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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
In the No. 1 spot for yet another week, the Yankees went 22-6 in June and won two of three against the Guardians over the weekend to kick off the month of July. Entering a two-game set at Pittsburgh, the Bronx Bombers hold a 13-game lead on first place in the American League East standings. They are one of only six teams in all of MLB history to feature three different players with 20-plus homers (Aaron Judge, Anthony Rizzo, Giancarlo Stanton) through the first 80 games of a season.
2. Houston Astros
Last Week: 4
Jumping up to No. 2, the Astros have won seven straight games against the Mets, Yankees, Angels, and Royals. Yordan Álvarez was named American League Player of the Month for June after batting .418 with a 1.346 OPS, nine home runs, 28 RBIs, and 19 runs scored in a span of 23 games. And including his walk-off home run on Monday versus Kansas City, the 25-year-old slugger currently leads all qualified MLB hitters in OPS with a mark of 1.063 through 293 plate appearances.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers
Last Week: 3
Mookie Betts returned from the IL on Sunday after missing around three weeks with a cracked rib and has since gone 3-for-7 with two doubles, two walks, one RBI, and two runs scored in two games as the Dodgers’ leadoff man. He has an .895 OPS and 55 runs in 62 total games played this year. The primary glaring issue right now for Los Angeles is Craig Kimbrel, who has a 6.62 ERA over his last 19 appearances dating back to May 16. Yency Almonte got the save Monday versus Colorado.
4. New York Mets
Last Week: 2
Here comes Max Scherzer. The veteran ace will return to the Mets’ starting rotation on Tuesday night at Cincinnati after missing about six weeks of action because of a left oblique strain. He made two minor league rehab appearances for Double-A Binghamton -- Fight, Rumble Ponies, Fight! -- and struck out eight batters over 4 2/3 innings in the second of those two while working his pitch count up to 80. Scherzer should be able to go 90-plus pitches in his first start back against the Reds.
5. Atlanta Braves
Last Week: 7
Back in the top five for the first time since the opening weeks of the season, the Braves rolled to a rain-soaked 6-3 defeat of the Cardinals on Monday and hold a 24-7 record over their last 31 games dating back to the end of May. Michael Harris II snagged NL Rookie of the Month for June after batting .347 with a .946 OPS, 13 extra-base hits, four stolen bases, 16 RBI, and 18 runs scored in 27 games. He homered again on Sunday at Cincinnati and scored another run Monday versus St. Louis.
6. Milwaukee Brewers
Last Week: 6
Victor Caratini belted a walk-off three-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning as the Brewers earned a 5-2 defeat of the visiting Cubs on Monday. And in Sunday’s series finale versus at Pittsburgh, it was Brandon Woodruff who shined with eight strikeouts -- and no walks -- over six scoreless frames in a 2-0 victory. Recovered from a right ankle sprain and managing a recent diagnosis of Raynaud's syndrome, the 29-year-old has looked far more like himself since returning from the IL.
7. San Diego Padres
Last Week: 5
San Diego did avoid getting swept by the Dodgers over the weekend with a 4-2 victory in the finale of that four-game series, but then came an 8-2 loss Monday versus the Mariners. With just three wins over their last 11 contests, the Padres are suddenly 4 1/2 games back of Los Angeles for first place in the NL West. The two teams were tied atop the standings just a few weeks ago. Most concerning of all is that Manny Machado is still experiencing lingering discomfort in his left ankle.
8. Boston Red Sox
Last Week: 9
In shutting out the visiting Rays for a 4-0 win on Monday, the Red Sox claimed their eighth straight victory on the Fourth of July. Kutter Crawford had eight strikeouts over 5 1/3 scoreless innings of long relief and Trevor Story belted his 13th home run of the year. John Schreiber retired all five batters he faced between the top of the eighth and the top of the ninth for his third save. Schreiber is putting together a magical year in Boston’s bullpen, boasting a 0.66 ERA through 27 1/3 total frames.
9. Toronto Blue Jays
Last Week: 8
Alek Manoah struggled through his worst start of the season Monday against the lowly Athletics, yielding five runs -- four earned -- over 5 2/3 innings as the Blue Jays fell 5-1. It was their fourth straight loss, as they also dropped the final three games of a five-game weekend series with the Rays. Yusei Kikuchi will take the mound on Tuesday at Oakland, aiming to build on a promising outing last Thursday versus Tampa Bay. He posted a rough 7.17 ERA over 21 1/3 total innings (six starts) in June.
10. Minnesota Twins
Last Week: 10
Last week, the Twins became the first team in American League history to follow back-to-back walk-off losses with back-to-back walk-off wins. And then on Monday night, Byron Buxton helped turn the first-ever 8-5 triple play as the Twins topped the White Sox in extra innings. Buxton also hit a two-run homer in that game and holds a 1.029 OPS over his last 103 plate appearances since the beginning of June. Minnesota is currently up 3 1/2 games on first place in the AL Central.
11. Tampa Bay Rays
Last Week: 11
They won the final three games of a big five-game weekend series in Toronto, including a doubleheader sweep on Saturday, but the Rays returned state-side on Monday and fell silent offensively in a 4-0 afternoon loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park. It sure would be nice to see Wander Franco flash a little more power in the second half. His season OPS is down to .697 and he ranks in just the 39th percentile of all MLB hitters in average exit velocity. He is 17th percentile in barrel rate.
12. Philadelphia Phillies
Last Week: 14
Including a weekend series win against the Cardinals, the Phillies are now 20-9 under interim manager Rob Thomson after starting the season 22-29 with Joe Girardi at the helm. Zack Wheeler worked seven shutout innings in Sunday night’s 4-0 shutout victory versus St. Louis and holds a 1.76 ERA over his last nine starts. Kyle Schwarber was named NL Player of the Month for June after registering a 1.065 OPS with 12 home runs, 27 RBI, and 27 runs scored in a span of 27 games.
13. St. Louis Cardinals
Last Week: 12
Nolan Arenado hit for the cycle last Friday in Philadelphia and on Saturday the Cardinals became just the 11th team in MLB history to hit back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs. But the celebration of those feats was rather short-lived, as St. Louis wound up dropping two of three to the Phillies and also came out on the losing end in Monday night’s series opener at Atlanta. Showing a record of 7-11 since June 15, the Cards are three games behind the Brewers in the NL Central race.
14. Chicago White Sox
Last Week: 16
Dylan Cease earned AL Pitcher of the Month honors for June and has a solid start on the board in July, having tossed five innings of one-run ball on Saturday in San Francisco as the White Sox pulled out a weekend series sweep of the Giants. The 26-year-old owns a dominant 0.46 ERA with 54 strikeouts over his last 39 1/3 innings dating back to May 29. But he will not take a turn in this big three-game series against the Twins, and the White Sox already dropped the opener on Monday.
15. San Francisco Giants
Last Week: 13
Things have turned awfully sour for the Giants, who were three games back of first place in the NL West only a couple weeks ago. They’ve lost five straight and 11 of their last 14 while dropping to 9 1/2 games behind the division-leading Dodgers. Anthony DeSclafani was a rotation stabilizer last year, working to a 3.17 ERA in 31 starts as San Francisco marched to a franchise-record 107 regular season wins, but he is done for the rest of the 2022 campaign following major ankle surgery.
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16. Cleveland Guardians
Last Week: 15
Emmanuel Clase was named AL Reliever of the Month for June after working 15 scoreless innings with 16 strikeouts and earning 11 saves in 11 opportunities. The hard-throwing 24-year-old right-hander has not allowed a run -- earned or unearned -- since May 17. He went as the fourth closer off the board in the average Yahoo draft this spring and has certainly met the hype in the first half. But the Guardians as a whole are on a sharp downturn, having lost 10 of their last 14 games.
17. Seattle Mariners
Last Week: 19
On the rise for a second consecutive week, the Mariners have won six of their last seven games and 11 of their last 14. Julio Rodriguez captured American League Rookie of the Month in June and has kept right on rolling here in July with a productive weekend against the A’s and a monstrous two-run blast in the fourth inning of Monday evening’s 8-2 defeat of the Padres. The 21-year-old budding superstar is the fastest player in MLB history to reach 15-plus home runs and 20-plus stolen bases.
18. Miami Marlins
Last Week: 20
Sandy Alcantara will take the ball on Tuesday night against the visiting Angels, looking to extend the Marlins’ winning streak to six consecutive games. The 26-year-old right-hander won NL Pitcher of the Month honors for June and boasts a 1.95 ERA with 97 strikeouts in 115 1/3 total innings (16 starts) this season. He has rounded into the most efficient workhorse in the sport and is in line for an appearance at the 2022 All-Star Game in Los Angeles if his pitching schedule allows for it.
19. Los Angeles Angels
Last Week: 17
After getting swept by the division-rival Astros over the weekend, the Angels can count just 10 wins over their last 37 games dating back to May 24. They currently sit a whopping 16 games behind Houston for first place in the American League West standings and there are seven teams above them in the AL Wild Card race. Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani should try to fully soak up the All-Star festivities later this month, as the Halos probably won’t be on the big stage come October.
20. Texas Rangers
Last Week: 18
This has been a rollercoaster year so far for the Rangers. They had a brutal April after that big offseason of spending and then showed some life in May before falling into another steep slide as the calendar flipped to June. All in all, though, they pretty much are who we thought they’d be: more interesting and watchable than the last handful of years but still pretty far from being a contending team. The latest loss Monday versus the Orioles came on a walk-off hit-by-pitch from Matt Moore.
21. Baltimore Orioles
Last Week: 21
Baltimore dropped two of three to both the Mariners and Twins last week before rallying for a 7-6 walk-off victory Monday afternoon versus the Rangers. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th inning, Jorge Mateo took a pitch just above his right knee, allowing Austin Hays to saunter on home as the winning run. Mateo needed assistance from his teammates in getting down the line but he was all smiles, his fists triumphantly raised in the air, once he stepped on the first base bag.
22. Colorado Rockies
Last Week: 23
Colorado took two of three from both the Dodgers and Diamondbacks last week before falling 5-3 at Los Angeles on the Fourth of July. Has anybody asked C.J. Cron to participate in the 2022 Home Run Derby? He hit an opposite-field bomb on Monday at Dodger Stadium -- where this year’s Derby will take place -- and is one of only five National League hitters with 20-plus homers on the season. The 32-year-old slugger has registered a .905 OPS in 222 games as a member of the Rockies.
23. Arizona Diamondbacks
Last Week: 22
Madison Bumgarner posted a win against his former team on Monday as the Diamondbacks rolled to an 8-3 defeat of the visiting Giants. Bumgarner has certainly lost some luster and overall effectiveness since he departed San Francisco after the 2019 season, but the veteran left-hander might have a relatively robust trade market given all the contenders and would-be contenders that need rotation help. He holds a decent 3.74 ERA through 17 starts this year, and a salary of $23 million.
24. Pittsburgh Pirates
Last Week: 24
There is a whole lot more excitement around the Pirates these days, but they ultimately went 10-18 in June and are 1-2 so far in July after splitting a four-game weekend series with the Brewers. In line with that same theme, Oneil Cruz has collected three home runs and 12 RBI in 14 games since getting called up from Triple-A Indianapolis two weeks ago, but the 23-year-old shortstop is also batting just .204 with a .232 on-base percentage and 19 strikeouts across 56 total plate appearances.
25. Chicago Cubs
Last Week: 26
Moving up one spot in these rankings, the Cubs tallied four straight wins last week against the Reds and Red Sox before falling 4-2 in Sunday’s series finale versus Boston and 5-2 to the Brewers on the Fourth of July. A highlight from Monday was Seiya Suzuki’s return from the injured list. Finally recovered from a left finger sprain, he went 2-for-4 with an inside-the-park home run in his first MLB game since May 26. The 27-year-old outfielder has an .802 OPS here in his rookie campaign.
26. Detroit Tigers
Last Week: 25
Garrett Hill made his MLB debut in the opening game of Monday’s doubleheader against the Guardians and delivered six innings of one-run ball while surrendering just two hits and one walk as the Tigers claimed a 4-1 victory. Detroit then fought to a 5-3 win in the nightcap, with the bullpen coming to the rescue for 5 1/3 scoreless frames after Alex Faedo made an early exit due to right hip soreness. The first half of the season has been a failure, but maybe a better second half lies ahead.
27. Cincinnati Reds
Last Week: 27
Hunter Greene’s issues with hard contact continued on Monday as he surrendered six earned runs on seven hits -- including two homers -- in the Reds’ loss to the visiting Mets. Greene has allowed 22 home runs this year, the most of any MLB pitcher, and his season ERA is up at 6.01. The ability to throw in the triple digits is a nice feature, but hitters at this level will always feast on fastballs that lack movement. It might be time for the young righty to get some more minor league seasoning.
28. Kansas City Royals
Last Week: 29
Andrew Benintendi continued to build up his trade appeal on Monday afternoon at Houston, going 3-for-4 with a walk, two RBI, and a run scored in what was ultimately a 7-6 loss for the Royals. Benintendi is slashing .314/.380/.400 in 326 plate appearances this season, ranking 12th among all qualified MLB hitters in batting average and 16th in on-base percentage. An impending free agent, the soon-to-be 28-year-old has already been linked to the Blue Jays, Phillies, and Yankees.
29. Washington Nationals
Last Week: 28
Having just been swept by the Marlins in a four-game set, the Nationals are 1-17 in their last 18 games against NL East opponents. Juan Soto did not start Monday’s early July 4 tilt in D.C. after leaving Sunday’s game with left calf tightness, but an MRI came back negative for any structural damage and he did appear off the bench in the bottom of the eighth inning for what resulted in a four-pitch walk. Soto might remain somewhat limited during the Nats’ three-game series at Philadelphia.
30. Oakland Athletics
Last Week: 30
Every team gets at least one representative at the All-Star Game, and for the last-place A’s that one representative could very well be Paul Blackburn. Frankie Montas has a case as well, if he’s still on Oakland’s roster in two weeks, but Blackburn is the current team leader in ERA with a mark of 2.90. The 28-year-old right-hander, who is notably still a pre-arbitration player, scattered four hits and one walk over 6 1/3 scoreless innings on his last turn through the rotation Saturday against the Mariners.