Welcome to the inaugural edition of our MLB Power Rankings. Through hours of statistical model tweaking along with trial and error, I've worked to develop a tool designed to make you a more savvy MLB bettor. Aside from the team name and ranking, you’ll also see a number called a “radius.” This number is derived from a combination of expected winning percentage, offensive ratings, defensive ratings, and fielding percentage.
We’ve nearly reached the half-point in the MLB season, and we've already witnessed plenty of surprises. We’ve seen the New York Yankees go on an unprecedented streak of dominance highlighted by becoming the fourth team in the Live Ball Era to win 55 of their first 75 games.
Unfortunately, we’ve also seen some negative shockers too. Most notably, Los Angeles Angels skipper Joe Maddon was the first manager fired after L.A. went on an historic losing streak. The Angels came into the season with aspirations of winning the division, but reached July with the same record as a team in last place in the AL East, the Baltimore Orioles.
Speaking of the Orioles, they’ve improved considerably from a year ago. It may seem like a longshot, but Baltimore is only 6.5 games out of the final wild card spot in the American League. That’s quite a feat for a team with the worst record in the big leagues in 2021.
Now that we’ve nearly reached the All-Star break, it's time to separate the wheat from the chaff in our MLB Power Rankings. See where your favorite team lands in our list below:
MLB Power Rankings: Week of July 4
|Rank||Team (Radius)||Record||World Series odds|
|1||New York Yankees (.704)||58-22||+400|
|2||Los Angeles Dodgers (.677)||50-29||+420|
|3||Houston Astros (.667)||52-27||+650|
|4||Atlanta Braves (.606)||47-34||+1,200|
|5||New York Mets (.601)||50-30||+700|
|6||Philadelphia Phillies (.584)||42-38||+4,000|
|7||Minnesota Twins (.579)||46-37||+2,500|
|8||San Diego Padres (.574)||47-35||+1,200|
|9||Milwaukee Brewers (.569)||47-35||+1,300|
|10||Boston Red Sox (.567)||45-35||+3,300|
|11||St. Louis Cardinals (.560)||44-38||+2,500|
|12||Toronto Blue Jays (.550)||44-37||+1,000|
|13||San Francisco Giants (.532)||40-38||+2,500|
|14||Tampa Bay Rays (.531)||43-37||+2,800|
|15||Miami Marlins (.525)||38-40||+12,500|
|16||Texas Rangers (.514)||37-41||+17,500|
|17||Seattle Mariners (.512)||40-42||+8,000|
|18||Los Angeles Angels (.492)||37-44||+4,000|
|19||Cleveland Guardians (.487)||40-38||+6,000|
|20||Chicago White Sox (.482)||38-40||+2,500|
|21||Baltimore Orioles (.462)||37-44||+150,000|
|22||Arizona Diamondbacks (.442)||36-44||+50,000|
|23||Chicago Cubs (.425)||32-48||+39,500|
|24||Colorado Rockies (.424)||35-45||+44,600|
|25||Kansas City Royals (.385)||29-49||+50,000|
|26||Cincinnati Reds (.377)||27-52||+150,000|
|27||Detroit Tigers (.377)||32-47||+49,100|
|28||Washington Nationals (.374)||29-53||+100,000|
|29||Pittsburgh Pirates (.371)||32-47||+60,000|
|30||Oakland A's (.338)||27-55||+50,000|
Better than advertised
New York Yankees (1)
The New York Yankees are atop the board, and it seems impossible to imagine anyone else in that spot. Aaron Boone's crew may regress from their historic pace at some point, but even if they do, the gap between the Bronx Bombers and the Los Angeles Dodgers isn't tiny.
Something that speaks to the Yankees' dominance can be found on our Covers MLB Trends Page. Despite regularly being an ML favorite of -200 or higher, the Yankees are still the most profitable team in baseball. If a bettor wagered $100 on them every game, they'd be up a league-leading $1,356. That's wildly impressive. The Yankees are one of two teams in baseball, along with the Houston Astros, to sit in the Top 5 of both starting pitcher ERA and bullpen ERA.
Atlanta Braves (4)
If you asked most baseball fans to name the best division in baseball they'd probably say the AL East. After all, there's a legitimate possibility that four of the five teams in the division could make the playoffs. However, my rankings point to some value on teams in the NL East.
The most notable may be the Atlanta Braves, who rank higher than the New York Mets despite trailing in the division by a couple of games. The Braves currently are +1,300 to repeat as World Series champions. My rankings make them one of the most significant values on the board, with a suggested price closer to +800. In addition, the Braves and the Yankees are the only two teams currently ranking in both the Top 5 of barrel rate for hitters and lowest barrel rate for pitchers. That points to balance on both sides of the ball that many teams in baseball simply do not offer.
San Diego Padres (8)
The fact the San Diego Padres are a Top 8 team is pretty impressive considering they've been without the services of Fernando Tatis Jr. all season. The shortstop's return is expected after the All-Star break, and you have to think he'll provide a nice punch in the Padres' lineup with the 42 home runs he slugged a year ago.
Fernando Tatis, Jr. taking ground balls at shortstop before today’s game. pic.twitter.com/yb4Sje55LU— 97.3 The Fan (@973TheFanSD) July 4, 2022
San Diego is an exciting team when you're looking at World Series value. They are currently the seventh choice on FanDuel at +1,300. How many teams could lose their best player for half the year and still be that high on the World Series board? There aren't many.
Bottom of the Barrel
Oakland Athletics (30)
The Oakland Athletics are in last place, but have a decent margin according to their radius. Last night, they somehow sprung one of the most significant upsets of the season over Cy Young odds contender Alex Manoah and the Toronto Blue Jays, but that ranking is hardly shocking.
The A's have the dubious distinction of being the only team in baseball with a single-digit number of wins at home thus far. Along with that, there's plenty of other ugliness. They have a run differential of -112 and have a collective team batting average of .212. If the season ended today, Oakland's batting average would be the worst in franchise history dating back to 1901.
Power Rankings methodology
Chris Hatfield's MLB Power Rankings are based heavily on the Pythagorean Theorem, pioneered by Bill James.
This process estimates the percentage of games a team should win and, therefore, where they fall in line in the MLB hierarchy. After that, he adds some secret sauce to develop a team's "radius," which includes a formula comprised of a team's collective expected ERA, run value, and wOBA, among other items.
This process not only attempts to show you how one formula views the landscape, but also which team has the best value to win the World Series vs. oddsmakers' expectations.
Through various sims, he finds the implied probability of one team achieving postseason success to help readers like yourself cash tickets. Just as importantly, Chris’ MLB Power Rankings are not a subjective list — and do not reflect odds between two teams in a given matchup.