MLB Power Rankings: D-backs up, Dodgers down in wild NL West


They've been ahead in the standings for a while -- now the Arizona Diamondbacks have at last leapfrogged the Los Angeles Dodgers in our MLB Power Rankings.

That's only part of a wild week for the National League West, though, which sends a third team into our top 10 -- the red-hot San Francisco Giants.

At the top the our list, the Tampa Bay Rays hold fast at No. 1, but the Atlanta Braves are hot on their heels, passing the Texas Rangers to take over the second spot.

Our expert panel has combined to rank every team in baseball based on a combination of what we've seen so far and what we already knew going into the 162-game marathon that is a full baseball season. We also asked ESPN MLB experts David Schoenfield, Bradford Doolittle, Jesse Rogers, Alden Gonzalez and Joon Lee to weigh in with an observation for all 30 teams.

Week 11 | Preseason rankings

1. Tampa Bay Rays

Record: 52-25

Previous ranking: 1

The Rays lost a series to the Padres and were shut out for just the fourth time this season, by a combination of their former ace Blake Snell and a series of relievers. As it currently stands, Wander Franco leads all position players in bWAR (3.8) -- ranking ahead of other young stars like Corbin Carroll, Fernando Tatis Jr., Ronald Acuna Jr. and Bo Bichette. -- Joon Lee

2. Atlanta Braves

Record: 47-26

Previous ranking: 3

After going 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in April and jumping to the lead in Cy Young betting odds, Spencer Strider has faced adversity for the first time in his major league career. He did have his best start since April on Tuesday, allowing one run with nine K's in a win over the Phillies, but he still has a 5.10 ERA in 10 starts over the past two months. The strikeout rate remains incredible (87 in 54.2 innings), but he's allowed a .250/.321/.467 batting line, including 11 home runs. The main culprit has been fastball location: Major leaguers will tee off on a 98-mph fastball if it's down the middle. You do wonder if he'll have to start mixing in his changeup more and not rely so much on just a two-pitch arsenal. He is throwing it 6.7% of the time, a slight increase from last season, and it's been effective, as batters are 4-for-19 with 10 strikeouts against it. Let's see what adjustments he makes. -- David Schoenfield

3. Texas Rangers

Record: 46-28

Previous ranking: 2

The Rangers' hold on the top spot in the AL West is as strong as ever as they rebounded from a series loss to the Angels to take two of three from the Blue Jays. Their biggest controversy last week revolved around an overturned out call at home plate, where Jonah Heim was charged with a blocking violation. The call led to a roller coaster 7-6 loss to the White Sox. But it wasn't a devastating defeat, as Texas is showing no signs of slowing down. Neither is Corey Seager -- who had a big week at the plate, compiling an OPS over 1.100 including a .423 batting average. -- Jesse Rogers

4. Baltimore Orioles

Record: 45-28

Previous ranking: 5

Baltimore just faced a big test this week, squaring off against the Tampa Bay Rays, taking the first game of the two-game series, before dropping the second. Catcher Adley Rutschman had a strong week, hitting two homers. Meanwhile, Yennier Cano continues to put together a strong season for Baltimore, leading all of the team's pitchers in bWAR. In every division except for the AL East and NL East, Baltimore would be in first place. -- Lee

5. Arizona Diamondbacks

Record: 45-30

Previous ranking: 7

Fred Lynn (1975) and Ichiro Suzuki (2001) are the only players to ever win Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same year. Corbin Carroll might make a run at that, though. The D-backs' dynamic outfielder was slashing .304/.386/.596 through his first 70 games, leading the National League in OPS while adding 16 home runs and 19 stolen bases. The D-backs have held first place for 16 consecutive days and seem poised for their first playoff appearance in six years, and Carroll -- along with the electric Zac Gallen -- stands as one of the biggest reasons. -- Alden Gonzalez

6. Los Angeles Dodgers

Record: 41-33

Previous ranking: 4

The Dodgers have suffered a litany of injuries throughout their rotation, with Julio Urias, Dustin May and Noah Syndergaard all on the shelf. Their bullpen, meanwhile, has struggled mightily, entering the week with the second-highest ERA in the sport. The one constant through the turmoil has been Clayton Kershaw, just like it always has been. Kershaw pitched seven scoreless innings against the Angels on Tuesday night, providing his team with a much-needed victory on the heels of getting swept by the rival Giants. His ERA is down to 2.72 and, just as important, he is the one Dodgers starter who has not missed a turn through the rotation. Not bad for a 35-year-old in his 16th season. -- Gonzalez

7. Houston Astros

Record: 41-34

Previous ranking: 6

The Astros are finding life without Yordan Alvarez to be fraught. Houston dropped five straight after Alvarez headed to the IL with a strained oblique, scoring one run in three of the defeats and just three in another. The streak was finally snapped on Tuesday, when Framber Valdez outdueled old Houston pal Justin Verlander in a win over the Mets. But the offensive woes began even before Alvarez was injured, and the sooner Houston gets a few stalwarts like Jose Altuve and Jeremy Pena rolling, the better. That's because during this downturn, Houston didn't just lose ground to the front-running Rangers in the AL West but were passed up by the hard-charging Angels, dropping the defending champs into third place. Obviously it's way, way too soon to sound the alarm bells, but we can say that nearly halfway through the campaign, the dynastic Astros have often not played very Astros-like. -- Bradford Doolittle

8. New York Yankees

Record: 41-33

Previous ranking: 8

Yankees fans are inching toward the panic button after a weekend series sweep against the Red Sox, with much of the complaints centering around the team's offense, or lack thereof. Third baseman Josh Donaldson has received significant criticism for struggling to generate much of anything at the plate since coming off the injured list. Aaron Judge appears to be progressing after suffering a toe injury and Harrison Bader returned Tuesday after his second injured list stint of the season, but the questions about the lineup's depth remain. -- Lee

9. San Francisco Giants

Record: 42-32

Previous ranking: 18

Don't look now, but the Giants are suddenly one of baseball's hottest teams. They swept the Cardinals and the Dodgers on the road last week, then won three straight against the Padres at home, overcoming a two-run deficit in the ninth inning on Monday and a two-run deficit in the seventh inning on Tuesday. They've now won 10 in a row, keeping them a game ahead of the Dodgers for second place in the NL West. Since the start of last week, they're allowing less than three runs per game and scoring more than seven runs per game. Yep, they look like a playoff team again. -- Gonzalez

10. Los Angeles Angels

Record: 41-35

Previous ranking: 11

The Angels had played some of their best baseball recently, winning 11 of 14 before getting shut out on back-to-back nights by the Dodgers. But their infield depth has been severely compromised of late. Anthony Rendon went back on the injured list with a bruise on his wrist on Monday, joining Gio Urshela and Zach Neto on the shelf, with Urshela expected to miss the rest of the season with a fractured pelvis. Rendon, at least, could be back relatively soon. But the Angels will need the likes of Brandon Drury, Hunter Renfroe, Taylor Ward and Mickey Moniak to carry a significant load around Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani if they hope to remain in playoff contention. -- Gonzalez

11. Miami Marlins

Record: 42-33

Previous ranking: 14

Luis Arraez's chase for .400 appeared to end last week when he went 0-for-12 in a three-game stretch to drop to .378, but he followed that up with 5-for-5 games on Friday and Monday to climb back up to an even .400. That gave him three 5-for-5 games in June, the first player with three such games in one calendar month since Tony Gwynn in June of 1984 (Ty Cobb and George Sisler are the only others to do it). Meanwhile, rookie starter Eury Perez continues to impress and his Tuesday outing was maybe his best yet, with six scoreless innings against the Blue Jays (although the Marlins lost 2-0). He fanned nine with no walks and has now allowed no runs in four of his past five starts, lowering his ERA to 1.54 through eight career starts. -- Schoenfield

12. Toronto Blue Jays

Record: 41-35

Previous ranking: 9

Starting pitcher Jose Berrios struggled against the Marlins on Monday, but is still having a strong comeback season, highlighted by a gem last week in Baltimore. Yusei Kikuchi also had a strong week, allowing just two runs across 10⅔ innings pitched, striking out 13 while walking just two. Toronto's offense did take a hit, with catcher Alejandro Kirk going on the injured list with a lacerated hand. In his place, though, Danny Jansen hit three homers in seven games. -- Lee

13. Philadelphia Phillies

Record: 38-35

Previous ranking: 17

An impressive 6-1 road trip to Arizona and Oakland completed a stretch where the Phillies went 13-2 and won five straight series -- perhaps saving their season in the process. Leading the way on offense during that 15-game stretch: J.T. Realmuto (.292, 5 HR, 11 RBIs, 1.129 OPS), Kyle Schwarber (.259, 7 HR, 14 RBIs, 1.067 OPS) and Bryson Stott (.333, 2 HR, 8 RBIs, .940 OPS). Trea Turner finally got it going a bit as well, hitting .295/.368/.443. On the pitching side, Taijuan Walker went 3-0 in three starts with a 0.45 ERA, and Ranger Suarez allowed two runs in 20 innings. -- Schoenfield

14. Cincinnati Reds

Record: 40-35

Previous ranking: 22

The hottest team in baseball might also be the most entertaining. An 11-game win streak has vaulted the Reds into first place, and the stands are beginning to fill up at Great American Ballpark. Elly De La Cruz continued his dominance, but it was veteran Joey Votto's turn to shine as he finally made his season debut. A home run and a two-run, go-ahead single on Monday against the Rockies had the stadium rocking -- as did Cruz's opposite field home run the next night. With so much youth getting playing time, it's hard to know if Cincinnati can keep it up for three more months, but the Reds are on the rise. -- Rogers

15. Boston Red Sox

Record: 39-36

Previous ranking: 13

Boston put together a strong week, sweeping the Yankees and pushing the team above the .500 mark. The Red Sox got back outfielder Adam Duvall, adding some slugging power to the lineup, but lost pitcher Tanner Houck indefinitely after he was hit in the face by a comebacker. Houck will undergo surgery to have a plate inserted to address his facial fracture, a big blow to a rotation that has struggled to find consistency this season. -- Lee

16. San Diego Padres

Record: 35-39

Previous ranking: 15

The Padres were finally starting to build some momentum, winning four of six against the Guardians and the Rays during last week's homestand. But then they lost three straight to the surging Giants in San Francisco, watching their bullpen blow back-to-back two-run leads the first two nights. If there's one primary need for the Padres heading into the trade deadline, it's more high-leverage relievers to help form the bridge to closer Josh Hader. But if they don't get it together quickly, Hader -- a free agent at season's end -- might be the one used as a trade chip to help fortify some depth for 2024. They're running out of time. -- Gonzalez

17. Milwaukee Brewers

Record: 38-36

Previous ranking: 12

There's a good chance many will forget about the Brewers in the division as the Cubs and Reds continue to garner the headlines. But there's also a good chance Milwaukee will be there at the end, because the Brewers always have been under manager Craig Counsell. A weekend sweep of the Pirates helped right the ship as Milwaukee's best feature is its ability to win in the division. If the Brewers' current 11-5 mark is an indication of how they'll play against rivals in the second half, they will be just fine. A four-game, July 4th-week matchup against the Cubs will have more meaning than it would have a month ago. -- Rogers

18. Minnesota Twins

Record: 37-38

Previous ranking: 10

The Twins seem intent on making history as the first sub-.500 first-place team to find itself in a MLB playoff bracket. They at least got Byron Buxton back on the field this week, at least in name if not performance. Buxton started 0-for-16 after being activated, increasing his overall skid to 0-for-24. Finally, he singled and walked in a blowout loss to the Red Sox on Tuesday. Alas, that same night, Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli told reporters that the strength of Buxton's knee remains largely unchanged since the beginning of the season. That means his tenure as the most athletic DH in history looks like it's going to continue indefinitely. But before the Twins can get back to worrying about that, they need him to get back to producing well enough at the plate to make the DH part of their Buxton plan effective. -- Doolittle

19. Seattle Mariners

Record: 35-37

Previous ranking: 16

The offensive struggles continue. Through Tuesday, the Mariners are 29th in the majors in batting average (.227), 24th in OBP (.308), 19th in home run rate (2.8%) ... and second in highest strikeout rate (25.9%). And, no, this isn't an "It's hard to hit at T-Mobile Park" thing. The Mariners have a .693 OPS at home and .682 on the road. They're actually 19th in runs per game as they've managed to hit .252 with runners in scoring position. With just a little more offense, the Mariners could still make a run. They're actually 9-16 when getting six or fewer hits; only four teams have a better winning percentage when getting so few hits. -- Schoenfield

20. New York Mets

Record: 34-40

Previous ranking: 20

As the Mets continue to struggle in June, it's easy to point fingers at the starting rotation, which ranks 26th in the majors in ERA (5.26). Justin Verlander continues to alternate good outings with bad ones. Check out his runs allowed totals on the season: 2, 1, 6, 1, 6, 1, 5, 1, 4. Frankly, it's a little bizarre, and he's been given five days of rest between all his starts except one, but maybe his ability to bounce back at age 40 just isn't there. It's not like the offense has matched what it did in 2022 either, ranking ninth in the NL in runs, 12th in batting average and 11th in OBP. It's been a team effort. -- Schoenfield

21. Chicago Cubs

Record: 36-38

Previous ranking: 24

The second hottest team in the NL Central is making a move up the standings as the Cubs passed the Pirates thanks to not one, but two three-game sweeps of them in the span of nine days. Pitching has been the name of the game for Chicago as a resurgent Kyle Hendricks is only being out-pitched by Cy Young candidate Marcus Stroman. The Stro Show, as it's commonly known, is a throwback to the old days where there was no PitchCom nor detailed scouting reports. Stroman uses none of it -- relying on catcher Tucker Barnhart to call the right pitch. Usually, it's a sinker. And an effective one. His NL-leading 2.28 ERA is in large part thanks to that old-school approach. -- Rogers

22. Cleveland Guardians

Record: 35-38

Previous ranking: 21

All through the injury- and performance-related upheaval in the Guardians' starting rotation this season, the group has gotten younger and in some ways better. Ace Shane Bieber has been a constant, but he's been the only one, as eight different pitchers have started at least five games for Cleveland. That list doesn't include Triston McKenzie, who made two starts after coming off the IL before going right back on it because of elbow trouble that's going to keep him out for a while. Through all the attrition, it's been the kids (and Bieber) who have kept the Guardians afloat, emergent starters like Tanner Bibee and Logan T. Allen. Now, with McKenzie going, once again Cleveland looks to fill the void from within the organization. The club's consensus top pitching prospect, Gavin Williams, was summoned from Triple-A to make his MLB debut on Wednesday in Oakland, trying to become the latest example of just how prolific the Cleveland pitching factory really is. -- Doolittle

23. Pittsburgh Pirates

Record: 34-39

Previous ranking: 19

The Pirates' freefall is in full swing, as they got swept twice by the Cubs in the span of nine days. In between, Pittsburgh lost three to the Brewers, its intra-division record plummeting during what is now a nine-game losing streak. The Pirates' fall from grace was predictable, as their starting pitching wasn't likely to last the season. They've dropped to 16th in ERA after hovering in the top 10 most of the year. Johan Oviedo struggled in his two starts last week, giving up six runs on 13 hits over 10.1 innings. The only question left for the Pirates might be can they avoid a penthouse-to-cellar move in the span of mere weeks? -- Rogers

24. St. Louis Cardinals

Record: 31-44

Previous ranking: 23

St. Louis is down to one thing in order to garner hope for the rest of the season: In 2021, they won 17 in a row in September to make the playoffs. It's not likely to happen again, but it's at least something to cling to, because the Cardinals have little else to be positive about. A team that never trades veterans mid-year, could be looking at doing just that as lefty Jordan Montgomery will be a free agent at season's end. St. Louis won't do a rebuild, but the Cards will need to do some retooling to their pitching staff if they want to contend again. At least Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado are still doing their thing at the plate. -- Rogers

25. Chicago White Sox

Record: 32-44

Previous ranking: 25

The season to date for the White Sox has been nothing if not repetitious, with the team stuck in a cycle of waiting for the impending return of this or that injured player just as another slips away to the IL, all while the team fends off one inquiry about underachieving play after another. The few celebratory moments that have pierced this swirl of mediocrity have tended to not resonate for long. This week, GM Rick Hahn spoke to the media about possible directions the club might take at the trade deadline. It was hard to glean much clarity based on those comments because there isn't really much clarity to be had. The bottom line looks something like this: The only reason the White Sox haven't been pegged as a sure-fire tear-down candidate is because the rest of teams in their division are as muddled as they are. So for the next four or five weeks, during which the ChiSox face one of MLB's more difficult slates, the focus is on individual performances. Namely those who can or will be free agents -- big-name players like Tim Anderson, Lance Lynn, Yasmani Grandal and Lucas Giolito. The tenor of the rest of the campaign hinges on the veterans, even if it's to bolster their trade value as much as keep the White Sox in this race of tortoises. -- Doolittle

26. Detroit Tigers

Record: 32-41

Previous ranking: 28

The production for Miguel Cabrera has come on slowly this season, his last as an active player before he begins his five-year wait for Cooperstown. We won't get many more chances to celebrate a Miggy hot streak, so we better take advantage of this one. And, indeed, Cabrera has been swinging well over the last month, with a .935 OPS over the last four weeks. That stretch included his first homer of the campaign, a joyous blast to left field against the Braves on June 14 for career No. 508. Cabrera has accomplished plenty, but a few more dingers will nudge him up on a couple of lists. He needs one to catch Gary Sheffield at No. 26 on the all-time list. After that is the historic cluster of Mel Ott (511), then Eddie Mathews and Ernie Banks (both 512). Getting to 513 would put Cabrera alone at No. 23 on the all-time list. Not bad. Also of note: He's three homers behind Norm Cash on the Tigers' franchise list. Cash's 373 jacks are second in Detroit history behind Al Kaline's 399. -- Doolittle

27. Washington Nationals

Record: 28-45

Previous ranking: 26

The Nationals signed Keibert Ruiz to an eight-year, $50 million extension in March (with club options for 2031-32), obviously believing him to be the long-term answer behind the plate. The jury remains out on him, however, as the only consistent skill he's showcased is his contact ability, but even that has yet to translate into a high average. Via Statcast measurements, he has a lot to improve on defense as he's in the 15th percentile in pitch framing and way down near the bottom in pop time to second (base stealers are 58-for-69 against him). He's just 24 and does have eight home runs after hitting just seven last season, so maybe the power and hit tool are still developing. -- Schoenfield

28. Colorado Rockies

Record: 29-48

Previous ranking: 27

The Rockies suffered a six-game losing streak earlier this month and are currently riding an eight-game skid. For the month, their starting rotation is pitching to a 7.09 ERA, by far the worst in the majors. German Marquez, Antonio Senzatela and Ryan Feltner are all on the injured list, and Chase Anderson, Austin Gomber and Dinelson Lamet have combined for 44 earned runs in 48⅔ innings. Things are quite dire. -- Gonzalez

29. Kansas City Royals

Record: 20-54

Previous ranking: 29

The Royals received more bad news last week as first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino went down for the season with a shoulder injury that requires surgery. While Pasquantino's injury is irrelevant to the team's non-existent playoff chances, it does cost him a few months of development time. A month ago, Pasquantino was one of the few bright spots around the club, but his performance began to wane gradually and then disappeared all at once. Pasquantino was hitting .298/.383/.539 through his first 38 games but fell to .167/.227/.278 over his last 23 contests. He managed a lone hit over his last 21 at-bats for the season. Nick Pratto will handle everyday duties at first base and will try to maintain what has been an encouraging showing after his first-season struggles. -- Doolittle

30. Oakland Athletics

Record: 19-57

Previous ranking: 30

Oakland raised its season-high winning streak to seven games, but then lost five straight games to close out the week. Something to watch for other teams: starter Paul Blackburn has been solid since returning from the injured list, and could be an interesting midseason acquisition to bolster a rotation. The displeasure with Athletics ownership continues to build as well, with movie star Tom Hanks speaking out against the potential move to Las Vegas, and fans clamoring for the Hollywood icon to buy the team. In response, said Hanks, "I haven't done that well, guys." -- Lee