The Tampa Bay Rays further solidified their status as the No. 1 team in baseball last week with series wins over the Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Dodgers, but who is the sport's second-best team with June fast approaching?
The Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros, Texas Rangers and that Dodgers team the Rays just took two of three from all have a legitimate case, and sorting out where they fall in the rankings was this week's toughest task.
A bit further down the list, the San Francisco Giants and Seattle Mariners both made significant climbs to join the upper half of the rankings, while the Colorado Rockies and Detroit Tigers also received a modest bump.
Keep in mind, these rankings are a fluid process, with teams rising and falling based on their recent performance relative to where they landed in the previous week's rankings.
Note: Statistics and analysis reflect games through Sunday. Team records have been updated to include Monday's results.
30. Oakland Athletics (11-45)
Previous Rank: 30
Last Week: 0-4 @ SEA, 0-3 vs. HOU
The Athletics' season-high losing streak stretched to 11 games when they were swept by the Houston Astros over the weekend. And with a few days left in May, they have already set the MLB record for most losses before June 1. Rookie Esteury Ruiz leads the majors with 27 steals, putting him on pace for 80.
29. Kansas City Royals (17-38)
Previous Rank: 29
Last Week: 1-2 vs. DET, 1-2 vs. WAS
The Royals have already been swept five different times this year, and while they managed to avoid running that total to six last week, their fourth series win of the year still eludes them. Shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. had the second four-hit game and second multi-homer game of his career on Friday against the Washington Nationals.
28. Chicago Cubs (23-30)
Previous Rank: 24
Last Week: 2-1 vs. NYM, 0-3 vs. CIN
The Cubs had a winning record and a plus-43 run differential entering May, but the wheels have fallen off for a team that looked like a potential wild-card contender. They now have six series losses this month after getting swept by the Cincinnati Reds over the weekend. With an opt-out in his contract this offseason, Marcus Stroman (11 GS, 2.95 ERA, 64.0 IP) will be a valuable trade chip if the continues to pitch at a frontline level.
27. Washington Nationals (23-31)
Previous Rank: 26
Last Week: 1-2 vs. SD, 2-1 @ KC
The Nationals picked up their fifth road series win of the year by taking two of three from the Kansas City Royals over the weekend, and this has been a more competitive team than expected so far. Left-hander MacKenzie Gore struck out a career-high 11 batters on Sunday, and he now has a 3.57 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 58 innings.
26. San Diego Padres (24-29)
Previous Rank: 22
Last Week: 2-1 @ WAS, 1-2 @ NYY
The Padres were three games above .500 and just one game back in the NL West standings on May 5, so it's clearly been a rough few weeks for a club that entered the year with World Series aspirations. Rougned Odor has moved into the starting lineup with Manny Machado on the injured list, and he is hitting .321/.367/.750 with three doubles, three home runs and 14 RBI in his last seven games.
25. Philadelphia Phillies (25-28)
Previous Rank: 19
Last Week: 1-2 vs. ARI, 2-2 @ ATL
The Phillies have only played seven games against the rest of the NL East, and four of those came last week when they split a four-game series with the Atlanta Braves, so it's difficult to gauge how they stack up to their in-division foes. However, with a 5-9 record and minus-20 run differential in their last 14 games, they currently look like non-contenders.
24. Cleveland Guardians (24-29)
Previous Rank: 28
Last Week: 1-2 vs. CWS, 2-1 vs. STL
After bottoming out at No. 28 in last week's rankings, the Guardians climbed four spots following a weekend series win against a St. Louis Cardinals team that has been playing well of late. With Aaron Civale and Triston McKenzie both perhaps just one more rehab start away from rejoining the MLB rotation, a roster crunch is looming.
23. Chicago White Sox (22-34)
Previous Rank: 21
Last Week: 2-1 @ CLE, 1-3 @ DET
The White Sox showed some signs of life by going 7-2 in a nine-game stretch where they faced Cleveland twice and Kansas City once, but they crashed back to Earth over the weekend, losing in walk-off fashion on Sunday. Slugger Eloy Jiménez went 1-for-3 with a double and two RBI on Sunday in his first action after missing 21 games following an emergency appendectomy.
22. Cincinnati Reds (24-29)
Previous Rank: 27
Last Week: 2-2 vs. STL, 3-0 @ CHC
The Reds hit .333/.396/.506 with 87 hits and 47 runs scored in seven games last week. After posting a 1.184 OPS with 12 doubles, 12 home runs and 40 RBI in 38 games at Triple-A to open the year, Matt McLain has not missed a beat since making his MLB debut on May 15. The 23-year-old is hitting .380/.456/.600 with five doubles, two home runs and eight RBI in 57 plate appearances in the majors.
21. Pittsburgh Pirates (26-27)
Previous Rank: 18
Last Week: 1-2 vs. TEX, 1-2 @ SEA
The Pirates' steady slide down the rankings continued last week, and after closing out April with a 20-9 record and a 1.5-game lead in the NL Central standings, they are still searching for their first series win in May. That said, the pitching staff remains a surprise strength with a 3.84 ERA that ranks ninth in the majors.
20. Colorado Rockies (24-31)
Previous Rank: 25
Last Week: 3-1 vs. MIA, 2-1 vs. NYM
After an ugly 7-20 month of April, the Rockies quietly improved to 15-10 in May with an 11-10 victory over the New York Mets on Sunday. Catcher Elias Díaz is hitting .333/.387/.519 for a 132 OPS+ with 11 doubles, six home runs and 27 RBI, and his 2.3 WAR is already a career-high as he is putting together a strong case for an All-Star selection.
19. St. Louis Cardinals (24-32)
Previous Rank: 13
Last Week: 2-2 @ CIN, 1-2 @ CLE
The Cardinals entered last week riding an 11-3 stretch of games, and while their road trip through the state of Ohio did not go great, this is still a better team than its record indicates. St. Louis is 16-4 in games where Nolan Gorman has at least one RBI, which is a great indication of how much his production in the middle of the lineup means.
18. Detroit Tigers (25-27)
Previous Rank: 23
Last Week: 2-1 @ KC, 3-1 vs. CWS
The Tigers have been trending up the last few weeks thanks to a 15-9 record in May, but they've also been walking a tight rope with a minus-one run differential during that stretch. The pitching staff has been solid, but the offense still ranks near the bottom of the league in OPS (.664, 28th), home runs (44, 27th) and runs per game (3.82, 27th).
17. Minnesota Twins (28-26)
Previous Rank: 14
Last Week: 1-2 vs. SF, 1-2 vs. TOR
The Twins have now dropped four consecutive series, and Sunday's loss to the Toronto Blue Jays shrank their cushion atop the AL Central to just one game. They rank second in the majors with a 3.43 ERA, and that's enough to still make them favorites in a comically bad division. Longtime top prospect Royce Lewis was activated from the 60-day injured list on Monday.
16. Milwaukee Brewers (28-25)
Previous Rank: 16
Last Week: 2-1 vs. HOU, 1-3 vs. SF
The Brewers have scored two or fewer runs 11 times in their last 25 games, and they were outscored 23-2 in the first three games of their latest series against the San Francisco Giants before avoiding the sweep on Sunday. They can beat anyone when they're playing well, evidenced by their consecutive shutouts of the Houston Astros last week, but they have been maddeningly inconsistent.
15. New York Mets (27-27)
Previous Rank: 10
Last Week: 1-2 @ CHC, 1-2 @ COL
The frustrating mediocrity that has been the 2023 Mets continued last week with a pair of series losses on the road. They now sit at .500 on the year in third place in the NL East standings with a minus-19 run differential. Catcher Francisco Álvarez moved up to the No. 2 spot in the lineup on Sunday amid an eight-game hitting streak that includes four multi-hit games and five home runs.
14. Miami Marlins (28-26)
Previous Rank: 15
Last Week: 1-3 @ COL, 3-0 @ LAA
The Marlins moved into second place in the NL East standings with a sweep of the Los Angeles Angels over the weekend. Slugger Jorge Soler launched five home runs in seven games last week, and his 17 long balls on the year are tied with Max Muncy for second in the majors behind only Pete Alonso (20).
13. Seattle Mariners (28-26)
Previous Rank: 20
Last Week: 4-0 vs. OAK, 2-1 vs. PIT
The Mariners went 6-1 last week, but they did it against two teams that have gone a combined 10-39 in May, so it's not enough for them to vault into the top 10 quite yet. With a starting rotation that ranks seventh in the majors with a 3.72 ERA and budding superstar Julio Rodríguez finally heating up at the plate, they are undoubtedly trending in the right direction.
12. Los Angeles Angels (29-26)
Previous Rank: 12
Last Week: 3-0 vs. BOS, 0-3 vs. MIA
The Angels were just 12-17 against teams with a winning record before sweeping the Boston Red Sox, but that impressive series was followed immediately by three straight losses to the Miami Marlins where they were outscored 16-7. Flame-throwing 2022 draft pick Ben Joyce was promoted from Double-A in an effort to help build a viable bridge to closer Carlos Estevez.
11. San Francisco Giants (28-26)
Previous Rank: 17
Last Week: 2-1 @ MIN, 3-1 @MIL
The Giants have won four straight series with a 10-3 record during that span, and this is their third straight week moving up in the rankings. They have a plus-17 run differential in May, and with a strong starting rotation and shutdown back of their bullpen, they can contend for a playoff spot if the offense does its part. Outfielder Michael Conforto is hitting .386/.422/.737 with six home runs and 15 RBI in his last 15 games.
10. Toronto Blue Jays (28-26)
Previous Rank: 11
Last Week: 1-3 @ TB, 2-1 @ MIN
The Blue Jays finally halted a 2-9 tailspin with a weekend series win over the Minnesota Twins. After picking up a pair of wins last week, right-hander José Berrios now has a 2.30 ERA over 31.1 innings in his last five starts, and he is slowly starting to look like the pitcher who earned a seven-year, $131 million extension once again.
9. Arizona Diamondbacks (31-23)
Previous Rank: 8
Last Week: 2-1 @ PHI, 1-2 vs. BOS
The D-backs matched a season-high with a three-game losing streak last week, but the fact that that's their longest rough patch of the year speaks to how consistent they have been so far. Things are starting to click for rookie right-hander Ryne Nelson who has allowed just four hits and one earned run in 11.1 innings over his last two starts.
8. Boston Red Sox (28-25)
Previous Rank: 9
Last Week: 0-3 @ LAA, 2-1 @ ARI
The Red Sox and D-backs flip-flopped in our rankings after Boston took two of three at Chase Field over the weekend. That said, the Boston lineup has been held to three or fewer runs in six of its last seven games, and that is a troubling sign for a team that has leaned heavily on its offensive firepower in the early going.
7. New York Yankees (33-23)
Previous Rank: 7
Last Week: 1-2 vs. BAL, 2-1 vs. SD
The Yankees had two walk-off wins last week before capping things off with a 10-run outburst against the San Diego Padres on Sunday. Just when the starting rotation was finally getting healthy and rounding into form, Gerrit Cole hit a bump in the road with a 5.67 ERA and just one quality start in his last five appearances. Can he bounce back this week on the road against the Los Angeles Dodgers?
6. Atlanta Braves (32-22)
Previous Rank: 5
Last Week: 1-2 vs. LAD, 2-2 vs. PHI
The Braves have played an extremely difficult schedule in May and still have a 14-12 record with a plus-19 run differential after splitting a four-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies over the weekend. On Monday, Michael Soroka made his first start at the MLB level since Aug. 3, 2020, and he could help shore up the staff with Max Fried and Kyle Wright both sidelined for the foreseeable future.
5. Los Angeles Dodgers (33-22)
Previous Rank: 4
Last Week: 2-1 @ ATL, 1-2 @ TB
Not all 3-3 weeks are created equal, and that record on the road against the Atlanta Braves and Tampa Bay Rays last week stands as a successful result for the Dodgers. Veteran J.D. Martinez homered four times last week, and he has seemingly regained his power stroke with an NL-leading .586 slugging percentage that represents a 138-point increase over his 2022 numbers.
4. Houston Astros (31-22)
Previous Rank: 3
Last Week: 1-2 @ MIL, 3-0 @ OAK
Even with a series loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, the Astros remain one of the hottest teams in baseball. They improved to 14-3 in their last 17 games with a sweep of the lowly Oakland Athletics over the weekend, and have a plus-35 run differential during that stretch, which began with them sitting one game below .500 with a 17-18 record. The Houston pitching staff leads the majors with a 3.16 ERA.
3. Baltimore Orioles (34-20)
Previous Rank: 2
Last Week: 2-1 @ NYY, 1-2 vs. TEX
With a 5-1 road trip against the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees, the Orioles improved to 11-7 against the rest of a stacked AL East. They suffered their first series loss since May 7 when they lost two of three against the Texas Rangers, and the AL West leaders leapfrogged them in the rankings as a result. Veteran Kyle Gibson has been pitching like an ace of late with just one run allowed in 14 innings over his last two starts.
2. Texas Rangers (34-19)
Previous Rank: 5
Last Week: 2-1 @ PIT, 2-1 @ BAL
The Rangers have overtaken the Tampa Bay Rays for the best run differential in baseball at plus-123, and they outscored a really good Baltimore Orioles team 19-8 in a weekend series win. They rank among the MLB leaders in runs scored (329, second), home runs (69, eighth), OPS (.788, third), team ERA (3.69, fifth) and starters' ERA (3.17, first). They could use another quality bullpen piece or two, but this team is the real deal.
1. Tampa Bay Rays (39-17)
Previous Rank: 1
Last Week: 3-1 vs. TOR, 2-1 vs. LAD
The Rays improved to a ridiculous 26-6 at home with series wins over a pair of contending teams last week, and just when it looked like the gap was starting to narrow between them and the rest of the MLB field, they are again comfortably locked into the No. 1 spot in these rankings. Shortstop Wander Franco leads the majors with 3.5 WAR through 53 games, and he doesn't turn 23 years old until next March. That's what a superstar looks like, folks.
1. Tampa Bay Rays
2. Texas Rangers
3. Baltimore Orioles
4. Houston Astros
5. Los Angeles Dodgers
6. Atlanta Braves
7. New York Yankees
8. Boston Red Sox
9. Arizona Diamondbacks
10. Toronto Blue Jays
11. San Francisco Giants
12. Los Angeles Angels
13. Seattle Mariners
14. Miami Marlins
15. New York Mets
16. Milwaukee Brewers
17. Minnesota Twins
18. Detroit Tigers
19. St. Louis Cardinals
20. Colorado Rockies
21. Pittsburgh Pirates
22. Cincinnati Reds
23. Chicago White Sox
24. Cleveland Guardians
25. Philadelphia Phillies
26. San Diego Padres
27. Washington Nationals
28. Chicago Cubs
29. Kansas City Royals
30. Oakland Athletics
Highlight of the Week: A 6-Hit Game for Luis García
It's a rebuilding season for the Washington Nationals, but there have already been some notable bright spots, and second baseman Luis García provided the individual highlight of the year so far last week.
The former top prospect became the first player this season with a six-hit game, going 6-for-6 against the Kansas City Royals on Friday night.
He is now the second-youngest player ever with a six-hit performance in a nine-inning game, according to Robert Falkoff of MLB.com, and just the third player in Expos/Nationals franchise history, joining Rondell White (1995) and Anthony Rendon (2017).
It's easy to forget that García—who made his MLB debut shortly after his 20th birthday during the 2020 season—is still only 23 years old.
Team of the Week
C Francisco Álvarez, NYM
(8-for-20, 2 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI)
1B Spencer Steer, CIN
(13-for-32, 2 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBI)
2B Jonathan India, CIN
(10-for-31, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI)
3B Austin Riley, ATL
(10-for-28, 5 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI)
SS Matt McLain, CIN
(15-for-31, 3 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI)
OF Julio Rodríguez, SEA
(14-for-30, 4 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI)
OF Jorge Soler, MIA
(9-for-31, 2B, 5 HR, 8 RBI)
OF Michael Conforto, SF
(11-for-26, 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI)
DH J.D. Martinez, LAD
(12-for-28, 2 2B, 4 HR, 8 RBI)
SP Luis Castillo, SEA
(2 GS, 2 W, 12.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 18 K)
SP José Berrios, TOR
(2 GS, 2 W, 12.2 IP, 9 H, 1 ER, 7 BB, 10 K)
SP Michael Kopech, CWS
(1 GS, W, 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K)
SP Nathan Eovaldi, TEX
(1 GS, W, 9.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K)
SP Logan Webb, SF
(1 GS, W, 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 K)
RP Kyle Finnegan, WAS
(3 G, 2/2 SV, HLD, 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K)
AL Award Rankings
1. Shohei Ohtani, LAA
2. Yandy Díaz, TB
3. Yordan Álvarez, HOU
4. Aaron Judge, NYY
5. Wander Franco, TB
6. Adley Rutschman, BAL
7. Randy Arozarena, TB
8. Bo Bichette, TOR
9. Marcus Semien, TEX
10. Mike Trout, LAA
AL Cy Young
1. Shane McClanahan, TB
2. Sonny Gray, MIN
3. Eduardo Rodríguez, DET
4. Joe Ryan, MIN
5. Luis Castillo, SEA
AL Rookie of the Year
1. Masataka Yoshida, BOS
2. Hunter Brown, HOU
3. Yennier Cano, BAL
NL Award Rankings
1. Ronald Acuña Jr., ATL
2. Freddie Freeman, LAD
3. Sean Murphy, ATL
4. Juan Soto, SD
5. Paul Goldschmidt, STL
6. Pete Alonso, NYM
7. Corbin Carroll, ARI
8. Mookie Betts, LAD
9. Nolan Gorman, STL
10. Jorge Soler, MIA
NL Cy Young
1. Spencer Strider, ATL
2. Logan Webb, SF
3. Mitch Keller, PIT
4. Zac Gallen, ARI
5. Bryce Elder, ATL
NL Rookie of the Year
1. Corbin Carroll, ARI
2. Francisco Álvarez, NYM
3. Spencer Steer, CIN