MLB Power Rankings 2012: Teams Making Late-Season Surge
With less than two months remaining in the 2012 MLB regular season, it's time for teams on the cusp of the postseason to make their move into contention.
The 2011 St. Louis Cardinals proved that anything is possible in the sport of baseball, and there are a handful of teams who are looking to mirror the Cards' 2011 campaign.
Here's a look at three teams making a serious late-season push for the playoffs as well as updated power rankings for all 30 teams:
Oakland has been one of, if not the, most surprising teams of 2012.
In a division that includes powerhouses like the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels, the A's currently stand just 5.5 games back of the Rangers and hold a half-game lead over the Angels.
Oakland came out of the gates on fire after the All-Star break, highlighted by a four-game sweep of the New York Yankees.
Josh Reddick and Yoenis Cespedes have been offensive machines, while the A's pitching staff collectively sports a 3.41 ERA, good for No. 5 in baseball.
If the season were to end today, the A's would be in the playoffs, as they sit atop the AL wild card standings along with the Detroit Tigers.
The Arizona Diamondbacks can't possibly make the postseason playing in a division that includes the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants, right?
Since the ASG, the D-Backs are 13-10 and find themselves just four games behind the NL West-leading Giants.
Aaron Hill, Paul Goldschmidt, Jason Kubel and Miguel Montero have really carried the load offensively and have picked up the struggling Justin Upton and Chris Young.
Arizona starters have pitched to a team ERA of 3.88, which ranks No. 12 in the MLB.
The Diamondbacks have also excelled on offense, sporting a .264 team average. To give you an idea of that stat, the Yankees also post a team batting average of .264.
Don't look now, but the D-Backs are making a run at the postseason.
No Joey Votto, yet the Cincinnati Reds just continue to win.
The Reds found themselves behind the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL Central but have gone on a second-half tear, losing just four games since the All-Star break, taking a 4.5-game lead of the division in the meantime.
The Reds' starting rotation boasts the third-lowest ERA in the majors (3.35), which has been the key to their success, as they rank towards the middle-to-bottom of the pack in a lot of offensive categories.
Both Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips have stepped up big-time in the absence of Votto, combining for 129 RBI.
The one thing that's key to postseason success is solid pitching, and boy do the Reds have it.
Not only do they have a concrete pitching staff, but they have arguably the best closer of 2012 in Aroldis Chapman.
The Cincinnati Reds are a force to be reckon with throughout the entire league come October.
MLB POWER RANKINGS AS OF AUGUST 5:
1. Cincinnati Reds
2. Washington Nationals
3. Texas Rangers
4. New York Yankees
5. Los Angeles Angels
6. Atlanta Braves
7. Pittsburgh Pirates
8. Oakland Athletics
9. Chicago White Sox
10. Los Angeles Dodgers
11. San Francisco Giants
12. Detroit Tigers
13. St. Louis Cardinals
14. Baltimore Orioles
15. Tampa Bay Rays
16. Toronto Blue Jays
17. Arizona Diamondbacks
18. Boston Red Sox
19. New York Mets
20. Seattle Mariners
21. Cleveland Indians
22. Philadelphia Phillies
23. Miami Marlins
24. San Diego Padres
25. Milwaukee Brewers
26. Minnesota Twins
27. Kansas City Royals
28. Chicago Cubs
29. Colorado Rockies
30. Houston Astros
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