Here are my MLB power rankings for this week.
1. San Francisco Giants (58-34, No. 1 last week): I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, but an 18-9 stretch in their last 27 games tells me that might not happen. The Padres and Dodgers, with just enough flaws, haven’t exactly passed this club in its tracks.
2. Chicago White Sox (56-36, No. 5): The White Sox should get Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert back later this summer. At that point, they really may be unstoppable. They just extended Lance Lynn for two more seasons at $38 million total. I’d say owner Jerry Reinsdorf wants to win another World Series. And he may just do that this fall.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers (58-36, No. 4): The Dodgers are 19-10 during their past 29 games. Trevor Bauer’s paid leave was most recently extended until July 27. The league and players’ union could soon agree to put the pitcher on indefinite leave. Bauer may wish some of his comments regarding the intelligence of commissioner Rob Manfred had been of a softer tone.
4. Boston Red Sox (56-38, No. 3): The Red Sox are very resilient bunch. Manager Alex Cora has a commanding presence as this team’s leader. They recently brought up Tanner Houck, and there seems to be a solid chance Chris Sale does get back on the bump in a pennant race. That could spell curtains for Martin Perez and Garrett Richards.
5. Houston Astros (56-38, No. 2): Here’s a club that could really use another starting pitcher and one more quality bullpen arm. The Astros’ offense is still potent.
6. Milwaukee Brewers (56-39, No. 7): It’ll be interesting to see what the Brewers add at the deadline. They pitch awfully well, so it’d seem like it’d be offense. They have a fascinating interleague series coming at Miller Park July 23-25, when they take on the Chicago White Sox — their first-place counterpart in the American League.
7. San Diego Padres (55-41, No. 6): Not saying there is a wide gap, but quite simply with all the money management has spent on this team, the Padres just don’t look like they have what it takes to overtake not just one but two teams to win the NL West.
8. Tampa Bay Rays (55-38, No. 8): I know the game has changed and there are all kinds of mitigating factors that seem to have lessened the importance of starting pitchers. But if you are an elite team and you play the Rays, are you afraid of Rich Hill, Michael Wacha, Ryan Yarbrough or Josh Fleming? Last year they had Blake Snell, Tyler Glasnow and Charlie Morton. That’s a lot more imposing than what they go to war with now.
9. Oakland Athletics (53-42, No. 9): I’d love to see what this organization could accomplish if they spent half as much time improving the team as they do trying to weasel a stadium out of its hometown. Don’t get me wrong, the A’s have one foot in Vegas already, so this isn’t a bluff.
10. Toronto Blue Jays (48-42, No. 15): Not sure manager Charlie Montoya gets a second chance to get this right. But that’s not to say management won’t try everything it can do to really jump into this. Does that include making all-out bid to get Craig Kimbrel away from the Cubs just as they return to Toronto to play home games?
11. Seattle Mariners (50-44, No. 11)
12. Cleveland Indians (47-43, No. 14)
13. New York Mets (48-42, No. 10)
14. New York Yankees (48-44, No. 13)
15. Cincinnati Reds (48-45, No. 12)
16. Philadelphia Phillies (47-45, No. 17)
17. Los Angeles Angels (46-46, No. 16)
18. St. Louis Cardinals (46-47, No. 18)
19. Washington Nationals 43-49, No. 19)
20. Atlanta Braves (45-47, No. 21)
21. Chicago Cubs (46-47, No. 20)
22. Detroit Tigers (43-51, No. 22)
23. Colorado Rockies (41-53, No. 24)
24. Miami Marlins (40-53, No. 25)
25. Minnesota Twins (39-53, No. 23)
26. Kansas City Royals (37-55, No. 27)
27. Pittsburgh Pirates (36-57, No. 28)
28. Texas Rangers (35-58, No. 26)
29. Baltimore Orioles (30-62, No. 29)
30. Arizona Diamondbacks (27-68, No. 30)