Sportsnaut’s MLB power rankings 2023 take a look across baseball, evaluating all 30 teams and separating them into tiers. From the worst clubs at the bottom of the standings to playoff hopefuls and World Series contenders, all 30 teams are covered.
Injuries in spring training and the World Baseball Classic have already shaped the upcoming season. Jose Altuve and Edwin Diaz suffered significant injuries in the WBC, while the likes of Tyler Glasnow, Joe Musgrove and Seiya Suzuki went down in spring training. While many of the injured stars will return early in the season, every absence matters in a 162-game season.
Let’s dive into our latest MLB power rankings before Opening Day 2023.
2023 MLB power rankings: Worst teams in MLB
30. Oakland Athletics
The Oakland Athletics will move to Las Vegas a lot sooner than they’ll make any significant ground in our MLB power rankings. This is one of the worst rosters in baseball heading into Opening Day and the organization hasn’t demonstrated any reason to believe winning is a priority.
29. Cincinnati Reds
The only thing keeping the Cincinnati Reds from the bottom of the 2023 MLB power rankings is their promising future. Fans should be excited for the young rotation trio (Nick Lodolo, Hunter Greene, Graham Ashcraft). Cincinnati also boasts one of the best farm systems in MLB, with Elly Da La Cruz and Noelvi Marte likely just a year away from their MLB debuts. With that said, the Reds will be one of the worst MLB teams in 2023.
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28. Washington Nationals
The Washington Nationals don’t have a lot going for them right now, hence being locked in near the bottom of the MLB power rankings. Stephen Strasburg, the former World Series hero turned contract bust, may not pitch in 2023 and top prospect Cade Cavalli needs Tommy John surgery. At this point, Washington is just battling for the first pick in the 2024 MLB Draft.
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27. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates aren’t anywhere close to contention, making their refusal to trade Bryan Reynolds more baffling. While Andrew McCutchen and Carlos Santana are nice veteran additions to the clubhouse, neither change the fact that this will be one of the worst lineups in baseball. While there are plenty of prospects worth getting excited about, pitching still projects as a long-term weakness.
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26. Colorado Rockies
As if the 2023 season already wasn’t looking bleak enough, star infielder Brendan Rodgers’ campaign ended before it could even begin. While marginal additions like Jurickson Profar were made, Colorado doesn’t have the talent to even challenge for a .500 record. All of this makes the 2022 Kris Bryant signing look even worse.
25. Kansas City Royals
The Kansas City Royals lineup will be entertaining, with Bobby Witt Jr, MJ Melendez and Vinnie Pasquantino serving as core parts of this foundation. Unfortunately for Kansas City, it is home to one of the worst rotations in MLB and a shaky bullpen that doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence. Expect the Royals to be sellers, possibly dealing Salvador Perez, in July.
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24. Detroit Tigers
Hiring Scott Harris as general manager could be one of the best offseason moves made by the Detroit Tigers in recent years. He is taking over a team that saw several of its young arms suffer injuries, whilst top prospect Spencer Torkelson fell well short of expectations in his rookie year. Given the roster isn’t all that different, Detroit is likely destined for another season under 80 wins.
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23. Miami Marlins
The Miami Marlins overpaid to acquire Luis Arráez and even with the addition of Jean Segura, this still projects to be one of the worst lineups in the National League this season. While the starting rotation is excellent, it just means there will be a lot of 3-2 losses this year.
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22. San Francisco Giants
Failing to sign Carlos Correa might be the best long-term move for the San Francisco Giants, but it will come at the cost of ballpark attendance. Carlos Rodón is gone, the rotation will regress, the farm system is thin and the reliance on platooning players and oft-injured contributors comes with alarming risks. Hired to recreate the Los Angeles Dodgers model, Farhan Zaidi has fallen well short of expectations.
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21. Chicago Cubs
While the Chicago Cubs didn’t make enough additions to be viewed as a legitimate playoff contender, fans will be treated to much better baseball at Wrigley Field this season. Dansby Swanson and Cody Bellinger were great additions to the lineup, while Jameson Taillon and Hayden Wesneski add some much-needed excitement to the starting rotation. Baseball fans in Chicago still deserve better, but at least this is an effort from ownership that shows some level of interest in being competitive.
2023 MLB power rankings: Fringe playoff contenders
20. Texas Rangers
While the Texas Rangers deserve credit for spending aggressively, it doesn’t make them a viable contender. Even if Jacob deGrom, Nathan Eovaldi and Andrew Heaney all stay healthy – which is unlikely – this is still a below-average lineup. In the best-case scenario, Texas is tied with the Los Angeles Angels for a distant third place in the AL West.
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19. Arizona Diamondbacks
We’re certainly higher on the Arizona Diamondbacks than the consensus MLB power rankings. While it’s a long shot that this team earns a Wild Card spot, this team is underrated. A lineup with Corbin Carroll, Ketel Marte, Christian Walker, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Gabriel Moreno is better than what Arizona sent on the field in 2022. Combining the improved lineup with a solid rotation and top prospects coming, the Diamondbacks could surprise a lot of people this year.
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18. Boston Red Sox
We’re a bit higher on the Boston Red Sox than we were entering February. There are rave reviews on outfielder Masataka Yoshida, a signing that many in MLB originally thought was an overpay. If Yoshia, Verdugo, Justin Turner and Rafael Devers play up to expectations, this could be a quality lineup in the American League. However, it’s a rotation filled with durability questions and a lack of pitching depth that keeps Boston down in the MLB power rankings before Opening Day.
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17. Baltimore Orioles
Blame the pessimism for the Baltimore Orioles on the pitching. Despite entering the winter with one of the lowest payrolls in MLB, Baltimore spent on starting pitching like it was flush against the luxury tax. With all due respect to an intriguing lineup of young talent and emerging stars, no rotation headlined by Kyle Gibson and Cole Irvin is making the MLB playoffs.
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16. Los Angeles Angels
History suggests the Los Angeles Angels won’t miraculously have their misfortune with injuries reversed this season. On paper, the Angels’ roster is good enough to snag one of the AL’s Wild Card spots. Unfortunately, that means betting on Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani and Anthony Rendon to stay healthy. If that does happen, Trout and Ohtani will be playing in October with a better supporting cast than in previous seasons. It’s just not something we’re willing to bet on.
15. Chicago White Sox
Parting ways with Tony La Russa was the first step toward fixing the most disappointing MLB team in 2022. Unfortunately, the Chicago White Sox did very little to improve the roster. If everyone avoids multiple trips to the injured list, the White Sox can win the AL Central. If the injuries mount up, there isn’t remotely enough depth on the active roster or in the minors for Chicago to pose any threat to its division rivals.
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14. Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays dropped a spot from the last edition of our 2023 MLB power rankings thanks to the Tyler Glasnow injury. While the co-ace isn’t in jeopardy of missing the season, his absence serves as a reminder of how thin the front line of the pitching staff gets when one guy does down. Furthermore, Tampa Bay did very little to improve a lineup that ranked 21st in runs scored and 25th in OPS last season.
Gordon Wittenmyer, MLB expert and former beat writer for NBC Sports Chicago and the Chicago Sun-Times. Get Gordon’s latest Sportsnaut Exclusive today!
13. Minnesota Twins
After acquiring Pablo Lopez, the Minnesota Twins now boast the rotation necessary to challenge the Cleveland Guardians for the AL Central. There’s an element of risk with the arms, mainly durability, but it could be one of the best staffs in the American League. If Byron Buxton, Carlos Correa and Jorge Polanco stay healthy, the Twins could win their first postseason series in years.
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12. Milwaukee Brewers
The Milwaukee Brewers have the pitching to be dangerous in the MLB playoffs, it’s just a question about if they get there. Adding William Contreras and Jesse Winker to the lineup provides much-needed reinforcements. If everything clicks, even without any big in-season additions, Milwaukee’s upside would put them in the top 10 of the 2023 MLB power rankings.
11. Philadelphia Phillies
Bryce Harper won’t open the season on the 60-day injured list, but the two-time NL MVP is expected to be sidelined until mid-June. While adding Trea Turner certainly helps mitigate some of the damage to the lineup, Harper’s absence will still be felt early. Fortunately for the Phillies, a slow start shouldn’t have too much of an influence on their postseason aspirations.
However, the season-ending Rhys Hoskins injury now puts Philadelphia in an even worse spot. Instantly, a source of 30 home runs and 70-plus RBIs is gone from the lineup, making the crater left by Harper’s long-term absence even bigger. It could be a rough start to the season for the Phillies this year.
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MLB power rankings 2023: Best teams in baseball
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10. St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals will miss the presence of Yadier Molina in the clubhouse and his work behind the plate, but Willson Contreras is simply a massive talent upgrade at the position. With two MVP candidates in the lineup and great help around them, St. Louis should have one of the best MLB lineups in 2023. Factor in the wealth of pitching and you can bet on the Cardinals playing meaningful games in October.
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Unfortunately, the injury to Adam Wainwright adds greater uncertainty to the short-term outlook in St. Louis. We might not see the Cardinals’ ace until May and even then he’ll be working his way back. It’s a sizable blow for a team that already had some durability questions in its rotation paired with some concerns about the quality of the front-line starters.
9. Cleveland Guardians
The Cleveland Guardians are a perfect example of a club with a high floor and a low ceiling. After playing as the youngest team in MLB last season, Cleveland gained the necessary experience and proved it can win the division even when there are restraints put on the payroll. However, the roster it takes into Opening Day won’t be all that different from what we see in September. As a result, the Guardians’ ceiling is capped as a playoff contender.
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8. Seattle Mariners
The Seattle Mariners ended one of the longest playoff droughts in sports, reaching the postseason for the first time since 2001. It happened for a variety of reasons, but rookie Julio Rodriguez immediately becoming a superstar played a pivotal role. Teoscar Hernández adds an All-Star bat to the lineup while Kolten Wong improves the situation at second base. If the starting rotation plays up to its potential, this team could challenge for the AL West.
7. New York Mets
The New York Mets entered spring at No. 4 in our MLB power rankings, but the Edwin Diaz injury is a massive blow. It’s not about losing an All-Star closer, it’s the fact that manager Buck Showalter no longer has an unshakeable arm who he could trust in any critical situation. Pair Diaz’s season-ending injury with a lineup that didn’t really get better this offseason, you have a fringe World Series contender that seems destined for October disappointment.
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6. Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays will have one of the best MLB lineups in 2023, headlined by perennial All-Stars but now featuring impact bats from the top to the bottom of the order. Adding Chris Bassitt to the rotation now erases any questions with the front-line starters, with Toronto now boasting a 1-4 that gives it a shot in any postseason season.
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5. Los Angeles Dodgers
Bet against the Los Angeles Dodgers if you want, their history says it’s a foolish endeavor. They can always pull off a blockbuster trade, thanks to one of the best farm systems in MLB. Even if they don’t you can count on two NL MVP candidates (Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman), multiple All-Star selections and phenomenal depth to help this team battle for the NL West crown and a deep playoff run in October.
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4. Houston Astros
After entering spring training atop our MLB power rankings, the Houston Astros slid thanks to injuries to Lance McCullers Jr. and Jose Altuve. In a best-case scenario, Altuve is going to miss two months of action and Lance McCullers Jr. (forearm) is just playing catch. It significantly weakens the Astros’ lineup and the McCullers Jr. injury is a reminder that Houston is thin on starting pitching if Hunter Brown takes the fifth rotation spot.
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3. San Diego Padres
Already one of the best teams in MLB, the San Diego Padres made another offseason splash with Xander Bogaerts. The All-Star shortstop fills the void in the lineup until Fernando Tatís Jr. returns from suspension (April 20). There’s more than enough hitting and pitching talent to win the World Series, it’s just a question of execution in October.
2. New York Yankees
Frankie Montas is sidelined indefinitely and Carlos Rodón will be on the injured list when Opening Day arrives. The elbow injuries showed New York Yankees fans why the best rotation in MLB is also alarmingly volatile. New York does boast an outstanding lineup and bullpen, plus its’s pitching depth can help ease the blow to the starting rotation. If the Yankees want to win the World Series, though, Rodón needs to be healthy.
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1. Atlanta Braves
Fans certainly would’ve liked to see the Atlanta Braves use their long-term payroll flexibility to fill the void created by Dansby Swanson’s departure. Even with the hole at shortstop, though, Atlanta still projects as the best team in the National League without him. A deep farm system backs up a loaded lineup and a top-flight rotation, putting the Braves in a position to win another pennant. With the injuries the Yankees, Mets and Astros are now dealing with, the Braves are No. 1 in the MLB power rankings before Opening Day.