MLB Power Rankings
Nearly a week removed from the MLB trade deadline, we are starting to see the final lineups of every contender shape together barring any injuries, returns from injuries, or late-season call-ups, which are all bound to happen.
The trade deadline signaled that we are nearing the end of this jampacked regular season, and we now have clear pictures and ideas on how the rest of this season will play out and how the playoffs will form.
Many teams that will make up this list made some huge moves to bolster their lineups, rotations, and bullpens, and they are all poised for big runs in the postseason. The Dodgers added Max Scherzer, Trea Turner, and Danny Duffy. The Yankees added some left-handed bats for once. The Rays landed Nelson Cruz, and the Giants snagged Kris Bryant from the Cubs fire sale. All of these franchises are confident in their teams, and it showed at the deadline.
While it looked like two wild card teams will come out of the NL West in the National League for much of the season, the Cincinnati Reds have cleared a path in which they are only a few games back of the San Diego Padres, which is not an impossible mountain to climb.
In the American League, the Wild Card spots will be reserved for the second-place teams in the West and East divisions with how weak the Central has been. The East is coming down to a race between the Rays and Red Sox for the top spot, but the Yankees and Blue Jays are trying to maintain strong positioning. In the West, The Astros and Athletics will battle it out for the top spot, but the Athletics have to watch out. If they slack off, another the Yankees and Blue Jays will be biting at their necks for a Wild Card bid.
With the Divisional and Wild Card races in full swing, here are my current Power RMLBankings.
MLB Power Rankings | The Cream of the Crop in the MLB
What else it there to be said about the Dodgers. They added the strongest pieces at the deadline, and already had one of the more loaded rosters in all of baseball. Now, insert multiple-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer to the rotation, and All-Star Trea Turner to the infield, this team becomes even more beastly.
Fans should make sure to tune in tonight for the second game of their three-game series versus the Astros. Scherzer will be making his first start with the team, and after a hectic 3-0 loss at the hands of Houston last night, expect the Dodgers to come out on fire.
The Giants must be smiling right now after their trade deadline picks up Kris Bryant hit a homer in his first game as a Giant in a 5-3 victory over the weekend versus the Houston Astros. The Giants however did drop a tough game to the Diamondbacks last night but will have three more games against them to get that one back, and maybe stretch their division lead over the Dodgers.
At 66 wins on the season, the Giants have been the best team in the league when looking at wins, and maybe overall. These next few weeks will be very telling for this team, and a lot of others as we start to stare at the division standings more.
The Astros are on one grueling road trip, and it will conclude tonight after the end of their current two-game series versus the Los Angeles Dodgers. So far on the road trip that has seen them face the Giants, Mariners, and Dodgers, they are 4-3. They won two of three versus the Mariners in Seattle, went on to lose two versus the Giants, but bounced back for a very strong 3-0 win last night against Walker Buehler and Los Angeles.
While the Astros may not have made many huge moves at the deadline, they didn’t need to. They are a perennial contender and will be in the thick of it again this year.
The Rays get a bump up here due to their three-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox this weekend.
For the first time since 2008, the Rays are leading the AL East heading into the month of August. That year ended up being a very good one for them, marking their first playoff appearance, and their first World Series appearance.
However, after snagging the division lead by 1.5 games after the weekend series versus the Sox, the Rays have dropped two straight to the Seattle Mariners. While their positioning is still strong without the division win, I would assume they would like to avoid what could be a tough divisional matchup versus the Yankees or Athletics.
5: White Sox
This team may have it the easiest out of everyone on this list.
They are miles ahead of anyone in their division (Cleveland Indians are 9.5 games back), and that is despite them going 5-5 in their last 10 games, and losing 7 of their last 12. They are comfortably sitting in the driver’s seat of that division.
They will get a chance to avenge their series loss versus the Royals last week with their current series.
6: Red Sox
I was tempted to drop the Red Sox farther down the list due to them getting swept by the Tampa Bay Rays this weekend, and I was even more tempted to do it after they dropped the first game of their series to the Tigers last night. But I cannot muster up any reasons why this team should fall lower than #6.
Yes, they have lost five straight, but the Rays are a very strong team, and I am not too worried about the Red Sox’s ability to bounce back. They showed struggles like this at the beginning of the season, and while it is worrying to see them return this late in the season, I believe in their ability to recover.
Much like the White Sox, the Brew Crew in Milwaukee does not have much to worry about when it comes to competition in the NL Central division race. The Cincinnati Reds are the closest team, yet they are 7 total games back.
The Brewers are 7-3 in their past 10 and have really been stretching out that division lead, lessening their playoff worries.
In a season where Christian Yelich has struggled mightily and been injured, key players in their lineup have stepped up to back up Milwaukee’s monster rotation.
Here marks the third appearance of an NL West team in these Top 10 Power Rankings, showing how strong these teams are, and the appeal of the West Coast.
The Padres are more occupied and focused on maintaining their current Wild Card spot, but their only true competition is the Cincinnati Reds who are 4.5 games back. While that lead of the Padres is definitely surmountable, The Padres are the much stronger team, and if I am in the NL Playoffs, I would be scared in a matchup versus the Padres.
The Athletics are once again loading up for a postseason run after their acquisitions of four quality veterans at the deadline. They picked up Starling Marte who was having a stellar campaign for the Marlins, reliever Andrew Chafin from the Cubs, and two quality players in Yan Gomes and Josh Harrison from the Nats.
The Athletics will have a tough time in the American League, especially with teams like the Yankees and Blue Jays on their back in the Wild Card, but this team once again has the pieces to make a run.
It has come to that time where we shift our focus to one of the most popular teams in baseball and maybe the world. The Yankees headed into the deadline and came out with some much-needed lefties in their lineup such as slugger Joey Gallo from the Rangers and Anthony Rizzo from the Cubs. And after a sweep of the Marlins over the weekend, it already looked like things were falling into place.
But then a rough 7-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles brought up questions once again, that to some were once again shut down when the Yankees slaughtered the Orioles last night 13-1.
What this shows to me is the potential the Yankees have to be a great team, they just need to piece it together in time for October. Will that happen? Only time will tell.