Astros and Dodgers remain top contenders in MLB power rankings
September has arrived, which means the race for the playoffs has begun. This month’s power rankings make a clear distinction between the contenders and pretenders.
30. Detroit Tigers: Superstar Miguel Cabrera is surely stuck in baseball purgatory. The Tigers are owners of the worst run differential in the entire league and the league’s worst record as well.
29. Baltimore Orioles: The Orioles are not too far from the Tigers. The only thing this franchise has to look forward to in the next four years is the MLB debut of 2019 ‘s top draft choice, Adley Rutschman.
28. Miami Marlins: No one expected the Marlins to contend this season from the beginning, and their season is going as expected.
27. Toronto Blue Jays: The Blue Jays are loaded with young prospects and fans should expect them to be a regular pennant contender after two or three years.
26. Pittsburgh Pirates: Despite standout seasons from Josh Bell and Starling Marte, the pitching has not been able to get the job done. Starting ace Chris Archer’s time appears to be up.
25. Kansas City Royals: Stripped of the core that made them a World Series contender from 2013-2016, the Royals have nothing to build around.
24. Seattle Mariners: The Mariners are another team in the beginning of a dreaded rebuilding process.
23. Chicago White Sox: Lucas Giolito might be the second coming of Mark Buehrle. Eloy Jimenez may be the real deal. Either way, the White Sox have not been able to bail out a mediocre pitching core.
22. San Diego Padres: Many expected the Padres to put up a fight in the NL West. Unfortunately, Manny Machado’s production has not lived up to his $300 million contract.
21. Colorado Rockies: A shocking year from Ryan McMahon, coupled with steady production from Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story makes for a dynamic offense. The pitching, as always, could not keep up and has brought them down.
20. Los Angeles Angels: Sadly, Mike Trout is the only shining star here and the weak prospect pool isn’t exactly helping.
19. Texas Rangers: To be a playoff contender, teams have to win games away from home too. The Rangers have been spectacular at home, but need to piece it together away from Arlington.
18. San Francisco Giants: The Giants’ core is not young anymore, which means a rebuild is inevitable.
17. Cincinnati Reds: The Reds are a mediocre team with a good young core. They should be playoff contenders in the near future.
16. New York Mets: The Mets have been the hottest team since June, but still have several teams to hurdle over.
15. Milwaukee Brewers: The Brewers have cooled off since their hot start. They need it kick into playoff gear to be ready come October.
14. Arizona Diamondbacks: As the Diamondbacks compete for a wild-card spot, they may regret not being buyers at the deadline.
13. Philadelphia Phillies: Bryce Harper has taken this team to the next level, ever since he started heating up after the All-Star break. This team will only go as far as he takes them.
12. Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays were once the best team in the league, but they have fallen down to earth. It is a toss-up between them, Cleveland, Boston and Oakland for the American League Wild Card spots.
11. Atlanta Braves: They will likely finish off the season with the National League East title, but their roster is not deep enough to contend with powerhouses like the Los Angeles Dodgers come playoff time.
10. Boston Red Sox: The Sox looked out of place early in the season, barely able to stay afloat with a .500 winning percentage. Since June, they have stormed out of the gates, more closely resembling a team that is the defending World Series Champions.
9. Oakland Athletics: The Athletics have a stacked young core, and coupled them with proven, developed hitters. This team is looking scary. Relievers Blake Treinen and Liam Hendriks have held the bullpen down all year.
8. St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals have it all, with a deep lineup and quality pitchers. They will have to keep it together come playoff time.
7. Chicago Cubs: They are biggest threat to the Dodgers in the NL. If Yu Darvish finds himself down the stretch, this team can challenge anyone.
6. Cleveland Indians: Choosing to bolster depth, rather than focus on talent this deadline, this team looks ready for October.5. Washington Nationals: The Nationals have been the best team in the league since mid-May. They will put up a fight as long as reliever and closer Sean Doolittle can rebound and find his strikeout pitch.
4. Minnesota Twins: The Twins are unexpectedly the best hitting team in the league all year. They already set the major league record for home runs in a season and in this stacked league, even that is not a guarantee for the number one spot.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers: Now is the time for the Dodgers. But even if they do not get it done this year, they’ll still be number one in the National League come next year.
2. New York Yankees: In the absence of Giancarlo Stanton, D.J. LeMahieu is looking like the AL’s Most Valuable Player. Electric arms Luis Severino and Dellin Betances should be back just in time for playoff baseball.
1. Houston Astros: Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and Yordan Alvarez have it all together. The unmatched pitching rotation will carry the lineup even further, making the Astros unstoppable.