MLB Power Rankings: Streaking Braves rise while New York rules

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Welcome to the sixth edition of theScore's MLB Power Rankings for the 2022 season.

1. New York Yankees

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Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
44-16 9-1 +127 3 (+2) ⬆️ 

Just when it looked like the Yankees were slowing down, they turned things around with four consecutive series wins. The Bronx Bombers continue to be fueled by Aaron Judge, with the AL MVP front-runner posting a .378/.463/.800 slash line with six homers and 10 RBIs in June. Judge leads MLB in round-trippers by a wide margin and is on pace to break Roger Maris' single-season club home run record.

2. New York Mets

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
40-22 5-5 +66 2 (-)

The Mets went .500 during their difficult 10-game West Coast swing, a stretch that included their first two shutout losses of the season. Even so, they managed to return home as the first NL team with 40 wins. They also dodged a couple of major bullets last week when injuries suffered by Pete Alonso and Starling Marte - in the same inning, no less - proved less serious than initially thought. All things considered, Buck Showalter's probably not complaining about how things went out west.

3. Houston Astros

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
37-23 5-5 +43 4 (+1) ⬆️

After struggling to the tune of a .685 OPS in April, Kyle Tucker is once again looking like the player who punished opposing pitchers for much of the second half of 2021. Tucker is slashing .282/.404/.521 with seven home runs, 21 RBIs, and nine stolen bases since May 1. With Yordan Alvarez emerging as one of MLB's toughest outs, the Astros appear positioned for sustained offensive success. They're a strong contender to make a sixth consecutive ALCS appearance.

4. Los Angeles Dodgers

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
37-23 4-6 +106 1 (-3) ⬇️

It's been a difficult start to June for the Dodgers. They've won just four of their last 11 games and now have to replace Walker Buehler for a large part of the stretch run. Even though he's been a tad inconsistent, Buehler's elbow injury is a major blow to one of baseball's best rotations, and one that could help decide the hyper-competitive NL West. Fortunately for L.A., the team will play eight of its next 14 games against sub-.500 clubs. It's imperative the Dodgers take advantage of this lull in the schedule.

5. San Diego Padres

Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
37-24 7-3 +48 6 (+1) ⬆️

The Padres' NL-best rotation has been the key to their success. It all starts with Joe Musgrove, the majors' ERA leader. San Diego has lost just one of Musgrove's 11 starts, and he's only given up one earned run since May 21 - a stretch that included a no-hit bid that reached the eighth inning in Milwaukee. Although Manny Machado's MVP-caliber season is getting more attention, it's Musgrove who's proving to be the steady ace the Padres sorely needed in order to keep pace in the NL West. If the Cy Young contender keeps pitching like this, it shouldn't be long before San Diego's in control of the division.

6. Atlanta Braves

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
34-27 10-0 +28 15 (+9) ⬆️ 

Look out for the reigning World Series champions. They've won 11 straight since Brian Snitker called a team meeting June 1 following two sloppy losses to the D-Backs. Rookie Michael Harris II has given the Braves a spark, hitting .341 this month. Additionally, Ronald Acuna Jr. and Austin Riley have combined for eight homers, 16 RBIs, and 21 runs scored in June.

7. Tampa Bay Rays

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
35-25 6-4 +22 7 (-)

Although the Rays have found a great deal of success over the past few seasons by putting a lot on their bullpen's plate, the workload may be catching up to some of Tampa Bay's hurlers. With Rays relievers ranking first in innings pitched this season, 2021 All-Star Andrew Kittredge is out for the campaign, while JT Chargois, Nick Anderson, and J.P. Feyereisen are on the shelf for extended periods. Manager Kevin Cash might need to use his starters in a more conventional way to avoid wearing out his bullpen.

8. Toronto Blue Jays

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
35-24 6-4 +34 9 (+1) ⬆️

Gabriel Moreno's call-up dominated the headlines, but another Blue Jays backstop is emerging as one of baseball's premier catchers. After a lean April, Alejandro Kirk has flipped the switch in May and June. He ranks first in WAR, batting average, and slugging percentage among all qualified backstops since the beginning of May. Whenever Danny Jansen returns, Toronto will have to decide how to divide playing time at the position. However, Kirk has made it clear he should receive as much work as he can handle.

9. Minnesota Twins

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
35-27 5-5 +25 8 (-1) ⬇️

The Twins raised some eyebrows with their intention to mix in rest days for star outfielder Byron Buxton to keep him on the field. Yet Buxton recently became the fourth player in Twins history to hit multiple home runs in consecutive games. Plus, despite only playing in 45 games, Buxton has already accrued 2.1 WAR while ranking inside the top five in MLB in home runs. Minnesota's plan appears to be working.

10. Boston Red Sox

Ronald Martinez / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
32-29 8-2 +40 13 (+3) ⬆️

The Red Sox have turned their season around with a resurgent offense and excellent starting pitching, but the bullpen remains an issue. Chaim Bloom opted not to bring in a marquee reliever this winter, and the closer-by-committee approach hasn't worked. Boston relievers lead the majors with 42 meltdowns and have 13 blown saves in just 25 opportunities. Having Nathan Eovaldi and Garrett Whitlock on the injured list only exacerbates the issue.

11. St. Louis Cardinals

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
34-27 5-5 +45 11 (-)

The Cardinals finally vaulted atop the NL Central over the weekend and now sport a run differential that's 40 runs better than second-place Milwaukee. But even with the Brewers' losing streak, St. Louis holds a mere half-game division lead. On the one hand, the Cardinals are continuing to motor along as they have for the last several seasons. On the other, it's quite apparent that much of this success is due to St. Louis being in the NL Central, where it can feast on three lowly divisional opponents.

12. Philadelphia Phillies

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
30-30 9-1 +28 16 (+4) ⬆️

Interim manager Rob Thomson finally took his first loss Sunday, ending the Phillies' nine-game winning streak that coincided with Joe Girardi's firing. Eight of the team's nine straight wins came with Thomson at the helm. The new skipper's bold move to give more playing time to youngster Bryson Stott has paid immediate dividends, with the rookie slugging .694 with four homers and 11 RBIs this month. Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber have also been on fire in June, combining for 10 homers, 24 RBIs, and 1.4 WAR.

13. San Francisco Giants

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
33-26 6-4 +35 12 (-1) ⬇️

This much we know: The Giants aren't winning 107 games again. Not after they've placed two starters on the IL, sent their struggling catcher of the future to Triple-A for a much-needed reset, and have only one position player (Joc Pederson) with more than 10 home runs. Still, San Francisco is in a tie for the final NL playoff spot and very much involved in the division race, cutting its NL West deficit to 3 1/2 games after sweeping the Dodgers over the weekend. Things could be worse.

14. Milwaukee Brewers

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
34-28 2-8 +5 5 (-9) ⬇️ 

It's been a rough go of late for Craig Counsell's club. The Brewers finally snapped an eight-game losing streak Sunday and have dropped 10 of their last 12 overall. Milwaukee's offense has been ice cold this month, hitting .218 with 32 runs scored. The pitching has also been brutal, with Brewers hurlers posting minus-0.5 WAR in June. Even Corbin Burnes and Josh Hader have looked human, with Burnes throwing just eight innings and allowing six earned runs over his last two starts and Hader allowing two homers in a rare blown save last week.

15. Cleveland Guardians

Ron Schwane / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
29-27 7-3 +33 19 (+4) ⬆️

Wins against some easy competition in the Royals, Orioles, Rangers, and A's have seen the Guardians shoot up our rankings and into second place in the AL Central. Their 8-3 start to June has been backed by two dominant outings from Shane Bieber, who's looking like his old, Cy Young-winning self. The righty has 17 strikeouts and a 0.67 FIP in 11 1/3 innings this month.

16. Miami Marlins

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
27-31 7-3 +23 21 (+5) ⬆️

The Marlins recently held a team meeting where players reportedly targeted their ire at electric infielder and fan favorite Jazz Chisholm Jr. Despite that potential friction, there's a lot to like in Miami even with the team's losing record. Right-hander Sandy Alcantara is looking like a legitimate Cy Young contender, ranking inside the top five in the Senior Circuit in wins, innings pitched, ERA, and WAR. Meanwhile, Chisholm looks like a lock for a 20-20 season and is a player any fan can gravitate toward.

17. Los Angeles Angels

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
29-33 2-8 +9 10 (-7) ⬇️

The Halos' 14-game losing streak that cost Joe Maddon his job finally ended Thursday. Yet somehow, after going 2-2 since emerging from the freefall, they only sit 3 1/2 games back of the final AL playoff spot. Few teams recover from that kind of tumble, though, even with the newly expanded playoffs providing a very faint glimmer of hope. But the Angels do have Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, so ... anything's possible? Still, it's probably going to take something historic for them to right this ship.

18. Seattle Mariners

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
27-33 6-4 -13 20 (+2) ⬆️ 

Robbie Ray has been a microcosm of the Mariners' frustrating season. Before Sunday's seven scoreless innings against Boston, he hadn't looked like the reigning AL Cy Young winner. In addition to his inflated ERA and FIP, Ray's striking out fewer than 10 batters per nine innings for the first time since 2015, his walk rate's increased by almost a full batter from last year, and he's given up the third-most homers in the AL. Even when he did finally look the part of an ace Sunday, the Mariners couldn't get him even one run, and the bullpen spoiled his gem to sink Seattle even further away from the playoffs.

19. Chicago White Sox

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
27-31 4-6 -56 14 (-5) ⬇️

Fans on the South Side of Chicago are getting restless with veteran skipper Tony La Russa. His decision to intentionally walk Trea Turner with two strikes drew considerable ire, and things boiled over when White Sox fans chanted "Fire Tony" after the team blew a lead at home Saturday to the Texas Rangers. It's hard to argue against Chicago being the most disappointing team in baseball so far. Although the team has endured injuries to key players, both the pitching and offense have been inconsistent. If the White Sox can't get back on track soon, the front office may deem a managerial change necessary.

20. Texas Rangers

Ron Schwane / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
28-31 4-6 +4 17 (-3) ⬇️

After a dreadful beginning to the season, prized free-agent acquisition Marcus Semien appears to be settling into his new surroundings. Semien finally hit his first Rangers homer May 28 and has tacked on five more since. The 31-year-old has cut down on strikeouts and is on pace for the first 20-stolen base campaign of his career.

21. Arizona Diamondbacks

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
29-33 4-6 -36 18 (-3) ⬇️

Runs have been in short supply for the D-Backs, who've been blanked three times already this month while failing to win a series. It's tough to score when you only have one qualified hitter, Ketel Marte, batting over .250 in June. Excluding Marte, Arizona's hitters are batting a combined .206 this month.

22. Baltimore Orioles

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
26-35 5-5 -38 22 (-) 

Trey Mancini could be positioning himself as one of the league's top trade chips as the Aug. 2 deadline inches closer. Mancini's ability to spray the ball all over the field while also hitting for power is a skill set that would make any contending lineup better. The Orioles could also decide to test the market on Cedric Mullins, although he's had a bit of a down season after an All-Star campaign in 2021. Despite the possibility of some major pieces being moved, Baltimore's rebuild appears to be progressing nicely.

23. Colorado Rockies

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
27-34 4-6 -64 23 (-)

In the home of eye-popping offenses, presumptive token All-Star C.J. Cron is the only Rockies hitter with more than 10 homers this campaign. That's the main reason why the team owns the NL's third-worst run differential. How Colorado is only 10 1/2 games out of first place in one of baseball's most competitive divisions might be this season's biggest mystery.

24. Chicago Cubs

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
23-36 3-7 -42 24 (-)

Things are going poorly on the North Side of Chicago. The Cubs are mired in a six-game losing streak as injuries continue to hamper their performance. Four members of the team's projected starting rotation to begin the season (Marcus Stroman, Wade Miley, Adbert Alzolay, and Drew Smyly) are on the IL along with eight other players, including Seiya Suzuki. Chicago is also struggling with runners in scoring position, recently going a record 45 straight at-bats without recording a hit.

25. Detroit Tigers

Sarah Stier / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
24-35 5-5 -73 26 (+1) ⬆️

It looks like the Tigers might rue handing Javier Baez a six-year, $140-million contract for seasons to come. Despite providing value defensively, Baez has been an unmitigated disaster at the plate, posting a 55 wRC+ with a paltry three home runs in 48 games. Detroit's lineup isn't deep enough to withstand that lack of productivity. If Baez can't find his form, it could make for a very long summer in the Motor City.

26. Pittsburgh Pirates

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
24-34 3-7 -91 29 (+3) ⬆️ 

The Pirates have come back to reality, losing six straight contests after sweeping the Dodgers in L.A. and taking a series from the D-Backs. Aside from one stinker against the Braves, Pittsburgh has been competing well, losing five of those games by two runs. Rookie Jack Suwinski has stood out in June, posting a .700 slugging percentage and 202 wRC+.

27. Cincinnati Reds

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
21-39 3-7 -56 27 (-)

Luis Castillo is a very likely candidate to move on in July. Castillo's doing his part to help the Reds get a nice haul in return, pitching at least six innings in each of his last three starts while not allowing more than three earned runs in any of his seven outings.

28. Washington Nationals

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
23-39 5-5 -86 28 (-) 

Stephen Strasburg's return to the mound didn't go very well, but the NL East's winning vibes have even rubbed off on the Nationals lately. Washington's taken series from both the Reds and Brewers this month thanks to some powerful hitting from Nelson Cruz and Josh Bell. That's a good sign for the Nationals, who'd like to get as much value for the pair at the trade deadline as they can.

29. Kansas City Royals

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
20-39 4-6 -88 30 (+1) ⬆️

The Royals wanted to be competitive this season, but they've fallen way short of that goal. One of the few bright spots has been the play of MJ Melendez. The team's young backstop has six home runs and a 129 wRC+ in his first 35 games. With Salvador Perez entrenched at catcher, the Royals are going to have to find every avenue possible to keep Melendez in the lineup.

30. Oakland Athletics

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
21-41 1-9 -78 25 (-5) ⬇️

The A's recently ended a 10-game slide after hearing it from Ramon Laureano, but it's going to take more than that for them to win on a nightly basis. Scoring runs would be a good start. Oakland has scored the third-fewest in the majors and has only averaged 3.1 per game in June thus far. That's not going to cut it when teams like the Blue Jays, Braves, and even the Marlins are scoring more than twice that.

MLB Power Rankings: Streaking Braves rise while New York rules
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