May 22, 2024

MLB Power Rankings: Countdown to the 2024 Season

As players gear up for spring training, the anticipation builds for the upcoming MLB season. While some high-profile free agents remain unsigned, let’s dive into our early rankings for the 2024 season.

Our expert panel, including ESPN MLB analysts David Schoenfield, Buster Olney, Jesse Rogers, and Alden Gonzalez, has assessed each team based on off-season moves and 2023 performance.

1. Los Angeles Dodgers
Final 2023 regular-season ranking: 3
The Dodgers’ off-season has been a dream, securing transformative players like Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto. However, concerns linger around their pitching rotation’s health and untested talents. – Gonzalez

Yoshinobu Yamamoto joins the Los Angeles Dodgers

2. Atlanta Braves
Final 2023 regular-season ranking: 1
With last season’s powerhouse lineup intact, the Braves made intriguing moves, acquiring Jarred Kelenic and Chris Sale. Sale’s durability and Kelenic’s potential impact are key considerations. – Schoenfield

3. Houston Astros
Final 2023 regular-season ranking: 9
Houston, a perennial ALCS contender, strengthened with Josh Hader. The team’s success may hinge on Framber Valdez rediscovering form, crucial for a deep postseason run. – Olney

4. Texas Rangers
Final 2023 regular-season ranking: 5
The Rangers, guided by agent Scott Boras, may witness a reunion with Jordan Montgomery. Their potential to contend rests on effective moves and the return of Jacob deGrom from injury. – Rogers

5. Baltimore Orioles
Final 2023 regular-season ranking: 2
Baltimore, now bolstered by ace Corbin Burnes, presents a more complete team in 2024. The promise of Jackson Holliday’s impact adds to the Orioles’ optimism. – Olney

6. Philadelphia Phillies
Final 2023 regular-season ranking: 6
Beyond re-signing Aaron Nola, the Phillies had a relatively quiet off-season, leaving them with questions in the bullpen and outfield. The gap with the Braves remains to be bridged. – Schoenfield

7. New York Yankees
Final 2023 regular-season ranking: 16
Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s absence poses rotation uncertainties for the Yankees. Owner Hal Steinbrenner’s plan hit roadblocks, highlighting concerns about depth and potential late additions. – Olney

8. Tampa Bay Rays
Final 2023 regular-season ranking: 4
Wander Franco’s status and legal issues cast uncertainty on the Rays’ offensive prowess. Can they replicate their 2023 production without him, especially in a competitive AL East? – Olney

9. Arizona Diamondbacks
Final 2023 regular-season ranking: 12
Responding to their World Series run, the Diamondbacks solidified their roster with additions like Eduardo Rodriguez. Their capability to challenge the Dodgers again remains a significant question. – Gonzalez

10. Toronto Blue Jays
Final 2023 regular-season ranking: 8
Despite boasting a formidable rotation, Toronto struggled offensively in 2023. The addition of Justin Turner aims to address this, but the mystery lies in how the lineup will improve overall. – Olney

11. Seattle Mariners
Final 2023 regular-season ranking: 11
Jerry Dipoto’s unconventional approach to team building has brought in new faces, but the Mariners face challenges in bullpen depth and the need for bounce-back performances from key players. – Schoenfield

12. Chicago Cubs
Final 2023 regular-season ranking: 13
The Cubs face uncertainties with Cody Bellinger and Matt Chapman, and their strong farm system might play a crucial role. The resolution of this situation will impact their competitiveness. – Rogers

13. Milwaukee Brewers
Final 2023 regular-season ranking: 7
Milwaukee’s transition phase raises questions about their ability to contend, especially with key losses in their pitching staff. Rhys Hoskins’ impact is crucial, but the team lacks depth. – Rogers

14. Cincinnati Reds
Final 2023 regular-season ranking: 15
Cincinnati swiftly addressed pitching needs in the off-season, creating a surplus. The Reds, with a healthy team, could surprise in a wide-open division, provided they maintain their roster’s balance. – Rogers

15. Minnesota Twins
Final 2023 regular-season ranking: 10
The Twins, affected by financial constraints, face challenges in upgrading their roster. Their success hinges on core players staying healthy, especially considering the loss of ace Sonny Gray. – Olney

16. San Diego Padres
Final 2023 regular-season ranking: 17
Facing financial constraints, the Padres made calculated moves, losing key players. Their outfield and pitching staff need reinforcement, and trade opportunities may be crucial for their success. – Gonzalez

17. Boston Red Sox
Final 2023 regular-season ranking: 19
Despite Theo Epstein’s historic success, the Red Sox need significant improvements in both offense and pitching. The uncertainty surrounding manager Alex Cora’s extension adds to the team’s offseason intrigue. – Olney

18. New York Mets
Final 2023 regular-season ranking: 22
The Mets’ off-season pivoted after missing out on Yamamoto, resulting in secondary and tertiary signings. The team relies on bounce-back performances and improvements from both established and younger players. – Schoenfield

19. St. Louis Cardinals
Final 2023 regular-season ranking: 25
Filling roster holes with experienced players, the Cardinals balance age with young talent. The performance of starters Kyle Gibson and Lance Lynn will determine the team’s competitiveness. – Rogers

20. Detroit Tigers
Final 2023 regular-season ranking: 21
The Tigers show promise, but consistent offense remains a challenge. Young talents like Riley Greene and experienced players like Javy Baez need to generate more runs for Detroit to climb in the standings. – Olney

21. Cleveland Guardians
Final 2023 regular-season ranking: 20
While the Guardians boast a young, promising rotation, concerns loom over their power-hitting outfield. Acquiring Estevan Florial may address this, but offensive production is still a major question mark. – Schoenfield

22. San Francisco Giants
Final 2023 regular-season ranking: 18
The Giants face pitching concerns with injuries and the conversion of relievers to starters. Offensive gaps persist even after signings, putting pressure on existing players to step up for a successful season. – Gonzalez

23. Miami Marlins
Final 2023 regular-season ranking: 14
The Marlins, despite making the playoffs in 2023, had a subdued off-season. Evaluative moves hint at a cautious approach, with the team awaiting Sandy Alcantara’s recovery and grappling with a weak farm system. – Schoenfield

24. Pittsburgh Pirates
Final 2023 regular-season ranking: 23
Aside from the Aroldis Chapman signing, the Pirates maintain continuity, relying on their young talent to step up. Manager Derek Shelton’s motivational prowess may keep the team competitive through highs and lows. – Rogers

25. Los Angeles Angels
Final 2023 regular-season ranking: 24

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