 Orioles yet or anything, but it's something.||--||82-71|
|The streak has come to an end, but the Cubs' bullpen just went over 38 straight scoreless innings. If you aren't a Cubs fan, see how many of their relievers other than Craig Kimbrel that you can name. I'd guess it won't take very long before you give up.||4||67-85|
|This Yadier Molina offensive barrage is astounding. He's less than two months from turning 39 years old. He hit .268/.310/.388 in 2019-20 combined. Good for him and good for the Cardinals.||--||83-69|
|After being completely dismantled by the Rays, the Blue Jays have bounced back and look good again. And the Rays have been killing everyone.||--||85-68|
|I remain baffled at the extended slump to start Francisco Lindor's Mets career, but he's gone 3 for his last 8 with a home run. Maybe he's getting hot?||2||73-79|
|Terrible week. Just brutal. Now they get to deal with the Rays and Red Sox.||9||86-67|
|To continue on with the "I believe" portion from the intro ... I believe we've seen enough of Freddy Peralta to declare the Brewers having a Big Three in the rotation.||2||91-62|
|Do what you will with this: Cleveland is 12-4 against the Tigers and Royals, meaning they are below .500 against everyone else.||3||75-77|
|With the Huascar Ynoa injury, the bad Mike Soroka news, Charlie Morton's age and workload concerns for youngsters like Ian Anderson, the rotation is my concern with this club.||1||80-71|
|Salvador Perez's career high in homers is 27 (he did it twice). Since returning from injury last season, Perez has homered 21 times in just 88 games.||2||69-83|
|Tough week, but they are still right within striking range of contention and I'd love to see what Kim Ng does if the Marlins warrant being buyers in July.||1||64-88|
|On May 8, the Phillies had a 3-1 lead over the Braves going to the ninth. They blew that. They scored one in the 10th and gave that lead up as well. They scored three in the 11th and then melted down for the walkoff loss. Had they held on, it would've been their sixth straight win and they would've maintained a one-game lead in the NL East. Instead, they've gone 7-12 since.||1||79-74|
|Jesse Winker has always been a good hitter and was probably a bit underrated heading into this year. He's taking things to a whole new level this year, though, slashing .348/.411/.635. He's an All-Star.||2||78-75|
|Recent trivia question to bounce off your friends who don't read these rankings (as if there's a such thing): Name the three players who have at least 100 home runs in both the AL and NL. The easy/obvious answers are Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera. The other? Justin Upton.||2||73-80|
|After a dreadful week, the Mariners have caught fire and won six of seven.||3||84-69|
|Since May 7, the Tigers are 13-7.||1||74-78|
|Who is ready for the Max Scherzer Sweepstakes? The way they are playing, it appears the Nationals certainly are.||3||64-89|
|Was this their last gasp? They won six of seven and looked competant, but then dropped two of three to the Royals and are back to 10 games under .500 and 11 games out. Winning the division now would require a historic run.||1||68-85|
|I'm not sure I would've noticed how streaky they were if I didn't do the power rankings, but I feel like I have to promote them heavily one week only to turn around and demote them greatly the next. Over and over.||6||55-98|
|Unfortunately, they have zero home games against the Rockies left on the schedule. Hell, they even lost one of those three games.||1||57-95|
|Reminder: This team is 16-12 at home. Do the math and cringe.||1||71-81|
|Worse news than their record (which is 5-23 in May): I'm not even sure they have much to sell. Unless they'd really deal Ketel Marte?||--||49-104|
|The Orioles won, 10-6, on May 16. I mention that because it's the only game they've won in their last 18.||--||49-104|