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2023 Vendetta MLB Power Rankings: June

MLB Rankings
(Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports)

2023 Vendetta MLB Power Rankings: June

We’re now one-third of the way through the 2023 MLB season, and it’s that time of the month — June power ranking time! Here were our power rankings in May, and there’s been plenty of change of who’s hot and who’s cold — collectively and individually. Without further ado, let’s hop into this month’s power rankings! (Tie goes to the team with the best W-L record, followed by best run differential).

30. Oakland Athletics

Last month: 30

Average: 30.0

(Matt Hanifan 30, Julian Casciano 30, Andrew McGuinness 30, Jack Sabin 30)

Skinny: The Athletics come in last for this month’s MLB power rankings and it’s not crazy to see why. They’re bad — really bad! So bad that they’ve only won four games since May 6. At least they took a series over the vaunted Atlanta Braves? They at least compete at the dish, but don’t have the firepower, defense or pitching to withstand it. It’s been another rough year for the green-and-gold.

29. Kansas City Royals

Last month: 29

Average: 28.7

(Matt 29, Julian 29, Andrew 28, Jack 29)

Skinny: The Royals were able to get 5.2 innings of shutout ball from Brady Singer Sunday in a 2-0 win over the Rockies. After ending the season strong, Singer has not found his groove in 2023, but maybe this is a sign of a turnaround after allowing two or fewer runs in four of his last five starts (3.42 ERA, 3.40 FIP in that span). There’s not much youth to be too excited about, though they’ve gotten better production of late from Maikel Garcia, Michael Massey and Nick Pratto, who are 26-,  25- and 24-years-old, respectively. 

28. Washington Nationals

Last month: 26

Average: 27.7

(Matt 26, Julian 28, Andrew 29, Jack 26)

Skinny: Unsurprisingly, the Nationals find themselves in last place in the NL East, although the Phillies seem hell-bent on joining them there despite being ahead of them on this month’s rankings. They obviously are in a spot where they have to hope they have hit on some of their top prospects. James Wood continues to impress being promoted to Double-A at just age 20. While he has impressed, other top prospects like Robert Hassell and Cade Cavalli have struggled either adjusting or dealing with injuries. There is still time for them both, but the Nats need them to hit if they want this rebuild to go anymore. — Jack Sabin

27. Colorado Rockies

Last month: 28

Average: 27.0

(Matt 28, Julian 26, Andrew 27, Jack 28)

Skinny: Hey, at least the Rockies aren’t the worst team in the NL or MLB. A low bar yes but with this team I think you have to keep the bar as low as you can. I truly just don’t know what direction ownership is trying to go with this team. Their big signing Kris Bryant has been terrible of late going 4-35 at one point. This led to the Rockies losing eight of 13 and continuing their season of bad baseball. Not much else to cover here. — Sabin

26. Chicago White Sox

Last month: 27

Average: 26.0

(Matt 27, Julian 27, Andrew 24, Jack 27)

Skinny: After beginning the season 8-21 in March and April, the White Sox went 15-14 in May and are winners of three straight, though they’re still a bottom-five team in this month’s power rankings. The lineup — outside of Jake Burger and Luis Robert Jr. — has been subpar, but its pitching — specifically its bullpen — has been better. Dylan Cease still isn’t near where he was when he finished top-5 in the AL CY Young voting a year ago, but he’s pitched to a 3.25 ERA over his last five starts despite still having some control issues. The AL Central is still a tight race, so there’s no reason to lose hope in Chicago, yet. 

25. Detroit Tigers

Last month: 25

Average: 24.7

(Matt 23, Julian 23, Andrew 26, Jack 25)

Skinny: Hey, good for the Tigers. This team is playing near .500 ball, and won 16 games in the month of May. Javier Baez is at least playing every day and actually making some semblance of an impact, especially with the bat. It seems like that day in Toronto seemed to wake him up. Riley Greene has been the biggest welcome surprise in the lineup, a solid leadoff hitter with an OPS above .800, but he is out indefinitely with a stress fracture in his fibula. Eduardo Rodriguez had been setting the world on fire so far this season, but will miss a few starts with an IL stint. Now, the Tigers enter a difficult part of their schedule. If they can stay afloat during June, they could have a chance to compete for the incredibly weak AL Central later in the season. That’s a big “if”, though. — Julian Casciano

24. Cincinnati Reds

Last month: 22

Average: 24.7

(Matt 24, Julian 25, Andrew 25, Jack 24)

Skinny: Elly De La Cruz‘s call-up is here — MLB’s No. 4 prospect has an OPS over 1.000 in AAA, and it’s not like the Reds don’t have a need to play their youth. There are some intriguing signs from some under-26 Reds. Jonathan India is bouncing back, Hunter Greene is still flashing his scary-good upside and Spencer Steer has established himself as a quality regular. It’s probably not going to be enough to accomplish anything as a team this year. But every team needs hope, and the Reds have a fair amount of reasons for that.  — Andrew McGuinness

The Reds come in at No. 24 in our June MLB Power Rankings.

23. Chicago Cubs

Last month: 18

Average: 23.3

(Matt 22, Julian 24, Andrew 23, Jack 23)

Skinny: t was a rather rough month of May for the Cubs. They were swept by the Astros, who were getting hot, but it was at its worst when they were swept at home by the Reds. The pitching seemed to be at its all-time worst — giving up 25 runs in just three games against a struggling Reds team. They were able to salvage some dignity by taking a best-of-three series against the Rays. But aside from that, there hasn’t been a whole to get excited about. — Sabin

22. St. Louis Cardinals

Last month: 24

Average: 21.0

(Matt 25, Julian 21, Andrew 22, Jack 20)

Skinny: Jordan Walker is back, which at least gives Cardinals fans a rare reason to be optimistic this season. St. Louis deserves a better fate than its current record — no team has as big of a gap between its actual and expected record (which is based on run differential) as the Cardinals. Still, even if the Cardinals turn things around, it’s hard to see St. Louis making a deep postseason run given its lack of dependable pitching, especially in the rotation. — McGuinness

21. Cleveland Guardians

Last month: 21

Average: 20.0

(Matt 20, Julian 22, Andrew 16, Jack 22)

Skinny: The Cleveland Guardians have the worst offense in baseball, the biggest culprit of their 27-32 start. Perhaps the biggest sign of positivity is they have the AL’s lowest strikeout rate (19.0 K%), but are getting on-base at the fourth-worst clip (.301 OBP) with the worst isolated power (.116) and wRC+ (79) across MLB. They weren’t this poor offensively across the first 59 games last season, but there’s some reason for optimism to catch lightning in a bottle if their young pitching studs Tanner Bibee and Logan Allen continue performing. Oh, and Triston McKenzie pitched five shutout innings with 10 strikeouts in his first start back after beginning 2023 on the injured list. If their offense can string together a decent run, watch out.

20. Philadelphia Phillies

Last month: 17

Average: 20.0

(Matt 21, Julian 20, Andrew 19, Jack 21)

Skinny: They were 21-29 at the end of May last year, and we all know how that turned out. But that doesn’t mean the Phillies can count on a similar swing this season. The Phillies are in the bottom half of MLB in home runs and have struggled with runners in scoring position. They need to sustain the offensive outburst they showed and get more innings from their four established starters to navigate the road back once again. — McGuinness

19. San Francisco Giants

Last month: 23

Average: 18.7

(Matt 17, Julian 18, Andrew 21, Jack 17)

Skinny: Like last year, it just feels like the Giants are the definition of average, which is why they land No. 19 on this month’s power rankings. It might be even more frustrating this season, though, because this year’s team appears to be less than the sum of its parts. When most of their regular hitters have been healthy, they’ve been solid. They have three starters with an ERA+ over 120 and two at 150 or better. Camilo Doval and Tyler Rogers are a lockdown bullpen tandem. And yet the Giants are 29-30 with a plus-one run differential. Perfectly mediocre. — McGuinness

18. San Diego Padres

Last month: 15

Average: 18.3

(Matt 19, Julian 19, Andrew 18, Jack 18)

Skinny: The Padres have just continued to struggle and can’t seem to find their footing. Then just when it looked like they were Manny Machado went on the IL with a fracture in his left hand. This sent the Padres on a 5-8 spiral in which they simply couldn’t hit. But even since Machado’s return he has continued to struggle. He’s currently slashing .222/.275/.353 and will seriously need to step up if this Padres team wants to improve. Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr. are heating up but it’s looking like even more will be needed and soon. — Sabin

17. Pittsburgh Pirates

Last month: 4

Average: 16.7

(Matt 18, Julian 17, Andrew 14, Jack 19)

Skinny: After a showstopping April, reality began to arrive for the Pittsburgh Pirates. An 8-18 month is not preferable. Granted, they have had a really tough schedule in the month. In any event, Mitch Keller is an extremely good pitcher. The Pirates may have an ace on their hands for this season and beyond. Andrew McCutchen is proving to everyone that he should have never left Pittsburgh, because he simply plays better in the black and gold. 

The Pirates have pieces, but their roster just simply isn’t there yet. The future is exciting, though. I don’t think they’ll have enough juice to consistently win once the big dogs in the National League begin to wake up. But who knows, even after the dreadful May, they’re only a game out of first place in the NL Central! — Casciano

16. Boston Red Sox

Last month: 14

Average: 15.7

(Matt 16, Julian 15, Andrew 17, Jack 16)

Skinny: The Red Sox have regressed from their early 21-14 start, now a mid-30-30. The starting rotation is still mediocre despite signs of life from Chris Sale (before getting placed on the IL), James Paxton and phenom Brayan Bello. It doesn’t help the defense around the diamond has been atrocious; they have the third-fewest defensive runs saved and the fifth-fewest outs above average. Not great, Bob! Masataka Yoshida has surpassed expectations while Adam Duvall could be returning this week after his blistering start. But Boston, who’s last in the AL East, is still in the bottom half of this month’s power rankings and are 5.5 games out of the second AL wild-card spot.

The Red Sox are No. 16 in our June MLB Power Rankings.

15. Seattle Mariners

Last month: 20

Average: 15.0

(Matt 12, Julian 11, Andrew 20, Jack 14)

Skinny: The Mariners quietly had a nice month. This pitching staff is elite. The starters are to be feared. George Kirby, Luis Castillo, Logan Gilbert and others have all been solid. The staff has the third-best ERA in MLB. We knew this would be Seattle’s biggest strength in 2023. However, their lineup was slow in the month. It still quite hasn’t launched yet, with Julio Rodriguez being hot and cold, mostly cold throughout this early part of the season. I’m confident that Seattle will win games because of that deep pitching staff, but you can’t win games if you don’t score runs. — Casciano

14. Miami Marlins

Last month: 19

Average: 15.0

(Matt 14, Julian 16, Andrew 13, Jack 16)

Skinny: Went talking about the Marlins you really only need/have to talk about Luis Arraez. He’s currently hitting .399 through 208 at-bats. Yes, you are reading that right, Arraez is damn near hitting .400 almost halfway through the season. The last player to do that over the course of a season was Ted Williams in 1941. I don’t think it’s even worth thinking that will happen, but I have to point out how impressive it’s been so far. The Marlins sit at 33-28 and Arraez is a big part of why that’s the case. — Sabin

13. Los Angeles Angels

Last month: 16

Average: 13.0

(Matt 15, Julian 12, Andrew 15, Jack 12)

Skinny: Shohei Ohtani is undergoing one of the worst pitching stretches of his career, sporting a 4.63 ERA with a 4.52 FIP over his last six starts, including five earned across six innings against Houston last Friday. Nevertheless, he’s still hitting at a near-MVP level. He has a .885 OPS with 15 home runs and 41 RBIs in 262 plate appearances. The rest of the squad, outside of Mike Trout, has cooled off — but isn’t it cool to see former No. 1 overall pick Mickey Moniak thriving in Southern California after struggling in Philly? I think it is, and I’m hoping I’m not the only one.

12. Minnesota Twins

Last month: 11

Average: 12.3

(Matt 11, Julian 14, Andrew 10, Jack 13)

Skinny: The biggest story of the Twins season is the pitching. Their rotation has been very quality, led by Joe Ryan, Sonny Gray, Bailey Ober and Louie Varland. The quartet has amassed a combined 2.63 ERA, 3.14 FIP and a 25.3 K% in 39 combined starts. The Twins bullpen has also been one of the best; they have the sixth-best bullpen ERA (3.49) and the 10th-best bullpen FIP (3.91) with one of the most dominant closers in MLB in Jhoan Duran. The lineup has been palpable, but their pitching is the biggest reason why they come in at No. 12 in the June rankings and hold the lead in a weak AL Central.

11. New York Mets

Last month: 7

Average: 10.3

(Matt 13, Julian 10, Andrew 11, Jack 10)

Skinny: The Mets had a strange month in May. They had some very good things happen to that point that this season could be a successful one. Francisco Alvarez has emerged as a star. The “baby Mets” have made their way onto the club in everyday roles, and have already had a huge impact. Pete Alonso leads MLB in homers, and Francisco Lindor is swinging the bat well, especially against his former team. Kodai Senga is basically unstoppable at home. Carlos Carrasco even came off the IL and gave you a few good starts. Amongst all of that, the number one word to describe the month for the Mets was inconsistent. They had a seven-game home winning streak to close the month, but only finished the month 14-16. New York’s schedule is only getting harder. They’ll look back on May as a month of missed opportunities, but they did still have some good things happen, despite their record. — Casciano

The Mets place just outside in our June MLB Power Rankings.

10. Milwaukee Brewers

Last month: 6

Average: 9.3

(Matt 10, Julian 9, Andrew 8, Jack 11)

Skinny: The Brewers are somehow still in first place in the NL Central, mostly because it’s such a horrible division. The once-elite pitching staff has been unable to carry this team like it has in years past and the offense isn’t good enough to make up for that. Willy Adames is missing time after being struck in the head by a foul ball and they hope he can return in bounce back. The best thing going for this Brewers team is that they are in such a weak division and may be able to skate by and earn a playoff spot. — Sabin

9. Toronto Blue Jays

Last month: 3

Average: 9.3

(Matt 9, Julian 13, Andrew 6, Jack 9)

Skinny: It was a rocky month for the Blue Jays. An 11-17 record in the month has some calling for concerns, especially because of the play of Alek Manoah. Manoah was the team’s ace last year but hasn’t been nearly the same in 2023. On the positive side, the lineup is just as good as always. The club was second in the month of May in the AL in hits. It was never an issue of whether this team would hit, but there were concerns for some starting pitchers and the bullpen, none of which have been alleviated thus far. It’s a long season, but Toronto needs to find a way to pitch their lineup into more games. — Casciano

8. Arizona Diamondbacks

Last month: 12

Average: 9.0

(Matt 8, Julian 8, Andrew 12, Jack 7)

Skinny: The Diamondbacks have been one of the more surprising teams so far this season. People keep waiting for them to fall off but it seems more and more like that isn’t going to happen. The one-two punch of Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly has been elite and has earned the Dbacks a large number of wins. Corbin Carroll is looking like the real deal and production from guys like Christian Walker and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has put the Dbacks in a competitive spot in the NL West. — Sabin

7. New York Yankees

Last month: 13

Average: 7.3

(Matt 5, Julian 7, Andrew 7, Jack 8)

Skinny: On June 6, 2022, Aaron Judge was slashing .313/.382/.677 (1.059 OPS) with 21 home runs and 42 RBIs in 52 games; on June 6, 2023, he’s slashing .291/.404/.674 with 19 home runs in 40 RBIs in 49 games. Those are darn near identical numbers. Judge might be heading to the IL with a toe injury after making a remarkable grab crashing into the wall in Saturday’s 6-3 win over the Dodgers. He sports a 1.313 OPS with 13 home runs over his last 23 games and could be well on his way to winning a second consecutive AL MVP, should he not miss too much time. If he’s active and in the lineup, the Yankees, who have gone 7-2-1 over their last 10 series, become that much more dangerous. 

6. Baltimore Orioles

Last month: 5

Average: 6.7

(Matt 7, Julian 5, Andrew 9, Jack 6)

Skinny: After a 5-1 stretch against the Blue Jays and Yankees, the Orioles underwent a 4-5 stretch against the Rangers, Guardians and Giants. Regardless, they’re still 15 games above .500, have maybe the most dominant reliever in MLB in Yennier Cano and have gotten phenomenal production from its lineup. This is a playoff team with a possible AL MVP candidate in Adley Rutschmann, who’s slashing .285/.402/.435 with eight home runs and 28 RBIs in 259 plate appearances. 

5. Houston Astros

Last month: 8

Average: 5.0

(Matt 4, Julian 6, Andrew 4, Jack 5)

Skinny: Don’t look now, but the Houston Astros are red hot after beginning 17-18 and have cracked the top five in our June power rankings. Since that point, the Astros have won 24 of their last 30 games, including an 11-4 blitz against Toronto that featured a six-run first inning off Blue Jays starter Alek Manoah. Over this most recent 30-game sample, Houston’s getting remarkable production from Yordan Alvarez, Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve and Mauricio Dubon at the dish and from Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier and reliever-turned-starter Brandon Bielak. The hangover appears to be over, and the Astros are in full-fledged dominance across MLB. You’ve been warned.

4. Los Angeles Dodgers

Last month: 10

Average: 3.3

(Matt 6, Julian 3, Andrew 3, Jack 4)

Skinny: Hey, what a surprise: The Los Angeles Dodgers are really good at baseball, again. This organization seemingly finds a way to have a top tier ballclub every season. The lead dog in 2023 has been Freddie Freeman, who approaching the MLB lead in OPS. The lineup is elite with familiar faces, Mookie Betts and Max Muncy, but they’ve had an infusion of new blood with J.D. Martinez and James Outman. The rotation is going through some tough times right now, and that’s what nerves me most about this team going forward. They’re going to have to get another starter at the deadline, because what they have now isn’t enough to beat some of the best lineups in the National League. — Casciano

3. Atlanta Braves

Last month: 2

Average: 3.0

(Matt 3, Julian 4, Andrew 2, Jack 3)

Skinny: Well there isn’t too much new to say regarding this Braves team. Ronald Acuna Jr is continuing his MVP season and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. Matt Olson and Ozzie Albies continue to give consistent production making this lineup so deadly. But what is new in Atlanta has been the return of Michael Soroka. He hasn’t pitched since 2020 on account of two torn chilies, but if he can return to even close to his rookie form, he can be another dangerous weapon in this Braves rotation. — Sabin

2. Texas Rangers

Last month: 9

Average: 3.0

(Matt 2, Julian 2, Andrew 5, Jack 2)

Skinny: The Rangers have the best offense in MLB not named the Tampa Bay Rays, the biggest reason why they’re 19 games above .500 and No. 3 in this month’s power rankings. Six players in their everyday lineup have an OPS+ of 120 or better. That’s not including utilityman Ezequiel Duran, who sports a 140 OPS+ in 42 games. Nathan Eovaldi, the AL pitcher of the month for May, Martin Perez and Jon Gray deserve their flowers — especially after Jacob deGrom was placed on the 60-day IL Monday. They now have the highest run differential in MLB — yes, even a greater one than the aforementioned Rays.

The Rangers, No. 2 in this month’s power rankings, have worked around the deGrom injury.

1. Tampa Bay Rays

Last month: 1

Average: 1.0

(Matt 1, Julian 1, Andrew 1, Jack 1)

Skinny: Speaking of the Rays — they’ve taken a slight step back from the scorching start, but nobody expected them to play like that forever. It doesn’t matter, since they still rank atop our June power rankings and remain the best complete team in MLB.  They are the first-and-only team with 40 wins and I don’t foresee hitting a brick wall anytime soon, but it’s baseball so you never know with these things. Wander Franco has more than shown why he was once a top prospect, Tyler Glasnow has returned to a dominant rotation that’s piecing it together and has gotten production from plenty of unlikely contributors in Jose Siri, Josh Lowe, Luke Raley and Isaac Parades.

Who do you think should be 1-30 in the June power rankings? Let us know in the comments!

***

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