Major League Baseball
MLB Power Rankings: Braves overtake Rays at No. 1
Major League Baseball

MLB Power Rankings: Braves overtake Rays at No. 1

Updated Jul. 3, 2023 6:11 a.m. ET

The 2023 Major League Baseball season has passed the halfway point, and the best team in each league remains obvious. The only question is, which one is better? It's something I've wrestled with for weeks on "Flippin' Bats." For the first time in three months, I'm finally ready to make a change. 

Here's my latest top 10, with a few interesting factoids about each club.

1. Atlanta Braves (56-27; last week 2)

They've won eight in a row, and they just set an MLB record by hitting 158 home runs within their first 83 games of a season. But as impressive as the power is, this is the best club because it is balanced. Atlanta ranks second in batting average (.272) and on-base percentage (.341) and fifth in ERA (3.68).


2. Tampa Bay Rays (57-30; LW: 1)

The Rays are working the new rules like no other team. They're the only team to surpass 100 steals, and their .264 team batting average is on pace to be their highest since 2007. 

3. Baltimore Orioles (49-33; LW 3)

The Orioles hold the second-best winning percentage in the American League (.598), appearing destined to end a six-year playoff drought. But their 49 wins through their first 82 games is their most since winning 55 in 1997, which is the last time they won a game in the ALCS. 

4. Texas Rangers (50-34; LW 5)

Their .274 average is the best in baseball and on track to be their highest since their 2011 World Series squad. Offense is the main reason Texas is in position to win its first AL West title since 2016.

MLB Power Rankings: Braves move to No. 1, Reds continue to rise

5. Arizona Diamondbacks (50-35; LW 4)

While Arizona's three-game lead remains modest, the upstart club has been in first place every day since June 1. It's been 12 years since the D-backs last won the NL West. They're one of just five teams in baseball averaging more than five runs per game.

6. Houston Astros (46-38; LW unranked)

A year after posting MLB's second-best team ERA, the Astros currently rank first (3.57). If they're going to repeat as World Series champs, which hasn't been done since the 2000 Yankees, they'll need more of the offense that delivered this past week in series wins against the Cardinals and Rangers.

7. Cincinnati Reds (45-39; LW 9)

Elly De La Cruz continues to make history, becoming the first player since 1903 to record 20 hits, five stolen bases and three home runs in his first 15 career games. His contributions, along with fellow rookies Andrew Abbott, Spencer Steer and Matt McLain have been instrumental to the Reds sitting atop the NL Central with the Brewers. Cincinnati hasn't won the division since 2012.

8. Miami Marlins (48-37; LW 8) 

It's July, and Luis Arraez is still seriously flirting with .400 (.389). Of course, that would be the highest mark since Tony Gwynn batted .394 in 1994. But the Marlins are an incredibly worthy story themselves. They're in position to earn their first playoff berth in a full season since 2003. 

Luis Arráez on his hitting approach & being compared to Tony Gwynn

9. San Francisco Giants (46-38; LW: 7)

Trying to make sense of the 2023 Giants? They can largely be summed up by pitching and timely hitting. Their 3.94 team ERA ranks third in the National League. Their .286 batting average with runners in scoring position ranks third in MLB.

10. Los Angeles Dodgers (46-37; LW: 10)

Many still expect them to prevail in the NL West and grab their 10th division title in 11 years. It's largely because of the offense, which ranks third in baseball home runs (130), fourth in RBIs (436) and slugging percentage (.444), and fifth in OPS (.772). 


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