Archive for Power Rankings

FanGraphs Power Rankings: The Beginning of the Offseason

The hot stove is set to simmer while teams take stock of their roster situations and the free-agent market. That means it’s the perfect time to see how each team stacks up against each other. Because these rankings are entirely data driven (based on the Depth Charts projections), there will be some wonky placements, particularly for teams that had significant players leave via free agency earlier this month. Think of these as a glimpse at which teams are close to being ready for 2023 and which teams might have a lot of work to do before thinking about next season. We’ll run these power rankings a couple of times during the offseason as a way to check in on how teams are shaping up heading into Opening Day.

A reminder for how these rankings are calculated: first, we take the three most important components of a team — their offense (wRC+), their pitching (a 50/50 blend of FIP- and RA9-, weighted by starter and reliever IP share), and their defense (RAA) — and combine them to create an overall team quality metric. For these offseason power rankings, I’ve used each team’s projected stats based on their Depth Charts projections which are entirely powered by the 2023 Steamer projections at this point. I’ve also used the projected fielding component of WAR that appears on our Depth Charts projections as the defensive component for each team in lieu of RAA.

Tier 1 – Ready to Compete
Team Projected Record wRC+ SP- RP- Fld Team Quality
Braves 93-69 105 88 85 -0.7 170
Rays 92-70 109 94 97 1.2 168

With a young core locked up for years and very few holes on the roster, the Braves are essentially ready to run everything back in 2023. The biggest departure so far is Dansby Swanson; outside of him, Atlanta’s entire starting lineup and rotation will be returning in 2023.

The Braves’ biggest hindrance to improving their roster this offseason is their payroll, which is already butting up against the competitive balance tax. If they want to bring in a new shortstop or re-sign Swanson, they’ll either have to blow past the luxury tax threshold or find creative ways to cut costs. That appeared to be the reason behind trading away Jake Odorizzi last week. And with Vaughn Grissom’s strong rookie showing, there might already be a Swanson replacement in the organization anyway.

It’s surprising to see the Rays this high in the rankings, but their deep and flexible roster means they have few gaps to fill, and some good projections for their young core puts them already ahead of some of their closest division rivals. More importantly, the players they did lose to free agency all have in-house replacements already established or close to debuting — a big benefit of their robust development pipeline. That depth is a double-edged sword, however. Facing a 40-man roster crunch ahead of this week’s Rule 5 roster deadline, Tampa made four trades just in the last week, though none of them had much impact on the overall projections. Read the rest of this entry »


FanGraphs Power Rankings: 2022 Playoffs Edition

The expanded postseason field made for a distinct lack of drama as the regular season wound down. Most of the field was set by mid-September, with just a few races lasting into the final weeks of the season. But the board has been reset in the postseason. With the new Wild Card round set to begin today, here’s a look at the 12 teams in the playoffs and how they stack up against each other.

A reminder for how these rankings are calculated: first, we take the three most important components of a team — their offense (wRC+), and their starting rotation and bullpen (a 50/50 blend of FIP- and RA9-, weighted by IP share) — and combine them to create an overall team quality metric. New for this year, I’ve opted to include defense as a component, though it’s weighted less heavily than offense and pitching. Some element of team defense is captured by RA9-, but now that FanGraphs has Statcast’s OAA/RAA available on our leaderboards, I’ve chosen to include that as the defensive component for each team. Since regular season records don’t matter in the playoffs, I’ve removed the factors for win percentage and expected win percentage from the calculations.

Tier 1 – The Favorites
Team Record wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality World Series Odds
Dodgers 111-51 119 82 77 8 188 14.9%
Astros 106-56 112 82 78 23 184 18.0%

Despite winning 111 games during the regular season, the Dodgers’ World Series odds sit below the Astros — and the Braves too! On paper, they have a juggernaut of a team, but their deep roster is more suited to the grueling pace of a long regular season. During a short series, that depth is wasted to a certain extent. The other reason why the projection systems are discounting their chances is some uncertainty in their pitching staff. Los Angeles won’t have Walker Buehler this postseason, and Dustin May could miss the Division Series. That means leaning on Tyler Anderson and Tony Gonsolin to make critical starts. Both had phenomenal regular-season numbers, but the projections don’t fully trust them as top-tier starters, and Gonsolin only just returned after a month-long absence due to a forearm issue. There’s also some uncertainty in the bullpen, as Craig Kimbrel lost his ninth-inning role during the final month of the season. It’s never a good sign when a team enters the postseason with high-leverage roles in flux.

The Astros have fewer questions to work through. They ran away with the best record in the American League en route to their sixth consecutive playoff appearance, and the only player they’ll be missing from their roster is Michael Brantley, who injured his shoulder in June and will be sidelined until next year. To replace him, Houston acquired Trey Mancini from the Orioles at the trade deadline, though he hasn’t been able to replicate his previous success in his new digs, with a mere 77 wRC+ as an Astro. The pitching staff is once again led by Justin Verlander, who missed the team’s last two October trips. Lance McCullers Jr. will likely play a significant role as well. He injured his forearm during the 2021 postseason and was sidelined for the majority of the regular season but made eight solid starts down the stretch. Read the rest of this entry »


FanGraphs Power Rankings: September 19–25

This week, as the playoff picture becomes clearer and the best teams continue to jockey for seeding, we have another abbreviated power rankings. The only real drama over the next week and a half will come from the two Wild Card races and the battle over the NL East. These rankings will return for a special playoff edition once the field is set.

A reminder for how these rankings are calculated: first, we take the three most important components of a team — their offense (wRC+), and their starting rotation and bullpen (a 50/50 blend of FIP- and RA9-, weighted by IP share) — and combine them to create an overall team quality metric. New for this year, I’ve opted to include defense as a component, though it’s weighted less heavily than offense and pitching. Some element of team defense is captured by RA9-, but now that FanGraphs has Statcast’s OAA/RAA available on our leaderboards, I’ve chosen to include that as the defensive component for each team. I also add in a factor for “luck,” adjusting a team’s win percentage based on expected win-loss record. The result is a power ranking, which is then presented in tiers below. Read the rest of this entry »


FanGraphs Power Rankings: September 12–18

A bit of an abbreviated power rankings this week since I’m in the middle of moving. There isn’t much movement in the standings to report on anyway; the best teams continue to coast into the playoffs, and just a handful of teams are still fighting to keep their playoff hopes alive.

A reminder for how these rankings are calculated: first, we take the three most important components of a team — its offense (wRC+) and its starting rotation and bullpen (a 50/50 blend of FIP- and RA9-, weighted by IP share) — and combine them to create an overall team quality metric. New for this year, I’ve opted to include defense as a component, though it’s weighted less heavily than offense and pitching. Some element of team defense is captured by RA9-, but now that FanGraphs has Statcast’s OAA/RAA available on our leaderboards, I’ve chosen to include that as the defensive component for each team. I also add in a factor for “luck,” adjusting a team’s win percentage based on expected win-loss record. The result is a power ranking, which is then presented in tiers below.

Tier 1 – The Best of the Best
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
Dodgers 101-44 -5 122 81 78 6 183 100.0%
Astros 96-51 0 114 83 77 22 183 100.0%

The Astros joined the Dodgers as the second team to clinch a postseason berth last week and could lock up the AL West as soon as today. They might not be on the Dodgers’ level right now, but a few of their key players are heating up at exactly the right time. Justin Verlander made his return to the mound on Friday and pitched five scoreless innings against the A’s with nine strikeouts. In that same game, Yordan Alvarez blasted three home runs; he’s collected 14 hits and six homers in his last seven games. They have plenty of strength throughout the roster, but those two players will likely carry the team deep into October if Houston is going to make a run at another World Series appearance. Read the rest of this entry »


FanGraphs Power Rankings: September 5–11

With the new playoff format, the best teams in baseball are coasting into October, hoping to get healthy and stay sharp as the regular season winds down. For the teams whose postseason hopes are slim but still alive, it’s getting close to crunch time, as big division matchups dominate the rest of the schedule.

A reminder for how these rankings are calculated: first, we take the three most important components of a team — their offense (wRC+), and their starting rotation and bullpen (a 50/50 blend of FIP- and RA9-, weighted by IP share) — and combine them to create an overall team quality metric. New for this year, I’ve opted to include defense as a component, though it’s weighted less heavily than offense and pitching. Some element of team defense is captured by RA9-, but now that FanGraphs has Statcast’s OAA/RAA available on our leaderboards, I’ve chosen to include that as the defensive component for each team. I also add in a factor for “luck,” adjusting a team’s win percentage based on expected win-loss record. The result is a power ranking, which is then presented in tiers below.

Note: All stats are through Sunday, September 11.

Tier 1 – The Best of the Best
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
Dodgers 96-43 -5 122 81 79 6 182 100.0%
Astros 90-50 0 112 85 78 20 182 100.0%

The Dodgers and Astros continue to glide toward the playoffs; both teams won four of their six games last week. The Dodgers clinched and then didn’t clinch their 10th straight postseason berth over the weekend, and should clinch the National League West division title sometime this week. The Astros could feasibly follow with a division-clinching of their own next week, as their magic number is down to 12. At this point, both teams should be focused on getting and keeping their rosters healthy and reaching the playoffs with everyone firing on all cylinders. For Houston, that means getting Justin Verlander back from his calf injury and up to a full workload. It would also be great if Jeremy Peña rediscovered the form that helped him jump out to an early American League Rookie of the Year lead before wilting this summer. With Dustin May back from his Tommy John surgery, the Dodgers don’t have as great a need in their rotation as Houston does, but getting Tony Gonsolin back in some capacity would certainly help their pitching depth.

Tier 2 – On the Cusp of Greatness
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
Mets 89-52 4 113 87 95 8 166 100.0%
Yankees 85-56 -7 114 88 81 12 177 100.0%

The Mets briefly lost their hold on the NL East last week before regaining a 1.5-game lead over the weekend. They took the cautious route with Max Scherzer’s oblique injury, a move that could pay dividends come October. Obviously, clinching a first-round bye with a division title would allow their injured co-ace to heal up before being called on to carry a heavy load in the playoffs. With a lighter schedule than the Braves from here on out, New York is certainly the favorite to earn the second seed in the NL, though the three-game series in Atlanta during the final week of the season continues to loom exceedingly large.

The Yankees offense finally awoke from its summer slumber over the weekend, and with impeccable timing, too. With their division lead dwindling to just 3.5 games after their loss to the Rays on Friday, they scored 10 runs in back-to-back games to earn the series win against their closest division rival. That gives them a little more wiggle room as the season winds down, though they’ll need to continue to find new ways to score runs with a host of key offensive contributors still sidelined with minor injuries. Amazingly enough, Aaron Judge didn’t hit a home run over the weekend after launching one in four straight games to start last week; that seriously affects his chances of making home run history this season.

Tier 3 – Solid Contenders
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
Braves 87-53 1 110 88 84 7 162 100.0%
Cardinals 83-58 -1 116 98 98 16 157 99.7%
Mariners 79-61 1 107 98 93 7 133 99.8%
Blue Jays 78-61 2 116 95 97 2 145 98.6%
Rays 78-60 2 104 91 100 4 127 98.0%

The Braves had an eight-game win streak snapped on Saturday and wound up dropping their weekend series against the Mariners after a wild walk-off loss on Sunday. Those two teams combined for 17 home runs in their three-game set, with two apiece in the ninth inning deciding the final game in the series. For their part, the Mariners looked up to the challenge presented by the defending champions, which has been one of the best teams in the NL this year. With a soft remaining schedule, this series against Atlanta was one of their last bellwethers to demonstrate they can compete with the best baseball has to offer. They showed exactly why they’ll be a force to be reckoned with come October.

Despite losing their weekend series in New York, the Rays have made an impressive run up the standings despite playing through a dizzying number of injuries. Wander Franco, Brandon Lowe, and Yonny Chirinos were all activated off the IL last week, and there’s a chance Nick Anderson and possibly even Tyler Glasnow could find their way back to the majors at some point during the season’s final weeks. Getting healthy now is critical because Tampa Bay and Toronto began a huge five-game series yesterday, and the Rays have six games against the Astros and four more against the Blue Jays still on the docket.

Tier 4 – The Melee
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
Phillies 78-62 1 107 88 95 -28 121 91.2%
Padres 77-64 4 100 99 96 15 117 83.3%
Guardians 73-65 1 97 100 88 17 117 67.6%
Brewers 75-66 2 102 97 98 3 115 25.8%

The Phillies bounced back from a rough West Coast road trip to win five of six games last week. They’ve continued to hold their ground in the NL Wild Card race, and it’s looking increasingly likely they’ll join the Mariners in snapping an extended postseason drought this year. Somewhat quietly, Aaron Nola has led all pitchers with 4.6 WAR since mid-May. Philadelphia is still waiting to learn the status of Zack Wheeler, but it’s encouraging to know their playoff rotation will be anchored by Nola with some options behind him.

The Padres couldn’t handle the Dodgers over the weekend, losing two of three. They’re still two games up on the Brewers and remain within striking distance of the Phillies for the second Wild Card spot. Josh Hader’s struggles have received most of the headlines, but Juan Soto (119 wRC+ in San Diego), Josh Bell (88 wRC+), and Brandon Drury (88 wRC+) haven’t exactly excelled since being dealt at the trade deadline. Soto will be around longer than just this year, but Bell and Drury are rentals and just aren’t producing at their normal levels (and the latter is on the IL with a concussion). That’s a big problem for a team hoping to avoid another crash-and-burn ending to its season.

The Guardians made a big statement over the weekend, sweeping the Twins to push their lead in the AL Central to three games. After letting the Twins and White Sox get alarmingly close to taking the division lead, the Guardians finally put a little distance between themselves and their division rivals. Their schedule this week is pretty wild: They’ll play the Angels three times, the White Sox once in a rescheduled rainout game, and then the Twins five times in four days from Friday to Monday. That’s a pretty brutal docket and the AL Central standings could look completely different at the end of it.

Tier 5 – The Long Shots
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
White Sox 72-69 3 102 99 101 -16 90 27.0%
Twins 69-70 -2 109 104 102 -5 103 7.4%
Orioles 73-67 3 97 107 91 0 84 1.6%

The White Sox aren’t going to go down without a fight. They won two of three in Seattle early last week and then won three of four in Oakland over the weekend. They’re still within striking distance of the Guardians in the AL Central and a long shot in the Wild Card race. The man leading the charge? Elvis Andrus! Since joining Chicago after getting dumped by the A’s in mid-August, he has posted a .293/.337/.511 slash line (141 wRC+) in 22 games and has buoyed the team in their most desperate hour.

The Orioles’ long-shot hopes took a beating last week. They lost three of four to the Blue Jays and then two of three to the Red Sox, and are now 5.5 games back in the Wild Card race. It’s looking more and more like they’ll have to settle for playing spoiler as this season winds down, though that should still provide some excitement and hope for their fans as they look to build on their late-season success next year.

Tier 6 – Spoiler Alert
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
Diamondbacks 66-73 -2 95 101 109 26 92 0.0%
Red Sox 69-72 2 103 103 108 -4 92 0.1%
Giants 67-73 -4 100 91 107 -25 84 0.0%
Angels 61-79 -3 91 92 108 9 89 0.0%
Rangers 60-79 -8 100 111 100 -6 75 0.0%

Mike Trout hit a home run in his seventh consecutive game last night, perhaps giving fans in Los Angeles a glimpse at what could have been if he hadn’t slumped midseason or gotten injured for a month. Trout’s success is a small consolation for the Angels, who have been out of the playoff picture since their epic losing streak in May and June. And befitting Tungsten Arm O’Doyle, they’ve gone 3-4 during Trout’s homer streak.

Tier 7 – Hope Deferred
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
Rockies 61-80 3 88 111 100 4 56 0.0%
Marlins 57-82 0 87 100 103 0 57 0.0%
Cubs 58-82 -1 97 108 109 -19 47 0.0%
Tigers 54-86 2 80 118 93 6 54 0.0%
Royals 57-84 2 93 117 117 7 49 0.0%
Reds 56-82 -3 88 112 106 -16 31 0.0%
Athletics 51-90 0 94 119 112 -2 38 0.0%
Nationals 49-92 -1 95 134 104 -37 33 0.0%
Pirates 51-88 4 81 112 111 -15 26 0.0%

There hasn’t been much movement in the race to the bottom. The same three teams hold the last three spots in the standings — and therefore the highest odds of receiving the first pick in the first MLB Draft lottery. The Tigers seem to be the only other team that could slip into one of those bottom three spots; they’re just 1.5 games ahead of the Pirates, and the Reds and Royals seem a little too far out at 4.5 games ahead.

Complete Power Rankings
Rank Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds Δ
1 Dodgers 96-43 -5 122 81 79 6 182 100.0% 0
2 Astros 90-50 0 112 85 78 20 182 100.0% 0
3 Mets 89-52 4 113 87 95 8 166 100.0% 0
4 Yankees 85-56 -7 114 88 81 12 177 100.0% 2
5 Braves 87-53 1 110 88 84 7 162 100.0% -1
6 Cardinals 83-58 -1 116 98 98 16 157 99.7% -1
7 Mariners 79-61 1 107 98 93 7 133 99.8% 0
8 Blue Jays 78-61 2 116 95 97 2 145 98.6% 0
9 Rays 78-60 2 104 91 100 4 127 98.0% 0
10 Phillies 78-62 1 107 88 95 -28 121 91.2% 1
11 Padres 77-64 4 100 99 96 15 117 83.3% -1
12 Guardians 73-65 1 97 100 88 17 117 67.6% 1
13 Brewers 75-66 2 102 97 98 3 115 25.8% -1
14 White Sox 72-69 3 102 99 101 -16 90 27.0% 3
15 Twins 69-70 -2 109 104 102 -5 103 7.4% -1
16 Diamondbacks 66-73 -2 95 101 109 26 92 0.0% 0
17 Red Sox 69-72 2 103 103 108 -4 92 0.1% 1
18 Orioles 73-67 3 97 107 91 0 84 1.6% -3
19 Giants 67-73 -4 100 91 107 -25 84 0.0% 0
20 Angels 61-79 -3 91 92 108 9 89 0.0% 0
21 Rangers 60-79 -8 100 111 100 -6 75 0.0% 0
22 Rockies 61-80 3 88 111 100 4 56 0.0% 1
23 Marlins 57-82 0 87 100 103 0 57 0.0% -1
24 Cubs 58-82 -1 97 108 109 -19 47 0.0% 0
25 Tigers 54-86 2 80 118 93 6 54 0.0% 0
26 Royals 57-84 2 93 117 117 7 49 0.0% 0
27 Reds 56-82 -3 88 112 106 -16 31 0.0% 0
28 Athletics 51-90 0 94 119 112 -2 38 0.0% 0
29 Nationals 49-92 -1 95 134 104 -37 33 0.0% 0
30 Pirates 51-88 4 81 112 111 -15 26 0.0% 0

FanGraphs Power Rankings: August 29 – September 4

With only a month left in the season, the tiers in these power rankings have mostly solidified. There are plenty of interesting storylines to follow as the season winds down, though, with plenty of playoff positions still up in the air.

A reminder for how these rankings are calculated: first, we take the three most important components of a team — their offense (wRC+), and their starting rotation and bullpen (a 50/50 blend of FIP- and RA9-, weighted by IP share) — and combine them to create an overall team quality metric. New for this year, I’ve opted to include defense as a component, though it’s weighted less heavily than offense and pitching. Some element of team defense is captured by RA9-, but now that FanGraphs has Statcast’s OAA/RAA available on our leaderboards, I’ve chosen to include that as the defensive component for each team. I also add in a factor for “luck,” adjusting a team’s win percentage based on expected win-loss record. The result is a power ranking, which is then presented in tiers below.

Note: All stats are through Sunday, September 4.

Tier 1 – The Best of the Best
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
Dodgers 92-41 -4 122 80 80 4 180 100.0%
Astros 86-48 0 112 84 80 19 181 100.0%

Last week, the Dodgers lost their first series since dropping two of three to the Nationals in late July. They also lost multiple games in a row — a losing streak of three! — for the first time since that series against Washington. And with their loss to the Giants on Monday night, the Dodgers have now lost four times in a six-game span. It’s not all bad news in Los Angeles; Clayton Kershaw returned from the IL last week, though Tony Gonsolin replaced him on the sidelines with a forearm strain. Still, they’re on pace to break their franchise win record and are within spitting distance of topping the major league record set by the Mariners in 2001.

The Astros don’t need much else to go right for them this year — they’re already comfortably the top seed in the American League and the favorite to make another World Series appearance out of the Junior Circuit — but they got a nice boost anyway from their top pitching prospect, Hunter Brown, who made his major league debut on Monday night and held the Rangers scoreless over six innings. With Justin Verlander still sidelined with a minor calf injury, Brown should get an opportunity to show what he’s made of as the Astros ease into the playoffs. Read the rest of this entry »


FanGraphs Power Rankings: August 15–28

With the playoff pictures in both leagues nearly settled with a month left to play, big matchups between the best teams lose a little meaning without the high stakes of a close pennant race hanging in the balance. Still, there are a few competitive divisions, and the Wild Card race in both leagues should be exciting down to the end of the season.

A reminder for how these rankings are calculated: first, we take the three most important components of a team — their offense (wRC+), and their starting rotation and bullpen (a 50/50 blend of FIP- and RA9-, weighted by IP share) — and combine them to create an overall team quality metric. New for this year, I’ve opted to include defense as a component, though it’s weighted less heavily than offense and pitching. Some element of team defense is captured by RA9-, but now that FanGraphs has Statcast’s OAA/RAA available on our leaderboards, I’ve chosen to include that as the defensive component for each team. I also add in a factor for “luck,” adjusting a team’s win percentage based on expected win-loss record. The result is a power ranking, which is then presented in tiers below.

Tier 1 – The Best of the Best
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
Dodgers 88-38 -4 123 79 80 2 180 100.0%
Astros 82-47 0 113 85 81 18 181 100.0%

Despite nine wins over their last 13 games, the Dodgers have slowed down just a touch, though they’re still on pace for 113 wins this year, or a .698 winning percentage. History awaits if they can crest the .700 mark: Only the 1998 Yankees and 2001 Mariners have finished a full 162-game season with a winning percentage that high or better. After wrapping up their series with the Marlins on Monday, they have a tough stretch of games ahead of them: three in New York against the Mets and then six games against the Padres split up by a three-game set against the Giants. If they can get through this part of their schedule at their current pace, they’ll have a good shot of becoming the third team ever to finish with 114 wins or more.

Even though they just dropped two of three to the Orioles over the weekend, the Astros have elevated themselves over all the other teams in the American League. Houston has played extremely well all season long and has a soft schedule on the docket, with six straight series against teams with records below .500. Of some concern: the Astros scored just four runs total against Baltimore. Justin Verlander, the favorite to win the AL Cy Young award, was also forced to exit his start on Sunday with a calf injury. The offensive woes should sort themselves out, but losing Verlander for an extended period of time would be a serious blow. Read the rest of this entry »


FanGraphs Power Rankings: August 1–14

With less than a third of the season remaining, it’s crunch time for a number of teams on the playoff bubble. There are still division titles up for grabs in both Central divisions, and both Wild Card races are shaping up to remain exciting down to the last day.

A reminder for how these rankings are calculated: first, we take the three most important components of a team — their offense (wRC+), and their starting rotation and bullpen (a 50/50 blend of FIP- and RA9-, weighted by IP share) — and combine them to create an overall team quality metric. New for this year, I’ve opted to include defense as a component, though it’s weighted less heavily than offense and pitching. Some element of team defense is captured by RA9-, but now that FanGraphs has Statcast’s OAA/RAA available on our leaderboards, I’ve chosen to include that as the defensive component for each team. I also add in a factor for “luck,” adjusting a team’s win percentage based on expected win-loss record. The result is a power ranking, which is then presented in tiers below.

Note: All stats are through Sunday, August 14.

Tier 1 – The 💯 Club
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
Dodgers 79-34 -2 122 79 81 0 179 100.0%
Astros 75-41 1 114 86 80 21 189 100.0%
Yankees 72-43 -6 119 87 80 11 182 100.0%
Mets 75-40 3 113 88 93 7 164 100.0%

The Dodgers had a 12-game win streak — which included sweeps of the Giants, Padres, and Twins — snapped on Sunday. They’ve lost just four times since the All-Star break and have asserted themselves as the best team in baseball as the summer rolls on. This hot streak comes despite plenty of uncertainty surrounding their starting rotation; Clayton Kershaw hit the injured list last week with a lower back strain, and the team announced yesterday that Walker Buehler would undergo elbow surgery, ending his season. They’ll be glad to welcome back Dustin May from his Tommy John rehab this weekend. Read the rest of this entry »


FanGraphs Power Rankings: July 21–31

The trade deadline is nearly upon us, and there are plenty of teams still vying for playoff position in both the AL and NL. It’s been a slow hot stove season so far, but there should be plenty of action over the next two days as teams try to position themselves for the stretch run.

A reminder for how these rankings are calculated: first, we take the three most important components of a team — their offense (wRC+), and their starting rotation and bullpen (a 50/50 blend of FIP- and RA9-, weighted by IP share) — and combine them to create an overall team quality metric. New for this year, I’ve opted to include defense as a component, though it’s weighted less heavily than offense and pitching. Some element of team defense is captured by RA9-, but now that FanGraphs has Statcast’s OAA/RAA available on our leaderboards, I’ve chosen to include that as the defensive component for each team. I also add in a factor for “luck,” adjusting a team’s win percentage based on expected win-loss record. The result is a power ranking, which is then presented in tiers below.

Tier 1 – The Best of the Best
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
Yankees 69-34 -3 121 83 78 11 193 100.0%
Dodgers 68-33 -3 120 79 83 1 174 100.0%
Astros 67-36 2 113 86 80 21 185 100.0%

The Yankees stumbled out of the All-Star break a bit, getting swept in a pair of two-game series against the Astros and Mets. They took care of business against the Orioles and Royals and continue to hold a commanding lead in the AL East, but they did slip behind the Dodgers for the overall best record in baseball and hold a slim two-game lead over the Astros for the top seed in the American League. They got an early start on their deadline shopping by trading for Andrew Benintendi to stabilize their outfield. They’ll almost certainly be in the market for pitching help, too, especially after Michael King was lost for the season with a fractured elbow. And as for your weekly Aaron Judge check-in: he’s blasted nine home runs since the All-Star break, no big deal.

The Dodgers emphatically started off the second half with a four-game sweep of the Giants two weekends ago. Those two teams match up for four more games in San Francisco to start this week, with a series against the Padres immediately afterwards. Neither division rival is anywhere close to challenging for the NL West, but a solid week against these two teams should all but wrap up the division for Los Angeles in the first week of August.

This week in “you can’t predict baseball,” the Astros sandwiched a pair of series wins against the Mariners between a three-game sweep at the hands of the A’s. Interestingly, they’re reportedly open to moving one of their starters prior to the deadline; they’re currently running a six-man rotation, Lance McCullers Jr. is close to returning from his elbow injury he suffered last year during the postseason, and they have a number of pitching prospects currently throwing well at Triple-A. It’s an enviable situation to be in, and one that is rare given how high pitcher attrition rates are in the modern era. Read the rest of this entry »


FanGraphs Power Rankings: July 11–17

We head into the All-Star break with very little movement in the top five but tons of ups and downs in the middle of these power rankings.

A reminder for how these rankings are calculated: first, we take the three most important components of a team — their offense (wRC+), and their starting rotation and bullpen (a 50/50 blend of FIP- and RA9-, weighted by IP share) — and combine them to create an overall team quality metric. New for this year, I’ve opted to include defense as a component, though it’s weighted less heavily than offense and pitching. Some element of team defense is captured by RA9-, but now that FanGraphs has Statcast’s OAA/RAA available on our leaderboards, I’ve chosen to include that as the defensive component for each team. I also add in a factor for “luck,” adjusting a team’s win percentage based on expected win-loss record. The result is a power ranking, which is then presented in tiers below.

Tier 1 – The Best of the Best
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
Yankees 64-28 -2 121 82 77 8 192 100.0%
Astros 59-32 2 113 87 79 19 190 100.0%
Dodgers 60-30 -3 118 79 82 -1 170 99.9%

The Yankees head into the All-Star break on a high note after scoring 27 runs against the Red Sox on Saturday and Sunday. That smackdown redeemed a week that hadn’t gone all that well before the weekend, with New York’s normally sturdy bullpen blowing two games (and nearly a third) against the Reds and another against the Red Sox. The emergence of Clay Holmes and Michael King has solidified a relief corps that has lost Chad Green and Jonathan Loáisiga to injuries and has had to work around a diminished Aroldis Chapman. With Luis Severino headed to the IL after exiting his start early on Wednesday, a bullpen upgrade probably isn’t the top priority at the trade deadline, but the Yankees definitely need to get their relievers in order for the stretch run and the postseason.

The Astros limped into the break a bit after dropping two of three to the A’s over the weekend. They’re hoping that Yordan Alvarez will be ready to be activated from the IL next week once play resumes, because their upcoming schedule looks daunting: a double-header against the Yankees on Thursday before playing the streaking Mariners seven times in two weeks, followed by series against the Red Sox and Guardians.

The Dodgers closed out the first half of the season on a 15–2 run and have opened up a 10-game lead in the NL West. Just a month ago, the Padres were breathing down their necks; now they enjoy the second-largest divisional lead in the majors. The man carrying the club right now? Freddie Freeman, who has collected 16 hits in his last six games, including three homers and five doubles. Read the rest of this entry »