2024 MLB Power Rankings: Week 4

We update the ranks for all 30 teams after a month 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.

As always, the full rankings can be found at the bottom of this article … but where’s the fun in that?


First and Worst


As you will see in our full list, there were virtually no movements at the top and bottom of these rankings, with most of the shuffling coming from the league’s middle class. While it is still early in the season, a few clear trends have already emerged. The Braves and Dodgers should probably be interchangeable at the top, even as their depth has been tested on the pitching side. After a strong week, Atlanta has reclaimed the top spot for now.

On the other side of the spectrum, there may be a few bad teams, but there is one that is sinking into historically bad territory. The White Sox started the season with low expectations, but injuries to their best players have turned gloom into total disaster in the South Side. Currently nursing a seven-game losing streak and already with a -85 run differential, facing Chicago has become almost an automatic win for the opposition. While it is still improbable, there is a non-zero chance of the White Sox threatening 120 losses.

Let’s dive into our biggest risers and sliders in this week’s Pitcher List Power Rankings.


Movin’ On Up


Seattle Mariners


Record: 13-12

Rank change: +3 (15 to 12)

The Mariners started the season as a trendy pick to challenge for the AL West, relying on a deep roster, a potential MVP in Julio Rodríguez, and one of the most balanced starting rotations in the game. The first couple of weeks of the season saw the Mariners get to a slow start, reaching a low point at 4-8. Since then, however, Seattle has steadily climbed in the standings using the blueprint that could sustain them throughout the season.

The past week saw the Mariners deliver three straight series wins, two of them on the road, including a statement victory against the Rangers, who should be Seattle’s biggest rival for the division crown.

Julio’s slow start had been reason for concern in early April, but he has started to come around and hit his first homer of the season in Arlington. With an offense that is still averaging less than four runs per game, it will be critical to see him return to form and provide better support for other Seattle hitters who started hot but are unlikely to sustain their pace. Cal Raleigh is a certified masher from the catching position, but keeping a nearly .900 OPS won’t happen over a full season, and while Josh Rojas has been a nice spark plug, his career numbers suggest he will fall back to earth.

Nevertheless, Seattle’s calling card is run prevention, and its staff is already a top-10 unit in MLB. Despite a pedestrian 2-4 record, Luis Castillo is also breaking out of an early slump, with the two wins coming in the last week. The most encouraging sign came via a seven-inning start in Colorado in which Castillo allowed only three base runners, no runs, and recorded nine strikeouts. Followed by a strong outing to clinch the series in Texas, Castillo appears to be finding his footing, which should be cause for alarm in the West, especially if George Kirby also recovers from a rough start.

With an upcoming homestand against Arizona and Atlanta, we will be able to determine if the Mariners are the real deal.


New York Mets


Record: 13-11

Rank change: +2 (21 to 19)

When the Mets lost two straight baffling, extra-inning games to start the year 0-5, it all looked perfect for the traditional LOLMets narrative of years past. After all, this was a team that was paying the league’s highest payroll without the benefit of many of the stars it is paying for, and a slow start appeared to be confirmation that 2024 could be just a sequel of a terrible 2023. However, things have turned after that fateful game, with New York going 13-6 since.

While the past week saw the Mets go only 3-3, the brand of baseball being played by the team and the quality of opposition they faced serves as a reminder that this could become a dangerous wild-card contender, and our rankings are slowly reflecting that.

While the franchise may have lost Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, their most important move over the last offseason was definitely adding David Stearns to run baseball operations. Even as the former Brewers GM exercised restraint with his newly unlimited checkbook, he was able to still produce a solid roster all around, and that may just be the difference as the Mets battle to regain respectability.

Pete Alonso’s contract status will be a hot topic throughout the season, but he is delivering power as only he does (seven homers, .855 OPS), while productive seasons from Jeff McNeil and Starling Marte are reminding us of how productive they can be when healthy. Francisco Lindor has lagged behind, but last week saw him hit three dingers and provide his usual strong defense, suggesting that he will come around sooner rather than later.

Stearns’ touch is more apparent on the pitching staff, where the Mets are top-10 in terms of ERA, with solid contributions from discarded veterans like Sean Manaea, Luis Severino, and Jose Quintana, while youngster José Buttó has been a revelation at the back end of the rotation. The return of Edwin Diaz (four saves, 1.04 ERA) has been the missing piece as New York can now shorten games and feel that even small leads are secure.

It is clear that the Mets are a step below the Phillies and will not come close to the Braves, but with a front office that may be aggressive and a team full of solid veterans, it would not be shocking to see them in the playoffs.


Hittin’ the Skids


Tampa Bay Rays


Record: 13-13

Rank change: -2 (11 to 13)

If the past 15 years have taught us anything, is that we can always trust the Rays to stay competitive. Even as they don’t have the money or popularity of other franchises, Tampa has found ways to produce, recycle, and improve quality players. With that in mind, a 13-13 record should not be a cause for alarm, but there are early signs that this version of the Rays may struggle to keep up with the big boys in the AL.

Tampa Bay´s staff, long a strong suit for the franchise, has had a really rough start to 2024, with a 4.40 ERA that ranks 24th in MLB. While there has been no truly terrible starter to point out, the team has also lacked an ace to anchor the rotation. The quartet of Zach Eflin, Aaron Civale, Ryan Pepiot, and Zack Littell have oscillated from around 3-something ERAs and two wins apiece, but the bullpen has already squandered six games and closer Pete Fairbanks was placed on the IL after sporting a 9.00 ERA to begin the season.

So far, the offense has not been able to make up for a subpar staff, with Yandy Díaz and Randy Arozarena being among the most disappointing seasons in the league. Isaac Paredes and his six homers have been a clear bright spot, but the offense as a whole lacks the consistency to carry the team through tough stretches.

While it may be encouraging that the Rays are at .500 despite the slow starts from many key contributors, sharing a division with the Yankees and Orioles sounds like a bad idea for a slow start. Unless the bullpen gets its act together and the usually reliable hitters start mashing, this may be the first playoff absence for Tampa since 2018.


Houston Astros


Record: 7-19

Rank change: -5 (12 to 17)

There are four major league teams that have failed to reach at least 10 wins in 2024. The White Sox, Marlins, and Rockies are natural fits for this list, but when you see the Astros at this point, it is fair to call out their situation as something more than an early-season fluke. While they could try to justify it with a tough slate to start the year (they have only faced one team currently sporting a losing record), a .269 winning percentage is still embarrassing for a team that was supposed to contend for the World Series.

Many things have gone wrong for Houston in 2024, starting with a depleted pitching staff that has gone from a strength to a major liability. The Astros sport a 5.07 ERA even with the surprise emergence of Ronel Blanco (he of the no-hitter and 1.33 ERA), but that cannot make up for the trifecta of J.P. France, Hunter Brown, and Spencer Arrighetti, who have combined to go 0-10 with an 8.88 ERA over 12 starts. Even the return of Justin Verlander has not been enough to add a jolt to the rotation, as the veteran is still building stamina and has only pitched 10 innings over his first two starts. Even high-priced closer Josh Hader has been a dud, with as many losses as saves to start his Houston career.

The offense has seen a similar case of black holes eclipsing elite production. To wit, José Altuve (195 OPS+ and 14 extra-base hits) and Kyle Tucker (.900 OPS and 17 RBI) are early MVP candidates, but they cannot carry the likes of Alex Bregman (homerless in 95 PAs) and José Abreu (-35 OPS+, somehow). Houston’s run differential suggests that this start is not a fluke, as there could be some growing pains for a first-year manager and a roster that was probably due for a down year after so many elite seasons.

There is a level of schadenfreude involved here, as many fans are certainly happy that the Astros could finally be facing a bad season. While there are still a lot of games to be played and nobody is running away with the AL West, Houston is digging a hole that they might now come out of. With an upcoming series in Mexico City, followed by dates with the Guardians, Mariners, and Yankees, it could be getting late early for these Astros.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login