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MLB Power Rankings: Cardiac Cardinals Keep Flying

Heading down the home stretch of the season, the MLB Power Rankings have experienced quite a bit of movement, with the St. Louis Cardinals being the largest risers this week.

Let’s take a look at how this week’s MLB Power Rankings play out.

st. louis cardinals mlb power rankings
Credit: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Week 26 MLB Power Rankings

1) San Francisco Giants (102-54) (Previous: 1)

The San Francisco Giants are keeping their hold on the NL West lead and were the first team to hit 100 wins. San Francisco has won seven of 10 games and gets Arizona for three games before they finish the season against the Padres. The one question mark is about the status of Brandon Belt, who left Sunday’s game in the seventh inning after being hit in the hand. If he is to miss time, that could hinder a team with serious World Series aspirations.

2) Los Angeles Dodgers (100-56) (2)

Like the Giants, the Dodgers have won seven of 10 and became the second team to reach 100 wins with a win over Arizona on Sunday. With matchups against the Padres and Brewers on deck, they need the Giants to choke if they want to make up their two-game deficit in the NL West. This team is arguably the best in the bigs on paper but if they face the red hot Cardinals in the Wild Card, don’t be surprised if they struggle.

3) St. Louis Cardinals (87-69) (7)

The St. Louis Cardinals are simply the best team in the MLB over the past few weeks, which is why they make such a big jump in the MLB Power Rankings. This team always finds a way to get hot at the right time and have set a franchise record with 16 straight wins. While they’ll likely have to play the Dodgers in the Wild Card, I wouldn’t bet on anyone to beat them for at least the next week. This team is extremely dangerous.

Tampa Bay Rays clinch second straight AL East title with win over in-state  rival Marlins -
Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck/USA Today Sports

4) Tampa Bay Rays (97-59) (4)

The Tampa Bay Rays have clinched the AL East after a heck of a season and still have a chance to win 100 games. With the best record in the American League all but wrapped up, the Rays will likely be playing the winner of the Wild Card game. While that’s good from a theoretical standpoint, it’s quite possible the winner of the Wild Card have the third-best record in the AL. Tampa Bay is solid, but how long can they keep the magic going.

5) Milwaukee Brewers (94-62) (3)

It got a little scary for Milwaukee Brewers fans, but the Central division crown is finally theirs. The Crew were embarrassed during a four-game sweep at home to St. Louis but swept the Mets to clinch the division title. Their bullpen ERA is one of the worst in the majors in September, and that must be fixed for Milwaukee to truly contend. If Freddy Peralta, Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff are in their best form though, it won’t matter.

6) New York Yankees (89-67) (10)

Say what you will about the New York Yankees, but they know how to turn it on at the right time. After sweeping the Rangers to start the week, they swept the Red Sox at Fenway in a three-game series. With a brutal six games coming up this week against Toronto and Tampa Bay, they needed all six this week. With Toronto nipping on their heels, they need to keep it up for at least the next three games. Luckily, the Yankees control their own destiny, it won’t be easy though. For now, they make a big jump in the MLB Power Rankings.

7) Houston Astros (91-65) (6)

The Houston Astros have a magic number of two to clinch the AL West and are currently in line to be the second seed in the American League. Coming off of a three-game sweep to Oakland, the Astros will be looking to make a statement in a three-game stint with Tampa Bay to start the week. They will get a chance to exact revenge on Oakland to end the season, but certainly are more focused on the playoffs at this point.

8) Boston Red Sox (88-68) (8)

Boston still controls their destiny, but boy did it take a hit this week. Although they took both of their games against the Mets, they were swept at home by the rival Yankees in their three-game set to end the week. Boston now trails New York by a game for the first Wild Card and leads Toronto by a game for the final playoff spot. With their last six games coming against the Orioles and Nationals, they should be in the playoffs. As we’ve seen by the Reds and Padres, however, “should” doesn’t mean guaranteed.

mlb power rankings
Credit: Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports

9) Chicago White Sox (88-68) (9)

The White Sox are again the big question mark in the MLB. They have won five of 10 games and have Detroit and Cincinnati on deck to end the season. Unfortunately, that won’t get them experience against the playoff teams they have such a tough time beating in the regular season. It’s hard to see how this team will do and all signs point towards them struggling. Their weak division might be the bane of their existence.

10) Toronto Blue Jays (87-69) (5)

Compared to the Yankees and Red Sox, the Blue Jays slipped up a little bit this past week. They are a game behind the second Wild Card spot and have three games against the Yankees to start the week before they finish the season against Baltimore at home. If they can take two of three from New York and sweep the Orioles, they should be in the postseason. Unfortunately, that’s been their biggest issue this year: execution.

11) Seattle Mariners (86-70) (12)

12) Oakland Athletics (85-71) (11)

13) Atlanta Braves (83-72) (13)

14) Philadelphia Phillies (81-75) (14)

15) Cincinnati Reds (81-75) (15)

16) Cleveland Indians (76-79) (19)

17) Detroit Tigers (75-80) (18)

18) San Diego Padres (78-78) (16)

19) Colorado Rockies (71-84) (17)

20) Los Angeles Angels (74-82) (20)

21) Kansas City Royals (71-84) (21)

22) New York Mets (73-82) (22)

23) Minnesota Twins (69-87) (26)

24) Miami Marlins (64-91) (24)

25) Washington Nationals (64-92) (27)

26) Chicago Cubs (67-89) (23)

27) Pittsburgh Pirates (58-97) (25)

28) Texas Rangers (57-99) (28)

29) Arizona Diamondbacks (50-106) (29)

30) Baltimore Orioles (50-106) (30)

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