Major League Baseball
MLB power rankings: Braves, Yankees, Mets dominate opening weekend
Major League Baseball

MLB power rankings: Braves, Yankees, Mets dominate opening weekend

Updated Apr. 3, 2023 2:50 p.m. ET

Did your team sweep the opening weekend? Congrats, World Series bound! 

Did your team get swept? No worries, too early to panic! 

Baseball is back, excitement abounds, and a handful of games shouldn’t fundamentally impact whatever optimism you may have about your favorite franchise entering the year. 

This weekend’s action also won’t demonstrably change the order of the first installment of our Major League Baseball power rankings. (Sincere apologies to those who believe the Colorado Rockies and Cincinnati Reds are winning their respective divisions.)


Be on the lookout for new rankings every week, and kindly leave your pitchforks inside. 

Without further ado:

1) Houston Astros (2-2)
Injuries to José Altuve, Michael Brantley and Lance McCullers Jr. sting, and the Astros no longer have Justin Verlander to rely upon in a suddenly more formidable division. Still, even after a season-opening split to the White Sox, a four-game sample size shouldn't dethrone the reigning champions from the top spot. José Abreu upgrades them at first base, Cristian Javier and Framber Valdez bring Cy Young potential and Alex Bregman probably isn't going to go hitless on the year.

2) Atlanta Braves (2-1)
A growing list of Braves pitching injuries extended further this weekend as Max Fried joined teammates Kyle Wright and Raisel Iglesias on the IL. On the bright side, it's good to see Ozzie Albies healthy again, and nothing that transpired this weekend makes me want to reconsider my predictions of Ronald Acuña Jr. and Spencer Strider as MVP and Cy Young winners, respectively. 

3) New York Yankees (2-1)
Speaking of pitching injuries, neither of the New York clubs are immune. I thought the Yankees assembled the best rotation in baseball this offseason, and then Frankie Montas, Luis Severino and offseason acquisition Carlos Rodón all got hurt. Prospects Anthony Volpe and Jhony Brito have helped lift the spirits, Aaron Judge is picking up where he left off, and Giancarlo Stanton reminded us how far he can hit a baseball. 

Yankees' Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton blast home runs

4) New York Mets (3-1)
Already reeling from the Edwin Díaz injury, Mets fans had to be incredulous hearing the news just hours before Max Scherzer's Opening Day start about co-ace Justin Verlander going on the shelf. The Mets do have better short-term contingency options than most in David Peterson and Tylor Megill. Plus, Kodai Senga's ghost fork is here to help restore faith. 

5) San Diego Padres (2-2)
If you start for the Padres, odds are good you’ll be there for a while. After an offseason of incredible spending and extending, Xander Bogaerts introduced himself to Petco Park with two homers. There’s little questioning what this revamped lineup can do, but is the pitching staff deep enough to secure a division crown? 

6) Los Angeles Dodgers (2-2)
The Dodgers outscored the Diamondbacks by 13 runs over the weekend — and split the series. They showcased the pitching that could help them maintain their NL West supremacy, as well as the sudden offensive outages that could be more prevalent without the same cast of characters lengthening the lineup. Encouraging starts for rookies Miguel Vargas and James Outman offer optimism. 

7) Tampa Bay Rays (3-0)
Jeffrey Springs struck out 12 batters in six scoreless innings, Shane McClanahan also went six scoreless, and offseason acquisition Zach Eflin looked terrific in his first outing. Yes, they played the Tigers, but this might be one of the most underrated rotations in baseball. When Tyler Glasnow gets healthy, watch out. 

8) St. Louis Cardinals (2-1)
There may not be a deeper lineup in baseball, particularly after adding Willson Contreras and top prospect Jordan Walker to the fold. Brendan Donovan and Nolan Gorman tormented the Blue Jays with two home runs apiece this weekend, highlighting the litany of game-changing offensive players on the roster. The success of the rotation will determine how far this team can go. 

Cardinals' Nolan Gorman SMASHES a 446-ft homer

9) Toronto Blue Jays (1-2)
Not a great start for my surprise pick to meet the Braves in the World Series. Kevin Gausman looked terrific, but the same could not be said for Alek Manoah (3.1 IP, 5 R) or newcomer Chris Bassitt (3.1 IP, 9 R). Toronto possesses one of the most dangerous lineups in baseball, but the Blue Jays will need their most reliable starters to be just that. I'd still bet on that happening. Don't be surprised to see Vladimir Guerrero Jr. or Bo Bichette challenging for an MVP. 

10) Minnesota Twins (3-0)
The Twins brought in Pabló Lopez to lead the rotation. It's hard to imagine a much better start than his eight strikeouts in 5.1 scoreless innings. López, Sonny Gray and Joe Ryan held the Royals to one run in 16.1 innings. Minnesota should only get better whenever Jorge Polanco, Alex Kirilloff and Royce Lewis return to action. It helps having that Carlos Correa guy, too. 

11) Cleveland Guardians (3-1)
Do they have the offensive pop to pace the division again? Getting Josh Bell going will be important, but if Shane Bieber, Aaron Civale and Emmanuel Clase continue performing the way they did this weekend against the Mariners, the offense doesn't need to provide much. 

Andrés Giménez goes yard, extends Guardians' lead over Mariners

12) Philadelphia Phillies (0-3)
It felt wrong to put the defending NL champs anywhere below this spot, but being outscored 29-11 by the Rangers in the opening weekend was a bit inauspicious. The Phillies can't afford to lose their Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler starts, given all the injuries they've sustained. Now, a trip to the Bronx awaits. 

13) Seattle Mariners (1-3)
It was not a weekend to remember in Seattle. Beyond dropping three straight to Cleveland, the Mariners also placed Robbie Ray on the injured list with a flexor strain. Optimism remains high in Seattle, as it should be with Julio Rodríguez leading the charge, and Luis Castillo, Logan Gilbert and George Kirby should be able to pick up the rotation. 

14) Texas Rangers (3-0)
What a way to start the Bruce Bochy era. If the power rankings were solely determined by this weekend's play, you'd be looking at a top-10 team. I'm tempering expectations a bit, but the offense looked explosive with 29 runs against the reigning National League champions, and that's not even the side of the ball that was revamped this offseason. 

15) Milwaukee Brewers (2-1)
After missing the postseason for the first time since 2017, the Brewers will look to some newcomers to help provide an offensive spark. Prospects Joey Wiemer, Garrett Mitchell and Brice Turang and veteran offseason acquisition Jesse Winker all chipped in to top the Cubs in the opening series. Any team featuring Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff atop the rotation should be in the conversation. 

16) Los Angeles Angels (2-1)
Shohei Ohtani's impending free agency will be a topic of conversation all year. The Angels have to win now, and they have a chance to do that with Tyler Anderson, Logan O'Hoppe, Gio Urshela, Hunter Renfroe and Brandon Drury all bolstering the depth. Is it finally enough to get Ohtani in the playoffs for the first time? 

Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani smash back-to-back home runs

17) Chicago White Sox (2-2)
Their .500 season last year marked a considerable step back, but this weekend's split in Houston demonstrated the talent still in place when healthy. Dylan Cease was a Cy Young finalist in 2022 and looked the part in his first start of 2023. Luis Robert Jr. can do this. Tim Anderson is coming off back-to-back All-Star seasons, Eloy Jiménez had a 141 OPS+ last year, and Andrew Vaughn is manning a more comfortable position. There is still upside here, now with lesser expectations. 

18) Boston Red Sox (2-1)
Wait, didn't Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez leave town? Led by Adam Duvall (8-for-14, six extra-base hits), a new-look offense scored nine runs in each of its first three games. That allowed the Red Sox to take two of their first three games against the Orioles, despite their starting pitchers surrendering 15 runs in 11.1 innings. 

19) Chicago Cubs (1-2)
No team added more value this offseason than the Cubs, as they looked to expedite a quick rebuild with veteran additions. Will that return them to prominence? Dansby Swanson went 7-for-12 in his first series at Wrigley Field, but that wasn't enough to best the Brewers.  

20) Baltimore Orioles (1-2)
It'd be easier to project them as contenders had they made some impact offseason additions to supplement their young core. Still, Adley Rutschman, Gunnar Henderson and Cedric Mullins will make this young team one to watch in 2023. 

Orioles' Adam Frazier and Cedric Mullins hit homers vs. Red Sox

21) San Francisco Giants (1-2)
This would look a lot more promising with an Aaron Judge or Carlos Correa signing. Starting the year with Mitch Haniger on the injured list hurts, but the complementary veteran pieces added could keep them in the mix. 

22) Arizona Diamondbacks (2-2)
They're young, they're athletic, they're speedy and all those characteristics helped them salvage a split at Dodger Stadium this weekend. The offensive development of Corbin Carroll, Gabriel Moreno, Jake McCarthy and Alek Thomas will determine how quickly and seriously they can compete. 

23) Miami Marlins (1-3)
The Pablo López-Luis Arráez trade couldn't have started better for either side. The Marlins desperately needed someone to jumpstart their offense, and Arráez went 9-for-16 against the Mets. Unfortunately, not everyone in the Marlins' lineup is Arráez. 

24) Pittsburgh Pirates (1-2)
I could watch Oneil Cruz mash a baseball all day. 

25) Cincinnati Reds (2-1)
This year is all about development in Cincinnati, and Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo and Graham Ashcraft provide front-line upside. I'm just waiting for Elly de la Cruz time. 

26) Colorado Rockies (2-2)
It's hard to see the long-term plan here, but Kris Bryant, C.J. Cron, Charlie Blackmon & Co. should keep games competitive in the short-term. Maybe top prospect Ezequiel Tovar takes advantage of his opportunity. 

27) Kansas City Royals (0-3)
There are some high-upside breakout candidates in Kansas City, but Bobby Witt Jr. and MJ Melendez are still looking for their first hits of the 2023 season.

Royals' season preview: Can the young studs make the next step?

28) Detroit Tigers (0-3)
The Tigers are charting a new path forward under president of baseball operations Scott Harris. Unfortunately, getting outscored by 18 runs this weekend in Tampa Bay was not the start they wanted. 

29) Washington Nationals (1-2)
What exactly did they get in the Max Scherzer and Juan Soto deals? That's what the Nationals have to figure out this year as they watch Keibert Ruiz, Josiah Gray, C.J. Abrams and Mackenzie Gore develop. It was an encouraging first start for Gore, who's finally healthy and still just 24. 

30) Oakland Athletics (1-2)
Hey, the Opening Day comeback was fun! Savor every victory, Oakland. 

Rowan Kavner covers the Dodgers and NL West for FOX Sports. He previously was the Dodgers’ editor of digital and print publications. Follow him on Twitter at @RowanKavner. 

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