MLB Power Rankings
1. Oakland Athletics – The Athletics continue to be the kings of baseball, putting up a run differential of +134, far ahead of the second place spot (+52 is second). In their last ten, Oakland has been 8-2. They have to be the favorites heading into the second half of the season.
2. Milwaukee Brewers – The Brewers have taken a commanding lead in the National League Central, posting a run differential of +46 and winning eight of their last ten. They now have a 6.5 game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central and are the first team to reach 50 wins (now at 51). They are not Oakland, but they are trending up.
3. Los Angeles Angels – After a disappointing season last year, the Angels are looking like a surefire playoff team, even though they will not win the American League West (Oakland). They are 8-2 in their past ten games and have a run differential of +52, second best in the majors.
4. Los Angeles Dodgers – It is only a matter of time before the Dodgers take the lead in the National League West from all indications. They are 7-3 in their last ten games and have a run differential of +48, much better than the division leading San Francisco Giants. They are unbelievable on the road, posting a road record of 26-16. They are certainly a team trending upward.
5. Toronto Blue Jays – Despite going 4-6 in their last ten games, the Toronto Blue Jays still possess a 1.5 game lead in a tough division and still possess a run differential of +34, +25 more than the second place Baltimore Orioles. A bad week, but with the trade deadline looming, they are gearing up to seal the deal and win the American League East. I am not going to knock them down further just yet.
6. Detroit Tigers – It seemed like yesterday when the Tigers and the Royals were neck and neck for the American League Central lead, but the Detroit Tigers have taken a 4.5 game lead in the division after going 8-2 in their last ten games. They are +10 in run differential on the Royals, despite their issues with right field, the bullpen, and Justin Verlander.
7. Seattle Mariners – Why is a team who is 7.5 games out of the division league at number six? Well, they are playing very good baseball, with a road record of 23-16. They spent the past ten games going 6-4, putting up a run differential of +47, which would having them leading a few divisions in baseball. If the playoffs started today, the Mariners would get a wild card spot. Taijuan Walker also returns on Monday, so expect him to help the Mariners, if he is not traded.
8. San Francisco Giants – The Giants threw a no-hitter this week, but continue to disappoint, dwindling the lead in their division to the Dodgers, currently only one game ahead of the Los Angeles club. They are 3-7 in the past ten games, with a run differential of +32, -16 compared to the Dodgers. Things are going south in San Francisco.
9. St. Louis Cardinals – The Cardinals have been very good as of late, going 5-5 in their last five games, putting up a run differential of +24. As for the bad news, they remain 6.5 out of the National League Central lead and have Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia on the DL with Shelby Miller exiting a game with back tightness. Wacha and Miller seem like short-term injuries, so it is hard to point in which direction they are trending.
10. Kansas City Royals – What a disappointment the Royals have been lately. After winning double digit straight games, they are 3-7 in their last ten games. Their run differential has shrunk to +11. Royals General Manager Dayton Moore better make some moves fast or else this team might keep sinking.
11. Washington Nationals – While the Nationals are tied for the National League East lead, it is just a matter of time they make a claim to that crown solely, with a run differential +40 compared to the Atlanta Braves. Bryce Harper’s rehab is going very well and he should be back with the team fairly shortly. I would be surprised if they do not have a multi-game lead in a couple weeks.
12. Atlanta Braves - The Braves baffle me a bit, as they remain tied for the National League East lead, going 7-3 in their last ten. Their run differential, however, is -1. That is not a number you see on a team that will win a division. Run differential is fairly predictive, so that number would indicate that the team will falter the NL East lead sooner rather than later.
13. Baltimore Orioles – Good week for Orioles fans, as the team now trails the Toronto Blue Jays by just 1.5 games, however their run differential stands at just +9, which would concern me if I were to think the Orioles could make up ground and win the division. They are 6-4 in their last ten. If only Dylan Bundy were ready this year, then I would have faith, but I am a doubter for now.
14. Cincinnati Reds – Things are looking up a bit, Reds fans. Despite being 7.5 back of the National League Central lead, the Reds had a hot stretch, going 7-3 in their last ten games. Mesoraco and Votto may keep this team afloat in a hunt for a NL Wild Card spot, as the Reds possess a run differential of +18.
15. Cleveland Indians – Cleveland’s run differential has sunk to -18, seemingly putting them out of the playoff hunt for now, despite Lonnie Chisenhall and Michael Brantley performing out of this world. Starting pitching has been a big problem for the Indians, having only one starter with an ERA+ over 100. They went 4-6 in their last ten games.
16. New York Yankees – Now that the bottom teams of baseball are showing their true records, this spot has to go to the Yankees, who are two games out of the American League East lead. They have gone 5-5 over their last ten games and possess a bad run differential of -29. They can make some moves in order to take a shot at the division league, but I do not think it can be done with this roster
17. Pittsburgh Pirates – The good news: the Pittsburgh Pirates have been hot over their last ten games going 7-3. The bad news: they have a run differential of -12 in a tough division. Despite a 41-40 record, they are in fourth place in the National League Central, and it is hard to see them overtaking the Reds even, who have a run differential of +18, +30 better than the Pirates.
18. New York Mets – The Mets?! Yes, the New York Mets have made the leap on up, despite having an unlikely shot of making the playoffs. They have been 6-4 over their past ten games, but they have put up a positive run differential of +2. Maybe they should be buyers at the trade deadline, despite being six games back.
19. Miami Marlins – The Marlins are two games ahead of the New York Mets, but they have had a rough week, going 3-7 in their last ten games. They are allowing an astonishing 355 runs, which is largely on the pitching staff. They currently have a run differential of -4. They are out of the playoff hunt and should not make the effort to buy this year, just hold steady and wait, if anything.
20. Chicago White Sox – A bad 3-7 over their last ten games, the White Sox are out of it despite Jose Abreu and Chris Sale. Their run differential currently sits at a bad -35. Why are they ranked this high? Well, it turns out that there are quite a few bad teams in baseball, some worse than the White Sox.
21. Boston Red Sox – This is not the year Red Sox fans. The Sox have been 4-6 over their previous ten games, putting up a run differential of -36. They are seven games back, which seems like a difficult task, but maybe Mookie Betts can save them, right? Maybe?
22. Minnesota Twins – Minnesota is in last place in the American League Central, however their run differential is only -30 and they are nine games back, which looks like cake compared to some of the other bad teams. They have gone 4-6 in their last ten games.
23. Philadelphia Phillies – Philly is 3-7 over their last ten games with a run differential of -39. They are only seven out of the National League East lead though!
24. Texas Rangers – It is time for Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels to wave the white flag and surrender, as the team is an injury disaster and will not make the playoffs. They are thirteen games out of the lead, with a run differential of -56. They put up a bad 2-8 over the past ten games.
25. Chicago Cubs – Still rebuilding, but Arrieta has been good and Dallas Beeler made a nice debut. While they are 15.5 out of the National League Central lead, they are only -14 in run differential thanks to Anthony Rizzo.
26. Houston Astros – Houston is still rebuilding. They are 16 out of the lead and are 3-7 in their last ten, but their run differential is -54, +2 better than the Texas Rangers!
27. Colorado Rockies – What happened? The Rockies are eleven games out of first in the division, going 1-9 in their last ten. Their run differential is only -20 though. Still, they must be punished for going 1-9 in their last ten, so they are stuck at 27.
28. Arizona Diamondbacks – The Diamondbacks are, of course, bad. Still have to wait another month before the trade deadline deals that will almost assuredly be done. They have a run differential of -67 and a 5-5 record in their past ten games.
29. Tampa Bay Rays – The Rays are eleven games back with a run differential of -42. They did however go 6-4 in their last ten. At least they will have a good pick in the draft and get good assets for David Price.
30. San Diego Padres – The Padres has scored 240 runs this year, by far the worst in the majors. They fired their General Manager on Sunday. They are twelve games back with a run differential of -60. Last stop San Diego.