MLB Power Rankings 2023: 7 Weeks In, the Rays Are Still on Top

A lot has changed over the past few weeks, but one thing is the same: The Tampa Bay Rays look like the best team in baseball.

ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - JUNE 22: Wander Franco #5 of the Tampa Bay Rays reacts after hitting a three-run home run during his Major League debut in the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field on June 22, 2021 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) Photo: Getty Images

What even are power rankings? Are power rankings supposed to set aside future projections, look at the standings, and rank teams based on record? A monkey with a typewriter could accomplish that. You didn’t arrive here for that, and I don’t plan on wasting your time. Power rankings should be 85% of what you have done and 15% looking into the future. Power rankings change as the season progresses, so you’ll see them routinely updated on

I don’t want to hear, “But this team has a better record!”. Just save it; these are how I would rank the 30 MLB teams right now while also giving some credit to teams who I think will bounce back.

Remember 2020? At this point, teams were looking to see who would make the playoffs. José Abreu won an MVP, the Marlins made the playoffs, and the A’s won the division. Thankfully, we are back to a 162-game schedule. Thursday, May 18, marked the seven-week mark of the 2023 MLB season. Every team has played about 45 games, and we are starting to see who the real juggernauts are.

Check out our power rankings 20 games in. You’ll see how each team has risen or fallen in this edition of power rankings.

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All stats through games on Thursday, May 18.

1. Tampa Bay Rays (+0)

Record: 32-12, Run Differential: +122, First Place in AL East

TAMPA, FL – MARCH 30: Wander Franco #5 of the Tampa Bay Rays rounds the bases after hitting a home run in the eighth inning during the game between the Detroit Tigers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on Thursday, March 30, 2023 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

This team has lost two fantastic starting pitchers in Drew Rasmussen and Jeffrey Springs, and they haven’t missed a beat. They continue to roll with bullpen games, and they keep winning. They rank number one in wRC+ and OPS as an offense. They rank number one in starter ERA. They are the best team in baseball.

2. Atlanta Braves (+0)

Record: 27-16, Run Differential: +62, First Place in NL East

The Braves have also dealt with injuries to their starting rotation in Max Fried and Kyle Wright, but it doesn’t matter. Bryce Elder has stepped up in a huge way, and Charlie Morton defies father time. They rank number three in starter ERA and number four in strikeout rate. Sean Murphy has been the best catcher in baseball, and Ronald Acuña Jr has been the MVP so far, leading to the second-best OPS and wRC+ in the league.

3. Los Angeles Dodgers (+5)

Record: 28-16, Run Differential:+57, First Place in NL West

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When we thought the Dodgers were finally falling back to earth, they rattle off 11 wins in a 14-game span in May so far. James Outman is leading the NL Rookie of the Year race, and Max Muncy is leading the league in home runs. Also, Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, and Julio Urías are on this team. It’s still the Dodgers. They will probably win 100 games again.

4. Texas Rangers (+5)

Record: 26-17 Run Differential: +87, First Place in AL West

How can they be any lower than four? They rank fourth in OPS. They rank fourth in starter ERA. The bullpen has been the issue for this team, as they have been routinely winning until late but suffering some tough losses on the back of that bullpen. The great thing about the Rangers is they typically beat you to a pulp, so the bullpen doesn’t matter. They have done all this without Corey Seager for a solid chunk of the season.

5. Baltimore Orioles (+12)

Record: 28-15, Run Differential: +32, Second Place in AL East

Yennier Cano hasn’t allowed a run yet. YENNIER CANO HAS NOT ALLOWED A RUN YET. The bullpen is the best in baseball right now, ranking first in bullpen ERA. The Orioles also feature a top-ten offense, and that’s with the early struggles from Gunnar Henderson. The rotation is the issue, but it’s not all bad. Kyle Bradish improves start over start. Grayson Rodriguez will be better with more starts under his belt. Tyler Wells is flat-out good, and John Means will return soon.

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – APRIL 11: Ryan Mountcastle #6 of the Baltimore Orioles celebrates with teammates after hitting a Grand Slam in the seventh inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 11, 2023 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

6. Minnesota Twins (+1)

Record: 24-20, Run Differential: +42, First Place in AL Central

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The Minnesota Twins, who are usually led by an onslaught of home runs, might have the best pitching staff in the league. Both Sonny Gray and Joe Ryan are in the hunt for American League Cy Young. They are the only team who can say they have two front-runners. They are number two in starter ERA and number one in WHIP. The offense and bullpen have been around league average, but they’re stacked with top-heavy talent.

7. Houston Astros (-2)

Record: 24-19, Run Differential: +31, Second Place in AL West

Enjoy this time now, Astros haters. This is probably the worst they will play all season, and they still come in at seven. They are still missing Jose Altuve, Michael Brantley, and Lance McCullers Jr. Injuries to the rotation have hurt, but the emergence of Hunter Brown is a sight to see. The bullpen is third in ERA, and the rotation is fifth. Just wait; the offense is about to heat up.

8. Toronto Blue Jays (+3)

Record: 25-18, Run Differential: +19, Third Place in AL East

I would argue the Blue Jays aren’t playing their best baseball right now, and they still come in at eighth. They are in the top ten in basically every facet of the game. While Chris Bassitt and Yusei Kikuchi are overperforming based on peripherals, you can say the same about George Springer and Daulton Varsho underperforming. No shade, but I think the biggest weakness is their manager.

9. New York Yankees (-5)

Record: 25-20, Run Differential: +19, Fourth Place in AL East

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The Yankees are getting healthier and, therefore, finally winning games. They’ve played competitive series against the Rays and Blue Jays and looked to be hanging with them just fine. Harrison Bader is on a tear, and Gerrit Cole might be the best pitcher on earth right now. Anthony Volpe improves by the day, and Luis Severino returns on Sunday. They also feature one of baseball’s best bullpens, ranking fourth in ERA.

10. Arizona Diamondbacks (+8)

Record: 25-19, Run Differential: +16, Second Place in NL West

The Diamondbacks’ offense is legit. They rank fifth in baseball in OPS, and there is no real weak spot in the lineup. They are also one of baseball’s best defensive teams; the rule changes have assisted them more than any team. Zac Gallen is making his Cy Young case, and Merrill Kelly continues to do his thing. This is one of the most exciting young teams in the sport, and they are ahead of schedule.

Zac Gallen
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – SEPTEMBER 04: Zac Gallen #23 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers at Chase Field on September 04, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

11. Seattle Mariners (+2)

Record: 21-22, Run Differential: +19, Fourth Place in NL West

This might be a bit high for the Mariners right now, but from top to bottom, they are still one of the best teams in the league. Bryce Miller has a similar energy to Spencer Strider last year for the Braves, and George Kirby is establishing himself as one of the better pitchers in the league. The offense has been the big issue, but the bullpen is as elite as they come. Expect a big second half from Seattle.

12. Milwaukee Brewers (-6)

Record: 24-19, Run Differential: +1, First Place in NL Central

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The Brewers have taken advantage of a weak NL Central, but that doesn’t mean they move into the top ten. They rank 20th in OPS, 12th in starter ERA, and 17th in bullpen ERA. That said, they are still winning games and deserve to be here. The young guys have tapered off a bit, but we should see strong second halves from them as they adjust back. Losing Brandon Woodruff certainly hurts, but they’ll be competitive all season long… unless they sell at the deadline.

13. Los Angeles Angels (+7)

Record: 22-22, Run Differential: +7, Third Place in AL West

Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout are on the same team, but that sentence may not last longer than this year unless they start winning consistently. They rank 10th in OPS as an offense, and the bullpen has been a bright spot, ranking 8th in ERA. The problem has been the rotation, ranking 22nd in ERA. They are doing fine but need to kick it up a notch to entice Ohtani to stay.

14. Boston Red Sox (+5)

Record: 24-20, Run Differential: +16, Last Place in AL East

The offense has been incredible this season. They rank third in OPS. They are getting contributions from everyone, from Jarren Duran to Emmanuel Valdez. Masataka Yoshida has been a fantastic addition so far, and Alex Verdugo has been on fire this year. The problem is pitching, as they rank 28th in starter ERA and 18th in bullpen ERA.

15. Chicago Cubs (+1)

Record: 19-24, Run Differential: +22, Third Place in NL Central

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The Cubs have been playing better than their record would indicate, as shown by their run differential. The offense and starting pitching have both been top ten in most stats. The issue has been the bullpen, ranking 25th in ERA.

Seiya Suzuki
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – OCTOBER 01: Seiya Suzuki #27 and Christopher Morel #5 of the Chicago Cubs laugh in the dugout during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field on October 01, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

16. New York Mets (-13)

Record: 21-23, Run Differential: -18, Third Place in NL East

The Mets have a payroll way over $300M, a record in Major League Baseball history. For the way they have played thus far, they deserve major criticism. That said, they have been pretty unlucky with injuries. This team will still be in the playoff hunt, but with how they have performed so far, they can’t be higher than this.

17. San Diego Padres (-7)

Record: 20-24, Run Differential: -8, Fourth Place in NL West

Similar to the Mets, the Padres shouldn’t be here. But check this:

Enough said.

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18. St. Louis Cardinals (-3)

Record: 18-26, Run Differential: +9, Last Place in the NL Central

Cardinals fans were booing this team recently, something you rarely see. It was for good reason; this team looked lifeless. They are slowly turning it around, but the rotation is still a major issue. Matthew Liberatore should help with that, but the problem remains. The offense and defense are still elite. No way they stay this low the whole season… right?

19. Pittsburgh Pirates (+2)

Record: 23-20, Run Differential:+13, Second Place in NL Central

The Pirates are here out of respect for the incredible start they went on. Looking at how they’ve performed lately, they’d be much lower. This is a fun team, but the reality is they aren’t built to win now. They’ve gotten great contributions from veterans so far, but in the dog days of August, I have trouble seeing that continuing. It’s not even continuing right now.

20. San Francisco Giants (+2)

Record: 20-23, Run Differential: -20, Third Place in NL West

I don’t have much to say about the Giants. They are a veteran team with some nice pieces, but they will likely trade away those pieces at the deadline. The starting pitching has been very good, ranking sixth in ERA. That’s about it, though, as this team should finish in fourth in the West.

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21. Philadelphia Phillies (-7)

Record: 20-23, Run Differential: -29, Fourth Place in NL East

The Phillies look to be the same as last year. Relatively mediocre in the regular season, they sneak into the playoffs at the last second, then go on to win the National League pennant. I’m not predicting that, but I think we all can see it. When they are hot, they are so tough to beat. When they are cold, they are COLD.

Bryce Harper
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – OCTOBER 23: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a two run home run during the eighth inning against the San Diego Padres in game five of the National League Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 23, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

22. Miami Marlins (+2)

Record: 22-21, Run Differential: -54, Second Place in NL East

They are the luckiest team in baseball. They are 14-1 in one-run games, which shows up in the run differential. They were one of baseball’s unluckiest teams last year, so regression shows up in droves. Eury Perez looks like another Sandy Alcantara, so we should see them continue to dominate on the mound. We need to see much more from the offense and defense to rank them any higher.

23. Cleveland Guardians (-11)

Record: 19-23, Run Differential: -33, Third Place in AL Central

This team cannot hit. They rank 29th in OPS as an offense. They don’t appear to have the same magic that they did last season, which has them falling in these rankings. I believe they’ll get hot soon, but we are still waiting for that to happen.

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24. Detroit Tigers (+2)

Record: 19-22, Run Differential: -48, Second Place in AL Central

This is one of the more exciting teams in the league’s bottom half. Eduardo Rodriguez has been unbelievable on the mound this year, and they have plenty of walk-off wins. The issue is that they are the worst offense in Major League Baseball, ranking 30th in OPS.

25. Chicago White Sox (-2)

Record: 16-28, Run Differential: -61, Fourth Place in AL Central

Talk about a disaster. The Chicago White Sox have all the talent to be great, but nothing clicks. Dylan Cease has taken a major step back, and nobody else in the rotation has filled those shoes. The offense has been lackluster, and the defense has been dreadful. Luis Robert Jr. has been on fire in May, so that’s something positive.

Luis Robert Jr and Yoan Moncada
TORONTO, ON – AUGUST 24: Luis Robert #88 and Yoan Moncada #10 of the Chicago White Sox celebrate at home plate after Jose Abreu #79 hit them in on a three run home run in the first inning of their MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on August 24, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)

26. Washington Nationals (+2)

Record: 18-25, Run Differential: –22, Last Place in NL East

The Nationals sit at 26th, but they truly aren’t that bad. This is a rebuilding year after dealing Juan Soto, but McKenzie Gore and Josiah Gray have been excellent in the rotation. They aren’t nearly as bad as I thought, and they are an entertaining watch.

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27. Colorado Rockies (+0)

Record: 19-25, Run Differential: -25, Last Place in NL West

Kyle Freeland, Elias Díaz, Kris Bryant, and Charlie Blackmon (sometimes). That’s the list of Rockies players that have been impressive.

28. Cincinnati Reds (-3)

Record: 19-24, Run Differential: -33, Fourth Place in NL Central

The trio of Hunter Greene, Graham Ashcraft, and Nick Lodolo has been underwhelming to this point. Lodolo is on the IL, and Greene and Ashcraft have ERAs over 4.50. The Reds have plenty of young talent, but the window hasn’t opened yet.

29. Kansas City Royals (+0)

Record: 14-31, Run Differential: -62, Last Place in AL Central

The offense is great in spurts, but it’s not as consistent as we hoped. Brady Singer has been the biggest disappointment, but plenty of others are to blame.

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30. Oakland Athletics (+0)

Record: 10-35, Run Differential: -161, Last Place in AL West

Esteury Ruiz leads the league in steals. Brent Rooker has an OPS over 1.000. Ryan Noda looks like a talented rookie. That’s about it.

Ryan Noda
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – MAY 16: Ryan Noda #49 of the Oakland Athletics rounds the bases after hitting a grand slam in the bottom of the seventh inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at RingCentral Coliseum on May 16, 2023 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)