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MLB Power Rankings: Reds rolling, Cubs can't beat NL Central

Julian Catalfo/theScore

Welcome to the sixth edition of theScore's MLB Power Rankings for the 2024 regular season. The last edition was published May 27.

1. Philadelphia Phillies

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank
45-20 7-3 +108 1 (-)

Remarkably, the Phillies have four of the National League's top seven starting pitchers in ERA. As established stars, Zack Wheeler's and Aaron Nola's performances aren't surprising. However, the reliability of left-handers Cristopher Sánchez and Ranger Suárez has given the Phillies a huge boost. Philadelphia's rotation leads MLB in fWAR by a significant margin.

2. New York Yankees

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank
46-21 8-2 +111 2 (-)

Winning has become a habit again in the Bronx, with the Yankees owning the best record in the AL despite playing without Gerrit Cole, who's pitching on a rehab assignment and close to returning. The Aaron Judge and Juan Soto combination is one of baseball's best, Anthony Volpe continues to blossom into a star, and Giancarlo Stanton is hitting bombs on the regular like his old self.

3. Baltimore Orioles

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank
42-22 7-3 +101 3 (-)

Despite losing John Means and Tyler Wells to season-ending injuries, the Orioles keep on rolling. A 9-4 run against the AL East bottom-feeders, thanks in large part to stellar starting pitching from the remaining staff, kept Baltimore within 2.5 games of the first-place Yankees. That makes the upcoming nine-game stretch against the Braves, Phillies, and Yankees all the more important.

4. Los Angeles Dodgers

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank
41-26 6-4 +92 4 (-)

The Dodgers went to the Bronx and took two of three from the powerhouse Yankees, who played the series without Juan Soto. Teoscar Hernández was terrific and has been a tremendous signing for Los Angeles. He leads the team with 16 home runs and 48 RBIs. Not bad for a player that signed a one-year deal.

5. Cleveland Guardians

Jason Miller / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Record Last 10 RD Previous rank
42-22 6-4 +90 5 (-)

The Guardians still own the AL's second-best record and third-best run differential thanks to José Ramírez. The majors' RBI leader has completely shaken off his slow start, sporting a 1.097 OPS over the last 30 days. He's allowed the Guardians to stay four games up on the Royals during their recent rocky stretch, and he kept the offense going while Steven Kwan was on the injured list.

6. Milwaukee Brewers

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank
38-27 6-4 +61 8 (+2)

The Brewers welcomed former manager Craig Counsell back to Milwaukee by taking three of four from the Cubs to end May. The team has won eight of 13 since Memorial Day. Its bats - long the team's Achilles' heel - are leading the way, as Milwaukee owns the NL's third-highest scoring offense, behind the Phillies and Dodgers, despite cooling off a bit in June.

7. Kansas City Royals

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank
39-27 5-5 +76 7 (-)

It's no coincidence that the Royals regained their relevance right as Bobby Witt Jr. truly began his ascent to superstardom. The 23-year-old leads the AL in batting (.320), hits (85), and runs (56), and he put up a .969 OPS over the last two weeks. Between Witt and the Royals' surprisingly excellent pitching staff, it's becoming very clear that they're not going anywhere.

8. Atlanta Braves

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank
35-28 4-6 +31 6 (-2)

Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos acquired three outfielders in 2021 after Ronald Acuña Jr. suffered a season-ending knee injury, and the club went on to win the World Series. Acuña is out for the season again, and Anthopoulos will likely need to address the outfield in some way. Atlanta's outfielders rank 21st in wRC+ and tied for 26th in home runs.

9. Seattle Mariners

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank
37-30 6-4 +6 11 (+2)

It's hard to know what to make of the Mariners. An elite group of starting pitchers has propelled Seattle to a five-game lead in the AL West, yet thanks to a porous offense - no active qualified Mariners hitter owns an OPS above .700, and only Cal Raleigh's crossed the 10-HR mark - its run differential is barely above water. They need a massive offensive turnaround to be taken seriously.

10. San Diego Padres

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank
34-35 4-6 +19 9 (-1)

Inconsistent play and injuries to key players continue to plague the Padres, who are hovering around .500 despite a talented and expensive squad. Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove recently hit the IL, leading to trade speculation surrounding White Sox ace Garrett Crochet. Matt Waldron (0.93 ERA, 16 K, 19 1/3 IP) and Michael King (1.06 ERA, 16 K, 17 IP) are carrying the load over their last three starts.

11. Cincinnati Reds

Jeff Dean / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Record Last 10 RD Previous rank
32-34 8-2 +15 23 (+12)

Jeimer Candelario is starting to heat up. The Reds signed him to a three-year, $45-million contract in the offseason, but he struggled in April, hitting just .190 with two home runs. Over the last 13 games, though, Candelario has gone deep four times and settled in nicely as the No. 3 hitter in Cincinnati's lineup.

12. Minnesota Twins

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank
34-31 4-6 -6 10 (-2)

Royce Lewis is back. The oft-injured third baseman returned from a lengthy absence due to a strained quad and proceeded to hit home runs in his first two games. Lewis is a special talent who can carry a lineup for an extended stretch. Now he just has to find a way to stay on the field.

13. Boston Red Sox

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank
33-33 5-5 +30 13 (-)

Boston hasn't been more than two games above or below .500 since May 5. A lot of that has to do with unrelenting injuries. The team's lineup Sunday against the White Sox featured a combined $9.8-million salary for 2024, with Rob Refsnyder ($1.85 million) the highest-paid position player to start. Six of the team's 10 highest-paid players are currently on the IL, while Rafael Devers and Tyler O'Neill are also dealing with injuries.

14. Texas Rangers

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank
31-34 5-5 +13 16 (+2)

Injuries continue to bite the Rangers. Shortstop Corey Seager's been out of the lineup with a recurring hamstring issue, and rookies Evan Carter and Wyatt Langford have missed stretches. The Rangers are middle of the pack in runs scored and home runs after finishing top four in MLB in both last season.

15. Arizona Diamondbacks

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank
31-35 6-4 -13 15 (-)

The D-Backs might want to count their blessings there are three wild-card spots, otherwise they might already be out of playoff contention and poised to sell at next month's trade deadline. Arizona is one game out of the last playoff spot despite being four games under .500. The D-Backs were last season's third wild-card team and ended up winning the NL championship, so maybe it's right where they want to be.

16. Houston Astros

Logan Riely / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Record Last 10 RD Previous rank
30-36 6-4 +6 19 (+3)

Bad luck continued for the Astros with Cristian Javier and José Urquidy undergoing Tommy John surgery and star outfielder Kyle Tucker going on the IL. Houston hasn't wavered, however, winning 10 of 14. Despite almost everything going wrong, the Astros sit 6.5 games out of the AL West lead and 4.5 games back of a playoff spot.

17. Chicago Cubs

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank
32-34 4-6 -14 12 (-5)

The Cubs are 14-22 since the beginning of May, tumbling down the standings in the NL Central. Chicago's been awful within its own division, going 8-15. The team is 2-5 against the Reds, 3-4 against the Brewers and Pirates, and 0-2 against the Cardinals, with a minus-15 run differential in those games.

18. San Francisco Giants

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank
32-34 3-7 -28 14 (-4)

Outfielder Heliot Ramos is looking like one of the breakout stars of 2024. The 24-year-old's been tearing the cover off the ball, with four home runs and 14 RBIs over his last 13 games. Ramos has a 58% hard-hit rate and plays above-average defense in left field. The 2017 first-round pick looks like a linchpin in San Francisco.

19. Toronto Blue Jays

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank
32-33 6-4 -35 22 (+3)

The Blue Jays are 14-8 since GM Ross Atkins said there was a "massive sense of urgency" to turn around the season. Those comments also coincided with the team entering the softest part of its schedule. While that's certainly an improvement after a horrible start, Toronto would still miss the playoffs if the season ended today. Losing Alek Manoah for the year because of elbow surgery leaves a void in the rotation, and Toronto must do something about a bullpen that ranks 29th in ERA and 30th in home runs allowed.

20. Pittsburgh Pirates

Justin Berl / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Record Last 10 RD Previous rank
31-34 6-4 -23 21 (+1)

Rookie phenoms Jared Jones and Paul Skenes have dominated the headlines in Pittsburgh, but Mitch Keller's recent upswing is a very encouraging development. Keller is 3-0 with a 0.96 ERA and 20 strikeouts against just three walks over his last three starts. The Pirates signed Keller to a five-year, $77-million extension in the offseason, and he's rewarding that investment so far in 2024.

21. Detroit Tigers

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank
32-33 5-5 -6 18 (-3)

Tarik Skubal is giving the Tigers a fighting chance every five days. After Sunday's latest gem against the Brewers, he owns a sparkling 1.92 ERA with 96 strikeouts and an AL-low 0.89 WHIP. It's too bad that Detroit's woeful offense is not only wasting Skubal's Cy Young-caliber season, but preventing the Tigers from truly taking the next steps to contention.

22. St. Louis Cardinals

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank
31-33 4-6 -40 17 (-5)

The Cardinals have scuffled a bit after ending last month winning seven of nine. They haven't won a series in June despite Nolan Gorman putting up ridiculous numbers (.604 SLG, six homers, 11 RBIs in his last 14 games). Starting pitching's been a problem of late, with the Cardinals rotation responsible for a 5.19 ERA in June, which sits 21st in the league.

23. Tampa Bay Rays

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank
31-34 5-5 -62 20 (-3)

Everything's continuing to go wrong for the Rays, who only scored five runs in three losses to Baltimore over the weekend. Harold Ramírez was DFA'd a season removed from posting an .813 OPS. The bullpen remains a mess but at least Pete Fairbanks no longer is an "all-encompassing type of suck." He's thrown 13 scoreless innings since coming off the IL, striking out 13 and walking just two.

24. New York Mets

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank
28-36 6-4 -33 24 (-)

The Mets continue to Mets. New York's spent the past couple of weeks in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons after poorly handling the Jorge López situation, demoting Christian Scott, and having former player Paul Sewald rip the fanbase. Owner Steve Cohen thinks Mets fans "have been through worse," and still remains hopeful for a turnaround despite his club owning the NL's third-worst record.

25. Washington Nationals

Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Record Last 10 RD Previous rank
30-35 4-6 -20 25 (-)

Jake Irvin's sophomore breakout's been a pleasant surprise. The 27-year-old owns a 3.12 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in 12 starts after posting marks of 4.61 and 1.42 in those categories during his rookie campaign. Irvin's been particularly sharp lately, posting a 2-0 record with a 1.00 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, and 20 strikeouts across 18 innings over three starts.

26. Los Angeles Angels

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank
25-40 4-6 -60 26 (-)

There hasn't been too much good to go around for the last-place Angels, but Tyler Anderson looks like a trade candidate ahead of next month's deadline. The southpaw owns a 2.63 ERA and could net the Angels some nice future pieces if dealt. He's owed the remainder of his $13-million salary for this season, and another $13 million next year.

27. Oakland Athletics

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank
26-41 3-7 -75 28 (+1)

The A's have had some strong pitching performances of late. Despite posting an ERA above seven in Triple-A this season, left-hander Hogan Harris looked very comfortable pitching against big leaguers, posting a 0.77 ERA over his last two starts and a 2.21 overall mark in four appearances.

28. Miami Marlins

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank
22-43 3-7 -98 27 (-1)

The Marlins lost yet another pitcher when Ryan Weathers - the team's leader in ERA and strikeouts - landed on the IL on Saturday with a finger issue. Weathers' injury came during a 1-7 stretch to start June and four days after the team ate over $24 million in order to DFA outfielder Avisaíl García.

29. Colorado Rockies

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank
23-42 3-7 -102 29 (-)

We're starting to get a look at some potential cornerstones for the Rockies after they called up top prospect Adael Amador over the weekend. The youngster recorded a hit in his first at-bat and also stole a base during his debut. He should make an exciting double-play tandem with Ezequiel Tovar, who continues to have an impressive sophomore campaign (.812 OPS, 31 extra-base hits, four steals).

30. Chicago White Sox

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank
17-49 2-8 -144 30 (-)

Chicago snapped its 14-game losing streak and managed to split a series with the visiting Red Sox. It was the first time in seven tries that the club didn't lose a series, so there are some signs of progress. Some of the under-the-radar offseason signings are putting together solid seasons. Paul DeJong's homered five times in his last 13 games, while Erick Fedde owns a 3.27 ERA in 13 starts.

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