MLB power rankings 2023: Atlanta Braves at No. 1, St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers slide

The 2023 MLB season is moving by fast with clubs having already played 15 games and April’s MLB schedule flying by. As we dive into our latest MLB power ranking, it’s important to think about context and how much things change in a 162-game season.

Too much weight is often put into the wins and losses early in an MLB season. For context, take a look at where things stood a year ago. On April 17, 2022, the Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels, Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants sat near the top of the standings. When October rolled around, none of them made the playoffs.

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What’s the best MLB team right now? Let’s dive into our latest MLB power rankings.

2023 MLB power rankings: Worst teams in baseball

30. Oakland Athletics

  • Previously: 29th in MLB power rankings

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29. Washington Nationals

  • Previously: 30th in MLB power rankings

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28. Detroit Tigers

  • Previously: 27th in MLB power rankings

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27. Kansas City Royals

  • Previously: 28th in MLB power rankings

26. Colorado Rockies

  • Previously: 26th in MLB power rankings

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25. San Francisco Giants

  • Previously: 21st MLB power rankings

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24. Cincinnati Reds

  • Previously: 25th in MLB power rankings

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23. Chicago White Sox

  • Previously: 23rd in MLB power rankings

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22. Miami Marlins

  • Previously: 24th MLB power rankings

21. Pittsburgh Pirates

  • Previously: 23rd in MLB power rankings

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20. Philadelphia Phillies

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Cincinnati Reds
Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
  • Previously: 15th in MLB power rankings

It was apparent the Philadelphia Phillies would experience a slow start in 2023 with Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins unavailable. The Phillies entered Sunday with the sixth-highest OPS (.775), but only had 61 runs to show for it (25th), but the bigger worry right now is the pitching (5.72 ERA). We’d still feel somewhat comfortable projecting Philadelphia to make the postseason, but the margin for error narrows rapidly if this skid continues.

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MLB power rankings: Rangers soar, Cardinals in trouble

19. Boston Red Sox

  • Previously: 17th in MLB power rankings

It’s nice that the Boston Red Sox rebounded over the weekend against the Los Angeles Angels, but it came after a four-game sweep in Tampa Bay with 26 runs allowed and a -14 run differential. The Red Sox – 6.99 ERA for the starting rotation – don’t have the pitching to be viewed as an AL threat.

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18. St. Louis Cardinals

  • Previously: 14th in MLB power rankings

The St. Louis Cardinals were wept by the Atlanta Braves, knocked around by the Milwaukee Brewers and then struggled against Pittsburgh. A variety of factors play into the sub-.500 record, including the seventh-worst rotation ERA in baseball with 45 earned runs in 15 games. St. Louis will rebound, but the weaknesses are a reflection of the front office.

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17. Arizona Diamondbacks

  • Previously: 22nd in MLB power rankings

Don’t look now but the Arizona Diamondbacks are showing glimpses of having staying power in the National League. The D-Backs provided the heat in Arizona, taking a four-game series over the Dodgers and then taking a three-game set against Milwaukee. If we see a series victory over St. Louis and a competitive fight against San Diego, there’s a top-12 spot waiting for the D-Backs.

Gordon Wittenmyer, MLB expert and former beat writer for NBC Sports Chicago and the Chicago Sun-Times. Get Gordon’s latest Sportsnaut Exclusive today!

16. Baltimore Orioles

  • Previously: 19th in MLB power rankings

It’s obvious the Baltimore Orioles still don’t have the pitching (5.26 ERA, 1.63 WHIP) necessary to be taken seriously in the AL East. With that said, Adley Rutschman (198 wRC+) is becoming an MVP-caliber player. If Gunnar Henderson (90 wRC+) and Anthony Santander (56 wRC+) can start settling in at the plate, this will be an entertaining ballclub that floats above the .500 mark.

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15. Los Angeles Angels

  • Previously: 13th in MLB power rankings

The Los Angeles Angels have already secured three series victories on the season, but the recent trip to Fenway Park went terribly. This is a solid team, especially when Hunter Renfroe (.283/.387/.528) is playing at an All-Star level, but there’s not enough in the bullpen or batting order to make a sustained run all season.

14. Chicago Cubs

  • Previously: 14th MLB power rankings

The Chicago Cubs rewarded Ian Happ (174 wRC+, .442 wOBA) with a three-year contract extension, a win-win for both sides. We’ve also seen this club look competitive against the Dodgers, Rangers and Mariners in early April. If the +15 run differential is any indication, Chicago might be a Wild Card team this season.

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13. Seattle Mariners

  • Previously: 13th in MLB power rankings

It’s been an early roller coaster for the Seattle Mariners, starting 2-5 then slowly climbing their way back toward an even line. Considering Julio Ridrugez and Teoscar Hernandez aren’t playing up to their usual standard yet, we remain optimistic. One thing is for certain, the breakout April from Jarred Kelenic is one of the best MLB stories right now.

12. Texas Rangers

  • Previously: 18th in MLB power rankings

We cast a lot of doubt on the Texas Rangers making the leap in 2023, based largely on an insufficient lineup. Heading into Sunday, Texas ranked 18th in batting average (.245) and 20th in OPS (.717). If they can make even marginal improvements – with a top-10 pitching staff – we might have to start thinking about an in-state Texas playoff series in October.

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11. Houston Astros

  • Previously: 10th in MLB power rankings

The reigning World Series champions are still below the .500 line as of Sunday and the early results from Opening Week – four-game split vs CWS, series loss vs DET – look even worse two weeks later. The Astros are showing more juice as of late and coming out with a winning record against a tough schedule – vs Blue Jays, at Braves – would go a long way to restoring confidence.

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MLB power rankings today: Best MLB teams right now

10. San Diego Padres

Syndication: El Paso Times
Omar Ornelas/ El Paso Times / USA TODAY NETWORK
  • Previously: 4th in MLB power rankings

Our confidence in the San Diego Padres, despite their current record, is tied to the impending returns of Fernando Tatís Jr and Joe Musgrove. Adding a front-line starter and MLB MVP candidate back to one of the best rosters in baseball will go a long way. Of course, the belief in the Padres’ talent will erode if they can’t start delivering more consistency.

9. Cleveland Guardians

MLB: Cleveland Guardians at Seattle Mariners
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
  • Previously: 9th in MLB power rankings

The Cleveland Guardians are never going to be prominent on the national radar. Part of it is due to location, but they’ve also fallen short in some big series as of late. The Guardians will almost certainly beat up on the Tigers, Marlins and Rockies, but they will only be classified as a ‘good, not great’ team if they keep losing to the top dogs.

8. Los Angeles Dodgers

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants
John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
  • Previously: 2nd in MLB power rankings

There might actually be some consequences for the Los Angeles Dodgers using this offseason to reset things financially. On April 16, Los Angeles held the seventh-worst bullpen ERA (5.10) in baseball. Most worrisome is that this is an easier portion of the Dodgers’ schedule and they aren’t taking advantage of it. All of this is to say, one of the best MLB teams needs to get its act together.

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7. New York Mets

MLB: New York Mets at Oakland Athletics
Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports
  • Previously: 11th in MLB power rankings

The New York Mets are surging right now, playing more like a club with World Series aspirations. Unfortunately for the Metropolitans, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander also provided reminders of why it’s dangerous to bet on pitchers in their late 30s at the front of a starting rotation.

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6. Milwaukee Brewers

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Arizona Diamondbacks
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
  • Previously: In MLB power rankings

Milwaukee Brewers fans should be excited about how the team is performing right now, holding one of the best records in MLB. However, Brandon Woodruff (shoulder) is sidelined indefinitely and Aaron Ashby (shoulder) is out for the reason. If Milwaukee suffers one more blow to its starting rotation, even short-term, the house of cards collapses.

5. New York Yankees

MLB: Minnesota Twins at New York Yankees
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
  • Previously: 6th in MLB power rankings

The New York Yankees don’t need to be special right now, not with one of the longest injured lists in the majors. Giancarlo Stanton (hamstring) became the latest to hit the 10-day IL, but New York keeps staying afloat. At a time of so much parity, that’s all the Yankees need until some key players return.

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4. Minnesota Twins

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Minnesota Twins
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
  • Previously: 8th in MLB power rankings

The Minnesota Twins went into Yankee Stadium and looked like one of the top teams in the AL. Unsurprisingly, it’s the pitching – 2.62 ERA (1st), .193 BAA (1st), 0.95 WHIP (1st) – that is carrying the roster. Set to face the Nationals and Red Sox, we couldn’t think of a better opportunity for the Twins lineup to heat up.

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3. Tampa Bay Rays

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
  • Previously: 3rd in MLB power rankings

The Tampa Bay Rays’ winning streak came to an abrupt stop, but at least they could say as of Sunday that they are undefeated in the United States. Wander Franco (1.040 OPS), Randy Arozarena (.864 OPS) and Shane McClanahan (1.59 ERA) are all playing up to their talent levels. While we still might have some reservations regarding this lineup sustaining itself for a deep October run, it’s good enough to compete for the AL East.

2. Toronto Blue Jays

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays
Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
  • Previously: 5th in MLB power rankings

The Toronto Blue Jays did what no one else could and it might just be a sign of things to come. Already sporting one of the best lineups in MLB, recent starts from José Berríos and Yusei Kikuchi would be a fantastic development for Toronto’s rotation if it is sustained. We picked the Blue Jays to win the American League before Opening Day and nothing we’ve seen has shaken that confidence.

1. Atlanta Braves

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Kansas City Royals
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
  • Previously: 1st in MLB power rankings

The Atlanta Braves are the best MLB team right now and they might remain here for the majority of 2023. Heading into Sunday, Atlanta ranked third in wRC+ (118) and sixth in bullpen ERA (2.82). If the Braves can take series matchups against San Diego and Houston even with a lengthy injured list – Michael Harris II, Travis d’Arnaud, Max Fried, Raisel Iglesias – there should be no debate over who is the best team in baseball.

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Statistics via ESPN and FanGraphs

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