Starting Nine (Week of May 15th)

Halfway through May and the leaderboards have started to be a bit more consistent. Still, plenty of time for teams like the Cardinals, Mets, and Astros to get back in the mix.

Starting Nine (Week of May 15th)

#9. Milwaukee 23-17 (+900/+2200) - The BrewCrew got a weekend sweep over the Royals and have recaptured first place in the NL Central with Pittsburgh falling fast. Don’t look now though, the Cards swept Boston over the weekend. Last Week’s Rank: Unranked

#8. New York Yankees 23-19 (+650/+1200) - The Yankees held their own against the Rays splitting a weekend series and Aaron Judge looks like he is heating up. Last Week’s Rank: Unranked

#7. Minnesota Twins 23-18 (+800/+1900) - The Twins' top three starting pitchers can match up with anyone. When Mahle returns, they’ll have the best starting five in the AL Central. Last Week’s Rank: 8th

#6. Toronto Blue Jays 24-16 (+550/+1100) - The Jays took two off three from the Braves over the weekend and look like a team that is ready to make a big move in the standings. Last Week’s Rank: 6th

#5. Texas Rangers 25-15 (+950/+2200) - The Rangers keep winning despite some injuries and keep flying under the radar. Last Week’s Rank: 5th

#4. Atlanta Braves 25-15 (+220/+450) - The Braves will be without two of their projected starting five for a few more weeks. They have the talent to stay on top and the Mets and Phils don’t appear ready to overtake them. Last Week’s Rank: 4th

#3. Baltimore Orioles 26-14 (+2000/+4,500) - The Orioles keep beating whoever is in front of them. They are surely frustrated after missing out on a chance to win at least two of the games over the Braves this weekend if not all three. Last Week’s Rank:2nd

#2. Los Angeles Dodgers 26-15 (+260/+550) - Don’t look now but here come the Dodgers. They have the capital to improve themselves at the trade deadline and will certainly be on the lookout for any big names made available. Last Week’s Rank: 3rd

#1. Tampa Bay Rays 31-11 (+310/+650) - The Rays flexed their muscles this week after sweeping NL Central-leading Pittsburgh and taking two of three from the Yankees. Last Week’s Rank: 1

AL/NL MVP Candidates:

Let’s look at the favorites to win the major awards in MLB as we sit halfway through the Month of May.

Top-five AL MVP Candidates

#1. Shohei Ohtani (+100) - Baseball’s most unique player remains the front runner although his numbers as both a hitter and a pitcher are both excellent but not dominant. Last Week’s Rank: 1st

#2. Mike Trout (+900) - Trout has not yet jumped off the page stats-wise but the oddsmakers still have him as the second favorite. Last Week’s Rank: 2nd

#3. Aaron Judge (+1500) - Judge’s return to the lineup instantly sparked the Yankees’ offense and he remains the most dangerous hitter in the game. Last Week’s Rank: Unranked

#4. Wander Franco (+1300) - If he can stay healthy, this could be the year that Franco matures into his full arsenal of star skills. Last Week’s Rank: 3rd

#5. Vlad Guerrero Jr. (+1500) - His power numbers are starting to creep up and the average has been solid throughout. The Jays’ recent stretch of quality play will elevate him also. Last Week’s Rank: Unranked

Top-five NL MVP Candidates

#1. Ronald Acuna (+150) - Acuna continues to close the gap on Ohtani as the frontrunner for MVP in terms of odds. He is running freely on the bases again this year and his pop has returned at the plate. Last Week’s Rank: 1st

#2. Fernando Tatis Jr. (+1000) - One of the most gifted players in baseball in a lineup that can protect him could lead to a monster year for Tatis Jr. Last Week’s Rank: 3rd

#3. Mookie Betts (+1600) - The Dodgers are starting to heat up and so is their best player. He’s up to nine home runs and hasn’t even begun to be a threat on the bases yet. Last Week’s Rank: 4th

#4. Pete Alonso (+900) - He is tops in home runs and top-five in RBI but his .231 average is not MVP-worthy yet. Last Week’s Rank: 2nd

#5. Bryce Harper (+2000) - Baseball’s machine has returned to solidify the Phillies’ middle of the order and even added a stolen base this weekend. Don’t put it past Harper to carry this team through the summer. Last Week’s Rank: Unranked

Top-three AL Cy Young Candidates

#1. Gerrit Cole (+350) - Five wins, six quality starts, and a 2.22 ERA keeps Cole at the top but he’s been hit hard twice by the Rays and his K/9 rate is going down. Last Week’s Rank: 1st

#2. Shohei Ohtani (+400) - Five quality starts and the second-best K/9 ratio in baseball keeps Ohtani in the top three. He’s been better on the mound than at the plate thus far. Last Week’s Rank: 2nd

#3. Shane McClanahan (+500) - McClanahan had his first rough start against the Yankees, coughing up a 6-0 lead but still is the best pitcher on the best team who is having a dominant season. Last Week’s Rank: 3rd

Top-three NL Cy Young Candidates

#1. Zac Gallen (+200) - Gallen is first in innings, second in wins, second in strikeouts, and ninth in ERA and is keeping the Diamondbacks near the top of the NL West standings. Last Week’s Rank: 1st

#2. Spencer Strider (+220) - The young right-hander has been put in the role of the ace of the Braves staff with injuries to Freid and Wright. He’s not disappointed. Last Week’s Rank: 2nd

#3. Clayton Kershaw (+1000) - Kershaw’s throwback season continues as he ranks second in wins, 9th in ERA, and has a 0.95 WHIP through nearly the first two months of the season. Last Week’s Rank: 3rd

*All odds courtesy of

By Mark Ruelle

Author Profile
Mark Ruelle

Mark has been a sports fanatic since childhood. He is also an avid follower of sports analytics and has used it in his own betting analysis for over two decades. Now we have Mark on our team here at Stat Salt. He holds degrees in marketing, broadcasting, and English and uses this vast array of assets to dissect and analyze game matchups. Mark will provide you with a wide variety of statistics to consider and a strong opinion in each matchup that he covers. Please follow him daily for an up-to-the-minute analysis of all the important games.