2024 MLB Power Rankings: July Update

Halfway through the 2024 season, Just Baseball presents the latest monthly update to our MLB power rankings.

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - MAY 21: Brandon Marsh #16 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts after catching a fly ball during the eighth inning against the Texas Rangers at Citizens Bank Park on May 21, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Outside of October, there is not a month in the baseball calendar that is more significant than the month of July. We have reached the halfway point in the season, less than two weeks away from the All-Star break. This is the point of the season where teams can start to create some separation in the standings as the true contenders and pretenders begin to show themselves.

A lot can happen over the following month that will decide which teams are buyers and which will be sellers at this years deadline. Throughout the month of June, we saw a few teams in the Houston Astros and New York Mets that have clawed from the doldrums, back into the fringes of contention. Another solid month will keep them from dealing pieces and may even get their front office to add at the deadline.

Other teams like the Toronto Blue Jays, Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs are starting to see their once-promising season melt away.

Let’s take a look around Major League Baseball and identify who are the hottest teams in the game and which can be considered the best at this stage of the season.

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The Top 10 Best Teams in Baseball

When looking back at last month’s top 10, there is only one team that has fallen out of this group, as the best teams in baseball have largely been consistent all year. The Kansas City Royals are the lone exception, dropping out of our top 10 after a month that saw them play well-below .500.

Meanwhile, we have a newcomer in this month’s top 10, promoting the team that finished last month ranked at No. 11 and bumping them all the way up to No. 8. Other than that, the best teams are the same from last month, just ranked in a slightly different order.

1. Philadelphia Phillies (Prev. Ranking: 1)

June Record: 15-11

The Philadelphia Philllies hold onto the top spot in our rankings for the second-straight month, as they continue to be one of the most consistent teams in the game. The Phillies have an elite starting rotation and have showcased incredible depth so far this year.

Between Trea Turner, JT Realmuto, Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber and others, the Phillies have seen plenty of their top stars go down to injury this year, but have kept the ship afloat regardless of who is on the field.

2. Cleveland Guardians (Prev. Ranking: 3)

June Record: 14-11

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The Cleveland Guardians just keep winning. They have arguably the game’s best bullpen and a staring lineup that includes a trio of All-Star candidates in Steven Kwan, Josh Naylor and Jose Ramirez. That group, along with David Fry, have suddenly become one of the best and most underrated lineups in all of baseball.

3. Baltimore Orioles (Prev. Ranking: 5)

June Record: 17-12

If there is one team that has what it takes to knock the Phillies off the mantle to become the top team in baseball by season’s end, it is probably the Baltimore Orioles. Gunnar Henderson is having an MVP-caliber season, while the rest of the young core around him and catcher Adley Rutschman continues to shine. The addition of Corbin Burnes could not have worked out better so far, as the Orioles are in the inner-circle of World Series favorites.

4. Los Angeles Dodgers (Prev. Ranking: 4)

June Record: 16-10

The Los Angeles Dodgers lost Mookie Betts in the middle of June, but have kept things rolling thanks to the current MVP-favorite, Shohei Ohtani.

For a team that we have ranked fourth the last two months, it feels like their best baseball is still ahead of them. They have already been dealt with some tough breaks when it comes to some of their top players being out, but nothing has, or will slow them down until we get to October.

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The Dodgers are all-but guaranteed to win their division and clinch a first round bye in the playoffs. We will see how healthy they are at that stage of the season to determine how much of a World Series threat they really are.

5. New York Yankees (Prev. Ranking: 2)

June Record: 14-13

The New York Yankees slipped down a bit in our rankings, as their lineup has really struggled beyond their two superstars in Aaron Judge and Juan Soto. The Yankees are one of the most fascinating teams to watch at the deadline, as they look to round out this roster to be able to compete for a World Series title.

Their rotation has been great all season, and they just added their Cy Young back into the fold in Gerrit Cole. Solidifying the bullpen and finding a couple bats would go a long way towards putting the Yankees in position to beat the Orioles in the AL East.

6. Milwaukee Brewers (Prev. Ranking: 7)

June Record: 16-11

While it can sometimes feel like the Milwaukee Brewers are the little engine that could, there is no way to poke in holes in what they have been able to do this season. They play great defense, have a lockdown bullpen (even without Devin Williams!), all while having a top-10 offense in baseball.

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If there was one weakness for the Brewers it is in their rotation, where they just traded for 36-year-old Dallas Keuchel. The left-hander hasn’t pitched to an ERA below 5.00 since the 2020 season, and yet he was a big upgrade for the Brewers because it’s better than another bullpen game.

Hopefully the Brewers can land a starter at the deadline, because they have a team that could make noise come October if Freddy Peralta gets some help atop their rotation.

7. Atlanta Braves (Prev. Ranking: 8)

June Record: 14-13

No team in baseball has had worse injury luck this year than the Atlanta Braves. From losing Spencer Strider and Ronald Acuna Jr. for the season, to seeing Michael Harris II hit the IL with a hamstring strain this past month. Yet through it all, the Braves won 11 of their last 18 games to finish June with a winning record.

There is probably not a world where the Braves catch the Phillies this year in the NL East with how things presently stand, but Atlanta will be a Wild Card team. And assuming health at the top of their rotation, no one will want to play them in a short series with Max Fried, Chris Sale and Reynaldo Lopez.

8. Minnesota Twins (Prev. Ranking: 11)

June Record: 15-12

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Royce Lewis is back crushing baseball again and all is right with the world. Having Lewis, Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton all on the field at the same time is an absolute treat for Twins fans, and hopefully one they get to enjoy for the rest of the season.

While it doesn’t feel like anyone can catch the Guardians in the AL Central, the Twins are only six games back and still face Cleveland eight more times this season. We can’t count out the defending AL Central champs just yet.

9. San Diego Padres (Prev. Ranking: 9)

June Record: 15-13

Is there a more fascinating team to watch at the trade deadline than A.J. Preller’s San Diego Padres?

Among the NL Wild Card hopefuls, no team is more all-in on this season than the Padres and they have been playing good ball as of late as well. With Manny Machado starting to heat up, while Jurickson Profar continues to author the most improbable All-Star season, the Padres are squarely in playoff position to open July.

In the National League, that’s enough to make the playoffs, but we know Preller will be aggressive to try to make this a team that can make a legit run come October.

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10. Seattle Mariners (Prev. Ranking: 10)

June Record: 15-12

The Seattle Mariners might have the best rotation in baseball, or at least the best in the American League. They have held onto first place in the AL West throughout June, but there is still plenty of cause for concern. Their lineup has not hit, as they are still waiting for their franchise star to heat up in Julio Rodriguez. They also have the red-hot Houston Astros breathing down their necks, ready to prove doubters wrong to take their seventh-straight division title (2020 excluded).

Middle of the Pack (11-20)

With strong performances in June, the Red Sox and Astros are forcing their way into the top 10 conversation. They fell just short this time, but if they keep this up, don’t be surprised to see Boston or Houston in the top 10 come August. The Mets had a higher mountain to climb, but they, too, are back in Wild Card contention.

Meanwhile, the Royals have fallen to the middle of the pack, as their early-season magic might be starting to run out.

The Cardinals, D-backs, Rays, and Rangers remain in the No. 11-20 range, while the Pirates and Nationals have climbed up from the bottom 10 as they continue to stay alive on the fringes of the Wild Card picture.

11. Boston Red Sox (Prev. Ranking: 15)

June Record: 15-10

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The Boston Red Sox entered the season as everyone’s pick to finish last in the AL East this season, but through the first three months they have pretty clearly been the third-best team. The Orioles and Yankees have established themselves as a tier above everyone else in the AL East, but the Red Sox have largely outperformed the Rays and even more so the Blue Jays.

Tanner Houck and Jarren Duran are likely heading towards their first, of what could be many All-Star games, as Boston is starting to form a core that could remain very competitive for years to come. Right now, they are even making a case to be buyers at the deadline, but there is no telling what ownership will do.

12. Houston Astros (Prev. Ranking: 18)

June Record: 17-8

The Houston Astros ranked No. 25 in our power ranking two months ago to open the month of May. Many were questioning whether the Astros reign over the AL West was coming to an end, and even if they would be sellers at the deadline.

At their worst, the Astros were 12 games under .500 on May 8th. They have since gone 31-17 to bring themselves all the way back to above .500 to start July. The Astros are right on the Mariners tails in the AL West and are still a team nobody wants to see come October.

13. New York Mets (Prev. Ranking: 30)

June Record: 16-8

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Last month, we made the decision to rank the Mets dead last in our power rankings. On one hand, you can say it was an overreaction to rank them so poorly. On the other, it was based on a month of May where they pitched to a league-worst 4.85 ERA, and had blown seven of 12 save chances.

The Mets bullpen is still cause for concern, but they suddenly have one of the best lineups in baseball, with Francisco Lindor, Brandon Nimmo, J.D. Martinez and Pete Alonso all clicking atop their lineup, and young stars establishing themselves in Francisco Alvarez and Mark Vientos.

What once looked like surefire sellers, may soon become buyers if they can carry their hot streak for a few more weeks.

14. St. Louis Cardinals (Prev. Ranking: 13)

June Record: 16-12

Up to this point in the season, the Milwaukee Brewers have established themselves as a tier above all the other teams in the NL Central. With that said, all four of the other teams in the NL Central have hung around the Wild Card race so far this year, all being grouped around .500.

In June, the Cardinals were able to pull away from the pack a little bit, as they are currently sitting in playoff position. St. Louis can only get better if their aging superstars click in the second half, with Paul Goldscmidt and Nolan Arenado having failed to meet their own lofty expectations up to this point.

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Still, with a real ace in Sonny Gray and quality production from their budding core, the Cardinals have been one of the few NL teams that has kept their heads above water this season.

15. Arizona Diamondbacks (Prev. Ranking: 21)

June Record: 16-11

June was a good month for the Diamondbacks – no NL team won more games than Arizona – but the defending NL champs remain two games below .500 and 2.5 games back of a postseason berth.

Ketel Marte is playing like an All-Star, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. bounced back in a big way after a poor performance in May. However, this offense won’t truly get going until Corbin Carroll figures out a way to break out of his sophomore slump.

On the pitching side, Arizona must be glad to have Zac Gallen back after a month on the IL. Despite their winning record, D-backs pitchers had a 5.14 ERA and 5.11 FIP in June.

16. Kansas City Royals (Prev. Ranking: 6)

June Record: 12-15

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In June, the Royals finally looked like the team we thought they’d be entering the season – and that’s not a good thing. Their ERA rose to 4.31 (20th in MLB), while their wRC+ fell to 88 (23rd).

Bobby Witt Jr. is still playing like a superstar, but Salvador Perez and Maikel Garcia fell back down to earth. Similarly, Seth Lugo and Cole Ragans make for an excellent one-two punch atop the rotation, but Alec Marsh and Brady Singer regressed in June, while Michael Wacha missed most of the month with a fractured foot.

The bullpen was actually better in June than in May, but it remains abundantly clear that the Royals need a couple of proven, back-end relievers if they’re truly going to contend.

The Royals are still in playoff position, but the Red Sox and Astros are hot on their tails.

17. Tampa Bay Rays (Prev. Ranking: 19)

June Record: 14-12

The Rays are slowly getting back into the Wild Card race, but slowly might not be good enough. They have fewer than 80 games remaining to surpass at least three of the Twins, Royals, Red Sox, and Astros, and all four of those clubs have significantly outperformed the Rays this season.

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Tampa Bay has a -56 run differential, the sixth-worst in baseball. Despite their winning record in June, the Rays still gave up six more runs than they allowed. That’s not a good recipe for winning baseball games.

Randy Arozarena and Yandy Díaz are hitting again, which is huge for this team, but the pitching staff still looks mediocre and thin. The impending returns of Jeffrey Springs and Drew Rasmussen could make a huge difference down the stretch, but the Rays can’t pin all their hopes on a pair of pitchers coming back from serious elbow surgery.

18. Pittsburgh Pirates (Prev. Ranking: 22)

June Record: 14-12

The Pirates put up a winning record in June, thanks in large part to the three studs at the top of their rotation: Paul Skenes, Mitch Keller, and Jared Jones. Although Bailey Falter regressed and Martín Pérez missed four weeks with an injury, Pirates starters led the NL with a 3.51 ERA, 3.23 FIP, and 3.0 fWAR over the third month of the season.

Unfortunately, the starting rotation was Pittsburgh’s only strength in June. The offense was lacking behind Bryan Reynolds and Rowdy Tellez, and the bullpen was struggling even before David Bednar landed on the IL. The back end of the Pirates ‘pen actually looked quite good, as Aroldis Chapman found his groove and Colin Holderman continued to shine, but overall, Pirates relievers posted a 4.67 ERA on the month (24th in MLB).

19. Washington Nationals (Prev. Ranking: 23)

June Record: 13-14

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The Nationals won the World Series in 2019. Then, from 2020-23, they were the worst team in baseball. Now, things are finally looking up for the Nationals. Need proof? Last year’s World Series champions are literally looking up at them from one spot below on the power rankings.

It’s still hard to imagine the Nationals as serious contenders this year, but they’re hanging on in the postseason race. Star shortstop CJ Abrams just had the best month of his career, and MacKenzie Gore continues to prove he’s a top-of-the-rotation arm (despite a couple of rough outings in June).

If top prospect James Wood hits the ground running in his first taste of MLB action, the Nationals might just make things interesting in the Wild Card race for longer than anyone anticipated.

20. Texas Rangers (Prev. Ranking: 17)

June Record: 11-16

The Rangers haven’t looked like the team that won the World Series last fall at all this year. June was another difficult month in Arlington, as the defending champs finished second-last in the AL with an 87 wRC+.

Texas is waiting on reinforcements for the pitching staff, which should help in the second half. However, this team’s biggest problem right now is the offense. Breakout sensation Josh Smith and rookie Wyatt Langford were the only consistent offensive contributors in June.

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The Rangers need more from Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, and Adolis García if they’re going to have any chance of getting back in the postseason race.

The 10 Worst Teams in Major League Baseball Right Now

The bottom 10 has four new additions: The Blue Jays continued to disappoint in June, falling from No. 20 to No. 24, while the Giants, Cubs, and Tigers tumbled down the power rankings after poor performances over the past month.

Meanwhile, the bottom five teams are exactly who you’d expect them to be. The Angels, Marlins, Athletics, Rockies, and White Sox are the five worst teams in baseball and the only guaranteed sellers ahead of the fast-approaching July 30 trade deadline.

21. Cincinnati Reds (Prev. Ranking: 24)

June Record: 14-13

The Reds are on the upswing after a terrible month of May (9-18), but they still have some catching up to do in the NL Wild Card race.

Cincinnati’s pitching staff has been solid all year; they have a 3.86 ERA (in a hitter-friendly home stadium) that ranks 11th in MLB. The offense, however, has only just started to heat up. Jonathan India went on a tear in June, while Jeimer Candelario and Elly De La Cruz also got hot. If a few more of their hitters start swinging the bat well (ex. Noelvi Marte, Will Benson, Jake Fraley), the Reds – who have the sixth-best run differential (+16) in the NL – could poke their heads back into the Wild Card picture.

22. San Francisco Giants (Prev. Ranking: 12)

June Record: 12-15

No team dropped farther down the power rankings than the Giants, who tumbled 10 spots after a hard-luck, injury-filled month. Reigning NL Cy Young winner Blake Snell has been out since his start on June 2. Jung Hoo Lee underwent season-ending surgery on June 4 (he’s been out since mid-May). Kyle Harrison, Keaton Winn, Mike Yastrzemski, Thairo Estrada, and Wilmer Flores also hit the IL in June.

In addition to all the injuries, the Giants suffered some bad luck in the box score this past month. Their pitchers ranked among the top three NL teams in xFIP and SIERA, but their 4.81 ERA ranked third-worst in the league. That likely had something to do with an unsustainably high .330 BABIP and an unsustainably low 67.8% LOB%.

Thus, despite their 113 wRC+ and 4.85 runs scored per game in June, the Giants were outscored by their opponents (-6 run differential) and finished with a losing record. They’re still in the Wild Card race, but they need to do a better job keeping runs off the board.

23. Chicago Cubs (Prev. Ranking: 14)

June Record: 11-16

On paper, the Cubs seem like they should be competing with the Brewers for the NL Central crown. Yet, after two dreadful months in a row, they now sit dead last in their division.

Starting pitching remains a relative strength for this team. Justin Steele returned from the IL and pitched a dominant month of June, just as Shota Imanaga finally started to show signs of weakness. Unfortunately, the Cubs could hardly score a run to save their lives this past month; among NL clubs, only the Marlins crossed the plate less often.

The Cubs are a better team than their record suggests. But, are they so much better that they can escape the deep hole they’ve dug themselves into? I’m not so sure.

24. Toronto Blue Jays (Prev. Ranking: 20)

June Record: 11-16

The Blue Jays made the top 10 on our Opening Day power rankings. They fell to the middle of the pack in May and June, and now, after three months of mediocrity, we had to drop them into the bottom 10. As Toronto continues to flounder on both sides of the ball, it’s getting harder and harder to see this team getting back into contention before the trade deadline.

The Blue Jays ranked third-last in the AL with a 4.69 ERA and 4.78 FIP in June. The bats were more productive, although their 98 wRC+ was still below league average. Toronto also ranked third-last in the AL in baserunning value (per FanGraphs).

On the bright side, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. tore the cover off the ball in June, hitting eight home runs and seven doubles, en route to a 172 wRC+. Unfortunately, fellow stars Bo Bichette and Kevin Gausman aren’t living up to their end of the arrangement, and closer Jordan Romano has been on the IL since May.

25. Detroit Tigers (Prev. Ranking: 16)

June Record: 10-17

The Tigers all but fell out of contention with a terrible showing in June. Their pitching staff, led by Tarik Skubal, Jack Flaherty, and Casey Mize, still looks quite good. The offense, however, finished the month with the worst marks in the AL in all three triple-slash categories.

With Kerry Carpenter on the IL since late May, Riley Greene has been the only productive bat in the Tigers’ lineup. Backup catcher Carson Kelly and utility infielder Andy Ibáñez provided some timely hits, but none of the 12 other players to take an at-bat for the Tigers in June had a wRC+ above 84.

The Tigers are now eight games out of a Wild Card spot and 15 games back in the AL Central.

26. Los Angeles Angels (Prev. Ranking: 28)

June Record: 15-11

The Angels are a tier above the four worst teams in the league, and they’re going to get better when Mike Trout returns from a knee injury at the end of July. Still, despite an impressive 15-11 showing in June, no one is mistaking the Angels for contenders.

Looking up and down the lineup, the rotation, and the bullpen, there are very few names to get excited about on the Angels roster – catcher Logan O’Hoppe might be the lone exception. Closer Carlos Estévez was lights-out in June (10.0 IP, 8 SV, 0.00 ERA), but that just means it’s far more likely he’ll be traded to a contender by this time next month.

27. Miami Marlins (Prev. Ranking: 26)

June Record: 9-17

The Marlins suffered even more pitching injuries in June; it’s gotten to a point where they have a postseason-caliber rotation on the injured list (Sandy Alcantara, Eury Pérez, Jesús Luzardo, Braxton Garrett, Edward Cabrera, Ryan Weathers) and a Triple-A-caliber rotation on the major league roster.

Combine that with an offense that put up a league-worst 65 wRC+ in June (the next-worst was 75), and you can see why the Marlins are one of the worst teams in baseball.

Closer Tanner Scott was arguably Miami’s only good player last month (13.0 IP, 5 SV, 1.38 ERA), all but guaranteeing that he’ll be shipped off ahead of the July 30 trade deadline.

28. Oakland Athletics (Prev. Ranking: 25)

June Record: 7-20

After a surprisingly not terrible start to the season, the Athletics are back down where they belong. The Athletics have the second-worst record and the second-worst run differential in the American League. Brent Rooker and JJ Bleday are still having strong seasons, but both looked mediocre in June after terrific performances in May.

On the bright side, Mason Miller is still a stud, and Zack Gelof is heating up after a slow start.

29. Colorado Rockies (Prev. Ranking: 27)

June Record: 7-20

The only redeeming thing to say about the Rockies is that they aren’t the White Sox.

The talented infield duo of Ezequiel Tovar and Ryan McMahon looked uninspiring in June. Brendan Rodgers, who spent half the month on the IL, was probably the team’s best player. Austin Gomber and Cal Quantrill regressed after terrific performances in May. Top prospect Adael Amador was utterly overmatched against MLB pitching before suffering an oblique strain and landing on the IL.

It’s just a whole lot of blah all around.

30. Chicago White Sox (Prev. Ranking: 29)

June Record: 9-19

I’m running out of ways to describe how poorly the White Sox have played this season. All I can say is that I shudder to think how bad they’ll be down the stretch after they trade away their only decent players at the deadline. They deserve to continue dropping down the power rankings, but they have no further to fall.