FanGraphs Power Rankings: June 5–11

The Reds are fun again, the A’s have won five straight, and the Diamondbacks and Pirates are leading their divisions. Apparently, we’ve entered the bizarro portion of the season.

A reminder for how these rankings are calculated: first, we take the three most important components of a team — their offense (wRC+), their pitching (a 50/50 blend of FIP- and RA9-, weighted by starter and reliever IP share), and their defense (RAA) — and combine them to create an overall team quality metric. 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
Rangers 41-23 -4 121 85 98 5 168 78.9%
Rays 48-20 1 131 79 111 6 160 99.1%
Braves 40-25 1 114 90 87 -10 144 98.7%

The big Rays-Rangers series over the weekend did not disappoint. None of the games were particularly close affairs, but both teams were able to showcase the top two offenses in baseball this year. On Saturday, Corey Seager went 5-for-5 with a home run and a double to power Texas’ eight-run outburst. The following day, Wander Franco blasted a go-ahead three-run home run in the fourth inning, his first dinger since May 9.

Beyond the big matchup with Tampa Bay, Texas also had to deal with some unfortunate news last week: Jacob deGrom will undergo his second Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of this season and most of the next. That puts a ton of pressure on the rest of the Rangers’ rotation to continue carrying the load without the best pitcher in baseball among their ranks. Luckily, Nathan Eovaldi has been phenomenal, and Dane Dunning has been doing his best to cover for deGrom, only now he’ll be needed for the entire season instead of just for a short while.

Tier 2 – On the Cusp of Greatness
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
Diamondbacks 40-25 4 106 100 99 9 136 74.9%
Dodgers 37-29 -2 115 97 106 3 133 91.1%
Blue Jays 37-30 1 111 97 92 2 143 63.6%
Astros 37-29 -2 98 88 86 6 125 70.8%

The Diamondbacks won their fifth straight game on Sunday — a dramatic, come-from-behind victory in Detroit — and enter this week tied for the best record in the National League. More importantly, they’re 3.5 games clear of the Dodgers in the NL West; the last time they won the division was all the way back in 2011. They’re being led by Corbin Carroll, the current favorite to win the NL Rookie of the Year award. He’s already collected 15 hits, four home runs, and 11 RBIs in June, including a pair of dingers on Friday night to power Arizona to a win.

The Dodgers lost back-to-back, walk-off games against the Reds to start the week, then dropped another game in the ninth on Friday in Philadelphia. Suddenly, they’ve lost seven of their last ten games and 13 of their last 25. The beginning of this slide coincided with injuries to Dustin May and Julio Urías, and Noah Syndergaard just joined those two on the IL. Perhaps that will be blessing in disguise, since Syndergaard has been one of the worst starters in baseball this season, but it will continue to strain the Dodgers’ pitching depth.

Tier 3 – Solid Contenders
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
Angels 36-31 1 110 106 92 -1 125 31.4%
Orioles 41-24 5 107 104 82 -13 113 53.7%
Giants 33-32 -1 105 96 100 7 130 44.0%
Yankees 38-29 0 99 102 81 4 114 70.0%

The Angels rattled off five wins in a row last week and beat the Mariners in a three-game series over the weekend to push their record to five games over .500, matching a season high. Shohei Ohtani has unsurprisingly been the star of the show; over his last 12 games, he’s collected 19 hits and six home runs. More surprising is the continued sluggish performance of Mike Trout; he’s collected just four hits this month, and his wRC+ has now dipped to 127. They’ll head to Texas to face the Rangers for four games in a big divisional battle this week.

Tier 4 – The Melee
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
Twins 33-33 -4 100 81 91 -10 117 63.7%
Padres 31-34 -4 98 94 90 16 123 55.7%
Pirates 34-30 2 100 97 94 -2 109 24.2%
Marlins 37-29 6 99 92 101 -4 97 51.9%
Mariners 31-33 -1 98 95 92 9 121 16.2%

The Padres are slowly climbing the standings, winning four of their six games last week. Their superstar core clearly hasn’t been carrying their share of the load; Juan Soto is finally hitting like his normal self, but Manny Machado and Xander Bogaerts have suffered from various maladies, and Fernando Tatis Jr.’s return from his lost season has been rather uneven. Thankfully, they are getting some new contributions from Gary Sánchez, playing for his third organization this season; he’s slugged five home runs for San Diego since he was picked up off waivers at the end of May.

The Pirates took over control of the NL Central after winning their weekend series against the Mets. Andrew McCutchen collected his 2,000th career hit, Ke’Bryan Hayes is heating up at the plate, and Mitch Keller has continued to look dominant on the mound. Pittsburgh has played its way into position to make a surprise run into the playoffs this summer, but instead of acting like a win-now ballclub, the team might be better off continuing to look to the future in the hope that this season is a springboard to a more sustainable contender over the next few years.

The Marlins have won 12 of their last 15 games and are now tied atop the NL Wild Card standings with the Dodgers. Their offense has come alive this month: they’ve scored 5.7 runs per game in June, a huge jump over what they produced during the first two months of the season. The big story is Luis Arraez’s chase for .400, though that’s overshadowed the excellence of Jorge Soler, Bryan De La Cruz, and Jesús Sánchez. And they’ve been able to weather the struggles of Sandy Alcantara because the rest of their young rotation has been phenomenal behind him.

Tier 5 – Up and Down
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
Brewers 34-32 3 87 99 102 8 84 55.0%
Red Sox 33-33 0 105 110 96 -13 80 13.2%
Phillies 32-33 3 99 95 100 -5 91 37.0%
Cardinals 27-39 -6 107 106 95 -4 112 18.5%
Guardians 31-34 1 86 95 87 2 89 31.1%
Cubs 28-37 -3 97 92 102 2 95 9.9%
Mets 31-35 0 102 117 109 -3 74 34.2%
Reds 31-35 1 93 115 89 -7 63 4.8%

It’s impossible to get a read on the direction of the teams in this tier. They’re all close enough to contending that they can’t be counted out of the playoff picture, but none of them have been playing consistently well this season. Case in point: the Guardians. They’ve been mired in a disappointing campaign, hitting their low point of seven games under .500 on June 2. Since then, they’ve come alive with six wins in eight games, including series wins against the Red Sox and Astros. Their offense, which had been the worst in baseball, scored in the double digits in back-to-back games last week behind José Ramírez (10 hits and four home runs during this stretch), Josh Naylor (14 hits), and Will Brennan (11 hits, two homers). They’re now just a game and a half back of Minnesota in the AL Central and very much in the AL playoff picture.

Speaking of hot and cold teams, the Cubs held the Giants to just two runs during the first two games of their weekend series behind a solid start from Marcus Stroman and a vintage outing from Kyle Hendricks. Then they were blown up for 13 runs in the final game of the series. That’s sort of a microcosm of their season: They’re sporadically getting good enough performances from parts of their roster, but that success has been inconsistent at best. Still, they’re playing in a weak division, are just 5.5 games out in the NL Wild Card race, and have six games against the Pirates over the next two weeks. Now is as good a time as any to try to make a move up the standings.

Don’t look now, but the Reds are just three games back in the NL Wild Card standings, and no team is more fun to watch right now. That’s what happens when you call up a young phenom like Elly De La Cruz. His electric introduction to the big leagues has been a joy to watch, and it’s given fans in Cincinnati something to cheer about after a dismal and disappointing season last year. De La Cruz joins Matt McLain, Andrew Abbott, and Brandon Williamson as top prospects to make their debuts this year, and there are more on the way.

Tier 6 – Hope Deferred
Team Record wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
White Sox 29-38 1 87 106 116 0 48 7.2%
Tigers 26-37 3 82 109 102 8 57 1.2%
Nationals 26-38 -2 95 108 114 -2 51 0.0%
Rockies 27-40 0 82 119 93 -10 32 0.0%
Royals 18-47 -4 82 117 107 8 44 0.0%
Athletics 17-50 0 92 152 141 -8 24 0.0%

The A’s have won five games in a row! After winning their first series of the season at the very end of May — against the Braves of all teams! — Oakland has put together a nice little win streak with two victories in Pittsburgh and a sweep of the Brewers in Milwaukee. The A’s have a date with the Rays this week, though, which should put a quick end to their mini hot streak. But if you’re the superstitious type, this run of good play has come as soon as the Las Vegas stadium plans have come to a halt, with the future home of the franchise very much up in the air.

Complete Power Rankings
Rank Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds Δ
1 Rangers 41-23 -4 121 85 98 5 168 78.9% 0
2 Rays 48-20 1 131 79 111 6 160 99.1% 0
3 Braves 40-25 1 114 90 87 -10 144 98.7% 0
4 Diamondbacks 40-25 4 106 100 99 9 136 74.9% 3
5 Dodgers 37-29 -2 115 97 106 3 133 91.1% 0
6 Blue Jays 37-30 1 111 97 92 2 143 63.6% -2
7 Astros 37-29 -2 98 88 86 6 125 70.8% -1
8 Angels 36-31 1 110 106 92 -1 125 31.4% 4
9 Orioles 41-24 5 107 104 82 -13 113 53.7% -1
10 Giants 33-32 -1 105 96 100 7 130 44.0% 6
11 Yankees 38-29 0 99 102 81 4 114 70.0% -2
12 Twins 33-33 -4 100 81 91 -10 117 63.7% -2
13 Padres 31-34 -4 98 94 90 16 123 55.7% 2
14 Pirates 34-30 2 100 97 94 -2 109 24.2% 0
15 Marlins 37-29 6 99 92 101 -4 97 51.9% 4
16 Mariners 31-33 -1 98 95 92 9 121 16.2% -5
17 Brewers 34-32 3 87 99 102 8 84 55.0% 1
18 Red Sox 33-33 0 105 110 96 -13 80 13.2% -1
19 Phillies 32-33 3 99 95 100 -5 91 37.0% 3
20 Cardinals 27-39 -6 107 106 95 -4 112 18.5% 1
21 Guardians 31-34 1 86 95 87 2 89 31.1% 3
22 Cubs 28-37 -3 97 92 102 2 95 9.9% -9
23 Mets 31-35 0 102 117 109 -3 74 34.2% -3
24 Reds 31-35 1 93 115 89 -7 63 4.8% 1
25 White Sox 29-38 1 87 106 116 0 48 7.2% 2
26 Tigers 26-37 3 82 109 102 8 57 1.2% -3
27 Nationals 26-38 -2 95 108 114 -2 51 0.0% -1
28 Rockies 27-40 0 82 119 93 -10 32 0.0% 1
29 Royals 18-47 -4 82 117 107 8 44 0.0% -1
30 Athletics 17-50 0 92 152 141 -8 24 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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EonADS
11 months ago

The Guardians bats weren’t matching their xwOBAs this entire season. That alone would have boosted their performance. I didn’t think they’d rebound quite that explosively, but I was expecting something, and they do still have a couple guys who are lagging. Bieber looking like he was fully together in his last game helps too. I’m just happy my home team looks somewhat competent again.

Slightly lost in the last week is that Gabriel Arias and Tyler Freeman have both been quietly great whenever they get consistent playing time. Arias in particular looks to be figuring things out a bit more; though he swings and misses a lot, he’s been adjusting his swings to hit the ball where it’s pitched instead of trying to pull off pitches, and it’s improved his hard contact tremendously, and he’s swinging at pitches in the zone far more often without dropping his walk rate much. He’s also adjusted to being better defensively, which allows Francona to mix and match more often, to the team’s benefit. I’m very happy with his improvement, given that last year he looked like he’d never be more than a bench defender with some pop.

Last edited 11 months ago by EonADS
Left of Centerfield
11 months ago
Reply to  EonADS

The two big issues among the position players are catcher and shortstop.

They HAVE to bring up Naylor at some point. But how much playing time do they give him and which of the other catchers get the boot?

And at SS, what are they going to do with Rosario? Hard to see them just releasing him but I’m not sure what else they can do at this point? (why Francona insists on batting him 2nd is beyond me).

Straw is an issue at as well but at least he has defensive value (in theory).

EonADS
11 months ago

Zunino should be booted. Like, his defensive value has gone down the toilet, and since his early season hot streak, he’s been one of the worst hitters in baseball. And unlike most Guardians hitters, his xwOBA is lower than his actual, so there’s not really much hope of a rebound. Gallagher at least is framing at an elite level.

At shortstop, just play Freeman or Arias every day. They’re both better players than Rosario at this point. He should be flipped to a team with a need at short or a desire for more depth, even if he doesn’t bring back much of anything.

As for batting him second, he is good at motivating his teammates and can consistently get Kwan over if he’s on base. But Francona just doesn’t make batting order adjustments very often.

Last edited 11 months ago by EonADS
Left of Centerfield
11 months ago
Reply to  EonADS

The good thing about Francona is that he doesn’t overreact when a veteran is underperforming.

The bad thing about Francona is that he doesn’t overreact when a veteran is underperforming.