Blue Jays make big gains in latest MLB power rankings
A new week and a new month are upon us, and with that comes freshly updated MLB power rankings from around the industry.
With an 18-10 record and a recently snapped six-game win streak, the Toronto Blue Jays are making noise, and people around baseball are taking notice in the most recent sets of rankings.
After a superb week, in which they convincingly swept the White Sox and were in a position to sweep the Mariners out of town before a wild, late-inning comeback handed them their first loss since April 22, the Jays are asserting themselves as the contenders they claim, and hope, to be.
MLB.com's rankings see the Jays in third, rising four spots from their previous seventh-place position. Unsurprisingly, they trail the still red-hot Tampa Bay Rays, who sit at 23-6, and the 18-9 Atlanta Braves.
With a nine-game, three-city road trip on tap, MLB.com's Will Leitch rightly asserts that if the Jays are "still in the top five next week, things are really rolling."
The Athletic has the same top three in its newly released rankings (subscription required), with the Rays and Braves retaining their respective first and second-place positions and the Jays jumping all the way from ninth to third.
Author Nick Groke lists Kevin Gausman as the Blue Jays' "Employee of the Month," and you can't blame him. Gausman leads the majors with 54 strikeouts through the first month, with only six walks. He topped off his impressive start to 2023 with a career-high 13 strikeouts versus the Mariners on Saturday, helping the Jays secure their third straight series victory.
CBS has a slightly different take on the top teams in its May 1 power rankings update. The Rays still hold the top spot, but the surprising 20-9 Pittsburgh Pirates are in second, bumping the Braves to third and the Blue Jays to fourth. Last week, the Jays sat in third, but the author of the rankings, Matt Snyder, is taking the Pirates' hot start seriously, forcing Toronto down one spot.
FanGraphs' newest power rankings see the Blue Jays leapfrog a number of teams, moving up eight spots to sixth, behind the Rays (of course), Pirates, Rangers, Braves and division rival Orioles. Baltimore is off to a fantastic start and, with a 19-9 record, is managing to stay a step ahead of the Jays in these rankings and the AL East standings.
On a slightly different schedule, ESPN releases its power rankings each Thursday. With the Jays in sixth in the last update, there will undoubtedly be some movement in the next version. Last week's rankings have the Rays and Braves holding down the top two spots but then puts the Mets, Astros and Yankees ahead of Toronto. The next release should rectify that with the Blue Jays surging and the Bronx Bombers looking like, well, not the Bronx Bombers.