Where did the Chicago Cubs land in this week’s MLB.com Power Rankings?

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Thanks to a strong homestand, the Chicago Cubs continue to climb up the MLB.com Power Rankings, trailing just one other National League club.

Remember when the Chicago Cubs looked like a 75-win team there for a couple of weeks? Yeah, me neither. The team’s incredible play over the last month has erased all doubt over the club’s standing in the National League pecking order.

Chicago won eight of 10 on its recent homestand and head into Tuesday’s series opener against the Cincinnati Reds looking to make it nine consecutive series victories. That played a big role in the team’s climb in the most recent MLB.com Power Rankings, where the Cubs check in at fifth among big league teams.

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Here’s what they had to say about Joe Maddon‘s club, who check in this week behind the top-ranked Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees:

"Similar to the Yankees, the Cubs have turned it on after a dreadful start to the season. The Cubs were 2-7 to open the year, but since then, they’re 22-7 over 29 games since April 8 and haven’t lost a series since dropping two of three to Milwaukee from April 5-7. Kris Bryant has reached base safely in each of his past 22 games since April 17, the longest active streak in the Majors. That’s also a career-high for the Cubs third baseman."

Chicago ranks third among National League teams in runs – thanks largely, in part, to the exploits of the team’s big bats. Kris Bryant is enjoying one of the hottest stretches of his career – carrying a personal best 22-game on-base streak into action today. Anthony Rizzo looks on track for yet another 100-RBI season again in 2019 and last year’s National League MVP runner-up Javier Baez is building on his breakout campaign in a big way.

Willson Contreras has bounced back from a dismal second half of 2018 to put up some big-time numbers, already tying his 10 home run total from a year ago. His 1.035 OPS would blow his previous personal bests out of the water by a significant margin.

And if all that weren’t enough, the Chicago Cubs have received some of the best pitching in Major League Baseball. Jon Lester leads all qualified hurlers with a 1.16 ERA after his latest gem.  The other guys in the rotation have all pulled their weight and the club has gotten some unexpected quality from guys like Brandon Kintzler and Tyler Chatwood – two complete busts from last summer.

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Chicago could start separating themselves from the pack in a hurry this week against the lowly Reds and the struggling Washington Nationals. With an offense that’s shown a proclivity for the theatrics and a pitching staff ready to step up when needed, this team went from worst to first and shows no signs of slowing down.