Final MLB Power Ranking
Game 162 is here and everything except the NL Central has been settled. The wildcard games are Tuesday and Wednesday and the NLDS begins on Friday. It’s the most exciting time of the year and I’m more than ready to see how the playoffs shake out this year. With that being said, it’s also time to release my final power ranking of the year. While my rankings this season have took into consideration who’s hot and who’s not, along with the overall talent they have, this ranking will be solely on who I believe the top 10 teams are based on their overall body of work since April. Let me know what you think and if you agree/disagree.
First Two Out
Milwaukee Brewers and New York Mets
10. Cleveland Indians (93-68)
There could be some debate here with the Indians in the top ten and missing out on the playoffs, while the Brewers are in my first two out, but making at least the Wild Card game. But I simply believe Cleveland is the better team. Their division wasn’t quite as strong as the NL Central, but they had to compete with the powerful Twins team and better AL competition than NL. They have four more wins on the season than the Brewers and have a better run differential on the season by +114. They were a very good team this year, proved by 93 wins.
9. St. Louis Cardinals (90-71)
The Cardinals and the Indians could switch spots on this list in my opinion, and it would still be accurate. But I’m going with the Cardinals because I think they would win a seven-game series between the two teams right now. If they win today, they will clinch the Central on the last day of the season, but if they lose and the Brewers win, a 163rd game will have to be played to determine who division champ. A 90-win season is always a great season, and I think winning 90 in the NL Central is an extra accomplishment in itself.
8. Washington Nationals (92-69)
Even though the Nationals didn’t win the division and will have to play in the wild card game on Tuesday night, there’s no way I would want to play them right now. If their offense is clicking, they can beat anyone because their pitching staff is that good. You have to feel good about their chances to win the wild card game considering they have the luxury of throwing Scherzer. But then again, this time of year has not been kind to the Nats over the last several years, no matter how much talent they’ve had on their teams. Still this has been a very good season for the Nationals, especially with it being their first season without franchise star Bryce Harper.
7. Tampa Bay Rays (96-65)
The Rays have had another excellent season, but this time they have something to show for it: a chance in the wild card game on Wednesday night against the Athletics. Last season’s 90 wins left them on the outside looking in. But a few more wins this year gets them at least one game in October. They’ve made their mark on defense all year long, having given up the third fewest runs in the majors. If they advance in the playoffs, it will be their defense that will carry them.
6. Oakland Athletics (97-64)
The Athletics are very similar to the Rays in two ways. The first being they seem to fly under the radar every year, no matter how good they are. 97 wins coming into the last day is very impressive, as is 96 for the Rays, but you just don’t hear about them like you should. And secondly, they are unfortunate to play in a division with a powerhouse team that has ran away from everybody else. With the record the Athletics have, they would have won many division championships, but instead finished nine games behind the Astros. The Rays are the same way with this year’s Yankees and last year’s Red Sox. Wednesday’s AL wild card game between the A’s and Rays should be a very good one.
5. Atlanta Braves (97-64)
As a Braves fan, I’ve been very excited with their play this year. 97 wins coming into today is all I could ever ask for before the season started. And if it hadn’t been for some key injuries here at the end of the season, they would’ve had a very good chance to eclipse the 100-mark. I’m ready to see if they can win their first playoff series in a very long time as they wait to see who they will take on. It will either be the Cardinals or the Brewers.
4. Minnesota Twins (101-60)
The Twins have had an incredible season. And when it looked like they were finally starting to slip and Cleveland may overtake them, they went back on their tear that they were on before. When you think of the Twins this season, offense is the first thing that comes to mind. They have put up record numbers this season in several offensive categories. Add in some good pitching, and the Twins are a scary team come playoff time. Only the Yankees have scored more runs than the Twins this year, with seven more. I hope they can put on their impressive offensive display this postseason, because it would be great to see a different team like them make a run to the World Series.
3. New York Yankees (103-58)
Speaking of offense, the Yankees do it just as well, and probably better than anyone. They have scored more runs than any team in the majors this season, and are slightly ahead of the Twins in home runs as well (we won’t discuss their little league ballpark right now). We all know they can hit, but I’m very interested to see how their starting pitching will hold up in the playoffs. If they can do enough to get it to their bullpen, and with their offense, they just might go all the way. I have never liked the Yankees, but as a baseball fan you can’t deny that the sport is more exciting when teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, and Dodgers are very good.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers (105-56)
The Dodgers spent more time than any team at #1 on my power rankings this season. And for good reason because they are an absolute dangerous team. You could easily make the argument for them being #1 on this list and I wouldn’t debate you. They’ve done everything well this season and had their division on lock since the beginning. Their real season starts this week. The scariest thing about the Dodgers, in my opinion, is the fact this team is extra hungry. They’ve made it to the World Series and lost the past two years, so this team is hungry and driven to show everyone that they are good enough to win it all. These players have to be more motivated than any other team, and more than any other franchise, their time is now.
1. Houston Astros (106-55)
I just couldn’t NOT put the Astros in the top spot. Not because they simply have more wins than anyone, but because their overall body of work is so impressive and they are the last team I would want to face in the playoffs right now. Let’s begin with their pitching. I couldn’t imagine facing their staff in the playoffs, especially when their first two starters had Cy Young seasons. Either Cole or Verlander will take home the Cy Young, no doubt. Do you want offense? They are just behind the Yankees and Twins for the third most runs scored in the majors, at 912 total. And my favorite stat that I’ve used so many times this season to indicate how good I think a team is (run differential) shows the Astros have been the most impressive team in MLB this season. Their season run differential is at +277 while the next best team (Dodgers) are at +264. The Yankees have the third best at +209. So that just tells you how good the Astros are offensively and defensively. Now let’s see if they can continue that dominance in the postseason.