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MLB power rankings Week 3: Pirates, Brewers and Yankees rise as Braves, Astros drop

MLB power rankings
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 Major League Baseball season is underway with all 30 teams playing at least 12 games. While we’re barely a fraction of the way through the season, it’s time for our MLB power rankings for week 3 as we evaluate the best MLB teams and worst teams in baseball right now.

Let’s dive into our MLB power rankings heading into week 3.

MLB power rankings 2024: Worst teams in MLB

30. Chicago White Sox (28)

The Chicago White Sox are the worst MLB team in 2024. It’s a title that seemed like a foregone conclusion before the season, but this team has been even worse than expected as of late. With Luis Robert and Yoan Moncada sidelined indefinitely, Chicago is only going to sink further. Just to capture how bad things are, the White Sox have the worst run differential in MLB (-44) and only one other team has a -30 differential.

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29. Miami Marlins (26)

Kim Ng and Skip Schumaker somehow made the Miami Marlins a playoff team (84-78) in 2023. The Marlins then decided to cut ties with Ng this offseason and Schumaker is going to be next out the door. Injuries can certainly be blamed, but the bottom line is that is is one of the worst-run organizations in MLB.

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28. Colorado Rockies (29)

The Colorado Rockies have permanent reservations at the bottom of the MLB power rankings all year. A poorly-built team with an organizational roster that has been in desperate need of a complete rebuild has yielded the results you’d expect over the last season and a half. Colorado’s baseball fans deserve better, especially in a gem like Coors Field, but it seems like we’re years away from a competitive Rockies team.

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27. Oakland Athletics (30)

The Oakland Athletics have the worst attendance in the majors (6,010 fans per game) and that number is getting lower by the week. For context, the team with the second-lowest average attendance pulls nearly 5x the crowd that the A’s do. All of this, of course, falls on the Athletics owner John Fisher and his obsession with taking baseball out of the city. As for the claims that the A’s payroll will go up after they move, that’s a line that even the best comedy writers can’t beat.

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26. Washington Nationals (27)

At least the Washington Nationals are showing a bit of fight. The Nats took the series against the San Francisco Giants and Jesse Winker’s rejuvenation at the plate – .350/.490/.525 – is a great story. Still, Washington has the fewest quality starts (one) in MLB and it won’t be long before things get much, much worse for this club.

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25. San Francisco Giants (22)

Through 17 games this season, the San Francisco Giants have allowed the ninth-most runs (72) and their lineup ranks bottom 10 in the majors. What is remarkable is the success of former reliever Jordan Hicks (0.83 WHIP, 1.00 ERA) through 17 innings pitched. If San Francisco can just get Kyle Harrison and Logan Webb to lock in, things should turn around quickly. However, this team’s best doesn’t project to be playoff caliber.

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24. Los Angeles Angels (23)

Mike Trout is turning back the clock, playing at a level we’ve only seen in his MVP-caliber seasons. Of course, all of this elite production just serves as a reminder that he should be doing it with a World Series contender. We’re still holding out hope that once Los Angeles falls down the standings, the future Hall of Famer will request a trade so he can spend the rest of his career on a playoff team.

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23. New York Mets (25)

The New York Mets are slowly starting to dig themselves out of the early hole they put themselves in. New York took a series against the Cincinnati Reds and Atlanta Braves, demonstrating what it’s capable of when everything is going right. There probably isn’t enough talent on the roster to win the NL East, but it does feel like New York will start ascending up the MLB power rankings.

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22. St. Louis Cardinals (20)

After taking sets against the Marlins and San Diego Padres, the St. Louis Cardinals lineup was snuffed by the Philadelphia Phillies rotation. On the bright side for St. Louis, Sonny Gray is back in the starting rotation. The real test, after facing Oakland, is a six-game run against the Milwaukee Brewers and Arizona Diamondbacks.

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20. Minnesota Twins (19)

The Minnesota Twins are back to their old ways, putting a player on the injured list every other day. First, it was Royce Lewis and now Carlos Correa (intercostal strain) lands on the IL. On the bright side, at least the Twins recovered from the Dodgers’ series by taking out the Detroit Tigers for a much-needed series win.

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MLB power rankings Week 3: Pirates rise, Mariners drop

20. Kansas City Royals (24)

The Kansas City Royals have the second-best run differential in MLB (+34) through 14 games and they are dominating at Kauffman Stadium (8-2). We will remind people though, with Baseball Reference, that the Los Angeles Angels and Pittsburgh Pirates were near the top of the MLB standings at this time a year ago. It’s a 162-game season, we’re just going to see more from the Royals before they start soaring up our 2024 MLB power rankings.

19. Seattle Mariners (8)

It’s just a few weeks into April but the next few weeks feel like a crucial point for the Seattle Mariners. After facing Chicago, Seattle has matchups against the Cincinnati Reds, Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros. If the Mariners look like the far worse team, talks of major changes will be unavoidable.

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18. Boston Red Sox (14)

A week ago, the Boston Red Sox had the lowest ERA (1.54), WHIP (0.85) and batting average allowed (.180) in the majors. Fast forward to this weekend and Boston’s ERA now stands at 2.47 with a 1.13 WHIP. Regression was always coming and this time it was thanks to the Orioles and Angels’ bats. Things won’t get any easier for Boston with two of the best MLB teams – Cleveland Guardians and Pittsburgh Pirates – ahead.

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17. San Diego Padres (18)

Following a 3-5 start to the campaign, the San Diego Padres have turned things around in the last week by winning four games in six tries. What will be a great measure for San Diego’s chances of competing in 2024 are the upcoming games against the Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers. Come out with a positive record from that and San Diego will vault up the consensus MLB power rankings.

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16. Cincinnati Reds (13)

The Cincinnati Reds learned this past week why the Milwaukee Brewers are one of the best MLB teams right now. Fortunately for Cincinnati, Elly De La Cruz is starting to find his swing and more consistent production paired with Spencer Steer’s MVP-caliber play should keep this club afloat. With that acknowledged, though, the Reds lineup has to carry even more weight because pitching at Great American Ballpark will always hurt the team’s pitching numbers.

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15. Toronto Blue Jays (11)

Heading into the weekend, the Toronto Blue Jays lineup ranked 23rd in runs scored (51), 25th in batting average (.220) and 18th in OBP (.312). To make matters worse, despite five quality starts, the Blue Jays pitching staff ranks 28th in ERA (5.43) and 29th in batting average allowed (.278). Our expectations for the Blue Jays a year ago were to compete for the World Series. Now, Toronto seems like an organization that might be lucky to play in October.

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14. Detroit Tigers (15)

An ugly showing at home against the A’s took the winds out of the sails for a team that was off to a 5-1 start. The Detroit Tigers did recover from a three-game losing streak and that’s a positive sign, especially with how the club rallied at the end against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Still, it takes time for these teams to click and the Tigers feel like a club that will be riding the ups and downs in 2024.

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13. Tampa Bay Rays (9)

A winning streak is nice, but we also must account for the Tampa Bay Rays picking up these victories against some of the worst teams in MLB right now. Despite the winning record, Tampa Bay still has a -10 run differential through its first 14 games and the Rays rank outside the top 15 in both major hitting and pitching categories. The numbers suggest Tampa Bay is going to struggle against much better teams.

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12. Pittsburgh Pirates (21)

The Pittsburgh Pirates handled their business last weekend against the Baltimore Orioles then took a split series at home against the Tigers. This club knows how to get runners on (.346 OBP, 4th in MLB but it’s the pitching staff that is really standing out right now. We’re still thinking a bit about the Pirates’ hot start in 2023, but this team has done enough to jump up the MLB power rankings week 3.

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12. Houston Astros (7)

It’s been an absolute disaster for the Houston Astros thus far. Things seemed to be turning around after Monday when the Astros took the final two games in Texas, but that was followed up with a sweep at the hands of the Royals. Hitting isn’t the problem, obviously, it’s an injury-ravaged rotation that has sent the team ERA plummeting to 5.56 (29th in MLB) and WHIP (1.54, 28th). Framber Valdez and Justin Verlander need to return, otherwise, Houston has a big problem in the months to come.

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10 best MLB teams

10. Arizona Diamondbacks (6)

MLB power rankings week 3, Arizona Diamondbacks
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The Arizona Diamondbacks have a +14 run differential through 14 games, but all of that can be traced back to the season-opening victory (16-1) over the Colorado Rockies. Arizona showed outstanding fight in its series to open the month against the New York Yankees, but it then got swept by the Atlanta Braves. The upcoming series against the Cubs and Giants is an early litmus test for Arizona.

9. Chicago Cubs (10)

MLB power rankings 2024, Chicago Cubs
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After a strong start to the 2024 MLB season, the Chicago Cubs ran into a wall against the San Diego Padres. It doesn’t get much easier moving forward with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Houston Astros looming on the schedule. However, considering the number of starting pitchers the Cubs rotation is missing right now, it’s easier to explain the numbers – 4.75 ERA (24th in MLB) and lack of quality starts (two) – and the Cubs lineup is more than proving itself. Once healthier, Chicago should start turning things around.

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8. Philadelphia Phillies (17)

MLB power rankings week 3, Philadelphia Phillies
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The Philadelphia Phillies surge back up the MLB power rankings for now, but all isn’t great for the team. While the Phillies rotation has the second-most quality starts (eight) in MLB and its team ERA (3.71)is good, the other side of the equation is responsible for a lot of these losses. Through 14 games, the Phillies rank outside the top 20 in runs scored 52) and slugging (.348). It’s no time to panic, but some of the holes in the batting order are becoming more evident.

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7. Cleveland Guardians (16)

MLB power rankings 2024, Cleveland Guardians
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We remain a bit skeptical of the Cleveland Guardians’ odds of competing for a championship, but a 9-3 record with the best run differential in MLB (+35) deserves notice. Steven Kwan, Jose Ramirez and Josh Naylor have been phenomenal thus far, resulting in some surprising production (.407 SLG, .264 BA) from the Guardians lineup. Although, Tommy John surgery for Shane Bieber and the very fact that Cleveland has faced a relatively weak schedule to open the season suggest regression could be coming.

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6. Atlanta Braves (2)

MLB power rankings 2024, Atlanta Braves
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Season-ending surgery for Spencer Strider is the biggest reason for the Atlanta Braves dropping in the latest MLB power rankings. While Atlanta does have pitching depth, losing a Cy Young-caliber ace is devastating for this World Series threat moving forward. We’re still not concerned with slow starts from Ronald Acuña Jr. and Austin Riley, but the absences of Strider and Sean Murphy loom large.

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5. Milwaukee Brewers (12)

MLB power rankings, Milwaukee Brewers
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The Milwaukee Brewers are one of the best MLB teams right now. Entering the weekend, the Brewers had the third-highest run differential (+27) in the majors and they have also been outstanding on the road (6-1) this year. There have been no issues for the new-look Milwaukee pitching staff, which holds the third-lowest WHIP (1.13) and ninth-lowest ERA (3.53) in MLB. What really stands out, though, is the much-improved Brewers lineup – ranks second in OBP, BA, SLG – with Christian Yelich and William Contreras on fire to start the season.

4. Texas Rangers (4)

Latest MLB power rankings, Texas Rangers
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The defending World Series champions are just doing enough right now to stay near the top of the American League. One thing that’s clear is that the Rangers lineup – .414 SLG (9th in MLB) and .355 OBP (3rd in MLB) – is capable of wreaking havoc against opposing pitching. Considering the injuries, the starting rotation has been fine but the back end of the bullpen in Texas is something to monitor as we move ahead.

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3. Baltimore Orioles

MLB power rankings 2024, Baltimore Orioles
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Jackson Holliday has arrived, providing an instant infield upgrade for the Baltimore Orioles. Not only is the best prospect in baseball now a part of the Orioles lineup, but Baltimore is also getting some of its starting pitchers (Kyle Bradish and John Means) back in the near future. While the Orioles record isn’t fantastic, we believe they are a World Series contender in 2024 and the best version of Baltimore should start showing up as the season progresses.

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2. Los Angeles Dodgers (1)

MLB power rankings 2024, Los Angeles Dodgers
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After a strong start to the week, the Los Angeles Dodgers encountered a speed bump before the weekend with consecutive losses to the Twins and Padres. However, a +12 run differential with a winning record is a great place to be considering where some of the other best MLB teams in 2024 are. With an upcoming stretch against the Nationals and Mets, the Dodgers should be near the top of the standings in our MLB power rankings next weekend.

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1. New York Yankees (3)

MLB power rankings 2024, New York Yankees
Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are the best MLB team right now. Heading into the weekend, New York hadn’t lost a single series this season and it’s been a team effort with excellent run production and quality pitching. We’re also keeping in mind that all of this is being accomplished without guys like Gerrit Cole and DJ LeMahieu. Plus, an opening-season schedule with the Astros, D-Backs, Guardians and Blue Jays is proving New York can beat great teams.

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