NBC Sports

MLB Power Rankings: Giants, A's skyrocket as April winds down

NBC Sports

This is the time of year when you look around at a friend, raise an eyebrow, and ask, "Is this team for real?"

Giants fans are asking that right now. Ditto with fans in Kansas City, Seattle and Milwaukee. In Oakland, they're dreaming of extending the window once again after a quiet offseason. In New York, they're chanting "Fire Boone" in one borough and "MVP" in another every time Jacob deGrom throws a pitch. 

And in Los Angeles and San Diego, they're catching their breath. 

The Dodgers and Padres played one of the most entertaining April series you'll see, and then did it again a few days later. They look like they're a cut above, as was expected, but there's plenty of movement elsewhere in MLB.

As we do every two weeks, here's a look at how we rank all 30 teams, with a few notes on old friends and #ForeverGiants ... 

30. Tigers (7-15): The top two picks in the 2018 draft got to the big leagues quickly but haven't starred yet. Joey Bart is back in the minors and Casey Mize, the only player taken ahead of him, has a 5.23 ERA in four starts this year. 

29. Rangers (9-13): Dane Dunning, the younger brother of former Giant Jake Dunning, looks like a keeper. He has a 3.06 ERA this season and is at 3.77 over 11 total starts in the big leagues. 

28. Rockies (8-13): They have a .546 OPS away from Coors Field, good news for a Giants pitching staff that's been red-hot to start the season. The teams start a three-game series Monday. 


27. Orioles (9-12): Every team gets one All-Star, and you might as well pencil in John Means for the Orioles. He has a 1.50 ERA through five starts. 

26. Pirates (11-11): Giants East is getting some good performances from familiar faces. Bryan Reynolds has a .858 OPS, Tyler Anderson has a 3.92 ERA, and Kyle Crick hasn't allowed a run out of the bullpen. 

25. Marlins (9-12): The Power Rankings Committee will miss watching Jazz Chisholm, a native of the Bahamas who wore a hoodie under his jersey during a cold series at Oracle Park, rocked different-colored shoes, hit a long homer and had a hilarious reaction to Alex Wood snagging his liner. 

24. Nationals (8-11): It's possible the 2019 champs are headed for a rebuild. They went 26-34 last year and have by far the worst run differential in the NL this month. 

23. Indians (9-11): Right-handed reliever James Karinchak has one of many pitching lines that have stood out around MLB this month: 8 1/3 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 18 strikeouts.

22. Cubs (10-11): Being used mostly as a pinch-hitter and third baseman, Matt Duffy is on track for his most appearances since 2018. He has a .240/.345/.280 slash line in 16 games. 

21. Angels (10-11): Think the Phillies, who continue to have late-game issues, regret letting Tony Watson walk at the end of camp? He has allowed four hits and one run in seven appearances for the Angels. 

20. Phillies (10-11): Farhan Zaidi has mostly been known for hitting on one-year deals so far, but he certainly picked the right target for his one attempt at a huge splash. Two years later, Bryce Harper is better than ever, with a .417 OBP, six homers and 1.132 OPS. 

19. Twins (7-13): The Rogers twins, natives of Colorado, might reunite at the All-Star Game in Denver in July. Taylor has opened his season with seven scoreless appearances and Tyler has a 1.23 ERA in a league-leading 14 appearances. 

18. Reds (9-12): Did you know Heath Hembree is in their bullpen? Well, Heath Hembree is in their bullpen. He was called up this week and made two scoreless appearances.  

17. Braves (9-12): A big early disappointment in large part because their pitchers have given up the seventh-most runs. Former Giants reclamation project Drew Smyly has allowed 15 runs and six homers in 15 innings. 

16. Diamondbacks (11-11): Madison Bumgarner's no-hitter should count, but even before seven spectacular innings Sunday, he was trending in the right direction. Bumgarner gave up one run on two hits in his previous start against the Nationals. 

15. Mariners (13-9): The team that gave the Giants so much trouble opening weekend has turned out to be pretty solid. They took a series from the Astros last week and this week split with the Dodgers and Red Sox to stay a game behind the A's. 


14. Cardinals (11-10): In a new home, Nolan Arenado is exactly in line with his 2020 numbers, which concerned the Rockies. He had a .252/.303/.434 slash line last year and is at .253/.303/.446 through 21 games with St. Louis. 

13. Rays (11-11): After bouncing around for a couple of years, Hunter Strickland has found a home in a deep Rays bullpen. He has 10 strikeouts and has allowed just two runs in 7 2/3 innings. 

12. Blue Jays (10-11): Joe Panik is batting .286 but also has a .286 OBP since he hasn't drawn a walk yet. Former A's star Marcus Semien has a .287 OBP but has hit five homers. 

11. Royals (13-7): A franchise we all got to know well in 2014 kinda built like the Giants over the offseason, going after proven veterans as they wait for their top prospects to arrive. Both teams are being rewarded so far for being active while many teams sat out the offseason. 

10. Yankees (9-12): How often do you think Giants ownership gets together and toasts to the fact that Giancarlo Stanton and his contract didn't want to play here? He played just 41 games in 2019-20 and has a .664 OPS this season. 

9. Astros (10-11): Zack Greinke is the best quote around and also still pitching like an ace. He has a 2.76 ERA and 1.10 ERA, leading a staff that has struggled early on. 

8. Mets (9-8): Yeah, the 0.31 ERA, 50 strikeouts and 1,237 ERA+ (seriously, that's not a misprint) are nice, but Jacob deGrom is also on pace to become the last pitcher to ever win a Silver Slugger Award. He's 6-for-11 through four starts. 

7. Giants (14-8): Half of their wins so far have come against the Marlins and Rockies. We'll know a lot more about the Giants after the next two weekends, when they visit the Padres and then host them.

6. Red Sox (14-9): Former Giants first-rounder Christian Arroyo might finally be grabbing a consistent role in the big leagues. The 25-year-old has been Boston's primary second baseman and has a .296/.345/.426 slash line. 

5. Brewers (13-8): Don't hand deGrom that Cy Young Award just yet. In four starts, Corbin Burnes has 40 strikeouts and zero walks and has allowed just one run. 

4. White Sox (12-9): Nobody is really talking about them, but they lead the AL in run differential and have opened up a healthy lead on the Twins, their real competition over 162 games. 

3. A's (14-8): Imagine being the guy who dropped them down to No. 20 in the previous edition of MLB Power Rankings after a slow start and then watched them reel off 13 wins in a row. Couldn't be me!


(it was me)

2. Padres (13-11): Over a span of three days, Fernando Tatis Jr. hit five homers off Clayton Kershaw, Trevor Bauer and Dustin May and trolled Bauer in-person and on social media. His team took four of the first seven this season from the Dodgers in very, very entertaining games. 

1. Dodgers (15-7): Still the best team, but the road to another NL West title won't be easy. The Padres are just about their equal and not at all afraid of them, and the Giants played the Dodgers tough in recent years when they had much less talent than they do now. Should be a fun summer. 

Download and subscribe to the Giants Talk Podcast