Welcome to the Rotoworld MLB Power Rankings, a weekly feature that will run every Tuesday through the end of the 2019 regular season. These rankings are not fantasy-driven in any way, though I will include nuggets of more abstract fantasy advice here and there inside the individual team write-ups. Who’s hot, who’s not -- that sort of thing. Send any and all complaints to me on Twitter: @drewsilv. Please believe me when I tell you that I do not hate your team.
1. Houston Astros
Last Week: 2
George Springer shared American League Player of the Week honors with Mike Fiers after going 14-for-27 (.519) with five home runs, 10 RBI, and 10 runs scored in seven games between May 6-12. Three of those five homers led off games. Springer also went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored in Monday night's 8-1 blowout of the Tigers and is now slashing .323/.400/.652 in 190 total plate appearances this year. He leads all American League hitters in hits (53), homers (15), runs batted in (38), and runs scored (36). Houston has the highest winning percentage (.643) and run differential (+76) of all 30 major league teams as of Tuesday afternoon. There's a new top dog in the Rotoworld MLB Power Rankings.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers
Last Week: 1
Hyun-Jin Ryu stayed hot in Sunday's series finale against the Nationals, yielding just one hit and one walk over eight scoreless frames as the Dodgers earned a 6-0 victory and split their four-game weekend set with Washington. That lone hit came in the top of the eighth. Ryu threw a shutout in his previous outing last Tuesday versus Atlanta and currently boasts a 1.72 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, and 54/3 K/BB ratio over 52 1/3 total innings this season. If the veteran left-hander can manage to stay healthy moving forward, he might have a real shot at the National League Cy Young Award. He's already been on the injured list once this year with a mild groin strain.
3. Chicago Cubs
Last Week: 6
The Cubs are 12-2 over their last 14 games and have rocketed into first place in the National League Central standings. Kris Bryant was batting .232 with a .729 OPS as of April 25 and there was growing chatter that the shoulder issue which tanked his second half last year might have carried over into the 2019 campaign, but the 27-year-old third baseman is slashing .296/.451/.778 with seven home runs, 18 RBI, and 17 runs scored in his last 71 plate appearances. Jon Lester yielded just one unearned run over 6 2/3 innings in Sunday's series finale against the Brewers, a 4-1 win for Chicago, and currently boasts an MLB-best 1.16 ERA through seven starts.
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4. Minnesota Twins
Last Week: 4
The Twins split a four-game weekend series with the Tigers and fell 5-4 to the Angels on Monday, but they are 16-8 since April 20 and have opened up a four-game lead on the Indians for first place in the American League Central standings. Miguel Sano (heel) recently moved his minor league rehab assignment to Triple-A Rochester and should be cleared to join Minnesota's active roster by the end of this week. He has hit .303/.359/.606 with two home runs, four doubles, and nine RBI in nine games between High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A. Sano returning should mean a big offensive upgrade at third base, as Marwin Gonzalez has struggled to a .663 OPS through 35 games.
5. Tampa Bay Rays
Last Week: 3
Tyler Glasnow left Friday's series opener against the Yankees with tightness in his right forearm and was placed on the injured list Saturday after an MRI revealed a muscle strain. He's expected to be sidelined for at least the next 4-6 weeks. Tampa Bay has great pitching depth and the diagnosis could have been worse -- no surgery is required -- but this is still a tough blow. The 25-year-old right-hander had gone 6-1 with a 1.86 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, and 55/9 K/BB ratio through 48 1/3 innings (eight starts) this season. The Rays dropped two of three to the Yanks and currently lead New York by just a half-game for the top spot in the American League East standings.
6. New York Yankees
Last Week: 7
Another week, another rash of injuries in the Bronx. Miguel Andujar was placed back on the injured list Monday due to ongoing complications with the partially-torn labrum in his right shoulder. He has tried to push off surgery and play through it, but the 24-year-old third baseman was batting just .128 with a .271 OPS and zero extra-base hits over 49 plate appearances. New York also lost young starter Jonathan Loaisiga on Monday. He has a right rotator cuff strain and will be shut down completely for at least the next four weeks. Loaisiga is the 17th member of the Yankees to hit the IL this season, and yet this team is only a half-game back of first place in the AL East.
7. Philadelphia Phillies
Last Week: 9
The Phillies took two of three in St. Louis last week and two of three in Kansas City over the weekend before topping the Brewers by a score of 7-4 back in Philadelphia on Monday night. Bryce Harper owns a relatively underwhelming .222/.367/.438 batting line with 54 strikeouts in 40 games this season, and he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in Monday's series opener versus Milwaukee, but he did make a spectacular diving catch on a Mike Moustakas line drive with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh inning. Harper is going to go on a tear at some point, and the Phils might just run away with the NL East. They're currently 3 1/2 games up on first place.
8. Milwaukee Brewers
Last Week: 8
The Brewers won seven straight games against the Mets, Nationals, and Cubs between May 3-10, but they dropped the final two games of their three-game weekend series in Chicago and fell 7-4 to the Phillies on Monday night at Citizens Bank Park. This team is 16-8 at home in Miller Park and 8-11 everywhere else. That's not necessarily indicative of anything, but the Brewers do need to start playing a little better in other ballparks going forward. Christian Yelich's home-road splits are especially lopsided. He has batted .406 with a 1.665 OPS and 15 home runs in 19 games at home and .275 with a .760 OPS and one home run in 19 games away.
9. Boston Red Sox
Last Week: 14
The reigning World Series champions have won five straight games and are now 16-6 over their last 22, with a +69 run differential in that span. 19 games into the season, they were 6-13 with a run differential of -42. It's been quite a turnaround. Dustin Pedroia suffered another setback with his surgically-repaired left knee over the weekend and has been pulled off his minor league rehab assignment at Double-A Portland, but the Red Sox look to have a keeper at second base in standout rookie Michael Chavis. He went 3-for-5 with a career-high five RBI in Sunday's 11-2 blowout win over the Mariners and boasts a .970 OPS through his first 20 major league games.
10. St. Louis Cardinals
Last Week: 5
The Cardinals lost three of four to the Pirates this past weekend and are now 2-9 over their last 11 games. It's probably time to abandon the Dakota Hudson experiment and plug somebody else into that rotation spot. He surrendered three runs in the first inning of Sunday's eventual 10-6 loss to Pittsburgh and has allowed 53 hits and 20 walks in 41 innings this season for a WHIP of 1.78. Carlos Martinez is set to come off the injured list later this week, but he's going to serve as a reliever for St. Louis moving forward because his troublesome right shoulder can't handle the stress of lengthier outings. Austin Gomber might be the answer.
11. San Diego Padres
Last Week: 10
San Diego is 6-8 over its last 14 games and starting to lose some of the luster that made this team so exciting to watch over the first month of 2019. Fernando Tatis Jr. returning to the active roster would help, but he's still stationed at the Padres' spring training complex in Arizona with a hamstring injury and has yet to run at full speed. It'll be at least another week before he's back to full health. Eric Lauer gave up a career-high eight runs in Friday night's 12-2 loss to the Rockies as his season ERA ballooned to 5.75. Chris Paddack continues to shine, but he'll face a workload crunch at some point after throwing only 90 innings in the minors last year.
12. Arizona Diamondbacks
Last Week: 11
The Diamondbacks went on a nice run between mid-April and early May, but they've lost six of their last nine games, including three straight to the Braves over the weekend. If the D-backs want to become a real threat for the National League West title or, more realistically, a National League Wild Card spot, they're probably going to have to beef up their bullpen. Greg Holland has looked a little shakier in his last three outings and Arizona relievers as a whole have pitched to a 4.67 ERA in 150 1/3 innings this year. That combined bullpen ERA ranks 23rd among the 30 major league clubs. Archie Bradley was recently demoted from his eighth-inning setup role.
13. Atlanta Braves
Last Week: 12
The Braves suffered a three-game sweep last week at Dodger Stadium and fell 3-2 in Thursday's series opener against the Diamondbacks before closing out that four-game set with three straight victories. The bullpen woes in Atlanta came to a head on Friday with the demotion of A.J. Minter to Triple-A Gwinnett. He was the clear favorite to take over as the team's closer when Arodys Vizcaino needed season-ending shoulder surgery on April 17, but Minter was sporting a 9.82 ERA and 2.36 WHIP through 15 appearances this year and will try to get himself sorted out against lesser competition. Luke Jackson appears to be the preferred ninth-inning man right now.
14. Cleveland Indians
Last Week: 13
The Indians lost two of three over the weekend in Oakland and fell 5-2 to the White Sox on Monday night. Injuries to Corey Kluber (arm) and Mike Clevinger (back) have left glaring holes at the top of the Indians' starting rotation, and there's no internal answer there. But the offense should get a boost of some sort this week with the arrival of outfield prospect Oscar Mercado, who was batting .294/.396/.496 with four home runs, 15 RBI, 14 stolen bases, and 24 runs scored through 30 games this season at Triple-A Columbus. The 24-year-old should get regular playing time in Cleveland and can be useful right out of the gate in mixed fantasy leagues.
15. New York Mets
Last Week: 15
The Mets had a good opportunity to complete their first series sweep since early April this past weekend against the visiting Marlins, but Sunday's series finale got postponed due to inclement weather around Citi Field. They won 11-2 over Miami on Friday, courtesy of an eight-run outburst in the bottom of the first inning. It was the highest-scoring opening inning for the Mets in 30 years. Jacob deGrom then led the way in a 4-1 victory on Saturday, yielding just one run and striking out eight batters over seven innings to earn his first official win since April 3. The Mets will face the Marlins again this Friday-Sunday, after a three-game set in Washington, D.C.