Another week in the MLB season, and all eyes are on what the league is going to do about the use of foreign substances for pitchers. The belief is that the MLB is finishing up a memo that they will be sending to all teams within the next week about what actions will be taken in the future if foreign substances are used by pitchers. It remains to be seen how they can enforce it, as it basically needs the umpires to watch the pitchers at all times and try to distinguish what is just normal movements and what is a move the pitcher is making to try to hide the use of a substance. However, there is still a week of baseball we need to cover, so let’s hop into the MLB Power Rankings for Week 11.
Week 11 MLB Power Rankings
1) Tampa Bay Rays (42-24) (Last Week: 2)
The Tampa Bay Rays have taken advantage of an easy schedule recently, winning seven of their last 10 games. They benefitted from playing the Nationals and Orioles this week, but as always, a win is a win. If the Rays want to stay atop the American League, it’s crucial they win these games as they don’t get them very often. With the White Sox on deck for a three-game series this week, it’s another barometer test for both teams.
2) Chicago White Sox (41-24) (4)
Just like the Rays, the Chicago White Sox really haven’t played anyone recently. The Blue Jays are a solid team overall, but they still are short of the level needed to compete with a team like the White Sox. Not only do they have to play Tampa Bay, but they also have to play in Houston for four games as well. The good thing for the White Sox is that if they have a lead in the ninth inning, it’s virtually over. Closer Liam Hendricks has a 2.22 ERA and 17 saves in just 30 appearances. He’ll be a big piece of their continued success.
3) San Francisco Giants (40-25) (1)
The San Francisco Giants didn’t necessarily have a bad week, but with the way the top teams are playing around the league, anything less than near perfection bumps you out of the top spot in the MLB Power Rankings. They split with the Rangers and Nationals, which is interesting from a team that is coming off of a week where they took three of four against the red hot Cubs. Thanks to the tough NL West, their lead is now only one game atop the division. This shouldn’t be a problem though, as they get Arizona for four games.
4) Oakland Athletics (40-27) (5)
The Oakland Athletics were able to take five of six games this week, which isn’t all surprising seeing they had Arizona for two of them. They certainly aren’t the sexy team by any means, but all they do is win. I get they are behind the Dodgers on win percentage, but this team is much more consistent, which is why they are ahead of the Dodgers.
5) Los Angeles Dodgers (39-26) (7)
The Los Angeles Dodgers’ schedule was nothing noteworthy by any means, but it did allow them to close the gap on the Giants in the NL West. It seems this is their division to win, as it’s hard to imagine the Giants can keep up the pace, especially with the wide margin in talent on paper. L.A. gets another easy week, where they can possibly take pole position of the division.
6) Chicago Cubs (38-27) (8)
I told people going into the week that the Cubs needed to be respected, and no one listened to me. I even got a response saying it’s dumb, after they just came off a series in which they lost three of four to the Giants. So, what did they do this week? Well, they decided to take two of three games from San Diego before sweeping the Cardinals. The thing about the Cubs is they aren’t just winning, they’re winning convincingly. With the Mets and Marlins on deck, there is no reason to think they can’t keep this up.
7) Milwaukee Brewers (38-27) (9)
Still the hottest team in baseball, the Milwaukee Brewers have won nine of 10 games, and they are coming off of a week where they took two of three from Cincinnati and swept the Pirates in three games. While they didn’t do enough to be able to overtake the Cubs in the MLB Power Rankings this week, this team has a very helpful schedule, with the Reds being their only opponent over .500 until they face the Cubs in two weeks from now. If they can pad the win column, they’ll be primed for the division lead going into July.
8) Boston Red Sox (39-27) (3)
The Boston Red Sox didn’t have a horrible week, but much like the Giants, with the way the top teams in the MLB are playing, anything less than near perfection is going to drop you down a few pegs. When you end the week with two losses in which you give up 25 combined runs to the Blue Jays, you’re going to drop a fair amount. They do have an easier schedule this week, after they finish their four-game stint with Toronto. But with the Rays taking care of business, they can’t afford to lose many more series against .500 teams.
9) Houston Astros (37-28) (11)
Houston was able to win two of three against Boston and followed it up with a series win over Minnesota. Somebody might want to ask around if they’re banging on something else in the dugout, because in a year full of dipping team averages, the Astros are hitting .274. Even with their pitching taking a dip this season, it’s hard to lose when the opposition can’t keep you off the base paths.
10) San Diego Padres (38-29) (6)
Most baseball fans thought when the Padres hit their recent surge, this was going to be the Padres team that finally hit their stride. Instead, they’ve lost six of 10 and while a series loss to the Cubs isn’t bad, they really shouldn’t be losing a series to the Mets. With Blake Snell struggling and Dinelson Lamet having trouble staying healthy, it’s reasonable to wonder if this is just where the Padres are as a team.
11) Cleveland Indians (34-28) (10)
A so-so week was enough to keep Cleveland around the top third, as they once again didn’t impress or disappoint. Although it may seem like a throwaway week with matchups against the Orioles and Pirates, one could argue this is the test of the season for Cleveland. To say Cleveland has been inconsistent would be an understatement, so it’ll be interesting to see if they can take care of business in a week full of games against two bottom five teams.
12) New York Mets (32-25) (12)
There is still a lot of unknowns about this Mets team even with their recent series win over San Diego. They seem to always play the top-tier teams when they are struggling which is why their upcoming four game series against the Cubs will tell us a lot. Are they just the best of the garbage that is the NL East, or are they legitimate players in the National League landscape? Only time will tell.
13) Toronto Blue Jays (33-30) (15)
Their bats certainly came alive in Boston their last two games, and they will be looking to carry that over into their final game on Monday before playing the slumping Yankees for three games. With the Orioles on deck after New York, this could be a week where Toronto could make a push in the MLB Power Rankings, seeing how poorly the Yankees are playing.
14) Cincinnati Reds (32-31) (17)
Taking one of two against Milwaukee given their form isn’t bad, especially seeing they swept the Rockies. The inconsistent Reds of early are back and one would likely expect more of the same this week against Milwaukee and San Diego. This team is the wild card of the National League, and I would expect nothing less from them than the complete opposite of what is expected from them this week. Can they find any consistency?
15) Philadelphia Phillies (32-31) (21)
The Phillies had quite the week, as they won three straight games on walk-offs, including the first on the first career homerun from young prospect Luke Williams.
Unfortunately for Philadelphia, the magic is unlikely to last as they have the Dodgers and Giants on deck this week. But hey, at least they’ve had some good moments to hang their hats on from this past week.
16) Los Angeles Angels (33-32) (20)
The chronic underperforming Angels finally took care of business this week, with an unbeaten week which saw them sweep the Royals and Diamondbacks. While neither of those teams are exactly good, it’s still a good sign for a team that has struggled to get any kind of consistent push going. They’ll need to carry over their form into this week as they have Oakland for three in a series that could kick off a heck of a push, or end their momentum in its tracks.
17) St. Louis Cardinals (32-33) (14)
When I said last week that the acquisition of Nolan Arenado couldn’t shore up the holes that were exposed in the playoffs, I was referring to their fielding. Not only did they get swept by their rival in the Cubs, an error was the lone reason two runs crossed the plate in a 2-0 loss to complete their sweep. With the Cubs and Brewers red hot, it’ll be interesting to see if the Cardinals lose it and go off the rails, or if they’ll be able to rebound and work back into the NL Central race.
18) New York Yankees (33-32) (15)
The Yankees are really just a more garbage version of the Padres. Both teams started slow, had a nice hot streak recently, and now are starting to cool off again. Unfortunately for the Yankees, they are worse than the Padres by a good margin, which spells disaster in a loaded AL East. This team is barely over .500 and the problem won’t just be solved by firing their manager Aaron Boone. It’s not crazy to think this team may have to be blown up after this season potentially.
19) Atlanta Braves (30-33) (18)
Atlanta is again having problems with inconsistency and it’s a wonder at this point if they’ll be able to overcome it. Coming into the week off of a big series win against the Dodgers, they lost both series this week to Philadelphia and Miami. Even with the worst division in the National League, they can’t keep this up and expect the division to fall to them. With how stacked the NL is too, it’s not crazy to think that their only way into the postseason is by winning the division.
20) Seattle Mariners (32-35) (19)
A friendly reminder that this team was at one point arguably the best in baseball. Now they are somehow even below the Angels in the AL West. The Tigers have been an okay baseball team since their disastrous start, but they still shouldn’t be taking a series against Seattle. If Seattle can’t turn it around against the Twins to start the week, they’ll be in deep trouble as they face off against Tampa Bay and the White Sox for two of their next three series.
21) Miami Marlins (29-36) (25)
The Marlins’ season can be summed up by one stat. They are 22nd overall in terms of record, but have a +6 run differential. At this rate, it seems we’ll never figure out if this team is unlucky or actually bad, but either way, they are running out of time to sort it out, just like Atlanta. They unfortunately face the Cardinals and the Cubs this week which could spell even more disaster for an already lackluster record.
22) Kansas City Royals (30-34) (16)
The Royals, like the Mariners, were also arguably the top team in baseball briefly this season. Even though the Mariners haven’t been great lately, at least they’re better than 2-8 in their last ten games. It seems like reality hit them in the face that they were simply a product of circumstance during their hot start, and I don’t see them overcoming it, especially now. They’ve gotten to a point where their upcoming series with Detroit is even looking like a toss up now.
23) Washington Nationals (27-35) (23)
I will say it again: this is not the same Nationals team that started poorly and surged their way back to a postseason appearance and a World Series title. They did split a four-game series with the Giants this past week, but still have the same issue of relying fully on Trea Turner for offense. If this team even wants to be .500 and move up the MLB Power Rankings, they’ll need more from Juan Soto who is only posting a .267 batting average with eight home runs and 27 RBI’s.
24) Detroit Tigers (26-39) (22)
The Tigers may be winners of only three of their last 10, but lets also remember this team has been outperforming even their own expectations the last few weeks. When your best hitter is averaging .266 and only one player has more than eight home runs through 65 games, you tend to not be too good of a team. With their pitching staff nothing to write home about either, something must drastically change for anything to get better in Detroit.
25) Minnesota Twins (26-39) (26)
It may not even be July yet, but I am already going to award Minnesota with the Underachiever of the Year award. This team has no heart, which is extremely concerning seeing they have no hitting or pitching either. It’s time for Minnesota to tear this team down. Yes, Nelson Cruz is an enigma, but when a 40-year-old man leads the team in batting average and home runs, you need to go back to the drawing board.
26) Texas Rangers (25-41) (28)
Positives for the Rangers: Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Adolis Garcia and Kyle Gibson. Negatives for the Rangers: Literally everything else. As amazing as those three guys have been, it takes a hell of a lot more to even be average, especially when you share a division with Oakland and Houston. It looks to be another wasted season, and we could see them slide back down the MLB Power Rankings soon.
27) Colorado Rockies (25-41) (27)
Although this team sucks, at least they aren’t underachieving like the Twins. That statement is pretty much the only positive about Colorado. They had a good run, but must be looking back wondering how they underachieved in literally every season with Arenado. You can’t be hurt by heartbreak if you never had hope to begin with though right?
28) Pittsburgh Pirates (23-41) (24)
Losers of seven in a row, Pirates fans are likely used to the season being all but over before July. But hey, good thing they got rid of Clint Hurdle as their manager. It’s surely his fault that he can’t take a bunch of underachieving players and prospects and turn them into gold. I think it’s time to sell the Pirates off and start completely fresh.
29) Baltimore Orioles (22-42) (29)
Their are two ways to pain the Orioles. On the one hand, they are 5-5 over their last 10 games. On the other hand, they’ve also lost four straight. It’ll be another lost season for Baltimore fans who are still clinging to the belief that someday they can get back to their “glory days” with Adam Jones and Manny Machado. Unfortunately, that may be another decade.
30) Arizona Diamondbacks (20-46) (30)
The Arizona Diamondbacks have lost 10 straight games … for the second time this season. It’s going to become almost laughable pretty soon, as they have to play San Francisco, the Dodgers, Milwaukee and San Diego for their next 13 games. Is it possible they lose twenty games straight? They are clearly the last team in our MLB Power Rankings.