FanGraphs Power Rankings: June 7–13

After last week’s games, we’re around 40% of the way through the season. The halfway mark is quickly approaching, with the All-Star game soon after that. The form of the playoff races is slowly taking shape. And with few exceptions, too many of the teams on the bubble of contention just aren’t making any headway in the standings. There’s still plenty of season left to play, but the trade deadline decision-making point for many of these teams is coming sooner rather than later.

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
White Sox 41-24 -1 113 79 85 183 ↗ 91.7% 0
Rays 42-24 0 103 89 86 154 ↗ 75.7% 0

Despite neither team moving at all in the rankings, this tier saw the biggest changes this week. Both the White Sox and the Rays continued to pull away from the rest of the field in the American League, with each team losing just once last week. These two powerhouses are set to play three games in Chicago, which should be a fantastic preview of a potential AL Championship Series.

Chicago and Tampa Bay have scored the exact same number of runs this season but the White Sox have a decided advantage when it comes to their starting rotation. If the season ended today, their starters would have the third lowest park- and league-adjusted ERA of any team since the mound was lowered in 1969. And all this despite some significant struggles on the part of their staff ace, Lucas Giolito. They’ve thrived despite some extremely unfortunate injuries — Nick Madrigal is the latest victim — because they’ve built the best run prevention unit in the American League.

Tier 2 – On the Cusp of Greatness
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- Team Quality Playoff Odds Δ
Dodgers 39-26 -3 113 81 109 145 ↘ 97.5% 2
Giants 40-25 -1 102 82 100 133 ↘ 51.9% 2
Padres 38-29 -4 95 88 83 140 ↘ 89.7% -1
Mets 32-25 1 98 79 90 151 ↗ 84.5% 1
Athletics 40-27 4 107 92 98 137 ↗ 61.1% 1

The NL West continues to be the most intriguing division in baseball. The Giants are barely holding on to the division lead after the Dodgers won five of their six games last week. San Francisco and Los Angeles are playing the dregs of the league; both teams beat up on the Rangers last week and have series against the Diamondbacks and Phillies on the docket for this week. The Dodgers have notably been dealing with injury issues throughout the season — Max Muncy is the latest player to be sidelined — but the Giants have quietly racked up a laundry list of injured players, too. Evan Longoria’s shoulder injury is their most recent malady but they’ve now lost nearly as many total days to injury as the Dodgers.

Meanwhile, the Padres have taken a significant dip in the standings. They played seven games against both the Cubs and Mets over the last two weeks and ended up winning just four of them. They scored just 2.5 runs per game over that stretch and have now fallen a game behind in the NL Wild Card race. Most of their injury issues have plagued their pitching staff, so their lack of offensive firepower is another problem altogether. Trent Grisham was activated from the Injured List over the weekend and Tommy Pham has finally come alive after an ice cold start to the season, but two of their veteran stalwarts, Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers, have been totally disappointing this year, with neither having been able to maintain the offensive resurgence they enjoyed last season.

Tier 3 – Solid Contenders
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- Team Quality Playoff Odds Δ
Astros 37-28 -4 122 90 116 119 ↘ 76.9% 1
Red Sox 39-27 3 102 94 94 130 ↘ 60.8% -6
Cubs 38-27 1 100 118 77 114 ↗ 47.0% 0
Yankees 33-32 1 97 88 86 145 ↗ 45.6% 0
Blue Jays 33-30 -4 113 105 98 126 ↗ 43.5% 0
Brewers 38-27 4 87 83 101 99 ↗ 71.4% 0

Fresh off sweeping the Yankees last weekend, the Red Sox took one of the biggest tumbles down the rankings this week. They were crushed in the first two games of their series against the Astros and only managed to avoid a sweep by winning a wild 12-8 slugfest. They scraped together a walk-off win against the Blue Jays on Friday but were outscored 25-6 in their other two games over the weekend; the 18-4 drubbing on Sunday included eight home runs by the Blue Jays.

The Brewers and Cubs have spent the last week essentially tied for the NL Central lead and they’ve put some serious distance between themselves and the third-place Reds. Milwaukee has won 14 of their last 16 games and just completed a three-game sweep of the Pirates; the Cubs haven’t been quite as good over the same span, winning just 11 of their last 16. These two teams have a big matchup in two weeks. Between then and now, the Cubs have a decidedly tougher schedule: they face the Mets, Marlins, Cleveland, and Dodgers while the Brewers get to beat up on the Reds, Rockies (twice), and Diamondbacks.

After struggling through a rough stretch against the Astros and White Sox, the Blue Jays have to feel encouraged after crushing the Red Sox in Boston over the weekend. Their lineup, led by the suddenly god-like Vladimir Guerrero Jr., is good enough to stand toe-to-toe with any other team in the majors, and they should be getting reinforcements soon in the form of George Springer. Their pitching staff is another story. Robbie Ray has been phenomenal since he decided to start pounding the strike zone with his fastball, and Alek Manoah has looked promising in his three major league starts, but the rest of their staff is barely holding it together.

Tier 4 – On the Bubble
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- Team Quality Playoff Odds Δ
Cleveland 34-28 4 87 106 84 94 ↗ 19.7% 1
Marlins 29-36 -4 93 89 93 122 ↗ 0.4% 1
Reds 32-31 1 108 100 123 89 ↗ 13.7% 4
Angels 33-32 2 106 107 111 93 ↗ 20.8% 7
Phillies 32-31 1 94 92 113 83 ⏹ 19.9% 0
Braves 30-33 -1 102 107 110 84 ↘ 14.1% -2

The Angels had the biggest jump up the rankings this week after they swept both the Royals and Diamondbacks last week. They’re over .500 for the first time since May 1. Mike Trout is still a couple weeks away from returning but Anthony Rendon and Justin Upton’s bats have come alive recently and Shohei Ohtani is putting together an extremely compelling case for winning the AL MVP. Their schedule is extremely tough over these next few weeks, with Oakland, San Francisco, Tampa Bay, and New York on the docket before Trout returns. With the A’s and Astros playing so well right now, and the AL Wild Card filled with competition, this hot streak is probably too little, too late for the Angels.

The Reds also made a big jump after sweeping the Rockies at home over the weekend. They lost their series against the Brewers before that and have a date in Milwaukee to start this week. They’ve managed to stick around in the NL Central race with a potent offense led by Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos and a solid, if inconsistent, starting rotation. Their bullpen has been their big weakness this year, and their best reliever Tejay Antone was just sidelined with a forearm issue.

Tier 5 – Disappointments
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- Team Quality Playoff Odds Δ
Nationals 27-35 -1 91 105 96 88 ↗ 2.1% -1
Cardinals 32-33 3 92 115 105 69 ↘ 7.8% 0
Royals 30-34 1 90 108 98 78 ↘ 2.0% -8

With the Angels rising up and the Mariners and Twins falling, this mini-tier is filled with a new trio of disappointments. The Cardinals’ woes continued after they were swept in Chicago over the weekend. Those three losses pushed them under .500 for the first time since late April; they’re now six games back in the NL Central. It’s tough to see a path forward for St. Louis, especially with Jack Flaherty sidelined for a significant chunk of the summer. They’ve enjoyed promising seasons from Tyler O’Neill and Dylan Carlson, giving them nice building blocks for next year, but there are just too many holes to patch elsewhere on their roster.

Tier 6 – Hope Deferred
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- Team Quality Playoff Odds Δ
Twins 26-39 2 106 116 117 69 ↘ 1.9% 0
Mariners 32-35 6 86 117 100 54 ↘ 0.3% -2
Rangers 25-41 -2 89 108 104 66 ↘ 0.0% 0
Orioles 22-42 -3 94 121 103 66 ↘ 0.0% 0
Tigers 26-39 2 84 96 122 44 ⏹ 0.0% 1
Pirates 23-41 1 82 129 94 50 ⏹ 0.0% 1
Rockies 25-41 -1 76 106 110 39 ↘ 0.0% -2
Diamondbacks 20-46 -5 89 126 112 36 ⏹ 0.0% 0

Ke’Bryan Hayes came off the IL 10 days ago and he’s collected a hit in every game since being activated. It’s a small consolation for the Pirates, who have lost seven straight. And to make matters worse, Hayes had a home run overturned after he missed first base on Tuesday. After suffering the indignity of Will Craig’s wild ride, the Pirates just can’t catch a break.

Not to be outdone by Pittsburgh, the Diamondbacks have lost 10 straight after getting swept by the A’s and Angels last week. On May 1, they were a game over .500 and two games back in the NL West. Amazingly, they’ve won just six games since then. They haven’t won a game on the road since Madison Bumgarner threw his “no-hitter” against the Braves in Atlanta. It’s been a remarkable stretch of futility for the Diamondbacks and it’s not going to get any easier. They have the Giants, Dodgers, Brewers, and Padres on the docket over the next two weeks. They already have a 13-game losing streak on the books this season; this current losing streak could easily stretch long past that early mark.


Overall Power Rankings
Rank Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- Team Quality Playoff Odds Δ
1 White Sox 41-24 -1 113 79 85 183 91.7% 0
2 Rays 42-24 0 103 89 86 154 75.7% 0
3 Dodgers 39-26 -3 113 81 109 145 97.5% 2
4 Giants 40-25 -1 102 82 100 133 51.9% 2
5 Padres 38-29 -4 95 88 83 140 89.7% -1
6 Mets 32-25 1 98 79 90 151 84.5% 1
7 Athletics 40-27 4 107 92 98 137 61.1% 1
8 Astros 37-28 -4 122 90 116 119 76.9% 1
9 Red Sox 39-27 3 102 94 94 130 60.8% -6
10 Cubs 38-27 1 100 118 77 114 47.0% 0
11 Yankees 33-32 1 97 88 86 145 45.6% 0
12 Blue Jays 33-30 -4 113 105 98 126 43.5% 0
13 Brewers 38-27 4 87 83 101 99 71.4% 0
14 Cleveland 34-28 4 87 106 84 94 19.7% 1
15 Marlins 29-36 -4 93 89 93 122 0.4% 1
16 Reds 32-31 1 108 100 123 89 13.7% 4
17 Angels 33-32 2 106 107 111 93 20.8% 7
18 Phillies 32-31 1 94 92 113 83 19.9% 0
19 Braves 30-33 -1 102 107 110 84 14.1% -2
20 Nationals 27-35 -1 91 105 96 88 2.1% -1
21 Cardinals 32-33 3 92 115 105 69 7.8% 0
22 Royals 30-34 1 90 108 98 78 2.0% -8
23 Twins 26-39 2 106 116 117 69 1.9% 0
24 Mariners 32-35 6 86 117 100 54 0.3% -2
25 Rangers 25-41 -2 89 108 104 66 0.0% 0
26 Orioles 22-42 -3 94 121 103 66 0.0% 0
27 Tigers 26-39 2 84 96 122 44 0.0% 1
28 Pirates 23-41 1 82 129 94 50 0.0% 1
29 Rockies 25-41 -1 76 106 110 39 0.0% -2
30 Diamondbacks 20-46 -5 89 126 112 36 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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sadtrombone
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sadtrombone

Cardinals and D-Backs have completely collapsed under the weight of the pitching injuries / ineffectiveness. The Cardinals might hang around for a while but unless something changes radically they’re done.

techzero
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techzero

Before the Arenado trade, I had viewed this year as a transition year, and that position didn’t really change after the trade. This was always going to be a year to sort through the outfield and see what we had, and to see what we had in terms of pitching in the minors. I don’t think any team would stand up too well to losing three of their five starters (Flaherty, Kim, Mikolas; arguably four if you want to include Hudson) in a few weeks, not to mention ineffectiveness from Gant and Martinez at times, and injuries to Bader and Tyler O’Neill at varying times, forcing us to play Tommy Edman in RF and Matt Carpenter back at 2nd base. Our bench outside of Sosa has been incredibly underwhelming, and our bullpen walks or hits everybody, outside of Giovanny Gallegos. It’s going to be a rough June, and perhaps most of July.

I’m not saying we punt on this year yet, but it sure looks to be trending in that direction. At least we’ve got almost a full minor league season happening, with development for Liberatore, Thompson, and other pitchers. Gorman, Burleson, and Nootbar are (were, in the case of Nootbar) tearing it up. There’s good things in the system coming, so I hope we don’t sell the farm to try to win this year. With the decisions the Cubs have to make with their core, Milwaukee’s barren system, and…whatever the Reds are doing, I’d rather sign a few key pieces in the offseason (Scherzer, perhaps), fill from the farm, and then make a push for the next couple years.

Yeah, lotta injuries (just like a lot of teams) in a short amount of time.

Lanidrac
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Lanidrac

Why is everyone making such a big deal about the Kim injury when he only wound up missing 1 start? Mentioning it in the same context as the Flaherty and Mikolas injuries is just silly.

Lanidrac
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Lanidrac

Well, it’s a good thing they just got Kim and DeJong back, Andrew Miller recently came back much improved, and they’ll get Bader back soon. Altogether, that’s a pretty radical improvement.

If they can remain withing striking distance until they get Flaherty and Mikolas back and hopefully trade for at least 1 decent reliever, then they’ll still have a decent chance.