Power Rankings: Who's on top to begin 2024?

January 2nd, 2024

Congratulations, you’ve made it to 2024. Baseball is that rare professional sport that takes place entirely in one calendar year. So, if you were unhappy with how 2023 went for your team, that’s all in the past. And if you were happy … well, now you get to cheer for your team to go do it again.

What better way to turn the calendar page than with our first Power Rankings of 2024. There are plenty of moves still left to be made before Spring Training, but the biggest names, those two Japanese superstars, have signed with, of course, the same team. But just because the Dodgers have added Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Tyler Glasnow does not make them No. 1 atop these rankings.

Here are the inaugural 2024 MLB.com Power Rankings. We now all get to start all over again.

1) Braves 
However excited you may or may not be about the additions of Chris Sale from the Red Sox and Jarred Kelenic from the Mariners, our voters didn’t overcomplicate things: The team with the best record (by far) in 2023 tops the Power Rankings to kick off 2024. And why not? They still have the MVP in Ronald Acuña Jr. They still have Matt Olson, Austin Riley and Ozzie Albies following him in the order. They still have a terrific rotation and they still have, well, they still have just about everybody back from a team that won 104 games in 2023. This is a team that is built to win right now. And win, without question, is something they will do very much of in 2024.

2) Dodgers
There is a sense, both inside baseball and out, that the Dodgers are somehow indestructible now that they’ve signed the best baseball player in the world and brought in two top-shelf starting pitchers. But this is still a team, for all its success, that has won as many World Series in the last 35 years as the Reds, Royals, Nationals and D-backs. The Dodgers do not have titles as some sort of birthright. The team’s urgency to win a Series that didn’t take place in the truncated 2020 season is one of the primary reasons they have been so aggressive this offseason. This team wants to win a World Series as badly as its newest superstar Ohtani does. They’ve spent hundreds of millions of dollars to try to get one. But as dozens of other teams in baseball history can tell you, that guarantees absolutely nothing.

3) Rangers
And here we find the defending champs, not only nestling in at No. 3 in the rankings, but No. 1 in the American League. Does this mean the Rangers are favorites to return to the World Series? Learning that Max Scherzer won’t be back until midseason was a setback, but if the Rangers can stay afloat until then, they’ll not only have him, they’ll have Jacob deGrom, too. And staying afloat shouldn’t be too much of a problem: Corey Seager seems primed for an MVP-caliber season. With Ohtani in the other league, is Seager the early favorite for 2024 AL MVP? And they’ll get a full season from postseason hero Evan Carter who, amazingly, is still only 21 years old (he won’t turn 22 until August). The Rangers will get to hoist their first World Series banner on Opening Day this year. But there will be plenty of 2024 highlights other than that one to come.

4) Orioles
The general consensus was that the Orioles would be in on at least some of the top starting pitchers on the market this offseason, but then again, that was the general consensus at the Trade Deadline, too, and it didn’t turn out that way. Craig Kimbrel remains the only major addition for the Orioles, and while there’s still time left for the stove to remain hot, it certainly doesn’t feel like the Orioles are about to make a big move. That may be frustrating to Orioles fans, but this is where we remind you that this team won 101 games last year and is about to bring in Jackson Holliday, the consensus favorite for AL Rookie of the Year. The Orioles could still use some pitching, we think. But even if they don’t add any, they might be even better than they were in their breakthrough 2023 season.

5) Phillies
There is still a little part of us that can’t believe the Phillies didn’t make the World Series last year. It was all set up for them: It felt like a fait accompli. Alas, two ugly losses to the D-backs ended all that, so now the Phillies are loading back up on veterans, getting the band back together and making another run at it. They haven’t added anyone, but not losing Aaron Nola counts as a big win on its own. It feels like a bullpen arm or two are coming, and you know they’re lurking on the edges of several free-agent signings. This team got so close last year. It’s clear they’re as motivated as anyone on this list to get back there again in 2024.

The rest of the field of 30:

6. Astros
7. Rays
8. Yankees
9. D-backs
10. Blue Jays
11. Mariners
12. Mets
13. Cubs
14. Brewers
15. Reds
16. Padres
17. Twins
18. Cardinals
19. Red Sox
20. Tigers
21. Marlins
22. Giants
23. Guardians
24. Angels
25. Royals
26. Pirates
27. White Sox
28. Nationals
29. Rockies
30. A’s

Voters: Will Leitch, Alyson Footer, Anthony Castrovince, Paul Casella, Mark Feinsand, Nathalie Alonso, Arturo Pardavila, Andrew Simon, David Venn, Sweeny Murti, Travis Miller