FanGraphs Power Rankings: June 17–23

There were some big shakeups in the AL playoff picture as the Red Sox and Astros charged up the standings, while the NL playoff picture is just as messy as ever.

This season, we’ve revamped our power rankings. The old model wasn’t very reactive to the ups and downs of any given team’s performance throughout the season, and by September, it was giving far too much weight to a team’s full body of work without taking into account how the club had changed, improved, or declined since March. That’s why we’ve decided to build our power rankings model using a modified Elo rating system. If you’re familiar with chess rankings or FiveThirtyEight’s defunct sports section, you’ll know that Elo is an elegant solution that measures teams’ relative strength and is very reactive to recent performance.

To avoid overweighting recent results during the season, we weigh each team’s raw Elo rank using our coinflip playoff odds (specifically, we regress the playoff odds by 50% and weigh those against the raw Elo ranking, increasing in weight as the season progresses to a maximum of 25%). As the best and worst teams sort themselves out throughout the season, they’ll filter to the top and bottom of the rankings, while the exercise will remain reactive to hot streaks or cold snaps.

First up are the full rankings, presented in a sortable table. Below that, I’ve grouped the teams into tiers with comments on a handful of clubs. You’ll notice that the official ordinal rankings don’t always match the tiers — I’ve taken some editorial liberties when grouping teams together — but generally, the ordering is consistent. One thing to note: The playoff odds listed in the tables below are our standard Depth Charts odds, not the coin flip odds that are used in the ranking formula.

Complete Power Rankings
Rank Team Record Elo Opponent Elo Playoff Odds Power Score Δ
1 Yankees 52-28 1595 1514 99.7% 1613 0
2 Phillies 51-26 1581 1481 99.9% 1600 1
3 Orioles 49-28 1578 1500 97.6% 1595 -1
4 Guardians 49-26 1573 1483 91.6% 1592 2
5 Dodgers 48-31 1558 1487 99.3% 1578 -1
6 Braves 43-32 1555 1499 95.4% 1565 3
7 Mariners 45-35 1539 1494 80.1% 1552 -2
8 Brewers 45-33 1527 1495 79.8% 1543 -1
9 Red Sox 42-36 1545 1509 37.1% 1539 2
10 Twins 43-35 1525 1485 73.9% 1527 -2
11 Astros 38-40 1534 1502 43.6% 1514 5
12 Cardinals 39-37 1518 1490 43.7% 1513 0
13 Mets 37-39 1517 1515 34.1% 1502 1
14 Padres 41-41 1509 1509 50.1% 1499 4
15 Royals 42-37 1488 1502 29.3% 1485 -5
16 Diamondbacks 38-40 1497 1493 29.7% 1484 4
17 Rays 38-40 1502 1496 16.9% 1482 5
18 Nationals 38-39 1488 1502 3.5% 1479 -1
19 Rangers 37-40 1491 1503 17.6% 1474 5
20 Pirates 37-40 1483 1494 11.6% 1470 1
21 Reds 36-41 1484 1500 14.2% 1467 -2
22 Giants 36-42 1467 1496 18.1% 1451 -7
23 Blue Jays 35-42 1472 1508 5.0% 1450 -10
24 Cubs 37-41 1463 1498 20.7% 1449 1
25 Tigers 36-41 1454 1489 7.3% 1436 -2
26 Angels 30-46 1457 1517 0.2% 1434 0
27 Marlins 27-50 1442 1513 0.0% 1420 0
28 Rockies 27-51 1403 1507 0.0% 1385 0
29 Athletics 29-51 1398 1506 0.0% 1380 0
30 White Sox 21-58 1356 1510 0.0% 1343 0

Tier 1 – The Best of the Best
Team Record Elo Opponent Elo Playoff Odds Power Score
Yankees 52-28 1595 1514 99.7% 1613
Phillies 51-26 1581 1481 99.9% 1600
Orioles 49-28 1578 1500 97.6% 1595

The Orioles had a statement series win against the Yankees last week, taking two of the three games, including a dramatic extra-innings affair on Wednesday and an old-fashioned blowout on Thursday. Unfortunately, they followed that triumph up with a pretty ugly sweep against the Astros in Houston. The Yankees weren’t immune to the weekend woes after the high emotions of that intra-divisional series; they dropped two of three to the Braves and lost Giancarlo Stanton to a hamstring injury. He joined Anthony Rizzo on the IL, and suddenly the Yankees’ offensive depth is being tested.

The Phillies signed Cristopher Sánchez to a four-year extension over the weekend, and he celebrated by spinning seven shutout innings against the Diamondbacks on Sunday. Philadelphia now has the three best qualified starters in the NL by ERA — and Aaron Nola isn’t one of them. Bryce Harper is producing like he wants to win another MVP. Meanwhile, the calendar says June so Kyle Schwarber is crushing the ball.

Tier 2 – On the Cusp of Greatness
Team Record Elo Opponent Elo Playoff Odds Power Score
Guardians 49-26 1573 1483 91.6% 1592
Dodgers 48-31 1558 1487 99.3% 1578
Braves 43-32 1555 1499 95.4% 1565
Mariners 45-35 1539 1494 80.1% 1552
Brewers 45-33 1527 1495 79.8% 1543

The Guardians won their fifth straight game on Sunday, sweeping the Blue Jays and overtaking the Yankees for the best record in the American League (though New York still has the most wins in the majors, with 52). Cleveland travels to Baltimore and Kansas City this week in two pretty big tests of the team’s mettle.

The Dodgers haven’t missed Mookie Betts or Yoshinobu Yamamoto yet thanks to the scorching hot Shohei Ohtani. He blasted four home runs last week and is now up to nine in June to go along with a 207 wRC+ this month.

After falling to 10 games back in the NL East on June 11, the Braves have strung together three series wins in a row and have gone 8-3 in that stretch. That cut the deficit down to seven games. Michael Harris II joined Ronald Acuña Jr. on the IL last week, but the rest of their offensive stars have shown a bit of life recently. But the real reason why they should still be considered one of the better teams in the league is because of their pitching staff; over these last 11 games, they’ve allowed just 2.9 runs per game.

The Mariners’ fun differential was nowhere to be found last week; they lost back-to-back series to the Guardians and Marlins on the road. Seattle has a gauntlet of AL Wild Card contenders on the horizon, beginning this week with series against the Rays, Twins, Orioles, and Blue Jays coming up. The Mariners still have a solid grip on the AL West, but last week showed just how razor thin their margin for error is without any significant upgrades to their lineup.

Tier 3 – Solid Contenders
Team Record Elo Opponent Elo Playoff Odds Power Score
Red Sox 42-36 1545 1509 37.1% 1539
Twins 43-35 1525 1485 73.9% 1527
Astros 38-40 1534 1502 43.6% 1514
Cardinals 39-37 1518 1490 43.7% 1513
Mets 37-39 1517 1515 34.1% 1502

The Red Sox hovered around .500 for essentially the entire season — never climbing more than four games over and never falling more than two games below that mark. Until last week, that is. Their series win over the Yankees a couple of weekends ago gave them the momentum to sweep the Blue Jays and win their weekend series over the Reds, pushing them six games over .500 and into sole possession of the final AL Wild Card spot.

Perhaps the Astros’ sweep of the Orioles last weekend will end up being the turning point for what has been an otherwise disappointing season. They’ve now won three series in a row and have cut their deficit in the AL West from 10 games to just six in the span of a week. Even so, last week was far from ideal. They finally decided to cut the struggling José Abreu, and their pitching staff suffered yet another injury; this time it was Justin Verlander, who was placed on the IL with neck discomfort on Tuesday. Still, the Astros definitely should not be counted out of the playoff picture yet.

The Cardinals and Mets seem to be the two teams in the NL Wild Card race with the most forward momentum right now. St. Louis swept the Giants over the weekend to pull within five games of the Brewers in the NL Central. And no team has been better this month than the Mets, who are 13-6 in June following their brutal 9-19 May. New York’s bats have awoken during the scorching stretch, with a 142 wRC+ that ranks first in the majors this month. Of course, because they’re the Mets, they capped off their week with a self-inflicted wound. Closer Edwin Díaz was ejected before pitching the ninth inning of Sunday’s 5-2 win over the Cubs for a sticky substance violation; his ejection triggered an automatic 10-game suspension.

Tier 4 – The AL Melee
Team Record Elo Opponent Elo Playoff Odds Power Score
Royals 42-37 1488 1502 29.3% 1485
Rays 38-40 1502 1496 16.9% 1482
Rangers 37-40 1491 1503 17.6% 1474
Blue Jays 35-42 1472 1508 5.0% 1450
Tigers 36-41 1454 1489 7.3% 1436

Last week, I had this group of fringe AL contenders behind the much larger NL group, but I think these five teams are a bit better than that blob of clubs fighting over the NL Wild Card. Right now, the Rays and Rangers look like they’re trending upward, while the Royals and Blue Jays have had pretty terrible fortnights.

After series wins against the Twins and Pirates, the Rays are tied with the Astros in the AL Wild Card standings, and just like Houston, it’s too early to count Tampa Bay out of the race. The same could be said of the Rangers, who are only a half-game behind the Rays and just swept the Royals over the weekend. Texas also welcomed back Max Scherzer on Sunday, the first of what is expected to be a number of reinforcements from the injured list over the next few months.

The Royals have really floundered these past two weeks, winning just three times in their last 13 games. They’ve lost their grip on a Wild Card spot and are now nine games back in the AL Central. Their Cinderella Story might have been too good to be true, though there’s plenty of season left for them to rediscover some of their magic — after all, they have six more games against the White Sox. For now, Kansas City returns home for three games against the Marlins before hosting the Guardians for a four-game set over the weekend.

It’s probably too late for the Blue Jays to regain any ground in the playoff race at this point; they lost all six games they played last week and have won just three times over their last 12 games. Making matters worse, their no. 2 prospect, Orelvis Martinez, was suspended 80 games on Sunday for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drugs policy.

The Tigers took advantage of Toronto’s losing streak to leap the Jays in the Wild Card standings. Detroit’s -6 run differential and +9 Base Runs differential paints a much better picture than its actual record 36-41 record. The biggest issue for the Tigers is their lackluster offense; their 11-run outburst on Sunday broke a stretch of six games in which they had scored two or fewer runs. Their starting rotation has been carrying them for essentially the entire season, and they’re approaching the point where they need to make a decision about whether they want to keep Jack Flaherty for the stretch run or try to get a haul of prospects for the resurgent starter.

Tier 5 – The NL Melee
Team Record Elo Opponent Elo Playoff Odds Power Score
Padres 41-41 1509 1509 50.1% 1499
Diamondbacks 38-40 1497 1493 29.7% 1484
Nationals 38-39 1488 1502 3.5% 1479
Pirates 37-40 1483 1494 11.6% 1470
Reds 36-41 1484 1500 14.2% 1467
Giants 36-42 1467 1496 18.1% 1451
Cubs 37-41 1463 1498 20.7% 1449

Going .500 in a given week is the measuring stick of success for the teams in this tier. That bare minimum means they’re sticking around in the crowded NL Wild Card race without actually pulling too far ahead or falling too far behind. The Diamondbacks, Nationals, Pirates, and Cubs all met that meager mark last week. Meanwhile, the Padres won three of four against the Brewers over the weekend to cap off a 4-3 week and maintain their loose grip on the final Wild Card spot. It feels like the whole NL playoff picture is like a giant Pepe Silvia bulletin board.

The Reds lost both of their series last week and have dropped in the standings just as quickly as they climbed them a few weeks ago. Their youngsters are still battling though plenty of inconsistency as they work out the growing pains of trying to develop in the big leagues. They’ll welcome back Noelvi Marte from his 80-game suspension soon — he’s eligible to be activated on June 27 — and Matt McLain has shown some recent progress in his rehab from his shoulder injury. Those two should provide some support for the lineup whenever they rejoin the club.

Despite playing in the Rickwood Field game on Thursday night and honoring franchise icon Willie Mays after he died at 93 on Tuesday, the Giants had a week to forget on the field. They were swept by the Cardinals over the weekend and now carry a five-game losing streak into Monday night’s series opener against the Cubs in San Francisco. This is a huge four-game set; Chicago is one of the teams immediately ahead of the Giants in the Wild Card standings. And yet despite these woes — because this is the middling National League — San Francisco is only three games behind the Padres for the final playoff berth.

Tier 6 – Hope Deferred
Team Record Elo Opponent Elo Playoff Odds Power Score
Angels 30-46 1457 1517 0.2% 1434
Marlins 27-50 1442 1513 0.0% 1420
Rockies 27-51 1403 1507 0.0% 1385
Athletics 29-51 1398 1506 0.0% 1380

The Angels may have avoided a serious injury scare last weekend: Zach Neto had to be removed from Saturday’s game, but it doesn’t appear to be a serious issue. That’s good, because Neto has been one of the precious few bright spots for the Halos this year.

The Marlins had three walk-off victories in a row last week — and won both of their series to boot — but that’s pretty much the only thing to celebrate in Miami. They had to scratch both Jesús Luzardo and Braxton Garrett from their scheduled starts last weekend, and now their starting rotation is devoid of any of the young, promising starters they’ve developed over the last few years. With so many injuries decimating their youth movement, it’s starting to feel like this season is a complete lost cause, without any hint of momentum to look forward to next year.

Tier 7 – The White Sox
Team Record Elo Opponent Elo Playoff Odds Power Score
White Sox 21-58 1356 1510 0.0% 1343

There is one problem with putting the White Sox in their own tier below that group of four rebuilding clubs above them: I have to write something about them each week. They won twice last week, which should be considered a moral victory given the historically bad pace they were on a few weeks ago. They’re still on track to lose 119 games, which would match the modern record.





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.

91 Comments
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markakis21
1 month ago

It’s nice to see the Royals dropping in the standings. I didn’t like all known laws of baseball being challenged like that 😀

fjtorres
28 days ago
Reply to  markakis21

I looked into it.
A lot of it is Perez coming back to earth after his unholy april.
Witt can’t do it alone.