The Rays stay on top of the CBS Sports MLB Power Rankings

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Arozarena Homers Twice
(AP Photo/Erin Hooley)

CBS SPORTS – The Rays are 23-6 right now. They were one of the fastest teams in MLB history to 20 wins and have already topped 100 in run differential. It’s not as if they haven’t faced adversity, either, as there have been several injuries to prominent players. They have just been that damn good. 

RKTEAMS CHGRCRD
1RAYSIs it a bit disheartening to get out to this kind of start and still only have a 4 1/2-game lead? It has to be, right? At least just a little?25-6
2PIRATESAn area where the Pirates are making major headway this season is on the basepaths. The lead the majors in stolen bases and rank toward the top in bases taken and the percentage of baserunners to score a run. With the bigger bases and shift limitations, there’s an added emphasis on baserunning this season and the Pirates are making themselves a big beneficiary. 1120-11
3BRAVESSpencer Strider is just ridiculous. Wow. Keep in mind he was a fourth-round pick in 2020, so even the Braves passed on him multiple times. Quite a rise. 221-10
4BLUE JAYSI understand the concerns after last season and then the numbers from his first two starts, but José Berríos has a 1.42 ERA, 0.68 WHIP and 18 strikeouts in 19 innings in his last three starts. An awful lot of good signs across the board on him, actually. What a plus for the Jays if he is his old self. 118-13
5ORIOLESI assume they’ll take care of business in Kansas City to start the week and then there’s a nice, early-season-measuring-stick series in Atlanta. After that, the Orioles host the Rays. Fun stretch. Keep your eyes on ’em. 520-10
6DODGERSThe Dodgers have won six of eight and it seems like the series loss was more “running into a buzzsaw” (the Pirates?!?!?) and a rash of paternity leaves than anything else. 219-13
7ASTROSSmall sample? Yeah, but José Abreu definitely has me worried that he’s in his age-related decline. 516-15
8BREWERSOK, it’s May. Christian Yelich has had 117 plate appearances. He’s hit .223 with a .340 slugging percentage and has struck out nearly 30 percent of the time. If he was coming off his MVP-caliber seasons, it would be a slow start. We’re firmly in “trend” territory, though. 418-12
9PADRESThe Padres haven’t been more than two games over .500 all season. They are one game over right now and get the Reds for three games at home to start the week. Seems like a good time to get rolling before the Dodgers visit, right?17-15
10RANGERSThe best of times, worst of times, etc. … Jacob deGrom’s elbow injury followed by Nathan Eovaldi’s first career nine-inning shutout (he previously only had one and it was his last start last season in a game that ended after five innings). 118-12
11TWINSIn Byron Buxton’s last eight games, he’s hit five homers, doubled three times and has 11 RBI. 517-14
12PHILLIESGiven what they’ve gone through to this point in the season, it’s remarkable that the Phillies are already back over .500. And now here comes Bryce. 615-17
13METSThey’ve lost five of six, but the schedule is very soft for a few weeks once they finish with the Braves. 716-15
14DIAMONDBACKSWhat a total gut punch. Corbin Carroll was hitting .370/.460/.648 in the last 16 games before his injury.17-14
15YANKEESThe Yankees have lost six of eight and have looked every bit that bad in doing so. They are tied with the Red Sox for last place (that’s quite a sentence, huh?). 817-15
16MARLINSAnyone remember all the hand-wringing about run differential and record in one-run games regarding the 2012 Orioles? It was incessant and excruciating. I bring this up because the Marlins have a -35 run differential and are 10-0 in one-run games. Uh oh. 116-15
17CUBSThat Drew Smyly near-perfecto in a blowout against the Dodgers was awesome. The Cubs have gone 2-6 since then. Meanwhile, Christopher Morel and Matt Mervis are killing the ball in Iowa. The weird thing about the situation is that some moves seem to indicate that Jed Hoyer is content with not contending this season. If that’s the case, why not play the kids and let them develop at the big-league level? And if he is trying to win now, where are they? And why did Caleb Kilian start Saturday? Baffling roster decisions so far in Wrigleyville. 515-15
18ANGELSWhere did Anthony Rendon’s power go? He’s on a bit of a surge right now, hitting .304 with a .429 on-base percentage in his last six games, but he has zero home runs all season along with only three doubles and a pitiful .290 slugging. 217-14
19RED SOXTime to find out what the Red Sox are made of. They’ve got the Blue Jays (four games), Phillies (three) and Braves (two) here in the next week and a half. 418-14
20GUARDIANSThe Guardians already have five players with at least five stolen bases. 114-17
21MARINERSThey were exactly 12-16 at this point last season, too. Maybe that provides some hope, but do the Mariners really have another 14-game winning streak in them?14-16
22GIANTSThe revival of hope was short lived, as the Giants followed their five-game winning streak with three straight losses. 113-17
23REDSPost-hype breakout coming? Nick Senzel (remember him?) is 10 for 18 with a double, two homers and eight RBI in his last five games. 413-18
24CARDINALSIn seasons with at least 20 games played in March/April, this is the worst start in Cardinals history. They were 8-14 in 1988, 10-14 in 2007 and 9-12 in both 1969 and 1978. The Cardinals finished below .500 in all of those seasons except 1969. If we dropped the games played criterion down to 15, we’d have to go all the way back to 1932 (5-10) to find the only start worse for this franchise. 210-21
25TIGERSIf Eduardo Rodriguez keeps throwing like this into July, he’s going to be a big name on the trade block. He is signed through 2026, technically, but he has an opt-out clause after this season.12-17
26NATIONALSJosiah Gray was one of the main pieces the Nationals got back in the trade that sent Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to the Dodgers. Gray led the league in homers and walks allowed last season and had a rocky first start this year, but he’s been nails since. In his last five starts, he’s pitched to a 1.57 ERA.12-18
27WHITE SOXIt took a crazy, comeback walk-off homer to finally break the 10-game losing streak. Overall, it’s still pretty ugly. 310-21
28ROCKIESThe Rockies have never had a 100-loss season. They are currently on pace to lose 112.11-20
29ROYALSThe 21 losses tied a Royals record for losses in any month.8-23
30ATHLETICSThanks to the win on Sunday, the A’s are now on pace to go 34-128.6-25

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