By David Weiss
Now that June is over, it is time to go over where each team stands. My ranking system is a simple calculation of the team’s record.
1- Red Sox (May rank- 1)
This team is so well built offensively it is scary. Almost everyone contributes. Finding a weakness is not a simple task. Catching and second base are the only holes on this team and even those are not terrible.
2- Yankees (May rank- 2)
Here is a terrifying stat. The Yankees already have seven players to have double digit homeruns. That means that they could end up with 7 twenty homerun hitters, which would tie them for the all-time record. If one of their other players like Brett Garner or Greg Bird picks it up, they could be the first team ever with 8 twenty homerun hitters.
3- Astros (May rank- 4)
This team knows how to manufacture runs as well as anyone else in the game. They are second in the majors in runs scored. They have the best team ERA and WHIP, which is why they are ahead of Seattle… for the time being.
4- Mariners (May rank- 5)
It looks like the longest postseason drought will come to an end. They have a strong lead in the wild card race. The encouraging part is that they had some nice wins this month against division rivals. The discouraging part is that they went 3-7 against the Yankees and Red Sox, which indicates they may not be built for a long playoff run.
5- Brewers (May rank- 3)
I bet not many expected Milwaukee to have the best NL record at this point. Jesus Aguilar has gone from a very good player to an all-out masher. The main cause of concern is the recent Lorenzo Cain injury.
6- Braves (May rank- 6)
Markakis, Albies and Freeman are crushing it. The pitching has been strong. The main red flag is that Teheran and McCarthy have been shaky. If they either straighten it out or Atlanta gets outside help, this team has the potential for a deep October run.
7- Cubs (May rank- 9)
They lead the majors in team OBP. They have 5 batters who are top 50 in batting average. Most impressively Almora is finally emerging as the star the Cubs thought he would be when he was drafted 6th overall in 2012. If they want to catch the Brewers, their starters will need to step it up. If they do not, we could see them trade for a big gun at the trade deadline.
8- Diamondbacks (May rank- Tied 15)
This may be the most schizophrenic team in baseball. They ended April with an NL best record of 20-8. They did a 180 and went 8-19 in May. They have done another 180 and had a June record of 19-9. Only the lord knows what July will bring.
9- Athletics (May rank- Tied 15)
What are the odds? The baseball gods must be laughing at Oakland. Normally a team that is 8 games above .500 at this point in the season is looking to see how they can add a couple of players to secure a playoff spot. With the fact that the AL postseason slots look locked up, it is not clear what Oakland should do to try to improve their team.
Tied 10- Indians (May rank- 11)
After a blowout loss on May 25, the Tribe was a game below .500 on the season and things were starting to get ugly. After that, they went on a 19-8 run while the rest of the division continued to falter. Jose Ramirez has been a monster but the boys in the pen need some help.
Tied 10- Phillies (May rank- 8)
They have been able to tough out a lot of close games this month, as they had seven games won by a single run. However, they have no shortage of flaws. Kingery, Altherr and Alfaro have all been struggling at the plate. They rank 22nd in bullpen ERA, 25th in team batting average, yet if the season were to end today they’d be in the playoffs. If they don’t pick up their game, I don’t see this lasting.
12- Dodgers (May rank- Tied 19)
They have gotten right back into the race by bludgeoning teams to death. They have hit an eye-popping 55 blasts this month. Bellinger and Hernandez were the main culprits. With a June record of 17-9, LA is right back in the division race.
13- Giants (May rank- Tied 19)
Mccutchen really improved in June, while Crawford has been great all year long. Holland and Suarez both had some really good starts as well. They have been one of the hottest NL teams in June with a record of 18-10. The problem is that LA and Arizona have been just as hot.
14- Nationals (May rank- 7)
Daniel Murphy has finally returned but he hasn’t done anything of relevance yet. The Matt Wieters injury has been tough since Pedro Severino hasn’t gotten it going. Harper will need to turn it up a notch if the Nats want to make the postseason this year.
15- Cardinals (May rank- 10)
Dexter Fowler has become a real liability. However, Harrison Bader has been great defensively and good enough offensively. The Cards need to play him and bench Fowler. I think that Cardinals have a really underrated bullpen that makes up for a lot of their shortcoming.
16- Angels (May rank-Tied 12)
The Ohtani injury is a true loss for the game as a whole. However, he is just one of many injuries. Cozart, Meyer, Middleton, Ramirez, Shoemaker and Wood are all likely to miss the rest of the season. It is no wonder that they are in the midst of a 6-13 funk.
17- Rays (May rank- Tied 15)
Matt Duffy has done a remarkably good job replacing Longoria. Blake Snell is finally emerging as the star many thought he could be. If only, their division weren’t so hard, they could have been in a playoff hunt.
18- Rockies (May rank-Tied 12)
If June was a good indicator of anything it is that Colorado struggles against good teams. This month they were 4-10 against the D-Backs, LA, Philly and SF. If they want to make the playoffs, they need to turn this around since these division rivals won’t pity them.
Tied 19- Blue Jays (May rank-22)
The window for the Jays closed a year ago. Now they are just stumbling around. Martin and Morales have both had major declines. Donaldson is injured and has little trade value. The rotation is weak and Stroman has been a disaster. While their record isn’t horrendous, they aren’t a good team.
Tied 19- Pirates (May rank- 14)
This team has a respectable lineup but no one who is fearsome. It is like everyone is a solid player but no one is a star. The same can be said for their pitchers which is why they are in the .500 vicinity.
21- Rangers (May rank- 25)
Beltre hasn’t been hitting for power but his average is great. Choo is showing that he isn’t over the hill yet. The problem is that Hamels is their only good starter. Their rotation has an ERA of 5.22 and a WHIP on 1.43, which is why it has given up the most runs in baseball.
22- Twins (May rank- 24)
Much of the baseball world was shocked to see Sano demoted to the minors. However, it was the right move. Eddie Rosario is having a fantastic season and Eduardo Escobar has been great offensively. On the other hand, Brian Dozier, Robbie Grossman and Max Kepler have all regressed. I think that Rodney will be gone at the trade deadline and they should start to retool for 2019.
23- Padres (May rank- 23)
Villanueva has had a rough last two months. Galvis has brought over his bad habits from Philly. Hosmer is hitting well but has no protection as they have the worst OPS in the NL. The only offensive categories they lead in are times whiffed and caught stealing.
24- Tigers (May rank- Tied 19)
Two weeks ago, it looked like the Tigers were going to give Cleveland a scare. Eleven loses later, it looks like they are trying to get another first overall draft pick. McCann, Machado, Martinez and Jones are under-performing and Detroit looks unbelievably bad now that Cabrera is out for the season.
25- Reds (May rank- 28)
After a loss in early May, the Reds were 8-27, which was a shocking 19 games below the .500 mark. Since that point, they have gone 27-21 thanks to a couple of nice winning streaks. However, they have arguably the worst rotation in the game which is why I don’t see them getting out of last place in the division.
26- Marlins (May rank- Tied 26)
In today’s home run oriented game, this team just doesn’t have power. True they already have four guys with ten or more home runs. The problem is everyone else. While they are copying the Atlanta model of a young team, they have too many guys just not performing. Maybe in a year or two, things will be different.
27- Mets (May rank- 18)
So much is going wrong with this team. Every individual stat makes you want to pull your hair out. Bottom line is that since the beginning of May, they have won just one series.
28- White Sox (May rank- 30)
This season stinks. There is no way around it. The Chi Sox are just terrible to watch. The fact that they have given up so many unearned runs makes fans simply hate watching. The good news is that they have eight prospects on MLB’s top 100 list so a bright future may be just around the corner.
29- Royals (May rank- Tied 26)
Thought things couldn’t get any worse? Jorge Soler’s broken foot means that their best bat is out until around August. As a team they rank worst in OPS, runs scored and ERA. Their pitchers have given up the most homeruns and hitters have hit the fewest. Someone needs to put this team out of their misery already.
30- Orioles (May rank- 29)
Their batters are last in the majors in OBP for the season, and their pitchers are last in WHIP. This means that their offense puts the fewest guys on base while their pitchers put the most on base. The fact that their fielders have the worst defensive efficiency rate, makes them beyond awful. It is no shock that they have the worst record in baseball.
(David Weiss is a lifelong Mets fan. He has lived in Israel since 2008 and runs the Facebook page Jewish Mets Fans.)