2018 MLB Power Rankings: The Hunt For October
2018 MLB Power Rankings
There are less than four weeks left in the regular season and the postseason is taking shape. With teams now making their postseason runs or just preparing for the 2019 season, the deck has been slightly reshuffled. Oh and spoiler alert, a lot of movement within our top 10.
Updated on September 13.
30. Baltimore Orioles
Previous ranking: 29
It's been a rough year in Baltimore, unless they are playing the Yankees. Here's just how bad they are: only 14 teams since 1900 have had a worse winning percentage (.287) and they sit 56.5 games back of the league-leading Boston Red Sox in the AL East.
I wish our boss would let us edit a white flag into this photo.
29. Kansas City Royals
Previous ranking: 30
The second-worst team in baseball swept the worst team in baseball giving them the edge for this week in the power rankings. They also managed two of their highest scoring games of the year by bringing around nine runs twice in that series.
Jorge Lopez getting three outs away from a perfect game, just goes to show that they cannot have nice things.
28. Chicago White Sox
Previous ranking: 28
Last edition it was stated it was stated that the Chicago White Sox were in a state of perpetual awfulness, just not as bad as Baltimore and Kansas City. It's hard to say that though for a team that grabbed four wins over the Yankees and Red Sox in back-to-back series.
While we locked them in to the No. 28 spot for the remainder of the season, we've decided to unlock the lock but still leave it hooked onto the latch.
27. Miami Marlins
Previous ranking: 27
Low expectations can alter the persepctive of a team and although there are not many teams worse than the Marlins, it seems to be a productive 2018.
26. Detroit Tigers
Previous ranking: 25
Although their roster is not great, it is astounding at how bad the Tigers continue to be with some of their victories. Losing five straight to the Royals and the White Sox cannot go unnoticed. Besides Nicholas Castellanos, there is no consistent offense in Detriot.
Three of the five worst teams in baseball are all in the AL Central and really makes one wonder how good Cleveland actually is.
25. San Diego Padres
Previous ranking: 26
San Diego can cause some issues in the NL West and the Wild Card before the season is said and done. With Francisco Mejia hitting two home runs in his first two at bats, they showed that there is some serious power in their dugout.
24. Cincinnati Reds
Previous ranking: 21
The momentairy climb for Cincinnati was short lived despite Scotter Gennett coninuing to keep his name in the MVP conversation. They're 6-14 in the past three weeks being swept by the Cubs and the Pirates, reverting back to being one of the bottom-10 teams of MLB.
23. Texas Rangers
Previous ranking: 20
Although they are taking hits in a strong division, the Rangers cannot buy a win on the road, much less against a winning team. With their schedule they actually had a chance to finish the year above .500 heading into September, but those hopes are completely gone.
22. San Francisco Giants
Previous ranking: 19
Goodness, two weeks ago the Giants had turned their season partly around and many thought they could sneak their way into a Wild Card spot if they beat their divisional opponents. Afterall, it is a even year so the Giants are destined to take a Wild Card spot to the World Series.
Then they lost eight straight. The first two agains the Mets. And they lost Buster Posey
Now they are out of the race and just hoping to start a new streak on odd years.
21. Minnesota Twins
Previous ranking: 22
We repeat: yes, we've only gone through 10 teams so far and this is already the fourth representative from the AL Central. The Twins are simply the best of the rest and have half of their wins (32) over their division. Still, they are 15-plus games back in the AL Central.
20. Toronto Blue Jays
Previous ranking: 24
Toronto is yet another team that had hopes of competing in 2018, only to find themselves near the bottom of the standings. Yet, who knew that the Red Sox and the Yankees would combine for nearly 200 wins.
19. New York Mets
Previous ranking: 23
New York continues to pick it as stated last update. They have been a real thorn in the side of SEVERAL teams with postseason aspirations. Here is the list of teams they beat in a series since August 15: Philadelphia (twice), Washington, San Francisco, and the LA Dodgers.
It's not just Jacob de Grom anymore.
18. Pittsburgh Pirates
Previous ranking: 18
Now hitting the middle of the pack of the league the next three teams could all be switched around. The Pirates, like the other two teams have been around .500 all season, never climbing too high or falling too low. They can't win close games or win multiple games in a row.
17. Los Angeles Angels
Previous ranking: 17
See the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Angles have been here all season...
Oh but if Shohei Ohtani continues to hit dingers despite needing Tommy John surgery, they have two of the most electric stars in the majors.
Now, just to win games...
16. Washington Nationals
Previous ranking: 15
They show signs of going on a run - they lose. Their offense finally wakes up - they lose. There is a reason they have hovered around average all season, because they continue to play like it. But no one, 100 percent counts them out of the playoffs.
15. Philadelphia Phillies
Previous ranking: 13
Philadelphia continues to slide in both the NL East and the Wild Card. Everyone thought they could hang tough with the Wilson Ramos addition in July, but there are barely signs of life from the Phillies. Never more evident than the .207 team batting average they have.
They're doing okay against the good teams, just countless losses to Washington and New York will plague them at season's end.
14. Seattle Mariners
Previous ranking: 14
Remember when the Mariners were contending for the AL West with the defending World Champion Houston Astros? Yeah that was a long time ago.
Since July 5 they have the fourth worst record (24-32) in the AL and that's pretty bad if you look at who is in the bottom of this league.
Also how do they manage to be 79-64 with a -52 run differiental? Their playoff hopes are now long gone for a team that would be tied for the third best in the NL.
13. Arizona Diamondbacks
Previous ranking: 9
Postseason aspirations may have gone up in smoke these past two weeks. A 2-7 record, including dropping three of four against the Los Angeles Dodgers have them now on the outside looking in. Their two pillars in the backend of games Brad Boxberger and Archie Bradley are unrecognizable and are directly attributing to the funk that Arizona will likely end their season with.
12. Tampa Bay Rays
Previous ranking: 16
If Tampa Bay took away their 28-28 record to start the 2018 season, they could very well be running away in the American League with the Red Sox and the Yankees.
The fact they are here is silly after losing Chris Archer, yet here they stand, with no postseason hopes, but near the top-10 in all of baseball.
11. Colorado Rockies
Previous ranking: 11
Colorado cooled off and then has gotten hot again. Winning a string of five guys got them right back to the top of the division with the Dodgers. With 10 of their 20-some games left against the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, they will essentially determine their own playoff destiny.
That includes if they will win their first ever division title.
10. Atlanta Braves
Previous ranking: 7
Somehow a 17-13 month in August still has the Braves sitting atop their division by a pretty comfortable margin. With their exuberant youth and inconsistent starting pitching, their outlook is really up in the air in the postseason.
Heck they should be focusing on a playoff run, but instead they are just piecing together wins when they can. A hanful of wins on the West Coast has turned their momentum in the right direction for now.
9. St. Louis Cardinals
Previous ranking: 12
Mike Shildt may just work himself into the conversation to Manager of the Year with what he has continued to do in St. Louis since taking over halfway through the year. As of this writing they are holding the final playoff spot in the National League with the division still within their grasp.
8. Milwaukee Brewers
Previous ranking: 10
Some questionable moves during this season have turned into a real good look for the Brewers who can make a run at the NL Central.
Now Mike Moustakas, Jonathan Schoop, and Gio Gonzalez (all guys that were trending the wrong way) are helping power the Brewers into a penant chase. For once Milwaukee got BETTER after the All-Star break.
7. Los Angeles Dodgers
Previous ranking: 6
The statistics that have been evident all season are finally starting to show on the diamond. The team with the best run differiential in the National League grabbed some key wins over Arizona and Colorado, but they cannot seem to beat anyone else, especially at home.
I know the Dodgers are in third place in the NL West, but I still see them as one of the top six teams in baseball. Their talent level is unbelievable, and they have by far the best run-differential in the National League. They are only two games behind the Diamondbacks, and this is still clearly a World Series contender this season.
6. Oakland Athletics
Previous ranking: 8
When the season is all said and done, the Athletics will be the Wild Card team that no one will want to face in the postseason, yes we know the Yankees will get a Wild Card spot.
They continue to win EVERY game against a lesser opponent and know how to win ugly. A lot of credit has to be given to Stephen Piscotty for his increased stretch to get him to 24 home runs on the season.
5. Chicago Cubs
Previous ranking: 5
It is almost as if the Cubs are wanting the Brewers and Cardinals to stay in the race for the NL Central with how they've played as of late. Frankly, they should have locked this up and be in cruise mode until October.
It is nice though to have the balance on offense that they do, including the future 2018 NL MVP Javier Baez.
I'm not dropping the Cubs a spot because of anything they've done wrong. This is a top five team in baseball, and we've had them in that range all season long. They's 19 games above-.500 and have the second-best run-differential in the NL. I have complete faith in this team competing well into October.
4. Cleveland Indians
Previous ranking: 4
Before the next rankings are updated, the Cleveland Indians will be the first team to clinch a divsion title.
Granted, they are in the worst division in all of baseball, with a pretty questionable bullpen. As long as Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez continue to rake, there will be no issues until the postseason.
3. New York Yankees
Previous ranking: 3
Life is not fair, that is at least what every New Yorker that bleeds pinstripes is thinking. Literally give them any other division minus the AL West and they would be sitting pretty.
But alas they are not. They are however getting healthy at the right time with Andrew McCutchen jumping in a time machine for the Bronx Bombers.
2. Boston Red Sox
Previous ranking: 1
Aside from the Red Sox being the best team in all of baseball, the first team to clinch a postseason spot, and sitting 55 games over .500, they fall to second in this week's power rankings.
Oh and they celebrated their playoff berth with a light toast of champagne, no goggles needed.
1. Houston Astros
Previous ranking: 2
It was a quick flip-flop for the Astros who are now back at the top of the rankings. The differene was a series victory in Boston between the middle of the rotations.
Right now it's like waiting for Avengers 4 with the looming Astros-Red Sox ALCS. We all have a pretty strong idea of what to expect, and we know it is going to be pretty dang good with each side throwing haymakers until midnight.
Yes, we're salivating too.