2024 MLB Power Rankings: Preseason

We rank all 30 teams as the season is ready to begin.

Every week, the Pitcher List team will publish an update to our power rankings, reviewing the biggest risers and fallers of the past seven days. This time, we are previewing each team’s outlook for the upcoming season. As always, the full rankings can be found at the bottom of this article … but where’s the fun in that?

The old adage around Opening Day is that every team has a shot, and that hope springs eternal. However, not all hope is created equal. Even with 12 teams making the playoffs and the possibility of a miracle World Series run, it is clear that every franchise has a different definition of success, and so we can approach 2024 with more realistic scenarios for each of them.

Today, we take a look at three teams that are on different sides of the competitive spectrum. For starters, the Atlanta Braves are in the middle of another potential dynasty in the NL East, almost certain to play in October. Firmly in the middle class, the Minnesota Twins let go of some of their best players but can still be considered the top threat from the AL Central. Finally, the Angels have lost the best player on the planet, and are bound to start a new era, even if it’s not a full-mode rebuild.

These teams represent the challenges and nuances of current roster-building in baseball, with very different targets in mind for 2024. Of course, being baseball, any prediction we make is ready to sound foolish in six months.


#1 – Atlanta Braves

2023 Record: 104-58

If you look around any preseason publications, it is very hard to find the Braves in any other spot that is not #1 in power rankings and projections. The reason for that is simpletheir roster is loaded and potentially getting better. Atlanta is threatening to establish another decade-long dynasty in the East, as the franchise is now on a streak of six straight division titles and is projected to do it again by double-digit games. This level of dominance has included multiple MVP recipients, Rookies of the Year, Cy Young candidates, and even Comeback Players of the Year, suggesting that the team has found ways to get contributions from all around the roster, all with a strong manager in Brian Snitker and an aggressive front office, to boot. The only knock against these Braves has been their inability to translate all of this into postseason success, much like it happened in the 90’s.

Following consecutive NLDS exits at the hands of the Phillies, there is a renewed sense of urgency in Cobb County, especially considering that many disappointing 2023 teams will try to bounce back quickly. Most of Atlanta’s 104-win team is coming back for 2024, but GM Alex Anthopoulos still made a few creative moves that should address the few weak spots on the roster. The trade for Chris Sale is the classic high-upside move that can turn a contender into a powerhouse, while acquiring a post-hype Jarred Kelenic and bringing him to a quality organization may be the jolt needed to finally fulfill his potential. Should those high-profile additions flame out, the Braves still have arguably the best roster in baseball and will still be favored to win the East comfortably.

Reigning MVP Ronald Acuña Jr. is unlikely to replicate his epic 40/70 season, but he is still on the shortlist of the best players in baseball, along with many of his teammates. Matt Olson, Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley, and Michael Harris II continue to be the deepest supporting cast in the game, with all of them in or near their prime seasons. Navigating this lineup will be a tall task for any pitching staff, which seems unfair considering that the Braves also feature prime run prevention. With the aforementioned Sale now primed for a supporting role, he can leave the spotlight for Spencer Strider and Max Fried at the top of the rotation, backed up by the ageless Charlie Morton and the underrated Reynaldo Lopez.

At this point, barring major injuries and misfortune, the Braves are the best bet for 100 wins and a division title in MLB. However, a franchise in this position can only be judged by how it performs in the playoffs. Atlanta’s current roster is arguably better than the one that won it all in 2021, which should create an interesting situation for the regular season. While they can cruise to a division title, will that level of tranquility again be reflected in October? Atlanta’s last two losses were to a Phillies team that simply looked hungrier and more focused, and that should become an important lesson for the 2024 Braves. For a franchise that is treating 100-win seasons like a routine double play, a new mindset is probably warranted during the stretch run.


#10 – Minnesota Twins

2023 Record: 87-75

In October 2023, the Minnesota Twins put an end to one of the most confounding streaks in baseball history. Their first playoff win since 2004 was a major event, only to be followed by an actual series win (!!!), their first since 2002. While that run was stopped by the Astros in the NLDS, it was encouraging to see the franchise’s most successful season in two decades. For their efforts, the roster was rewarded with a significant payroll reduction, again placing the Twins as a middling squad in terms of ambitions and competitiveness. At the same time, Minnesota’s status as the top dog in the AL Central remains untouched, which speaks more about the division than the Twins. While this team’s limitations may hold it back en route to 90+ wins, the random nature of the playoffs may prove that there is a plan here.

The Twins never made a true effort to re-sign Sonny Gray, the team’s best pitcher in 2023. While that decision may have been justified by Gray’s age and regression potential, Minnesota failed to replace him with a compelling name, leaving a noticeable hole in the rotation. Pablo Lopez is an excellent option to become the team’s ace, but things look bleak after him. Bailey Ober, Anthony DeSclafani, and Kenta Maeda are low-upside pitchers who will probably struggle when the Twins face potent offenses outside their division, leaving a lot of innings for a bullpen that is short on power arms outside of closer Jhoan Duran.

Minnesota’s offense appears to be in better shape, albeit with the regular caveats that apply to the health status of its stars. The likes of Royce Lewis, Byron Buxton, and Carlos Correa have all-world potential, but it is hard to think that they will combine for over 1,500 plate appearances in 2024. If they can remain healthy and productive, suddenly the dynamic changes for the Twins, as they also feature a breakout candidate in Edouard Julien and the potential bounce-back of Max Kepler. Manager Rocco Baldelli has proved capable of guiding this team through injuries and maximizing the talent available, but this season could present a new challenge in terms of roster crunches and competition.

While it is true that the AL Central remains the weakest division in the sport, teams like the Tigers and Royals may begin to create some noise with their younger rosters, while the Guardians always appear to find a way and hover around .500. The Twins will try to obtain consecutive division titles for the first time since 2020-21 and build upon their playoff success, which was long a cruel glass ceiling for this franchise. At the same time, the current playoff format suggests that around half the teams fail to repeat from year to year, making Minnesota a prime candidate to fall under that fate.

#24 – Los Angeles Angels

2023 Record: 73-89

Despite the fact that star players can only sway so much team success in baseball, it is still almost criminal to think that the Angels failed to post a winning season despite pairing Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani for six years. Now with Ohtani gone and potentially facing bigger issues than being employed by Arte Moreno, it is time to begin a new era for this franchise, even if the immediate aftermath is another lost season.

An optimist’s view could say that the Angels appear to finally be figuring out the player development part of the game, as they have several breakout candidates that could form the team’s next core. Zach Neto, Nolan Schanuel, and Logan O’Hoppe are at least intriguing names to consider, while 2024 should provide plenty of opportunities for former top prospects Mickey Moniak and Jo Adell. Of course, the roster is still carrying the albatross contract of Anthony Rendon and has to hope that Mike Trout regains some of his status as the team’s alpha dog. Trout’s presence will always make the Angels watchable in some form, but his recent injury struggles have put a dent in the recent memories we have of him.

With the Ohtani-sized hole left in the rotation, any offensive gains may be canceled out by a weak staff. Griffin Canning and Reid Detmers posted decent numbers in 2023, but it is clear that the rotation lacks a frontline pitcher. In a division with the defending champ, the mighty Astros, and the pitching-rich Mariners, there is not a lot of room for error in Anaheim.

Despite the negativity, the Angels have refused to truly bottom out and commit to a rebuild, which may be commendable or foolish, depending on your point of view. As they look for their first winning season since 2015, at least this version of the team should fly under the radar and be free of the scrutiny they faced during the Ohtani-Trout years. There is a path to contention for this team, but it depends on their young players reaching a new level and their veterans recouping some of what made them stars in their own right. The light at the end of the tunnel may be close for the Angels, but 2024 appears to be more of a transition year.

Preseason Power Rankings

#1 – Atlanta Braves
#2 – Los Angeles Dodgers
#3 – Houston Astros
#4 – Baltimore Orioles
#5 – Philadelphia Phillies
#6 – New York Yankees
#7 – Seattle Mariners
#8 – Texas Rangers


#9 – Tampa Bay Rays
#10 – Minnesota Twins
#11 – Toronto Blue Jays
#12 – Arizona Diamondbacks
#13 – Chicago Cubs
#14 – San Francisco Giants
#15 – Cincinnati Reds
#16 – Milwaukee Brewers
#17 – St. Louis Cardinals
#18 – San Diego Padres
#19 – Cleveland Guardians


#20 – Boston Red Sox
#21 – New York Mets
#22 – Detroit Tigers
#23 – Miami Marlins
#24 – Los Angeles Angels
#25 – Pittsburgh Pirates
#26 – Kansas City Royals
#27 – Washington Nationals
#28 – Colorado Rockies
#29 – Chicago White Sox
#30 – Oakland Athletics

Pablo Figueroa

Pablo Figueroa is a Baseball Writer here at Pitcher List, with experience as a writer since 2013. He lives in Aguascalientes, Mexico - proud home of Los Rieleros. When he´s not thinking about baseball , he's a husband, owns two dogs, watches random episodes of The Sopranos , plays padel, and works on his day job to pay the bills.

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