2023 MLB Power Rankings: Week 4

Are the Pirates legit?

Every week, the Pitcher List team publishes an update to our 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?

April has brought several surprises. Who would have predicted that the Rays would look like the best team in the league in March? Or that the Rangers, Pirates, and Diamondbacks would be leading their divisions? On the flip side, several teams we thought would be good have been mediocre (Yankees, Dodgers, Padres) to downright awful (we’re looking at you, St. Louis).

It’s still early, and some teams are waking up, such as the Astros, who swept the Braves and took two of three from the mighty Rays last week. The Blue Jays are also rolling, taking two of three from the Yanks and sweeping the hapless White Sox. Also, we can’t ignore what the Orioles are doing. Baltimore has the second-best record in the AL after winning five of six last week. True, three of the victories came against the Tigers, but hey, every victory counts the same.


Movin’ On Up


Pittsburgh Pirates

Record: 17-8

Rank change: +8 (13 to 5)

The Pirates followed a massive Week 3 leap by jumping another eight spots this week. They accomplished this by sweeping a four-game series against the Reds and splitting the first two games in their series with the Dodgers. The Pirates outscored their opponents 27-15 in the six games, with eight of the 15 runs allowed coming from the loss to their Dodgers on Tuesday. The Bucs have pulled ahead of the Brewers to lead the NL Central and look like legit contenders through the season’s first month.

Jack Suwinski paced the offense last week, slashing .333/.500/.667 with a home run and a triad of three runs, RBI, and stolen bases. The 25-year-old outfielder’s five HRs are tied for the team lead with the recently extended Bryan Reynolds and the ageless Andrew McCutchen. The Pirates’ offense hasn’t skipped a beat despite losing up-and-coming shortstop Oneil Cruz, who broke his ankle on April 9.

Where the Bucs really shined last week was on the mound. Other than in the one loss to the Dodgers, Pittsburgh’s staff didn’t allow more than three runs in a game all week. Roansy Contreras started two games and won them both, tabulating a 0.71 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, and 13 Ks in twelve and two-thirds innings pitched. The young trio of Contreras, Johan Oviedo, and Mitch Keller have all been terrific to start 2023, as has the veteran Vince Velasquez, who has won three straight starts. David Bednar continues to dominate the back end of the bullpen, recording three saves last week to bring his total up to eight on the season.


Hittin’ The Skids


Texas Rangers

Record: 14-10

Rank change: -6 (4 to 10)

After the Reds were swept by the Pirates last week, they came home and promptly swept the Rangers. Texas did take two of three from the A’s over the weekend, including an 18-3 drubbing on Saturday in which Adolis García went five for five with three HRs and eight RBI, but beating Oakland these days doesn’t count for much.

Besides the blowout, all the Rangers’ games last week were close, settled by three runs or less. The bullpen blew three saves on the week, one each by José Leclerc, Ian Kennedy, and Jonathan Hernández, and tallied a 7.04 ERA. The starters fared better, going six or more innings in all but one start – in which Jon Gray went five and one-third. This could just be a bump in the road for the Rangers’ pen, which has pitched well for the most part this year, owning a 3.49 ERA.

Even if you take away the 18-run outburst on Saturday, the Rangers didn’t have a bad offensive week. They scored 24 runs in the other five games, more than enough to win at a higher rate. In addition to Garcia’s monster week, Texas got good production from several role players. Ezequiel Duran had a .500 OBP on the week and stole two bases. Josh Jung slammed two HRs and drove in seven, and Leody Taveras scored six runs. Though the Rangers undoubtedly miss Corey Seager, their offense is still putting up runs.

The Rangers may have dropped off this week, but they are still a good club, albeit one that has played one of the easiest schedules this season. Unfortunately for them, the Astros appear to be coming alive and have nearly caught them in the standings.


Week 4 Power Rankings

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Scott Youngson

Scott is a SoCal native who, after two decades of fighting L.A. traffic, decided to turn his passion for fantasy sports into a blog - the now-defunct Fantasy Mutant. He currently writes for FantasyPros and Pitcher List and will vehemently defend the validity of the Dodgers' 60-game season championship.

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