2024 MLB Power Rankings: Week 9

We update the ranks for all 30 teams as we approach June.

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


It seems like just yesterday we were anticipating the first pitch of the 2024 MLB season being thrown as the Korea Series between the Dodgers and Padres began. Now we’ve blinked and we’re over a third of the way through the season, with most teams closing in on 60 games played this year. With over 100 games to go, there’s still plenty left to figure out and playoff positions to jockey for, but the contenders appear to be establishing themselves while the pretenders are falling behind the pack and getting ready to sell.

For the first time this season, the Philadelphia Phillies claim the top spot on this list by themselves as the unanimous #1 team in our Power Rankings. And why shouldn’t they? At 39-18, the Phillies own the best record in the majors, thanks to a +93 run differential obtained via the most runs scored (299), the third-best team OPS (.750), and the second-best staff ERA (3.08) in all of baseball. The Phillies are making things work in all facets of the game, with some surprising emerging stars like Ranger Suárez and Alec Bohm complementing the superstardom of players like Bryce Harper and Zack Wheeler. The Phils are the odds-on favorites to win the NL East ahead of Atlanta, who fall out of the top five in our Power Rankings for the first time this season.

The basement dwellers in our rankings should all be familiar faces, with the bottom five teams remaining the same as last week. Fans of the Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles Angels, Miami Marlins, Colorado Rockies, and Chicago White Sox are likely already combing through prospect lists of potential trade partners to see what riches might await them at the trade deadline. While these teams likely won’t move much for the rest of the season, they should remain in headlines and discussions through July as players like Luis Robert Jr. enter the forefront of trade speculations.



Movin’ On Up


St. Louis Cardinals


Record: 27-27

Rank change: +3 (24 to 21)

Before the 2024 season, the Cardinals were the favorites to win the NL Central, largely thanks to the offseason bolstering of the rotation through the additions of Sonny GrayKyle Gibson, and Lance Lynn. Though the season got off to a less-than-stellar start for the Redbirds, they’ve found themselves amid a hot streak and now sit second in the division after winning nine of their last eleven games, including series sweeps of the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago Cubs. While the starting pitching has largely kept the Cardinals from disaster in 2024, they desperately needed some of their star hitters to wake up to have a chance at meeting expectations. Perhaps the most crucial of these hitters is Paul Goldschmidt, who came through in a big way this week:


Yeah, that looks a lot more like the 2022 National League MVP we’re used to seeing. It’s no secret that Goldschmidt has struggled this season, with his near-30% strikeout rate looking like a completely different player. In the second half of May, Goldschmidt has made better and more consistent contact, recording hits in 14 of his last 16 games to boost his average by more than 30 points.

Goldschmidt isn’t the only Cardinals hitter to turn things around this month, either. Nolan Gorman is riding a hot streak, with five home runs in his last ten games. Lars Nootbaar has also been a steady presence hitting out of the two hole with fantastic plate discipline, though he may find himself on the IL after tweaking his left side in a game on Wednesday night. Perhaps the most crucial piece missing right now is Nolan Arenado, whose .677 OPS is nearly 200 points below his career mark. As the everyday cleanup hitter, the Cardinals need Arenado to return to form if they want a chance to make a run at the division crown in the second half of the season. While this group out of St. Louis isn’t the well-oiled machine Cards fans are used to seeing, it has the pieces to string together more wins and keep moving up our Power Rankings as we move toward the halfway point of the season.


Cleveland Guardians


Record: 37-19

Rank change: +2 (6 to T4)

The Cleveland Guardians are one of the best surprises in baseball in 2024. At 37-19, the Guardians trail only the Phillies and Yankees in wins on the season and currently hold a three-game lead in the suddenly-competitive AL Central. While they aren’t our biggest riser of the week, they deserve some love for breaking into the top five for the first time this season after beginning the year at 19th in our preseason rankings.

So, how are the Guardians maintaining this level of success? In May, there are two big reasons they’ve been this strong. One of them comes from a familiar source, as Jose Ramirez is having one of the best stretches of his career, hitting 11 home runs this month. The other reason? His name is David Fry:


Whoops, wrong tweet. I SAID, his name is David Fry:

Out of seemingly nowhere, the Guardians have found themselves a player with a 1.093 OPS through 132 plate appearances. The 28-year-old Fry got his first taste of the big leagues in 2023 with modest success but has lit the league on fire through the first two months of the 2024 season. It’s been a welcome stroke of good fortune for the Guardians, who lost Shane Bieber to Tommy John early this year and have been without leadoff man Steven Kwan for the better part of a month.

It’s the kind of cobbled-together lineup that works perfectly together, aided by an elite bullpen with one of the game’s best closers in Emmanuel Clase. While one can argue that Cleveland is overperforming this season, there’s little doubt at this point that this roster can contend for a division title and more. It will be interesting to see how this team adds to their roster come July, especially where the rotation is concerned. For now, the Guardians are flying high and have solidified themselves as a top-five team in the league.


Hittin’ the Skids


Chicago Cubs


Record: 28-29

Rank change: -1 (10 to 11)

On Thursday, May 30th, I had the pleasure of attending the series finale of a four-game set between the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field Miller Park. As a Cubs fan living in Milwaukee, I’ve always enjoyed attending “away” games and mingling with the Brewers faithfulMilwaukeeans are a pleasant bunch and passionate fans, which always makes for a great game day experience.

However, the air in this series felt a little different in comparison to past series in the I-94 rivalry. It was the first series back in Milwaukee for Craig Counsell, whose surprising and controversial contract with the Cubs left a sour taste in the mouths of many Brewers fans this offseason. Needless to say, Counsell was not given a typical warm Midwestern welcome home in his first game back:


The Brewers rallied around their fans this week to take three of four games against the Cubs to extend their hold on the division to five games (over the now-2nd-place Cardinals). After a hot start, the Cubbies are reeling in May, losing eight of their last ten and twelve of their last sixteen.
So, what’s been going wrong for the Cubs as of late? In short, just about everything. In the past 30 days, the Cubs are 28th in team OPS, so not a whole lot is going right on the offensive side of the ball. Christopher Morel has been one of the unluckiest hitters in baseball, but players like Dansby SwansonSeiya Suzuki, and Ian Happ have not done their part to pick up the slack. Cody Bellinger and his .803 OPS is the only hitter above the .800 mark this season, showing a desperate need for an offensive spark. Whether that be from within or via trade is yet to be seen.
From the pitching side of things, the Cubs have had the luxury of a solid rotation, led by staff ace Shota Imanaga. Save for his disappointing start earlier this week, Imanaga has been one of the best pitchers all season, while players like Justin SteeleJameson TaillonJavier Assad, and rookie Ben Brown have all had moments of success this season. By far the biggest issue for the Cubs has been the bullpen, with the group’s 4.56 ERA being among the league’s worst. The Cubs have seen lead after lead slip away in May thanks to their relief pitching. If only they had an up-and-coming arm like Jeremiah Estrada they could turn to in this time of need.
I try to be as objective as I can when writing up these rankings, but it’s pretty clear that this is a group that’s been frustrating for the better part of a month now. So, why haven’t they taken a bigger plunge in our rankings, despite the lackluster performance? Maybe it’s because the rest of the team, much like myself, believe that this group is better than the product they’ve put on the field the past few weeks. While that shouldn’t excuse them from a bigger skidI believe the Cubs should be closer to 14th or 15th as things currently standthe Cubs certainly have the tools to succeed and compete in 2024. They’ll need to add some pieces, especially to their bullpen, but this should be a team pushing for a playoff spot this fall. Whether or not they’ll break out of this funk is an entirely different story.

Week 9 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.

Leave a Reply

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

Account / Login