MLB Power Rankings: The Indians are a very, very good baseball team
MLB Power Rankings - Week 24
You might have heard something about the Indians being very, very good. Their streak is over, but they are still very, very good. Maybe the very, very goodest of all.
30. San Francisco Giants
The Giants would get the No. 1 pick if the season ended right this second. For that reason — and many more — San Francisco fans will be quite grateful when this season is finally dead. (See what I did there?)
Last week: 29
29. Philadelphia Phillies
Just like Hall & Oates, the Phillies are going to spend another fall in Philadelphia. That’s because they won’t be traveling anywhere for any playoff games because they’re one of the two worst teams in baseball. But at least they have Rhys Hoskins, who is amazing and has 47 combined homers between the minors and majors this season.
Last week: 30
28. Chicago White Sox
Jose Abreu since Aug. 25: slashing .377/.438/.714 with six homers, four doubles, two triples, 20 RBIs and 18 runs scored in 20 games. And he hit for the cycle in there, too. In other words, that Jose Abreu is so hot right now.
Last week: 28
27. Detroit Tigers
Good gravy are the Tigers bad, just a game and a half out of last place in the AL Central. They can’t even throw a no-hitter correctly, coming within an out of doing so before giving up a two-out double in the ninth.
Last week: 26
26. New York Mets
The Mets scored 14 runs in three games against the Cubs last week. But they allowed 39, which is very, very not good. Meet the Mets, meet the Mets, step right up and beat the Mets.
Last week: 23
25. Cincinnati Reds
Because the Pirates have been so, so bad lately, it’s quite possible the Reds won’t finish in last place in the NL Central, which could boost Joey Votto’s MVP chances. But the Reds’ final 12 games come against the Cardinals, Red Sox, Brewers and Cubs, so also maybe not.
Last week: 25
24. Pittsburgh Pirates
Yarr, me mateys. There be no sea shanty sad enough to describe the woe in our hearts. We be losers of 11 of our last 12 battles. Our season walked the plank many leagues ago. Our only hope now lies in the buried treasure of the Arizona Fall League.
Last week: 20
23. Oakland Athletics
The A’s lost their AL record for consecutive wins — somewhere Chris Pratt/Scott Hatteberg shed a single tear — and they’ve already announced that one game next season will be completely free to attend. You guys gonna be OK?
Last week: 27
22. San Diego Padres
Hunter Renfroe is back from the minors and smacking dingers for the Fathers. He’s still not the guy who caught that touchdown pass in the national championship game, though.
Last week: 24
21. Atlanta Braves
The Braves, of all teams, beat up on Max Scherzer last week, tagging the potential Cy Young winner for seven runs in an 8-2 win over the playoff-bound Nats.
Last week: 22
20. Toronto Blue Jays
“One likes to believe in the freedom of music, but glittering prizes and endless compromises shatter the illusion of integrity.” So true. So wise. So little to do with the Blues Jays’ recent 6-3 stretch against the Tigers, Orioles and Twins.
Last week: 21
19. Miami Marlins
Party in the city where the rebuild’s on, where they’re debating whether to trade Stanton till the break of dawn. Welcome to Miami, Buenvenidos a Miami!
Last week: 18
18. Baltimore Orioles
The schedule’s always tough when you play in the AL East, but the O’s have already played the Yankees seven times this month, have seen the Indians thrice and are in the middle of a three-game set with the Red Sox. They’re 2-9 in the first 11 of those games.
Last week: 15
17. Tampa Bay Rays
Joe Maddon gets welcomed back to the Trop this week. Let’s just say things went better for the Rays when he was managing the team.
Last week: 16
16. Kansas City Royals
While the Crowns can still technically make the playoffs — seriously — most of the attention paid to KC baseball will be where all their free agents to-be are going to sign. A Royals team sans Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar is gonna look real weird in 2018. Royals fans might have to drown themselves in that Billy Butler barbecue sauce.
Last week: 19
15. Texas Rangers
For all their #LoneStarGrit, the Rangers are gonna end up with three 30-homer guys. Joey Gallo has 38 bombs at the moment and really should’ve gotten credit for like three more after the 490-footer he hit last weekend in Anaheim.
Last week: 14
14. St. Louis Cardinals
The Redbirds are looking like the Deadbirds (nailed it) after this weekend’s sweep at Wrigley. They’ve still got seven games left against the Cubs and Brewers — plus six chances to pile up wins against the Reds and Pirates — but this weekend seemed like the end.
Last week: 13
13. Seattle Mariners
Under .500 but still in the thick of the bonkers AL wild card race, the M’s got a big reinforcement in James Paxton, who returns from the DL sporting a 2.98 ERA and 138 strikeouts in 121 pre-DL innings. Also, I once threw a no-hitter with Freddy Garcia in MVP 2005.
Last week: 17
12. Los Angeles Angels
The schedulers weren’t super nice to the Angels, who have six games with the Indians and Astros this week while the Twins, who the Halos are trying to chase down for a playoff spot, have seven games remaining with the horrible Tigers. Time for the Rally Monkey to make a comeback.
Last week: 12
11. Minnesota Twins
I! Love! Joe Mauer hitting grand slams! Byron Buxton’s second-half surge! Clinging to the second AL wild card spot! AND THE TWINS!
Last week: 11
10. Colorado Rockies
Does your NL MVP vote go to Charlie Blackmon or Nolan Arenado? The Rox have two of the best players in baseball, but will they be enough to hold off the Brewers in the NL wild card race? So many questions in the Mile High City.
Last week: 9
9. Milwaukee Brewers
The Crew is still totally in the hunt for a playoff spot, but things are about to go into make-or-break mode with this weekend’s four-game series with the Cubs in Beertown. Time to see what that pitching staff is made of.
Last week: 10
8. New York Yankees
Start spreading the news, the Bombers are back. They've won 14 of 18 games ... New York, New York! I want to wake up in the city where Aaron Judge sets the rookie strikeout record ... and find he's still got 44 homers, so who really cares?
Last week: 8
7. Chicago Cubs
What a difference a week makes, eh? It was full-blown panic mode after getting swept by the Brewers, but after back-to-back sweeps of the Mets and Cardinals, the Cubs look like “that” team again.
Last week: 6
6. Boston Red Sox
The surging Yankees have made the Red Sox division lead anything but safe, just three games heading into action Tuesday night. But Monday night’s extra-inning comebackathon in Baltimore was a great win, and don’t forget David Price, who’s finally back with a bold purpose.
Last week: 7
5. Arizona Diamondbacks
You don’t need rainbow shades to realize how fantastic J.D. Martinez has been in the month of September. The guy’s slashing .419/.456/1.032 with 11 homers and 23 RBIs in 15 games this month. Like the Mask used to say: smokin! (Related: Remember the Mask?)
Last week: 5
4. Washington Nationals
Health is finally returning to the Nats, but the big kahuna is still on the shelf. Bryce Harper’s return could make the Nats a World Series favorite. Until then, they’re struggling to score runs, averaging 4.1 per game since he’s been out compared to the 5.4 per game they were scoring before he got hurt.
Last week: 4
3. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers hit the 90-win mark on Aug. 24. Since, they’re 6-18. Last week’s four-game winning streak briefly pulled them out of the tailspin, but is anyone still high on the Dodgers as the postseason approaches? Bueller?
Last week: 1
2. Houston Astros
Justin Verlander, again??? The dude’s been incredible since landing in Houston, 3-0 with a razor-thin 0.86 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 21 innings of work.
Last week: 2
1. Cleveland Indians
There ain’t no surf in Cleveland, but the fine folks on the shores of Lake Erie might end up with a better baseball team in they’ve got in L.A. The Tribe, winners of 24 of 25, is three games back of the Dodgers for the best record in baseball.
Last week: 3