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MLB Power Rankings Week 5: Where does your team fall on our first list of May?

MLB, Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Miami Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays, Washington Nationals

Just over a month into the 2021 MLB season, no team has separated itself from the pack at the top of the standings just yet. 

In fact, heading into play Thursday, there are 12 teams within two games of Oakland's MLB-best 19-13 mark. For our MLB Power Rankings voters, that means the challenge of putting order to this year's teams is even greater than normal.

Have the Los Angeles Dodgers played themselves out of the No. 1 spot on our list? How high did a recent hot streak move the St. Louis Cardinals? And what about the New York Yankees and Houston Astros, as both show signs of playing up to their status as preseason heavyweights in the American League?

Here is what our eight-voter expert panel decided based on what we've seen in the first month-plus of the season. We also asked ESPN MLB experts David Schoenfield, Bradford Doolittle, Joon Lee, Jesse Rogers and Alden Gonzalez to weigh in with one Week 5 observation for all 30 teams.

Previous rankings: Week 4 | Week 3 | Week 2 | Week 1 | Opening Day

1. Los Angeles Dodgers

Record: 17-15
Previous ranking: 1

After dropping all three games of a series with the Cubs at Wrigley Field, the Dodgers have suffered 13 losses in a stretch of 17 games. Dustin May, who looked to be emerging as one of the game's brightest young pitchers, is lost for the season. Three high-end relievers -- Corey Knebel, Brusdar Graterol and Joe Kelly -- are on the injured list. Cody Bellinger is still out. And the lineup is slumping badly. There will be better days for the Dodgers. Eventually. -- Gonzalez


2. San Diego Padres

Record: 18-14
Previous ranking: 2

The Padres' most recent injury scare, centered on Dinelson Lamet and a tight right forearm, experienced an encouraging development Tuesday, with a couple of solid, injury-free innings. Padres manager Jayce Tingler said Lamet came out of that outing against the Padres feeling fine, and Tingler expects Lamet to make his next scheduled start. If Lamet is healthy, the Padres could have a real shot at the division (assuming they start hitting again). -- Gonzalez


3. Boston Red Sox

Record: 18-13
Previous ranking: 4

Boston struggled against the Rangers, dropping three of four games in Texas, but looks forward to a favorable schedule with three games against the Tigers and four against the Orioles. While chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom admits he has been surprised by the team's performance through the first month of the season, he also notes that the Red Sox will require consistency from the starting rotation of Eduardo Rodriguez, Nathan Eovaldi, Nick Pivetta, Martin Perez and Garrett Richards to remain in the playoff picture as the return of Chris Sale from Tommy John surgery looms. -- Lee


4. Oakland Athletics

Record: 19-13
Previous ranking: 3

Following a white-hot winning streak, Oakland cooled off by splitting a four-game series against Tampa Bay before losing two of three games to the Orioles. Reliever Lou Trivino had stepped up since the injury to prized free-agent acquisition Trevor Rosenthal before giving up five runs in Wednesday's loss to the Blue Jays. -- Lee


5. San Francisco Giants

Record: 18-13
Previous ranking: 5

The Giants' starting rotation, pieced together on the fly, is by far the best in the sport. Their offense has been carried by Buster Posey and Evan Longoria, two former All-Stars considered to be well past their primes. And a roster that ranks among the sport's oldest has provided some of the game's best defense this season. Yeah, the 2021 Giants certainly aren't short on surprises. -- Gonzalez


6. St. Louis Cardinals

Record: 18-13

Previous ranking: 18

The Cardinals are the team to watch in MLB right now after a weekend sweep in Pittsburgh and strong start to this week's series with the Mets. Carlos Martinez is finally rounding into form on the mound, but no one guy is carrying them. Yadier Molina went on the injured list, but that didn't stop St. Louis from moving up in the standings.  -- Rogers


7. Chicago White Sox

Record: 16-13
Previous ranking: 7

Do the White Sox have a center-field version of Yermin Mercedes? Mercedes emerged from the ether during the first month to fill the offensive void opened by Eloy Jimenez's preseason injury, OPSing over 1.000 for one of baseball's top early offenses, mostly as a DH. Now Luis Robert has joined Jimenez on the sideline for 12 to 16 weeks, if not longer, because of a hip injury. The White Sox have no obvious two-way replacement in the organization, though Adam Engel should at least be an adequate defensive replacement if he returns from a nagging hamstring injury at full capacity. -- Doolittle


8. New York Yankees

Record: 16-14
Previous ranking: 15

For all of the panic that coursed through Yankees fans in the first month of the season, a few good weeks catapulted the team into second place in the division. While improved pitching certainly plays a large role in the team's better fortunes in recent weeks, Giancarlo Stanton remains astronomically hot at the plate with an .500/.520/.896 slash line during his 11-game hitting streak. -- Lee


9. Houston Astros

Record: 15-15
Previous ranking: 12

Yuli Gurriel has been a key supporting performer for the Astros during their run of success in recent years. So far this season, Gurriel has looked more like a leading man, as he has been Houston's best hitter. His 24 runs created leads the Astros and ranks among the AL leaders. Gurriel posted a meager .658 OPS and drove in just 22 runs in 57 games last season. He was 36 years old, which could have meant that he was simply done. Instead, Gurriel has broken out so far at 37, with a .946 OPS and an RBI count (20) that is already approaching last year's figure. -- Doolittle


10. Milwaukee Brewers

Record: 17-14
Previous ranking: 6

The job Craig Counsell has done navigating myriad injuries already might win him NL Manager of the Year just for his work in April. The Brewers lost Corbin Burnes recently and still followed that up by winning three of four against the Dodgers. -- Rogers


11. Toronto Blue Jays

Record: 15-14
Previous ranking: 14

The returns of George Springer and Teoscar Hernandez provide a big spark of offense for Toronto. Springer missed most of April with a strained right quad but immediately hit two homers in his third game back. The questions around this team's postseason hopes center on its pitching staff. While Hyun Jin Ryu looks like one of the best pitchers in baseball, the team will need a continued strong performance from Robbie Ray, who has a 2.78 ERA in four starts this season. -- Lee


12. Tampa Bay Rays

Record: 17-15
Previous ranking: 9

With the Rays middling in the AL East and shortstop Willy Adames struggling at the plate, the days until we see the MLB debut of Wander Franco could be getting fewer and fewer. Luis Patino -- the top prospect Tampa Bay received in exchange for Blake Snell -- could help bolster the pitching staff. In three games so far this season, Patino has thrown 7.2 innings, striking out 10 batters with a 1.17 ERA and 0.52 WHIP. A small sample for sure, but an encouraging one for a player who the Rays hope will become a rotation anchor down the road. -- Lee


13. Kansas City Royals

Record: 16-13
Previous ranking: 8

Offseason signees Carlos Santana and Andrew Benintendi have come up big for the Royals over the past couple of weeks. Unfortunately, they haven't been getting enough support from the young holdovers KC was trying to augment with their acquisitions. Jorge Soler has hit just two homers despite being a lineup fixture and has struggled to get his average to .200. Hunter Dozier, after inking a contract extension during spring training, has been one of baseball's worst performers during the opening weeks of the season. The offseason aggression by the Royals was laudable, but it's not going to matter if the rest of the puzzle falls apart. -- Doolittle


14. Cleveland Indians

Record: 16-13
Previous ranking: 17

If you were to remove Jose Ramirez and Franmil Reyes from the equation, Cleveland might be at Detroit-like levels as baseball's worst offense. But having those two sticks in the lineup with both of them sizzling at the plate of late, Cleveland has climbed over .500 and into the middle of the AL Central race. It has been a thrillride: Cleveland has yet to win a one-run game but has nevertheless pulled off 10 come-from-behind victories. -- Doolittle


15. New York Mets

Record: 12-13
Previous ranking: 10

Well, one month into the Steve Cohen era of Mets ownership and we're now wondering: Is he going to be the second coming of George Steinbrenner? With the Mets struggling to score runs, the team fired hitting coaches Chili Davis and Tom Slater, a move that left players unhappy, and there is speculation the move came from Cohen more than the front office. Let's be honest: This is mostly about Francisco Lindor's struggles. If he was hitting .260 instead of .160, this probably doesn't happen, at least this early in the season. --Schoenfield


16. Atlanta Braves

Record: 13-16
Previous ranking: 11

Huascar Ynoa not only became the first Braves pitcher to homer in back-to-back starts since Lew Burdette in 1961, but he did it with a monster 427-foot grand slam. More importantly, the 22-year-old has a 2.95 ERA and has walked just eight batters in 34.1 innings. At this point, he looks like a good bet to remain in the rotation all season. -- Schoenfield


17. Philadelphia Phillies

Record: 16-15
Previous ranking: 26

In Sunday night's loss to the Mets, the team made five major defensive miscues: (1) Andrew McCutchen dropped a fly ball (ruled a double); (2) Nick Maton whiffed on a foul popup (not ruled an error, but not that difficult of a play); (3) Rhys Hoskins fell asleep after a hard grounder went off his glove and let a runner score; (4) Alec Bohm booted an easy grounder; (5) Zach Eflin threw away a double-play ball. They have to clean up the D. --Schoenfield


18. Washington Nationals

Record: 12-14
Previous ranking: 25

Remember when Victor Robles was compared to Ronald Acuna Jr. when both were prospects? Robles is looking more like a fourth outfielder these days. He doesn't hit the ball hard enough to generate much power (third percentile in hard-hit rate), his swing-and-miss rate is below average and, most troubling, his Statcast defensive metrics are not good either (27th percentile in outfielder jump rating). -- Schoenfield


19. Minnesota Twins

Record: 11-18
Previous ranking: 23

After plummeting to its nadir on offense, Minnesota began its climb back into contention by scoring more runs than any team in the majors over the past week. Byron Buxton has continued to perform like an MVP candidate, but he was already doing that. A new development has been the tear that rookie Alex Kirilloff has been on, giving the floundering Twins attack a needed shot of adrenaline. Kirilloff hit over .500 during one five-game stretch with his first four big league homers and 10 RBIs. -- Doolittle


20. Los Angeles Angels

Record: 13-16
Previous ranking: 13

Stop us if you've heard this before: The Angels aren't getting enough quality starting pitching. Amazingly, the same problem continues to hamper this team. As of Wednesday morning, the Angels' rotation sported the second-highest ERA and had logged the third-fewest innings -- even though none of their six starting pitchers have hit the injured list. -- Gonzalez


21. Seattle Mariners

Record: 17-15
Previous ranking: 20

After getting no-hit on Wednesday, the Mariners have still somehow gone 8-10 over their past 18 games despite hitting just .173 over that span (and a sad .201 on the season). They had six or fewer hits in 12 of those games. Triple-A Tacoma -- with Jarred Kelenic on the roster -- kicks off its season on Friday. Just thought you might want to know. --Schoenfield


22. Cincinnati Reds

Record: 14-15
Previous ranking: 21

Reds pitching took a collective dive last week, compiling the highest ERA in the NL, but the team continues to hit, keeping Cincinnati afloat in the standings. Nick Senzel is finally getting hot, while Tyler Naquin has been of MLB's biggest early surprises, but the Reds will be without Joey Votto for at least a month due to a fractured thumb. -- Rogers


23. Chicago Cubs

Record: 15-16
Previous ranking: 22

The Cubs' rotation has been awful, as Kyle Hendricks and Zach Davies aren't getting it done as soft-tossers working down in the strike zone and Jake Arrieta is now on the IL. Kris Bryant has led the charge on offense with a return to his prior elite form in the early going of 2021. -- Jesse Rogers


24. Arizona Diamondbacks

Record: 15-15
Previous ranking: 19

Remember when we assumed Madison Bumgarner was finished? Well, the 31-year-old left-hander has won each of his past three starts, one of which included seven innings of no-hit baseball. In that 17-inning stretch, he has allowed two runs on six hits and two walks, striking out 18. -- Gonzalez


25. Miami Marlins

Record: 13-16
Previous ranking: 24

Sandy Alcantara deserves more than his one victory through seven starts, as he has a 2.95 ERA and has gone at least six innings in six of those outings. He has been pretty efficient, topping out at 95 pitches so far, so let's see if Don Mattingly starts allowing him to go a little deeper into games moving forward. -- Schoenfield


26. Baltimore Orioles

Record: 15-16

Previous ranking: 27

John Means continues to solidify his spot among the game's better starting pitchers with Wednesday's no-hitter that just missed being a perfect game lowering his season ERA to 1.37 . Whenever Baltimore starts Means, they have a chance to compete with any team in baseball. -- Lee


27. Texas Rangers

Record: 15-17
Previous ranking: 26

Texas is treading water -- providing the occasional spoiler moment like it did in a come-from-behind win over the Boston Red Sox last week -- but the Rangers rank in the bottom half in both hitting and pitching. Isiah Kiner-Falefa has been a bright spot so far.


28. Pittsburgh Pirates

Record: 13-17
Previous ranking: 28

The fairy tale might be ending for the Pirates, who were swept at home and have stopped hitting after a decent start to the season. Pittsburgh ranked 14th in OPS last week and wasn't much better on the mound compiling a 5.73 ERA. The Pirates could use the return of Ke'Bryan Hayes from a hand injury. -- Rogers


29. Colorado Rockies

Record: 12-19
Previous ranking: 30

It's silly to put any stock in home-road splits so early in the season, but the Rockies' struggles away from Coors Field are impossible to ignore. They're 2-11 on the road this season, with a .631 OPS, a 6.14 ERA and a minus-35 run-differential. They've actually been a well-above-average team at home. -- Gonzalez


30. Detroit Tigers

Record: 9-22
Previous ranking: 29

Remember when we said that the 2021 Tigers were kind of fun? That wasn't all that long ago, but a complete lack of offense has quickly made Detroit the frontrunner to land the top overall pick in 2022. The numbers have been staggering. The Tigers are averaging fewer than three runs per game, have scored two or fewer in more than half their games and have been shut out six times. The Tigers are 7-2 when they score at least five runs, but 2-20 when they don't. And they usually don't. -- Doolittle

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