Ronald Acuña Jr. and Braves lead Power Rankings
Despite injuries, Astros return to Power Rankings at No. 6
With the midway point of the season here, for the first time this season there is a new No. 1 team in Our Esquina’s Power Rankings. The Braves, who hold the best record in the NL, have dethroned the Rays.
Atlanta leads the league with a franchise record eight All-Star selections. Ronald Acuña Jr, who led all players in All-Star votes, leads a star-studded club.
Ozzie Albies, Orlando Arcia, Matt Olson, Austin Riley, Bryce Elder, Spencer Strider, and Sean Murphy are the Braves’ other All-Stars.
World Series contender
With the Braves in the Midsummer Classic, scoring could be plentiful for the National League. The Braves relish scoring runs in the first inning. They have scored 87 runs, hit 29 home runs and have 121 hits in the first inning.
The 2021 World Series champion Braves are making a statement. It’s clear they can potentially make another run to the Fall Classic.
No. 2. Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays beat Arizona twice this week, but they also lost twice to the Mariners. This week’s 3-3 record cost them the top spot in the Power Rankings.
The AL East-leading Rays hold a 5 ½-game lead in the division. All-Stars Shane McClanahan, Randy Arozarena, and Yandy Diaz have been huge for the Rays.
No. 3. Texas Rangers
The Rangers have six players heading to Seattle for the Midsummer Classic. That is their most since 2012.
Those Midsummer Classic berths is to no surprise because their offense has been on a tear all season. Sluggers Adolis Garcia, Jonah Heim, Corey Seager, Marcus Semien and Josh Jung will arm the American League squad.
Pitcher Nathan Eovaldi is also heading to the All-Star Game for the second time in his 12 year career.
No. 4. Arizona Diamondbacks
One of the most surprising things this season is the Arizona Diamondbacks atop of the NL West. In a division where most projections had the Dodgers and Padres competing for the division crown, the Dodgers are three games back.
The Padres are 11 ⅓ games behind the Diamondbacks, eight games under .500 and fourth in the division. The Diamondbacks haven’t won the NL West since 2011. With Zac Gallen leading the starting rotation, and Lourdes Gurriel and Corbin Carroll sparking the offense, Arizona is looking to defy the odds.
No. 5. Baltimore Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles have faltered a bit, losing consecutive series to the Reds and Twins. However they still hold the second best record in the AL. If the season ended today, the Orioles would grab the first Wild Card spot, going against the Houston Astros.
Orioles stay firm in Power Rankings
Unless you’re a Baltimore fan, this Orioles run has come as a surprise. The O’s are ahead of schedule. They haven’t made the postseason since 2016, when they lost in the AL Wild Card game.
This year, with their young players and their vets, they have a chance to make a splash for the AL pennant.
No. 6. Houston Astros
After taking two of three against St. Louis and two of the first three against the Rangers, the Astros are back in the Power Rankings.
The reigning World Series champs are on pace to win 87 games this season. Houston hasn’t won fewer than 95 wins since the 2016 season, not counting the COVID-shortened season. This year’s AL West division is not an easy task as the Rangers prove themselves.
With an injury-plagued season, the Astros will have to rely on rookies to help them to the top.
No. 7. Miami Marlins, No. 8. Los Angeles Dodgers, No. 9. New York Yankees, No. 10. Cincinnati Reds
The Reds make their Power Rankings debut, as Elly De La Cruz and Co have stormed to the top of the division.
The Marlins, Dodgers, and Yankees close out the Power Rankings.
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