June MLB Team Power Rankings: Aaron Judge and Juan Soto power Yankees to the top

The Yankees and Phillies are jockeying for position at the top of our rankings, the Braves are slipping, and the Guardians and Brewers aren’t going away. Let’s see how it all shakes out as the calendar flips to June.

Editor’s Note: Odds and statistics used are from the morning of Monday, June 3.

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1) New York Yankees

Last month: No. 6

Odds to win AL East: -295

To make the playoffs: -10000

The Yankees are inevitable. Aaron Judge punished the Giants in front of family and friends in San Francisco on Friday and Saturday before Juan Soto played hero with a pair of homers in a thrilling comeback victory on Sunday. Everything is clicking for the Bombers right now, whether you want to talk about Anthony Volpe’s recent hitting streak or the rotation thriving despite missing Gerrit Cole. Luis Gil has been a huge part of that (0.70 ERA in May), but Clarke Schmidt has been outstanding in his own right, which is why news of his right lat strain is such a bummer. Cole is actually set to begin a minor league rehab assignment on Tuesday, so it’s possible this team is about to get even stronger.

There are so many great Aaron Judge factoids from his amazing May, but the Sarah Langs provided the one that stopped me in my tracks.

2) Philadelphia Phillies

Last month: No. 5

Odds to win NL East: -250

To make the playoffs: -20000

The Phillies have stumbled a bit over the past week and a half, but they recently became the first MLB team to reach 40 victories and they still own the best record in the National League. Ranger Suarez has been one of the biggest reasons behind that hot start, posting a 1.70 ERA across 12 starts. Unfortunately, his most recent outing on Saturday lasted just two innings because he was hit in the left hand by a comebacker. X-rays came back negative and he was diagnosed with a left hand contusion, but his status for his next scheduled start is up in the air. Speaking of up in the air, the Phillies are headed to London later this week to take on the scuffling Mets. A lot of people in the U.K. are about to become acquainted with what a “jawn” is. Hint: Jawn is anything and everything.

3) Cleveland Guardians

Last month: No. 3

Odds to win AL Central: -115

To make the playoffs: -500

Maybe you thought the Guardians would come down to Earth after their hot April. You weren’t alone in that thinking, but you would be wrong. The Guardians went 19-9 in May, with José Ramírez and David Fry leading the charge for the offense. Ramirez launched 11 homers while driving in 33 runs last month. That’s the most RBI for a Cleveland player in a single month since Jim Thome drove in 39 runs in July 2001. As for the unheralded Fry, he posted a 1.263 OPS with seven homers over 76 plate appearances in May. The team’s success was all them more impressive considering that Steven Kwan missed most of the month with a hamstring strain. Of course, he got right back to business in his return from the IL on Friday by racking up three hits.

4) Baltimore Orioles

Last month: No. 2

Odds to win AL East: +260

To make the playoffs: -900

The Orioles’ offense remains a buzzsaw, but their starting pitching depth has taken a hit in recent days with the news that both John Means and Tyler Wells are headed for season-ending surgery to address UCL injuries in their elbows. Dean Kremer is also out with a right triceps strain, though it sounds like he should be back sooner rather than later. Fortunately for the Orioles, 34-year-old Albert Suárez has been a revelation this year. Seven years removed from his last appearance in MLB, he’s posted a 1.57 ERA across five starts and seven relief appearances.

5) Los Angeles Dodgers

Last month: No. 3

Odds to win NL West: -1600

To make the playoffs: -20000

The Dodgers entered last week with a five-game losing streak, but they took advantage of the reeling Mets before winning two out of three from the Rockies over the weekend. Slowly but surely, the Dodgers are getting healthy. Closer Evan Phillips was activated from the injured list over the weekend and Bobby Miller has already made a couple of rehab starts as he makes his way back from right shoulder inflammation. Looking a bit further down the road, Clayton Kershaw threw his first simulated game on Saturday as he rehabs from shoulder surgery. The future Hall of Famer could be ready to rejoin the Dodgers by midseason.

6) Milwaukee Brewers

Last month: No. 7

Odds to win NL Central: -170

To make the playoffs: -425

No Craig Counsell, no problem. Riding a five-game winning streak, the Brewers have opened up a seven-game lead in the NL Central. That’s the largest division league in all of MLB. After the Brewers traded their ace Corbin Burnes this offseason and saw star closer Devin Williams go down in spring training, it was hard to see this coming, but the offense has been mashing and the rotation has held their own despite lacking in household names beyond Freddy Peralta. One of the key pieces of the Burnes trade, Joey Ortiz holds a robust .293/.391/.503 batting line with five homers and 21 RBI over 52 games. He leads all rookie position players in fWAR.

7) Kansas City Royals

Last month: No. 10

Odds to win AL Central: +320

To make the playoffs: -140

The Royals have been one of the more fun stories in MLB this season, though they’ve lost six out of their last eight games. Despite this, they entered June at 11 games over .500, their best record entering June in the history of the franchise. There are some nice surprises in this group (Seth Lugo holds a 1.72 ERA and leads the majors with 78 1/3 innings pitched), but Bobby Witt Jr. is looking like the best player in the American League not named Aaron Judge or Juan Soto. No series in June is a must-win, but the Royals have a chance to make up some hay with a three-game series against the first-place Guardians beginning on Tuesday. The aforementioned Lugo is set to start the series opener.

8) Atlanta Braves

Last month: No. 1

Odds to win NL East: +190

To make the playoffs: -2500

While I had the Braves in the No. 1 spot last month, I also wrote that they appeared “strangely vulnerable” despite that lofty ranking. Surprisingly, the offense struggled in May as the club went 12-14 and fell several games behind the Phillies in the NL East. Ronald Acuña Jr. is done for the year with another torn ACL, so that leaves very little margin for error. Sean Murphy is back and Matt Olson and Austin Riley are certainly capable of better, but how far can the rotation ride the early success of Chris Sale and Reynaldo Lopez? The vibes are shaky here.

9) Seattle Mariners

Last month: No. 9

Odds to win AL West: -180

To make the playoffs: -300

The Mariners endured a middling May, but they finished off a sweep of the Angels over the weekend for a 6-1 homestand. This weekend marked the first time in franchise history that Mariners starters didn’t allow a run in a three-game series, as Bryan Woo, Bryce Miller, and Luis Castillo all put up zeroes. We’re all waiting for Julio Rodriguez to flip the switch from a power perspective, but his glove is doing just fine. Perhaps the coolest thing going for the Mariners’ recently is the promotion of speedster Ryan Bliss. When he was 14 years old, he responded to the Mariners’ Twitter account that it was his dream to play for them. That became a reality last week. How can you not be romantic about baseball?

10) Minnesota Twins

Last month: No. 12

Odds to win AL Central: +280

To make the playoffs: -175

Since their seven-game losing streak, the Twins have reeled off nine wins in their last 12 games. Pablo Lopez looked more like himself Friday against the Astros, which is hopefully a sign of things to come. Royce Lewis suffered a severe right quad strain on Opening Day, but he’s finally back to full health and expected to join the Twins on Tuesday. The flip side of that move is that Eduoard Julien is reportedly set to be demoted to Triple-A St. Paul. Julien enjoyed a strong rookie season, but he’s hit just .210 with a .680 OPS through 57 games this season. Jose Miranda has earned an opportunity to stick around after his disappointing 2023 campaign.

11) San Diego Padres

Last month: No. 19

To win NL West: +2000

Odds to make the playoffs: -110

Shohei Ohtani has lived up to his massive free agent contract thus far, but Jurickson Profar has been the best value signing of the 2024 campaign to date. After settling for a one-year, $1 million contract in mid-February, the former top prospect has put up a stunning .325/.421/.488 batting line with nearly as many walks as strikeouts. He’s outpaced the likes of Bryce Harper, Elly De La Cruz, and José Ramirez in terms of fWAR so far this season. The Padres have been playing well recently, with Jeremiah Estrada striking out literally everyone and new addition Luis Arraez swinging a hot bat. The club’s depth will be tested with Xander Bogaerts, Yu Darvish, and Joe Musgrove all on the injured list, but they are very much in the middle of the NL Wild Card race.

12) Boston Red Sox

Last month: No. 13

Odds to win AL East: +10000

To make the playoffs: +400

The Red Sox have hovered around the .500 mark for seemingly the entire season. Given the mountain of injuries they’ve had to deal with, it’s fair to say that they have overperformed. It helps that Tanner Houck has been the best pitcher in baseball this season. I just really wanted to write that sentence, but it’s actually true. Houck holds the best ERA in the AL at 1.85 and has allowed one earned run or fewer in eight of his 12 starts. His slider has always been an excellent pitch, but increased usage of his splitter has helped fuel this breakout.

13) Texas Rangers

Last month: No. 15

Odds to win AL West: +330

To make the playoffs: +180

Aaron Judge has been on another level of late, but don’t overlook what Corey Seager has been doing. He’s hit safely in each of his last 15 games and has slugged 11 homers in his last 22 games. Still, the Rangers have struggled to duplicate their success from last season. After losing six straight, the Rangers have won five out of their last six, so things are looking up as they begin the month of June. Rookie Wyatt Langford is also back after missing a couple of weeks with a hamstring strain. He already has a pair of multi-hit games since coming back. Likewise, Adolis García had a big day on Sunday as he attempts to turn the page on an awful month of May.

14) Detroit Tigers

Last month: No. 11

Odds to win AL Central: +2000

To make the playoffs: +390

The Tigers lost momentum in the AL Central with a five-game losing streak late last month, but their starting pitching continues to keep them afloat. Led by Tarik Skubal, Jack Flaherty, and Reese Olson, the Tigers’ rotation ranks 11th in the majors with a 3.70 ERA. Unfortunately, Spencer Torkelson hasn’t been able to build upon his strong second half from last season. He was demoted on Sunday after hitting just .201/.266/.330 with four homers through his first 54 games this season. On-base machine Justyn-Henry Malloy is now set to get his first opportunity in the majors.

15) St. Louis Cardinals

Last month: No. 21

Odds to win NL Central: +600

To make the playoffs: +185

The Cardinals lost two out of three to the Phillies over the weekend, but they were able to snag an extra-inning victory on Sunday with the resurgent Nolan Gorman driving in the go-ahead run in the 10th. They’ve come a long way since being nine games under .500 on May 11. Rookie shortstop Masyn Winn has been front-and-center in their turnaround. The dynamic shortstop recently put together an 18-game hitting streak, the longest by a Cardinals rookie since Joe McEwing in 1999.

16) San Francisco Giants

Last month: No. 18

Odds to win NL West: +4500

To make the playoffs: +190

Oh, what could have been. Giants fans got an up-close look at Aaron Judge over the weekend as they got swept at the hands of the Yankees. Making matters worse, Blake Snell is likely headed back to the injured list with tightness in his left groin, a possible aggravation of his previous injury. After signing late in spring training, the defending NL Cy Young Award winner is sporting a brutal 9.51 ERA across his first six starts with San Francisco. This adds to the list of notable injuries, as Jung Hoo Lee is out for the season following surgery for a torn labrum in his shoulder and LaMonte Wade Jr. (and his .470 OBP) is expected to miss four weeks with a Grade 2 hamstring strain.

17) Chicago Cubs

Last month: No. 8

Odds to win NL Central: +380

To make the playoffs: +115

The Cubs got off to a strong start in April, but they finished up May with a 10-18 record. The past couple of weeks have been especially challenging, as they’ve racked up a number of one-run losses while dropping nine out of their last 11 games. Shota Imanaga finally proved human in his most recent start, but the club’s lackluster offense has been the biggest issue. Only the crosstown White Sox have a lower team batting average over the past 30 days. It’s only appropriate that the two teams will square off in a quick two-game series beginning on Tuesday.

18) Tampa Bay Rays

Last month: No. 22

Odds to win AL East: +8000

To make the playoffs: +425

The Rays had a winning record in May, but it’s still a bit odd to see them under the .500 mark as summer approaches. The truth is that things could be a lot worse, as the Rays are 12-4 in one-run games this season. We’re still waiting for Randy Arozarena to get things going (.162 over his first 58 games) and Yandy Diaz hasn’t exactly looked like an AL batting champion. It’s too bad that prospect Junior Caminero went down with a Grade 2 left quad strain last week, as it appeared he was close to getting another chance in the majors. He’s expected to miss around 4-6 weeks, so it’s unlikely we see him in the majors again until sometime in August at this rate.

19) Toronto Blue Jays

Last month: No. 17

Odds to win AL East: +8000

To make the playoffs: +330

For the first time since September of 2019, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. made a start at third base on Sunday. He didn’t see much in the way of action there, but it sounds like something that will happen on a semi-regular basis moving forward as the Blue Jays play the matchups to get both Daniel Vogelbach and the struggling Justin Turner in the lineup. Alek Manoah and Jordan Romano both hit the injured list in recent days, so the first half continues to be a bumpy ride for this team. Guerrero and Bo Bichette have been mentioned as potential trade candidates if the Blue Jays continue to underperform.

20) Houston Astros

Last month: No. 23

Odds to win AL West: +340

To make the playoffs: +190

It stood to reason that the Astros would probably play better in May than they did in April, and sure enough they did, though they haven’t exactly hit their stride yet. They’ve lost five out of their last seven, including three out of four to the first-place Mariners. Yordan Alvarez clubbed a pair of homers on June 1, equaling his total from the entire month of May. Getting him back on track from a power perspective would certainly help push them up this list.

21) Pittsburgh Pirates

Last month: No. 24

Odds to win NL Central: +2200

To make the playoffs: +700

You can lose in a boring way or you can lose in a fun way. The Pirates have mostly treaded water over the past month, but the promotion of 2023 No. 1 overall pick Paul Skenes has made them a must-watch. The 22-year-old has proved equal to the hype with a 2.45 ERA and 30/5 K/BB ratio in 22 innings across his first four major league starts. He’s averaged 99.3 mph with his fastball and his “splinker” has been a wipe-out pitch. He’s just the sixth pitcher in MLB history with 30+ strikeouts and five or fewer walks through his first four career outings. Appropriately enough, rotation-mate Jared Jones pulled off the same feat earlier this season. Better days are coming, Pirates fans.

22) Washington Nationals

Last month: No. 25

Odds to win NL East: +50000

To make the playoffs: +2500

The Nationals aren’t a contender just yet, but they are showing a marked improvement compared to last year. This is especially the case for the pitching staff, which ranks 11th in the majors with a 3.89 ERA. Jake Irvin is coming off a 10-strikeout game in his most recent start and MacKenzie Gore and Trevor Williams are both posting sub-2 ERAs. Another signal of a new era, the Nationals designated outfielder Victor Robles for assignment last week. At one point, Robles was more a highly-touted prospect than Juan Soto in the Nationals organization, but he’s struggled with a .236/.311/.356 batting line over 530 games in the majors.

23) Arizona Diamondbacks

Last month: No. 20

Odds to win NL West: +4000

To make the playoffs: +185

Even with winning back-to-back games against the Mets over the weekend, it has been a struggle for the defending National League champions. It’s nothing short of stunning to see last year’s NL Rookie of the Year Corbin Carroll batting just .194 through his first 57 games. Offseason acquisition Eduardo Rodriguez has yet to throw a pitch for the team and ace Zac Gallen landed on the injured list over the weekend with a right hamstring strain. Oddly, the club is just 3-16 in the first game of a series this season. This would be an opportune time to flip the script on that as they play two teams in front of them (Giants at home, Padres on the road) this week.

24) Cincinnati Reds

Last month: No. 14

Odds to win NL Central: +1500

To make the playoffs: +500

One of the big fallers in this month’s MLB Power Rankings, the Reds went 9-18 in May to slide to the bottom of the standings in the NL Central. Yes, Elly De La Cruz is seemingly stealing a base every time he gets on base, but he’s hit just .189/.274/.261 with one home run and a 46/11 K/BB ratio in 29 games since the start of May. It’s no coincidence that the Reds have been similarly topsy-turvy thus far.

25) Oakland Athletics

Last month: No. 26

Odds to win AL West: +20000

To make the playoffs: +2500

It’s official: Miguel Andujar and Brent Rooker are the new Bash Brothers. Okay, not quite, but they are making this A’s offense more respectable. Rooker is top-10 in the majors in OPS and Andujar is hitting .394 with two homers and 12 RBI over eight games since returning from right meniscus surgery. We’re now six years removed from Andujar’s impressive rookie season, but he’s in a good situation to revive his career.

26) New York Mets

Last month: No. 16

Odds to win NL East: +25000

To make the playoffs: +900

The Mets are Mets-ing extremely hard these days. Falling 10 spots in our Power Rankings over the past month, the Mets are blowing leads by the bucketful and the frustration is showing. Jorge Lopez became the avatar for this frustration last week when he threw his glove into the stands following an ejection. His post-game comments were misinterpreted in some ways, but the lack of remorse for his conduct resulted in him getting designated for assignment. That drama distracted from Edwin Díaz landing on the injured list with a shoulder impingement. The Mets blew another lead on Sunday against the Diamondbacks, marking the sixth time since May 1 that they have lost a game leading after eight innings.

27) Colorado Rockies

Last month: No. 28

Odds to win NL West: +40000

To make the playoffs: +2500

The Rockies have actually played a lot better of late, including their first win at Dodger Stadium since October, 4 2022 during their series against the Dodgers over the weekend. Ezequiel Tovar, who homered in that victory on Friday, has been one of the best players in the National League this season. Fun fact: Tovar actually had the same amount of hits (36) as Aaron Judge in the month of May. Given the plight of the Rockies, it’s understandable why Tovar doesn’t get much attention nationally, but it’s about time that changes.

28) Miami Marlins

Last month: No. 29

Odds to win NL East: +50000

To make the playoffs: +2500

Believe it or not, the Marlins had a winning record in May, including an 11-6 run to end the month. That’s despite trading Luis Arraez to the Padres in the beginning of May for reliever Woo-Suk Go (who has already been DFA’d) and a trio of prospects. The saga of Sixto Sánchez continues to be an interesting one. After falling just short of his first win since September 13 2020 in his most recent outing, he landed on the injured list on Sunday due to right shoulder inflammation. After missing back-to-back seasons due to injury, the former top prospect (acquired from the J.T. Realmuto trade) holds a 6.06 ERA across seven starts and seven relief appearances this year. On the bright side, Jesus Luzardo and Braxton Garrett are healthy again (maybe following Arraez out the door?) and Ryan Weathers is quietly enjoying a strong first half.

29) Los Angeles Angels

Last month: No. 27

Odds to win AL West: +15000

To make the playoffs: +2500

Reid Detmers started the season a high note, but he’s been a mess in recent weeks, posting an ugly 8.93 ERA with 20 walks and 10 homers allowed in 40 1/3 innings across eight starts before being demoted to Triple-A Salt Lake on Sunday. He was chased early from his start on Saturday, which led to utility player (and Vanessa Hudgens’ husband) Cole Tucker making his first career relief appearance. Because baseball gonna baseball, Tucker was the only Angels pitcher to not allow a run. Look at that sweet eephus pitch!

30) Chicago White Sox

Last month: No. 30

Odds to win AL Central: +50000

To make the playoffs: +7500

It’s not getting any better for the White Sox, who went 9-19 in May and will bring a brutal 11-game losing streak into the week. Take one look at Chicago’s lineup from Sunday and it’s easy to see why things are as bad as they are. At least Garrett Crochet and Erick Fedde have been good?