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Welcome to the NBC Sports EDGE MLB Power Rankings, a weekly feature that will run every Tuesday through the end of the 2022 regular season. These rankings are not fantasy-driven in any way, though I do tend to sprinkle in fantasy-relevant nuggets here and there. Who’s hot, who’s not, who to watch -- 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. New York Yankees
Last Week: 1
Gerrit Cole tallied a season-high 12 strikeouts and carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning as the Yankees became the first team to reach 50 wins with a 4-2 defeat of the Rays on Monday night at Tropicana Field. This is only the fourth time in franchise history that the Yanks have won 50 of their first 67 games in a season. The other three: 1928, 1939, and 1998. And, yes, those all ended with World Series titles. Props to Brian Cashman and Co. for building a juggernaut. There were doubters.
2. New York Mets
Last Week: 2
They just took three of four from the Marlins after winning two of three from both the Angels and Brewers. More series victories to add to the Mets’ ledger in what has been a fantastic first half in Queens. And the situation could even improve here soon with Jacob deGrom (shoulder) recently advancing to multi-inning simulated work and Max Scherzer (oblique) scheduled for a minor league rehab start on Tuesday at Double-A Binghamton. There’s talk that Scherzer could return as early as Sunday.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers
Last Week: 3
In the midst of a rough patch, the Dodgers are just 7-9 so far in June and 7-11 if you take it back to the final couple days of May. Mookie Betts was forced to the injured list on Sunday with a cracked rib that he sustained in an outfield collision with teammate Cody Bellinger. The hope is that Betts might be ready to return in two weeks, but it’s going to be a matter of healing and pain tolerance. Craig Kimbrel’s struggles have continued -- he’s allowed 12 runs (10 earned) over his last 12 1/3 innings.
4. Houston Astros
Last Week: 4
Houston won two of three against both the Rangers and White Sox last week and will head into Tuesday’s series opener versus the Mets with a 10-game lead on first place in the American League West standings. But keep an eye out on the status of Yordan Álvarez, who missed Sunday’s series finale with Chicago due to an apparent hand injury that is somewhat shrouded in mystery. Hopefully it’s just a minor blip for the 23-year-old slugger. He has the fifth-best OPS (1.026) in the bigs.
5. San Diego Padres
Last Week: 6
It appeared that Manny Machado badly injured his left ankle -- maybe even fractured it -- when he stumbled on the first base bag Sunday at Coors Field. San Diego got swept by Colorado in that three-game weekend set but bounced back with a 4-1 win Monday over the Diamondbacks, and Machado miraculously walked into the clubhouse afterward showing no limp at all. Entering play on Tuesday, with Machado now likely to avoid the IL, the Padres are tied with the Dodgers atop the NL West.
6. Milwaukee Brewers
Last Week: 7
Corbin Burnes, Devin Williams, and Josh Hader combined for a three-hit shutout Monday versus the Cardinals as Milwaukee reclaimed sole possession of first place in the NL Central with a 2-0 win over now-second-place St. Louis. That is four straight victories for the Brewers, who also swept the Reds over the weekend at Great American Ball Park. Burnes, holding a 2.31 ERA and 110/19 K/BB ratio through 85 2/3 innings, is making a push for his second straight NL Cy Young Award.
7. Toronto Blue Jays
Last Week: 5
Toronto went on an eight-game winning streak between May 24 and June 2, looking poised for an extended surge that would match up with the lofty preseason expectations that surrounded such a talented roster. But the Blue Jays haven’t won more than two consecutive games since, and they’ve now lost five of their last seven to the Orioles, Yankees, and White Sox. José Berríos got lit up for six earned runs over just four innings on Monday night in Chicago as his season ERA ballooned to 5.11.
8. Atlanta Braves
Last Week: 12
The defending World Series champions began the month of June on a rollicking 14-game winning streak before dropping two of three to the Cubs this past weekend. They avoided a sweep on Sunday with a 6-0 victory, helped by Ian Anderson’s best start of the year. Max Fried then pitched the Braves to a 2-1 win in Monday’s series opener against the Giants while lowering his season ERA to 2.77. It’s all beginning to click in Atlanta. Maybe closed-door meetings really do work.
9. San Francisco Giants
Last Week: 11
Are they doing it again? Maybe not in franchise-record win total (107) fashion like last year, but right when this Giants team seems all set for a downturn, that 2021 resilience seemingly returns. They’ve won seven of their last 10 games, jumpstarted by a three-game sweep of the arch-rival Dodgers. Carlos Rodón stumbled a little in May, but he worked eight scoreless frames on his last turn in the rotation and owns a dominant 1.17 ERA with 27 strikeouts over 23 innings (four starts) in June.
10. Minnesota Twins
Last Week: 9
Byron Buxton fell into a deep slump last month -- his season OPS sliding from 1.100 on May 1 to .770 on May 31 -- but the dynamic 28-year-old center fielder has kicked back into gear and might be gunning for AL Player of the Month in June. Over his last 60 plate appearances (14 games) since the calendar flipped, Buxton is batting .308/.400/.827 with eight home runs, three doubles, 12 RBI, and 12 runs scored. That season OPS is now .897, which is tops among all Minnesota hitters.
11. Boston Red Sox
Last Week: 13
Taking full advantage of an easier stretch of the schedule, the Red Sox are 14-4 in June and 28-12 going back to May 10. They’ve outscored the opposition 87-53 this month and carry the third-best run differential in the American League at +50. But up ahead is a gauntlet. After two more games with the Tigers -- the Sox won 5-2 in Monday’s series opener -- comes a long stretch of playoff-caliber opponents. Of their next 46 games, 38 are against teams currently in the postseason hunt.
12. St. Louis Cardinals
Last Week: 10
Now just 10-10 in June, the Cardinals have a real problem in middle relief. And a problem looking only mediocre against legitimate competition. They are 15-19 this year when facing teams with winning records and 23-12 versus clubs at or below .500. Frustration continues to mount around Tyler O’Neill, who is back on the injured list with a left hamstring strain. The soon-to-be 27-year-old earned down-ballot MVP votes in 2021, but he’s hit just .241/.292/.361 when healthy in 2022.
13. Tampa Bay Rays
Last Week: 8
Coming off a rough nine-game road trip in which they collected just two wins, the Rays returned home on Monday only to get beaten again by the Yankees. This offense has fallen completely flat with Wander Franco, Brandon Lowe, and Mike Zunino all on the injured list. And now Manuel Margot (knee) and Kevin Kiermaier (shoulder) will join them there. Rays manager Kevin Cash is going to have to work some serious magic to guide a turnaround. He could use help from the front office.
14. Philadelphia Phillies
Last Week: 16
Welp, maybe Joe Girardi really was the problem. Or at least part of it. Since firing Girardi on the morning of June 3 and installing Rob Thomson as interim manager, the Phillies have rattled off a record of 14-3. And they are 15-3 overall since the calendar flipped from May, which includes a nine-game winning steak that stretched from June 1 to June 11. They just took four of five from the Nationals over the weekend and are suddenly just two games back of the third NL Wild Card spot. What a turnaround.
15. Chicago White Sox
Last Week: 15
It was a party on the South Side of Chicago on Monday as Tim Anderson returned from the injured list, Luis Robert collected his 10th RBI in the last seven games, and Andrew Vaughn went 4-for-4 in an 8-7 defeat of the visiting Blue Jays. Vaughn, here in his sophomore season, is rounding into a key offensive catalyst for the White Sox as they look to make up ground in the American League Central race. The 24-year-old has batted .330/.381/.505 across 202 total plate appearances.
16. Cleveland Guardians
Last Week: 19
Winners of six consecutive series, the Guardians are 15-4 dating back to May 30 and 13-4 so far in June. Remember all of the concern about Shane Bieber’s lost velocity in the opening weeks of the season coming off that shoulder strain that tarnished his second half last year? Well, he has a 2.18 ERA with 55 strikeouts over his last 45 1/3 innings while managing to regain a few ticks on his heater. Bieber’s season ERA is down to 3.00, and it could very well dip into the 2.00s by July.
17. Los Angeles Angels
Last Week: 14
They did just win four of five against the Mariners as Mike Trout went bonkers with five home runs in five games, becoming the first player in MLB history to hit four-game winning homers in a single series. But that doesn’t completely wash away what has been an awful overall stretch for the Angels. They are 6-20 since May 25, falling to four games under the .500 mark. And they’re going to be without Anthony Rendon the rest of the way following his season-ending right wrist surgery.
18. Arizona Diamondbacks
Last Week: 17
This has been a relatively impressive first half for the Diamondbacks after last year's 52-110 nightmare, but there aren’t many indications that the roster -- as currently constructed -- is in for a big push in the second half. Maybe next season, with Corbin Carroll fully in the mix? The 21-year-old top outfield prospect has gone nuts down in Double-A, holding a .321/.436/.651 batting line with 15 home runs, 36 RBI, 19 stolen bases, and 60 runs scored in 54 games for the Amarillo Sod Poodles.
19. Texas Rangers
Last Week: 18
It seemed like more of an emergency callup than anything long-lasting when the Rangers promoted top infield prospect Ezequiel Duran all the way from Double-A Frisco on June 4, but he remains on the active roster here on June 21 and may be playing his way into a permanent gig. The youngster had put up a shiny .317/.365/.574 batting line with seven homers and seven steals through 45 games this season in the Texas League and holds an .807 OPS over his first 14 major league games.
20. Colorado Rockies
Last Week: 21
A one-spot jump for the Rockies, who got swept by the Guardians to begin last week’s slate and then did some sweeping of their own over the weekend versus the Padres. C.J. Cron went a bit quiet at the beginning of June but turned it back on in a big way during that series versus San Diego, going 7-for-13 with three home runs, eight RBI, and seven runs scored across the three victories. The 32-year-old slugger boasts a .905 OPS with 17 homers and 52 RBI in 67 total games this season.
21. Seattle Mariners
Last Week: 20
Flash back to April 26, when the Mariners rolled to an 8-4 victory over the Rays and climbed five games above .500. Since then, they have gone 18-33 while cratering to 10 games under the break-even mark. They were shut out again in Sunday’s series finale against the Angels and have scored just 15 total runs in their last 13 losses. It’s only June, but Seattle will have to mount one heck of a second-half charge to prevent the postseason drought from running to 21 consecutive years.
22. Miami Marlins
Last Week: 23
Jerar Encarnacion burst onto the scene on Sunday, becoming the first player since at least 1901 to hit a grand slam, steal a base, and record an outfield assist in his MLB debut as the Marlins earned a 6-2 victory over the host Mets. Pay no mind to that 6-0 shutout loss in Monday’s series finale at Citi Field. Encarnacion, 24, got the call after batting .313/.385/.518 with 13 home runs and four stolen bases in 57 games between Double-A Pensacola and Triple-A Jacksonville. He might be a dude.
23. Baltimore Orioles
Last Week: 26
Even acknowledging the good amount of young talent on the rise in Baltimore, few pundits could have predicted that the Orioles would reach 30 wins before 10 other teams. And yet it did indeed happen as the O’s took two of three from the Rays over the weekend. They are 9-8 in June and have won six of their last nine games. Their combined bullpen ERA of 3.19 is sixth-best among all 30 major league clubs, behind only the Astros, Guardians, Braves, Yankees, and Tampa Bay.
24. Pittsburgh Pirates
Last Week: 25
In his season debut Monday against the Cubs, top shortstop prospect Oneil Cruz rocketed the hardest-tracked throw (96.7 mph) of any infielder this season and also tallied four RBI with a three-run double and an RBI single. Monday’s other big callup, outfielder Bligh Madris, went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs. Then there's Jack Suwinski, who on Sunday became the first rookie in MLB history to hit three homers in a game with one being a walk-off. The future is getting brighter in Pittsburgh.
25. Detroit Tigers
Last Week: 24
This has obviously not been a banner year for the Tigers -- it'd have to be called a significant step back, really -- but at least we all get to meet Riley Greene. Putting that springtime foot fracture fully in the rearview, he debuted in Detroit on Saturday and has since reached base in eight of his first 13 major league plate appearances. The 21-year-old former first-round pick slashed .301/.387/.534 with 24 homers and 16 steals in 124 games last summer between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo.
26. Chicago Cubs
Last Week: 22
They won two of three against the Braves over the weekend, but preceding that was a 10-game losing streak that stretched from June 4 to June 16. And then came an embarrassing 12-1 loss to the Pirates on Monday night in Pittsburgh. Start firing up the Willson Contreras trade rumors. The 30-year-old impending free agent has been by far the most productive offensive catcher in the major leagues this season, sporting a .279/.393/.524 batting line with 12 home runs through 58 games played.
27. Cincinnati Reds
Last Week: 29
Alexis Diaz was enjoying an impressive rookie campaign out of the Cincinnati bullpen and had been emerging as a trusted high-leverage option for manager David Bell, building a case for more and more save chances. But the 25-year-old right-hander landed on the injured list Sunday due to what has been diagnosed as biceps tendinitis, leaving behind a 2.40 ERA and 36 strikeouts through his first 30 innings of work as a major leaguer. At least Reds fans are used to disappointment by now.
28. Kansas City Royals
Last Week: 30
Out from the bottom of the barrel, the Royals have won four of their last five games. That includes a 6-2 victory over the Angels on Monday night in Anaheim which featured Salvador Perez belting his 11th home run of the season. Salvy has been a letdown this year coming off his record-setting power show in 2021, but the veteran catcher is hinting at a midseason outburst. Over his last 16 games -- 67 plate appearances -- he’s put up a .963 OPS with five homers and 18 RBI.
29. Washington Nationals
Last Week: 27
With the help of a mammoth Juan Soto three-run blast, the Nationals snapped an eight-game skid on Sunday against the Phillies. Maybe that will spark something for the 23-year-old slugger, who’s gotten off to a relatively disappointing start. He entered this season as a career .301/.432/.550 hitter and is currently showing a .218/.367/.440 slash line through 68 games (300 plate appearances) here in 2022. That’s still a respectable .807 OPS, but his OPS between 2018-2021 was .981.
30. Oakland Athletics
Last Week: 28
Sinking to the very bottom of these NBC Sports EDGE MLB Power Rankings, the A’s are just 3-13 so far in June and 13-36 over their last 49 games dating back to the second-to-last day of April. They were 10-9 -- a game above .500 -- on April 27. Now they are 22 games under. We’re already on “hug watch” with Frankie Montas, who has been knocked around a bit in his last two starts but holds a solid 3.53 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 84/20 K/BB ratio over 81 2/3 total innings (13 starts) for the year.