MLB Power Rankings: Dodgers on fire, Yankees collapsing

MLB Power Rankings: Dodgers on fire, Yankees collapsing

Welcome to the sixth edition of theScore’s MLB Power Rankings for the 2023 season. The last edition ran Aug. 2, while the next edition will be published Sept. 4.

1. Atlanta Braves

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

80-43
8-2
+212
1 (-)

In the middle of all the well-earned chatter surrounding Ronald Acuna Jr., who is careening toward the first 30-50 season in over two decades, Matt Olson is not-so-quietly entering the MVP conversation. With four homers over his last 12 games, the All-Star slugger already set a career high and is on pace to crush 57. The Braves are a wagon, and we’re just waiting to see if they’ll also be a juggernaut in October.

2. Los Angeles Dodgers

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

76-47
9-1
+143
6 (+4)

The Dodgers have caught fire. Winners of 13 of its last 14 games, Los Angeles looks to be the only thing standing in Atlanta’s way of making a World Series run. Mookie Betts is putting together his best season since his 2018 MVP campaign. The 30-year-old is hitting an absurd .409/.462/.789 with seven home runs and 18 RBIs in August.

3. Baltimore Orioles

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

77-47
7-3
+79
2 (-1)

The Orioles’ lead over the Rays in the AL East is back to three games following a dominant sweep of the A’s. AL Rookie of the Year favorite Gunnar Henderson collected eight hits, including two homers and five RBIs in the series. Right-hander Kyle Bradish looks like Baltimore’s best option to start a potential playoff series thanks to a 3.03 ERA and 1.10 WHIP over 23 starts.

4. Texas Rangers

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

72-52
4-6
+185
3 (-1)

The Rangers have the Astros and Mariners on their heels. Texas’ grip on the AL West lead is starting to loosen after dropping four straight games, including a sweep at the hands of the Brewers. The team will need Max Scherzer to continue his revitalization. He surrendered only four earned runs over 20 innings (three starts) before a poor start against Milwaukee.

Mark Blinch / Getty Images Sport / Getty

5. Tampa Bay Rays

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

75-51
6-4
+161
4 (-1)

Tampa Bay was built on resiliency, but it’ll be a significant challenge to make a deep playoff run with Shane McClanahan undergoing Tommy John surgery and Wander Franco set to miss an undetermined amount of time. Those two players combined for 6.4 fWAR this season. Still, the Rays managed to put together wins in their absence, going 4-2 on a West Coast trip since placing Franco on the restricted list.

6. Seattle Mariners

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

69-55
7-3
+72
11 (+5)

The Mariners are 14-3 over their last 17 games, riding Julio Rodriguez’s incredible hot streak. To say the young star outfielder is on fire lately would be an understatement. Rodriguez owns a 1.103 OPS in August and is 18-for-27 (.667) with two home runs, five stolen bases, and eight RBIs over his last five contests.

7. Houston Astros

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

70-55
4-6
+80
5 (-2)

Just when the Astros seemed to be hunting down the Rangers for the AL West crown, they run into the white-hot Mariners, putting them back into the midst of a contentious wild-card race. Starting pitching has been the struggle of late. Hunter Brown was unable to make it through the third inning Sunday, workhorse Framber Valdez coughed up six runs on 10 hits over five innings of work Saturday, and three-time Cy Young deadline acquisition Justin Verlander got beat up over five frames Friday. The good news is that the schedule gets easier now, with the Red Sox and Tigers up next.

8. Toronto Blue Jays

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

69-56
5-5
+62
7 (-1)

It’s been a bit of a shock to see how toothless this offense has been. The Blue Jays rank 19th in OPS and runs scored in August and sit tied for 21st in home runs – and those numbers were boosted significantly after Sunday’s offensive explosion in Cincinnati. Luckily, the pitching staff has been elite – even with Alek Manoah’s absence – posting the lowest ERA in the majors (3.65) in 2023. Kevin Gausman, Jose Berrios, and Yusei Kikuchi all sit within the top 10 in ERA among qualified AL starters.

9. Philadelphia Phillies

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

67-57
5-5
+44
8 (-1)

The Phillies can’t reach their full potential until Trea Turner starts hitting like the all-world shortstop he is. The 30-year-old’s OPS has jumped by 30 points in August thanks to six multi-hit games, including a two-homer effort over the weekend. Bryce Harper is also slowly finding his power stroke, swatting four homers this month.

G Fiume / Getty Images Sport / Getty

10. Boston Red Sox

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

66-58
7-3
+36
12 (+2)

The Red Sox keep hanging around the playoff picture, and a big reason for that has been rookie Triston Casas’ play. The 23-year-old has taken off over the last two months, hitting .323/.412/.697 with 11 home runs and 21 RBIs across 31 games since the All-Star break. With 10 straight contests coming against the Astros and Dodgers, Boston needs Casas to keep this going in a big way.

11. Milwaukee Brewers

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

68-57
7-3
+5
19 (+8)

The Brewers responded to getting swept by the red-hot Dodgers by grabbing a big sweep of the Rangers in Texas. Freddy Peralta has given Milwaukee’s rotation a massive boost, with the right-hander allowing just five earned runs and recording 50 strikeouts over his last five starts (30.2 innings). A healthy Brandon Woodruff, who’s finally back after a nearly four-month absence, helps give the Brewers the best starting rotation in the NL Central.

12. Chicago Cubs

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

64-59
6-4
+65
16 (+4)

The Cubs were dealt a big blow with Marcus Stroman going down indefinitely due to a rib cartilage fracture. He’s been Chicago’s best starter, aside from Justin Steele. The team will need to count on an offense that’s been surprisingly good this season to stay in the playoff hunt. In particular, Cody Bellinger is setting himself up for a big payday if he hits free agency. He’s got a .933 OPS now thanks to nine multi-hit games in August.

13. San Francisco Giants

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

65-59
3-7
+8
9 (-4)

The Giants hit the skids at the wrong time, losing 10 of their last 14 with no wiggle room in the NL wild-card hunt. And their schedule doesn’t get easier, either, as they’ll head to Philadelphia before facing the Braves again on the weekend. Reinforcements might be around the corner, though, as left-handed pitching prospect Kyle Harrison could reportedly make his MLB debut on Tuesday.

14. Cincinnati Reds

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

64-61
4-6
-27
10 (-4)

The Reds are hoping another blast of youth will help energize the roster down the stretch. They promoted top prospect Noelvi Marte to the majors over the weekend, making him the eighth rookie position player to debut for the club this season. Cincinnati has held its own against top opposition this campaign, going 36-36 against teams .500 or better.

Chris Coduto / Getty Images Sport / Getty

15. Arizona Diamondbacks

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

64-61
7-3
-12
13 (-2)

Arizona is starting to turn things around after a brutal 8-25 stretch from July into early August. Since dropping nine straight to open the month, the D-Backs have rattled off seven wins in nine games, including going 5-2 against their rivals in San Diego. After a rough patch of his own, ace Zac Gallen has reverted to his Cy Young-caliber form, posting a 1.40 ERA over his last three outings.

16. Miami Marlins

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

64-61
5-5
-40
14 (-2)

Desperately trying to stay in the playoff picture, the Marlins recalled rookie pitcher Eury Perez, but he’s still trying to shake off the rust from his workload-related layoff. His most recent outing looked like the Perez that Miami fans were used to, allowing two hits over six shutout innings with 10 strikeouts against the Dodgers on Saturday. It’s a lot to ask of a 20-year-old pitcher, but they’ll need him at his best down the stretch.

17. Minnesota Twins

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

65-60
5-5
+43
20 (+3)

Pitching has kept the Twins afloat all year, and Sonny Gray and Pablo Lopez remain among the best starters in the league. Minnesotans should get very excited that Carlos Correa is finally starting to heat up. Amid a disappointing year, the two-time All-Star is hitting .344/.475/.688 with three homers over his last 10 games (since Aug. 7). Ball-throwing might make them a surprisingly frustrating postseason opponent, but the offense has to heat up as well for them to have success – and Correa looks like he’s ready to share the load.

18. San Diego Padres

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

59-66
4-6
+57
17 (-1)

The hot streak we’re waiting for in San Diego looks like it may not come. Despite being loaded with talent, the Padres can’t put together the extended run that’s needed to get them back in the postseason hunt. They now sit six games out of a playoff spot with three teams ahead of them. A big area of blame has been their star players not showing up, as Juan Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Manny Machado each have a sub-.700 OPS in August.

19. Los Angeles Angels

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

61-64
4-6
-34
15 (-4)

The Angels’ decision to buy at the deadline has blown up in their face as the club has gone 5-13 in August with a minus-62 run differential. They’re all but assured of a 10th straight campaign without reaching the postseason. At least the team will be able to celebrate what looks to be another MVP season for Shohei Ohtani. Despite some issues with fatigue, he’s allowed just one unearned run in 10 innings this month, in addition to posting a .968 OPS over 18 games as a DH.

20. Cleveland Guardians

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

59-66
4-6
-5
21 (+1)

The Guardians are losing ground in the AL Central against teams they realistically shouldn’t be struggling against if they hope to make the postseason. And with upcoming series against the Dodgers, Blue Jays, and Twins, they could find themselves out of the playoff hunt – a race they’re lucky to be in because of their uncompetitive division – by the time September begins.

Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty

21. New York Yankees

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

60-64
1-9
-27
18 (-3)

It’s rock bottom in the Bronx. The Yankees are beat up, look old, and appear destined for their first losing season since 1992. Now sitting nine games back of the last wild-card spot after losing eight straight games, priorities will likely shift to the future in the season’s final weeks. Will Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman be back? Will Aaron Judge and his bad toe be shut down? What is Giancarlo Stanton’s place with the team moving forward? A lot of questions will need to be answered.

22. New York Mets

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

58-67
6-4
-34
22 (-)

It’s been a bleak season in Flushing that’s turned into a run-out-the-clock situation. But it’s nice to see that these games still matter to Pete Alonso, who’s cranked eight homers since Aug. 7 and is slugging an otherworldly .809 over that span. Kodai Senga is also wrapping up his debut season well, sporting a 2.84 ERA in 19 innings over his last three starts. Both players will presumably play key roles for the 2024 Mets.

23. Washington Nationals

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

57-68
7-3
-90
26 (+3)

The Nationals have quietly played some very solid baseball since the All-Star break. Washington has gone 21-14 in the second half to close in on the fourth-place Mets, which would be quite the accomplishment considering where both clubs started the season. Keibert Ruiz has played a big role in the second-half surge; his OPS has jumped by 57 points in August thanks to six multi-hit contests.

24. St. Louis Cardinals

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

54-70
5-5
-49
24 (-)

There’s perhaps nothing more emblematic of the 2023 Cardinals than getting boat raced 13-2 by the hapless Mets on Saturday. At least president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said he’d actively try to add starting pitching this offseason, which the team desperately needs. Rookie shortstop Masyn Winn will also be worth watching as this forgetful season winds down.

25. Detroit Tigers

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

57-67
6-4
-98
25 (-)

It’s sad, but the calendar is finally about to turn to the final month of Miguel Cabrera’s illustrious career. How high can he climb on the all-time hits list? With 3,149 base knocks, Miggy has Paul Waner (3,152) and George Brett (3,154) squarely in his sights. Adrian Beltre (3,166) and Cal Ripken Jr. (3,184) would be next up.

Nuccio DiNuzzo / Major League Baseball / Getty

26. Pittsburgh Pirates

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

55-69
4-6
-94
23 (-3)

A Cinderella team to start the season, the Pirates have gone full pumpkin. Despite flying out of the gate, the offense now ranks 23rd overall in wRC+ and the pitching sits 20th in fWAR. At least Ke’Bryan Hayes is finding his way of late, hitting .286/.324/.508 with three homers and 13 RBIs in August.

27. Chicago White Sox

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

49-75
3-7
-108
27 (-)

A rough season got even worse in August. Keynan Middleton blasted the team’s culture following a trade to the Yankees, Tim Anderson was suspended for fighting Jose Ramirez, and young star Luis Robert Jr. said he doesn’t consider himself as a leader. Chicago has also dropped 11 of 17 games this month.

28. Colorado Rockies

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

48-76
3-7
-169
28 (-)

Youngsters Nolan Jones and Ezequiel Tovar are providing some hope for the future amid a rough year for the Rockies. Jones has 14 RBIs over his last 16 games, while Tovar has gone hitless in just six games in August. Thanks to his outstanding fielding at shortstop, the latter has also accrued a 13.9 defensive rating, according to FanGraphs.

29. Kansas City Royals

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

40-86
3-7
-166
29 (-)

Bobby Witt Jr. has become must-watch TV on a very bad Royals team. The sophomore sensation has a chance to put up a 30-50 season during his age-23 campaign, and also leads the majors with seven triples. Witt’s slashing an absurd .422/.458/.789 with eight homers, 28 RBIs, and nine stolen bases over his last 21 games.

30. Oakland Athletics

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

34-90
2-8
-303
30 (-)

The Athletics are 56 games under .500 for the first time since 1946, when the then-Philadelphia A’s finished 49-105. Promising rookie Zack Gelof has been on a tear despite Oakland’s historically bad season. The 23-year-old has collected 25 hits in August and is slashing .308/.376/.617 since his arrival in mid-July.

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