MLB Power Rankings: Where Sox stand as AL East foe takes top spot originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston:
Are the Boston Red Sox starting to figure things out after a dismal start to the 2022 season?
With Monday night’s victory over the Houston Astros, the Red Sox have won four of their last six games. The scuffling offense finally showed signs of life in Texas, where it scored 19 runs to help Boston take two of three from the Rangers.
Tomase: Cora draws inspiration from Celtics’ turnaround:
That said, there’s still plenty of work to be done. The Red Sox are eight games under .500 (14-21) and 12 games behind the first-place New York Yankees in the American League East standings. That series victory over the Rangers was their first series win since they took two of three from the Detroit Tigers on April 13. They have yet to earn a series sweep.
So, have the Red Sox gained any ground since our previous power rankings? Here’s how all 30 MLB teams stack up as of Tuesday.
Leave it to the 2022 Cincinnati Reds to throw a no-hitter and still lose. On the bright side, they’re 6-4 over their last 10 games following their 3-22 start.
The Nationals have lost nine of their last 12 games. They may end up taking the bottom spot from the Reds by the time our next power rankings come out. Some good news for Washington: Stephen Strasburg could return to the mound as soon as next month.
The O’s offense has been virtually non-existent as of late. Time to call up top prospect Adley Rutschman to give the team a jolt?
The Royals rank 27th in runs scored this season. Those struggles prompted them to fire their hitting coach, Terry Bradshaw, on Monday. This is a team that hasn’t earned consecutive victories since April 20.
26. Detroit Tigers (13-23)
The Tigers offense has greatly underperformed this season with only 16 total home runs as of Tuesday. Prized offseason acquisition Javy Baez continues to struggle at the plate, slashing .210 / .252 / .324 with two homers in 27 games.
Last week was a busy one for the A’s, who played nine games (two doubleheaders) and won five of them. Right-hander Paul Blackburn has been a revelation, amassing a 1.67 ERA and 0.90 WHIP through 37.2 innings of work.
The Pirates are tied with the Reds for the worst run differential in the league (-65) but just continue to find odd ways to win, including a victory over Cincinnati despite being no-hit.
The Cubs have bounced back from their slump with series wins over San Diego and Arizona. Willson Contreras put an exclamation point on Chicago’s three-game win streak with a grand slam for his 100th career homer.
22. Texas Rangers (15-19)
The Rangers really need to start getting more out of their pricey offseason signings. Corey Seager is slashing .234 / .303 / .406 while Marcus Semien is hitting a putrid .162 / .224 / .215. That won’t cut it.
21. Boston Red Sox (14-21)
It’s starting to look a bit brighter in Boston these days. The Red Sox have won four of their last six games, Trevor Story finally blasted his first Fenway homer, Nick Pivetta has found his groove on the mound, and Chris Sale has resumed his throwing program. A successful homestand vs. Houston and Seattle would go a long way toward inspiring optimism in this team.
The defending champions are still going through it as Ronald Acuña has missed the last five games with a groin injury. They’ll hope to have him back in the mix soon as they look to work their way back up to that .500 mark.
19. Seattle Mariners (16-20)
Former top prospect Jarred Kelanic still can’t seem to put it all together at the big-league level. He was demoted to Triple-A after slashing .140 / .219 / .291 with 36 strikeouts through 30 games. Meanwhile, fellow youngster Julio Rodriguez has looked solid with a league-leading 10 stolen bases and a .849 OPS since the beginning of May.
18. Colorado Rockies (17-18)
The Rockies started the season off strong but have regressed to the mean as of late with six losses in their last seven games. They’re anxiously awaiting Kris Bryant’s return from the injured list.
17. Miami Marlins (16-19)
The Marlins have really scuffled lately with 11 losses in their last 14 games.
16. Arizona Diamondbacks (18-19)
The D’Backs have been one of the biggest surprises in baseball so far this season. Last year cellar dwellers have won 12 of their last 18 games and the starting rotation has been sensational. How long will this last?
15. Cleveland Guardians (16-17)
The Guardians were expected to rely heavily on their pitching staff to offset an underwhelming offense. It’s been the opposite so far this season as Cleveland boasts a .718 OPS but has a team ERA of 4.18.
14. Chicago White Sox (18-17)
Johnny Cueto stepped up to pitch six scoreless innings in his White Sox debut, a much-needed performance with Lucas Giolito joining Lance Lynn on the injured list. Do not be surprised if this team, the overwhelming preseason AL Central favorite, gets hot sooner rather than later.
13. Philadelphia Phillies (17-18)
The Phillies, as expected, are one of the best offensive teams in the league. They’re currently sixth in runs scored with 172 and first with a .750 OPS. Bryce Harper’s partially torn UCL is no longer a concern as the two-time MVP still earned NL Player of the Week honors with a .609 betting average, three home runs and six doubles in a six-game span.
12. Toronto Blue Jays (19-17)
So much for all that preseason Blue Jays hype. Toronto has lost nine of its last 12 games and finds itself 7.5 games back in the AL East. There’s too much talent on this roster for those struggles to last, and the upcoming series vs. Seattle and Cincinnati would be a good time to turn things around.
11. St. Louis Cardinals (19-16)
Albert Pujols on the mound for the Cardinals was a sight to see. The legendary slugger allowed four runs in his appearance, but all that matters is he finished off the victory. The Cardinals have allowed only 123 runs so far this season, the fourth-lowest mark in the league.
10. Minnesota Twins (21-15)
Minnesota is the only team with a winning record in the AL Central and it has a chance to pull away with upcoming series vs. Oakland and Kansas City. The Twins pitching staff has greatly outperformed expectations so far with a 3.27 ERA.
9. Milwaukee Brewers (23-13)
The jury is still out on this Brewers club. The record is nice to look at, but they’re coming off a series loss to the lowly Reds and are only 4-4 against teams .500 or better.
8. Tampa Bay Rays (21-15)
Brandon Lowe being placed on the injured list with a back issue hurts, and it comes at a bad time with Tampa dropping five of its last eight games.
7. San Francisco Giants (21-14)
The Giants are 7-3 in their last 10 games and continue to swing it well. They’re currently third in the league with 176 runs scored.
6. San Diego Padres (22-13)
The Padres have been one of the most consistent teams in the league so far this season despite missing their star, Fernando Tatis Jr. A lot of credit has to go to veteran Eric Hosmer, who’s somehow slashing .350 / .412 / .512.
5. New York Mets (24-13)
The Mets hadn’t lost a series before dropping two of three to Seattle over the weekend. It’s been a rough week in Queens as catcher James McCann and breakout right-hander Tylor Megill both were placed on the injured list.
4. Los Angeles Angels (24-14)
The Angels might be the most fun team in baseball at the moment, and not only because they have Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout. Taylor Ward continues to tear it up, and rookie Reid Detmers tossed a no-hitter against the Rays last week. This team is for real.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers (23-12)
There’s no question the Dodgers are the most talented team in the league, but it’s been a rough stretch for them with series losses to the Pirates and Phillies. Clayton Kershaw was also placed on the injured list with pelvic inflammation. Not ideal.
2. Houston Astros (23-13)
The Astros reeled off 11 consecutive victories before the Nationals snapped the streak on Saturday. Justin Verlander has a shot to win another Cy Young award at age 39 as he’s 5-1 with a 1.38 ERA and 0.68 WHIP.
New York Yankees (26-9)
The Yankees are a runaway train. They’ve won 20 of their last 24 games and have no glaring weaknesses at the moment. Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge are tearing the cover off the ball, Nestor Cortes looks like a Cy Young candidate, and the Bronx Bombers own the MLB’s best run differential at +73 entering Tuesday. Just when Red Sox fans thought these first couple of months could not get worse.