Memorial Day weekend has always been loosely considered a significant point on the baseball calendar. By this time, teams that are likely to be relevant in their division races in September are starting to separate themselves from the pack, while you may see others who played a little over their heads early on start to fall back a little bit.
What hasn’t changed much over the past several weeks is the caliber of play from the elite teams, including the Dodgers, Yankees and Mets. They’ve mostly landed in the top three in some manner for a while now, and as we inch toward June, very little is different. What separates the Dodgers is run differential — they’re the only team in baseball registering a triple-digit positive number.
Biggest jump: The Rangers jumped four spots, from 22 to 18. After a rough start, things are looking up for Texas, which went 5-5 on its recent 10-game intradivision road trip through Houston, Anaheim and Oakland.
Biggest drop: The Mariners dropped three spots, from 18 to 21. The M’s, idle on Monday, took two of three from Houston over the weekend. But it’s been a rough go for Seattle, which is still looking to find its footing after starting the season with such high expectations. Even with the series win over the Astros, the Mariners have lost seven of 10.
Here are the final Power Rankings of May:
1. Dodgers (33-15, last week: 2)
DraftKings World Series odds: 4.25-1
Entering Memorial Day, the Dodgers were winners of 13 of 15 and had outscored opponents 93 to 43 during that stretch. They were also on pace for a +410 run differential, one shy of the modern-day Major League record of +411, set by the 1939 Yankees. They began a home stretch on Monday with recent history on their side — they were an MLB-best 15-5 at home as they opened the series with the Pirates, although they dropped the opener.
2. Yankees (33-15, last week: 1)
DraftKings World Series odds: 5.5-1
The Yankees were idle on Monday, a much needed breather after playing 23 games in 22 days. Though that stretch ended on a sour note with two losses to the Rays to split the four-game set in Tampa, it did little to detract from the season the Yankees are having. One of the biggest differences from last year? Their performance against division rivals. They’re 19-10 vs. the AL East so far — last year, they were 36-40.
3. Mets (33-17, last week: 4)
DraftKings World Series odds: 8.5-1
The Mets’ flair for the dramatic continued on Sunday with another come-from-behind win, one of several this season, which gave them a whopping 9 1/2-game division lead over Atlanta. That’s the largest lead in the Majors, and also the largest in Mets history through Monday’s play. They’re currently the only team in the NL East with a winning record, and pushed the Phillies’ division deficit to double digits with a weekend sweep.
4. Astros (31-18, last week: 3)
DraftKings World Series odds: 7.5-1
The Astros are firmly planted in first place in the AL West and have won seven of 11, including Monday’s win in Oakland. Their pitching has been fabulous — even before Framber Valdez’s complete game in the opener with the A’s, Houston’s pitchers had compiled a 2.53 ERA over its prior 11 games. Offensively, while the lineup is not quite the juggernaut it has been in past years, it’s still plenty good. Rookie Jeremy Peña is hitting .356 (26-for-73) with four homers and 13 RBIs in his past 21 games.
5. Padres (30-18, last week: 6)
DraftKings World Series odds: 15-1
A recent stumble hasn’t dimmed the optimism surrounding the Padres, who have managed to mostly keep pace with the Dodgers in the NL West despite dropping four of their past six games. Including their loss to the Cardinals Monday, the Padres are in the midst of a 10-game stretch during which they’ll play teams currently in a playoff position (Cardinals, Brewers, Mets). They’re 6-7 vs. teams that are playing at a .500 clip or better, and 24-11 against teams with losing records.
The rest of the field of 30:
Voters: Alyson Footer, Anthony Castrovince, Paul Casella, Mark Feinsand, Nathalie Alonso, Mike Petriello, Sarah Langs, Andrew Simon, David Venn, Brett Blueweiss.