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MLB Power Rankings: The Royals Are Kings of the Bottom 15 Teams

 Leif Skodnick  |    Jun 26th, 2023 12:03pm EDT

First year Royals Manager Matt Quatraro has to balance an under-producing offense and a pitching staff in the bottom five in Major League Baseball in ERA. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

By Conor Liguori
World Baseball Network

The Major League Baseball season is reaching its halfway point, and there are still many questions that need answers. 

When will Aaron Judge return for the New York Yankees? Will the San Diego Padres be able to turn things around in time to make a playoff push? Are the Cincinnati Reds contenders this year? 

These questions, and many more like them will be answered in the coming months as the rest of the season plays out. For now, teams can only be evaluated on their performance thus far. 

With the MLB All-Star break at T-Mobile Park in Seattle three weeks away, let’s take a look at how all 30 organizations rank. 

30. Kansas City Royals 
2023 Record: 22-56

The Royals losing ways have officially put them as the 30th-ranked team in the MLB. Kansas City ranks in the bottom five in the league in home runs hit, ERA, and batting average against. To make matters worse, their first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino will miss the rest of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery. 

29. Oakland Athletics 
2023 Record: 20-60

Oakland surprisingly won seven games in a row from June 6-13, sweeping a two-game set with the Pittsburgh Pirates, a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers, and taking the first two games of a four-game set from the Tampa Bay Rays. In the midst of the winning streak, A’s fans held a “Reverse Boycott” night, and 27,759 attended the game to voice their opposition to owner John Fisher. Oakland remains in fifth place in the AL West division by a sizable margin even after their winning streak. 

28. Colorado Rockies 
2023 Record: 31-49

The emergence of right fielder and first baseman Nolan Jones has to be a welcoming sight for Colorado fans, but the rest of the offense is a huge question mark outside of Ryan McMahon and Elias Diaz. None of their starting pitchers holds an ERA below 4.00, which could make them difficult to deal at the trade deadline. Kris Bryant is currently on the 10-day IL with a left heel bruise. 

27. Washington Nationals 
2023 Record: 30-47

The Nationals are not in the postseason picture, but there should be some optimism in the organization regarding the development of players like outfielder Lane Thomas and starting pitcher Josiah Gray. Thomas leads the team with 13 home runs, and Gray has a career low 3.43 ERA. James Wood, their No. 1 ranked prospect according to MLB.com, has a .784 OPS in 24 games with Double-A Harrisburg. 

26. Detroit Tigers 
2023 Record: 33-43

Miguel Cabrera hit his first home run of the season on June 14, but Detroit lost both games of a doubleheader that day against the Atlanta Braves. The biggest surprise performance has come from closing pitcher Alex Lange, who has 42 strikeouts in 31.2 innings this season. The postseason is still possible for the Tigers, but they will have to surpass the Cleveland Guardians and Minnesota Twins for first place in the AL Central. 

25. St. Louis Cardinals 
2023 Record: 32-45

The average baseball fan assumed the St. Louis Cardinals would win the NL Central in 2023, but they have struggled mightily to gain momentum on the field. Both Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt are having good years at the plate, but the starting pitching has a problem. Jack Flaherty is walking five hitters per nine innings, and Steven Matz holds a win-loss record of 0-7 in 10 starts. 

24. Chicago White Sox 
2023 Record: 34-45

Luis Robert Jr. is a likely candidate to be selected for the All-Star game, but third baseman Jake Burger should also receive some consideration. His OPS is .811 as of June 26, and is second on the team in home runs with 17. Starting pitcher Lance Lynn looked like his younger self with a 16-strikeout game on June 16 against the Seattle Mariners, but the White Sox lost the game 5-1. Shortstop Tim Anderson hit 17 home runs in 123 games in 2021, but has yet to hit one in 54 games in 2023. 

23. Pittsburgh Pirates 
2023 Record: 35-42

The ship is beginning to sink. The Pirates have lost 11 of their last 12 games, and start a three-game set with the San Diego Padres on Wednesday. Even though the team is in a rut, 2021 first overall pick Henry Davis has been called up to help give the offense a boost, and promptly hit his first career home run on June 22 against the Miami Marlins. Starting pitcher Mitch Keller is having a breakout year for the Pirates, and has 113 strikeouts in 99 innings. 

22. Cleveland Guardians 
2023 Record: 37-40

There have been rumors that the Cleveland Guardians could be shopping starting pitcher Shane Bieber, but that has become less likely with both Cal Quantrill and Peyton Battenfield now on the IL. Third baseman Jose Ramirez is having another solid year at the plate with a 142 OPS+, indicating he has been42% better than the average MLB hitter. Similar to the Detroit Tigers, Cleveland should shift their attention to winning the AL Central division rather than clinching one of the three AL wild card spots. 

21. New York Mets 
2023 Record: 35-42

The Mets might be forced to make a few trades at the deadline if they want any chance of making the postseason. Starting pitchers Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander are having down years, but newcomer Kodai Senga has been a major bright spot. Pete Alonso was expected to miss three to four weeks with a bone bruise in his wrist, but was sidelined for less than two weeks, a promising sign for Mets fans. 

20. Seattle Mariners 
2023 Record: 37-39

The starting pitching duo of Luis Castillo and George Kirby could be very dangerous for opposing teams in the postseason, but Seattle will have to hurdle a few teams in the Wild Card standings these next few months. One major concern regarding the offense is the rate at which they strike out. Seattle ranks 13th out of 15 American League teams in that category. 

19. Chicago Cubs 
2023 Record: 37-39

The biggest question mark in the Cubs organization right now is whether they will be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline. General Manager Carter Hawkins should also be prepared to receive dozens of calls about Cy Young candidate Marcus Stroman, who has a 2.48 ERA this season. Shortstop Nico Hoerner is having back-to-back All-Star caliber years, leading the Cubs in batting average, runs batted in, stolen bases, runs, hits, and triples. 

18. San Diego Padres   
2023 Record: 37-41

Not only do the Padres have to battle the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West division, but the San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks look like serious contenders. The biggest strength of the team has been the pitching staff which ranks fifth in the MLB in ERA 3.70. Michael Wacha has a2.90ERA on the season, and is a major reason why the team ERA is so low. 

17. Boston Red Sox 
2023 Record: 40-39

The Red Sox completed an impressive three game sweep of the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium two weeks ago, and followed it up by taking two out of three from the Minnesota Twins. Starting pitcher Brayan Bello has been fantastic for Boston, allowing three or fewer runs in his previous five starts. Although not in the postseason picture, the Red Sox have had an uncanny way of making the playoffs when they aren’t expected to. 

16. Philadelphia Phillies  
2023 Record: 40-37

Philadelphia was ranked No. 15 our last set of rankings, indicating not much has changed in the last month. After having a rough year at the plate in 2022, outfielder Nick Castellanos has an impressive.849 OPSin 75 games for the Phillies. The starting pitching duo of Zach Wheeler and Aaron Nola can push the Phillies into the playoffs, and Ranger Suarez and Taijuan Walker are solid third and fourth arms in the rotation. 

15. Toronto Blue Jays
2023 Record: 43-36

Toronto has had some pretty poor performances the last week or so, including a 5-4 loss to the Oakland Athletics on June 23, and an 11-0 loss against the Miami Marlins on June 19. However, the talent this offense possesses cannot be forgotten. Bo Bichette is once again leading the American League in hits with 106, and Matt Chapman is possibly having the best year of his career at the plate, hitting for both power and average.