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MLB Power Rankings through 1st Month!

Apr 23, 2024 EST

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MLB Power Rankings thru 1st Month so far….

10. Texas Rangers (12-11 overall, 5-5 last 10 games) 

Key stats (MLB ranking in parentheses): .720 OPS (10th), 114 runs (eighth), 17 defensive runs saved (first), 4.19 ERA (20th)

The defending World Series champion’s offense hasn’t been as dominant as it was last season, but it’s the reason why Texas sits atop the American League West standings after 23 games. Aside from Nathan Eovaldi, the pitching staff hasn’t been able to effectively compensate for the absence of Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom and Tyler Mahle. Still, it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Rangers near the top of our power rankings later in the season once the key pieces of the rotation return.

9. Kansas City Royals (13-9 overall, 5-5 last 10 games)

Key stats: 3.6 offensive fWAR (11th), 15 defensive runs saved (second), +38 run differential (second) 22 stolen bases (sixth)

While the Royals have cooled since going on a seven-game winning streak earlier this month, Bobby Witt Jr., Vinnie Pasquantino and Salvador Perez are showing why ownership was willing to spend heavily this past offseason. Though Cole Ragans had a rough outing against Baltimore on Saturday, Kansas City’s starting rotation ranks third in ERA (2.94). The Royals have failed two litmus tests against the formidable Orioles, but their upcoming stretch against Toronto, Detroit, Texas and Milwaukee should give us a better understanding as to what kind of team this is. 

8. Los Angeles Dodgers (13-11 overall, 3-7 last 10 games) 

Key stats: 116 wRC+ (fifth), .764 OPS (fourth), 101 walks (first), 4.13 ERA (17th)

Los Angeles crushed the Mets 10-0 on Sunday, but it has now lost four of its past five series despite receiving outstanding results from Shohei Ohtani, Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman. Injuries to the starting rotation have been a factor to the lackluster start and probably won’t be a long-term issue. Nevertheless, the bullpen, which ranks 20th in ERA (4.35), as well as the lack of production from the bottom third of the lineup could continue to cause problems for the Dodgers. ”

7. New York Mets (12-9 overall, 8-2 last 10 games)

Key stats: 3.48 ERA (seventh), 1.5 relief pitching fWAR (first), 107 wRC+ (10th), .714 OPS (11th)

Stellar pitching and clutch offense from a few unexpected contributors, including Harrison Bader and D.J. Stewart, have helped New York rebound from a disastrous 0-5 start to win its past five consecutive series. Closer Edwin Diaz is back to his dominant self as the anchor to an impressive bullpen, yet his return to the mound has been overshadowed by 31-year-old Reed Garrett’s emergence (0.00 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 10.2 IP). New York will be without catcher Francisco Alvarez (thumb) until June, but its lineup will soon get a boost with All-Star slugger J.D. Martinez set to make his Mets debut this week.

6. Philadelphia Phillies (14-8 overall, 8-2 last 10 games)

Key stats: 2.25 starting pitching ERA (second), .219 opponent batting average (third), 26 home runs (fifth), .709 OPS (14th)

The Phillies, winners of their past six games, had the benefit of playing the bottom-dwelling Rockies and White Sox during their hot streak, but they have nonetheless taken care of business behind an elite starting rotation. The early returns from the offense have been underwhelming as a whole, though Philadelphia’s bats are starting to wake up, as it ranks third in wRC+ (127) over the last week.

5. Cleveland Guardians (16-6 overall, 7-3 last 10 games) 

Key stats: 3.03 ERA (fourth), 2.78 relief pitching FIP (first), +52 run differential (first), 13 defensive runs saved (fourth)

Cleveland’s strong start has been one of the biggest surprises of the early season, and new manager Stephen Vogt has his club playing like the best all-around team in MLB. If they had not recently dropped a series against our No. 4-ranked team, the Guardians would’ve placed higher on our list. Even so, with three-game sets against Boston, Atlanta and Houston on the horizon, Cleveland has the opportunity to assert itself as one of the top three teams in our next power ranking.

4. New York Yankees (15-8 overall, 5-5 last 10 games)

Key stats: 2.97 ERA (third), 112 wRC+ (seventh), 100 walks drawn (second), nine defensive runs saved (fifth)

Outfielder Juan Soto’s exceptional plate discipline appears to be rubbing off on his new teammates, considering New York has the fifth-highest on-base percentage among teams (.333) after ranking 27th in that department last season. The Yankees are thriving under their small-ball approach and have received significant production from Anthony Volpe, Giancarlo Stanton and Oswaldo Cabrera. However, it may soon be necessary to panic about Aaron Judge’s struggles at the plate, as the 2022 American League MVP is slashing just .183/.320/.354 with three home runs and 11 RBI.

3. Milwaukee Brewers (14-6 overall, 7-3 last 10 games) 

Key stats: 120 wRC+ (third), .789 OPS (second), 27 stolen bases (third), 3.52 ERA (ninth)

It’s still early in the season, but it’s clear this is a rather uncharacteristic Brewers team compared to the ones we’ve seen in years past, and in a good way. Milwaukee’s pitching has been its weakest link, and the rotation will be further tested now that left-hander DL Hall has landed on the IL, whereas the offense is rolling despite outfielder Christian Yelich (back) being sidelined. Although the National League Central is making a case to be considered the most competitive division in baseball, the Brewers have quickly established themselves as the team to beat.

2. Atlanta Braves (14-6 overall, 7-3 last 10 games) 

Key stats: 128 wRC+ (tied for first), .828 OPS (first), .283 batting average (first), 125 runs scored (second)

The offense is inevitable. Despite dealing with sluggish starts from Ronald Acuna Jr., Matt Olson and Austin Riley, along with injuries to Ozzie Albies and Sean Murphy, Atlanta has the top offense in baseball, thanks largely to Marcell Ozuna’s MLB-leading nine homers. Atlanta’s 4.30 ERA doesn’t accurately reflect its pitchers’ performance, but the staff is a concern and could be in serious trouble if RHP Reynaldo Lopez’s impressive start proves to be an outlier.

1. Baltimore Orioles (14-7 overall, 7-3 last 10 games)

Key stats: 128 wRC+ (tied for first), 3.75 starting pitching ERA (sixth), .782 OPS (third), 33 home runs (first)

Even with injuries to Kyle Bradish, Tyler Wells and John Means, Baltimore’s pitching staff and deep lineup give it the edge over Atlanta in our inaugural power rankings. Shortstop Gunnar Henderson (160 wRC+) is playing like an MVP candidate, though breakout seasons from Colton Cowser (.373/.411/.784) and Jordan Westburg (.333/.392/.639) are making Baltimore even more imposing than it was in 2023. In light of the potential this team has, it might be best to option Jackson Holliday — who has one hit across his first 30 career at-bats — back to the minors.

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