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MLB Power Rankings: Yankees look great, Houston's got a problem

Photo illustration by Julian Catalfo / theScore

Welcome to the second edition of our MLB Power Rankings for the 2024 regular season. There's been a lot of movement since the first edition was published Opening Day.

1. Los Angeles Dodgers

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank
11-7 5-5 +12 1 (-)

Shohei Ohtani's handled himself well despite off-field distractions involving his former interpreter. The Japanese star owns a 1.048 OPS, has eight multi-hit games, and ranks first in MLB in total bases. Pair his early work with impressive starts from Mookie Betts and Teoscar Hernández and it's clear why the Dodgers remain No. 1.

2. Atlanta Braves

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank
9-5 6-4 +19 2 (-)

Atlanta survived some early adversity to sit atop the NL East, and it's all thanks to the bats. Despite Ronald Acuña Jr.'s slow start and Sean Murphy hitting the IL, six qualified Braves hitters own an OPS above .800, and their 130 wRC+ is tops in MLB. Of greater concern is pitching: Max Fried's early struggles loom even larger now that Spencer Strider's season is over.

3. New York Yankees

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank
12-4 7-3 +21 8 (+5)

The Yankees relied on Aaron Judge to carry the offense heavily in recent years, so their racking up wins despite his slow start is encouraging. Anthony Volpe looks excellent, hitting .382/.477/.564 through 15 games, while Oswaldo Cabrera owns three homers and an .880 OPS in 12 games after posting a .574 OPS across 115 games last year.

4. Milwaukee Brewers

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank
10-4 6-4 +31 19 (+15)

The Brewers are off to an excellent start thanks to a fun offense. Milwaukee sits second in the majors with an .838 OPS, trailing only Atlanta. The team's been at its best in the clutch, hitting .362/.413/.589 with RISP. Christian Yelich, Willy Adames, and William Contreras have already combined for 12 home runs and 35 RBIs.

5. Baltimore Orioles

Daniel Shirey / Major League Baseball / Getty
Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank
9-6 6-4 +14 5 (-)

Camden Yards is going to need more cowbell. With all the attention on Jackson Holliday's arrival, it's been fellow rookie Colton Cowser who's stolen the show. The 24-year-old has a team-leading four home runs, six doubles and a 1.445 OPS through 14 games. Cowser terrorized the Red Sox at Fenway Park, driving in 10 runs in three games.

6. Texas Rangers

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank
8-8 4-6 +14 6 (-)

Adolis García's picked up where he left off last October. The 2023 ALCS MVP has powered a Rangers offense missing Josh Jung and Nathaniel Lowe, helping secure multiple wins over rival Houston and an early lead in the AL West. Texas is the only AL West club with a positive run differential, owing mostly to García, their only qualified player with a .900-plus OPS and more than two home runs.

7. Kansas City Royals

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank
10-6 8-2 +37 26 (+19)

The Royals are the surprising owners of MLB's best run differential after being outscored by 183 last year. Bobby Witt Jr. already has four home runs, six doubles, and three stolen bases in 16 games, while Brady Singer (0.98 ERA), Seth Lugo (1.45), and Cole Ragans (1.93) have been incredible through 10 starts.

8. Pittsburgh Pirates

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank
11-5 6-4 +24 24 (+16)

The Pirates started 5-0 for the first time in 41 years. Martín Pérez has been great, allowing only four earned runs with one homer over 19 innings, while rookie Jared Jones looks like he'll be a rotation mainstay after recording 25 strikeouts over his first three starts. It's only a matter of time before top prospect Paul Skenes arrives in the majors, as he's posted an absurd 18.3 K/9 without allowing a run at Triple-A this season.

9. Philadelphia Phillies

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank
8-8 6-4 -13 4 (-5)

The Phillies have been led by some unlikely players: Brandon Marsh owns a club-leading four homers with a .958 OPS, while Spencer Turnbull, who threw a no-hitter with the Tigers in 2021 before struggling after Tommy John surgery, has a 1.80 ERA with 15 strikeouts over his first three starts.

10. Cleveland Guardians

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank
10-5 7-3 +29 22 (+12)

Shane Bieber's dominant start to his season was stopped cold by a torn UCL, and a thinned-out Guardians rotation has been ineffective at filling the void. Triston McKenzie's struggles are particularly concerning for a team that relies heavily on its starters. Luckily, Cleveland's bullpen owns the majors' second-lowest ERA (1.88).

11. Chicago Cubs

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank
9-6 6-4 +13 14 (+3)

The Cubs may have found something in Michael Busch, acquired in an offseason trade with the Dodgers. Busch leads Chicago in slugging percentage (.694) and OPS (1.087) and homered in his fourth consecutive game Sunday (adding to his team lead in that category, too). He's one round-tripper away from tying the club record for homers in consecutive games.

12. Cincinnati Reds

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank
9-6 6-4 +22 17 (+5)

The Elly De La Cruz show has been a roller coaster through the Reds' first 16 games, but the shortstop remains an entertaining watch. Three of his four homers have exceeded 110 mph off his bat, with his other round-tripper an inside-the-park job. He ranks second on the team in OPS (.962) and is tied for fourth in the league in steals (six).

13. Arizona Diamondbacks

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank
8-8 4-6 +21 7 (-6)

The reigning NL champs are off to a mediocre start after early meetings with the Yankees and Braves. They've still played .500 ball with Corbin Carroll struggling (.233 AVG, .650 OPS), Eduardo Rodriguez injured, and Jordan Montgomery yet to make a start. E-Rod's rehab was recently paused due to a setback, but Montgomery's expected to make his debut April 19.

14. San Diego Padres

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank
9-9 6-4 +6 15 (+1)

Early returns on Dylan Cease are great, and the Padres need the help with Joe Musgrove struggling (6.87 ERA, 1.75 WHIP). Cease struck out six or more in each of his three starts while allowing two earned runs or fewer. His 2.16 ERA and 0.84 WHIP are tops among Padres starters.

15. Boston Red Sox

John McCoy / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank
9-7 5-5 +12 16 (+1)

Boston's excellent 7-3 road start was quickly forgotten once it got home. The Red Sox are 2-4 at Fenway Park and a brutal 5-17 at home dating back to last September. Boston looks extremely vulnerable defensively following Trevor Story's injury, ranking last in the majors with 16 errors. Still, the club's starters own the lowest ERA (2.05) in MLB.

16. Tampa Bay Rays

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank
9-7 6-4 -14 12 (-4)

The Rays haven't taken advantage of a fairly light opening schedule. The injury-depleted pitching staff has really struggled, posting a 5.06 ERA through 16 games. Ryan Pepiot owns a 5.40 ERA in 16 2/3 innings, while Zach Eflin has already allowed 12 runs (four homers) in 17 innings.

17. New York Mets

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank
7-8 7-3 +1 18 (+1)

Pete Alonso's displaying his prodigious power early in his walk year, sitting second in MLB with six homers in 15 games. The only problem: Five of those blasts came with no one on. Edwin Díaz is three-for-three in save opportunities in his return, striking out nine in six innings.

18. Toronto Blue Jays

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank
8-8 5-5 -18 10 (-8)

Toronto came into the season banking on internal improvement from a number of players, but it hasn't happened so far. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (.677 OPS), George Springer (.668), Daulton Varsho (.608), and Alejandro Kirk (.429) are struggling early. Luckily, the team signed ageless Justin Turner, and the 39-year-old's hitting .386/.481/.614 with a team-leading seven doubles and eight RBIs.

19. Houston Astros

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank
6-11 4-6 -13 3 (-16)

It's shocking to see how poorly Houston's been pitching. The team ranks 28th in WHIP (1.52) and 29th in ERA (5.32), though injuries are at least partially to blame. Josh Hader and Ryan Pressly have already allowed 10 runs in 13 innings, and Ronel Blanco - who only made the club because of injury issues - has started in half the team's wins (while also throwing the season's first no-hitter).

20. Detroit Tigers

Megan Briggs / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank
9-6 4-6 -2 21 (+1)

Tarik Skubal's one of the few bright spots on a Tigers team with a solid record despite numerous mediocre early performances. The left-hander owns a 2.08 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, and 20 strikeouts in three starts. Spencer Torkelson's yet to homer in 63 at-bats, while it may be time to talk about Javier Báez's future. The shortstop's hitting .140/.152/.209 with 14 strikeouts and one extra-base hit in 13 games, and is still owed close to $100 million.

21. San Francisco Giants

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank
6-10 4-6 -12 9 (-12)

Signing Jordan Hicks as a starter has been an early success. The right-hander owns a 1.00 ERA and 0.83 WHIP, with hitters batting only .194 against him through 18 innings. However, some of the team's other high-profile offseason signings are off to much chillier starts: Matt Chapman's hitting .200/.257/.369 across 16 games, while Jung Hoo Lee has three extra-base hits in 62 at-bats.

22. St. Louis Cardinals

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank
7-9 4-6 -9 20 (-2)

The Cardinals spent much of the offseason addressing pitching, but their offense is letting them down so far. St. Louis ranks 21st in runs, 24th in OBP, and 25th in homers. Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado combined for two homers and 29 strikeouts through 16 games.

23. Seattle Mariners

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank
6-10 3-7 -23 11 (-12)

The Mariners' priority over the winter was remaking their offense, but a lot of the same problems remain. Seattle's struck out 167 times in 16 games, the third-worst mark in baseball. Making things worse: The team's .590 OPS ranks 28th - only the Marlins and White Sox are worse. Julio Rodríguez is off to a painfully slow start, hitting .186/.238/.203 with one extra-base hit and 21 strikeouts.

24. Minnesota Twins

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank
6-8 4-6 -7 13 (-11)

Injuries and an anemic offense have killed the Twins early. Minnesota ranks 27th in runs, slugging, and OPS, and 30th in average, as Carlos Correa, Royce Lewis, and Max Kepler all are on the IL. Byron Buxton - actually healthy to start the season! - is hitting .196/.240/.261 with no home runs or stolen bases and 18 strikeouts in 14 games.

25. Los Angeles Angels

Megan Briggs / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank
7-8 4-6 -9 23 (-2)

Mike Trout's received some help from his supporting cast early this season, but it doesn't seem like it'll be enough to make the Angels contenders. The three-time MVP already has six home runs, but five came with no one on base. Anthony Rendon has no homers and one RBI in 13 games.

26. Oakland Athletics

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank
7-9 6-4 -22 29 (+3)

Paul Blackburn is healthy again and off to an incredible start: the 2022 All-Star's thrown 19 1/3 scoreless innings. It's the longest scoreless streak to open a season for the franchise since it moved to Oakland in 1968.

27. Washington Nationals

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank
6-9 4-6 -14 27 (-)

CJ Abrams appears to have taken another step forward: the 23-year-old's gone deep three times with nine RBIs and a .944 OPS. On the pitching side, left-hander MacKenzie Gore looks sharp, with a 2.81 ERA and 23 strikeouts across 16 innings.

28. Colorado Rockies

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank
4-12 3-7 -34 30 (+2)

The Rockies are yet to win a series despite several hitters' hot starts. Ryan McMahon is slashing .373/.457/.559 with two homers and a team-leading 11 RBIs, while Brenton Doyle, Ezequiel Tovar, and Charlie Blackmon have an .800 OPS or better. The pitching's been dreadful: Colorado has an MLB-worst 6.29 ERA.

29. Miami Marlins

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank
3-13 3-7 -35 25 (-4)

The Marlins narrowly avoided becoming the seventh team in MLB history to open a season with 10 straight losses, and that's about the only positive to come out of Miami so far. While rookie starter Max Meyer's looked good, he's received little help from the majors' worst offense, which continues to lack any power.

30. Chicago White Sox

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank
2-13 1-9 -51 28 (-2)

Eloy Jiménez, Luis Robert Jr., and Yoan Moncada are all on the IL, which is partly why the White Sox have scored the majors' fewest runs. At least Garrett Crochet's move to the rotation has been a success. The left-hander owns a 3.57 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, and 31 strikeouts in 22 2/3 innings.

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