FanGraphs Power Rankings: June 3–9

Baseball’s middle class is pretty large this year. Just 10 teams have records over .500 right now, while nine teams are within three games of a playoff berth — and that doesn’t include the four teams that are currently tied for the final National League Wild Card spot. Because the standings are so compressed, especially in the NL, one team going on a hot streak can up-end the status quo very quickly, as the Reds showed us last week.

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 46-21 1624 1509 99.7% 1636 0
2 Phillies 45-20 1598 1475 99.7% 1612 0
3 Orioles 42-22 1581 1489 96.8% 1594 1
4 Dodgers 41-26 1568 1491 99.7% 1582 -1
5 Guardians 42-22 1562 1479 83.0% 1576 0
6 Mariners 37-30 1545 1504 71.7% 1551 0
7 Royals 39-27 1539 1497 61.1% 1547 3
8 Brewers 38-27 1530 1495 78.6% 1542 -1
9 Braves 35-28 1524 1492 91.9% 1529 -1
10 Twins 34-31 1515 1498 55.6% 1508 -1
11 Padres 34-35 1500 1509 50.3% 1493 0
12 Giants 32-34 1502 1499 32.5% 1493 1
13 Astros 30-36 1510 1506 42.2% 1492 3
14 Cardinals 31-33 1500 1495 28.8% 1491 -2
15 Reds 32-34 1500 1496 24.5% 1491 9
16 Blue Jays 32-33 1505 1501 22.6% 1491 -1
17 Diamondbacks 31-35 1489 1498 29.1% 1478 3
18 Red Sox 33-33 1489 1501 13.1% 1478 -4
19 Pirates 31-34 1486 1498 16.0% 1477 4
20 Tigers 32-33 1484 1493 17.5% 1472 -1
21 Rays 31-34 1487 1493 17.3% 1472 -3
22 Rangers 31-34 1476 1498 18.8% 1466 -5
23 Mets 28-36 1479 1523 13.8% 1464 2
24 Cubs 32-34 1468 1497 33.6% 1462 -3
25 Nationals 30-35 1467 1512 1.3% 1456 -3
26 Angels 25-40 1450 1517 0.5% 1432 1
27 Marlins 22-43 1438 1514 0.1% 1420 -1
28 Athletics 26-41 1420 1504 0.1% 1404 1
29 Rockies 23-42 1411 1505 0.0% 1396 -1
30 White Sox 17-49 1354 1511 0.0% 1344 0

Tier 1 – The Best of the Best
Team Record Elo Opponent Elo Playoff Odds Power Score
Yankees 46-21 1624 1509 99.7% 1636
Phillies 45-20 1598 1475 99.7% 1612

In a possible World Series preview, the Yankees and Dodgers met for a three-game series in New York this past weekend. Los Angeles wound up taking two of three from the Yanks, snapping their eight-game winning streak in the process. Of course, New York was without Juan Soto for the entire series, and his absence exposed some of the weaknesses on their roster. Aaron Judge can only carry the lineup so far on his own, though he certainly tried: He collected seven hits and three home runs in the series, but the rest of the lineup scored just five runs all weekend without his direct contributions.

Setting aside the wild finish to their early morning game on Sunday, the Phillies had a pretty great week last week. They swept the Brewers before heading across the pond and winning the first game of the London Series. They’re still in possession of the best record in baseball and are now a whopping nine games up on the Braves in the NL East.

Tier 2 – On the Cusp of Greatness
Team Record Elo Opponent Elo Playoff Odds Power Score
Orioles 42-22 1581 1489 96.8% 1594
Dodgers 41-26 1568 1491 99.7% 1582
Guardians 42-22 1562 1479 83.0% 1576

The Orioles split their series against the Blue Jays and have already won their four-game wrap-around series against the Rays. Still, they’re barely managing to keep pace with the Yankees. They’ve lost three games in the standings over the last calendar month, though that’s pretty good considering the run New York has been on. Baltimore’s seemingly never ending supply of top prospects produced two more debuts last week; Connor Norby and Cade Povich were called up as injury fill-ins, though neither has made a huge impact yet. Just give it time.

The Dodgers’ series win over the Yankees was a nice bounce back after they lost their series to the Pirates earlier in the week. A smattering of minor injuries has slowed down Shohei Ohtani recently; he’s slumped to just a 62 wRC+ over the last two weeks. Luckily, Teoscar Hernández has picked up a lot of the slack. He blasted four home runs last week, including three in New York to help power the Dodgers’ series victory.

The big series between the Guardians and Royals turned out to be somewhat of a dud, as a rainout on Wednesday meant the two teams battling for the top spot in the American League Central had to settle for a two-game split.

Tier 3 – Solid Contenders
Team Record Elo Opponent Elo Playoff Odds Power Score
Mariners 37-30 1545 1504 71.7% 1551
Royals 39-27 1539 1497 61.1% 1547
Brewers 38-27 1530 1495 78.6% 1542
Braves 35-28 1524 1492 91.9% 1529

The Mariners and Royals played a very competitive and entertaining series this past weekend. Kansas City wound up winning two of the three games after a monumental come-from-behind victory on Friday and a win on Saturday. The Royals put up a tough fight on Sunday, too, tying the game in the ninth and scoring another pair in the 10th only to come up a run short. They’re second in the AL in runs scored per game despite a wRC+ of just 103. They’re relying on a ton of clutch hitting and MVP-caliber seasons from Bobby Witt Jr. and Salvador Perez.

With a series win over the Tigers, the Brewers bounced back after being swept by the Phillies, but their depth — one of the keys to their success this year — is being stretched perilously thin. Their latest pitcher to hit the IL is Robert Gasser, who is dealing with an ominous sounding elbow injury. Behind Freddy Peralta, the starting rotation is being held together with duct tape and hope. The Brewers have a pretty solid lead in the NL Central, but they desperately need reinforcements if they’re going to hold that position through the summer.

Tier 4 – The Melee
Team Record Elo Opponent Elo Playoff Odds Power Score
Twins 34-31 1515 1498 55.6% 1508
Padres 34-35 1500 1509 50.3% 1493
Giants 32-34 1502 1499 32.5% 1493
Astros 30-36 1510 1506 42.2% 1492
Cardinals 31-33 1500 1495 28.8% 1491
Reds 32-34 1500 1496 24.5% 1491
Blue Jays 32-33 1505 1501 22.6% 1491

The Astros made the most of last week despite receiving a ton of bad injury news. They won series against the Cardinals and Angels, but lost Cristian Javier and José Urquidy to Tommy John surgery and Kyle Tucker to a minor leg injury. It’s possible they’ll get Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers Jr. back from their respective injuries at some point this season, but it might already be too late to count on that.

Because the playoff picture is so muddy behind the top five teams in the AL, it’s still too early to count out the Blue Jays. They’re only two games back in the Wild Card race, hardly the position of a team looking to sell at the trade deadline. Teams are salivating over the thought of acquiring Vladimir Guerrero Jr. or Bo Bichette, but Toronto might still fight its way back to contention.

The Reds surged up the standings with a seven-game win streak that was snapped on Sunday. They were 3.5 games back in the NL Wild Card race at the start of this month and are now tied with three other teams for that final playoff spot just a week and a half later. Their ascent shows just how volatile the playoff races are shaping up to be this summer. The Reds will have their work cut out for them this week, as they host the Guardians for two games before heading to Milwaukee for a big three-game set against the division leader.

Treading water was the name of the game for the rest of the teams in this tier, which is enough to keep all of them relevant in the playoff picture for now. The Giants went 3-3 and the Cardinals went 3-4, while the Padres stumbled against the Angels and wound up winning just twice last week, and the Twins snapped a five-game losing streak on Sunday.

Tier 5 – No Man’s Land
Team Record Elo Opponent Elo Playoff Odds Power Score
Diamondbacks 31-35 1489 1498 29.1% 1478
Red Sox 33-33 1489 1501 13.1% 1478
Pirates 31-34 1486 1498 16.0% 1477
Tigers 32-33 1484 1493 17.5% 1472
Rays 31-34 1487 1493 17.3% 1472
Rangers 31-34 1476 1498 18.8% 1466
Mets 28-36 1479 1523 13.8% 1464
Cubs 32-34 1468 1497 33.6% 1462

Much like the Reds did last week, any of the teams in this tier could jump into the playoff picture with a hot streak. The Pirates and Mets both won four games last week — perhaps they’ll be the next teams to make the leap.

Losing three straight to the Orioles over the weekend was pretty deflating for the Rays. They had finally climbed back to .500 entering this big intra-division series, but they’re now back in the cellar of the AL East. The playoff picture is still wide open, but their status as a small market team in the most competitive division in the majors could mean Tampa Bay ends up looking to retool this summer and reset the roster for next year. All of the Rays’ injured starters should be healthy by then and Junior Caminero could be ready to contribute in the big leagues as well.

The Tigers opted to send Spencer Torkelson back to Triple-A last week after his season-long struggles became too hard to excuse. While their offense still has plenty of issues scoring consistently, their starting rotation has continued to be a source of optimism. Tarik Skubal turned in another gem of a start last week, and as long as he and Jack Flaherty are leading the pitching staff, the Tigers have a puncher’s chance at making a run during the second half of the season.

The Cubs just continue to flounder. They swept a short two-game series against the White Sox last week but then lost three of four against the Reds over the weekend. That makes five losses to Cincinnati over the last two weeks, and the Northsiders have three games against the Cardinals lined up this week. Thanks to the compressed standings in the NL, they’re actually tied with two of their division rivals and the Giants for the last Wild Card spot. Their momentum is taking them the opposite direction of those other teams and they desperately need a spark to turn things around.

Tier 6 – Hope Deferred
Team Record Elo Opponent Elo Playoff Odds Power Score
Nationals 30-35 1467 1512 1.3% 1456
Angels 25-40 1450 1517 0.5% 1432
Marlins 22-43 1438 1514 0.1% 1420
Athletics 26-41 1420 1504 0.1% 1404
Rockies 23-42 1411 1505 0.0% 1396

The Nationals and Angels played their part as spoilers last week, with Washington taking three of four from the reeling Braves, while the Angels swept the Padres. That’s just about as much playoff relevance as these teams can hope for this season. All five of the teams in this tier should be clear sellers this summer. The only question is how soon they pull the trigger on the inevitable trades.

Tier 7 – The White Sox
Team Record Elo Opponent Elo Playoff Odds Power Score
White Sox 17-49 1354 1511 0.0% 1344

Building a strong pitching staff could jump start the rebuild in Chicago, cutting a season or two off the process. So far, Garrett Crochet has developed nicely and the White Sox are about to call up Drew Thorpe, their sixth-ranked prospect. Pitching is the foundation for many contenders, so at least the Sox have their priorities straight.





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.

35 Comments
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MikeSmember
10 days ago

Good to see the White Sox finally placed in the appropriate tier.

Last edited 10 days ago by MikeS
sadtrombonemember
10 days ago
Reply to  MikeS

It is true by definition.

fjtorres
10 days ago
Reply to  MikeS

They’ll have company by august.

LMOTFOTEmember
10 days ago
Reply to  fjtorres

I’m not so sure. They really seem to have separated themselves from even the “hope deferred” group.

fjtorres
10 days ago
Reply to  LMOTFOTE

They will get (marginally) better and several low grade teams will be selling. I’m not saying they won’t be botton of the pack, just that they won’t be the only 100 game losers.

Miami, Angels, Colorado, Oakland all can move down after the deadline. None of those are coming back up in one year.

spoonful
10 days ago
Reply to  MikeS

Michael Kopech and Yoan Moncada were traded for Chris Sale – was there a worse trade this year than Sale for Vaughn (don’t call me Marquis) Grissom?

Last edited 10 days ago by spoonful
fjtorres
10 days ago
Reply to  spoonful

Hard to tell since he hasn’t played enough to know.
Some “bad” deals turn out pretty good after a year or two.

pressxtojason
8 days ago
Reply to  fjtorres

Sure, but, if David Hamilton has truly found his bat, there’s really too much of a logjam in the middle infield if the Red Sox are ever healthy again. If Grissom remains sub-Dalbec, he may be out of the picture even before that.