Here are my power rankings. Click here for my latest on the Orioles.
1. New York Yankees (49-17, No. 1 last week): Quick little historical comparison. Remember the 1984 Detroit Tigers, who got off to that magical 35-5 start? At one time that Tigers club was 19-2 and 26-4. But you know what they were after 66 games? Same as these Yankees. That ’84 Tigers club went 69-53 after the 35-5 start. Right now, this Yankees club looks capable of that kind of 104-58 season-long record — at least.
2. New York Mets (44-24, No. 2): As we near the trade deadline, keep in mind that it looks like the Mets will have Max Scherzer back no later than the first week of July. He probably will throw two or three rehab starts as he readies himself to come back from a left oblique strain. Meanwhile, Jacob deGrom has tossed two innings in a simulated game. It still looks like he’ll be back after the All-Star break. But, this Mets ownership isn’t your father’s. I think if manager Buck Showalter and GM Billy Eppler present a unified front, they can get owner Steve Cohen to go after anyone who can help his team hold off the Braves and Dodgers in the National League and be ready for the Yankees or Astros in the World Series.
3. Houston Astros (41-25, No. 4): It appears the Astros dodged a real bullet with Yordan Alvarez, who suffered a hand injury on his last swing June 18. They feared he may have broken his hamate bone, but X-rays showed no break. Still, they need to make sure he is fully healed. A trip to the injured list is still a possibility.
4. Los Angeles Dodgers (40-25, No. 3): Clayton Kershaw has tossed a combined nine innings in his first couple of starts since coming off the injured list with that inflamed SI joint, allowing three earned runs and one homer in the process, but the Dodgers recently lost Walker Buehler to bone spurs in his elbow. He’s had surgery to remove them and looks to be down for 10-12 weeks. Now cracked ribs for Mookie Betts. The Dodgers’ depth will begin to be severely tested.
5. Atlanta Braves (38-29, No. 11): The last 22 games have shown us a glimpse of the real Atlanta Braves at 17-5. Not even a fractured foot by second baseman Ozzie Albies can slow the momentum of a team that is growing in confidence. Albies had successful surgery and the hope is he’ll be back in mid-August.
6. St. Louis Cardinals (38-30, No. 6): The Cardinals have a big series in Milwaukee to start the week and break their tie for first in NL Central. Both teams will win a lot of games against weak competition in the division. The Cards have the hapless Cubs coming into St. Louis after that.
7. San Diego Padres (41-27, No. 5): Not a great week for the Friars. A recent CT scan did not show the level of healing in that fractured left wrist the Padres were hoping for with Fernando Tatis Jr. The team has slowed his level of work, and it now looks like he won’t be back until around the All-Star break at best. Now Manny Machado has an ankle sprain. X-rays were negative, but it smells like an IL stint is coming.
8. Boston Red Sox (36-31, No. 12): The Red Sox are 15-7 in their past 22 games as they move into the top 10 for the first time since Week 3, after which they had back-to-back 2-5 weeks. With three against the hapless Detroit Tigers at Fenway, the Sox can keep the good times rolling.
9. Toronto Blue Jays (38-28, No. 8): No question the Jays have come up short with the two lefty starters they were banking on. Yusei Kikuchi has a 4.94 ERA and Hyun Jin Ryu just had Tommy John surgery. It’s possible Ryu never pitches for the Jays again, as his contract expires at the end of 2023. Yes, the Yankees have been amazing, but Jays are a disappointment to date.
10. Milwaukee Brewers (38-30, No. 7): The Brewers enjoyed a nice comeback week, going 4-2 after a 1-5 mark the previous week. Hunter Renfroe is on a power streak, and this club really responds to healthy chatterbox shortstop Willy Adames, who homered two times in their 4-2 week. They’re home for all six this week — three against the Cardinals and three against the Blue Jays.
11. San Francisco Giants (37-28, No. 13)
12. Cleveland Guardians (34-28, No. 14)
13. Minnesota Twins (38-30, No. 10)
14. Tampa Bay Rays (36-30, No. 9)
15. Philadelphia Phillies (36-32, No. 15)
16. Chicago White Sox (31-33, No. 16)
17. Texas Rangers (31-35, No. 18)
18. Los Angeles Angels (33-36, No. 21)
19. Arizona Diamondbacks (32-36, No. 20)
20. Miami Marlins (29-35, No. 19)
21. Colorado Rockies (30-37, No. 22)
22. Seattle Mariners (29-39, No. 17)
23. Baltimore Orioles (30-38, No. 23)
24. Pittsburgh Pirates (26-39, No. 24)
25. Detroit Tigers (26-40, No. 25)
26. Chicago Cubs (25-41, No. 26)
27. Kansas City Royals (23-42, No. 28)
28. Cincinnati Reds (23-43, No. 30)
29. Washington Nationals (24-46, No. 27)
30. Oakland Athletics (23-45, No. 29)