2023 MLB Power Rankings: Week 24

The D'backs and Giants stock rises while the Red Sox fall apart.

Every week, the Pitcher List team publishes an update to our MLB Power Rankings, reviewing the biggest risers and fallers of the past seven days. As always, the full rankings can be found at the bottom of this article … but where’s the fun in that?

It is the time of year where if you are making a move up, you are either getting into the hunt for a postseason bid or improving your stock. On the other hand, if you are going down, you are losing your grip or completely falling out of contention.

Not surprisingly, Atlanta remains No. 1 in the Pitcher List MLB Power Rankings, became the first team to clinch one of the 12 MLB postseason spots and is on its way to the top seed in the National League. The Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Dodgers swapped the Nos. 2 and 3 slots in the Power Rankings, with the Orioles slipping a notch and the Dodgers stepping up.

Our bottom seven teams stayed the same, but the battle for the bottom will be interesting with the Kansas City Royals on a cold streak and giving the Oakland A’s company at No. 30.


Movin’ On Up


Arizona Diamondbacks

Record: 76-72

Rank change: +3 (16 to 13)

At this point in the season, one series, one win can make a difference in making the postseason or heading home to go golfing. So when the D’backs took three of four from the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field last weekend, it put Arizona in position to claim the third and final NL wild-card berth and potentially move past the Cubs for the No. 2 spot.

Since then, the D’backs won the opener of a four-game series against the woeful New York Mets but then lost the next three, including an 11-1 thrashing Thursday. It dropped the D’backs into a three-way tie with the San Francisco Giants and Cincinnati Reds for the last NL wild-card slot (with the Miami Marlins another half-game behind that group). However, the D’backs have another chance to make a move with the Cubs heading to the desert for a three-game series this weekend, followed by two games against the Giants. The rest of the Arizona schedule is favorable, with a road trip and three-game series against the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox, before finishing with a potentially tough three games against the Houston Astros.

NL Cy Young contender Zac Gallen turned in a gem a week ago Friday, pitching a three-hitter in his first complete game, a 1-0 shutout of the Cubs. But Gallen gave those good vibes right back by being tagged for seven runs in five innings by the Mets in Wednesday’s 7-1 setback. Gallen won’t see the Cubs this weekend, but will get the Giants, then likely the White Sox and the Astros to wrap up the season.

Outfielder Corbin Carroll, the probable NL Rookie of the Year, came to life with the bat in recent series against the Baltimore Orioles and the Cubs and will need to continue to ignite the offense in the final two-plus weeks.


San Francisco Giants

Record: 75-71

Rank change: +3 (17 to 14)

If you have figured out what kind of team the Giants are, congratulations, because you are about the only one. The Giants haven’t been quite as magical as they were in 2021, when they won a club-record 107 games, but they haven’t been as inconsistent as they were in posting an 81-81 mark in 2022. But the somewhere-in-the-middle performance has been frustrating on many levels.

San Francisco is coming off a week in which it swept the Colorado Rockies at home, as any team in the Giants’ position should do, then took two of three from the Cleveland Guardians. A little bit of that 2021 magic was evident in the finale vs. the Guardians as Cleveland led 4-0 before the Giants batted in the first inning, then J.D. Davis hit a tying three-run homer in the eighth and LaMonte Wade Jr. won it 6-5 with a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning.

This weekend, the Giants are playing the Rockies in Colorado for four games, including a doubleheader Saturday after Thursday’s game was postponed. The Giants technically have a slight percentage-point lead at .5137 over the D’backs and Reds, who have identical 76-72 records for a .5135 percentage for the last NL wild-card spot. The Giants have an imposing schedule to finish; after the Rockies this weekend, there are the two games at the D’backs, then three in L.A. against the Dodgers before returning home for three-gamers against the San Diego Padres and the Dodgers to conclude the regular season.

Pitching is what will carry the Giants to the postseason. While Logan Webb and Alex Cobb have had good outings in their last two starts, rookie Kyle Harrison has shown that he might not be ready for prime time with a 7.36 ERA in his last three starts. Six others have made starts in the last two weeks as manager Gabe Kapler has tried to deploy any number of starting-pitcher strategies to get his team into the dance.


Hittin’ The Skids


Boston Red Sox

Record: 74-73

Rank change: -4 (13 to 17)

If someone told you that three American League East teams were potentially making the playoffs, your logical follow-up would be: Who is joining the Yankees and Red Sox? But not in 2023. The East has been the best division in MLB this season, with the Tampa Bay Rays and the surprising Orioles leading the way. The Toronto Blue Jays are currently on the playoff bubble.

The Red Sox and Yankees are just one game above .500, but this year in the East, all that gets you is a participation trophy. Neither team has been good enough to back up the big payrolls and expectations they had entering the season. That has already led to a shakeup, with Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom being relieved of his duties before Thursday’s doubleheader against the Yankees. The Red Sox lost a doubleheader to the Yankees on Tuesday after dropping two of three in back-to-back series against the Orioles and Rays. Following Thursday’s doubleheader split, the Red Sox stood 17½ games behind the division-leading Orioles and 7½ from the third and final AL wild-card spot.

The Red Sox have finished last in the East in three of the last four seasons and could very well do so again this year. They hit the road to face the Blue Jays for three games this weekend, then three against the Rangers. The Chicago White Sox come to Fenway for three games as do the Rays for two before finishing with three games on the road against the Orioles.


Week 24 MLB Power Rankings

Steve Drumwright

Steve Drumwright is a lifelong baseball fan who retired as a player before he had the chance to be cut from the freshman team in high school. He recovered to become a sportswriter and have a successful journalism career at newspapers in Wisconsin and California. Follow him on Twitter and Threads @DrummerWrites.

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