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.

Tier 2 – On the Cusp of Greatness
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
Braves 56-38 1 109 90 82 1 152 98.0%
Mets 58-35 3 110 92 92 1 145 99.5%

The Mets took two of three from the Braves early last week in a huge clash between NL East rivals. The two teams matched records over the weekend, so they enter the break with just 2.5 games separating them in the standings. There are 12 more head-to-head matchups between these two teams, and a massive five-game series looms on the schedule in early August. With Jacob deGrom slated to be activated from the IL next weekend, New York is in a good position to hold onto that lead through the summer. Don’t count out Atlanta just yet, though; Austin Riley has been on fire over the last few weeks, collecting nine home runs and 31 hits in his last 18 games.

Tier 3 – Solid Contenders
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
Mariners 51-42 0 108 101 94 5 132 67.8%
Cardinals 50-44 -4 107 103 94 9 131 52.1%
Padres 52-42 2 98 93 96 19 128 77.1%
Rays 51-41 2 103 91 106 7 127 70.0%
Blue Jays 50-43 1 112 96 104 6 139 87.0%

The Mariners stayed red hot, sweeping the Nationals and Rangers last week to run their win streak to 14 games, their longest since their historic 2001 season. They’ve pushed their run differential up to +36 in that span, the third-highest mark in the AL. The pitching has been phenomenal, they’re getting contributions from all across their roster, and Julio Rodríguez is well on his way toward becoming a national household name. Their current 67.6% odds of making the playoffs are as high as they’ve been since the All-Star break in 2018 (that’s a cautionary tale).

The Dodgers have earned their 10-game lead in the NL West, but the biggest reason they’ve run away with the division is because the Padres have struggled badly over the last few weeks. They’ve gone 8–15 over their last 23 games and are in danger of falling out of a Wild Card spot if this skid doesn’t stop. It feels like they’re fully feeling the effects of missing Fernando Tatis Jr. for the first four months of the season. He was only just recently cleared to begin his hitting progression and could be on track to make it back to the majors in August if everything goes well. San Diego has been aggressive in upgrading its roster over the last few years, and this year should prove no different, though getting Tatis back will have a massive impact, whenever that happens. Until then, the Padres need to find some way to hold on in the standings.

The Rays rebounded after their ugly three-game sweep at the hands of the Reds by sweeping the Red Sox in four games and then taking two of three from the red-hot Orioles. The fact that they’re entering the All-Star break in the top AL Wild Card spot despite their massive injury woes is a testament to the depth on their roster. They currently have 15 players on the IL and have lost over 1,000 games due to injuries this season, the highest mark in the AL. They did just activate Brandon Lowe and Pete Fairbanks over the weekend, both of whom should give their roster a boost — only to lose the hot-hitting Harold Ramírez to a broken thumb on Sunday.

Tier 4 – The Melee
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
Phillies 49-43 -3 102 87 91 -16 121 44.8%
Giants 48-43 -3 107 86 104 -25 108 52.8%
Twins 50-44 0 112 100 104 -2 119 49.3%
Brewers 50-43 1 101 95 95 -5 107 72.8%
Red Sox 48-45 0 102 100 102 4 113 41.1%

It feels weird to have two division-leaders in the fourth tier of these rankings, but both the Twins and Brewers are stumbling into the midseason break. Minnesota was outscored 32–10 in a four-game series loss to the White Sox, and Milwaukee dropped three of four to the Giants over the weekend. With the Wild Card races likely running through the East and West divisions in both leagues, these two teams can’t afford to slump much longer if they want to be playing postseason baseball this year.

Boston’s postseason hopes are quickly sliding away. The Red Sox have gone just 6–14 over their last 20 games, including a four-game sweep by the Rays and two blowout losses to the Yankees over the weekend. To make matters worse, Chris Sale suffered a broken finger on his throwing hand in just his second start off the IL after missing nearly all of the first half of the season. That further depletes a starting rotation that has been pushed past its breaking point; Sale joins Rich Hill, Michael Wacha, and Josh Winckowski on the shelf. Their season has already been a roller coaster, with significant lows to start the season followed by a sky-high June and now this current skid.

Tier 5 – Outside Looking In
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
Guardians 46-44 0 99 103 100 6 103 28.9%
Marlins 43-48 -1 96 98 103 3 91 3.0%
Orioles 46-46 1 94 109 86 1 78 1.5%
White Sox 46-46 1 99 104 100 -13 77 52.2%
Angels 39-53 -4 93 94 108 7 81 1.5%
Rangers 41-49 -4 99 108 103 -11 72 0.7%

Both the Guardians and the White Sox are creeping up on the Twins in the AL Central and are still on the periphery of the Wild Card race. They also head into the second half of the season on high notes; Cleveland swept the Tigers to move within two games of Minnesota, with some thanks to Chicago, who hung three losses on the Twins over the weekend. And both teams will meet in a big four-game series next weekend. The White Sox are finally showing some life after a listless first half of the season, going 11–7 in July.

The Orioles pushed their win streak to 10 games last week, but it was snapped on Friday by the Rays. It’s hard to imagine them as true Wild Card contenders, especially while playing in the toughest division in baseball, but they’re well positioned to play spoiler in the AL this summer.

Whatever slim playoff hopes the Rangers were still clinging to were crushed by the Mariners over the weekend, leaving Texas 7.5 games back in the Wild Card race. At least Marcus Semien and Corey Seager are finally producing as expected; the latter blasted home runs in five straight games between last weekend and into early last week. The Rangers also stole the headlines in the MLB Draft by selecting Kumar Rocker third overall. This year isn’t their year, but things are far from dire in Arlington.

Tier 6 – Hope Deferred
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
Rockies 43-50 2 93 105 99 -5 60 0.1%
Diamondbacks 40-52 -1 91 106 107 11 70 0.0%
Tigers 37-55 4 77 119 82 8 72 0.0%
Cubs 35-57 -3 99 116 105 -17 52 0.0%
Pirates 39-54 6 96 112 113 -13 44 0.0%
Royals 36-56 1 94 118 116 2 41 0.0%
Athletics 32-61 -1 75 115 109 3 36 0.0%
Reds 34-57 -2 89 112 120 -13 22 0.0%
Nationals 31-63 -2 94 131 107 -27 25 0.0%

The Rockies finished the first half of the season on a hot streak, winning eight of their last 11 games. Kris Bryant is finally healthy and producing, and they’re scoring a ton of runs at home as expected. Those wins won’t change their fortunes this summer, though, and bafflingly, they’re unlikely to head into the trade deadline as sellers. That would mean they’ll have passed up two straight opportunities to bolster their lackluster farm system, though the trade candidates this year are a little less attractive than Trevor Story and Jon Gray could have been last year.

The big news surrounding the Nationals last week wasn’t related to their play on the field, though they did drop five straight to fall behind the A’s for the worst record in baseball. Instead, the headlines were focused on the breakdown of the contract extension negotiations between the team and Juan Soto, who rejected their latest offer and will now reportedly be on the trade block. If he is in fact moved this year, it would bring back a massive haul of prospects. Still, it’s a disappointing turn of events for the Nationals, who seem like they’re ready to move on from a generational talent before he even turns 24.

Complete Power Rankings
Rank Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds Δ
1 Yankees 64-28 -2 121 82 77 8 192 100.0% 0
2 Astros 59-32 2 113 87 79 19 190 100.0% 0
3 Dodgers 60-30 -3 118 79 82 -1 170 99.9% 0
4 Braves 56-38 1 109 90 82 1 152 98.0% 0
5 Mets 58-35 3 110 92 92 1 145 99.5% 0
6 Mariners 51-42 0 108 101 94 5 132 67.8% 6
7 Cardinals 50-44 -4 107 103 94 9 131 52.1% 2
8 Padres 52-42 2 98 93 96 19 128 77.1% -1
9 Rays 51-41 2 103 91 106 7 127 70.0% 5
10 Blue Jays 50-43 1 112 96 104 6 139 87.0% 3
11 Phillies 49-43 -3 102 87 91 -16 121 44.8% -1
12 Giants 48-43 -3 107 86 104 -25 108 52.8% 3
13 Twins 50-44 0 112 100 104 -2 119 49.3% -5
14 Brewers 50-43 1 101 95 95 -5 107 72.8% -3
15 Red Sox 48-45 0 102 100 102 4 113 41.1% -9
16 Guardians 46-44 0 99 103 100 6 103 28.9% 1
17 Marlins 43-48 -1 96 98 103 3 91 3.0% -1
18 Orioles 46-46 1 94 109 86 1 78 1.5% 2
19 White Sox 46-46 1 99 104 100 -13 77 52.2% 3
20 Angels 39-53 -4 93 94 108 7 81 1.5% -2
21 Rangers 41-49 -4 99 108 103 -11 72 0.7% -2
22 Rockies 43-50 2 93 105 99 -5 60 0.1% 2
23 Diamondbacks 40-52 -1 91 106 107 11 70 0.0% -2
24 Tigers 37-55 4 77 119 82 8 72 0.0% -1
25 Cubs 35-57 -3 99 116 105 -17 52 0.0% 0
26 Pirates 39-54 6 96 112 113 -13 44 0.0% 2
27 Royals 36-56 1 94 118 116 2 41 0.0% -1
28 Athletics 32-61 -1 75 115 109 3 36 0.0% 1
29 Reds 34-57 -2 89 112 120 -13 22 0.0% -2
30 Nationals 31-63 -2 94 131 107 -27 25 0.0% 0





Jake Mailhot is a contributor to FanGraphs. A long-suffering Mariners fan, he also writes about them for Lookout Landing. Follow him on Twitter @jakemailhot.

3 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
mariodegenzgz
6 months ago

I mean there ain’t nothing baffling or surprising about the Rockies not trading pieces at this point. In ownership’s mind, they’re a good team that is currently underperforming (for the fourth year in row, but I digress) and why would they trade away their All-Star first baseman when they think they can be good as soon as next season?

sadtrombonemember
6 months ago
Reply to  mariodegenzgz

Fortunately, they don’t have a huge number of obvious trade candidates, unlike last year. But deciding you don’t want to trade your 37-year old closer on an expiring contract because you want to sign him to an extension is some next-level stuff.