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MLB Power Rankings: Braves running up that hill, White Sox stuck in the upside down

MLB Power Rankings

The Cincinnati Reds find themselves near the bottom of the MLB Power Rankings yet again this week. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Stranger things have happened in the MLB Power Rankings but this week the Atlanta Braves keep running that hill while the Chicago White Sox get caught in the upside down.

Welcome to July! Major League Baseball has taken over the sports landscape. The NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Finals are over. The NFL has yet to gear up for their next season. Suddenly, the MLB Power Rankings wield a lot more power. This week’s list also includes plenty of changes from where teams sat last week.

The first week of July hardly predicts what will eventually happen. There is still time for some teams to make steep climbs or fall into obscurity. Meanwhile, the best teams will look to establish themselves further. The worst ones will hope a mercy rule goes into effect.

The MLB Power Rankings tell a story about the sport that the standings only hint at. With the trade deadline now less than a month away, how do these 30 teams rank?

30. MLB Power Rankings: Oakland Athletics

Everything is wretched about this Oakland Athletics team. Budget contenders this time one year ago, the team has gone the same direction as the front office has pointed them.

The Athletics might seriously finish the year without a regular batting over the .250 mark in 2022. Offense has been their biggest problem. With the starting rotation and bullpen they have, they could at least play competitive baseball in a world where they scare a few runs. Amazingly, they aren’t even the lowest-scoring team in baseball but that’s because another club has a better-rounded staff compared to Oakland’s limited resources.

29. MLB Power Rankings: Cincinnati Reds

The Cincinnati Reds continue to prove they are indeed one of the worst teams in baseball. It’s not just a slow start that has held them back. Continually, this ball club underperforms in all aspects.

There haven’t been a whole lot of great stories for Reds fans to latch onto this year. Luis Castillo is pitching well enough to bolster his trade value. Tommy Pham, if not for slapping Joc Pederson, might have been one of the more coveted outfielders. Ownership chose to hit the reset button. It has been a painful reboot that feels like the infamous “ring of death” is just circling on the screen.

28. MLB Power Rankings: Washington Nationals

The Washington Nationals are a painfully bad baseball team with superstar Juan Soto in its core. Josh Bell is having a very good year and even Nelson Cruz has been a solid enough DH addition.

The compliments pretty much end there. Many other position players have underperformed. The pitching staff is messier than the gastric systems of competitors in Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. The only question for them is if they are worse than the Reds. We have half a season left to figure it out.

27. MLB Power Rankings: Kansas City Royals

There is much going well for the Kansas City Royals this season. They have made a half-hearted attempt at fielding a good team in recent years. The Andrew Benintendi trade last year has worked out well but they haven’t been able to accomplish much else.

Bobby Witt is finally beginning to overcome some of those rookie jitters and is piecing together a passable debut season. Unfortunately, they are so buried behind everyone else and don’t have a complete enough roster to do anything other than spoil a few seasons.

26. MLB Power Rankings: Pittsburgh Pirates

Do not let the standings fool you. The Pittsburgh Pirates are a much worse team than their record says. On a weekly basis, they seem to find a way to get blown out. A 19-2 loss to open the month of July tells us everything we need to know about this year’s club.

The Pirates suffer from the same ailments as the other teams this low on the MLB Power Rankings. They have a few good players and a whole lot of guys better off in Triple-A. The pitching staff isn’t particularly good at all with closer David Bednar even looking a little more human of late.

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