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The Sports Daily > The Giants Cove
The Sports Daily June 2017 MLB Power Rankings

Here are The Sports Daily June 2017 MLB Power Rankings, hosted by Joseph Coblitz of the excellent Cleveland Indians blog Burning River Baseball.

Want to know which MLB teams are rising and which are in catastrophic freefall?

Now you can simply refer to the underpaid experts at The Sports Daily who rank all 30 teams each month.

Contributing are Mr. Coblitz, Gavin Potter and Justin Lada from Burning River Baseball, John Coppinger from Metstradamus, Richard Dyer from The Giants Cove, Aaron Hooks of Cards Diaspora, and David Pan from Blue Jays Mic.

1. Houston Astros – 38-16 – ↑1

The Stros won eight of nine series in May to sprint to an 11 game lead in the AL West and a 99.3% play-off probability. They say you can’t win a division in April or May, but Houston is certainly well on their way. – Joseph Coblitz

2. Washington Nationals – 33-19 – ↓1

Best tweet I’ve seen this month: “The N.L. East race is between the Nationals lineup and the Nationals bullpen.” I can’t put things any better than that. – John Coppinger

3. New York Yankees – 30-20 – ↑4

After starting the season 21-9, the Bronx Bombers have come back down to earth, losing eight of their last ten. Still, Aaron Judge has shown no signs of slowing down, posting a 185 wRC+ in May. – Gavin Potter

4. Colorado Rockies – 33-22 – ↑1

The offense isn’t quite there yet– even though Colorado’s offense is first in the Majors with 466 hits, they’re only 2nd overall with 259 RS (the Nats have 271 RS). Give them time as Ian Desmond hasn’t hit second gear yet. RH starter Antonio Senzatela, 22, has a 1.15 WHIP after 10 starts and the rest of the young arms in the Rockies’ rotation look relentless, but Manager Bud Black‘s rebuilt bullpen is driving this engine and they will keep the Rocks in the playoff hunt all season. – Richard Dyer

5. Arizona Diamondbacks – 33-22 – ↑3

The team that could still be the surprise of the year if not for the three previous teams, Zack Greinke in particular has turned things up of late, earning his hefty contract from 2016. While third in the West, the DBacks have a decent lead on the second Wild Card and appear to be well rounded enough to continue in contention for the long haul. – Joseph Coblitz

6. Los Angeles Dodgers – 33-21 – ↑4

Chris Taylor (.998 OPS) has played in 39 games at 2B, 3B, CF, and SS and could be the Dodgers first half MVP. Starters Alex Wood (1.00 WHIP) and Brandon McCarthy (1.09 WHIP) have a combined 16 starts and are anchoring the rotation behind Clayton Kershaw. LA’s bullpen is 3rd in the Majors with a 2.81 ERA.The Dodgers are a team just beginning to accelerate into championship mode and their minor league system has another half dozen MLB-ready pitchers and hitters. – Richard Dyer

7. Cleveland Indians – 27-24 – ↓1

Despite their offensive struggles, they took two of three from Kansas City in a low scoring series earlier in the month. Then they took some steps back. They went to Houston and handed them three more losses. They are 5-1 against the best team in baseball so far. Recently, the rotation has gotten good starts from Josh Tomlin and Trevor Bauer. Corey Kluber is due back, Edwin Encarnacion is heating up and they’re within a half game of first place. – Justin Lada

8. Boston Red Sox – 29-23 – ↑1

Like quite a few teams this year, the Red Sox started off well below expectations, but have turned things around of late. They’ve won eight of their last ten, however, taking advantage of a stretch of play outside of the division. They’ll start June with the Orioles and Yankees and will get a better view of where they stand. – Joseph Coblitz

9. Baltimore Orioles – 27-24 – ↓5

Manny Machado is nearing Trout status as baseball’s best both offensively and defensively, but he doesn’t have much backing him in Baltimore. The rotation leaves much to be desired, although the bullpen can hold any lead that they are given. With the Rays and Jays each looking better, the Orioles will really have to step things up to stay relevant. – Joseph Coblitz

10. Chicago Cubs – 24-27 – ↓7

On June 1st, 2016, the Cubs were 36-15, a whopping 21 games over .500 before the weather even got warm on the North Side. In 2017, loss #15 came on May 7th (the infamous Yankees 18/inning game). The first home series against the Cardinals starts the month of June 2017… seems like about the perfect time to make a statement to the rest of the NL Central that hangovers eventually go away. – Aaron Hooks

11. Milwaukee Brewers – 28-25 – ↑6

The first place Milwaukee Brewers have the fifth best run differential in the National League and are sixth in baseball in runs scored. How, when Eric Thames has struggled to the tune of .644 OPS in May? They have 72 HRs and 42 steals. They’ll eventually need more than the 4.25 ERA their pitching staff is giving them. – Joseph Coblitz

12. Minnesota Twins – 26-23 – ↑6

The Twins may be the most deceiving team in baseball as they have lead the AL Central for much of the season, but have just a 16% chance to make the post-season according to FanGraphs compared to the Indians 92%. They are slightly outplaying their run differential and have went 6-3 in one run games. A divisional heavy start to the season helped prop this up, but big losses to the Rays and Astros have shown the Twins’ true colors – Joseph Coblitz

13. St. Louis Cardinals – 25-25 – ↑1

Are you an optimist or a pessimist? The former will tell you that the Cardinals are in a better position heading into June 2017 than they were heading into June 2016 and they are certainly right, but the pessimists point out that the Cardinals are pretty much the same team in 2017 that they were in 2016 (shaky bullpen, bad defense, streaky hitting) and the only reason they aren’t in a deep hole is because the Cubs haven’t heated up yet. This is also true. So, whatever your outlook is, 2017 has been exactly what you wanted it to be thus far. – Aaron Hooks

14. Tampa Bay Rays – 29-27 –↓1

They’ve won six series this month including taking two of three from Boston and New York and lost a series to Toronto. Chris Archer has reduced his HR rate a bit this month and Corey Dickerson has been on fire in the leadoff spot. They’re inching up the standings with Baltimore hitting a rough patch, but Toronto is getting healthy and creeping up behind them in the East. – Justin Lada

15. Texas Rangers – 26-28 – 0

While the division may already be a long shot, the Rangers are still a solid contender for a Wild Card at just 2.5 games out. Of course, there are 13 teams within four games of a play-off spot in the AL, so they’ll have to do a lot better than .500. – Joseph Coblitz

16. Detroit Tigers – 25-28 – ↓4

Not much has gone right for Detroit. Ian Kinsler (93 wRC+), Victor Martinez (100 wRC+), and Miguel Cabrera (112 wRC+) haven’t been up to par, while their starting pitchers and bullpen rank 19th and 29th in ERA in baseball, respectively. – Gavin Potter

17. Cincinnati Reds – 24-28 – ↑6

The Cincinnati Reds are the top team in baseball in position player WAR, saving more runs (37.7 above average) than any other team and coming in seventh offensively. If they’re so good, why are they 4th in the Central? They have the fourth worst pitching staff in all of baseball. With little hope that the rotation, which is dead last in fWAR, will improve, the Reds won’t be able to contend, but the offense and defense should make things interesting. – Joseph Coblitz

18. Los Angeles Angels – 28-28 – ↑6

The Angels have been surprisingly successful this year, sitting second in the West despite low expectations heading into the year. They’ve done it with decent starting pitching and stellar defense, but even with the best player in baseball, the offense has struggled and the team is likely to be unable to withstand the hit of Mike Trout going on the DL for two months.

19. Chicago White Sox – 24-28 – 0

Has a 19-year-old changing his Instagram profile pic been more exciting? Luis Robert from Cuba is the newest high-profile member of the Sox loaded farm system. Having trouble sleeping? Need some background noise at the office? This should help. – Aaron Hooks

20. Toronto Blue Jays – 26-27 – ↑7

No one expected the Jays to struggle the way they did in April, so it shouldn’t have been a big surprise when they turned things around. A sweep of the Mariners started it off, then they won eight of their last nine to near .500 by the end of May. Now, despite remaining 5th in the East, they’re just 5.5 out and only 2 out of a Wild Card spot, still well within reach of the postseason. – Joseph Coblitz

21. Atlanta Braves – 22-29 – ↑8

Even with Sun Trust Park proving to be a launching pad, the Braves aren’t so dependent on the home run. They’re eighth in the league in hits, but with only 47 home runs they’re third from the bottom in that category. The back end of their bullpen, Jim Johnson, Arodys Vizcaino and Jose Ramirez all have a WHIP of under 1.0. Makes you think how much closer they’d be to Washington if they had a rotation. (The staff as a whole is last in the league with 6.7 K/9). – John Coppinger

22. New York Mets – 23-28 – 0

A 6-5 loss to the Giants sent the Mets on a 3-10 tailspin. Injuries have decimated a pitching staff which is last in the majors in ERA and WHIP. Steven Matz, who just pitched five perfect innings in a rehab start, and Seth Lugo returning from injury should help. Matt Harvey just had his best start of the season against the Pirates. The Mets could really use the Matt Harvey of 2013 to return. – John Coppinger

23. Pittsburgh Pirates – 24-30 – ↑2

The Pirates are 8-5 in their last 13 games, which is impressive, considering Andrew McCutchen’s continued lackluster performance (84 wRC+) and Starling Marte’s absence. Still, Gerrit Cole (3.65 ERA) is pitching well, and Josh Harrison (120 wRC+) and Adam Frazier (138 wRC+) are providing unexpected strong  production. – Gavin Potter

24. San Francisco Giants – 22-33 – ↑2

The Giant’s ownership and front office took their usual approach to multiple off-season needs: if you have three problems, fix one then cross your fingers. Once again, that is not proving to be a winning model. 29th in MLB offense with 172 RS and a .229 team BA; 21st in MLB pitching with a 4.28 ERA; and a bullpen that can’t decide if it’s just OK or permanently terrible. And there’s another problem. When San Francisco went on a modest 9-3 tear two weeks ago, they went from 10 games out of 1st place to 9 games out. The NL West is no longer the private domain of the Dodgers and Giants. – Richard Dyer

25. Oakland Athletics – 23-29 – ↓5

Yonder Alonso is one of the poster boys for launch angle and well deserving of the starting job at first base for the AL All-Star team, but he’s not enough to save this franchise in what has become a very difficult division. Sean Manaea has been stellar, but injuries have sapped the team’s starter depth and they don’t have the defense or offense to make up for it. – Joseph Coblitz

26. Seattle Mariners – 25-29 – ↓5

The M’s have the talent to compete, at least for a Wild Card, but injuries to 3/5ths of the rotation is going to make things extremely hard to do so for the moment. Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma are expected back by the end of June and Drew Smyly shortly after, so it’s up to the rest of the staff to keep things close until then. – Joseph Coblitz

27. Kansas City Royals – 22-30 – ↑1

The Royals provide the perfect example of what happens when you go all in to win a title. They won it all, but the moves that brought KC their 2015 World Series win will cost them for a long time. Now, they sit in last place with a full load of expiring contracts. If they don’t move those within the next two months, things are only going to be getting worse in Kansas City. – Joseph Coblitz

28. Philadelphia Phillies – 17-34 – ↓12

The Phitins are slogging through a 6-19 month and it is they, and not the Padres, who have the worst record in the league. Their pitching is a mess, as they are last in the league in Fielding Independent Pitching at 4.95, and have given up the most home runs in the National League. Don’t forget that young hitters who the Phillies expected to take the next step have made that step a backwards one. Mikael Franco and Odubel Herrera are hitting .213 and .217 respectively. – John Coppinger

29. Miami Marlins – 21-30 – ↓18

Not sure there is a correlation here, but the Marlins are last in the majors in quality starts, and also last in the league in saves (five). Losing Wei-Yin Chen to injury hasn’t helped, but tough seasons by A.J. Ramos and Brad Ziegler don’t help either. With Edinson Volquez at 0-7, who would have thought that we would ask where this team would be without Dan Straily? – John Coppinger

30. San Diego Padres – 22-33 – 0

In two years this franchise could very well be where Houston, the Cubs, and Minnesota are today– with many young talented players on the 25-man roster, and a lot more talent coming up from a stacked farm system. Which also means that right now the Padres will be taking out an extended lease on last place in the NL West until further notice. But if you like watching a team rebuild from just about scratch, here’s your chance because San Diego is a working baseball laboratory. At least their 4.81 team ERA is better than the Mets’ 4.99 in the National League. – Richard Dyer

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