2024 MLB Power Rankings: Week 7

We update the ranks for all 30 teams after the seventh 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.

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


First and Worst


The Dodgers are the consensus best team in baseball, having won an incredible 16 of their past 21 games. They’ve extended their divisional lead to 7.5 games.

However, they still trail the Phillies, the second-ranked squad in this week’s Pitcher List Power Rankings, for the best record in the National League. The Phillies have the best rotation in baseball, leading the league in staff ERA (2.60) and fWAR (6.5) – they’ve generated 1.7 more fWAR than any other rotation. Aaron Nola threw a complete-game shutout last week and still only has the fourth-best ERA in the rotation.

Meanwhile, the Braves continue slumping, posting a pedestrian 90 wRC+ over the past month, the 22nd-ranked mark among MLB lineups during the stretch. While this is primarily unlucky, small-sample-size stuff, I am concerned that they’ve posted the third-highest swinging-strike rate over the past two weeks (14%), and I am wondering when Ronald Acuña Jr. will start hitting again (.245/.354/.342 slash on the year).

The Yankees and Orioles will be dueling it out for the AL East crown all year long, but the Yankees have reclaimed a slender lead by sweeping Minnesota this week, while Baltimore lost two of three to Arizona and Toronto.

At the bottom of the league, the Marlins continue dropping. They now have an MLB-worst 11-32 record and rank second-to-last in our power rankings, only ahead of the White Sox.

However, I think Miami might hit a hot streak soon. Ryan Weathers put together a masterful performance against the Tigers on Tuesday (eight scoreless innings), and the Marlins bullpen might see some positive regression with A.J. Puk back in the closer role.

Perhaps the Marlins might put together their own seven-game win streak. Shout out to the Colorado Rockies for sweeping the Rangers and Padres this week!


Movin’ On Up


Texas Rangers


Record: 23-22

Rank change: +2 (10 to T-8)

There weren’t many risers or fallers in our rankings this week, perhaps a sign of teams beginning to settle into an identity. A bigger sample size always means less variance.

The Rangers moved up two spots only because they tied with the Cubs as our eighth-ranked squad. Our Pitcher List Power Rankings team is a four-man group. We do our individual rankings and then take the average to decide on a consensus rank.

Surprisingly, I was the low man on the Rangers, putting them 11th in my power rankings after ranking them 10th last week. My colleague Hunter Langille, who is a good and smart guy, was the high man, ranking them sixth after ranking them eighth last week.

Despite Hunter being a good and smart guy, I’m going to be contentious here. Hunter, how can you rank the Rangers higher than last week after this week’s disastrous results? They got swept by the Rockies! And then they lost two of three to the Guardians at home!

Jack Leiter posted another atrocious start (6 earned runs across 1.2 innings against Cleveland), raising his season-long ERA to 16.39. Nathan Eovaldi, Dane Dunning, and Cody Bradford are all on the 15-day IL. The bullpen has posted a 7.74 ERA over the past two weeks.

They can still hit the ball, but they’ve been slumping, posting a 79 wRC+ over the past week. The Rangers have the highest ground-ball rate of any lineup over the past two weeks, a whopping 48%.

I hate to say it, but I disagree with our team here, and specifically you, Hunter. The Rangers are far worse off than they were a week ago. Their FanGraphs playoff odds dropped 17% this week!


San Francisco Giants


Record: 20-25

Rank change: +2 (24 to 22)

The Giants “skyrocketed” up the rankings by default, as the previously 22nd-ranked A’s and 23rd-ranked Nationals both had tough weeks.

Meanwhile, San Francisco scrapped by, taking two of three from Cincinnati but losing two of three to LA. Logan Webb continues to post quality start after quality start, shutting down the Dodgers across six scoreless innings on Wednesday.

But this was not a good week. Patrick Bailey, Nick Ahmed, Michael Conforto, Jung Hoo Lee, and Jorge Soler all hit the IL, essentially morphing the Giants into a Triple-A lineup.

The Giants don’t have many superstars, but Bailey was playing the best ball of his young career, posting a 126 wRC+ and 1.1 fWAR across 26 games. Conforto was carrying a 136 wRC+, while Soler had smashed five homers (4.0%) and drawn 14 walks (10.3%) across his first 136 plate appearances.

The Giants can still pitch. Jordan Hicks has been a monster converting from a reliever to a starter, taking some heat off his fastball (from 98 mph on average to 95) but improving his command and control (lowering his walk rate from 11% last year to 8% this season), leading to longer, more consistent starts. He’s tossed fewer than five innings only once in nine tries. Kyle Harrison has also been excellent moving into the rotation, which I’m happy about, given how high I was on the kid. The bullpen has underperformed but is due for significant positive regression (4.90 ERA, 27th in MLB; 3.56 xFIP, fourth). How can you doubt a unit led by Camilio Doval and the Rogers Bros?

We’ll see if Blake Snell can get healthy and back on track soon. It seems like he’s been winging it out there, not fully prepared for a 162-game, 30-something-start season.

But all of this is meaningless because the Giants are missing four of their most dependable bats. I don’t know what they’ll do other than pray for short-lived IL stints.


Hittin’ the Skids


Oakland Athletics


Record: 19-26

Rank change: -3 (22 to 25)

I love this team.

I recently wrote a lengthy piece about Boston’s impressive pitching staff improvements based on a new pitch-mix strategy centered around limited fastball usage. The Red Sox went from 14th in fastball usage last season (48%) to last this year (33%), primarily because new GM Craig Breslow and new pitching coaches Andrew Bailey and Justin Willard concluded that throwing more breaking and offspeed stuff would lead to less damage and more whiffs.

The A’s are doing the same thing. After ranking eighth in fastball usage last year (52%), they rank 26th this season (43%). As a result, their batted-ball and plate-discipline profiles have improved tremendously.

Sadly, the Cinderella story saw its first significant speed bump this week, as Oakland was thoroughly handled by Houston (swept by a combined score of 14-3) and Seattle (lost two of three).

Some natural regression came for pitchers JP Sears and Paul Blackburn, and then Blackburn, Alex Wood, and Joe Boyle landed on the 15-day IL. The A’s still can’t hit the broad side of a barn – six guys in the regular nine-man lineup have an OBP below .275, and two have an even lower SLG – so poor pitching will inevitably lead to losses in droves.

Mason Miller is officially the best closer in baseball, lowering his FIP to -0.22 after striking out five of seven Astros across a scoreless two-inning appearance on Tuesday. He has struck out 38 of 67 batters faced (57%) while walking only five (7%). He hasn’t allowed a run since Opening Day, making eight perfect relief appearances, including four multi-inning ones (17.1 innings total).

He’s literally untouchable. His four-seam fastball is too nasty, checking in at 101 mph on average with a 146 Stuff+ mark, forcing a 27% swinging-strike rate. His 88 mph slider has eight inches of vertical break with a 168 Stuff+ mark, inducing a 48% Whiff rate.

A guy this dominant who can regularly make multi-inning saves is invaluable and almost unheard of. I wonder if he’ll be moved at the deadline.

However, I wouldn’t overlook other middle-relievers like Michael Kelly (3.00 ERA in 20 IP), Lucas Erceg (3.18 ERA in 17 IP), or Austin Adams (1.23 ERA in 15 IP). The A’s bullpen is arguably the most improved unit in baseball this season, ranking second in reliever fWAR (2.1) and third in reliever xFIP (3.63) – of course, over half of that fWAR is from Miller (1.3).

Regardless, expecting the A’s to keep up their near-.500 record was never reasonable. The roster is too thin. They soon have road trips to Kansas City, Tampa, and Atlanta, with a home series against Houston sprinkled in the middle.

The lineup and rotation must first build leads for the bullpen to sustain them. I don’t see that happening.


One response to “2024 MLB Power Rankings: Week 7”

  1. Mark Pontius says:

    The Orioles stats are incorrect, Baltimore won 2 out of 3 with Arizona and split with Toronto(Tuesday rainout). So their weekly record was 3-2 not 2-4, please correct. Thank you.

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