FanGraphs Power Rankings: July 4–10

With the All-Star break right around the corner, a few teams have made surprising charges up the standings. There are at least 10 teams vying for as few as four playoff spots which should make for a second half packed with drama.

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 61-25 0 120 82 75 8 192 100.0%
Astros 56-29 2 117 88 78 17 190 100.0%
Dodgers 56-29 -3 116 79 83 -2 164 99.8%

The Dodgers just wrapped up an 11-game homestand with 10 wins, including back-to-back sweeps of the Rockies and Cubs, and have built an eight-game lead in the NL West in just a couple of weeks. That’s enough to bump them back into the top tier with the Yankees and Astros. Mookie Betts has shown no ill effects from his rib injury, collecting three home runs last week, including two on Thursday. The pitching staff, meanwhile, allowed four or more runs in a game on Sunday for the first time since June 28. Tony Gonsolin has continued to shine and has made a strong case to make the start for the NL All-Stars in Los Angeles next week.

The Yankees ended up splitting their four-game series against the Red Sox over the weekend, losing the last two games on Saturday and Sunday. Thanks to their huge lead in the AL East, it would be a miracle if anyone caught them, but they have slipped behind the pace of the 2001 Mariners and are now on track to win 115 games this season. They’ll head into the All-Star break with three against the Reds and another three against Boston.

Like the Yankees, the Astros have built such a big lead in their division that they can take their foot off the gas pedal just a bit as they head into the midseason break. To that end, they placed Yordan Alvarez on the IL with hand inflammation that he’s been dealing with since late June. There’s never an ideal time to lose your best hitter, but the upcoming All-Star break will give the AL MVP contender a little extra time to heal, and facing the floundering Angels and A’s before the midsummer pause should help ease the blow to the lineup.

Tier 2 – On the Cusp of Greatness
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
Braves 52-35 1 110 88 82 2 154 98.2%
Mets 53-33 3 111 95 94 0 136 98.4%
Red Sox 47-39 -1 106 98 95 7 139 74.8%
Padres 49-38 1 97 91 94 22 129 86.0%
Twins 48-40 -1 113 98 101 -2 130 62.8%

Since the calendar flipped over to June, the Braves have posted the best record in baseball at 29–8. That’s pushed them to within striking distance of the Mets at the top of the NL East, with those two teams now facing off in a big three-game series this week. Atlanta has been getting contributions from up and down the lineup and from nearly everyone on the pitching staff. Even losing Ozzie Albies and Kenley Jansen for extended periods of time hasn’t slowed things down. There’s still plenty of season left to play, but it certainly seems like two Braves teammates will be battling each other for NL Rookie of the Year honors; Spencer Strider has been phenomenal out of the rotation, and Michael Harris II has solidified Atlanta’s outfield since getting called up in late May.

The Twins remain atop the AL Central despite going just 21–24 since May 24 thanks to how badly the rest of the division has struggled. They’ve had no trouble scoring runs with a lineup led by All-Star Luis Arraez, but their real weakness is a pitching staff that’s been cobbled together after suffering through a lot of attrition during the first half of the season. If they want to maintain their grip on their division lead, they’ve got a handful of spots in their rotation and bullpen to upgrade this month.

Tier 3 – Solid Contenders
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
Cardinals 46-42 -4 105 103 92 5 118 40.7%
Phillies 46-40 -3 104 87 93 -16 117 46.6%
Brewers 48-39 1 104 96 90 -8 111 83.7%
Mariners 45-42 -1 107 102 96 3 124 44.9%
Blue Jays 45-42 1 111 97 108 4 125 79.4%
Rays 45-40 0 100 91 108 5 107 55.4%

The Cardinals scored just 11 runs in seven games last week, losing three of four to the Braves and two of three to the Phillies. They’ve slipped out of playoff position in the NL Wild Card race, though they’re just 2.5 games back in their division after the Brewers lost their weekend series, too. Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado are still carrying the offense, but they’re not getting as much support from the rest of the roster; just three other players have a wRC+ over 100 over their last 20 games. They play the Phillies once more on Monday before hosting the Dodgers for three games.

Since Bryce Harper was knocked out with a broken thumb on June 25, Philadelphia has gone 8–5, good enough to pass St. Louis and take the last NL Wild Card spot. Kyle Schwarber is now the focal point of their offense while he’s in the middle of one of his summer hot streaks; he had back-to-back multi-home run games early last week and blasted his fifth home run of the week on Sunday.

The Mariners vaulted up the standings after securing their eighth straight victory and sweeping the Padres and Blue Jays last week. Ever since an ugly 11-game homestand in mid-June that dropped them to 10 games under .500, they’ve been one of the best teams in the majors, going 16–3 and moving into a tie for the final AL Wild Card spot with Toronto. What’s even more impressive is that they’ve played the last ten games down one roster spot; J.P. Crawford and Jesse Winker served their suspensions for their participation in the big brawl against the Angels back-to-back. Reinforcements are coming, too; Ty France was recently activated off the IL, and Mitch Haniger and Kyle Lewis might return from their respective injuries right after the All-Star break. To top it all off, of Seattle’s remaining 75 games, just 18 are against teams over .500.

As for the Blue Jays, they limp home after a rough seven-game West Coast road trip where they won just once. They’re 1–9 over their last 10, 7–13 over their last 20, and 11–19 over their last 30. The big culprit is a pitching staff that’s reached its breaking point; Toronto’s team ERA of 4.94 is the worst in the AL during this stretch. Kevin Gausman remains sidelined with an ankle injury, while the losses of Hyun Jin Ryu and Yusei Kikuchi to injury have exposed the lack of rotation depth in the system.

Toronto isn’t the only AL East team struggling right now; the Rays were swept by Cincinnati, with two of the losses coming in extra innings and one of them on a walk-off balk. To make matters worse, Wander Franco and Kevin Kiermaier were both placed on the IL again only a few weeks after coming off of it. The Rays head into the All-Star break with four games against the Red Sox and three against the surging Orioles; they have the third toughest strength of schedule remaining, putting them at a serious disadvantage in the highly competitive AL East.

Tier 4 – The Melee
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
Giants 43-41 -2 105 88 104 -27 102 38.4%
Marlins 41-43 -2 101 99 103 2 103 8.1%
Guardians 41-42 0 97 105 104 4 86 21.3%
Angels 38-49 -3 96 92 109 7 97 5.3%
Rangers 39-44 -4 100 109 95 -9 82 3.6%
Orioles 43-44 1 92 108 87 1 78 1.3%
White Sox 41-43 3 98 104 105 -11 76 50.6%

Between key departures, injuries, and good old regression, the Giants have found it difficult to replicate their magic from last year. They managed to salvage a series split against the Padres over the weekend behind a dominant Carlos Rodón start on Saturday and a 12–0 blowout on Sunday. Still, they haven’t won a series since taking two of three from the Pirates from June 17–19 and are sitting on the fringes of the NL Wild Card race, a game behind the Cardinals and two games behind the Phillies.

After their big series win against the Twins a couple of weeks ago, the Guardians have lost eight of their last 10 games, dropping series to the Tigers and Royals last week. Between the early-season reschedules and a ton of rain delays, they’ve already played seven double-headers this year but are still tied for the fewest number of games played in the majors. They have a double-header on tap this week and another immediately following the All-Star break.

The Orioles! Winners of eight straight, the O’s have suddenly jumped into the AL Wild Card conversation, and their current 1.3% playoff odds are the highest they’ve been since mid-September 2020 (or early April 2018, if you ignore the wonky shortened season). Are they turning a page in their rebuild cycle? Perhaps. Are they suddenly going to be buyers at the trade deadline? Probably not. Have they been extremely entertaining to watch recently? Absolutely.

Tier 5 – No Man’s Land
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
Diamondbacks 38-48 -1 90 105 108 12 78 0.0%
Tigers 36-49 4 78 116 81 8 76 0.6%
Rockies 38-48 2 89 106 100 -8 53 0.0%
Cubs 34-52 -2 102 116 106 -12 67 0.1%

The Tigers swept the Guardians in four games early last week and took the first two games of their series against the White Sox over the weekend, finally showing a spark after such a disappointing start to the season. Riley Greene has held his own since being called up in mid June, and Spencer Torkelson has looked a bit better recently too. With so many steps back this year, any positives need to be celebrated in Detroit.

Tier 6 – Hope Deferred
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
Royals 32-52 1 93 122 117 7 52 0.0%
Reds 32-54 -2 89 110 118 -11 27 0.0%
Pirates 36-50 6 87 116 112 -16 19 0.0%
Athletics 29-58 -1 74 113 110 2 37 0.0%
Nationals 30-58 0 94 129 110 -23 30 0.0%

The Reds swept away the Rays over the weekend, pushing their win streak to four games. Every game in July is an opportunity to showcase their veterans for other teams, so it helps that Brandon Drury and Luis Castillo put together great performances last week. Unfortunately, one of their potential trade pieces, Tyler Mahle, was sidelined with a strained shoulder. Bad luck for a team that should be one of the more aggressive sellers at the trade deadline.

Somehow, some way, the Pirates have gone 6–2 against the Dodgers and Yankees this year. Yes, they got blown out 16–0 by New York on Tuesday and have two more games against them in September, but that’s an impressive and improbable line against two of the best teams in baseball.

Complete Power Rankings
Rank Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds Δ
1 Yankees 61-25 0 120 82 75 8 192 100.0% 0
2 Astros 56-29 2 117 88 78 17 190 100.0% 0
3 Dodgers 56-29 -3 116 79 83 -2 164 99.8% 0
4 Braves 52-35 1 110 88 82 2 154 98.2% 0
5 Mets 53-33 3 111 95 94 0 136 98.4% 0
6 Red Sox 47-39 -1 106 98 95 7 139 74.8% 0
7 Padres 49-38 1 97 91 94 22 129 86.0% 0
8 Twins 48-40 -1 113 98 101 -2 130 62.8% 3
9 Cardinals 46-42 -4 105 103 92 5 118 40.7% -1
10 Phillies 46-40 -3 104 87 93 -16 117 46.6% 3
11 Brewers 48-39 1 104 96 90 -8 111 83.7% -2
12 Mariners 45-42 -1 107 102 96 3 124 44.9% 3
13 Blue Jays 45-42 1 111 97 108 4 125 79.4% -3
14 Rays 45-40 0 100 91 108 5 107 55.4% -2
15 Giants 43-41 -2 105 88 104 -27 102 38.4% -1
16 Marlins 41-43 -2 101 99 103 2 103 8.1% 0
17 Guardians 41-42 0 97 105 104 4 86 21.3% 0
18 Angels 38-49 -3 96 92 109 7 97 5.3% 1
19 Rangers 39-44 -4 100 109 95 -9 82 3.6% -1
20 Orioles 43-44 1 92 108 87 1 78 1.3% 0
21 Diamondbacks 38-48 -1 90 105 108 12 78 0.0% 1
22 White Sox 41-43 3 98 104 105 -11 76 50.6% -1
23 Tigers 36-49 4 78 116 81 8 76 0.6% 2
24 Rockies 38-48 2 89 106 100 -8 53 0.0% 0
25 Cubs 34-52 -2 102 116 106 -12 67 0.1% -2
26 Royals 32-52 1 93 122 117 7 52 0.0% 0
27 Reds 32-54 -2 89 110 118 -11 27 0.0% 3
28 Pirates 36-50 6 87 116 112 -16 19 0.0% -1
29 Athletics 29-58 -1 74 113 110 2 37 0.0% -1
30 Nationals 30-58 0 94 129 110 -23 30 0.0% -1





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.

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Mikemember
2 months ago

Looks like Tier 6 is missing