Major League Baseball

MLB Power Rankings: Red Sox crack top 10, Astros ascend

7 hours ago

By Ben Verlander
FOX Sports MLB Analyst

It was a wild week in Major League Baseball in which we saw the two best teams in the American League square off in the Bronx.

What resulted was the best series of the year thus far and could likely wind up being the best series of the season when all is said and done. Ultimately, the Astros and Yankees ended up splitting an intense series in which Houston even no-hit the Yankees for the first time since 2003.

Will that result in a shift at the top spot in the Power Rankings? Well, let’s find out.

Yankees, Padres, Mets, Dodgers lead this week's MLB Power Rankings

Ben Verlander gives us his MLB Power Rankings after Week 12 of the season and the Yankees, Padres and Mets lead this week's list.

10. St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals' offense has scored the third-most runs in the National League this season with Tommy Edman leading all of MLB in WAR. This pitching staff has some questions, and with Jack Flaherty not looking like himself and suffering another injury, they might need to find the answers to those questions elsewhere at the trade deadline. But for now, their offense is keeping them in the thick of things.

9. Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers have really impressed in the last few weeks. Their team is built around the big three in its rotation of Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, and Freddy Peralta. The last two of those three have been out for a month, and they have still found a way to win a lot of ballgames without them. Woodruff is coming back this coming week, which will certainly help them as they try to separate themselves in the division from the Cardinals.

8. Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays have been struggling of late and, as a result, have slid down the rankings a bit. I do still believe in the Jays and how talented they are — but at some point, they need to get going. If the season ended today, they would be in the playoffs along with three other AL East teams and nobody wants to face this offense. Despite not firing on all cylinders, the Blue Jays' offense still ranks fourth in MLB in batting average and third in OPS.

7. Boston Red Sox

For the first time in a couple of months, the Red Sox are back in the top 10. They have been knocking on the door for a little while and this week, they just burst right through that door. The Sox have won seven-straight games entering this week and are 19-4 in the month of June. 

6. Atlanta Braves

The Braves rank second in baseball in slugging percentage and have hit more home runs than every other team in the National League. They've also struck out more batters than anyone else in the league. That’s a pretty good recipe for success and in the month of June, there hasn’t been anyone much better than the Braves have been.

Marcell Ozuna puts Atlanta ahead

Atlanta takes a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the eighth after Marcell Ozuna went yard.

5. San Diego Padres

Last week, it appeared the Padres were going to be missing Manny Machado for a while after he suffered a gruesome injury. After some unexpected good news, it turns out the injury wasn’t as bad as it appears, and Machado should be back sometime this week.

Even without Fernando Tatis Jr. and Machado, the Padres are still hanging with the Dodgers in the NL West, and that alone is impressive. The starting pitching that has thrown nine shutouts this season — the fourth-most in MLB — and that's what is keeping these guys going in the right direction.

 4. New York Mets

The Mets fell one spot this week after getting leapfrogged by the Astros, whom they were swept by on the road. Other than that series this past week, the Mets have looked good and continue to lead the NL East by five games. Against the NL East this season, the Mets are an incredible 24-9.

Why the New York Mets are still World Series contenders

This week on "buy or sell," Ben considers whether the New York Mets are still World Series contenders.

3. Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers are very good and are still atop the talented NL West, but I have my concerns with this team. The bullpen is struggling to close out games with Craig Kimbrel on the mound, and Daniel Hudson, who had arguably been their best arm in the bullpen, is now done for the season with a torn ACL. The bullpen could be an issue we see them address at the trade deadline but in the meantime, their offense is doing more than enough to win ballgames.

Will Smith launches a game-tying homer

Will Smith blasts a game-tying home run against the Braves.

2. Houston Astros

The Astros showed this past week just how good they really are. They swept the Mets in Houston and then went on the road and split a series with the Yankees despite truly dominating in every facet of the game.

The Astros' great pitching no-hit the Yankees on Saturday and took a no-hitter deep into the game Sunday as well. They held the Yankees hitless for 16.1 consecutive innings, which is the longest hitless streak for a team since 1961. 

Astros, Yankees split epic series

Ben Verlander dives into why Houston is still the team to beat.

1. New York Yankees

The Yanks are still holding down that top spot even after a series in which they didn’t deserve to walk away with a split. This team is still the best team in baseball, and frankly it hasn’t even been very close for much of the season.

The Yankees are on pace to win 117 games and have gotten off to the third-best 73-game start since 1930. The Astros gave them a good fight, but it’s not time to knock the Yankees out of the top spot just yet.

Here’s to another exciting week of 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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