With the calendar now turned to June, we have two months of the 2021 MLB season in the books.
At this point, there is a pretty good consensus forming around which teams have separated themselves as the best of the best this year.
There is still plenty of time for things to change, but for now, let’s rank the top five teams in the league.
5. Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox have come back to Earth after an extremely hot start, but the club still looks like one of the best teams in MLB.
Each player in that trio is enjoying a great year at the plate.
— Jamie Gatlin (@JamieGatlin17) May 29, 2021
J.D. Martinez is playing like an MVP candidate with a .328/.399/.587 slash line to go along with 12 home runs and 13 doubles.
Boston’s rotation has been good enough given how elite the team’s offense has been, and the same could be said about the bullpen.
Keep in mind, the Red Sox are still expected to get Chris Sale back at some point this season, which will obviously help to bring the rotation up a notch.
As far as getting the bullpen to the next level, Boston could use a reliable lefty, something the team should address at the trade deadline.
4. Chicago White Sox
MLB fans should buy Chicago White Sox stock now, because this team is on the verge of becoming one of the very best in the league.
Yermin Mercedes‘ historic rookie season has been well-documented.
He’s been the best bat in a loaded lineup.
However, Chicago’s rotation is what deserves the most attention.
The White Sox also have a solid bullpen ERA of 3.75, so pitching on the whole is not at all an area of concern for this squad.
This Chicago team is ready to make some noise this postseason.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers alarmed many with their 17-16 start to the season, but the club is now 31-22 with a +68 run differential.
The Dodgers are arguably the most well-assembled team in the league, and it’s surprising that they struggled at all for any length of time.
Besides Gavin Lux, every single player on the Dodgers’ roster has an above-average OPS+ (among players who have appeared in at least 30 games).
Max Muncy is having a monster season, batting .281 with a 1.005 OPS and 13 home runs.
Max Muncy styles home runs in so many different ways, and they’re all awesome, but this is some of his finest work. (BFG: 8.9) pic.twitter.com/GgmCiKFn1G
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) May 28, 2021
On the mound, Los Angeles has weapons on weapons.
The loss of Dustin May was devastating, but the other four starting arms in the LA rotation could conceivably all be named All-Stars.
The bullpen has been very serviceable with a 3.90 ERA.
The National League West will likely be a battle deep into the season with three teams in the mix.
2. Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays are extremely well-rounded.
At 34-20, the Rays lead the American League East.
The club has a +61 run differential and has won 15 out of 16 since May 13.
Tampa Bay has a great 3.49 bullpen ERA which ranks fifth in MLB.
Their starting pitching has managed a 3.40 mark, which ranks eighth.
Tyler Glasnow has been the rotation’s anchor with his breakout season.
Offensively, the team ranks 12th in all of baseball with a .719 collective OPS.
The Rays are the hottest team in baseball right now and it will be interesting to see if they’re able to sustain this success.
1. San Diego Padres
By most measures, the San Diego Padres are the best team in baseball this year.
The Padres are tied with the Rays for the best record in the Majors (34-20) and are alone at the top in run differential (+86).
Offensively, San Diego doesn’t blow you away.
But the Padres’ pitching staff has been historically good.
With the exception of Blake Snell, the Padres’ rotation has been elite top to bottom.
In fact, besides Paddack, all of those pitchers have ERAs of 2.57 or lower.
Snell has been the only struggling arm—he has a 5.55 ERA over 11 starts.
The Padres also have the best bullpen ERA in baseball at 2.35.
San Diego has played the seventh-easiest schedule thus far, so we’ll see if the team is able to maintain this level of success as the slate gets tough.