MLB Power Rankings: Yankees take No. 1 spot from Phillies, plus what scuffling teams could see summer surge


The 2024 Major League Baseball season is now in June. While we aren’t halfway into the season yet, we can safely drop the whole, “it’s early” bit. If we divided the season into fourths or thirds, we’re officially into the middle portion. We already passed Memorial Day last weekend. The “early” qualifier has left the ballpark. 

Now, there’s still time to turn things around in any direction. At the conclusion of May last year, the Phillies were 25-30 and they’d end up in their second straight NLCS. The Angels were three games over .500 and in playoff contention and they’d safely fall back into, well, Angels territory. We don’t need to rehash the positive stories of the 2021 Braves or 2019 Nationals or even 2012 A’s. We remember them. There’s time for an extended hot streak. 

Remember the 2022 Mariners? They were bad through the middle of June, languishing at 29-39. They would then go 22-3 in their last 25 games before the All-Star break. They would then finally snap their playoff drought. How about last season’s Reds? Through June 9, they were 29-35. They then won 20 of their next 24 and were a serious contender the rest of the way. 

The message there is don’t give up on your team. It isn’t “early” anymore, but we’re still not even halfway through a marathon that could turn around with a stellar stretch of baseball. 

Of course, this could also definitely be what the team is all year. The 2023 Padres were fresh off an NLCS berth and another exciting offseason, only to start 25-30. They never really got hot until it was too late, as they won 14 of their last 16 games to finish 82-80. A good number of people had the 2023 Cardinals winning the NL Central and they were 25-32 heading to June. They finished 71-91. 

On the latter point, the Dennis Green Zone (they are who we thought they were), could well include all the good teams we’ve seen so far this season. The Yankees, Orioles, Phillies and Dodgers are the obvious great teams while the Brewers, Guardians and Royals have sure looked the part for two-plus months. The Braves have major injury adversity to overcome and that’s basically it for the list of reliably good teams so far, though the Twins and Mariners have done some good work in trying to squeeze their way in there. 

Will it all stay that way? Will others enter the mix? Will a losing team pull a 2023 Phillies, 2023 Reds or even 2022 Mariners? How about a 2021 Braves? On the flip side, are the Rangers one of those teams who just can’t dig out of the hole like the 2023 Padres or are the Astros worse like the 2023 Cardinals? 

There’s still a lot of time, but it certainly isn’t early. Any big changes now will ones that stick out in our memories as big ones. 

Biggest Movers

Rk

Teams

 

Chg

Rcrd


1


Yankees

The Yankees have had the best rotation in the American League to this point and they’ve done that without 2023 AL Cy Young winner Gerrit Cole. Cole starts his rehab assignment Tuesday. Not only that, but they now have the best record in baseball along with the best run differential and haven’t lost a series in a month. It’s June and the best team in baseball is the New York Yankees. 1 42-19

2


Phillies

Through June 2 in 2022, they were 22-29 and ended up in the World Series. Through June 2 in 2023, they were 25-32 and ended up one game away from the World Series. They are absolutely crushing their own pace. How will they fare moving forward as the hunted instead of the hunter? Fun storyline. 1 41-19

3


Dodgers

In the midst of all the doubles, homers and RBI, did you noticed Shohei Ohtani is stealing bases at his highest pace ever? His career high is 26 (2021). He’s got 14 right now, which is a full season pace of 37. 2 38-23

4


Orioles

The seemingly non-stop rotation injuries have led to Albert Suárez becoming such a vital cog in the Orioles’ pitching plans. He hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2017 before this season and now through 34 1/3 innings for the Orioles in 2024, he has a 1.57 ERA in five starts and seven relief appearances. He’s already more than tripled his career WAR here at age 34. He had stops in Japan, Venezuela, South Korea and then back to the minors before returning to MLB. What a story. 37-20

5


Guardians

Good opportunity here for the Guardians to keep pushing that AL Central lead higher and higher with a home series against the second-place Royals before a road trip against three sub-.500 teams. 2 39-20

6


Brewers

As of May 23, the Brewers hadn’t had a bigger lead in the NL Central this season than two games. That wasn’t all that long ago, right? They now lead by seven. Getting that kind of separation in less than two weeks bodes very well for their chances of holding on, especially since it’s not early anymore, right? 2 36-23

7


Royals

The Royals had lost six of seven and were about to lose another game. It was a genuinely concerning situation. And then the ninth inning on Sunday happened, where they scored three runs to win in walk-off fashion. Team that with the Guardians loss and it was a good day. They are four games out, which is well within striking distance. 1 36-25

8


Braves

They still need a lot more from Austin Riley and, to a lesser extent, Matt Olson and Ozzie Albies. Even with the injuries and poor performances, the Braves are on pace to win 94 games. 1 33-24

9


Twins

Since the seven-game losing streak, the Twins are now 9-3. Last time they were insanely hot, they were knocked down a few pegs by the Yankees. This coming Tuesday they start a series against the — *checks schedule* — Yankees. At least Royce Lewis is coming back. 33-26

10


Mariners

The Mariners have won seven of eight and head to Oakland with a season-high four-game lead in the AL West. As for the Twins and Mariners being so hot and not budging, there was a huge gap between 8 and 9 last week in the rankings. This past week, both the Twins and Mariners did strong work in closing that gap. I often get complaints like this and it’s best to remember that not all gaps between the 30 ranked teams here are created equal. If you truly think the Twins or Mariners are better than one or more of the top eight teams, so be it, but just getting hot in and of itself doesn’t entitle a team to move up, necessarily. 34-27

11


Padres

So many things can change and we have every reason to doubt their ability to stay consistent, but at this point, the Padres certainly look like a playoff team in this league. Only four NL teams are definitely better. 32-30

12


Red Sox

The Red Sox are 23-12 against teams .500 or below, but they are just 7-18 against teams with a winning record. That means we should be able to pretty easily handicap their upcoming schedule against the Braves, White Sox, Phillies and Yankees, right? 1 30-30

13


Rangers

The champs have won five of six and return to Texas for a perfectly workable homestand (3 vs. DET; 3 vs. SF). They might well be fixing themselves. We’ll see. 9 29-30

14


Giants

The week started so promising when the Giants took their first two games from the Phillies. Getting bludgeoned by Juan Soto and Aaron Judge isn’t exactly the crime of the century, but it still had to be a humbling weekend, especially the Camilo Doval meltdown on Sunday. 2 29-31

15


Cardinals

Nolan Gorman has really picked up the slack in the middle of the lineup these last several weeks. Since May 9, he has seven homers and 16 RBI in 59 at-bats. 28-29

16


Rays

Dropping the “it’s early” qualifier can’t feel good for Randy Arozarena. He’s hitting .162 and that’s in 58 games. Among hitters with over 200 plate appearances, no one else is even close to his depths. 1 29-31

17


Astros

How much longer are they going to try this José Abreu thing? He’s clearly cooked. 3 26-34

18


Tigers

Tigers Cy Young winners: Denny McLain (twice), Willie Hernandez, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. I just felt like listing them here for no particular reason whatsoever. Call it random. 29-30

19


Blue Jays

I’m not sure what’s behind the Vladimir Guerrero Jr. move back to third base, other than a desperate, “we just need to try something!” maneuver. I no issue with that, by the way, and they’ve won five of six. 4 28-30

20


Nationals

In the last two weeks, the Nationals have had to play the Twins, Mariners, Braves and Guardians. They’ve gone 7-6 and are right on the cusp of wild-card contention. 4 27-31

21


Pirates

The Pirates’ rotation has an established All-Star in Mitch Keller along with up-and-comers Jared Jones and Paul Skenes. But you know who has produced the most value so far this season? Bailey Falter! He’s got a 3.22 ERA and 0.95 WHIP in 64 1/3 innings. It’s quite a rotation they are building there in Pittsburgh. 1 27-32

22


Reds

While it isn’t “early,” it isn’t too late. They’ve now won six of their last nine and are starting to get on track. Three in Colorado before four home games against the Cubs means an opening to keep things going. 1 26-33

23


Cubs

Since Mother’s Day, the Cubs have gone 5-14. Only the Mets are worse among NL teams, but it isn’t just that. Four of the five wins were wacky and really could have gone either way. Basically, you could argue they’ve barely deserved to win more than one game in the last THREE weeks in an everyday sport. 7 29-31

24


Diamondbacks

They had lost five straight before getting a pair from the Mets over the weekend, which is no great feat at this point. Still, the defending NL champs aren’t too far out of playoff position and a big week (3 vs. SF, 4 at SD) awaits. Plenty of time for a team that proved last year all you have to do is find a way to make the postseason. 5 27-32

25


Mets

Even with Edwin Díaz now on the injured list, the Mets keep finding ways to blow games. It’s incredibly difficult to imagine things will turn around for this team as constructed. 24-35

26


Athletics

It was jarring to see Mason Miller finally blow a save and he’s actually been pretty bad in his last four outings. Of course, he still struck out 10 in 5 2/3 innings. 1 24-37

27


Rockies

The Rockies just navigated a stretch of nine games against first-place teams (Phillies, Guardians, Dodgers) with a 5-4 record. Kudos to them. 2 21-37

28


Marlins

Jazz Chisholm Jr. has eight homers and 11 steals, meaning he’s in position to get to 20-20. The Marlins haven’t had a 20-20 guy since 2010 and the only ones in franchise history have been Cliff Floyd (twice), Preston Wilson (three times), Derrek Lee and Hanley Ramirez (four times). 2 21-39

29


Angels

They are now in last place by multiple games. Yuck. 1 21-38

30


White Sox

As utterly embarrassing as the Cubs are right now, they are still the second-most embarrassing Chicago team in this sport. 15-45





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