MLB Power Rankings: Tribe on the rise, something Brew-ing in Beer Town and Verlander shuts down the Dodgers
MLB Power Rankings - Week 20
The Indians are looking good, the Brewers are trying to chase down the Cubs, and Justin Verlander shut down the Dodgers (gasp!) in the latest MLB Power Rankings.
30. Philadelphia Phillies
Not a lot of phight left in these Phills, it would appear, as they dropped phive of their seven games last week out on the West Coast. Their phocus is obviously on securing the phirst pick in next year’s draft, a phellow they can build their phuture around. Whoever it is will provide a good phoundation along with Rhys Hoskins, the home-run machine who’s phlexing his power with phive homers in his phirst 11 big league games.
Last week: 30
29. Chicago White Sox
Derek Holland continues to be, statistically, the worst starting pitcher in baseball. After allowing seven runs in his second straight start, his 6.07 ERA is higher than any other qualified starter in the game. But at least the Sox can cheer on Hall-of-Fame-bound Nicky Delmonico, who is slashing .361/.451/.639 and had two multi-homer games in a three-game span last week.
Last week: 29
28. San Francisco Giants
The Giants are just a-sitting on the dock of the bay, watching the Dodgers pull further away. The Giants are just a-sitting on the dock of the bay, wasting time until the 2018 draft …
Last week: 28
27. Cincinnati Reds
While the Reds are busy figuring out how to blow 9-0 leads, Joey Votto is potentially on his way to winning the NL MVP. He leads the league in walks and on-base percentage and ranks in the top 10 in batting average, OPS, hits, homers and RBIs. And this is not confirmed, but he might also lead the league in balls thrown onto the roof at Wrigley.
Last week: 27
26. Oakland Athletics
Almost nothing has been super dope about the homeboys from the Oaktown this season. But while they lost two of three against the Astros this weekend, they pitched pretty well, giving up eight runs the entire series. Unfortunately they only scored four.
Last week: 25
25. Detroit Tigers
The Tigers went a gross 1-5 this week, but that one win was a big one. Justin Verlander tossed eight innings of two-hit ball against the almost-unbeatable Dodgers. Maybe that game fetches the Tigers a bigger haul in a potential trade.
Last week: 23
24. New York Mets
There hasn’t been much for Jerry Seinfeld to clap about this season, and this week was especially rough for his beloved Metropolitans. They lost all four Subway Series games against the Yankees, then dropped two of three against the Marlins. And they lost Rene Rivera, too!
Last week: 22
23. San Diego Padres
The Fathers’ rebuilding efforts took a hit this weekend when Hunter Renfroe had to be shipped back to the minors. One of the team’s top prospects entering the season, Renfroe had just a .285 on-base percentage and 125 strikeouts in 111 games.
Last week: 26
22. Atlanta Braves
The 17-2 pounding the Braves took at the hands of the Rockies was the not-good part of the week. The good part was Tyler Flowers hitting a grand slam in Sunday’s win over the Reds. The former Sox catcher has been very good this season, with an .852 OPS.
Last week: 24
21. Toronto Blue Jays
Living on a lighted stage approaches the unreal. In the bright lights of Wrigley Field this weekend, the Jays played tough but were still swept in a trio of one-run games. All the visiting Canadians seemed to have a good enough time at the Friendly Confines, and there’s little to gripe about when their last-place, sub-.500 team is still only five games out of a wild-card spot.
Last week: 21
20. Baltimore Orioles
Manny Machado is an absolute beast. Dude clubbed three homers including a walk-off grand slam on Friday. Unfortunately for the O’s, that was just one of two wins they picked up last week. They’re only four games out of a wild card spot, though. So they’ve got that going for them, which is nice.
Last week: 18
19. Pittsburgh Pirates
The seas were not kind to the Buccos last week, me mateys, with four battles lost to the cannon fire of the scalawags from Milwaukee and St. Louis. The Jolly Roger now trails the W flag by 6.5 leagues as these playoff chances are starting to walk the plank.
Last week: 17
18. Tampa Bay Rays
Since July 19, the Rays have won just 10 games. Since the All-Star break, the Rays are hitting just .215 as a team. Can the rays that swim around in that outfield tank pinch hit or something?
Last week: 16
17. Miami Marlins
Giancarlo Stanton keeps socking dingers. He hit three more last week and now has 45 on the season, or eight more than the next closest guy. To go along with all those long balls, the Fish also won a couple series last week and are six games out of the second NL wild-card spot.
Last week: 19
16. Texas Rangers
The Rangers are hot, probably thanks to #LoneStarGrit. Or thanks to facing the Tigers and White Sox last week. The Rangers won five of their seven games and scored nine or more runs in four of them. That includes a 17-run slugfest against former teammate Derek Holland on Saturday.
Last week: 20
15. Seattle Mariners
A good week for the M’s has them just a game and a half out of the second AL wild-card spot in that bunched-up race. And Nelson Cruz has been on absolute fire in the month of August, slashing an ungodly .409/.459/.955 with six doubles, 10 homers and 21 RBIs.
Last week: 15
14. Kansas City Royals
Mike Moustakas is going to really give KC fans something to “moose” about when he hits his next home run, his 36th of the season, which will tie the franchise’s single-season record. Maybe everyone in the stands will get some free brisket or something when it happens. They still have that Billy Butler barbecue sauce?
Last week: 14
13. St. Louis Cardinals
What happened to Rally Cat? The surging Cardinals ran into the Boston buzzsaw last week and then split a four-game set with the Pirates. The Redbirds are still just 3.5 games back of the Cubs in the NL Central standings, but now they’re without Adam Wainwright, who went on the DL over the weekend.
Last week: 10
12. Los Angeles Angels
Albert Pujols hit his 609th career home run, tying him with Sammy Sosa for eighth on baseball’s all-time home-run list. But the Angels had a meh week on the Beltway, going 3-2 against the Nationals and Orioles. They’re right in the thick of the wild-card race, of course. Maybe Christopher Lloyd could put em over the top?
Last week: 11
11. Minnesota Twins
I! Love! Four-game winning streaks! Outscoring the D-backs 27-8! Bartolo Colon beating all 30 teams! AND THE TWINS!
Last week: 12
10. Milwaukee Brewers
Milwaukee really did feel like “the good land” last week as the Crew won four of five and is now just two games back in the NL Central standings. Praise Jesus Aguilar for providing some of the fuel after he blasted three homers in the Brewers’ last two games.
Last week: 13
9. New York Yankees
The Bombers still possess the No. 1 wild-card spot in the American League, but they dropped another series to their AL East rivals this weekend, with the Red Sox winning twice and holding a five-game lead in the division. Aaron Judge has struck out approximately a billion times, and the Yanks need a new closer after Aroldis Chapman was removed from the job. He’s got a 4.14 ERA. He hasn’t had one over 2.54 since he became the Reds’ closer back in 2012.
Last week: 9
8. Chicago Cubs
What should’ve been a 7-0 week for the Cubs against the last-place Reds and Blue Jays went perfectly fine at 5-2. They have just a two-game edge in the NL Central but head into another week with two last-place opponents, the Reds and Phillies, on a three-game win streak. The starting pitching — chiefly that of Jake Arrieta, Kyle Hendricks and John Lackey — has been very good of late.
Last week: 8
7. Arizona Diamondbacks
Unless you’re looking at them through your rainbow shades, the D-backs ain’t looking too good right now after going 2-5 last week and 4-11 in their last 15 games. That’s not awesome, but they still have an NL wild-card spot as of right now. Problem is other teams are hot on their heels, that lead only 2.5 games.
Last week: 6
6. Colorado Rockies
Nolan Arenado made his way through a couple of injury scares and is still in the Rox lineup. Good thing for the Rox, who need him to fight off a surging group of challengers for the NL wild card. Five teams are within six games.
Last week: 5
5. Cleveland Indians
One Bruce is already enshrined in Cleveland. There might soon be another. Since joining the Tribe, Jay Bruce is slashing .375/.444/.725 with three homers (two coming in a 10-1 thumping of the Royals last week) and 12 RBIs. BRUUUUUUUUCE!
Last week: 7
4. Boston Red Sox
This is more than just another band out of Boston as the BoSox became baseball’s fourth 70-win team last week, taking four of five from the Cardinals and Yankees. Rafael Devers continues to rake, his 1.116 OPS in his 21 games being very nice evidence of that.
Last week: 4
3. Washington Nationals
In six games last week, the Nats allowed just 10 runs, one sign of the serious pitching prowess on that roster. Stephen Strasburg is back, and Max Scherzer remains amazing. But the recent star has been Gio Gonzalez, who has allowed only one earned run over his last four starts. Put that dude’s arm in the Smithsonian.
Last week: 3
2. Houston Astros
The Stros followed up a bad week with a fine one, taking four of seven against the D-backs and A’s. Jose Altuve is the modern-day Ted Williams, by the way, batting a ridiculous .362 this season. And he’s nine inches shorter than the Splendid Splinter!
Last week: 2
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers at No. 1? Shocking, right? They took advantage of facing the AL Central’s two worst teams, the White Sox and Tigers, and won four of five games last week. They’ve lost just six times since the All-Star break and just 10 ties since June 7. That’s outrageous.
Last week: 1