What is the best lineup in baseball? While batting orders fluctuate across a 162-game season, there’s a level of consistency with the best MLB lineups. From the Los Angeles Dodgers to the New York Yankees, there is stockpiled talent among the best teams.
Stars drive in the most runs, but the most productive lineups aren’t always filled with perennial All-Star selections.
Let’s dive back into our rankings for the best MLB lineups entering May. Bookmark this page for monthly updates throughout the regular season.
Dropped from top-10 MLB lineups rankings: Houston Astros (4), Boston Red Sox (6)
10. San Diego Padres (Previous: Unranked)
Two of the best hitters in MLB thus far are found in the San Diego Padres lineup, with Fernando Tatís Jr. still on the injured list. We aren’t buying into Eric Hosmer (.382 BA, 200 wRC+) maintaining this based on his 25th percentile average exit velo and an absurd .426 batting average on balls in play. However, Manny Machado’s success at the plate (.199 wRC+) is very real.
When injuries strike, playoff contenders need others to step up and that’s exactly what Jurickson Profar (.432 SLG, 14.6% walk rate( and Ha-Seong Kim (.519 SLG, 151 wRC+) are doing right now. When they fall back to earth, Tatis should be nearing a return to San Diego’s lineup.
9. Chicago White Sox (Previous: 3)
Things are not going well for the Chicago White Sox right now. Entering the first week of May, Chicago’s sluggers ranked 27th in runs scored (69), 26th in wRC+ (85) and had the second-highest Chase rate (34.6%) in MLB. It doesn’t help that Tim Anderson (51.4% Chase rate) and Luis Robert (3rd percentile walk rate) swing at everything atop the lineup.
Yet, there’s a reason we’re still pretty confident this can be one of the best MLB lineups moving forward. Robert’s 98th percentile expected batting average and slugging indicate he’ll start hitting baseballs in the right spots. Jose Abreu (.342 SLG vs .598 xSLG) is also being hurt by bad fortune and cold temperatures right now. When the temperature heats up, so will they and that will help turn things around quickly.
8. Atlanta Braves (Previous: 7)
Before Ronald Acuña Jr. returned to the lineup, Austin Riley (.571 SLG, 6 HR) and Matt Olson (.392 OBP, 146 wRC+) did the heavy lifting for the Atlanta Braves. They’ve needed it since Dansby Swanson (.291 OBP), Marcell Ozuna (.292 OBP) and Adam Duvall (56 wRC+) have been pedestrian, at best, with the bat. The thing about getting an MVP candidate back, it helps the entire lineup. Ozzie Albies (.455 SLG, 113 wRC+) slides down the batting order and it should help the Braves deliver runs more consistently.
7. Tampa Bay Rays (Previous: 10)
We wrote before the 2022 season that the Tampa Bay Rays would likely have one of the most productive MLB lineups despite having only one star. Sure enough, that’s unfolding after the first month. Wander Franco is doing at 21 years old (170 wRC+), .396 wOBA, 10.3% K-rate) that seem unfathomable for a hitter that young. Behind him, unheralded contributors Ji-Man Choi (223 wRC+ in 15 games), Taylor Walls (.407 OBP) and Yandy Diaz (.386 wOBA) are getting on and producing run-scoring opportunities.
Even as Randy Arozarena (68 wRC+), Brandon Lowe (76 wRC+) and Mike Zunino (.093/.190/.186) do nothing at the plate, Tampa Bay finds itself among the leaders in OPS+ (114). It’s not conventional, but it works for them.
6. Philadelphia Phillies (Previous: 5)
While the Bryce Harper injury might be keeping him from playing defense, he’s still finding ways to make things work at the plate. He’s not the reigning NL MVP right now – slashing .253/.316/.494 through 23 games – but he consistently drives in runs. The propelling forces for the Phillies lineup right now, which is top 10 in runs scored and top five in slugging – Kyle Schwarber (138 wRC+, 7 HR) and Nick Castellanos (135 wRC+, .358 OBP). Just behind the prized free-agent signings, Alec Bohm is putting it all back together at the plate (.309/.373/.455) and winning back Philadelphia’s hearts with each passing game.
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5. New York Mets (Previously: Unranked)
The New York Mets have one of the best records in baseball thanks to one of the best MLB rotations and a lineup that always finds ways to produce. A change in leadership seems to be exactly what Francisco Lindor (152 wRC+) needed to recapture his form. The biggest leap, though, is coming from Jeff McNeil (.361/.418/.528). New York boasts the third-best OPS+ (120) and is top five in runs scored without hitting for a lot of power. Of course, that could change if Pete Alonso (4 HR in 100 PAs) or Eduardo Escobar (1 HR in 95 PA) start driving the ball more.
4. Los Angeles Angels (Previous 9)
As so many MLB lineups struggled in the first month, the Los Angeles Angels cranked out home runs and clutch hits. The healthy version of Mike Trout means everything to this team. He’s crushing baseballs daily (255 wRC+, .766 SLG) and making an early case for his fourth AL MVP award.
Of note, Los Angeles leads the majors in wRC+ (126) and runs scored (110) even as Shohei Ohtani (99 wRC_) and Jared Walsh (87 wRC+) try resolving their woes at the plate. The unsung heroes are Taylor Ward (267 wRC+. 5 home runs) and Brandon Marsh (135 wRC+). Even when they regress, Ohtani will rebound. The Angels won’t be dropping from the MLB lineups ranks anytime soon, barring injury.
3. Toronto Blue Jays (Previous: 2)
The Toronto Blue Jays lineup got off to a slow start in part because of the Teoscar Hernandez injury. With the All-Star outfielder back, everyone in the batting order should benefit. George Springer (166 wRC+) remains one of the best leadoff hitters in MLB and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. remains a threat to win the Triple Crown even amid a softer start than anticipated. Just give Bo Bichette and Matt Chapman some time before this team starts producing stats that rank among the best MLB lineups.
2. New York Yankees (Previous: 8)
The Bronx Bombers are doing their thing. Entering the first week of May, New York ranked first in isolated power (.176), second in OPS+ (.122) and third in slugging (.425). It’s a credit to Anthony Rizzo, who turned back the clock to his prime years with a 205 wRC+ in April and a phenomenal 11.7% walk rate with nine home runs. Alongside him in the batting order, Aaron Judge entered ‘contract year’ mode with a 200 wRC+ and is one of the leading AL MVP candidates.
Don’t look too negatively on the slash line from Giancarlo Stanton (.256/.284/.415), he still ranks in the 100th percentile for average exit velocity, 98th percentile for barrel rate and is 95th percentile for Hard Hit rate. New York just needs either Gleyber Torres or Joey Gallo to start producing.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (Previous: 1)
The Los Angeles Dodgers aren’t among the most productive MLB lineups through the first month of the 2022 season. In fact, they ran outside the top 10 in OPS+ (106) and are just 10th in wRC+ (110). Despite that, this is still one of the best lineups in MLB. Freddie Freeman is living up to his contract and Mookie Betts is drawing a lot of walks (14.1%) as he starts to warm up following a cold start. There’s also reason to believe Trea Turner and Cody Bellinger are starting to round into form. With so many hitters off to slow starts in April, talent will keep the Dodgers in the No. 1 spot for now.