2024 MLB Power Rankings To Begin May

After an eye-opening start to the 2024 MLB season, Just Baseball presents the first power rankings update of the year.

Marcell Ozuna #20, Ozzie Albies #1, Orlando Arcia #11, Reynaldo Lopez #40 and Austin Riley #27 of the Atlanta Braves celebrate after Riley hit a walk off single in the tenth inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Truist Park.
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 28: Marcell Ozuna #20, Ozzie Albies #1, Orlando Arcia #11, Reynaldo Lopez #40 and Austin Riley #27 of the Atlanta Braves celebrate after Riley hit a walk off single in the tenth inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Truist Park on April 28, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/Getty Images)

For the first time this season, we have turned the page of the calendar after an entire month of baseball. The sample size is starting to grow, and we are learning a lot about the landscape of Major League Baseball for the 2024 campaign.

On Opening Day, we released our first power rankings of the season, before having seen any teams (except for the Padres and Dodgers) play in 2024. Those evaluations were made by judging each team from last year, as well as factoring in the expected impact of offseason acquisitions.

Now, in our first regular season update, we find ourselves at a tough time of year to make a list ranking all 30 teams in baseball from top to bottom. How much do you factor in past performance or future projections to dictate where a team falls on the power rankings?

This is probably the most exciting update we will have all season, because new teams have burst onto the scene and gotten off to fantastic starts, like the Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers. Meanwhile, others who were projected to be great (we are looking at you, Astros) have failed to meet their lofty expectations.

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Any team can have a good month, just like any team can have a bad month. As the sample size grows, it becomes easier to forget what happened last year and believe more in what we are seeing this year.

Nevertheless, we ranked all 30 teams in baseball primarily based on what we have seen so far this season, while still not completely disregarding what we have learned from the past.

The Top 10 Best Teams in Baseball

We begin our power rankings by looking at the top 10 best teams in baseball today, May 1.

There are no surprises at the very top, with the Atlanta Braves coming in first, but you will surely notice the Cleveland Guardians have jumped 14 spots to reach the No. 2 spot on our list.

All four teams from No. 3 to No. 6 have maintained a place in the top 10 from the preseason. With that said, seeing the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies ahead of the Los Angels Dodgers and Baltimore Orioles qualifies as a bit of a surprise.

Looking at the bottom four of our top 10, the journey to the top was not so far for the Chicago Cubs, who were our highest-ranked NL Central team prior to the start of the season, coming in at No. 14. They climbed seven slots to reach well within our top 10.

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Meanwhile, the final three teams that round out our top 10 were slept on prior to the start of the season. They have now leapfrogged at least a dozen clubs to find themselves among the best teams in baseball.

1. Atlanta Braves (Prev. Ranking: 1)

Just like they were before the start of the season, and like they probably will be all year, the Atlanta Braves are the best team in baseball. Since our last rankings, they lost their ace, Spencer Strider, for the season, and yet it has not slowed them down one bit.

2. Cleveland Guardians (Prev. Ranking: 16)

The Cleveland Guardians entered the season in a period of transition, with longtime manager Terry Francona stepping down from the helm. Under rookie manager Stephen Vogt, the Guardians are one of the hottest teams in baseball to start the season, currently pacing what is suddenly a very competitive AL Central division.

3. New York Yankees (Prev. Ranking: 9)

With Gerrit Cole sidelined, there were a lot of questions as to how the Yankees would get out of the gate to start the season, but they have not struggled one bit up to this point. The re-emergence of Carlos Rodón and the addition of Marcus Stroman have fortified the top of their rotation, and Juan Soto has looked great so far in pinstripes.

4. Philadelphia Phillies (Prev. Ranking: 6)

Featuring the best rotation in baseball led by Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, and Ranger Suárez (who has taken another leap this year), the Phillies look like a very dangerous team. All offseason we hyped up the Braves and Dodgers as the two teams that stood above the rest in the National League, but the Phillies are proving they belong in that same tier.

5. Los Angeles Dodgers (Prev. Ranking: 2)

You have to wonder how many times this year the Dodgers will be ranked this low in the power rankings. They have dealt with a fair share of struggles to find consistency in their starting rotation and at the bottom of their lineup, yet having two MVP candidates in Mookie Betts and Shohei Ohtani covers a lot of those warts.

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It hasn’t been the best start for the Dodgers, but it’s hard to be too concerned either with all the talent that they have.

6. Baltimore Orioles (Prev. Ranking: 4)

Another team that could certainly rise to the top of these power rankings moving forward, the Baltimore Orioles have more depth than any team in baseball when you see what they have on their Triple-A roster in Norfolk. Only time will tell how all the pieces will eventually fit together, but the Orioles are going to be in the race all year with the talent they possess.

7. Chicago Cubs (Prev. Ranking: 14)

The Chicago Cubs have dealt with plenty of injuries to start the year, as they have lost their best pitcher (Justin Steele) and position player (Cody Bellinger) from last season due to injury. With that said, they continue to find ways to win, and Shota Imanaga has emerged as a new potential ace on the North Side of Chicago.

8. Milwaukee Brewers (Prev. Ranking: 21)

A team that we were admittedly way too low on in the preseason rankings, the Milwaukee Brewers continue to be a marvel as they remain competitive on a small budget. The addition of DL Hall to replace Corbin Burnes in the rotation has not produced great results so far, but the other big piece from that deal, Joey Ortiz, is off to a great start. Meanwhile, Freddy Peralta has emerged as an ace to fill Burnes’ shoes.

9. Kansas City Royals (Prev. Ranking: 24)

The highest riser on our rankings, the Kansas City Royals have climbed 15 slots from our preseason power rankings and find themselves all the way in the top 10!

With the addition of Seth Lugo and the bounce-back from Brady Singer, the Royals rotation looks formidable around ace Cole Ragans. Between getting great starting pitching, having an MVP candidate in Bobby Witt Jr. and seeing team captain Salvador Perez enjoy an early-season renaissance, the vibes are immaculate right now in Kansas City.

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10. Boston Red Sox (Prev. Ranking: 22)

There is not a baseball evaluator on this planet who would have pegged the Boston Red Sox to have the best rotation in the American League to start the season. Yet here we are.

Tanner Houck and Kutter Crawford have been absolutely fantastic to start the year, giving the Red Sox a pair of frontline starters who seem to have appeared out of thin air. Whether Boston can keep this up is another story, particularly with the barrage of injuries that has plagued the team already, but the Red Sox have played like a top-10 team in baseball up to this point.

Middle of the Pack (11-20)

Now that we have ventured past the top 10, you’ll find the teams who are currently somewhere in the middle. We still don’t know how good they will be this year.

For some teams, being this high up on the list represents a good start to the season; they have exceeded their modest expectations. The Detroit Tigers barely cracked our top 20 prior to the season but now find themselves knocking on the door of the top 10.

The Cincinnati Reds and New York Mets remain joined at the hip. They were ranked at No. 18 and 19, respectively, on the preseason list, and each moved up five spots, largely due to the teams that dropped below them. They each sit in third place in their respective divisions, behind two teams that find themselves in our top 10.

While it is way too early to look at Wild Card standings, the Mets and Reds are separated by one game in the win column right now, having the third and fourth-best records in the early race.

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Moving down the list, you will find both the Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks, who are each in a bit of a World Series hangover to start the season. They are joined by the Minnesota Twins, Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays as playoff teams from last year who have gotten off to a rough start.

11. Detroit Tigers (Prev. Ranking: 20)

The Detroit Tigers have won 17 of their first 30 games to start the season. This represents the exact inverse of what their record was at this time last year, as they had lost 17 of their first 30 in 2023.

We thought the Tigers might take a step toward contention this year, and so far, they have done so, thanks to a budding rotation and a lights-outs bullpen.

12. Seattle Mariners (Prev. Ranking: 8)

The Seattle Mariners have taken a quick detour out of the top 10, but their recent play suggests they will find themselves right back up there in the next update. After losing eight of their first 12 games, the Mariners have bounced back to win 13 of their last 18.

13. Cincinnati Reds (Prev. Ranking: 18)

The Cincinnati Reds have already been through it so far this year, having lost a ton of players due to injuries. Yet, they still find themselves sitting above .500 and only 2.5 games back of the Brewers for first place in the NL Central. The best is yet to come for the Reds if they can get their young stars healthy and back in the lineup.

14. New York Mets (Prev. Ranking: 19)

Nobody knew how the Mets would respond coming off their brutal 2023 season, but the early returns this year have been far better.

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The Mets started the season 0-5, then went on to win 12 of their next 15 games, earning five series victories in a row. While they have lost their last two series, the Mets have shown they can compete.

15. Texas Rangers (Prev. Ranking: 5)

It is not uncommon for the World Series champions to see a real decline in performance the following season. In fact, of the last 20 World Series winners, half have not made the playoff the following year. The Rangers are still expected to be a playoff team, but their early results have left a lot to be desired.

16. Minnesota Twins (Prev. Ranking: 12)

The Twins have turned things around after a poor start (they’ve won their last nine in a row), but their chances of winning the AL Central have taken a substantial hit since the beginning of the season. Carlos Correa’s return from the IL should help, as will the eventual returns of Jhoan Duran and Royce Lewis.

Still, this team has to prove it can win against tougher opponents than the White Sox and Angels.

17. Toronto Blue Jays (Prev. Ranking: 10)

The Blue Jays need more from their core players if they’re ever going to stop treading water in the AL East. Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Kevin Gausman, George Springer, Alejandro Kirk, and Chris Bassitt are all off to slow starts. At least some of those guys are bound to improve, right?

18. Tampa Bay Rays (Prev. Ranking: 11)

The Rays are down bad these days. How bad? They got swept by the White Sox last weekend. Yandy Díaz and Randy Arozarena are underperforming. Brandon Lowe is hurt (again). The bullpen has a 5.36 ERA. It’s not pretty.

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The only teams with a worse run differential than the Rays are the bottom-dwellers of the league: the Marlins, the Rockies, and, of course, the White Sox.

19. Arizona Diamondbacks (Prev. Ranking: 7)

The 2023 NL Champions haven’t had much of a victory lap; the Rockies are the only opponent they have a winning record against so far. However, their high run differential suggests the D-backs won’t be down for long, especially if Corbin Carroll busts out of his early-season sophomore slump.

20. San Diego Padres (Prev. Ranking: 13)

With Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado, and Xander Bogaerts at the top of the lineup and Dylan Cease, Joe Musgrove, and Yu Darvish leading the rotation, the Padres should be better than they are. This team could really use Juan Soto right now.

The 10 Worst Teams in Major League Baseball Right Now

There is no team that has been more of a surprise this year than the Houston Astros, and not for good reason. This is the same team that has made it to the ALCS in each of the last seven seasons; no one could have fathomed this level of a fall from grace.

The Astros dropped a massive 21 spots, moving from the top five at the start of the season to nearly the bottom five in this set of rankings. They are too talented to be this bad, but it is fair to wonder if they can dig themselves out of such a huge early hole.

21. San Francisco Giants (Prev. Ranking: 17)

The Giants added a ton of talent this offseason, but you wouldn’t know it from the way they’ve played so far. Their new bats have been underwhelming, as has Blake Snell, who recently landed on the IL with a left adductor strain. At least Jordan Hicks has been fantastic.  

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22. St. Louis Cardinals (Prev. Ranking: 15)

St. Louis has a losing record and the worst run differential in the NL Central. Again. This team still has plenty of talented players – both proven veterans and promising youngsters – but the Cardinals just can’t seem to put it all together.

23. Pittsburgh Pirates (Prev. Ranking: 23)

The Pirates have fallen off the pace since their hot start. The NL Central is up for grabs this year, but this team isn’t quite ready to compete. Maybe bringing up Paul Skenes would help…

24. Houston Astros (Prev. Ranking: 3)

Based on talent alone, the Astros should rank in the top five of this list. Yet, based on their performance to date, they should probably be in the bottom five instead. Perhaps their strong showing in Mexico was the beginning of a turnaround?

25. Washington Nationals (Prev. Ranking: 27)

The Nationals are still a bad team, but they aren’t quite as embarrassing as the clubs below them on this list. At least CJ Abrams, Luis García Jr., and MacKenzie Gore are giving fans something to root for.

26. Oakland Athletics (Prev. Ranking: 30)

The Oakland A’s are off to a 14-17 start. When that counts as a surprisingly successful first month, you know you’re dealing with one of the most pathetic organizations in the sport.

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

Mike Trout was doing everything he could to fill a Shohei Ohtani-sized hole in the Angels lineup, but his efforts were hardly enough. It’s difficult to imagine things getting much worse for the Angels, but Trout’s meniscus injury means things are going to get worse before they get better.

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28. Miami Marlins (Prev. Ranking: 25)

The Marlins made the playoffs last year. The Marlins made the playoffs last year. The only Marlins making the playoffs this year will be the ones traded to contenders at the deadline.

29. Colorado Rockies (Prev. Ranking: 29)

Nolan Jones was supposed to be the one saving grace for this Rockies team. Yet, even he is off to a dreadful start. That tells you everything you need to know about the way things are going in Colorado.

30. Chicago White Sox (Prev. Ranking: 28)

The White Sox set a new record for most losses by an AL team during the first month of the season (the Marlins set the same record in the NL). They’ve been terrible at the plate, on the mound, in the field, and on the bases. What more is there to say?