Welcome to the fourth edition of theScore's MLB Power Rankings for the 2023 season. The last edition ran May 15, while the next edition will be published June 12. 1. Tampa Bay Rays Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 39-16 7-3 +120 1 (-) Much has already been made of offensive contributions from Wander Franco, Yandy Diaz, Randy Arozarena, and others in the lineup. But the return of Tyler Glasnow is giving the Rays a jolt to their pitching this time around. The flamethrowing righty faced a tough opening assignment against the Dodgers, allowing three runs on five hits and one walk over 4 1/3 innings, but he also struck out eight. The Rays, who are without Jeffrey Springs and Drew Rasmussen, might need Glasnow to stabilize the rotation a bit.2. Texas Rangers Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 33-19 7-3 +123 4 (+2) The Rangers might be a problem, surprisingly boasting an MLB-best plus-123 run differential. They got Corey Seager back earlier this month, who's since provided three homers and 15 RBIs over 10 games. But they were ticking right along without the superstar shortstop, ranking second in runs scored and fourth in runs allowed. Perhaps most surprising is the pitching strength without Jacob deGrom, thanks to surprise Cy Young contender Nathan Eovaldi and a massive breakout from Jon Gray.3. Houston Astros Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 31-21 8-2 +53 8 (+5) Here come the Astros. The defending champs have taken advantage of a soft schedule to claim victories in 14 of their last 17 games. Jose Altuve's return has sparked the club, with the second baseman hitting .370/.452/.593 in seven games since coming off the IL. The pitching staff has also been excellent, posting an MLB-best 3.09 ERA in May. If that weren't enough, even Jose Abreu picked up his first home run with Houston on Sunday, snapping a drought of 283 plate appearances.4. Los Angeles Dodgers Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 32-22 4-6 +50 2 (-2) Freddie Freeman never left, but man, is he back. The first baseman is hitting .382/.449/.706 with five homers and 23 RBIs in May and looks like he could easily stay in the NL MVP conversation all year. Combine that with Mookie Betts and Will Smith continuing to be excellent and rookie Miguel Vargas really starting to make a name for himself, and it's really no wonder why the once-juggernaut Dodgers are starting to put some distance between themselves and the rest of the NL West. Mitchell Layton / Getty Images Sport / Getty5. Atlanta Braves Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 32-21 5-5 +62 3 (-2) The Braves spent most of the month without two of their top starters in Max Fried and Kyle Wright, but have capably weathered the storm thanks to the emergence of Bryce Elder. The 24-year-old was solid in 54 innings last season (3.17 ERA), but he's been exceptional this campaign, with his 2.01 ERA leading qualified NL starters. He also ranks among the top 10 in his league in FIP, ground-ball percentage, and HR/9.6. Baltimore Orioles Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 34-19 6-4 +34 5 (-1) Veteran right-hander Kyle Gibson is fitting right in with his new team, joining in free agency from the NL pennant-winning Phillies and anointing his Orioles team "one of those juggernauts" last week. Stunningly, he might not be wrong. While there's very little legitimate star power on the team, role players like Anthony Santander, Cedric Mullins, Dean Kremer, and Gibson himself are a huge reason why they have the second-highest winning percentage in MLB.7. New York Yankees Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 32-23 7-3 +27 9 (+2) The Yankees continue winning despite some pretty underwhelming performances lately. Aside from Aaron Judge, Anthony Rizzo has been the only other reliable hitter of late, hitting .327/.382/.535 with six homers in May. The return of Luis Severino seems very timely, as the rotation has looked pretty lackluster. The righty has given them a jolt with a 1.59 ERA through two starts, but the strikeouts (7.9 K/9) have yet to really come back.8. Seattle Mariners Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 28-25 7-3 +37 12 (+4) There's been a lot of talk about the Mariners' pitching because of Luis Castillo, Logan Gilbert, and Bryce Miller, but the offense is finally awake - and it's leading to positive results. Seattle (16-9 in May) ranks fifth in fWAR and ninth in runs scored this month, with Julio Rodriguez hitting .467/.484/.800 over his past seven games. The 2022 AL Rookie of the Year had been mired in a sophomore slump, and he posted a .656 OPS through his first 44 games.9. Boston Red Sox Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 28-25 5-5 +11 11 (+2) Boston's offense has cooled significantly after an incredible start. The team ranks 26th in runs and 25th in OPS over the last 15 days, hitting just 10 home runs. Masataka Yoshida, Rafael Devers, Jarren Duran, and Alex Verdugo - the team's top four hitters by OPS - combined to go 46-for-196 (.235) during this stretch. Adam Duvall is expected to return in the coming weeks, though the team will have to decide how it deals with a potentially crowded outfield. Tim Nwachukwu / Getty Images Sport / Getty10. Toronto Blue Jays Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 28-26 3-7 +20 6 (-4) Things are a mess right now in Toronto. The Blue Jays have done themselves no favors, stumbling to a 6-15 record against AL East opponents. That just isn't going to cut it in baseball's toughest division. The Blue Jays are likely going to have to play at close to a 100-win pace for the rest of the season if they want to have any hope of catching the Rays to win the division for the first time since 2015.11. Arizona Diamondbacks Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 30-23 6-4 +11 16 (+5) After losing 110 games two seasons ago, Arizona ranks second in steals, third in batting average, and fourth in runs and slugging percentage in the NL. Combine that with a Cy Young contender in Zac Gallen (2.97 ERA) and a surprisingly good Merrill Kelly (2.83 ERA), and you've got the makings of a postseason contender.12. New York Mets Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 27-27 6-4 -13 14 (+2) The most expensive team in baseball is getting a major offensive boost from its youngest player. Francisco Alvarez, the 21-year-old top prospect, has six home runs, 14 RBIs, and a 1.092 OPS this month. Alvarez hasn't been able to fix some of the pitching woes, though. The Mets own the second-worst ERA (5.19) in MLB in May. Justin Verlander's tenure has gotten off to a rocky start - he allowed 13 runs in 18 innings over his last three outings, while only striking out 10.13. Los Angeles Angels Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 28-26 6-4 +7 17 (+4) After two months, the Angels are holding their own in the AL wild-card race. Yes, that's not quite where a team with Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani is expected to be, but they're also not imploding like they did at this time last year. The Halos might also finally have something resembling a supporting cast for their stars, with outfielder Mickey Moniak and closer Carlos Estevez stepping up big for the team.14. Milwaukee Brewers Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 28-25 4-6 -21 7 (-7) It's been a rough month for the Brew Crew, but they've clung onto top spot in the NL Central despite a scuffling offense that's scored just 86 runs (second-worst in NL) and posted an 80 wRC+ in May. To make matters worse, the team recently placed Willy Adames on the seven-day concussion list after he was struck in the head by a foul ball in the dugout. There's no indication of when he might be ready to play.15. Minnesota Twins Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 27-26 3-7 +42 10 (-5) It's hard to explain the offensive struggles right now in Minnesota. Despite boasting a lineup littered with quality hitters who can hit for power, the Twins rank just 19th in OPS. The rotation has done most of the heavy lifting so far, and the Twins can thank their lucky stars that they reside in the listless AL Central. If they can get on track offensively, Minnesota has a good chance to run away from the rest of the division. Dustin Bradford / Getty Images Sport / Getty16. Philadelphia Phillies Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 25-28 5-5 -38 15 (-1) Bryce Harper's return hasn't been enough to fix the Phillies. Philadelphia is playing under .500 this month despite their star slugger posting a .888 OPS in 23 game since coming back. Pitching has been a problem, but Trea Turner's inability to produce (78 wRC+, 25.5 K% in May) has been such an issue that fans, including his own mother, have been booing him on the regular.17. San Diego Padres Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 24-29 4-6 -5 13 (-4) Juan Soto has quieted the haters. He's been incredible this month, hitting .333/.481/.654 with five homers and even mixing in four stolen bases. The superstar outfielder recaptured his elite eye and formidable plate discipline. Whether that's attributable to Fernando Tatis Jr. rejoining the lineup or just wanting to put on a show in the Bronx, Padres fans won't ask questions. Speaking of Tatis, he's certainly hit the ground running with a team-leading seven homers in May.18. St. Louis Cardinals Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 24-31 5-5 +13 22 (+4) The ascendant Cardinals can thank their lineup entirely for waking up. Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, Lars Nootbaar, and Paul DeJong have all been incredible in May, combining for 21 homers, 69 runs, 62 RBIs, and 11 stolen bases. The starting rotation still looks quite bad, ranking 18th in the majors this month with a 4.93 ERA, but they might still be good enough to wind up winning this division thanks to mediocre showings from everyone else in the NL East.19. San Francisco Giants Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 27-26 7-3 -1 24 (+5) The Giants have put together a nice run of late to keep pace in the NL West. Part of that might be thanks to No. 3 prospect Casey Schmitt, who's put up an .812 OPS since being called up on May 9. The Giants, who've won four straight series, are far from a perfect team. But they're also hardly out of it and have enough talent to put a scare into rivals once everyone gets healthy. Eric Espada / Getty Images Sport / Getty20. Miami Marlins Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 28-26 5-5 -41 20 (-) The Marlins have proven to be a scrappy club, showing a knack for winning close games (15-4 in one-run contests). In fact, if the season ended today, they'd be in the playoffs. Luis Arraez and his .376 batting average deserve a lot of the credit for Miami's success, but Jorge Soler has been a man on a mission lately, with an MLB-best 12 homers this month, including a stretch of five straight games with a round-tripper.21. Pittsburgh Pirates Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 26-26 4-6 +10 19 (-2) The Pirates have fallen back to Earth after a torrid start. Offensively, everyone not named Andrew McCutchen or Tucupita Marcano has been bad this month, with the team's OPS dropping from .794 in April to .631 in May. Luckily, the pitching has been p (3.84 ERA, 3.95 FIP) has remained strong, giving the Pirates a fighting chance for a playoff spot in a weak NL Central division.22. Chicago Cubs Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 22-30 3-7 +4 18 (-4) The Cubs have been inconsistent this year, sporting the NL's worst record. Jameson Taillon's struggled, Cody Bellinger's hurt, and top prospect Matt Mervis hasn't made the impact they hoped. And yet, the Cubs are still just 5.5 games back of first place. Such is life in the NL Central.23. Detroit Tigers Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 25-26 6-4 -48 23 (-) After suffering through a bitterly disappointing 2022 campaign, the Tigers have been one of the league's most pleasant surprises to start 2023. Detroit is hovering around the .500 mark and could easily be in contention in the AL Central all season. It'll be interesting to see how the front office navigates the trade deadline and a potential deal for left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez if Detroit is within a few games of a playoff spot in late July. The Tigers aren't necessarily a good team, but they play in the right division.24. Chicago White Sox Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 22-33 6-4 -50 28 (+4) White Sox manager Pedro Grifol is going to have a decision on his hands with Eloy Jimenez returning to the lineup after injury. Jake Burger has been raking as the club's designated hitter and already has a career-high 10 home runs with an .873 OPS over 37 games. Jimenez has primarily lined up at DH this season, making just three appearances in the outfield in 25 games. Grifol might need to shuffle bodies around the infield to ensure Burger, Jimenez, Yoan Moncada, and Gavin Sheets all wind up with regular playing time and at-bats. Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty25. Cleveland Guardians Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 23-29 4-6 -38 21 (-4) Perhaps the most damning thing about the Guardians is that they've managed to hit only 30 homers this year. That's 10 more than Pete Alonso. Rookie Tanner Bibee has been their best starter in May, posting a 3.14 ERA and 3.43 FIP in five outings. Over the same month, Myles Straw, Andres Gimenez, and Josh Bell have been among the worst hitters in MLB, while Cal Quantrill has looked very hittable. It's rough.26. Colorado Rockies Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 24-30 5-5 -49 25 (-1) Offense has always been the Rockies' calling card, but the bats have gone silent at Coors Field this year. Colorado is the NL's worst offensive team, with just two regulars owning an OPS+ above 100. No Rockies hitter has more than seven home runs. If the Rockies, of all teams, aren't hitting, you know things are bad.27. Washington Nationals Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 23-30 5-5 -21 26 (-1) Although the Nationals sit in the basement of the NL East as expected, the play of outfielder Lane Thomas and third baseman Jeimer Candelario are reasons for optimism. Thomas has been able to hit for power while using his speed on the bases. Candelario already has six home runs and 15 doubles after going deep 13 times with 19 doubles across 124 games for the Tigers last season.28. Cincinnati Reds Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 24-29 5-5 -24 27 (-1) The Reds' rebuild is starting to pay dividends at the big-league level. Matt McLain has been stellar over his first 12 big-league contests, sporting a 1.056 OPS with two homers since being called up. Hunter Greene's improvement has continued with each start (2.77 ERA, 21 strikeouts over his last two outings). It's still going to be a long summer in Cincinnati, but it's not all doom and gloom anymore.29. Kansas City Royals Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 16-38 3-7 -76 29 (-) Royals fans are lucky to have Salvador Perez. Though the franchise has fallen on some hard times since winning the World Series in 2015, Perez's consistency and durability behind the plate and in the batter's box endure. The veteran catcher has nine home runs in May and leads the Royals in OPS (.857) this season. It will be fascinating to see if any contenders come calling with interest in Perez as we inch closer to the trade deadline.30. Oakland Athletics Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 10-45 0-10 -199 30 (-) We'd say the A's are the movie "Major League" come to life, but not even Jobu can save this team. The A's are on pace for 132 losses, which would be the most in baseball since 1899. Oakland fans deserve better than this.Copyright © 2023 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.
After a surprising run to the AL Central title last season, the Cleveland Guardians have struggled out of the gate in 2023.Manager Terry Francona knows it's time for his club to start playing better as the team looks to rally from a disappointing 21-28 record."We need to do better," Francona said Friday, according to The Athletic's Zack Meisel. "If yelling and screaming at them made them do better, I'd do it. That's not going to make somebody hit. Changing the lineup, if I felt that would make somebody hit, I'd do it."The Guardians signed veterans Josh Bell and Mike Zunino in the offseason in an effort to improve their offense. However, the additions haven't paid dividends thus far as Cleveland ranks last in the league in runs scored (169) and home runs (30) through 49 games."This is kind of a rarity where you see everybody's not quite at the level - usually it's like three (hot) and three (cold) and everybody else in the middle," Francona said. "So, we're going to have to work through it."All-Star third baseman Jose Ramirez is currently the only regular in the Guardians' lineup sporting an OPS above .700.Cleveland opens up a three-game series at Progressive Field against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night. Copyright © 2023 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.
Bell is out of the lineup for Game 2 of Sunday's doubleheader against the Guardians.
Welcome to the fourth edition of theScore's MLB Power Rankings for the 2023 season. The last edition ran May 1, while the next edition will be published May 29. 1. Tampa Bay Rays Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 31-11 5-5 +120 1 (-) Almost everything has been clicking for the Rays. Randy Arozarena is playing like a superstar, Josh Lowe and Yandy Diaz have both emerged as explosive offensive players, and Wander Franco's living up to the hype. Tampa Bay became the first team to 30 wins last week, and it's easy to see why. While the team must now withstand the sudden loss of another key starting pitcher in Drew Rasmussen for at least the next few months, Tyler Glasnow's imminent return and rookie Taj Bradley's emergence will help the rotation carry on. For now, the Rays remain on top.2. Los Angeles Dodgers Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 26-15 8-2 +56 6 (+4) Though not the superteams of recent vintage, the Dodgers are finally looking like the Dodgers again. Winner of five straight, L.A. is still getting huge contributions from Will Smith, who boasts an otherworldly .457 OBP in May, but it's the resurgence of Freddie Freeman that feels most important. He started the season reasonably well but still short of what's normally expected. Since the month turned over, he's back to hitting the cover off the ball with 10 extra-base hits - the same amount he had through April. The bullpen is stabilizing, with Evan Phillips and Caleb Ferguson combining to record five saves without allowing a single run this month.3. Atlanta Braves Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 25-15 5-5 +52 2 (-1) It's going to be a challenge to navigate life without the steadying presence of Max Fried. The left-hander has been the anchor of the Braves' rotation for several years but is sidelined indefinitely with a forearm strain. Right-hander Kyle Wright is also on the shelf with a shoulder injury. Spencer Strider continues to dominate hitters, but manager Brian Snitker will need the likes of Bryce Elder and Charlie Morton to continue delivering quality outings to cover for the absentees. The Braves should be good enough to deal with these injuries but will certainly be tested over the next while.4. Texas Rangers Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 25-15 7-3 +97 12 (+8) The Rangers continue to look almost unbelievably great as one of two teams (along with the MLB-best Rays) with a run differential over 57, and they comfortably clear that mark by 40 runs. Marcus Semien continues to be the offensive catalyst, but Leody Taveras is finally delivering on his long-awaited promise. The 24-year-old outfielder is 17-for-41 in May with three doubles, one homer, and three steals. Nathan Eovaldi has continued his unbelievable campaign and has yet to allow a run through two starts (16 2/3 innings) this month. Texas is looking really strong even without Jacob deGrom and Corey Seager. Patrick Smith / Getty Images Sport / Getty5. Baltimore Orioles Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 26-14 6-4 +30 5 (-) Anyone expecting the Orioles to regress after last season's surprising success are surely disappointed. Baltimore's lineup is as potent as any in baseball and should keep the team in contention deep into the summer. The emergence of Yennier Cano in the bullpen has been a big development. The right-hander possesses a devastating changeup and has already accumulated 1.2 fWAR without permitting a walk or home run. With devastating closer Felix Bautista continuing to rack up gaudy strikeout numbers, the Orioles are armed with arguably the league's most devastating one-two punch at the back-end of a bullpen.6. Toronto Blue Jays Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 24-16 6-4 +22 3 (-3) The Blue Jays have been inconsistent. They were expected to take another step forward in 2023 and challenge for a first AL East title since 2015, and while there's still plenty of time for that to come to fruition, Toronto will need to find another gear. The Blue Jays have traded losing and winning streaks of late thanks in large part to a volatile performance from the rotation. They desperately need Alek Manoah to get back on track. The right-hander has failed to go beyond five innings in six of his eight outings.7. Milwaukee Brewers Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 23-17 5-5 +20 4 (-3) It took a little while, but the Brewers have finally returned to their perch atop the NL Central by winning five of their last seven contests. Yes, the Pirates' ongoing slide helps, but the Brewers are a good team. Despite some continued offensive struggles - Rowdy Tellez is their only hitter with an OPS above .800 - the Brewers' plus-20 run differential ranks fourth in the NL. The pitching continues to give Milwaukee the chance to win every day. If nothing else, this team is showing that it won't go down without a fight.8. Houston Astros Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 21-19 5-5 +24 8 (-) Many Astros hitters have struggled but none as profoundly as Jose Abreu. The former MVP, who signed a $58.5-million deal last offseason, ranks dead last among the 168 qualified hitters in WAR (minus-1.0), is second-last in wRC+ (43), and still doesn't have a home run. He's gone from being near the top of the leaderboards in exit velocity and barrels to ranking among the worst in baseball. Houston's still hanging around in the AL West but can't expect to maintain aspirations of repeating as world champion with that kind of production at first base.9. New York Yankees Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 23-19 6-4 +16 13 (+4) It seems the Yankees are finally rounding into form. Reigning AL MVP Aaron Judge had his first signature game of the season, helping New York rally from a six-run deficit with a pair of home runs to stun the Rays. If Judge can get on a roll, New York could quickly rise up the AL East standings. Nestor Cortes must be a concern for manager Aaron Boone. The 2022 All-Star has posted a 5.53 ERA and 1.32 WHIP while allowing seven home runs over his first eight starts.10. Minnesota Twins Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 23-18 6-4 +43 11 (+1) Where would the Twins be without their pitchers? Minnesota's starters have been the best in baseball and are carrying this team atop the weak AL Central. Newcomer Pablo Lopez has been exactly what the Twins hoped for, Joe Ryan's new arsenal has placed him in the top tier of AL arms, and Sonny Gray - the majors' ERA leader - still hasn't allowed a home run. Even the back end of the staff has contributed. Bailey Ober started the season in Triple-A but has posted a 1.85 ERA and 0.90 WHIP in four starts to seamlessly fill the void left by injuries to Tyler Mahle and Kenta Maeda. It's enough to make Minnesotans forget about the Twins' anemic offense, which owns a collective 99 wRC+ and is fourth in strikeouts. Mitchell Leff / Getty Images Sport / Getty11. Boston Red Sox Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 22-19 5-5 +11 14 (+3) Chris Sale has really settled down. After allowing 21 runs over his first 23 innings, the left-hander owns a 2.21 ERA and 2.16 FIP over his last three starts to go with 24 strikeouts. Sale's resurgence along with James Paxton's encouraging performance - nine strikeouts across five innings in his debut - should really boost a rotation that has struggled at times. The developments could move either Garrett Whitlock or Tanner Houck into the bullpen, which could use another high-leverage arm. On Wednesday, Kenley Jansen became the seventh pitcher in MLB history to record 400 saves but has allowed five runs over two appearances since. This comes after he surrendered just one run in his previous 12 outings (11 2/3 innings).12. Seattle Mariners Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 20-20 6-4 +24 20 (+8) The emergence of Bryce Miller gives Seattle yet another stellar starting pitcher. Miller has dazzled over his first three big-league starts, posting a 0.47 ERA while walking just one batter in 19 innings. His eight total baserunners are the fewest allowed by a pitcher in his first three career starts since 1901. The foursome of Miller, Luis Castillo, George Kirby, and Logan Gilbert are keeping the Mariners above water as the offense continues to sputter. Those bats are the reason why Seattle is still spinning its wheels around the .500 mark.13. San Diego Padres Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 19-22 3-7 -10 10 (-3) On the plus side, Juan Soto seems to have finally found his stroke. He has two homers and two steals through the first two weeks of May, but more importantly, he's rediscovered his elite plate discipline. He's reaching base in over 47% of plate appearances this month and has struck out in 14.5%, which is much closer to his career norm. All things considered, though, this is a very disappointing start for the Padres, and the offense from Xander Bogaerts and Manny Machado has really dried up recently.14. New York Mets Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 20-21 4-6 -9 9 (-5) There's no sugarcoating the fact that its been a disastrous start in Queens. The Mets are struggling to score runs and have seen Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander labor through injuries and inconsistency. New York is 28th in runs scored over the last two weeks and have a team ERA north of five during that same stretch. The Mets have enough talent to right the ship but need Francisco Lindor to heat up in a hurry. The shortstop has seen his strikeout rate jump and his OPS drop compared to his 2022 numbers.15. Philadelphia Phillies Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 20-20 5-5 -22 15 (-) The Phillies' rotation continues to frustrate. By FIP, it ranks sixth in the majors in May thanks to its ability to limit walks. By ERA, though, they rank 29th with a 5.15 mark. That's largely driven by incredibly brutal BABIP luck in one start each from Matt Strahm (.545), Bailey Falter (.462), and Ranger Suarez (.467). With Bryson Stott and Trea Turner up the middle, it's hard to attribute that to poor defense, but shift restrictions might be taking an unexpectedly significant toll on the reigning NL champs.16. Arizona Diamondbacks Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 23-18 6-4 +12 18 (+2) The Diamondbacks continue to be a factory for outfield prospects. The 24-year-old Dominic Fletcher came up at the end of last month and has been one of the league's best players. In a small 13-game sample size, he's hitting .429/.455/.690 with six extra-base hits and 13 RBIs. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is settling in nicely with four home runs this month. Gurriel's five total homers have equaled his 2022 total over 121 games with the Blue Jays.17. Los Angeles Angels Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 21-20 4-6 +9 17 (-) Hunter Renfroe has been everything the Angels could have hoped for. The outfielder leads the team in home runs and is among the league leaders in outfield assists. The Angels sorely lacked quality around stars Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout over the past few years, but Renfroe is proving to be a perfect complement to the dynamic duo. With the Astros and Mariners underachieving, the door could be open for the Angels to make a run at a first AL West tile since 2014.18. Chicago Cubs Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 19-21 4-6 +29 16 (-2) The Cubs are under .500 in May after a surprisingly solid start to their season. The offense has come back to earth, and the pitching staff has turned in a couple of clunkers. Even Marcus Stroman, who's emerged as the staff leader with seven quality starts, wasn't immune, surrendering six earned runs in 2 2/3 innings Sunday. Chicago has some good pieces and is still only three games back of first place, but it's fair to question whether this team is a legitimate contender. Playing in the NL Central can mask plenty of issues.19. Pittsburgh Pirates Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 22-19 2-8 +9 7 (-12) The Pirates have fallen on hard times over the past few weeks. The offense has completely dried up, mustering a paltry 20 runs over the past 12 games. The pitching hasn't fared much better over that stretch, posting a 4.94 ERA and 1.55 WHIP. The NL Central continues to be the weakest division in baseball, but it's hard to envision the Pirates staying in contention deep into the season unless they find a way to outperform a dearth of talent on both sides of the ball. Jasen Vinlove/Miami Marlins / Getty Images Sport / Getty20. Miami Marlins Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 20-21 4-6 -56 19 (-1) Who broke Sandy Alcantara? The reigning NL Cy Young winner has been subpar aside from one shutout. He's yet to record a 10-strikeout game and owns an inflated 4.91 ERA and 1.21 WHIP through eight starts. Pitching has always been the Marlins' strength, but if Alcantara can't even things out, the team will be hard-pressed to make one of their patented surprising pushes for a playoff spot. A 4-8 start to the month has made that task even more difficult.21. Cleveland Guardians Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 19-21 5-5 -23 21 (-) Many thought the offseason additions of Josh Bell and Mike Zunino would provide a jolt to a Guardians lineup in desperate need of more firepower. However, the club is 28th in runs scored and last in home runs and OPS. Bell and Zunino have combined for just five homers, while last year's breakout stars, Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez, have struggled to replicate their success. Another division title is still very much a realistic objective for the Guardians, but they'll need to find a way to start putting up some crooked numbers.22. St. Louis Cardinals Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 16-25 6-4 -10 23 (+1) Perhaps the Cardinals just needed a road trip to Boston to right the ship. Now on a three-game winning streak, St. Louis has trimmed its run differential to a much more tolerable minus-10. Winning must cure everything because suddenly Willson Contreras is back behind the dish after one of the weirdest early-season controversies in recent memory. Nolan Arenado suddenly finding his offensive form is the big news here, though, as the perennial All-Star looked awful at the plate early on but has now hit a homer in three straight to lift his OPS to a respectable .708. Even though the Cardinals have dug themselves a cavernous hole, the NL Central is still there to be won. Patrick Smith / Getty Images Sport / Getty23. Detroit Tigers Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 18-21 6-4 -44 26 (+3) The Tigers' hot start to the month hasn't masked their flaws. Eduardo Rodriguez's Cy Young-caliber pitching is the only reason Detroit isn't even further back in the AL Central. Riley Greene is the only Tigers regular with an OPS+ above 100, and the power outage at Comerica Park - catcher Jake Rogers leads the club with five home runs - has continued to affect their overall performance. About the only other positive is that they're better than the White Sox and Royals, but that's not saying much.24. San Francisco Giants Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 17-23 4-6 -27 22 (-2) It's looking bleak for the Giants, who are barely better than the lowly Rockies so far, and it's getting hard to watch Mitch Haniger. The veteran outfielder received a day off Sunday in the midst of an 0-for-12 slump with five strikeouts. In fact, since drawing a walk in each of his first two games in late April, Haniger hasn't earned a free pass. That's 18 Ks against two walks. On the less bleak side, Anthony DeSclafani has had a particularly interesting three-start streak, issuing two walks while not allowing a homer and striking out eight over 20 innings. The righty is letting the defense behind him do the work, and his 3.06 ERA seems to indicate that's a fine strategy.25. Colorado Rockies Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 17-24 6-4 -29 25 (-) Kyle Freeland has looked unbeatable lately, He threw six shutout innings with eight strikeouts against the Phillies on Sunday, lowering his ERA in May to a sterling 1.00 over three outings. Being a fly ball pitcher at Coors Field has always hindered his ceiling, but Freeland is definitely doing a better job this year of limiting the damage of those long balls. If only something else could go right for this team.26. Washington Nationals Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 17-23 5-5 -27 27 (+1) The early-season performances of Mackenzie Gore and Josiah Gray should have Nationals fans excited. Gore has a 3.29 ERA with a 28.8% strikeout rate through his first eight starts. Gray has incorporated a cutter into his arsenal, helping the right-hander to a 2.96 ERA and a 43.6% ground-ball rate through eight outings. The Nationals have a long way to go before they can compete for a playoff spot, but Gore and Gray have the makings of the club's next great duo in the rotation.27. Cincinnati Reds Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 18-22 5-5 -29 24 (-3) Jonathan India's return to form has been a bright spot for the Reds. The former NL Rookie of the Year is easily leading the team in OPS (.826) and is emerging as an offensive leader - something the club's lacked since Joey Votto got hurt. While he isn't lifting the Reds back into contention, India's at least helped them remain competitive of late, a small victory for the perpetually rebuilding club.28. Chicago White Sox Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 14-28 4-6 -71 28 (-) No amount of injuries can mask the misery on the South Side these days. With the exception of Luis Robert Jr. and his 11 homers, everything that can go wrong for Pedro Grifol's White Sox is going wrong, and there doesn't appear to be an end in sight. The bottom fell out last week when Chicago lost three of four to the Royals, including one on a walk-off squeeze bunt. Beyond a deadline-day sale in July, there doesn't seem to be any quick fix for the organization.29. Kansas City Royals Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 12-30 4-6 -60 29 (-) The "Pasquatch" is on the loose in Kansas City, and there isn't much that anyone can do about it. Vinnie Pasquantino has emerged as something of a stabilizing force in the lowly Royals' lineup, taking more walks (21) than strikeouts (18) while ranking second to Salvador Perez in both OPS and homers. On the whole, the team has been difficult to watch and seems poised to once again dwell in the cellar.30. Oakland Athletics Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change) 9-33 3-7 -157 30 (-) The chase for win No. 10 continues. There's no redeemable qualities about these Athletics, who remain on pace to become one of the worst teams in history. If the season ended now, the A's would have the lowest winning percentage since the 1899 Cleveland Spiders, widely considered the most abysmal team ever fielded and one that was essentially a farm team for an owner who sent the best players to his other club. One of the better stories coming out of Oakland was 24-year-old flamethrower Mason Miller, who posted a 3.38 ERA and 3.10 FIP over his first four career games. Unfortunately, he's already sidelined and is getting a second opinion regarding an ominous elbow ailment.Copyright © 2023 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.