Texas Rangers pushing Rays atop Power Rankings
Rookie Josh Jung, veteran Nathan Eovaldi had Mays to remember
In this week’s Power Rankings the elite teams are starting to catch their groove, and the contenders are scratching their way to the top.
There has not been much movement since last week. Our Esquina’s top nine teams stay relatively the same, and the Blue Jays regain top ten status.
The Rays are still the best team in baseball. The early season surge has not cooled down.
What is there left to say? The Rays are the first team to reach 40 wins. They hold a record of 42-19. Their well balanced offense and great pitching reputation are flowing on all cylinders.
No. 2. Texas Rangers
The Rangers have been impressive thus far. A pair of native Texans – one a rookie and another a veteran – have paved the way for the Ranger’s hot start.
May to remember
Rookie third baseman Josh Jung and 12-year veteran pitcher Nathan Eovaldi were recognized this May for their outstanding play. Jung has won consecutive Rookie of the Month Awards, putting together a strong first half of the season.
The rookie has a solid .294 batting average with 12 home runs, 38 RBIs and an .861 OPS. Surely the San Antonio native is an early candidate for Rookie of the Year.
Eovaldi, a Houston native, has taken over since Jacob deGrom has been out with elbow inflammation. May was one to remember for Eovaldi, who helped the Red Sox win the 2018 World Series. He was undefeated with a 4-0 record last month. Eovaldi surrendered only four runs, threw a complete game against the Pirates in Pittsburgh and had four quality starts.
Overall, he is tied for first in wins with eight and is top six in ERA. The streaky Rangers continue to demonstrate that the AL West is theirs to lose.
No. 3. Baltimore Orioles
After losing a series against the Cleveland Guardians early in the week, the Orioles won two out of three against the Giants. Although both Anthony Santander and Gunner Henderson have had slow starts, they turned things around this week by propelling the O’s to wins.
In the past seven days Santander has gone 7-for-21, with a huge triple in the second game against the Guardians to clear the bases. He tallied five RBIs and three doubles.
Henderson’s sixth home run against the Giants was the difference in their 3-2 victory Friday. The rookie was clutch this week, bringing his batting average just above the Mendoza line.
No. 4. Atlanta Braves
Although the Braves fell victim to the A’s first series win, they rebounded against the Diamondbacks.
Ronald Acuña Jr. has been stellar for the Braves. He leads the National League with 26 stolen bases and is Top 10 in home runs with 15. He ranks second in all of baseball in batting average and runs.
Did I mention that Acuña also launches mammoth home runs? He sky-rocketed a 462-foot home run in Arizona.
No. 5. New York Yankees
The Yankees are back into the Top 5 in this week’s Power Rankings. Winning consecutive series against the Mariners and the Dodgers will do just that.
The Yankees have been carried by Aaron Judge, who leads all of baseball in slugging and OPS. His 19 home runs are second best in the major leagues.
Judge broke Roger Maris’ AL record for most home runs in a single season last year with 62 home runs. He is on the verge of repeating his success that earned him the 2022 AL MVP.
No. 6. Houston Astros
The Astros got the best out of Shohei Ohtani and the Angels, winning three out of four games in Houston.
Framber Valdez flexes against Ohtani
Framber Valdez outdueled Othani once again, throwing his 10th quality start of the year. Valdez ranks fifth in ERA and is eighth in strikeouts. He has been efficient with his cutter and curveball combination.
While Yordan Alavrez has been the backbone of the offense, former All-Star Game MVP Alex Bregman is starting to turn the page.
Bregman became the third player in MLB history Saturday to draw four walks and hit a grand slam in a single game. This feat hadn’t been done since 1974.
In order to challenge the Rangers for first in the AL West, the Astros certainly need other offensive contributors.
No. 7. Los Angeles Dodgers. No. 8. Arizona Diamondbacks. No. 9. Boston Red Sox. No. 10. Toronto Blue Jays.
The Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Red Sox and Blue Jays make up the rest of this week’s Power Rankings.
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