Major League Baseball
MLB Power Rankings: How good are the Orioles? How bad are the Cardinals?
Major League Baseball

MLB Power Rankings: How good are the Orioles? How bad are the Cardinals?

Updated May. 1, 2023 2:46 p.m. ET

The Pirates are still hot! The White Sox are still not! 

After only a month of big-league action, it’s too early to know which starts are real and which we might look back on and smile by season’s end. Still, the sample size is growing, and while some teams are exceeding expectations (hello, Rays, Pirates, Orioles and D-backs), panic is beginning to set in elsewhere (here’s looking at you, White Sox and Cardinals). 

Here are this week’s power rankings, including some of the best and worst from each club through April.

1) Tampa Bay Rays (23-6; last week 1)
There can’t be many low points when you start 13-0 and lead the majors in wins, runs scored and fewest runs allowed, though it’s still worth noting the Rays’ strength of schedule (or lack thereof). Their only series win against a team with a winning record is their four-game sweep of the Red Sox. They dropped their only two other series against winning teams, losing two of three to the Blue Jays (April 14-16) and Astros (April 24-26).  


2) Atlanta Braves (18-9; LW 2)
This weekend would’ve been a fascinating opportunity to see where the Braves and Mets stacked up, but the weather had other thoughts. This still looks like the best team in the National League, though Atlanta has largely torn through baseball’s dungeon dwellers. It was swept by the Astros two weekends ago and is 7-8 against teams over .500. 

3) Toronto Blue Jays (18-10; LW 6)
Since dropping three of four to start the year, the Blue Jays are looking dangerous again. They were an extra-inning defeat away from hitting the road on a seven-game win streak. Beyond Kevin Gausman routinely racking up double-digit strikeouts, Yusei Kikuchi and José Berríos are solidifying the back end of the rotation in a way that’ll make them tough to beat on any night. 

4) Pittsburgh Pirates (20-9 LW 14)
The biggest surprise of April, the Pirates end the month with the best record in the National League. And now it feels legit, taking a series from the Dodgers that they very well could’ve swept. Apart from a season-opening series defeat to the Reds, the only disappointment in Pittsburgh is losing Oneil Cruz to injury. 

Jack Suwinski smashes grand slam to extend Pirates' lead over Nationals

5) Milwaukee Brewers (18-10; LW 3)
They’ve reached the same record as the Jays in opposite fashion. If not for Tampa Bay’s ridiculously scorching start, the Brewers would’ve gotten more attention for sweeping the Mets while beginning the year 6-1. They’ve been more good than great since — dropping a series to the Tigers is not what you want — but they’ve taken care of business against quality teams (12-7 record against clubs over .500). 

6) Houston Astros (15-13; LW 8)
Speaking of teams who have lost a series to the Tigers, the Astros’ troubling 3-6 start looks to be behind them. They’re starting to resemble the group everyone expected, winning successive series against the Blue Jays, Braves and Rays before they stumbled against the surging Phillies this weekend. 

7) Baltimore Orioles (19-9; LW 15)
I don’t know how much to make of this start. They’re 13-3 against teams with losing records. Against teams over .500, they’re, well, .500. Since losing two of three to the Yankees in early April, their next six series went Athletics-White Sox-Nationals-Tigers-Red Sox-Tigers. Still, they’ve consistently won, including 13 of their past 16 games. 

8) Texas Rangers (17-11; LW 7)
Well, that was a weird week. The Rangers got swept by the Reds then pummeled the Yankees, holding the Bronx Bombers to eight runs over four games. It was arguably Texas’ worst and best series of the year, back-to-back. Ultimately, though, it’s been considerably more good than bad this year — they have a plus-72 run differential — and still lead a division with the reigning World Series champs and two other playoff hopefuls.

Rangers' Adolis García makes ABSURD throw to get DJ LeMahieu at home

9) Los Angeles Dodgers (16-13; LW 9)
They’ve been 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, 8-8, 9-9, 10-10, 11-11 and 13-13 — too good to suffer through lengthy ruts and not good enough to go on a real run, especially with someone new added to the paternity list seemingly every day. But after some lows (they dropped three of four in Arizona and went 2-4 in their previous homestand), they ended the month with their first three-game sweep of the season.

10) New York Mets (15-12; LW 4)
Lose a series to the Nationals, you gotta drop. Them’s the rules. Injuries and sticky substances have ravaged the rotation, so it’s hard to judge much of the Mets’ start and their 4.94 starters’ ERA, but they’ve now lost five of six after a stretch of eight wins in nine games. 

11) Minnesota Twins (17-12; LW 13)
After a terrific start in Minnesota for Pablo López, he’s hit a bit of a rough patch. The same cannot be said for Sonny Gray, who’s 4-0 with a major-league best 0.77 ERA. The Twins lost six of seven in a stretch that included games against the Yankees, Red Sox and Nationals but have followed that up by winning six of their past eight. That’s plenty to lead the lowly AL Central. 

Twins' Byron Buxton smokes three-run HR vs. Royals

12) New York Yankees (15-14; LW 5)
They’ve dropped each of their past three series, and the latest might be the worst, getting shut out by Nathan Eovaldi on Saturday and outscored 15-2 on Sunday by the Rangers. Despite a decimated rotation, they were still four games over .500 until Aaron Judge’s hip issue arose. Since then, their offensive shortcomings have been magnified. 

13) Arizona Diamondbacks (16-13; LW 12)
The Dodgers just swept the Cardinals, the Padres had Fernando Tatís Jr. for 10 days and yet the Diamondbacks still sit atop the division. They announced their presence with an 8-5 start after two series against the Dodgers and matchups with the Padres and Brewers. However, they’ve played .500 ball since. 

14) San Diego Padres (15-14; LW 11)
Maybe a trip to Mexico is all the Padres need to jumpstart things. After losing three of four to the Brewers and dropping a series to the Braves, Tatís’ return preceded an encouraging stretch. The Padres were 9-11 in the B.T. (Before Tatís) era and are 6-3 since, sweeping the Mexico City Series against the rival Giants.  

Manny Machado crushes second home run in Padres win over Giants

15) Philadelphia Phillies (15-14; LW 20)
Exhale, Phillies fans. After a dreadful 7-11 start that included getting swept at Texas and losing five of seven to the Reds and Marlins, things are looking up. Surprisingly, pitching got the Phillies back on track. Philadelphia shut out Seattle on Thursday to take the series before holding the Astros to six runs in a three-game series victory.

16) Miami Marlins (16-13; LW 21)
Last year, no team had more one-run losses than the Marlins (40). This year, no team has more wins in one-run contests. They’re now 10-0 in games decided by a run after snapping a four-game skid with four straight wins. The Marlins are 14-8 in games that aren’t against the Mets this year, including a recent sweep of the Cubs and series wins against the Phillies, D-backs, Giants and Guardians. 

17) Chicago Cubs (14-13; LW 10)
After taking two of three at Dodger Stadium and sweeping the A’s, things are suddenly spiraling for a Cubs team that was swept in Miami to start its road trip and has dropped seven of its past 10 games. This week's trip to Washington should be a welcomed sight. 

18) Boston Red Sox (15-14; LW 16)
If they hadn’t gotten swept by the Pirates and Rays earlier this year, things would look even better. The Red Sox are 10-6 since then, but only four teams have allowed more runs this year. 

Alex Verdugo drives homer just inside Pesky's Pole to extend Red Sox's lead

19) Los Angeles Angels (15-14; LW 18)
They’ve beaten the bad teams. They haven’t beaten the good teams. A 3-0 win Sunday prevented a Brewers sweep, but it moved the Angels to just 4-9 against teams over .500 this year. 

20) Cleveland Guardians (13-15; LW 17)
Since taking three of four from the Mariners to start the season, they don’t have another notable series win. And given Seattle’s woes, that one doesn’t look as admirable. Through 28 games, the Guardians have allowed more runs than the Orioles while scoring more runs than only the Nationals, Marlins, Royals and Tigers. A losing record has followed. 

21) San Francisco Giants (11-16; LW 23) 
Early last week, rookie Blake Sabol hit a walk-off homer to extend a Giants winning streak that eventually reached five games. That was the high point of the year. They have since lost three straight and find themselves somewhere in a tier between the division contenders (Arizona, Los Angeles, San Diego) and Colorado.  

22) Seattle Mariners (12-16; LW 19)
Rookie call-up Easton McGee took a no-hitter into the seventh inning on Saturday. The Mariners lost the game 1-0. It was that kind of April in Seattle, despite Jarred Kelenic’s encouraging start (.981 OPS) and Luis Castillo’s dominance (2-0, 1.82 ERA). 

Cal Raleigh's second two-run homer wins game for Mariners in extras

23) Cincinnati Reds (12-16; LW 26)
After losing six straight, the Reds have bounced back to take five of six. Things could be worse, given that the Reds have allowed more runs than any team in their division. 

24) St. Louis Cardinals (10-19; LW 22)
Oy. At the very least, this is a team that should be able to hit. Instead, they’ve scored fewer runs than any team in their division. They haven’t won any of their past five series. On the bright side, Jordan Montgomery looks good, and, um, at least their minus-13 run differential is the same as the Padres'? 

25) Detroit Tigers (10-17, LW 25)
Since starting 2-9, the Tigers are playing .500 ball. Baltimore took it to them in a home-and-away, but the Tigers did take a series from Milwaukee to begin last week. Another bright spot: Eduardo Rodríguez has a 0.68 ERA in his past four starts. 

26) Washington Nationals (10-17; LW 27)
This is not a team that will score many runs, but in the past 10 days the Nationals have taken series against the Twins and Mets and seen more progress from Josiah Gray (2.67 ERA) and Mackenzie Gore (3.00 ERA). 

27) Chicago White Sox (8-21; LW 24)
A furious ninth-inning rally gave the White Sox a comeback against the best team in baseball Sunday. It also ended a disastrous 10-game skid. 

White Sox's Andrew Vaughn hits CLUTCH three-run blast to walk off vs. Rays

28) Colorado Rockies (9-20; LW 28) 
No NL team has allowed more runs than the Rockies. Since starting 5-6, they’ve dropped 14 of their past 18 games. They did take a series from Cleveland to start last week. 

29) Kansas City Royals (7-22; LW 29)
Vinnie Pasquantino looks brilliant, picking up right where he left off. Unfortunately, the Royals are picking up where they left off in 2022, as well, with a minus-64 run differential. 

30) Oakland Athletics (6-23; LW 30)
Let’s point out Brent Rooker, a 28-year-old journeyman who’s pummeling the baseball (.353/.465/.779) and homered off Shohei Ohtani. Aside from that, woof

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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