MLB Top 10 Power Ranking
MLB Power Ranking season is winding down along with the regular season and things are finally beginning to take clear shape across the league. The Braves and Twins are separating themselves as division frontrunners and even the Cardinals’ 3.5 game lead feels pretty significant at this point. I didn’t release a ranking last week, so the previous rankings were from exactly two weeks ago. With my rankings, I am taking into consideration the potential of teams over the course of the season, along with the current value of teams, with more emphasis on current value. Let me know how much you agree/disagree.
First Two Out: Arizona Diamondbacks (75-67) and Boston Red Sox (76-66)
10. Cleveland Indians (82-61)
Last Ranking: 9
Not too long ago I was really excited about the AL Central race after the Indians had made a big time comeback to make things very interesting between them and the Twins. But the Twins have opened their division-lead back up to 6.5 games over the Indians, who have been struggling as of recently. They only have four games left against Minnesota this season, including one today, so they better make them count if they want to get back in this thing and not rely on a wild card.
9. St. Louis Cardinals (80-62)
Last Ranking: 10
The Cardinals and the Indians have switched spots in the rankings since two weeks ago. Like I said in the introduction, the Cardinals have opened up their division lead to 3.5 games over rival Chicago Cubs, which feels pretty significant given how close this division race has been all season long. And this has been a three-team race all season long as well, with the Brewers involved, but the Brewers are now 6.5 back from the Red Birds. It looks like it will come down to St. Louis and Chicago.
8. Washington Nationals (78-63)
Last Ranking: 6
I debated putting the Nationals one spot higher on this list, but they’ve lost four in a row in a very crucial time in the season. They have run into a very talented and hot Braves team and have battled them closely, but they needed to win those games. The Nats now find themselves 10 games back in the division, so unless a miracle occurs, they will need to win the NL Wild Card game. Currently, they are in the first wild card spot, 3.5 games up on the first wild card outsider (Arizona).
7. Oakland Athletics (83-59)
Last Ranking: 8
Moving up a spot in the rankings after several weeks in the 8th spot are the Oakland A’s. They are 6-4 in their last ten games and are in a very similar position to the Washington Nationals. Like the Nationals, the A’s have a very slim chance at winning their division (9.5 games back to the Astros) and will have to focus on the wild card. They currently hold the 2nd wild card spot, 1.5 games up on Cleveland. It should be a very good race down the stretch.
6. Minnesota Twins (88-54)
Last Ranking: 5
This and the 5th spot could have went either way I feel like, but I decided to place the Twins here because the Rays have been on fire lately. The Twins have been playing well lately too, which is why they’ve increased their division lead to 6.5 games over the Cleveland Indians. The Twins are more dangerous offensively than any other team in the game, which is why I want to see them in the playoffs against some very good pitching staffs.
5. Tampa Bay Rays (85-59)
Last Ranking: 7
Like I said, the Rays have been on fire lately and deserve this 5th spot. They’ve won nine of their last ten games and are looking for the four-game sweep of the Blue Jays today. Currently they are in the first AL wild card spot, one game up on the A’s in the 2nd spot and 2.5 up on the Indians who are on the outside looking in. Last year’s Cy Young winner Blake Snell is close to making his return as well, which should bolster this already solid rotation.
4. Atlanta Braves (89-54)
Last Ranking: 4
As a Braves fan, I couldn’t be more excited for how they’ve been playing lately. They’re 9-1 in their last 10 games and have won the first three of a crucial four game series against the Washington Nationals. The Nationals were just as hot as the Braves entering this series and could have made a major dent in the Braves’ division lead, but Atlanta has really stepped up to the plate. They look for the four-game sweep today to go up 11 games on their division-rival.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers (92-52)
Last Ranking: 1
For the first time in what feels like forever, the Dodgers are not in the first spot in my power ranking. They’ve been just average lately, going .500 in their last ten games. The thing with the Dodgers though, is they’ve been on cruise control for most of this season, just waiting for the playoffs. So their average stretch of play recently means nothing. For them, the only season that matters begins in October, where it will be World Series or bust.
2. New York Yankees (93-50)
Last Ranking: 3
The Yankees are up a spot after solid play lately, winning 7 of their last 10 games. Unless they collapse, which is very unlikely, they will take home the division crown and look to make a deep playoff run in a few weeks. They are currently up 8.5 games on the Rays who’ve been playing unbelievable lately. At +164, the Yankees have the fourth best run differential in baseball. They are playoff ready now.
1. Houston Astros (93-50)
Last Ranking: 2
Like the Yankees and Dodgers, the Astros have been waiting on post-season play to begin for a while now. I have felt like these three teams are on another level for most of the season and am ready to see how they all fare in the playoffs. The Astros’ rotation is plain scary and it’s hard to imagine them getting beat in the playoffs by anybody just for that reason. But the playoffs are a different animal and anything can happen. I would have to think a Dodgers-Astros World Series matchup is most likely, though.