As we head into the final month of the regular season, the divisional races are winding down and the playoff picture will soon become clear. Although most of the divisional races are starting to become virtually locked up, the NL West getting closer, as the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants are only separated by two and a half games. This will be the divisional race to keep your eyes on, as the winner likely gets a critical home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. How do they stack up currently though? Here are your updated MLB Power Rankings.
Week 22 MLB Power Rankings
1) San Francisco Giants (84-46) (Previous: 1)
The San Francisco Giants started off the week well, with a clean three-game sweep over the New York Mets. Although they could only win one of three against Atlanta, this team has done nothing to say they aren’t the best in the major league. They have a brutal schedule this week, with a series against the Brewers and the Dodgers. If they can come out on the other side with a lead of two or more games, this division should be close to locked up the way they’re playing.
2) Tampa Bay Rays (82-48) (3)
For all the talk about the Yankees and their streak, nobody is giving credit to the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays have won nine of their last 10 games, including seven in a row. While they only played against Philadelphia and Baltimore this week, they still leave little doubt they are far ahead of everyone they face as of late. They have a 5.5-game lead over the Yankees in the division and have four against Boston this week. If they can survive a late fury this week, they should have the AL East virtually locked up.
3) Los Angeles Dodgers (82-49) (2)
It feels wrong that a team 33 games over .500 is second in their division, but that is exactly where the Dodgers sit. They have plenty of time to make up their deficit in the division, but they have to take their series against the Giants this week, convincingly. This is the last time they play the Giants, so if they can’t capitalize, San Francisco controls their own, and L.A.’s, destiny.
4) New York Yankees (76-54) (5)
The win streak has ended, but the New York Yankees are still on fire. They swept in a shortened two-game series against the Braves before taking the first two of four against Oakland. While they did end up losing the last two in that series, they weren’t going to win the rest of the way. With the Angels and Orioles on deck this week, this momentum isn’t going to stop any time soon. They might not win the division, but a playoff spot for a team hovering around .500 for most of the season is a good starting point. They rise one spot in the MLB Power Rankings this week.
5) Houston Astros (77-53) (6)
The Houston Astros took revenge on Kansas City by taking two of three games from them last week. They also took two of three from Texas, which is all they need in the current AL West race. They lead the division by over five games, so a lot would be needed for them to lose the top spot in the division. With Seattle and the lowly Padres on deck, they shouldn’t have much of a challenge taking four or more games this week as well.
6) Milwaukee Brewers (79-52) (4)
The Milwaukee Brewers are 79-52 overall, but just 2-8 this season against the Twins and Royals. Someone tell me how that makes sense. They took two of three games against the Reds in a massive series with plenty of divisional ramifications. Although they did lose two of three to Minnesota, the Reds lost two of three to the Marlins, so they lost no ground. With Lorenzo Cain getting injured this week as well, the Brewers don’t have much room left on their injured list.
7) Boston Red Sox (75-57) (11)
The Boston Red Sox have stopped the bleeding from their cold streak but still have some work to do to clinch a playoff spot. They do control their own destiny, however, and won five of seven against the Twins and Indians this week. With a four-game stint against the Rays on deck, the Red Sox can stake their claim on a playoff spot with a good showing.
8) Chicago White Sox (76-56) (7)
The Chicago White Sox would have to do a hell of a lot to lose their lead in the division, as the Indians are currently 10 games back. If we’re being honest, only a doomsday scenario would stop this team from making the playoffs. The only question is whether or not this team can finally get it done in the playoffs. Outside of their own division, this team is only 39-31, not great for a team that won’t be seeing any teams in their division in the playoffs.
9) Cincinnati Reds (71-61) (9)
The Cincinnati Reds weren’t able to make up ground in the division. In fact, they fell back an extra game. However, they kept pace over the Padres. With an easy schedule ahead and the Cardinals and Tigers on deck, it is their wild card spot to lose. Say what you will about their bullpen, and it is bad, but their bats are hitting their stride and that should be scary for the rest of the National League.
10) Atlanta Braves (70-59) (8)
The Atlanta Braves have cooled down a little bit, but that won’t hurt them a bit in a sad NL East. They looked bad in a shortened two-game series against the Yankees, but looked impressive taking two of three from the Giants. They’ll need to keep that form this week, as they have to travel to L.A. to play the Dodgers for three games. If they can even just win one game, they should be in a great spot with a weak schedule after. However, they still drop in our MLB Power Rankings.
11) Oakland Athletics (72-59) (10)
The Oakland Athletics still are in deep trouble but have seemed to slow the bleeding. After winning seven straight in mid-August, Oakland proceeded to lose 11-of-14 before taking the last two against the Yankees. Those wins were crucial as not only did they finally get some wins, but they take their deficit in the wild card race to two and a half games. They need a lot more of that to reach October and they should have a good chance with Detroit and Toronto on deck for their next six games.
12) Seattle Mariners (70-61) (12)
Seattle once again seemed indecisive on what kind of team they wanted to be. They started the week of incredibly strong with a two-game sweep of the Athletics. They then decided to lose three of four to the Royals at home to set them back again in their climb for the second wild card spot. With time running out, it’s hard to believe this team can bring the consistency needed to make up a deficit of over four games to make the playoffs.
13) St. Louis Cardinals (66-63) (15)
The Cardinals are all but eliminated and they might be dead in the water after this week. St. Louis has an absolute gauntlet with their next 13 games against the Reds, Brewers, and Dodgers. While a hot streak could certainly make things interesting, it’s hard to see them doing it. The clock is striking midnight on the St. Louis Cardinals.
14) Toronto Blue Jays (68-61) (14)
For a team that should be a shoo-in for the playoffs, they too often fall flat. They were only able to split a four-game series with the White Sox before winning two of three against Detroit. With a five and a half-game deficit between them and the second wild-card spot, they also need to hit their stride soon and with the Athletics and Yankees on deck after Baltimore, I don’t buy them finding their stride any time soon.
15) San Diego Padres (69-62) (13)
The Padres are one of the luckiest teams in baseball. Even after being swept over a three-game series with the Dodgers and splitting a two-game series with the Angels, they are somehow only one and a half games behind the last wild card spot. This team is 2-8 over their last ten and a catastrophic collapse unlike any we have seen may be imminent. The Reds have an easy schedule as San Diego has 16 games in September against either Houston, San Francisco or the Dodgers. They went all-in for this?
16) Cleveland Indians (64-64) (17)
Another week, another .500 push for the Indians. This team is nothing special but good enough to play themselves out of solid draft picks. This team needs to rebuild or land some free agents because second in the division and average overall won’t cut it for long.
17) Philadelphia Phillies (66-64) (18)
The Phillies are still alive in the NL East, but they need to make a move now to make something happen. Even then, they need some help as they only meet the Braves for three more games the rest of the season. They took three of four against Arizona but needed to do better than dropping two of two to the Rays. Although the Rays are a heck of a team, Philly is running out of time and can’t count on beating up on the little guys.
18) Los Angeles Angels (64-67) (16)
Is it any surprise that the Angels were the team to lose to the Orioles to end Baltimore’s 18-game losing streak? Not only did they lose that game, but they lost the game after, losing the series against them as well. While their season is all but over, have some pride. Losing to a team like the Orioles is just pathetic. They deserve to drop in the MLB Power Rankings.
19) Detroit Tigers (62-69) (21)
Credit where it’s due, the Tigers are still fighting. They looked good in a two-game split with the Cardinals, although they lost two of three to Toronto directly after. This team isn’t good, but they fight like nobody else and for that they deserve some respect. When will this rebuild finally come to contention?
20) New York Mets (63-67) (20)
The Mets already have enough problems as it is. Enter Javier Baez saying that the players do a thumbs down gesture whenever they get a hit to “boo” the crowd for booing them. Bold strategy for a guy who is hitting .208 since he joined the Big Apple. The Mets winning three of ten and the team President having to make a statement on player’s actions, is about as Mets as it gets. These fans deserve better.
21) Kansas City Royals (59-71) (22)
Shoutout to the Royals for being good when it absolutely does not matter. Kansas City has won seven of ten and although they lost their series to Houston, came back strong to take a series against Seattle. Somebody please get Salvador Perez out of Kansas City, he doesn’t deserve to be let down this often. He has 38 home runs already. Get him some help!
22) Colorado Rockies (60-70) (19)
Somehow, someway the Rockies not only won a series on the road, but they did it against the Dodgers as well. This team is so confusing and, like the Royals, cannot find a shred of consistency anywhere. Too bad that if this team was anything better than complete garbage on the road, they’d be in the playoff hunt. They keep dropping in our MLB Power Rankings this week.
23) Minnesota Twins (57-73) (23)
The Twins started off the week by their pitching getting absolutely shredded by the Red Sox for three games. That’s why them limiting the Brewers to four runs over the next two games makes even less sense. Either way, it’s always nice to have bragging rights over your interleague neighbors which they have solidified for the season.
24) Miami Marlins (55-76) (26)
The Marlins looked oddly good this week by taking two of three against Washington and Cincinnati. Although they aren’t as good as the Rockies at home, they are two games over .500. They need to improve on their 21-44 road record to be anything even close to average in the National League.
25) Washington Nationals (55-74) (24)
The Nationals had another subpar week in a season that saw them blow up their team much earlier than expected. If we’re being honest, this will probably be how the next three or more seasons go unless they can quickly build around Juan Soto. At the end of the day though, they got a championship and beat a cheating Astros team so do their fans really care?
26) Chicago Cubs (57-75) (25)
Twice this week the Cubs scored 10+ runs and lost. Not only did they give up 17 runs to the White Sox on Friday, but they also lost 13-1 on Sunday as well. This team is embarrassingly bad and has a long road ahead of them on the path back to relevance. Not much more can really be said about the Cubs.
27) Pittsburgh Pirates (48-83) (27)
Considering where the Pirates are at right now, taking a series against Arizona and not being swept by the Cardinals is good enough. As said before, this team needs to be sold to somebody that actually cares.
28) Arizona Diamondbacks (44-88) (28)
The Diamondbacks couldn’t beat Pittsburgh in a series, then lost three of four games against an average Philly team. With the recent struggles of the Padres and Mariners, they might have a chance to play homewrecker this week and rise in the MLB Power Rankings.
29) Texas Rangers (45-85) (29)
This team is so bad that they have a four-game lead over a team that just lost 18 straight. They are also only two games above a team that has had two double-digit game losing streaks as well. Don’t get it twisted, this team is easily one of the worst in the leagues as well, although they may not have the losing streaks that hit headlines.
30) Baltimore Orioles (40-89) (30)
Congrats for winning a game. In fact, Baltimore won two! Good job guys, enjoy the participation trophy and the last place in our MLB Power Rankings. At least their social media team is solid.