2024 MLB power rankings: Evaluating all 30 teams before Opening Day

2024 MLB power rankings
Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 Major League Baseball season is nearly here with regular-season games just days away. What adds even more intrigue is the wealth of impact players still available in free agency, with signing that will influence our 2024 MLB power rankings as we near Opening Day.

We’ll provide updates with each big free-agency signing and then follow up with weekly updates during the regular season. Now, let’s dive into our MLB rankings ahead of Opening Day.

MLB power rankings: Worst MLB teams in 2024

30. Oakland Athletics

The Oakland Athletics were the worst MLB team in 2023 and we see no reason why they won’t finish at the bottom of the MLB standings in 2024. Athletics owner John Fisher has put as much effort into fielding a half-competitive baseball team over the last three years as he has tried to keep an MLB team in Oakland, which is none. Fans shouldn’t show up to watch the worst team in baseball, if for no other reason than to avoid putting more money in Fisher’s pockets.

Related: Oakland A’s season preview

29. Chicago White Sox

The Chicago White Sox hinted that they would wait to trade Dylan Cease until the summer. Then, he got shipped off to the San Diego Padres towards the end of spring training. Everyone knew this would be a rebuilding year, but the Cease trade is just a reminder of how awful baseball will be this season for the fans. At this point, Chicago might as well go all the way with this teardown and trade Luis Robert to the highest bidder, then see what is out there for its other starters.

Related: 2024 MLB Draft order, top prospects

28. Colorado Rockies

The Colorado Rockies pitching staff was already bad before German Marquez and Antonio Senatela underwent surgeries that will sideline them through the 2024 All-Star Break. The replacements make this rotation even worse. As for the Rockies lineup, the only players really worthy of getting excited about are Nolan Jones and Ezequiel Tovar, but both are youngsters who will experience ups and downs. That’s why the Rockies will be one of the worst MLB teams in 2024.

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27. Washington Nationals

If everything goes perfectly for the Washington Nationals, with a change of scenery benefitting former top prospect Nick Senel, Joey Gallo regaining his power (.450-plus SLG) and the young combo of CJ Abrams and Keibert Ruiz hitting more consistently, this is still a very bad ballclub. Fortunately, the future is bright for Washington with some exciting, young prospects just a year-plus away. Sadly, there is no end in sight to an ownership saga that was supposed to end last year.

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26. Kansas City Royals

Small steps forward, very small, at least give the Kansas City Royals a shot at marginal improvements in 2024. Kansas City certainly has a lot more depth with Seth Lugo, Michael Wacha, Chris Stratton and Will Smith joining the pitching staff. Plus, Bobby Witt Jr. and MJ Melendez now have more support around them in the lineup with Adam Frazier and Hunter Renfroe. Still, the Royals feel like a 75-win team at best.

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25. Los Angeles Angels

Shohei Ohtani is gone and the Los Angeles Angels have done nothing to fill the void atop their starting rotation or in the middle of their batting order. Oh, Los Angeles also enters the 2024 season ranked by ESPN as having the worst farm system in MLB. With Mike Trout heading into his age-33 season, the Angels will have found a way to keep an all-time great out of the postseason for 13 of 14 MLB seasons. That’s something only Arte Moreno can achieve.

24. Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates are taking their sweet time putting a competitive roster together. From a 2024 perspective, Oneil Cru is back and if former No. 1 pick Henry Davis learns from his rough patches last year, it will make the lineup around Bryan Reynolds, Ke’Bryan Hayes and Andrew McCutchen even stronger. Still, the pitching staff is a big concern and there isn’t enough depth or talent to even challenge for a WC spot.

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23. Miami Marlins

The Miami Marlins suffered their first devastating blow for the 2024 MLB season back in October, when Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara underwent Tommy John surgery. In response, new president of baseball operations Peter Bendi effectively punted on making any significant moves this offseason. A dominant rotation used to make up for a Marlins lineup that struggled to consistently generate runs. With Alcantara done for the year, the Marlins have a great chance to be one of the worst teams in the National League this season.

Related: MLB mock draft 2024

22. Detroit Tigers

It truly feels like the 2024 MLB power rankings will be the last time the Detroit Tigers are ranked low entering spring training. Riley Greene looks like an All-Star in the making, Kerry Carpenter was an unheralded breakout player in 2023 and Spencer Torkelson (122 wRC+) displayed signs of a looming breakout in September. We’re very excited about this Tigers’ rotation, which mixes upside from young arms and a solid floor with veteran innings-eaters. If Detroit’s hitters can produce, this team could just win the AL Central in 2024.

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21. Boston Red Sox

It’s difficult to find positives when it comes to the Boston Red Sox. They gave away Alex Verdugo and their big 2022 free-agent signing, Masataka Yoshida, isn’t wanted by anyone despite Boston’s best efforts to trade him. A rotation dependent on Lucas Giolito and Nick Pivetta as the front-line starters supported by a bottom half of the lineup that will likely finish bottom-10 in run production highlights how bad things have gotten for the Red Sox. On the other hand, if you’re the Fenway Sports Group, a slashed payroll means higher revenue and that seems to be even more important to John Henry than Fenway Park hosting games in October.

Related: Boston Red Sox game today, Red Sox schedule 2024

20. New York Mets

Once the New York Mets lost out on Yoshinobu Yamamoto, that was effectively a wrap on their offseason plans. There’s a best-case scenario where a healthy Luis Severino recaptures his form, while Starling Marte and Jeff McNeil play at an All-Star level all while Francisco Alvarez takes a huge step forward. Of course, the far more realistic outcome sees New York fighting to stay at the .500 mark all season. To make matters worse for this Mets rotation, ace Kodai Senga will be out past April.

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2024 MLB power rankings: Playoff threats and hopefuls

19. Milwaukee Brewers

Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes are gone, turning a once-dominant Milwaukee Brewers rotation into a grouping that might be league-average at best. Milwaukee’s future is no doubt exciting and the trio of Sal Frelick, Jackson Chourio and Garrett Mitchell will just be providing a glimpse of what’s to come in the years ahead. While the lineup is better than it has been in several years, we value starting pitching heavily and that keeps Milwaukee from even cracking the top 15 in our 2024 MLB power rankings. This was all before All-Star closer Devin Williams landed on the IL with stress fractures, sidelining him for three months.

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18. Cleveland Guardians

If you enjoyed the 2023 Cleveland Guardians season, seeing the club finish six games below the .500 mark, congrats because this is the same roster. Cleveland didn’t address its needs this offseason, although, that isn’t surprising from an ownership that isn’t willing to devote the resources necessary to seriously compete in the American League. Young pitching, which we love, is the only reason the Guardians aren’t much, much lower in our MLB power rankings heading into spring training.

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17. St. Louis Cardinals

After pitching let the St. Louis Cardinals down a year ago, they fortified the rotation with ace Sonny Gray and innings-eaters Kyle Gibson and Lance Lynn. No one will ever mistake St. Louis for having one of the best starting rotations in MLB or even the National League for that matter. With that said, stability is what the Cardinals truly needed and if either Jordan Walker or Masyn Winn can have a breakthrough year, the Cardinals have more than enough to challenge for the NL Central.

Just when things appeared to be headed in the right direction for St. Louis, however, its projected rotation for the 2024 season gets ravaged by injuries. While not all of them are long-term, the Cardinals’ pitching depth remains an issue and prolonged absences from multiple starters could take a toll long-term.

Related: St. Louis Cardinals season preview

16. Cincinnati Reds

Credit to the Cincinnati Reds because in an era where it takes a majority of MLB teams five-plus years to tear things down and even become a competitive team, Cincinnati seems to be accomplishing that in half the time. Jeimer Candelario should provide steady production at first base and there’s ample talent behind him in both the lineup and starting rotation. There are risks with young teams not playing up to their ceiling, but no one should be surprised if Cincinnati finds its way to winning a wide-open NL Central. Unfortunately, the Reds already suffered their first blow with Noelvi Marte suspended 80 games.

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15. San Francisco Giants

Adding Blake Snell and Matt Chapman does a lot for the San Francisco Giants. We’ll start with Snell, who provides San Francisco with the co-ace this pitching staff desperately needed for 2024. It also helps that Alex Cobb is coming back, creating a Webb-Snell-Cobb trio that shifts rookie Kyle Harrison into a No. 4 role that will far better suit his volatility and the Giants can then mix and match with the No. 5 starter. As for Chapman, he adds plenty of pop to the Giants lineup along with Jorge Soler, which when paired with Jung Hoo Lee and Thairo Estrada, should lead to far more consistent run production for San Francisco in 2024.

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14. San Diego Padres

The tragic offseason passing of San Diego Padres owner Peter Seidler feels like a sad turning point for this franchise. Seidler wanted San Diego to go all-in, spending whatever money was necessary to try and provide the fans with a semblance of championship hopes. Since his passing, the Padres have already started reducing payroll, especially after taking out a $50 million loan to help pay salaries.

There are still plenty of bright spots on this ballclub to enjoy at Petco Park and this team should be competitive, the lost top-end talent and Seidler’s aggressiveness in improving the roster just mean a less competitive team. While we had kinda written off San Diego heading into spring training, the acquisition of Dylan Cease changes things. Starting pitching can carry clubs for long stretches and the Padres rotation is now well-positioned to keep this team in Wild Card contention.

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13. Minnesota Twins

There’s still no replacement for Sonny Gray entering spring training and that’s just one area of concern when it comes to the Minnesota Twins. Similar to the New York Yankees, we’ve seen far too many core Twins’ players suffer long-term injuries and Minnesota often didn’t have the depth to make up for that. A very weak AL Central will give the Twins more wins and they should be strong favorites to come out on top. With that said, making the playoffs and reaching the ALDS feels like the absolute ceiling for Minnesota.

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12. Chicago Cubs

It took longer than expected, but the Chicago Cubs finally re-signed All-Star Cody Bellinger early in spring training. He’ll certainly make a positive impact in the clubhouse, but the far more important thing is getting his bat into the middle of the Cubs lineup. While we still don’t love Chicago’s rotation and the bottom of the batting order could be better, Bellinger’s addition alone moves Chicago up a few spots in the MLB power rankings before Opening Day.

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11. Philadelphia Phillies

After retaining Aaron Nola to keep the front-line of their starting rotation together, the Philadelphia Phillies were perennial runners-up for the top starting pitchers in MLB free agency. It leaves far too much riding on the shoulders of Taijuan Walker, Michael Lorenzen and Christopher Sanchez. Bryce Harper, Trea Turner, Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber will likely get the Phillies into October, but there’s not remotely enough confidence right now in the bullpen and rotation to count on them for a playoff run.

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MLB power rankings: Best MLB teams 2024

10. Toronto Blue Jays

2024 MLB power rankings, Toronto Blue Jays
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The Toronto Blue Jays didn’t add much this offseason, aside from designated hitter Justin Turner and some cupholders at the Rogers Centre. An obvious hope for Toronto is its very talented lineup stays healthy in 2024 and improves upon an 11th-place finish in OPS (.745) which was an underachievement for their talent level. The big key for the Blue Jays will be whether or not Alex Manoah recaptures his form. If his issues from 2023 persist and this Jays’ lineup disappoints again, fans won’t overlook that the organization seemed to take far too much pride in adding a place for spectators to place their drinks instead of upgrading the roster itself.

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9. Seattle Mariners

2024 MLB power rankings, Seattle Mariners
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A lack of uncertainty with long-term TV rights certainly seemed to impact the Seattle Mariners offseason, with ownership cutting back on payroll more than you’d expect from a contender. Adding Mitch Garver and Jorge Polanco will be a small boost to the lineup, but there’s also. aton of risk in betting on Luke Raley, Mitch Haniger and Josh Rosas for a team with World Series aspirations. Fortunately, the Mariners’ rotation will likely be its saving grace in 2024.

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8. Arizona Diamondbacks

Syndication: Arizona Republic
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After a stunning World Series run in 2023, the Arizona Diamondbacks didn’t pull a Marlins and sell off some of their talent. Instead, Arizona added Eugenio Suarez, Joc Pederson and Randal Grichuk to improve the depth in its batting order. Not only that, the Diamondbacks also boosted the middle of their rotation with Eduardo Rodriguez. We’d bet against another deep playoff run in 2024, but the Diamondbacks’ moves combined with the young talent on the roster – Zac Gallen, Corbin Carroll, Gabriel Moreno – capture why the Diamondbacks can be one of the best MLB teams in 2024.

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7. Tampa Bay Rays

2024 MLB power rankings, Tampa Bay Rays
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We’ve learned not to bet against the Tampa Bay Rays in the regular season, no matter the circumstances. They didn’t add anything of significance this offseason, but they did move on from front-line starter Tyler Glasnow. Combine that with the departure of the former face of the franchise and for as good as Tampa Bay has been in recent years – 4th in OPS (.776) and 5th in ERA (3.86) last season – the Rays feel like a club that will have to settle for a Wild Card spot in 2024.

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6. New York Yankees

2024 MLB power rankings, New York Yankees
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As always, it comes down to durability for the New York Yankees. Nestor Cortes and Carlos Rôdon missed a majority of the 2023 season, while Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge spent significant time on the injured list. When healthy, the Yankees roster is one of the best in baseball and they have even more talent in 2024 with Juan Soto, Alex Verudogo and Marcus Stroman. History has told us, however, it’s never wise to bet on the Yankees’ stars to play 140-plus games and that could prove costly in the toughest division in MLB.

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To our point about injuries, we’re already seeing problems. Gerrit Cole (elbow irritation) won’t even throw for at least a month and there’s a legitimate risk of a setback at any point during his recovery process. Meanwhile, Judge has missed time in spring training and that’s just another reminder of how snake-bitten this very talented club is.

5. Texas Rangers

Syndication: Arizona Republic
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Season-opening injuries are the biggest reason why the defending champions aren’t higher in the 2024 MLB power rankings heading into spring training. Jacob deGrom is sidelined until September, Max Scher won’t return until midseason and Corey Seager may start slow after undergoing sports hernia surgery. Still, there’s a lot of exciting, young talent on this club and Bruce Bochy is one of the best managers ever.

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4. Baltimore Orioles

MLB: ALDS-Texas Rangers at Baltimore Orioles
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With so much excitement surrounding the Baltimore Orioles heading into spring training, the team was dealt a major blow with injury news on Kyle Bradish (UCL sprain). Similar to John Means, elbow issues can linger for months and even with the addition of Corbin Burnes, Baltimore doesn’t have the pitching depth to lose a pair of starters. With that said, there is ample talent in the lineup, premium prospects on the way and the Orioles are better positioned than anyone to acquire the best player available at the trade deadline. That’s why Baltimore will be one of the best MLB teams in 2024.

Related: Analyzing the Baltimore Orioles trade for Corbin Burnes

3. Houston Astros

2024 MLB power rankings, Houston Astros
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The Houston Astros have won 100-plus games in four of their last seven seasons and have recorded 90-plus victories in every year, outside of the COVID-shortened season, since 2017. This certainly feels like it’s shaping up to be one of the final years of the team’s World Series window and it will be made tougher because of the wealth of competitive teams atop the American League.

If Yordan Alvarez stays healthy and Framber Valdez recaptures his best stuff, Houston can win another World Series. However, we must keep in mind that Justin Verlander will miss the start of the season and now Jose Urquidy is dealing with elbow trouble. The Astros missed out on Blake Snell, which makes this banged-up rotation even riskier.

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2. Atlanta Braves

2024 MLB power rankings, Atlanta Braves
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The Atlanta Braves had a strange offseason, but it culminated in the team adding Jarred Kelenic and Chris Sale. There are massive risks with Sale, but he can be the missing piece in the Braves rotation if he avoids more injury setbacks. Even if he doesn’t and Kelenic can’t turn back into the player that made him one of the best prospects in baseball, Atlanta has more than enough to challenge the Dodgers for the NL pennant in 2024.

1. Los Angeles Dodgers

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers-Workouts
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The Los Angeles Dodgers should be the example for MLB teams about going all-in and adding as much talent as possible. Even without Shohei Ohtani on the mound this year, he gives the Dodgers lineup three viable NL MVP candidates. As for the rotation, Tyler Glasnow, Yoshinobu Yamamoto and potentially the combo of James Paxton and Walker Buehler provide the pitching depth Los Angeles needs until Clayton Kershaw returns.

Betting on the Dodgers to win the World Series is a risk, given their history of October disappointments, but the wealth of talent and an aggressive mindset that will make them dangerous at the trade deadline lands them atop our 2024 MLB power rankings. If there is one thing that could derail things, beyond injuries, it will be the infield defense that was abysmal in spring training.

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