MLB Power Rankings 8.0 (Week of May 19): Phillies stay on top, Yankees make big move, Mets in limbo

Yankees Juan Soto
Juan Soto
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Our eighth MLB Power Rankings of the 2024 season sees the Yankees nipping at the Philadelphia Phillies’ heels for the top spot after an undefeated week powered by AL Player of the Week Aaron Judge.

But there is no joy in Metsville, as the Amazin’s sputter along following a frustrating week that saw their closer have one-too-many meltdowns.

Let’s get to it! 

2024 MLB Power Rankings 8.0

  1. Philadelphia Phillies (Previous #1): It’s always sunny in Philadelphia these days. Great pitching, great hitting, solid bullpen. They took care of business with 6 wins in 7 games against the Mets and Nationals. The Braves might finally have to settle for a wild card.
  2. New York Yankees (Previous #5): Seven wins in as many games for the Bronx Bombers have vaulted them not only atop the AL East but the American League as a whole. Luis Gil is turning into a valuable rotation piece with a 14-strikeout performance on Saturday against the lowly White Sox.
  3. Los Angeles Dodgers (Previous #3): The Dodgers are putting the pedal to the medal and opening up daylight in the NL West. Walker Buehler is looking more like his former self, hurling six shutout innings in his third start back from Tommy John surgery. The rich get richer.
  4. Baltimore Orioles (Previous #5): After splitting a pair against the Blue Jays, they took 2 of 3 from the AL West-leading Mariners and continue to show dynamic form. Gunnar Henderson is becoming one of the best hitters in the game today, and had a league-leading 15 home runs entering play Monday.
  5. Cleveland Guardians (Previous #11): Cleveland took 5 of 6 from the Rangers and Twins to assert themselves as the AL Central powerhouse, and looked good doing it — with solid hitting, pitching and new City Connect jerseys that harken back to the “Major League” movie franchise. “My kinda team, Charlie. It’s my kinda team.”

    Cleveland Guardians’ Jose Ramirez reacts after hitting a solo home run off Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Jhoan Duran during the eighth inning of a baseball game in Cleveland, Friday, May 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Phil Long)

  6. Atlanta Braves (Previous #4): The Braves continue to win with strong pitching despite absolutely dreadful numbers at the plate thus far from Ronald Acuña Jr., Matt Olsen, Ozzie Albies and Austin Riley. Now 5 games behind the Phillies for the NL East top spot, at some point, the pitching staff will not be able to overcome this lack of production.
  7. Kansas City Royals (Previous #8): The Royals are for real, and they’re not going anywhere in the AL Central week. Another 4-2 week has them right on the Guardians’ tail, with a strong offense led by Bobby Witt Jr. and the resurgent Salvador Perez, and a strong young pitching staff anchored by curveball specialist Seth Lugo. It will be a fun summer in KC. 
  8. Seattle Mariners (Previous #10): Despite a 3-3 week against the Royals and Orioles, the first-place Mariners opened up a little ground in the AL West standings. Their starting pitching staff is one of the best in the league, and if their offense can find some consistency, the Mariners have something special in the works.
  9. Milwaukee Brewers (Previous #6): The young Brewers continue to show the way in the AL Central, even after a 3-3 week against the Pirates and Astros. Their high-powered offense, led by William Contreras and Brice Turang, continues to find ways to overcome the flaws in their pitching staff.
  10. Chicago Cubs (Previous #9): Suddenly, the Cubs are dealing with a ton of injuries, including a depleted bullpen that has left only Mark Leiter Jr. and Hector Neris as their most reliable arms. Without question, the injury bug contributed to a lackluster week for the Cubbies, who dropped 5 of 7 to the Braves and Pirates.
  11. Tampa Bay Rays (Previous #16): The Rays made a move last week against division rivals, taking 5 of 7 from the Red Sox and Blue Jays to vault themselves into third place in the AL East. They likely won’t catch the Yankees or Orioles, but they’re firmly back in the Wild Card picture — the low payroll be damned yet again. 

    San Diego Padres pitcher Yu Darvish (11) works in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Sunday, May 19, 2024, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

  12. San Diego Padres (Previous #12): After getting inexplicably swept by the last-place Rockies, the Padres went out and took 3 of 4 against the second-place Braves. Pitching remains the key to the Padres’ success, and veteran Yu Darvish has a 25-inning scoreless streak going. Better days ahead for the Friars. 
  13. Minnesota Twins (Previous #7): Remember last week when we said the Twins were officially back? Yeah, about that… they got swept by the Yankees (again) and the Guardians to go 0-6 for the week. That’ll send any team tumbling down the leader board.
  14. Detroit Tigers (Previous #14): At some point, the Tigers are going to go on a run. Their pitching staff is one of the best in the game, in the top 10 in ERA, quality starts, WHIP and BAA. But their offensive woes drove them to a 3-3 week against the Diamondbacks and lowly Marlins.
  15. Texas Rangers (Previous #13): The Rangers dropped 4 of 6 to the Angels and Guardians last week, and fell back to the .500 mark. Forearm soreness for outfielder Adolis Garcia only adds to the injury woes for the defending world champs, who have an injury-depleted starting rotation. 
  16. Boston Red Sox (Previous #15): A rough week for Boston as they dropped 5 of 7 to the Rays and Cardinals. Rafael Devers, however, continues to shine, with homers in five straight games entering play Monday. 
  17. Arizona Diamondbacks (Previous #18): After a red-hot week, the Diamondbacks cooled off again with another .500 week — winning 2 of 3 from the Reds, then dropping 2 of 3 to the Tigers. 
  18. San Francisco Giants (Previous #19): Give the Giants credit; despite a number of critical injuries, including losing outfielder Jung Hoo Lee for the season, they don’t appear to be folding up their tent anytime soon. One reason is strong pitching, led by Jordan Hicks; the former Cardinals closer is doing fine as a starter for the Giants, with 40 strikeouts in 53 innings and a 2.38 ERA. 
  19. Houston Astros (Previous #25): Well, look who’s suddenly hot. The Astros took 6 of 7 this week, including a 4-game sweep of the A’s and 2 of 3 from the NL Central-leading Brewers. Kyle Tucker is carrying the lineup with 15 home runs and 33 RBI. All of a sudden, they sit in 3rd place in the AL West and four games back of first. Watch out.
  20. New York Mets (Previous #20): With apologies to Casey Stengel, the Mets find ways to lose that we’ve all seen from them before: Shoddy hitting and scoring, a starting pitching staff prone to full counts and walks, and soul-crushing blown saves by Edwin Díaz. The trumpets are off-tune in Flushing; here’s hoping Díaz is back on key soon. The Mets sorely need him.
  21. Washington Nationals (Previous #17): The Nationals got a serious dose of reality after being swept by the league-best Phillies, and slipped into fourth place behind the Mets on Sunday. 
  22. Toronto Blue Jays (Previous #22): More of the same problems for the Blue Jays this week in splitting a pair with the Orioles and losing 2 of 3 to the Rays — namely a lack of consistent offense. Alex Manoah broke out on Sunday, however, with a strong start in St. Petersburg to help the Jays avoid the sweep. 

    Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Paul Skenes delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs Friday, May 17, 2024, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  23. Pittsburgh Pirates (Previous #24): My goodness, Paul Skenes! At Wrigley Field Friday, Skenes no-hit the Cubs for six innings, struck out 11, and fanned his last hitter with his 100th pitch, a 100 mph fastball. Pirates fans have something to enjoy every fifth day this year. 
  24. St. Louis Cardinals (Previous #26): A good week for the Cardinals in which they won 4 of 6 from the Angels and Red Sox, and vaulted out of the NL Central cellar thanks to the even more incompetent play of the Cincinnati Reds. Could they finally be turning a corner? 
  25. Oakland Athletics (Previous #23): Eight straight losses, including a four-game sweep at the hands of the Astros, signal that the A’s promising start is over — and the cold, hard facts of a team whose future remains very much in flux are settling in.
  26. Cincinnati Reds (Previous #21): How can such a young, talented Reds team look so abysmal? A power outage at the plate. The Reds are 29th in batting average, 28th in on-base percentage and 26th in slugging percentage. If you can’t get on base and score runs, you are just not going to win.
  27. Colorado Rockies (Previous #27): They somehow swept the Padres to complete a seven-game winning streak, then went to San Francisco and got swept 3 straight by the injury-riddled Giants. Sigh.
  28. Miami Marlins (Previous #30): The Fish showed life this week in winning 4 of 6 from the Tigers and Mets. Jesus Luzardo had a strong start against the Amazin’s, which can only help his trade value. 
  29. Los Angeles Angels (Previous #29): A so-so week for the Halos, in which they took 2 of 3 from the Rangers, was overshadowed by news that former shortstop David Fletcher was implicated in the betting scandal that ensnared Shohei Ohtani’s former translator. 
  30. Chicago White Sox (Previous #28): Look who’s back at the bottom of the barrel. A lifeless shellacking by the Yankees proved yet again just how far below par the Southsiders are.