December 1, 2022

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Power Rankings: Race for No. 1 tightens up

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With April in the rearview mirror, some teams have wasted no time making their case for Major League supremacy — but plenty of others are surging as we shift to May.

So let’s have a look at our fourth edition of Power Rankings for the 2022 season, which features a logjam at the top, as well as a few sizable jumps and drops from last week.

Here’s how our voters ranked the 30 clubs, from top to bottom.

Biggest jump: The Angels, Marlins and Twins each made significant leaps this week, jumping eight spots apiece. The AL-West leading Halos cracked the top 10, going from No. 17 to No. 9, while Miami jumped from No. 21 to No. 13 and Minnesota followed suit by going from No. 22 to No. 14. The Angels have won seven of eight, while the Marlins just had their seven-game winning streak snapped on Sunday. The Twins, meanwhile, have rattled off wins in nine of their last 10 to open a three-game lead in the AL Central.

Biggest drop: The Cardinals dropped five spots as they continued along their rollercoaster start to 2022. One week after making the biggest jump in these rankings by moving from No. 10 to No. 5, the Cards moved right back to No. 10 after going 3-4 on a seven-game homestand that included dropping two of three to the Mets and splitting a four-game set with the D-backs.

1. Dodgers (last week: 1)
Los Angeles retains its hold on the top spot — but it was an incredibly tight race. After being the unanimous No. 1 in every vote so far this season, the Dodgers received only four of the nine first-place votes this time around, as the Yankees also received four and the Mets received the other. Overall, the Dodgers — who lead the Majors with a +47 run differential — received an average ranking that worked out to 2.2, narrowly edging out the Mets (2.3) and Yankees (2.4).

2. Mets (3)
The Mets provided one of the top highlights of the young season on Friday, when five pitchers combined to throw just the second no-hitter in franchise history. That set the tone for a series in which they took two of three from the rival Phillies, right after taking two of three from the Cards. Overall, the Mets’ 2.99 ERA ranks third in the Majors, while they also have scored the fourth-most runs and lead all teams with a .344 on-base percentage.

3. Yankees (7)
The Yankees’ nine-game winning streak was enough to catapult them four spots to No. 3 — but they also received the same number of first-place votes as the Dodgers. They also received a trio of fourth-place votes, ultimately placing the Bronx Bombers behind the rival Mets. The Yanks averaged 8.0 runs per game this week while outscoring their opponents 48-21 to run their overall run differential to +41 — second-best in the Majors.

4. Blue Jays (2)
Though the Blue Jays dropped a couple spots this week, it was more of a result of the other teams playing well than anything Toronto did wrong. After all, the Blue Jays took three of four from the Red Sox, then won two of three against the Astros. That said, Toronto will have its chance to move back up this week, as the club hosts New York on Monday to start a three-game AL East showdown against the first-place Yankees. The Blue Jays and Yankees are tied atop the MLB leaderboard with 31 homers apiece.

5. Giants (4)
It was a tough week for the Giants, despite playing around a pair of off-days. They split a two-game set with the A’s, then dropped two of three against the last-place Nationals while allowing 28 runs in those three contests. Still, San Francisco boasts one of the best all-around clubs in the Majors, ranking first in runs per game (5.0) and fifth in team ERA (3.06) — even after this weekend’s setback.

The rest of the field of 30:

6. Brewers (9)
7. Padres (8)
8. Rays (6)
9. Angels (17)
10. Cardinals (5)
11. Braves (11)
12. Mariners (10)
13. Marlins (21)
14. Twins (22)
15. Astros (12)
16. White Sox (13)
17. Rockies (15)
18. Red Sox (14)
19. Phillies (18)
20. Guardians (16)
21. Cubs (20)
22. Tigers (19)
23. Athletics (23)
24. D-backs (29)
25. Royals (24)
26. Rangers (27)
27. Pirates (25)
28. Nationals (26)
29. Orioles (28)
30. Reds (30)

Voters: Alyson Footer, Anthony Castrovince, Paul Casella, Mark Feinsand, Nathalie Alonso, Mike Petriello, Sarah Langs, Andrew Simon, David Venn, Brett Blueweiss

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