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The Peanut Gallery's June MLB Power Rankings

There is a lot of movement in June's MLB Power Rankings, including a new #1 team in baseball.

There is a lot of movement in our June MLB Power Rankings.

Summer is here! We are just over the 1/3rd mark in the regular season, and it is about time to start checking the standings before we roll out of bed. We are starting to see teams come to form after a hot May, or hope that they thaw out after an ice-cold May with the summer heat. With more games logged on the season, we began to take strength of schedule, via, into consideration for how teams have performed to this point and how the rest of their season may shape out.

Here's the Peanut Gallery's June MLB Power Rankings:

30. Oakland A’s

May ranking: 30

The Oakland Athletics are an absolute disaster of a baseball team. This team is on pace to not only have the worst pitching staff in MLB history, but also finish with the worst record. I try to avoid giving this team any attention at all, not because of the players or fans, but simply because the front office is an overall gross representation of tanking to save money, and there is no real room for that in any professional league.

29. Kansas City Royals

May ranking: 29

KC is #29 in our June MLB Power Rankings, mostly due to underperforming young talent.

The Kansas City Royals have been one of my biggest disappointments in the 2023 season. Not because I expected them to show up and make a run at the playoffs, but I thought young stars Bobby Witt Jr. and M.J. Melendez would be All-Star caliber players this season, and that just doesn't seem to be the case. It also appears, with each growing day, that we are coming to the end of the Salvador Perez Era in Kansas City. He's the last man standing from their World Series title team from 2015.

28. Colorado Rockies

May ranking: 28

It is not that I believe that the 26 men on the Colorado Rockies make up the 28th best team in the league in 2023. In fact, there are a few players who I believe are either going to go on to have solid MLB careers or have already established themselves at the highest level. However, I punish this team a lot because their construction just does not completely add up. As I have mentioned before, the front office does not know what this team needs to be competitive, and for that, they are banished to the bottom tier of this list.

27. Washington Nationals

May ranking: 27

The Nationals hold at 27 on this list, but they are actually closer to where I thought the Royals would be at in this point in the season, in terms of prospect performance and progression. This team's window is a few years away, but there is at least watchable baseball in DC today.

26. Chicago White Sox

May ranking: 23

Lance Lynn and others have struggled, leading to a spot near the bottom of our MLB Power Rankings.

The Chicago White Sox are really being reprimanded for the production of the rest of the league. Fortunately, this team still is in the division race for the simple fact that they are in the worst division in baseball. However, I do not see this team being anything other than the disappointing squad we have grown accustomed to. At this point, I am more curious to see if/when they trade off some of their stars to contending teams as this season progresses. Very sad to think about where this team could have been over the past couple of years. The pieces just never seemed to come together.

25. Cincinnati Reds

May ranking: 25

My Reds analysis is about in the same place it has been since Opening Day; let the kids play and develop so that the future can be bright in a historic baseball town. We expect Elly De La Cruz to appear in early June when they return home, at which point they'll be much-watch baseball if you love the sport. Hunter Greene has taken a step back since the hot start to the season, but expect him and a few other young stars to continue to build as the season goes on.

24. Detroit Tigers

May ranking: 26

The Tigers keep climbing our power rankings in 2023. Not that I believe that this team is in playoff contention, or that they will even retain their best piece in Eduardo Rodriguez, who continues to pitch well this season. This team has a weak farm and I expect to see a few guys flipped as the season goes on, so that this new regime can get this team in order for the years to come.

23. Chicago Cubs

May ranking: 21

The Chicago Cubs are a below average baseball team. I said it. Sure, they have a few fun storylines as Dansby Swanson has put together another All-Star season to this point and the Marcus Stroman and Cody Bellinger career revivals have been extremely fun to watch play out. But even with those stars, Justin Steele and Christopher Morel breaking out, and Patrick Wisdom continuing to defy odds and be an above-average player, the Cubs still sit in last place in a division that lives in the bottom half of this list. The future is most definitely brighter for the Northside than the Southside, though.

22. San Francisco Giants

May ranking: 24

The Giants go into June with a .500 record with a bottom 5 pitching staff in the league. I have been very down on this team since the start of the season, and for good reason, but they are seemingly getting by with a hot offense. I see real potential to build something in San Fran, but it requires the front office to swallow their pride and make moves to sell guys at their highest values as we head to the trade deadline. I fully expect to see guys like Michael Conforto, Joc Pederson, Alex Cobb, and J.D. Davis moved by the deadline, and the Giants to get good pieces back for those names.

21. Cleveland Guardians

May ranking: 18

I have never seen a bottom tier offense that strikes out as little as the Cleveland Guardians do, let alone the worst offense in the league. The Guardians sit at the bottom of the league in a lot of stats at the plate in 2023, and yes, that means below the A’s. This team is in dire need of adding protection around Jose Ramirez, who has been underwhelming in 2023, before it is too late. They could make a move with the aforementioned San Francisco Giants for a Conforto or Pederson to get back on track, as their pitching depth runs deep through their minor league system and they need more bats yesterday.

20. Pittsburgh Pirates

May ranking: 20

Is the #20 in the MLB Power Rankings disrespectful to the Pirates?

When we rated the Pirates at 20 last month, it seemed like a controversial move because of how hot they were at the time. Since they've cooled off in a big way, we now have the opportunity to leave them at 20 since we did not overexaggerate the hype around the Bucs. The pitching has really slowed down and the offense looks closer to where most expected them to be this season. Even with one of the worst records in May, this team still holds its spot at 20 because of their hot start.

19. Philadelphia Phillies

May ranking: 17

This team just cannot get it going like most people expected coming into the 2023 season. After a World Series appearance, the Phillies had a lot of hype, especially after signing electric shortstop Trea Turner. Since then, they lost a key power piece in Rhys Hoskins and Turner has openly referred to his play as “sucking.” On top of the lineup woes, Zach Wheeler and Aaron Nola have not been the same 1-2 punch they were in the postseason in 2022, and the rest of the staff hasn't been up to par either. Even though it is a similar start to the one they had in 2022, if they do not turn it on soon, they are sure to be left in the dust.

18. Boston Red Sox

May ranking: 22

I am torn on what to think of this team. They are in what is arguably the best division in baseball and were projected to finish last. However, even after losing Adam Duvall, Garrett Whitlock being up and down, and still awaiting the arrival of Trevor Story, they have stayed afloat so far this season. Chris Sale has seemingly returned to ace form (although he's now banged up too) and Masataka Yoshida looks like a lock for AL Rookie of the Year. This team may be in competition for a Wild Card spot this season.

17. Miami Marlins

May ranking: 19

Young stars like Eury Perez are pushing the Marlins up the MLB Power Rankings.

The Marlins ended the month of May at 29-27, but with a weaker schedule over the first three series of June (OAK, KC, CHW), they could make a real push up the standings. Up until recently, the Marlins were in the top 10 in strength of schedule, yet maintained a record around .500, even after losing the hot bat of Jesus Sanchez and star player Jazz Chisholm Jr. Not to mention reigning Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara being one of the worst qualified pitchers in baseball through the first 2+ months of the season. I fully expect the starting rotation to make a turn for the better soon, which will make Miami a top-15 team in these rankings come July.

16. Los Angeles Angels

May ranking: 15

Are the Angels in the playoff conversation? I still cannot answer this question. They had a chance to close ground on a Wild Card spot after sweeping the Red Sox and going into a home series against the Marlins…then they got swept themselves. Ohtani’s mound presence, while still dominant, has taken a step back from where it started, and Mike Trout is having a below average season by his standards. It is really hard to move them up on this list when I expect three teams in that division alone to leave them in the dust by the end of July. Now is when the Halos really have to start taking calls on Shohei and work out a package that will completely change the future of this team.

15. St. Louis Cardinals

May ranking: 14

The Cardinals may have been the most disappointing team early in 2023 when it came to team expectations, but they have made strides to pull it together. My main concern is that it may be too late, being that they will likely have to win their division due to the competitiveness of the NL this year. I fully expect this team to be in the top 10 to finish the season, but they are going to have to have a monster summer in order to prove they are back in the running.

14. Seattle Mariners

May ranking: 11

Speaking of disappointing, the Seattle Mariners are next at 14. For a team that a lot of people had as World Series contenders, a 29-27 record does not scream that. J-Rod started off slow, Luis Castillo had a bad May, but the youngsters in this staff like Logan Gilbert, George Kirby, and Bryce Miller have been outstanding. They are some of the main reasons this team is over .500 going into June. I still expect Seattle to enter September competing for a playoff spot, but they are another team that is going to have to prove themselves over the summer months.

13. San Diego Padres

May ranking: 8

The Padres have to eventually climb the MLB Power Rankings, right?

San Diego was the hardest team to place in this ranking list; it feels as if they have too many stars to fall this far down. Juan Soto has returned to the Juan Soto who was speculated as a half-a-billion-dollar player before his trade to the Padres at the 2022 deadline. Fernando Tatis Jr. is back to being one of the brightest stars in the game. Once Machado makes his return, I see him returning to form as well. It is just hard to believe the Padres have been so bad. They are quickly fading away in the NL West.

12. Toronto Blue Jays

May ranking: 3

What happened to the Toronto Blue Jays? The Jays finished May with a 29-27 record, tied with the Red Sox for last place. I attribute this directly to the strength of schedule, as they have played the toughest schedule in the league to this point in the season. Alek Manoah has to turn it around for this team to be competitive for the rest of this season, as he went from one of the best pitchers in the league in 2022 to the WORST. Similar to Sandy, I see some regression to the mean coming as the season continues, but unlike Sandy, the underlying stats say I am wrong. He might just be bad right now.

11. New York Mets

May ranking: 6

The Mets are an outlier team when it comes to my rankings this month. Although they fell five spots in our rankings, it could be argued they should have fallen lower, as they sit at 29th in strength of schedule and have simply not performed to their level of expectations. However, I am seeing some progression in veteran Max Scherzer, who brought his ERA down to a solid 3.54 to end May. I also fully expect to see Verlander's stats return to a more Verlander-like form. The Mets could finally look like the team we expected them to be with a solid June.

10. Minnesota Twins

May ranking: 9

The Twins sat in neutral through the month of May, even with the loss of star shortstop Carlos Correa. Fortunately for Minnesota fans, the rest of this division is pathetic, to the point where they could play .500 ball for the rest of the season and likely still be the frontrunner come September. In fact, even though I do not believe the Twins are World Series contenders, mostly due to their lineup, the pitching staff is going to keep them afloat. From front to back I think this staff is top 5 in the league.

9. New York Yankees

May ranking: 12

Can Aaron Judge push the Yankees up the MLB Power Rankings this month?

Although I don't understand it, the Yankees are still winning games while putting one of the worst lineups night-in and night-out throughout May. Yet here they are at 34-24 and holding a 4-game advantage over Boston and Toronto for an AL Wild Card spot. All of this while Gerrit Cole, who carried the Yanks through April, was getting hit around in May. This team could get healthy and go on to test the Rays for the AL East title if they can win with what they were putting on the field in May.

8. Milwaukee Brewers

May ranking: 7

May was good enough to the Brewers to put them back in first place in the NL Central, even though they have another example of a pitcher who had a great 2022 only to take a step back in 2023: Corbin Burnes. Like Manoah and Alcantara, this is just another guy who I think is going to improve in the summer months. The real question is what the front office should do with one of the guys in this staff in order to add bats. They'll need it as they keep trying to fend off the Cardinals, who should start to heat up with the weather. Nevertheless, I like this team to be competitive to the end.

7. Houston Astros

May ranking: 4

The Astros falling on this list is more of a testament to the teams above them than themselves. If I could pinpoint the turnaround in Houston, it would be back on Wednesday, May 17th when they came back from down 6-0 against the Chicago Cubs and walked it off at 7-6. Yordan Alvarez has been borderline unstoppable at the plate, Jose Altuve has returned, and Houston is primed to finally make a run at the division.

6. Arizona Diamondbacks

May ranking: 13

The Diamondbacks are objectively the most electric team in the league through May. They ended May just half a game back of the Dodgers with a record of 33-23, and have continued to shoot up this list. They are a legitimate contender for not only a playoff spot, but for an NL West title. The Diamondbacks are fun, and if they continue this through June, the hype around this team is going to explode. Arizona will be one of the most talked-about teams in MLB.

5. Baltimore Orioles

May ranking: 10

The Orioles continue to shock the world. When they called Adley Rutschman up last year and started to win games in bunches, everyone just assumed it was a fluke and they'd eventually flounder. It never happened. This team's biggest flaw is their starting rotation, but it just has not mattered. The bullpen is untouchable and the offense has been electric, even with Gunnar Henderson playing below expectations. The Rays are doing what always seem to do, but Baltimore can legitimately make a run at in the AL East. I would not be shocked to see them take it. If the O's make a move for someone like Eduardo Rodriguez, they will be looking to win a World Series.

4. Texas Rangers

May ranking: 16

Putting the Rangers at 4 is purely compensation for leaving them so low for so long. I am not a believer in this team, and I may have to bite this in the future, but Texas has feasted on an easy schedule. I understand that good teams win those games, but I believe the fall back down to Earth for Dane Dunning and Nathan Eovaldi is going to be hard, and if Jacob deGrom does not see the mound soon, I would be genuinely concerned as a Rangers fan. The Rangers could become a glorified Boston Red Sox. In all honesty, I foresee them finishing behind both the Mariners and Astros, but for now, this is an apology for leaving them in the back half of the league for as long as I did.

3. Atlanta Braves

May ranking: 1

The Atlanta Braves took a step back in the month of May, but I still believe their talent is simply too good to stay average. The rotation has suffered a few injuries, but if those guys come back strong, the Braves could end the season with the best record in the NL. Ronald Acuna Jr. is slowing down, but no player could keep up the pace at which he was playing. Austin Riley, Ozzie Albies, and Matt Olson all continue to be great baseball players. As a Marlins fan, I hate the Braves, but if I had a ticket for the Braves to win the NL East, I'd be very happy.

2. Los Angeles Dodgers

May ranking: 5

We have stayed high on the Dodgers all season long, and rightfully so. The Dodgers had a slow start to the season, then in the blink of an eye were at the top of the NL West. LA still has Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urias, Will Smith, and plenty of other recognizable names. Even after losing a leader like Justin Turner and one of the best natural talents in the game in Trea Turner, guys like JD Martinez have really stepped up and been solid bats in this lineup.

1. Tampa Bay Rays

May ranking: 2

The Tampa Bay Rays finally make the top spot in our rankings. After starting 13-0, the Rays jumped out to a huge lead in the division that may make them untouchable for the rest of the season. They've withstood a few key losses in the rotation, as young guys like Taj Bradley have stepped into their role admirably. Getting Tyler Glasnow back is also huge for them right now. The Tampa Bay Rays have solidified themselves as the front runner for the 2023 World Series.

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1 Comment

Stephen Planas
Stephen Planas
Jun 03, 2023

Fuck Tampa.

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