1. Los Angeles Dodgers
Offensive standouts in the last fourteen days: OF Joc Pederson (.379 AVG, .486 OBP, and 3 HRs in 35 PAs), OF Cody Bellinger (.308 AVG, .413 OBP, and 4 HRs in 46 PAs), and 3B Justin Turner (.333 AVG, .431 OBP, and 0 HRs in 34 PAs)
Pitching standouts in the last fourteen days: SP Hyun-Jin Ryu (5.54 K/9, 0.69 BB/9, and 1.38 ERA in 13 IP), SP Walker Buehler (9.75 K/9, 0.75 BB/9, and 1.50 ERA in 12 IP), and SP Rich Hill (12.75 K/9, 1.50 BB/9, and 0.75 ERA in 12 IP)
The Dodgers look like the team to beat in the National League, and they are running away with the NL West Division (seven games up on the Padres and Diamondbacks). Their offense and pitching are very deep, and they’ve won eight of their previous ten games (including most recently a series sweep in Pittsburgh).
2. Houston Astros
Offensive standouts: OF Jake Marisnick (.278 AVG, .366 OBP, and 3 HRs in 42 PAs), OF Josh Reddick (.357 AVG, .400 OBP, and 1 HR in 51 PAs), and SS/2B Aledmys Diaz (.414 AVG, .457 OBP, and 2 HR in 35 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Justin Verlander (11.05 K/9, 1.23 BB/9, and 2.05 ERA in 22 IP), SP Collin McHugh (11.25 K/9, 2.81 BB/9, and 0.56 ERA in 16 IP), and RP Ryan Pressly (14.21 K/9, 1.42 BB/9, and 1.42 ERA in 6.1 IP)
The Astros, like the Dodgers, hold a huge lead in their division (up 6.5 games on the Athletics), and are playing a sound brand of baseball. Although they have slowed down some recently (6-4 in their last ten games), they have been incredible in the month of May (17-7 record), especially their offense, whose has collectively put up a .289 batting average (highest in the majors).
3. Minnesota Twins
Offensive standouts: OF Eddie Rosario (.415 AVG, .436 OBP, and 3 HRs in 55 PAs), SS Jorge Polanco (.365 AVG, .450 OBP, and 2 HRs in 60 PAs), and OF Max Kepler (.405 AVG, .480 OBP, and 4 HRs in 50 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Jake Odorizzi (10.34 K/9, 2.87 BB/9, and 1.72 ERA in 15.2 IP), RP Ryne Harper (9.00 K/9, 0.00 BB/9, and 1.80 ERA in 5 IP), and RP Taylor Rogers (9.00 K/9, 1.80 BB/9, and 0.00 ERA in 5 IP)
The Twins are firing on all cylinders right now, having won six consecutive games and eleven of their last twelve contests. Their offense cannot be stopped (54 home runs this month — most in the majors during that time), and their pitching is not that far behind (3.70 ERA on the year — 5th lowest in the MLB).
4. New York Yankees
Offensive standouts: OF Brett Gardner (.361 AVG, .395 OBP, and 1 HR in 38 PAs), SS Gleyber Torres (.304 AVG, .373 OBP, and 8 HRs in 51 PAs), and 1B Luke Voit (.320 AVG, .404 OBP, and 3 HRs in 57 PAs)
Pitching standouts: RP Aroldis Chapman (16.50 K/9, 4.50 BB/9, and 0.00 ERA in 6 IP), RP Zack Britton (7.50 K/9, 1.50 BB/9 and 0.00 ERA in 6 IP), and SP Masahiro Tanaka (8.25 K/9, 0.75 BB/9, and 0.75 ERA in 12 IP)
Didi Gregorious, James Paxton, Aaron Judge, Miguel Andujar, CC Sabathia, and Luis Severino (and more!) are all on the injured list, yet the Yankees find themselves in first place in the AL East (two games up on Tampa) and have won ten of their last twelve games. One can only imagine how dangerous a partially healthy Yankees team could be.
5. Tampa Rays
Offensive standouts: OF Kevin Kiermaier (.306 AVG, .342 OBP, and 3 HRs in 38 PAs), OF Tommy Pham (.311 AVG, .404 OBP, and 3 HRs in 52 PAs), and OF Austin Meadows (.300 AVG, .404 OBP, and 2 HRs in 47 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Blake Snell (11.37 K/9, 2.84 BB/9, and 1.42 ERA in 12.2 IP) and SP Charlie Morton (11.81 K/9, 3.38 BB/9, and 2.25 ERA in 16 IP)
The key to the Rays success this season has been their pitching, which has been great. Their team ERA in the month of May has been a solid 3.14 (6th lowest in the majors). Losing Tyler Glasnow to the 60-day injured list (forearm) significantly impacts their pitching staff, however.
6. Chicago Cubs
Offensive standouts: 1B Anthony Rizzo (.400 AVG, .478 OBP, and 4 HRs in 46 PAs), 3B Kris Bryant (.353 AVG, .421 OBP, and 4 HRs in 57 PAs), and C Willson Contreras (.371 AVG, .452 OBP, and 2 HRs in 42 PAs)
Pitching standout: SP Kyle Hendricks (9.15 K/9, 1.83 BB/9, and 3.66 ERA in 19.2 IP)
Since splitting the first twenty games of the season (10-10), the Cubs have gone 20-11. The biggest difference has been the pitching. In May, the Cubs’ staff has put up a 3.88 ERA (tied for 7th lowest in the majors) and the offense has been clicking as well (.465 SLG in May, which ranks as the 6th highest percentage in the majors). At this moment, I think it is fair to say that the Cubs are emerging as the favorites to win the NL Central Division.
7. Philadelphia Phillies
Offensive standouts: SS Jean Segura (.333 AVG, .387 OBP, and 3 HRs in 62 PAs), OF Andrew McCutchen (.309 AVG, .397 OBP, and 3 HRs in 63 PAs), and 2B Carlos Hernandez (.314 AVG, .352 OBP, and 2 HRs in 54 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Jake Arrieta (7.65 K/9, 3.15 BB/9, and 3.15 ERA in 20 IP) and RP Hector Neris (11.05 K/9, 2.45 BB/9, and 1.23 ERA in 7.1 IP)
The Phillies, who are victorious in seven of their previous ten games, are first place in the NL East (up 1.5 games on the Braves). Their offense is extremely potent, but the pitching has been just average (4.03 ERA — 14th lowest in the majors).
8. Atlanta Braves
Offensive standouts: 1B Freddie Freeman (.346 AVG, .414 OBP, and 6 HRs in 58 PAs) and 3B Austin Riley (.333 AVG, .373 OBP, and 5 HRs in 51 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Mike Soroka (6.43 K/9, 1.71 BB/9, and 0.86 ERA in 21 IP)
The Braves have won seven of their last ten games and are one of the most entertaining teams to watch. The amount of young talent on this Atlanta team is incredible, and starting pitcher Mike Soroka is a favorite to win the NL Rookie of the Year. One thing I can say with certainty is that the Braves are going to give the Phillies a run for their money.
9. Boston Red Sox
Offensive standouts: SS Xander Bogaerts (.356 AVG, .431 OBP, and 2 HRs in 51 PAs), 3B Rafael Devers (.314 AVG, .340 OBP, and 5 HRs in 50 PAs), and OF Mookie Betts (.300 AVG, .386 OBP, and 1 HR in 57 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Chris Sale (15.71 K/9, 3.44 BB/9, and 3.44 ERA in 18.1 IP), RP Marcus Walden (9.00 K/9, 2.25 BB/9 and 1.13 ERA in 8 IP), and SP/RP Ryan Weber (5.00 K/9, 1.00 BB/9, and 2.00 ERA in 9 IP)
The Red Sox have recovered from an atrocious start to the season (11-17) and have catapulted themselves back into playoff contention. On the bright side, Chris Sale is starting to find a groove, as is blooming slugger Rafael Devers. On the flip side, the Sox need to find away to get Jackie Bradley Jr. going (-0.8 fWAR and a .163 batting average).
10. Oakland Athletics
Offensive standout: OF Stephen Piscotty (.371 AVG, .450 OBP, and 1 HR in 40 PAs), OF Ramon Laureano (.326 AVG, .348 OBP, and 1 HR in 46 PAs), and 1B Matt Olson (.273 AVG, .373 OBP, and 4 HRs in 51 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Frankie Montas (11.66 K/9, 1.23 BB/9, and 1.23 ERA in 14.2 IP) and SP Daniel Mengden (7.36 K/9, 5.73 BB/9, and 1.64 ERA in 11 IP)
The Oakland Athletics are rolling, having won nine straight games (swept the Mariners, Indians, and Tigers). They’ve outscored their opponents by 43 runs during that stretch and they look to keep it going at home against the Angels.
11. Milwaukee Brewers
Offensive standouts: OF Christian Yelich (.282 AVG, .391 OBP, and 5 HRs in 46 PAs), C Yasmani Grandal (.297 AVG, .449 OBP, and 4 HRs in 49 PAs) and OF Ryan Braun (.389 AVG, .476 OBP, and 1 HR in 42 PAs)
Pitching standouts: RP Josh Hader (12.71 K/9, 0.00 BB/9, and 1.59 ERA in 5.2 IP) and SP Brandon Woodruff (8.59 K/9, 2.05 BB/9, and 1.23 ERA in 22 IP)
The Brewers are struggling, having dropped five of their last eight games. They are still second in the NL Central and trail the first place Cubs by just a game and a half. If starting pitcher Jimmy Nelson can find his form relatively quickly (in his return back from injury), then their rotation will receive a big boost. Milwaukee resembles more of a wild card team at this point.
12. San Diego Padres
Offensive standouts: 1B Eric Hosmer (.395 AVG, .458 OBP, and 2 HRs in 48 PAs) and 3B Manny Machado (.325 AVG, .429 OBP, and 1 HR in 49 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Joey Lucchesi (11.20 K/9, 0.66 BB/9, and 3.29 ERA in 13.2 IP), SP Eric Lauer (7.11 K/9, 0.00 BB/9, and 1.42 ERA in 12.2 IP), and RP Kirby Yates (15.70 K/9, 0.00 BB/9, and 0.00 ERA in 4 IP)
The Padres have picked up their play as of late and have won five of their last six contests. Their offense impressively registered nineteen runs against the Blue Jays on Saturday. Something to keep an eye on is the fact that SP Chris Paddack (another NL Rookie of the Year candidate) was scratched prior to his start the other day due to a stiff neck.
13. New York Mets
Offensive standouts: 1B Dominic Smith (.375 AVG, .474 OBP, and 1 HR in 19 PAs), 3B Todd Frazier (.316 AVG, .395 OBP, and 0 HRs in 43 PAs), and C Wilson Ramos (.378 AVG, .477 OBP, and 4 HRs in 44 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Steven Matz (12.10 K/9, 3.72 BB/9, and 2.79 ERA in 9.2 IP) and RP Edwin Diaz (15.19 K/9, 1.69 BB/9, and 0.00 ERA in 5.1 IP)
The Mets are starting to rack up some wins once again (six of their last seven games), but until Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Zack Wheeler pitch to their full capacities, they are not a threat to win the NL East Divisiona any time soon.
14. St. Louis Cardinals
Offensive standout: OF Harrison Bader (.429 AVG, .467 OBP, and 1 HR in 30 PAs) and 1B/3B Matt Carpenter (.300 AVG, .404 OBP, and 4 HRs in 47 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Jack Flaherty (9.00 K/9, 3.50 BB/9, and 2.50 ERA in 18 IP) and RP John Brebbia (13.50 K/9, 1.69 BB/9, and 0.00 ERA in 5.1 IP)
The Cardinals got off to a good start to the 2019 campaign (20-10), but have fallen apart ever since (6-16). St. Louis has a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, less so on the pitching (4.60 ERA in May — 17th lowest in the majors), but what they really to find is consistency.
15. Cleveland Indians
Offensive standouts: 1B Carlos Santana (.302 AVG, .474 OBP, and 4 HRs in 57 PAs), SS Francisco Lindor (.280 AVG, .383 OBP, and 3 HRs in 60 PAs), and OF Oscar Mercado (.296 AVG, .387 OBP, and 1 HR in 31 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Shane Bieber (13.72 K/9, 1.77 BB/9, and 2.66 ERA in 20.1 IP) and RP AJ Cole (12.79 K/9, 0.00 BB/9, and 0.00 ERA in 6.1 IP)
The Indians have dropped six of their last seven games and they trail the red-hot Twins by a whopping ten game margin. Their offense is nonexistent to the say least (.221 AVG this year — 2nd lowest in the majors) and Corey Kluber and Mike Clevinger, two pitchers who were extremely valuable to the Indians pitching staff in 2018, are sidelined with injuries.
16. Arizona Diamondbacks
Offensive standouts: 3B/SS Eduardo Escobar (.309 AVG, .321 OBP, and 5 HRs in 56 PAs), 2B Ketel Marte (.308 AVG, .357 OBP, and 3 HRs in 56 PAs), and SS Nick Ahmed (.325 AVG, .417 OBP, and 0 HRs in 48 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Robbie Ray (13.19 K/9, 5.02 BB/9, and 3.14 ERA in 14.1 IP), SP Luke Weaver (9.53 K/9, 2.12 BB/9, and 3.18 ERA in 17 IP), and SP Zack Greinke (6.14 K/9, 0.61 BB/9, and 1.84 ERA in 14.2 IP)
The Diamondbacks are coming off a series sweep in San Francisco in which their offense picked up big time (twenty-four runs in three games). They could contend for a wild card position, but I can’t see anyone catching the Dodgers in the NL West.
17. Pittsburgh Pirates
Offensive standouts: 1B Josh Bell (.392 AVG, .456 OBP, and 6 HRs in 57 PAs), OF Bryan Reynolds (.350 AVG, .422 OBP, and 4 HRs in 45 PAs), and SS Kevin Newman (.355 AVG, .444 OBP, and 0 HRs in 36 PAs)
Pitching standout: RP Francisco Liriano (16.62 K/9, 4.15 BB/9, and 0.00 ERA in 4.1 IP)
Similar to the Cardinals, the Pirates can’t seem to find any level of consistency. They just got swept in a three-game set by the Dodgers. If Pittsburgh wants to compete with the best of the best, their offense is going to need to step up their game (.247 AVG on the year — 17th highest in the MLB).
18. Washington Nationals
Offensive standouts: 3B Anthony Rendon (.375 AVG, .483 OBP, and 4 HRs in 58 PAs), OF Juan Soto (.388 AVG, .446 OBP, and 2 HRs in 56 PAs), and OF Gerardo Parra (.381 AVG, .435 OBP, and 1 HR in 23 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Patrick Corbin (9.41 K/9, 2.05 BB/9, and 2.05 ERA in 22 IP), Stephen Strasburg (7.20 K/9, 1.20 BB/9 and 1.80 ERA in 15 IP), and SP Max Scherzer (12.75 K/9, 4.50 BB/9, and 2.25 ERA in 12 IP)
After dishearteningly losing five straight games, including a four game sweep at the hands of the New York Mets, the Nationals have come back to win three straight contests against the lowly Marlins. Washington’s playoff odds are unquestionably dwindling by the day, and if their bullpen can’t manage to get its act together (7.25 ERA — highest in the majors), then the Nationals will have no shot at making the postseason.
19. Texas Rangers
Offensive standouts: 3B/OF Joey Gallo (.368 AVG, .500 OBP, and 3 HRs in 48 PAs), DH Shin-Soo Choo (.293 AVG, .383 OBP, and 5 HRs in 47 PAs), and 2B Logan Forsythe (.314 AVG, .455 OBP, and 0 HRs in 44 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Lance Lynn (10.29 K/9, 1.29 BB/9, and 1.93 ERA in 14 IP), SP Mike Minor (10.06 K/9, 2.65 BB/9, and 2.12 ERA in 17 IP), and RP Jose Leclerc (19.80 K/9, 1.80 BB/9, and 0.00 ERA in 5 IP)
The Rangers offense has carried this team thus far, but it is unlikely that they’ll be able to overcompensate for Texas’ lackluster pitching (5.10 ERA on the year — 6th highest in the majors) as we move forward.
20. Los Angeles Angels
Offensive standout: OF Mike Trout (.326 AVG, .463 OBP, and 3 HRs in 54 PAs), UTL Tommy La Stella (.385 AVG, .396 OBP, and 3 HRs in 53 PAs), and 2B David Fletcher (.348 AVG, .400 OBP, and 1 HR in 50 PAs)
Pitching standout: SP Griffin Canning (7.50 K/9, 2.25 BB/9, and 0.75 ERA in 12.0 IP)
While the offense has been solid, there is simply not enough pitching on this team. Expect the Angels to finish below .500 in 2019.
21. Cincinnati Reds
Offensive standouts: 3B Eugenio Suarez (.326 AVG, .367 OBP, and 2 HRs in 49 PAs) and SS Jose Iglesias (.366 AVG, .366 OBP, and 1 HR in 41 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Tanner Roark (13.20 K/9, 3.00 BB/9, and 3.00 ERA in 15 IP), SP Sonny Gray (13.09 K/9, 3.27 BB/9, and 2.45 ERA in 11 IP), and RP Amir Garrett (21.21 K/9, 3.86 BB/9, and 1.93 ERA in 4.2 IP)
22. Colorado Rockies
Offensive standout: 3B Nolan Arenado (.391 AVG, .429 OBP, and 5 HRs in 49 PAs) and UTL Ryan McMahon (.333 AVG, .440 OBP, and 2 HRs in 25 PAs)
Pitching standout: SP German Marquez (7.40 K/9, 0.87 BB/9, and 3.92 ERA in 20.2 IP)
23. Seattle Mariners
Offensive standout: 1B Daniel Vogelbach (.250 AVG, .386 OBP, and 5 HRs in 44 PAs)
Pitching standout: SP Tommy Milone (10.80 K/9, 1.80 BB/9, and 3.60 ERA in 5 IP)
24. Chicago White Sox
Offensive standout: SS Tim Anderson (.361 AVG, .395 OBP, and 0 HRs in 38 PAs)
Pitching standout: SP Lucas Giolito (8.36 K/9, 1.93 BB/9, and 0.64 ERA in 14 IP) and RP Juan Minaya (9.00 K/9, 2.70 BB/9, and 0.90 ERA in 10 IP)
25. Toronto Blue Jays
Offensive standout: 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (.292 AVG, .346 OBP, and 5 HRs in 52 PAs)
Pitching standout: RP Ken Giles (16.62 K/9, 0.00 BB/9, and 0.00 ERA in 4.1 IP)
26. Detroit Tigers
Offensive standout: 1B Miguel Cabrera (.333 AVG, .444 OBP, and 1 HR in 44 PAs) and OF JaCoby Jones (.300 AVG, .370 OBP, and 3 HRs in 46 PAs)
Pitching standouts: SP Matt Boyd (9.37 K/9, 1.65 BB/9, and 3.86 ERA in 16.1 IP) and RP Joe Jimenez (10.50 K/9, 1.50 BB/9, and 3.00 ERA in 6 IP)
27. San Francisco Giants
Offensive standout: 3B Pablo Sandoval (.346 AVG, .433 OBP, and 3 HRs in 30 PAs)
Pitching standout: RP Will Smith (23.40 K/9, 0.00 BB/9, and 1.80 ERA in 5 IP)
28. Miami Marlins
Offensive standout: OF Harold Ramirez (.412 AVG, .459 OBP, and 1 HR in 37 PAs)
Pitching standout: SP Sandy Alcantara (6.43 K/9, 1.93 BB/9, and 2.57 ERA in 14 IP)
29. Kansas Royals
Offensive standouts: SS Adalberto Mondesi (.356 AVG, .375 OBP, and 0 HRs in 48 PAs), 2B Whit Merrifield (.319 AVG, .385 OBP, and 1 HR in 52 PAs), and 1B/3B Hunter Dozier (.300 AVG, .362 OBP, and 2 HRs in 47 PAs)
Pitching standout: SP Danny Duffy (7.94 K/9, 2.65 BB/9, and 3.18 ERA in 17 IP)
30. Baltimore Orioles
Offensive standouts: 3B Renato Nunez (.293 AVG, .370 OBP, and 6 HRs in 46 PAs), 2B/3B Hanser Alberto (.359 AVG, .381 OBP, and 1 HR in 42 PAs), and C Pedro Severino (.346 AVG, .414 OBP, and 0 HRs in 29 PAs)
Pitching standouts: RP Branden Kline (9.82 K/9, 2.45 BB/9, and 2.45 ERA in 7.1 IP) and SP Dylan Bundy (9.53 K/9, 3.97 BB/9, and 2.38 ERA in 11.1 IP)