UPDATED: May 9, 1:45 PM EST
The 2021 Major League Baseball season rolls on as we approach the end of April and there are plenty of changes in our latest MLB power rankings.
More than a month into the season, it’s time for huge changes. After a hot start, the Los Angeles Dodgers are slumping and that’s created an opening in the power rankings. While some early World Series favorites struggle, the San Francisco Giants and Boston Red Sox are surprising everyone.
Let’s dive into our latest MLB power rankings for the 2021 season, updated every weekend.
1. Chicago White Sox (3)
It’s rather remarkable that Chicago leads MLB in run differential (+47), given the long-term absences of Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert. But it’s a huge credit to this pitching staff, with Carlos Rodon (0.58 ERA) at another level just a few months after being released. Through it all, the White Sox are proving they can contend for the World Series.
2. San Diego Padres (2)
San Diego had a shot to take the No. 1 spot in the MLB power rankings, but dropping the series to the San Francisco Giants proves costly. A trip to Coors Field creates an opportunity for the Padres’ bats to come alive before facing a St. Louis Cardinals club that is really turning things around.
3. Boston Red Sox (5)
Boston is taking its cans on a roller coaster ride this season. Things got rough last week, losing a series to the Texas Rangers and sliding to 17-12. But the Red Sox are finding their way back up the MLB standings, taking care of business against the Detroit Tigers and Baltimore Orioles.
4. San Francisco Giants (8)
Buster Posey seemingly discovered the Fountain of Youth. The 34-year-old boasts a stellar .397 batting average and 1.231 OPS this season, with more home runs in 21 games (8) than he had in 405 at-bats two years ago (7). Pair that with this excellent pitching staff, Posey becomes an underrated NL MVP candidate.
5. Los Angeles Dodgers (1)
It all came apart so quickly for the Los Angeles Dodgers. They were playing like the reigning World Series champions and an unstoppable force early, rolling to a 13-2 record. It all came crashing down after that, with Los Angeles winning just four of its last 14 games. The StatCast data says Dodgers’ hitters have been unlucky and things should return to normal, but this is an ugly stretch.
6. Oakland Athletics (6)
When the A’s pitching staff is on, this team is capable of beating anyone. But injuries have also started to rock this rotation, with Mike Fiers and Jesus Luzardo hitting the injured list. Oakland will likely be a competitive team all year, especially if its sluggers heat up, but there isn’t quite enough here to compete for the World Series.
7. Milwaukee Brewers (4)
The Brewers’ injured list keeps growing and this club keeps clawing its way to victories. But there is reason for concern. Christian Yelich is on the IL for the second time due to a back issue and Freddy Peralta showed in his last start that he might be a shaky mid-rotation starter over a full season. As long as Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes can take the mound, Milwaukee will be competitive.
8. St. Louis Cardinals (15)
St. Louis is finding its way back, climbing atop the NL Central and putting the rest of the National League on notice. The Cardinals floated around the .500 mark in April, but they are dominating since the calendar flipped to May. This week’s matchups against the Brewers and Padres will be a great litmus test to determine how legitimate this hot streak is.
9. New York Yankees (11)
Things looked pretty bleak on April 26. After losing to the Baltimore Orioles, New York dropped to 9-13 and many started speculating about big changes. The Yankees just needed some time, following that up with an extended winning streak and carrying a 17-16 record into Sunday’s action. This isn’t a great team right now, but the potential to win the AL exists.
10. Houston Astros (7)
A trip to Yankee Stadium served as a reminder for the Astros about how many fans still feel about this team and how difficult the road to an AL pennant will be. Houston’s lineup can get the job done when everyone is healthy, but it can’t afford inconsistent pitching from the bullpen. Fortunately, there’s plenty of time for the Astros to address that via trade.
11. Toronto Blue Jays (12)
The Blue Jays seem to like playing against quality opponents. After ending the last weekend with a series victory over the Atlanta Braves, Toronto responded with a four-game split over the Athletics. George Springer is back on the IL, but this rotation is showing signs of progress and the Blue Jays’ lineup can still rack up the runs without an All-Star outfielder.
12. New York Mets (14)
Was it a rat or a raccoon? We may never know the truth behind the skirmish in the tunnel between Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil, but everyone in New York is starting to feel better about this club. The Mets split a four-game set in St. Louis and then took the series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Best of all, Jacob deGrom avoided a trip to the IL and the Mets should start climbing back up the standings.
13. Cleveland Indians (18)
Cleveland has won 10 of its last 13 games, navigating through the AL Central to blow past the Minnesota Twins and closing in on the White Sox. We’re still not sold on the lineup, which still hasn’t cracked 150 total runs across 32 games, but a dominant pitching staff can certainly help a team float above .500 and go through stretches like this one.
14. Atlanta Braves (13)
It might be time for Braves’ players to start sticking up for Ronald Acuña Jr. Opponents are pitching way inside against him and it often seems like Atlanta’s clubhouse lets that slide. It’s about more than Acuña being the star of this franchise, he is carrying this lineup right now. Maybe a benches-clearing incident will provide a spark to the likes of Freddie Freeman (.761 OPS) and Dansby Swanson (.646 OPS) and they can defend their teammate in the process.
15. Tampa Bay Rays (16)
The Rays are treading water right now and something needs to change. Brandon Lowe (.672 OPS_ and Willy Adames (.221 OBP) simply aren’t getting the job done. Meanwhile, Wander Franco and Vidal Brujan are proving they are way too good for Triple-A pitching. If the Rays’ organization is interested in fielding the best team, it’s time to promote some of their best players.