2024 MLB Power Rankings: Week 8

We update the ranks for all 30 teams just before Memorial Day.

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


With Memorial Day fast approaching, the old baseball adage says that standings only matter at this checkpoint, where after 60-ish games we can get some clarity around each team’s performance and potential. Even in this era of top-heavy powerhouses and their dismal counterparts, there are still plenty of surprises. It all starts with our new No. 1, as the Phillies have finally overtaken the other NL top contenders. While it remains true that Philadelphia has played a soft gauntlet, they are simply destroying the opposition, riding a six-game winning streak, and having the best run differential in the sport. With Atlanta showing some cracks and the Dodgers still facing some pitching issues, it will be a fascinating three-horse race as the summer goes along.

At the bottom of our rankings, not much has really changed, except for the sudden freefall of the A’s, who are among this week’s featured teams. The Marlins and Rockies showed some signs of life in the past few days, but they still have a lot of ground to make up if they want to reach a more respectable tier in our rankings. Meanwhile, the White Sox may no longer be on pace to lose 120, but they continue to be an absolute disaster, sporting the worst run differential by a staggering 25 runs. But hey, at least they will give away this nice bobblehead of the currently injured Luis Robert Jr. on Saturday!

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


Movin’ On Up


Kansas City Royals


Record: 32-19

Rank change: +5 (13 to 8)

When the Royals took a 14-5 shellacking from the Rangers on May 4 and then lost on the next day to drop the series, it looked as if the bubble would burst on Kansas City’s hot start to the season. After all, their offseason spending spree had yielded mixed results, while franchise cornerstones like Bobby Witt Jr. and Cole Ragans were not exactly setting the world on fire. Ever since, the Royals have broken out again with a 12-4 mark, as Witt has suddenly become an MVP candidate and their pitching staff has gone from good to great.

To highlight this week, the Royals had a reunion of the 2014 pennant winners, and then their current version one-upped them, reaching 31 wins in only 50 games, becoming the best mark for the franchise since 1976 thanks to a 6-0 homestand in which Kansas City outscored its opponents by 27 runs. With Salvador Perez suddenly becoming an OBP machine and Witt being everything the front office expected, the Royals have turned into must-see TV for their style of play. While their offense as a whole may be light on power, they make up for it with speed and high-IQ baseball, ranking among the top 10 in terms of stolen bases, doubles, and triples, while being the only team in baseball with two players (Witt and Maikel Garcia) in the top 10 of baserunning value.

As Cole Ragans takes up most accolades as an ace in the making, it is also important to give credit to the monster year Seth Lugo is having. With a career defined by dependability instead of stardom, Lugo has improbably become the guy at age 34, reaching a career-high in WAR despite only having 10 starts. He leads the AL with seven wins and a tiny 1.79 ERA, as he has made great strides in terms of walk and homer suppression. With Ragans, Brady Singer, and Alec Marsh also providing above-average results, the Royals have the No. 4 rotation in terms of ERA, with strong peripherals suggesting that they are legit.

If there is a knock for Kansas City, it’s that, just like the Phillies, they have faced a mostly soft schedule, beating up on the likes of the White Sox, Angels, and A’s. Also, the bottom of their order is clearly exploitable, with plenty of below-average hitters that will lead to many scoreless innings as the opposition improves. Nevertheless, it is important to appreciate the quick turnaround this franchise is having, fueled by investment, youth, and a recharged fanbase that is back to filling seats at Kauffman Stadium. With playoff odds hovering around 60%, it may be time to start believing.


San Francisco Giants


Record: 25-26

Rank change: +4 (24 to 20)

Only a week ago, things looked really bleak for the San Francisco Giants. After losing another series to their biggest rival and dropping to 19-25, they were the only team in baseball without a three-game winning streak. To add injuries to this insult, some of their best players started dropping like flies, including Michael Conforto, Nick Ahmed, Patrick Bailey, and Jung Hoo Lee, who was subsequently lost for the year with a shoulder ailment. With all these issues and the threat of a long summer ahead, the Giants had no choice but to trust their process and their top prospects, leading to a quick and unexpected change of fortune in the span of a week.

After salvaging the last game of the series against LA, the Giants swept the red-hot Rockies to earn their first four-game winning streak of the season. It was all followed by a memorable trip to Pittsburgh, in which all three games featured the necessary dosage of torture all Giants fans have come to begrudgingly love. In Game 1, San Francisco took a 6-2 lead with one out in the bottom of the ninth, only to squander it and ultimately lose in extras. The gut-punch loss appeared to carry over to Game 2, as the Pirates took a 5-0 lead that looked insurmountable, only for the Giants to scratch and claw, tying the game with two outs in the ninth and then winning in extras. Game 3 saw San Francisco with a patch-up bullpen game against phenom Paul Skenes, and again they fell to a 5-1 early deficit, but the offense roared back again to produce a comeback 7-6 victory.

The back-to-back comebacks were historically significant, as the Giants became only the fifth team in MLB history to win consecutive games despite allowing a grand slam. While that winning style is certainly unsustainable, recent games have provided plenty of glimmers of hope for a Giants revival. It all starts with Matt Chapman, whose bat has finally awoken to complement his stellar defense, and continues with the trio of Heliot Ramos, Marco Luciano, and Luis Matos, who became San Francisco’s first NL Player of the Week in six years. Matos is now fourth in the team in RBI, despite only playing 10 games. The offense has been dismal in plenty of games in 2024, but this sudden jolt of youth may signal a new trend for the franchise.

While the Giants carry a bottom-10 ERA as a staff, many of those runs allowed have come in garbage time, as manager Bob Melvin continues to mix and match in the rotation and bullpen. Blake Snell’s return was not productive, but the team can count on the steady Logan Webb and the breakouts from Kyle Harrison and Jordan Hicks, while the late-summer returns of Alex Cobb and Robbie Ray may end up being the difference in a potential playoff push. Despite the recent resurgence, an upcoming slate featuring games against the Phillies, Yankees, Rangers, Diamondbacks, and Astros will be the real test to determine if the Giants can sustain these recent gains.


Hittin’ the Skids


Cincinnati Reds


Record: 20-30

Rank change: -4 (19 to 23)

The Reds posted a surprising winning season in 2021 only to bottom out at 100 losses in 2022. They followed it up with a nice bounce-back 82-win campaign in 2023, but the pattern may be repeating itself, as the early part of 2024 has not been kind to Cincinnati. Following a nice 14-10 start that appeared to have Elly de la Cruz and a young roster putting it all together, the Reds have gone a humbling 6-20, almost falling out of playoff contention in the process. With calls for yet another rebuild, starting with a change in management, could Cincinnati really afford to start all over again?

De la Cruz has almost been a one-man show to this point, as his exploits are making the rest of Cincinnati’s offense look bad. While the Reds’ return to relevance was supposed to be based on a nice crop of position players, most of them have been hurt and/or bad in 2024, including the disappointment brought by Spencer Steer, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, and Jonathan India. During their recent 2-5 slump that dropped them in these rankings, Cincinnati’s offense showed up only once with a seven-run outburst, while combining to score only 11 runs in all other games.

Things could be worse, but the Reds continue to at least have a solid pitching staff. The team’s collective 3.96 ERA is certainly better than average, while Andrew Abbott and Hunter Greene have been among the NL’s top pitchers in terms of value. The fact that Abbott carries a losing record despite a 2.68 ERA speaks volumes about the lack of offense. While Graham Ashcraft and Frankie Montas have been middling, the rotation as a whole appears to give the Reds a chance to win almost every time out, but they simply can’t capitalize. Considering that closer Alexis Díaz has a 6.62 ERA amid two blown saves and three losses, it is no wonder that the foibles of the Reds come in many facets.

Regardless of all these concerns, the Reds are only 5.5 games back of the last Wild Card spot. We also know that the NL Central is not exactly flush with top talent. Growing pains are part of any young team’s development, and the Reds could be facing a trade deadline full of tough decisions, especially if other teams covet their talented arms. Suffice it to say, Mr. Redlegs is not having a good time.


Oakland Athletics


Record: 21-31

Rank change: -5 (22 to 27)

For a while, it looked kind of promising. On May 4, the A’s climbed to .500 on the strength of a solid bullpen and some clutch hitting, and many wondered if the final season at the Coliseum could actually become kinda fun and competitive, not unlike the movie Major League. Alas, the wheels have come off in a big way for Oakland, with a 4-14 mark since that fateful day, including an ignominious eight-game losing streak that carried into this week.

While this drop was certainly predictable considering how Oakland operates these days, it is still sad to see what this franchise has become. During the aforementioned losing streak, the A’s were outscored 47-19, showing the large talent gap between them and teams that are actually playing for something. The most evident disaster comes at the rotation, where the A’s continue to give the ball to unproductive veterans like Ross Stripling and JP Sears, leading to their 26th-ranked 5.16 ERA. Even as Mason Miller continues to be a delight and the bullpen keeps the team competitive in some games, the lack of proper pitching is usually too much to overcome.

If anything, the A’s should become an intriguing team as the season advances, only for what they might offer to other squads in terms of trades. Miller may be the ultimate prize for any bullpen, but there are other names that could at least yield a prospect or two for whenever the franchise decides to field a better team. Shea Langeliers carries a 118 OPS+ from the catcher’s spot, Brent Rooker is among the league leaders in OPS and homers, and even veteran utilityman Abraham Toro could garner some interest if he keeps up his recent hitting.

Alas, even a team-wide sell-off is unlikely to change things much for this franchise, with every home game reminding the fans that the end is coming fast for MLB in Oakland. In terms of the current season, a full-on race to the bottom of the AL seems inevitable between these A’s and the woeful White Sox.

Week 8 Power Rankings

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