NEW UPDATE: Guardians hold steady in the top

At, we have a stellar staff that works extremely hard to observe every club as closely as possible and rank them in the most objective and analytical way possible. But if you don’t mind, we’d like to talk about how much fun our jobs are, even though all we do is watch baseball all day! This year, creating the rankings is really difficult!

This is the evidence: In baseball, there are just 11 teams that are playing above.500. Only one team, the Cardinals, are at.500. Additionally, just four clubs are more than six games below.500, making them easily deemed out of the postseason competition. This indicates that there are precisely… 1 1/2 games separating our No. 11 club (the Padres) from our No. 25 team (the Mets, who recently swept the Padres!). That’s 15 teams in between them! How do you slice that ham thinly? We’ll confess to have no idea. We’re doing our best.

These rankings, as always, are compiled from rankings from contributors whose names you can find at the bottom of this (and every) piece, but the words are mine. If you dislike the rankings, yell at all of us. But if you dislike the words, feel free to yell at me.

1. Yankees (previously: 2)
Season high: 1 | Season low: 7
The Yankees have just gone through a stretch of schedule as brutal as any team in baseball: Since June 4, they’ve played the Twins, Dodgers, Royals and Red Sox at Fenway Park. They mercifully finally get a day off on Monday, but there’s no rest after that: They’ll face the Orioles in what should be a gripping series at Yankee Stadium, with the Braves on tap just after that. The Yankees keep passing every test. Can you believe how nervous everyone was about them heading into the year?

2. Phillies (previously: 1)
Season high: 1 | Season low: 8
The Phillies returned from London for two road series on the East Coast vs. AL East teams, and it’s fair to say the Phillies didn’t have a very good time. They lost two of three to both the Red Sox and the Orioles, and the issue was the pitching: They gave up 35 runs in six games, with both Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola getting knocked around on the trip. They’ll get some good news this week: The return of Trea Turner from the injured list.

3. Orioles (previously: 4)
Season high: 1 | Season low: 5
The much-heralded starting pitching matchup between the Orioles’ Corbin Burnes and the Phillies’ Zack Wheeler never quite came to fruition on Sunday, for a reason pitchers who face the Orioles run into a lot: The Orioles launching baseballs all over the yard. The Orioles hit four homers off Wheeler — he’d only given up six all season coming in — and, surprisingly, none of them was hit by Anthony Santander … who is MLB’s home run leader for the month of June.

4. Dodgers (previously: 3)
Season high: 1 | Season low: 6
So! It was quite a weekend at Chavez Ravine! The Dodgers took two of three from the Royals, but they might have given one or two of those wins back if it meant the rest of the weekend hadn’t happened. On Saturday, Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s went down with what was thought to just be a triceps injury but was revealed on Sunday to be a rotator cuff issue, meaning he’ll be out at least a few weeks. Also on Sunday came the crushing news that Mookie Betts fractured his hand when he was hit by a 98 mph fastball from the Royals’ Dan Altavilla in the seventh inning. It looked awful when it happened, and while the news is certainly not “good,” the fact that manager Dave Roberts said after the game that Betts wouldn’t need surgery means Betts won’t miss the rest of the season. But still: It’s a broken wrist. It’s going to be a while until we see Mookie Betts again. And Yoshinobu Yamamoto. The Dodgers season just went haywire — and fast.

5. Guardians (previously: 5)
Season high: 3 | Season low: 21
The Guardians were lambasted for their lack of offseason moves, and many wondered how they expected to improve on a disappointing season without adding anyone. But under new manager Stephen Vogt, the most striking improvement has been on defense, particularly in the infield, led by shortstop Brayan Rocchio, who has instantly established himself as one of the best gloves in the game. “Our defense has been phenomenal all year,” Vogt said. “It’s a big reason why we’re in the position we are.”

6. Brewers (previously: 6)
Much was made out of Snoop Dogg’s visit to the Brewers’ booth on Saturday night — particularly when he FaceTime’d with Bob Uecker, though I’ll confess I’ve always assumed those guys are FaceTiming each other all the time — and the Brewers are a team that just keeps having fun lately, winning three straight series. As the rest of the NL Central jostles for position beneath them, the Brewers just keep winning games and series: They’re putting themselves in position to even battle the Dodgers for the first-round bye.

7. Mariners (previously: 7)
Season high: 7 | Season low: 21
For a while this year, it looked like the Mariners were wasting a terrific opportunity. The Rangers and Astros were off to miserable starts, opening the door for Mariners to take firm control of the AL West. They were wobbly, though, bobbing around .500 and letting the Rangers and Astros hang around. Well: The Mariners are in the middle of trying to slam the door behind them. Their sweep of the Rangers on Sunday gave them 16 wins in their last 21 games and gave them a whopping 8 1/2-game lead. That’s their largest lead in the AL West at any point since … yeah, you guessed it, 2001.

8. Royals (previously: 7)
Season high: 6 | Season low: 24
It was a rough week for the Royals, which is understandable: They had seven games against the Yankees and the Dodgers. But it would have been a lot worse had it not been for an inspiring comeback against the Yanks on Thursday, in which they were one strike away from being swept before a walk-off two-run double from Maikel Garcia. This was the first real test week for the Royals, and while you wouldn’t say they necessarily aced it, they’re still standing … and still looking like one of the best stories in the league this year.

9. Braves (previously: 8)
Season high: 1 | Season low: 9
The Braves would have loved to have finished off the sweep of the Rays on Sunday afternoon, but more than anything else, they have to feel encouraged by how their offense finally woke up over the weekend. After five straight losses in which they scored only a total of 11 runs, they scored 22 runs over the weekend, including nine homers. It’s the first time in a while they have resembled the titanic offense we saw last season.

10. Twins (previously: 10)
Season high: 8 | Season low: 23
It is extremely difficult to get Carlos Correa out right now. Heading into Sunday night’s doubleheader nightcap, Correa was 18-for-30 over his previous seven games, launching his average over .300. (Correa hasn’t hit over .300 since 2017.) He also debuted the already immortal Prince home run celebration on Thursday night, which is honestly something the Twins should do forever, not just on Prince Night, not just this season, but forever.

11. Padres (previously: 11)
Season high: 11 | Season low: 21
The Padres really looked like they might have something going heading into Citi Field this weekend, having just swept the A’s and winning five of six after a brutal road sweep in Anaheim. But they caught the Mets at the worst possible time, the hottest the Mets have been in a couple of years. The Padres suddenly stopped hitting, scoring only eight runs on the weekend, with six of them coming in an 11-6 loss on Sunday. The best hitter on this team remains Jurickson Profar, who is putting together a truly improbable All-Star season. Don’t be surprised if you see him high on the ballot when the first results are released soon.

12. Red Sox (previously: 13)
Season high: 12 | Season low: 22
The vibes were fantastic at Fenway Park all weekend; it felt for the first time in awhile like the old Yankees-Red Sox rivalry was starting to crawl its way back to its previous relevance. The Red Sox have been so steady for the last month that they’ve barely moved: They have been anywhere between one game under .500 to two games over .500 every single day since … May 18!

13. Cardinals (previously: 23)
Season high: 13 | Season low: 27
A month ago, the Cardinals looked like they were toast. They couldn’t hit, most of their rotation couldn’t get out of the fifth inning and their two stars, Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, looked like shadows of their former selves. But since May 12, the Cardinals are 20-11, the best mark in the National League over that timeframe. The Cardinals, who still aren’t hitting that well, are relying heavily on closer Ryan Helsley, who has notched 24 straight saves, which is tied for the team record. Can you guess who holds the record? Of all the great Cardinals closers over the years, the record is held by … Alex Reyes, who had 24 straight over a six-year stretch from 2016-21.

14. Reds (previously: 12)
Season high: 11 | Season low: 25
A month ago, it sure looked like the Reds’ season was in serious jeopardy of going off the rails. On May 23, they were 20-30 and in last place in a division with only one team over .500. Since then, though, they’re 14-7, the third-best record in baseball during that timeframe, and they’ve crawled back to within one game of the three NL Wild Card spots. Now, if they can only get Elly De La Cruz going … though there was encouragement from him on Sunday, when he went 2-for-3 with a homer and scored three times. (He, of course, stole a base as well.)

15. Blue Jays (previously: 22)
Season high: 8 | Season low: 23
It sure is fun to root for a legacy baseball player on Father’s Day. After coming into Sunday’s game 1-for-17 over his last five games, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. showed up on Father’s Day wearing cleats with a picture of him and his dad. It’s gotta be the shoes: Vlad Jr. went 3-for-4 in a 7-6 win over the Guardians. There may be no team with more on the line over the next fortnight than the Blue Jays, who play the Red Sox (six times), the Guardians, the Yankees, and the Astros through July 4.

16. Rangers (previously: 16)
Season high: 4 | Season low: 19
Is this the week Max Scherzer makes his first start of the season? It’s sure looking that way. He struck out eight in 4 2/3 innings for Triple A Round Rock on Saturday, and he says he plans on it being his last rehab start. He threw 75 pitches and topped out at 93.4 mph. He could be back in the rotation by this weekend’s series against the Royals … and not too soon for the Rangers, who are in danger of falling behind the Astros in the AL West.

17. Tigers (previously: 14)
Season high: 7 | Season low: 20
So much focus this season has been on the Tigers’ improved pitching that it has been a little lost that Riley Greene may be making his superstar leap. On Saturday, he was 4-for-5 with six RBIs, bringing his OPS all the way up to .836 on the year. If that doesn’t seem that high to you, we’ll point out that no Tigers player has had a full season OPS over .836 since Nick Castellanos in 2018 (.854).

18. Giants (previously: 15)
Season high: 12 | Season low: 23
As the Giants head to Birmingham for the MLB at Rickwood Field game against the Cardinals on Thursday, wearing those fantastic San Francisco Seals uniform, it’s definitely worth watching the terrific documentary “Every Other Sunday: The Story of Rickwood Field, Willie Mays and the Birmingham Black Barons,” which the team’s in-house video production team put together. Narrated by Dusty Baker, it tells the history of the Black Barons, the Giants’ tie to the team and the area and, of course, Willie Mays. It’s absolutely worth a watch:

19. Diamondbacks (previously: 20)
Season high: 10 | Season low: 21
Hey, so just in time for Corbin Carroll to get back on track — after a truly miserable start to the season, Carroll, heading into Sunday, had 13 hits in his last 37 at-bats, and a .392 OBP in his last 16 games — he’s … hurt. He left Sunday’s game with “left side discomfort” — which is only half as bad as having “both sides discomfort,” one supposes! — and we’ll all be waiting to hear further details. His hot streak has coincided with the team playing better, so, yeah, forgive D-backs backers if they’re really sweating this one out.

20. Nationals (previously: 24)
Season high: 20 | Season low: 27
We’re all excited for the Nationals, and why wouldn’t we be? After their 3-1 win over the Marlins on Sunday, they’ve won three in a row and are just one game under .500. Their success has come almost entirely from within the division: Against the Braves and Marlins, they’re 13-2; against the rest of baseball, they’re 22-34.

21. Cubs (previously: 19)
Season high: 8 | Season low: 21
The Cubs are in trouble. Since May 13, the Cubs are 10-21, the third-worst record in baseball. (Only the A’s and White Sox have been worse.) The major issue has been the offense: They’ve only scored more than four runs in a game once in their last 10 games (and in that one they only scored five). It’s no wonder they bunted on three straight plays last week, producing two runs in all the effort: A bunt really is all they can get going right now.

22. Astros (previously: 17)
Season high: 6 | Season low: 26
There has been a general consensus that even with all the problems the Astros have had this year, they’re going to eventually figure this all out and turn their season around. They are running out of time to do that — even with their win Sunday, they’re six games under .500 — but you should know that the computers still believe in them: Fangraphs Playoff Odds give them a 34.6 percent chance of making the playoffs, ahead of the Red Sox, Tigers, Rays, Rangers, Mets, Cubs, Reds, Diamondbacks and Giants, all of whom have better records than the Astros do.

23. Pirates (previously: 21)
Season high: 9 | Season low: 25
For all the excitement for the young guy (that would be Paul Skenes) in Pittsburgh, let’s give some love to the old guy. Andrew McCutchen has been terrific lately, bashing two homers at Coors Field over the weekend. (He’d actually hit homers in five straight Coors Field games before going homerless on Sunday.) In his last seven games, he’s slashing .345/.387.586. He also got his 2,100th hit over the weekend.

24. Rays (previously: 18)
Season high: 9 | Season low: 24
The Rays need to be careful, or they’re going to zoom to the top of everybody’s speed dial when it comes to Trade Deadline moves — it’s easy to see how they’d be open for business. They helped the Braves get back on track by losing two out of three this weekend, and they’re now not only 5 1/2 games out the AL Wild Card and 15 1/2 games out of first place, they dipped to five games under .500 on Saturday for the first time since … June 22, 2018.

25. Mets (previously: 25)
Season high: 10 | Season low: 25
Here come the Mets! You can certainly make a solid argument that the Mets should have zoomed up these Power Rankings. They’ve now won five in a row and nine of their last 11, starting with a three-game sweep on the road at Washington right before heading to London. How jumbled is the National League Wild Card chase? The Mets are now just 1 1/2 games out of the final Wild Card spot, right before heading out to a fascinating six-game road trip against the Rangers and Cubs.

26. A’s (previously: 26)
Season high: 20 | Season low: 30
The A’s are in their roughest stretch of the season right now, but one thing you can say about them: If you go to one of their games, you’re going to see some fireworks. They’ve got arguably the most electric closer in baseball in Mason Miller, and the young offense ranks fifth in MLB in home runs with 82.

27. Angels (previously: 27)
Season high: 24 | Season low: 27
Logan O’Hoppe is the real deal, man. The Angels catcher, who is still only 24 years old and came over from the Phillies almost two years ago for Brandon Marsh, is the best hitter on the team by a wide margin and has started to show some Mike Trout-esque power. He launched a 467-foot homer against the Giants on Saturday, the fifth-longest homer by an Angel in the past two seasons, with only Shohei Ohtani and Trout hitting ones farther. If the catching position wasn’t so crowded in AL, he’d feel like a lock to be the Angels’ All-Star representative.

28. Rockies (previously: 29)
Season high: 28 | Season low: 29
When Kris Bryant went on the injured list after bruising his left rib while catching a ball against the wall on June 2, the hope was that it would be a simple one to recover from. But that has never seemed to happen during Bryant’s star-crossed tenure in Colorado. Turns out, an MRI revealed an oblique strain, which should keep him out for the rest of this month, at least.

29. Marlins (previously: 28)
Season high: 23 | Season low: 30
The Marlins started the season 1-11. After their loss to the Nationals on Sunday, they are 2-13 over their last 15 games. So if you are looking for silver linings, and you’re going to have to look pretty hard to find one, know that other than the first stretch and the most recent stretch, the Marlins are only 20-24, which is almost .500, which would have them in the middle of the Wild Card race. So there is that!

30. White Sox (previously: 29)
Season high: 28 | Season low: 30
When you’re having the sort of season that the White Sox are, your fans — many of whom, being as devoted as they are, still dutifully watch every day even with all the losses — are looking for some hope for the future: Young players who show some promise. So let’s give a little shine to catcher Korey Lee. The 25-year-old was acquired in the Kendall Graveman trade with the Astros at the Deadline last year, and he has been a stabilizing force behind the plate while hitting six homers and even stealing five bases. A catcher stealing bases! The Sox don’t have a lot of young players, but Lee is a guy who is going to be around for a while.

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