By Ben Verlander
FOX Sports MLB Analyst
We are one-third of the way through the Major League Baseball season, and we’re getting a good read on which teams are real and which teams were pretenders.
We even got our first managerial firing of the season, with Joe Girardi surprisingly getting the ax. Possibly as a result, the Phillies have gone on a tear and haven’t lost since.
Will that be good enough to land them in this week’s top 10? Let’s find out.
The Brew Crew are in first place in the NL Central, but they’re holding on by a thread in the power rankings right now. This team is built around pitching, but two of their three best starters are out. Willy Adames has also been out for a bit at the shortstop position, and all this hasn’t added up to a lot of wins of late for the Brewers.
The second-place team in the NL Central comes in just ahead in this week’s rankings. The Cardinals are definitely playing like the better ball club right now, with Paul Goldschmidt playing like the best baseball player on the planet. If the Brewers don’t get healthy soon, it won’t be long before the Cardinals take over that top spot in the Central.
Cardinals’ Paul Goldschmidt takes home player of the month honors for May
In Ben Verlander’s May honors, the St. Louis Cardinals’ Paul Goldschmidt takes home player of the month, while Aaron Judge, Mookie Betts and Rafael Devers headline the team of the month.
The Rays are sitting at 31-23, in third in the AL East, the best division in baseball. They aren’t in the best form right now, but they are certainly worthy of a spot in this week’s top 10.
The Twins aren’t fully healthy right now, and they aren’t playing particularly great baseball, but I am a big believer in this team. The knock on Minnesota was that they play in a week division and haven’t played anyone. Well, despite not playing their best or being at full strength, the Twins went into Toronto last weekend and won a series against a really good team.
Despite losing the weekend series to the Twins, the Blue Jays look like they’re back to being the team we all expected heading into this season. They are hitting well and winning a bunch of ball games, and as a result, they keep climbing back up the power rankings.
Should MLB transition to robot umpires?
Ben Verlander discusses the current relationship between teams and umpires. The 2022 season has seen an uptick in bad calls and confrontations. Could we be on our way to robot umpires?
I’ve talked a lot this year about the Padres and what Manny Machado has been doing to carry the team. But it’s time we give a massive amount of credit to their elite pitching staff. The Padres’ rotation is among the top five in baseball, and Joe Musgrove leads the National League with a 1.64 ERA. This rotation has been lights-out, and what this team has done without Fernando Tatis Jr. is remarkable.
Sixty or so games into the season, the Astros already have an 8.5-game lead over the rest of the AL West, even with some other teams being much improved. There was never a doubt, but this is the best team in the AL West and one of the best teams in baseball. Houston’s bullpen has been among the best in baseball, and as a result, they’re winning a lot more close games.
The Dodgers got swept by the Pittsburgh Pirates last week and then split a home series with a depleted Mets team. They’re one of the best teams in baseball, and their run differential shows that. However, you can’t get swept by the Pirates and not expect to move down. Also, the Dodgers have had the easiest schedule of any team in the league so far.
Aaron Judge & Pete Alonso are why New York stands atop the baseball world
Ben Verlander breaks down how the baseball world revolves around New York, with the Yankees clicking on all cylinders and the Mets continuing to surprise.
What the Mets continue to do even without their two co-aces is remarkable. They continue to step up and win ballgames. To be where they are without Jacob DeGrom or Max Scherzer is incredible and a big testament to the team ownership has built. The Mets have the best record in the National League, and the best pitcher on their team (and the planet) hasn’t thrown a single pitch this year.
MLB Power Rankings: The Yankees are the team to beat once again
Ben Verlander breaks down his MLB Power Rankings after Week 9, with the New York Yankees back in the top spot.
The Yankees are the best team in baseball, and it’s because of their pitching staff. Who would’ve expected to hear that before the season? But this rotation has been historically good. The “worst” ERA among the pitchers in the starting rotation is 3.03, and they are led by unsung hero Nestor Cortes, who sports a 1.50 ERA. This team is the whole package, and they once again find themselves atop this week’s power rankings.
Here’s to another exciting week around Major League Baseball!
Ben Verlander is an MLB Analyst for FOX Sports and the host of the “Flippin’ Bats” podcast. Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Verlander was an All-American at Old Dominion University before he joined his brother, Justin, in Detroit as a 14th-round pick of the Tigers in 2013. He spent five years in the Tigers organization. Follow him on Twitter @BenVerlander.
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