MLB Power Rankings: What Tier Does Your Team Belong To?

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
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Most teams are approximately 15 percent of the way through their campaigns. Sample sizes are small, but not minuscule, and we’re starting to get a sense of what clubs around the majors are capable of.

A look up and down the standings shows plenty of early season surprises from the surging Cleveland Guardians to the floundering Houston Astros.

Enough games have been played that these power rankings will lean heavily on early season records, but there are a few mirages and struggling clubs that shouldn’t hit the panic button just yet.

With further ado, away we go.

Remember to take a look at all of the best MLB betting sites to get the most valuable MLB odds prior to wagering on any futures bets this year.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Power Rankings: Top-notch rosters + encouraging results

These clubs look like the top World Series contenders out of the gate.

All World Series odds courtesy of FanDuel sportsbook – accurate as of April 25

1. Atlanta Braves (+480)

Coming into the season, projection systems tended to identify Atlanta as the best team in the majors, and they’ve generally lived up to that label.

The Braves have MLB’s highest-performing group of position players by fWAR, and even with Spencer Strider out there’s still plenty of quality arms on Atlanta’s staff. They have the second-highest MLB win total odds as a result.

2. New York Yankees (+700)

Adding Juan Soto to this lineup has given it precisely the boost the Yankees were hoping for when they acquired him in an offseason blockbuster. There’s a reason why he’s leading on the MLB MVP odds board. And Anthony Volpe has been an excellent leadoff man for this group.

The pitching staff will be more imposing when Gerrit Cole returns, but his recovery appears to be progressing well.

3. Baltimore Orioles (+1100)

It’s an exciting time to be an Orioles fan with Jackson Holliday and Heston Kjerstad joining a lineup that is already young and potent. Their AL East odds are sitting at +210 to win the division.

This club will be extremely dangerous if it gets good pitching, and that has been the case so far thanks in part to the excellence of its new rotation and bullpen aces Corbin Burnes and Craig Kimbrell — who have exceeded lofty expectations.

4. Los Angeles Dodgers (+320)

Los Angeles would hope to have a slightly better record, but the club remains atop its division with a solid +25 run differential.

The Mookie Betts-Shohei Ohtani combo has been lethal atop this lineup and if they get a little more front the bottom of the order the Dodgers offence has a chance to be special.

5. Philadelphia Phillies (+1400)

Philadelphia has always felt in a slightly different category than most of the contenders because Atlanta’s greatness winning the NL East is such a tall order for them.

The Phillies’ destiny may be to reach the playoffs through the back door, but the proof of concept for the top of this roster is there and they’ve impressed early. Philadelphia is 13-6 in its last 19 games and breakout performances from guys like Alec Bohm, Spencer Turnbull, and Ranger Suarez has its ceiling looking impressive.

MLB Power Rankings: Tier 2 – The good results brigade

It’s tough to question what these clubs have done so far, but aspects of their roster invite skepticism.

6. Cleveland Guardians (+3500)

The loss of Shane Bieber hurts and this offence seems likely to cool off a bit, but no one has won more games than the Guardians and they possess the majors’ best run differential (+47). Their AL Central odds are +100 to win the division. 

If Josh Naylor’s breakout in the middle of this lineup is for real and the team’s run scoring remains above-average the ceiling for Cleveland is far higher than anticipated entering the season.

7. Milwaukee Brewers (+5000)

The Brewers have posted an excellent record despite playing the majority of 15 of their 23 games on the road and 18 against teams with records above .500.

This lineup is full of unproven players that could come to earth, but so far they’ve been excellent — and the pitching has done its bit too, leading to fifth-ranked run differential (+33). We’d expect Milwaukee to drop from this perch in the weeks to come, but their deserve their flowers for these early results.

8. Chicago Cubs (+3500)

Chicago is right with Milwaukee in the standings but the team is dealing with a number of key pitching injuries that make them tougher to trust going forward.

The good news for the Cubs is that the lineup is hitting for power and the rotation has weathered the absence of Justin Steele and Kyle Hendricks better than expected thanks to Japanese rookie Shota Imanaga excelling in his first few MLB starts (0.84 ERA in 21.1 IP).

9. Kansas City Royals (+8000)

The Royals’ underlying numbers are even stronger than their record suggests as their +38 run differential means their expected record sits at 17-10.

Kansas City’s rotation seems likely to regress, but this lineup could exceed expectations as Bobby Witt Jr. seems to be taking the step to MVP candidate and the 2-3-4 spots in the lineup with Witt, Vinne Pasquantino, and Salvador Perez are terrifying to opposing pitchers.

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Power Rankings: Tier 3 – The squishy middle

MLB is riddled with mediocrity, leading to a massive cohort of teams that have looked OK but far from spectacular so far.

10. Arizona Diamondbacks (+3500)

Arizona doesn’t have the best record in this group, but its +35 run differential is outstanding.

The Diamondbacks have received middle-of-the-pack pitching, but their lineup is deep and punishing. They also have some advantages at the margins like Gabriel Moreno’s ability to completely erase opposing running games.

11. Seattle Mariners (+2800)

The Mariners are who we thought they were entering 2024. This group doesn’t but many runs on the board, but scoring against them is a nightmare.

Seattle hasn’t been able to seize on Houston’s early-season weakness to pull away in the AL West, but the Mariners don’t look like they’re going anywhere thanks to the floor their run-suppression gives them.

12. Boston Red Sox (+10000)

Boston’s record is tough to trust thanks to its favorable schedule, and the team is 7-9 against teams with a winning record.

If the Red Sox are still getting the kind of pitching they’ve enjoyed so far in a month they’ll need to shoot up these rankings, but much of the production they’ve received has come from players with track records worth questioning. The +23 run differential is undeniably solid, though.

13. Cincinnati Reds (+7000)

Cincinnati seems to be more dangerous than anticipated thanks to Elly De La Cruz going from Statcast darling to legitimate star — and a young rotation providing solid results.

This team is leaning on so many youngsters that they are tough to project, but the upside is there and the NL Central is up for grabs.

14. Texas Rangers (+1200)

The Rangers have been mediocre in most facets of the game which explains their record and run differential.

The top of this lineup is impressive, but the bottom is middling and there isn’t enticing potential with a rotation missing Jacob deGrom or Max Scherzer.

15. Toronto Blue Jays (+2800)

Toronto’s first few weeks are the opposite of Boston’s in a sense. 

The Blue Jays should be commended for holding their own against a tough series of opponents, but their -13 run differential speaks to a record that might not be deserved. Toronto will need more from the top of its order — George Springer, Vladimir Guererrero Jr., and Bo Bichette — to make any real noise.

16. Detroit Tigers (+5500)

Detroit has a better record than a few of the teams above them, but its run differential (+7) suggests the team isn’t dominating.

There’s plenty to be excited for if you’re a Tigers fan, though, as Tarik Skubal looks truly unhittable and Riley Greene has been a stud atop the order.

17. San Diego Padres (+6500)

The loss of Juan Soto has undoubtedly hurt this team, but its position player core is still strong and rookie outfielder Jackson Merrill has been an exciting addition to that group.

When Yu Darvish returns to the rotation it should be a strength of the team and Robert Suarez spearheads a solid bullpen. The bones of a good team are here, but the performance has lagged slightly.

18. Tampa Bay Rays (+3000)

The Rays have been relatively unimpressive across the board in the early going, but it seems foolish to rule them out completely.

Tampa Bay’s biggest weakness so far has been a bullpen that has a 5.31 ERA and ranks dead last in the majors in fWAR (-1.1). Based on this team’s history and its organizational talent, it seems likely to clean that up to some degree.

19. New York Mets (+5000)

The Mets have star power and respectable results on their side, but much of their success has been driven by a bullpen that’s probably not as elite as it’s appeared so far — and injuries have thinned out the rotation.

If J.D. Martinez is the guy he was in 2023 when he joins the lineup, this team’s prognosis could improve significantly, and could move up our MLB Power Rankings as a result.

20. Minnesota Twins (+3000)

You could justify a lower ranking based on record and run differential, but this team still has the second-best playoff odds in the AL Central.

While the team’s inability to hit right-handed pitching has been a concern and injuries to Carlos Correa and Royce Lewis sting, it’s too early to bury a team that has consistently been the class of its (mediocre) division lately.

MLB Power Rankings: Tier 4 – A league of their own

There’s only one club that combines elite talent with brutal early season results.

21. Houston Astros (+1100)

There’s no way the Astros are actually this bad, but they are digging quite the hole for themselves.

Houston has lost a full rotation — Framber Valdez, Luis Garcia, Cristian Javier, Lance McCullers Jr. and Jose Urquidy — to injury but its staff still has some quality pieces and the lineup is built around established stars. 

Despite the Astros’ record, FanGraphs still gives them a respectable 44.0 percent chance to make the playoffs.

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Power Rankings: Tier 5 – Bad teams that aren’t embarrassing themselves

It will take a lengthy stretch of strong play to get folks believing in these teams.

22. San Francisco Giants (+5000)

There’s plenty of competence on this team, but not much greatness — particularly with Blake Snell giving the Giants three rough starts then straining his groin.

Outside of Logan Webb this rotation is tough to trust right now and most of the top relievers haven’t lived up to their track records. Unfortunately for San Francisco, this isn’t a club built to out-hit pitching issues.

23. Pittsburgh Pirates (+15000)

This might be a harsh ranking based on Pittsburgh’s solid record, but the Pirates have been struggling lately after a 6-1 start.

Even ascending to also-ran status is a good step for a team that has been among MLB’s worst lately — and the emergence of Jared Jones could have significant ramification for Pittsburgh’s rotation in 2024 and beyond. Their NL Central odds are sitting at +1200 to win the division – are they a possible dark horse candidate?

24. St. Louis Cardinals (+3500)

St. Louis entered 2024 with aspirations of cruising to an NL Central title, but the Cardinals have been by far the worst team in the much-maligned division.

Although the back of the Cardinals bullpen has been stellar and Sonny Gray has looked like a fine free-agent investment, this team has been low on standouts.

25. Los Angeles Angels (+15000)

The Angels haven’t been truly putrid in the first few weeks of the season, but that’s not much of a bar to clear.

While Los Angeles has a baseline competence level in its rotation, the bullpen is full of middling free-agent imports and the lineup is woeful outside of Mike Trout and Taylor Ward.

26. Washington Nationals (+50000)

There is a difference between exceeding expectations and being a good baseball team.

Washington has played a surprisingly functional brand of baseball, and the unbelievable start of CJ Abrams has to be encouraging. Even so, the 2024 season still projects to be a slog.

MLB Power Rankings: Tier 6 – Big fallers and also-rans who haven’t changed opinions

Being a fan of one of these teams sets you up for a painful summer.

27. Oakland Athletics (+50000)

The best thing that can be said for The Athletics is that they are not last in their division.

The worst thing that can be said for them is that there might not be a single player on the roster who will be part of the next relevant A’s squad. Mason Miller has a shot, but relievers don’t tend to make for great building blocks.

28. Miami Marlins (+50000)

Nothing has gone right for Miami this season, and the pitching staff that was meant to be its strength has been seriously thinned out by injuries.

The Marlins entered 2024 hoping to be in the wild-card race and that dream is all but over with less than a month in the books.

29. Colorado Rockies (+50000)

Unsurprisingly this talent-bereft group simply cannot win outside of Coors Field. 

Their 2-11 road record has sent them on a direct flight to the bottom of the standings, and the Rockies are almost certain to stay there all season.

30. Chicago White Sox (+50000)

This club isn’t as bad as its record suggests. It would be almost impossible to be as bad as a record like that, though.

Chicago’s 2024 is already an absolute nightmare.

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