It’s mid-May and plenty of things about the MLB standings still look pretty odd. The Rockies atop the NL West? The Reds in second place in the NL Central? The Twins leading the AL Central just one season after losing a major league-worst 103 games?
Their performances over the first six weeks of the season is promising, but how much staying power do these five teams — all of which are over .500 — have? Here's how we'd rank their chances (with the case for and against each):
USA TODAY SportsChris Humphreys
Colorado Rockies (23-14)
Why they could contend: There’s still quite a noticeable gap in the home/road offensive splits, but Colorado is having plenty of success (11-5, MLB-best 3.23 team ERA) away from Coors Field. The Rockies have finished above .500 on the road just once (41-40 in 2009) in franchise history.
Why they could collapse: As always, the starting pitching — Antonio Senzatela and Kyle Freeland have been sensational, but Colorado needs more from Tyler Chatwood and Tyler Anderson, as well as a healthy Jon Gray.
Outlook: The Dodgers eventually will take control of the division, but the Rockies are legitimate wild-card contenders.
USA TODAY SportsBenny Sieu
Arizona Diamondbacks (21-16)
Why they could contend: With Zack Greinke back in top form, Arizona’s rotation has been a pleasant surprise (third in the NL with a 3.70 ERA; first in MLB with 225 strikeouts) after a disastrous 2016 performance (NL-worst 5.19 ERA).
Why they could collapse: They’ve caught Coors Field disease: The Diamondbacks average an MLB-best 6.33 runs at home but an MLB-worst 3.06 runs on the road.
Outlook: There already are ominous signs — the D-backs have lost five of their past nine games — and an upcoming 11-game road trip (May 25-June 4) could spell doom.
USA TODAY SportsChris Humphreys
Cincinnati Reds (19-16)
Why they could contend: The Joey Votto-led offense ranks third in the majors in runs per game (5.06) and fifth in OPS (.776), and the defense (MLB-best 23 Defensive Runs Saved and 17.3 UZR) has been surprisingly strong.
Why they could collapse: Cincinnati’s rotation ranks last in the majors with a 5.10 ERA, putting quite a burden — Reds relievers also lead the majors with 145 innings pitched — on a much-improved relief corps.
Outlook: There will be a lot of 6-5 losses in the near future, but Cincinnati certainly won’t be boring.
USA TODAY SportsAaron Doster
Minnesota Twins (18-14)
Why they could contend: The balanced offense — 10 players with double-digit RBI totals — has taken much of the pressure off of the kids to produce. And like the Reds, the Twins have helped themselves defensively.
Why they could collapse: Ace Ervin Santana will be in high demand in trades, and his departure would leave an otherwise shaky rotation (and bullpen) exposed. And it’s worth noting Minnesota’s -1 run differential.
Outlook: They’re a year away from contention, but a .500 finish this season is within reach.
USA TODAY SportsBruce Kluckhohn
Milwaukee Brewers (19-17)
Why they could contend: Powered by Eric Thames, the offense is among the most potent — Milwaukee is second in the majors with a .466 slugging percentage — and opportunistic (third with 33 stolen bases).
Why they could collapse: The Chase Anderson-led rotation is 27th in the majors in WHIP (1.42), and the bullpen, which has closer issues, is 20th with a 4.22 FIP.
Outlook: The bats won’t be able to compensate for the arms for much longer.