MLB Power Rankings: The Astros Are Coming
The Houston Astros make the biggest jump this week, forcing themselves into the Top 3.
With Week 5 of the 2022 season in the books, a clearer picture of baseball’s top 10 teams emerges in our MLB Power Rankings. The New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers have a stronghold on the top two spots. These teams look like they’re on the path to an epic rematch of the 1981 World Series.
Separate from the top two spots, there was a lot of reshuffling within the top 10, including two new members. The Houston Astros and the Philadelphia Phillies both had massive weeks, catapulting them into the three-hole and the nine-spot respectively
Before breaking it all down, let’s explain how these rankings emerged. When preparing for the MLB Power Rankings this season, I forced myself to fight the urge of subjectivity. I wanted to create a list of the top 10 teams by relying on numbers.
I created a spreadsheet using pitcher WAR, batter WAR, team record, and run differential. Teams with the highest combined score are ranked at the top.
Let’s look at the top 10 teams in Week 5 of the 2022 MLB season.
2022 MLB Power Rankings
10. San Diego Padres (-5)
The Padres had the biggest drop this week, from 5 to 10. This past week, the Padres split six games and had no standout performances, except for a 12-strikeout performance out of Sean Manaea, which the Pads managed to lose.
9. Philadelphia Phillies (+6)
This past week, the Phillies won five out of seven games. Included in this was a series win against the second ranked Dodgers. One big reason why the Phils have come alive is because of an increase in power on behalf of Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins. It’ll be interesting to see if Philly can keep up the momentum.
8. St. Louis Cardinals (+2)
The Cardinals dropped two spots this week. That’s in large part because of the Padres’ poor play. The reality is that the Cardinals are a pretty average team with plenty of potential. Sure they have the best run differential (+37) in the Central, but that hasn’t translated into more wins.
7. San Francisco Giants (0)
The Giants saw no movement in this week’s rankings. This is due in large part to subpar hitting. Giants hitters have combined for a 5.1 fWAR, which is slightly above average and the worst among the top 10 teams.
6. Milwaukee Brewers(-2)
The Brewers dropped out of the top 5 this week. Still, they look like a force in the National League Central as they boast the best pitcher fWAR (5.4) in the NL. As it stands, the Brew Crew are in first place in the Central by 2.5 games. It might be difficult to knock them off that spot.
The Top 5
5. New York Mets (-2)
For the first time this season, the Mets have dropped out of the top three. Still, they have the best record (23-13) and the best hitters WAR (6.6) in the NL. They face a tough challenge in that two of their best pitchers – Jacob deGrom and Tylor Megill – are on the Injured List. Can their hitters carry them through? We’ll have to wait and see.
4. Los Angeles Angels (+5)
The Halos haven’t been to the Postseason in eight years. So far this season, it looks like the pieces are finally coming together. Shohei Ohtani continues to rewrite history, and Mike Trout is looking more and more like the best player in baseball again.
A Three-Headed Monster
3. Houston Astros (+8)
The biggest jump this week belongs to the surging Astros, who went from 11 to three in this week’s MLB Power Rankings. That’s thanks in part to Yuli Gurriel and Kyle Tucker, who combined for 1.2 fWAR, and superb pitching from Justin Verlander, who hasn’t allowed a run in two consecutive starts.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers (0)
The only advantage the Dodgers appear to have over the Yankees this week is run differential. Currently, the Dodgers lead MLB with a +70 run differential. That’s thanks in part to elite pitching from Julio Urías, Walker Buehler, and Clayton Kershaw, and superb hitting.
1. New York Yankees (0)
The Yankees kept the top spot this week as their pitchers continue to dominate the league. Another big reason for the Yankees’ success this week is because of a hot Giancarlo Stanton. Last week, Stanton swatted a league-leading 4 home runs and 12 RBIs.
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