Why the Mets are not number 1 in this week’s MLB Power Rankings explained

May 1, 2022; New York City, New York, USA;  New York Mets left fielder Jeff McNeil (1) reacts after
May 1, 2022; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets left fielder Jeff McNeil (1) reacts after / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets dropped from number one to number three in this week’s MLB Power Rankings. I wasn’t the only one to move them to the three spot. Other places also had them winning the bronze.

Naturally, with any ranking other than putting the Cincinnati Reds in last place, there’s debate. Why wouldn’t the Mets remain at number one?

Only the Los Angeles Dodgers (1) and New York Yankees (2) ranked higher than your beloved Mets this week. The difference is slight and has a lot to do with run differential.

The Mets are only third in this week’s MLB Power Rankings which shouldn’t have anyone upset

Something as undefined as power rankings should never have wins or winning percentage matter more than anything else. Otherwise, why not just list out the teams in order with one of those two factors?

When it comes to a power rankings list, it cannot be this simple. Other factors need to be thought of. How teams perform against other clubs over .500. The division they play in. The opponents. How badly they are beating up on everyone else. And one of the finer tests of all over a large sample size, run differential.

The measure of the distance between the number of runs scored and runs allowed tells a complete picture of most teams. There are cases where a bad club may obliterate someone else on a given day and throw a wrench into the run differential. As time goes on, those things balance themselves out.

The Dodgers began the week with a +74 run differential and the Yankees at +48. Compared to the +36 the Mets have, tied with the Milwaukee Brewers, an edge has to go to the other two ball clubs. Their records are all relatively the same. They’ve each played well against teams over .500. In power rankings, momentum should matter, too. The Mets lost a little bit of steam when they slip their series against the Atlanta Braves then split again on Mother’s Day in their doubleheader versus the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Mets began this week with more runs scored than the Dodgers and Yankees. However, they’ve also given up many more runs. Their starting pitching, as great as it has been, just isn’t up there with the Dodgers and the Yankees. The lineups are pretty evenly matched with the Mets getting a nice edge over the Yankees and closer to even with the Dodgers yet still behind.

This week, the Mets play the Washington Nationals and Seattle Mariners. It’s an opportunity to get back into the number one spot. Play like they’ve been playing, there’s a good chance they do.

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