FanGraphs Power Rankings: June 21–27

We’ve now reached the true halfway point of the season and the best teams in both leagues have continued to pull away from the pack. It’s looking like the Wild Card teams in both leagues will need to win around 95 games to ensure their playoff spot. That’s a lot of ground to make up for the squads that are well off that pace and the group of teams on the bubble has started to shrink as teams start to drop out of contention.

A quick refresher: my approach takes the three most important components of a team — their offense (wRC+), and their starting rotation and bullpen (50%/50% FIP- and RA9-) — and combines them to create an overall team quality metric. I add in a factor for “luck” — adjusting based on a team’s expected win-loss record — to produce a power ranking.

Tier 1 – The Best
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- Team Quality Playoff Odds Δ
Giants 50-27 0 110 84 100 154 ↗ 85.5% 1
Dodgers 47-31 -3 111 84 101 158 ↗ 98.9% -1
White Sox 45-32 -3 106 81 94 160 ↘ 87.6% 0
Rays 47-32 -2 101 91 84 148 ↗ 61.2% 1
Padres 47-33 -2 102 90 86 151 ↗ 94.9% -1
Astros 48-30 -5 125 85 107 141 ↗ 95.0% 0

The top tier grew after the Padres, Rays, and Astros had really strong weeks. The six teams that make up this tier each have a run differential of at least +77 and hold a commanding grip on a playoff spot.

After holding the best record in baseball for the last few weeks, the Giants finally moved into the top spot in these rankings. They swept the Angels in a two-game series early last week and won their series against their Bay Area rivals over the weekend. They’ve won 10 of their last 12 games and have scored 6.9 runs per game during this hot stretch. With a Rays-esque roster that’s incredibly flexible and a fantastic rotation led by Kevin Gausman and Anthony DeSclafani, they’ve proven their success this year is no fluke.

The Dodgers fell out of the top spot in the rankings after they were swept by the Padres and no-hit by the Cubs last week. They bounced back after that first game against Chicago and won the next three to earn the series win. But those losses earlier in the week allowed the Giants to widen the gap at the top of the NL West. These two powerhouses matchup in a two-game series in Los Angeles to start this week.

After getting swept by the Rockies in Colorado a couple of weeks ago, the Padres absolutely dominated a 10-game homestand. They swept the Reds and Dodgers and won their series against the Diamondbacks. Yes, they allowed the D-backs to win on the road for the first time since late April, but they were able to move within one game of the Dodgers for second place in their division.

The Astros won their first four games last week by a combined score of 38-6, but scored just five times in their next three games and ended up splitting their weekend series with the Tigers. Even with Alex Bregman’s absence, their offense has shown no signs of slowing down and their rotation has been bolstered by the return of Framber Valdez and Lance McCullers Jr. Their only weakness is their bullpen, which has some real issues bridging the gap from their starters to Ryan Pressly. That’s the one thing that’s holding them back from rising any higher in these rankings despite holding the best record in the American League and the best run differential in baseball.

Tier 2 – On the Cusp of Greatness
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- Team Quality Playoff Odds Δ
Red Sox 47-31 4 104 95 92 140 ↗ 76.4% 0
Mets 40-33 1 92 78 91 146 ↗ 81.1% 1
Yankees 40-37 2 99 91 84 147 ↘ 46.4% 1
Athletics 47-33 3 106 91 104 126 ↘ 58.1% -2
Blue Jays 40-36 -5 111 102 98 132 ↗ 40.3% 2
Brewers 45-33 5 87 84 100 101 ↗ 75.4% 2

These next six teams in the rankings all have a solid chance to make the playoffs. Unfortunately, with the top of the American League so crowded, two of the AL teams in this tier will likely come up just short. Right now, it’s the Yankees and Blue Jays on the outside looking in, but both teams are good enough to make a run in the second half of the season and overtake the Red Sox or Rays if either of those teams slip in the standings.

The Blue Jays had the benefit of playing the Orioles seven times in the last week and a half, winning five of those games. It’s a nice rebound after getting swept by the Yankees two weeks ago. George Springer is finally healthy after dealing with multiple muscle strains in his legs. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has hit 10 home runs this month — including three last week — as he continues his breakout campaign.

The A’s began this month with a 15-game stretch during which they won 13 games, pushing their record to 17 games over .500. They’ve won just three games since that hot streak, losing series to the Yankees and Giants and splitting with the Rangers. They’ll face Texas six more times before the All-Star break, with two huge series against the Red Sox and Astros in between. Ignoring a 13-run outburst on Tuesday, they’ve really struggled to score runs during this cold stretch. Mark Canha has been sidelined with a hip injury, which has shortened their lineup a bit. Their core trio of Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, and Ramón Laureano have all played extremely well, but the rest of Oakland’s lineup has been hit or miss.

Tier 3 – On the Bubble
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- Team Quality Playoff Odds Δ
Cubs 42-36 1 93 120 78 100 ↗ 23.7% -2
Cleveland 41-33 4 86 106 84 87 ↘ 22.9% -2
Nationals 37-38 1 95 102 95 110 ↗ 6.2% 2

The tier of teams on the bubble is surprisingly tiny. If you really squint, you could see how any of the teams in the tier below could move up into this group with a hot streak, but these three teams are probably the last few that could realistically challenge for a playoff spot in the second half.

The Nationals are probably the most surprising team in this tier. Just two weeks ago, they were eight games under .500 and 7.5 games behind the Mets in the NL East. But they’ve won 10 of their last 14 games and are now just a game under .500 and four games back in their division. Kyle Schwarber of all people has led their resurgence; he blasted five home runs in their big series against the Mets last weekend and hit four more last week. They have another makeup game against the Mets to start this week before running into a tough stretch in their schedule; series against the Rays, Dodgers, Padres, and Giants take them to the All-Star break. If they can emerge from that gauntlet with a record around .500, they’ll be in good position for a potential second half run.

Even though they have a better record than the Yankees and Blue Jays and are much closer to a playoff spot than either of those other teams, Cleveland is in a really precarious position right now. They just lost Aaron Civale to a sprained finger and now their entire Opening Day starting rotation is either injured or has been demoted to Triple-A. The White Sox have slipped a bit in the standings so Cleveland’s been able to keep pace in the AL Central, but things could come crashing down at any moment.

Tier 4 – Running Out of Time
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- Team Quality Playoff Odds Δ
Marlins 33-44 -8 90 90 89 126 ↗ 0.1% 0
Reds 38-38 1 103 99 121 83 ↗ 10.8% 3
Angels 37-40 2 106 107 113 90 ↘ 7.8% -3
Mariners 41-38 6 90 112 95 79 ↗ 1.8% 2
Braves 37-40 -1 101 102 110 86 ↘ 12.9% -2
Phillies 36-39 0 93 94 111 87 ↗ 7.8% -2

The Marlins are a tough team to evaluate. Their pitching staff has been one of the best in the National League but their offense has been dreadful. The emergence of Jazz Chisholm has been a positive development, but there are still far too many holes up and down their lineup. They have the dubious distinction of being the only team in baseball with a positive run differential but record under .500, with their actual record sitting an astonishing eight games under their expected record.

The Mariners have managed to hang around the fringes of the playoff race by winning 10 of their last 13 games, including winning series against the Rays and White Sox. But with a roster that includes very few veterans, they just don’t have that many pieces to sell off, and they certainly aren’t in a position to buy. It seems like their best option is to hold fast and see if their youngsters can take a major step forward during the second half. It probably won’t result in a playoff berth, but it might set them up for a run next year.

The Phillies have tried their hardest to stick around in the weird NL East division race. They’ve had to overcome plenty of injury issues, but what team hasn’t this year? Their biggest issue has been a bullpen that’s barely improved from last year’s disaster. They brought in a bunch of relievers in the offseason but those new faces haven’t helped them much. Their bullpen lost them three games last week and they’re now second to last in the NL in Meltdowns.

Tier 5 – Disappointments
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- Team Quality Playoff Odds Δ
Twins 33-43 0 105 115 114 74 ↗ 2.2% 2
Cardinals 37-41 4 87 117 101 51 ↘ 2.7% 0
Royals 33-43 2 88 112 103 59 ↘ 0.3% -2

After ending May with a record six games over .500 and in the middle of a very close race with the Cubs for the NL Central, the Cardinals have completely cratered in June. They’ve won just seven times in June and have fallen well behind the pace in their division. Last week they played the Tigers and Pirates and won just once. They’ve dealt with a few key injuries in their starting rotation but their biggest issue has been a lack of depth to replace those lost innings. To make matters worse, those starters that have stayed healthy have been largely disappointing. It’ll be hard for them to sell at this point, especially after adding Nolan Arenado this offseason. Their best course of action might be to ride out this disappointing season and reload for next year.

Tier 6 – Hope Deferred
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- Team Quality Playoff Odds Δ
Rangers 30-48 -3 90 107 103 68 ↗ 0.0% 2
Pirates 29-47 1 85 125 95 52 ↗ 0.0% 3
Tigers 34-44 3 87 98 117 46 ↘ 0.0% -2
Rockies 31-47 -1 78 102 115 36 ↘ 0.0% 0
Orioles 24-54 -2 90 128 105 48 ↘ 0.0% -3
Diamondbacks 22-57 -7 87 126 122 13 ↗ 0.0% 0

Both the Diamondbacks and Orioles snapped their long road losing streaks last week; Baltimore won in Buffalo on Friday and Arizona won in San Diego on Saturday. It’s a small consolation, as both teams are on pace to lose over 100 games this year and are in a tight race for the top pick in the 2022 draft. With trade rumors surrounding Eduardo Escobar heating up, it looks like the D-backs are ready to start selling and the other teams in this tier shouldn’t be far behind.


Overall Power Rankings
Rank Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- Team Quality Playoff Odds Δ
1 Giants 50-27 0 110 84 100 154 85.5% 1
2 Dodgers 47-31 -3 111 84 101 158 98.9% -1
3 White Sox 45-32 -3 106 81 94 160 87.6% 0
4 Rays 47-32 -2 101 91 84 148 61.2% 1
5 Padres 47-33 -2 102 90 86 151 94.9% -1
6 Astros 48-30 -5 125 85 107 141 95.0% 0
7 Red Sox 47-31 4 104 95 92 140 76.4% 0
8 Mets 40-33 1 92 78 91 146 81.1% 1
9 Yankees 40-37 2 99 91 84 147 46.4% 1
10 Athletics 47-33 3 106 91 104 126 58.1% -2
11 Blue Jays 40-36 -5 111 102 98 132 40.3% 2
12 Brewers 45-33 5 87 84 100 101 75.4% 2
13 Cubs 42-36 1 93 120 78 100 23.7% -2
14 Cleveland 41-33 4 86 106 84 87 22.9% -2
15 Nationals 37-38 1 95 102 95 110 6.2% 2
16 Marlins 33-44 -8 90 90 89 126 0.1% 0
17 Reds 38-38 1 103 99 121 83 10.8% 3
18 Angels 37-40 2 106 107 113 90 7.8% -3
19 Mariners 41-38 6 90 112 95 79 1.8% 2
20 Braves 37-40 -1 101 102 110 86 12.9% -2
21 Phillies 36-39 0 93 94 111 87 7.8% -2
22 Twins 33-43 0 105 115 114 74 2.2% 2
23 Cardinals 37-41 4 87 117 101 51 2.7% 0
24 Royals 33-43 2 88 112 103 59 0.3% -2
25 Rangers 30-48 -3 90 107 103 68 0.0% 2
26 Pirates 29-47 1 85 125 95 52 0.0% 3
27 Tigers 34-44 3 87 98 117 46 0.0% -2
28 Rockies 31-47 -1 78 102 115 36 0.0% 0
29 Orioles 24-54 -2 90 128 105 48 0.0% -3
30 Diamondbacks 22-57 -7 87 126 122 13 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.

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Lincoln Steele
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Lincoln Steele

whoever writes this obviously doesn’t watch baseball or look at stats…astros ranked 6th? get real