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May 06, 2024

MLB power rankings roundup: It's early, but the Phillies are surging

The Phillies have an MLB-best record in early May, but are they truly seen as the best club in baseball?

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Bryce-Harper-Home-Run-Phillies-Giants-5.6.24-MLB.jpg Kyle Ross/USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Harper rounds the bases after hitting a three-run homer against the Giants during Sunday night's Phillies win.

After putting away the Giants on Sunday night to ensure another series win in a four-game set, the Phillies kept themselves at the top with an MLB-best 24-11 record and continued their blistering pace into the season's second month. 

Alec Bohm is on an 18-game hit streak with a bat that's been among the game's best, the starting rotation has been tearing right through opposing lineups, and since the start of the Rockies series back on April 15, the Phils have been on a 16-3 stretch. 

The slow start complaint that has plagued this club in the past couple of years has been put to bed, and they're occupying first in the NL East as of early Monday, which they could never grab from the Braves in the years prior but see it as a crucial stepping stone to World Series aspirations this time around. 

They're doing good. Truly best in baseball good? Let's rundown the latest wave of power rankings to see if that's the belief... 3rd

Keeping in mind that it's still early,'s staff voted the Dodgers as top dog, and have the Orioles at two while the Phillies come in at third. 

At the time of publication, the Phillies had held first in the NL East for three days, already surpassing any amount of time they held it in the two years prior, which wasn't all. 

Wrote Will Leitch:

After years of being the team in the NL East that was good but not the Braves, the Phillies finally took over first place from them this week. The three days they have been in first place are more than the one day they were in first place in 2022 and 2023 combined … years in which they made the World Series and the NLCS, respectively. []

Going into Monday night's slate of games, the Phillies were leading the Braves in the division by 2.5 games.

ESPN: 5th

Published late last week, ESPN's baseball staff had the Phillies in fifth behind the Yankees (4th), Dodgers (3rd), Orioles (2nd), and Braves (1st).

David Schoenfield's take on the Phils: Alec Bohm is good and making good decisions at the plate:

Alec Bohm won National League Player of the Week honors last week after going 17-for-30 (.567) with 8 doubles, 8 RBIs and 6 multihit games. He continued raking with three RBIs on Monday and another two-hit game Tuesday, and he now has a .362 average with 30 RBIs in his first 32 games. Bohm's overall swing and in-play metrics don't look much different than last season, but he's improved two things: He's cut down his chase rate from 30% to 23% and his overall whiff rate has dropped five percentage points. Basically, he's swinging at more hittable pitches. His expected batting average is .322, so maybe he's been a little lucky, but better swing decisions are leading to more hits. []

MORE: Alec Bohm is hitting like the best in baseball – by the numbers

CBS Sports: 2nd

Matt Snyder likes the Phils a lot, but noted their strength of schedule during this recent stretch isn't particularly impressive, which is why he gave the early nod over them for the top spot to the Orioles.

Wrote Snyder:

It's generally too early to do such things, but I had the Phillies and Orioles so close that I went to strength of schedule as a tiebreaker. The Phillies are only 3-3 against teams .500 or above (and it's 1-2 if we went to only over-.500 teams). The Orioles, meanwhile, are 14-5 against teams .500 or better. To reiterate, this isn't all that big a deal, I just needed a tiebreaker. [CBS Sports]

Bleacher Report: 3rd

The Phillies have good starting pitching and a lot of it now with Taijuan Walker healthy and back in the fold. 

That's going to carry you far, writes Joel Reuter:

The Phillies lead the NL with a 2.65 ERA from the starting rotation, and with Taijuan Walker back healthy they now have an embarrassment of riches, pushing Spencer Turnbull (6 GS, 1.67 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 32.1 IP) to the bullpen. Offensively, Alec Bohm has been one of baseball's best hitters over the first month of the season, posting a .360/.430/.576 line to join Shohei Ohtani and Mookie Betts as the only qualified hitters with a 1.000 OPS or higher. [B/R]

USA Today:  6th

Trea Turner got hurt and that's bad, writes Gabe Lacques:

Trea Turner lost for six weeks; they're hoping Alec Bohm's hip hiccup is just precautionary. [USA Today]

🔥🔥🔥 analysis.

And Bohm's hip hiccup was precautionary.

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