2024 MLB Power Rankings: Week 1

We update the ranks for all 30 teams after the first week of games.

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?

We’re just over a week into this young season, and we’re already making some tweaks to our Preseason Power Rankings. This time of the season is rife with overreaction, overspeculation, and certainly overcorrection as we try to identify which teams are for real and which ones might be due for some major regression. A couple of teams in the Central divisions are off to some surprisingly hot starts: the Pittsburgh Pirates, who lead the NL Central at 6-1, and the AL Central Detroit Tigers, who are off to their best start in several years at 5-1. On the other hand, we have some teams dwelling in the basement that we aren’t used to seeing, such as the Houston Astros, who are 2-5 after getting swept by the New York Yankees in a four-game set at home to start the season.


Movin’ On Up


Boston Red Sox


Record: 5-2

Rank change+4 (20 to 16)

The Red Sox are off to a hot start in 2024, largely thanks to sharp appearances from their pitching staff thus far. The Red Sox arms boast a 1.54 ERA and a 10.77 K/9 in this young season, which are the best and second-best marks in the majors, respectively. Boston began the season with a West Coast road trip, splitting a four-game set with the Mariners before traveling to Oakland to sweep the Athletics. While their strength of schedule or quality of wins hasn’t been as impressive as some other teams to this point, Boston has mostly taken care of business aside from a couple of one-run losses.

In their first series, starters Brayan BelloNick PivettaKutter Crawford, and Garrett Whitlock each went at least five frames, but a lack of offensive production in the second and third games is what led the Sox to split the series. This offense has some firepower in it with fun new toy Tyler O’Neill supplying some big hits early in the season, including a fifth-consecutive home run on Opening Day. O’Neill has a 1.455 OPS in his first handful of games for Boston and can end up being one of the steals of the offseason if he stays healthy and continues to add power in the middle of this lineup.

The key to unlocking the offense for the Red Sox lies in getting some more production from some of their young stars. One such player is Jarren Duran, who saw the ball well in the first week of the season, posting a slash line of .393/.469/.393. Yes, that slugging is identical to his average, meaning he’s yet to record an extra-base hit, but he’s already swiped six bags this season, which is a quarter of his 2023 total. Ceddanne Rafaela is another player Boston is counting on to take a step forward as their everyday center fielder in 2024. Rafaela has already made a couple of stellar defensive plays but is struggling at the plate with a .217 average and .231 OBP. Adjusting to major league pitching is a difficult transition for many, so hopefully, the young outfielder can develop his hitting tool as the season goes on.

Altogether, this Red Sox team has impressed so far but still has room to grow. As long as the rotation can continue to go deep into games, Boston should be able to have a chance to win a lot of games in 2024. Their bullpen isn’t anything to sneeze at, either, with setup man Chris Martin remaining one of the most underrated relievers in the league ahead of still-dynamic closer Kenley Jansen. If the offense can continue to grow, the Red Sox can continue to climb these power rankings after a very difficult 2023.


Hittin’ the Skids


Cincinnati Reds


Record: 4-2

Rank change-5 (15 to 20)

You have to feel for the Cincinnati Reds, who endured a tumultuous last month of the offseason filled with injuries. No injury hurt more than the one to Matt McLain, who burst onto the scene as a dynamic hitter in the second half of 2023. Unfortunately, it looks like McLain will miss most, if not all, of 2024 after undergoing shoulder surgery, meaning the Reds will need to find a way to replace one of their best bats. With Noelvi Marte also missing the first half of the season to serve an 80-game PED suspension, this would be a great time for Elly De La Cruz to break out and reach his full potential. Elly hasn’t quite found his groove at the plate, slashing .250/.280/.417 with zero home runs and 12 strikeouts in just six games so far. Elly’s biggest challenge will be cutting down on those strikeouts, as he has a 48.0% K rate this season compared to a more manageable 33.7% in 2023.

Despite the hardships faced in the offseason, the Reds are off to a solid 4-2 start after taking two of three from both the Nationals at home and the Phillies on the road. The Reds could have had a sweep to begin the season if it weren’t for closer Alexis Díaz blowing his first save opportunity of the year. The nature of the Reds’ offense, pitching staff, and home ballpark means that this team will be in plenty of high-scoring games all season, making them one of the more exciting teams to watch as a neutral fan or fantasy owner. If they don’t get consistent production from their pitching staff, though, it may be difficult to make a deep run in the postseason.

With all this said, the Reds didn’t necessarily deserve to be our biggest faller of the week, especially after posting a solid 4-2 record this week. So why were they? The truth is, judging these middle-of-the-pack teams at this point in the season is tough. While the top and bottom few teams are pretty clear selections, there’s going to be a lot of movement in the middle as we figure out the identities of these teams and decide which ones are playoff contenders and which are pretenders. A slight change in rankings for just a couple of teams can have a huge impact on these teams in the middle, and that’s exactly what happened to the Reds to start the year. While some teams, like the New York Mets, may be more deserving of dropping in the rankings, they didn’t have as far to fall. As long as the Reds keep winning their series, they should be able to climb back up this list as playoff contenders.


Week 1 Power Rankings

Christian Otteman

Christian Otteman is a hopelessly optimistic Cubs fan living in Milwaukee just looking to share his love of this beautiful game with others. He is especially a fan of the wild and weird things that only a game like baseball can produce. While he's not watching baseball, Christian is playing golf, hosting trivia, and working on his Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Marquette University.

2 responses to “2024 MLB Power Rankings: Week 1”

  1. Ben Morris says:

    Start giving the Guardians the respect they deserve they leading baseball in every category!

  2. BBG says:

    Amen to that! I think most of the power rankings are a joke. It’s a waste of time for weekly updates if you are going to ignore the current standings!

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