After a shortened 60-game 2020 MLB season, we’re already past that point in baseball’s return to a 162-game schedule with the All-Star break now less than a month away. What does that mean for your favorite team in our Week 11 MLB Power Rankings?
The Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago White Sox both suffered significant injuries this week, but was that enough to drop them from the two top spots on our list? Which of the AL West’s red-hot teams — the Houston Astros, Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels — made the biggest leap? And how far did another rough stretch from their struggling offense drop the New York Yankees?
Here is what our eight-voter expert panel decided based on what we’ve seen in the first two-plus months of the season. We also asked ESPN baseball experts David Schoenfield, Bradford Doolittle, Joon Lee, Jesse Rogers and Alden Gonzalez to weigh in with one Week 11 observation based on what they have seen recently for all 30 teams.
Previous ranking: 1
The loss of Tyler Glasnow to a UCL injury is a big blow to Tampa Bay, which will now have to rely heavily on Rich Hill, Ryan Yarbrough, Shane McClanahan and Michael Wacha. Randy Arozarena continues to have a strong season, while Austin Meadows has bounced back from his lackluster 2020 season, although his .234 batting average could use some improvement. — Lee
Previous ranking: 2
The upside of the news that Nick Madrigal‘s hamstring injury is a season-ender is that the White Sox at least know they need a rest-of-the-season solution at second base, not just a stopgap. In the short term, the White Sox will continue to use utility players Danny Mendick and Leury Garcia at the position. In the minors, the White Sox have veterans Marco Hernandez and Tim Beckham both playing for Triple-A Charlotte. One out-of-the-box idea is to move Yoan Moncada back to the keystone and recall prospect Jake Burger, who is hitting well in the minors. That notion probably causes more problems than it solves. Chicago is likely going to be attached to any middle infielder on the trade rumor mill, with the ideal fit being Pittsburgh’s Adam Frazier, who offers a Madrigal-like skill set. — Doolittle
Previous ranking: 5
When the Dodgers first signed Albert Pujols, he was a luxury — a future Hall of Famer who would be used mostly for late-game pinch-hitting. But since that surprise acquisition, the Dodgers have lost Corey Seager, Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger to the injured list, prompting extended first-base time for the 41-year-old Pujols. Muncy (oblique) and Bellinger (hamstring) could both return from short stints next week, but Pujols will continue to be counted on. And so far, he’s contributing. In his first 70 plate appearances with the Dodgers, Pujols hit .273/.314/.530 with five home runs and 13 RBIs. — Gonzalez
Previous ranking: 3
It has become increasingly clear, despite what their preseason projections might have looked like, that the Giants need to be active in acquiring veteran players at the trade deadline instead of transitioning into the next phase of their development. Given that, the Giants will undoubtedly take a strong look at the ninth inning. Jake McGee and Tyler Rogers have basically split the closer’s role and combined for a WHIP below 1.00. But the Giants have already blown 14 saves this season and need to do better there if they hope to stay relevant in the hyper-competitive National League West. — Gonzalez
Previous ranking: 7
Oakland continues to bounce back in May following a lackluster June with an 11-2 record in the month. Mark Canha continues to lead the way for the team, hitting .256/.380/.467 with 11 homers, while Matt Olson looks like one of the best hitters in the sport, hitting .289/.373/.600. Olson’s 18 homers are tied with Ronald Acuña Jr. and Shohei Ohtani for…
Read More: MLB Power Rankings Week 11