MLB Power Rankings 2012: Teams That Will Fade Down the Stretch

Tony Giardina@@tonygiardinaCorrespondent IAugust 7, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 30:  Miguel Montero #26 of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrates with teammates Aaron Hill #2 and Jason Kubel #13 after scoring in the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on July 30, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

The added wild card will make the playoff run even more chaotic in 2012, with 18 teams currently within five games of a playoff spot. As we move through August, the contenders will separate themselves from the pretenders, and the playoff picture will begin to shape up.

Here are three teams who will show their true colors and drop out of the playoff race early:


Arizona Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks just don't have the talent to keep up with the Dodgers and the Giants in their division. Justin Upton is having a down year, Ian Kennedy hasn't found his 2011 dominance and Daniel Hudson is out for the season. 

They are only four games out in the NL West, but we'll see them slowly fade as the season continues. Wade Miley and Jason Kubel can only take them so far, and they should finish around .500 for the season. 


Baltimore Orioles

Baltimore got out to a blisteringly hot start and took command of the AL East early on. They've faltered a bit since then, but still remain second in the division and just 0.5 games out of a wild-card spot. 

Adam Jones has broken out offensively, and pitchers Wei-Yin Chen and Jim Johnson have led the Orioles to an impressive 58-51 record. There's no way it lasts though, as they have the fourth-worst run differential in the American League. 


Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates reign as one of the league's best teams is exciting for all baseball fans. After 20 years of losing seasons, they finally look like they'll make the playoffs. Unfortunately, there will only be two NL Central teams playing baseball in October, and the Pirates won't be one of them. 

The Reds have been playing unbelievably since Votto's injury, and they're well on their way to a division title. Atlanta and Washington will fight for the NL East crown, with the loser getting a wild card berth. This leaves Pittsburgh and St. Louis to battle it out for one spot. 

The Pirates struggle mightily to score runs while the Cardinals are second in baseball in runs scored. Andrew McCutchen is carrying the team, but there's no way he can keep up his .369 average and .419 BABIP. The Cards are just 2.5 games behind Pittsburgh, and the six games they play against each other this month will go a long way in determining position for the playoff run.


Power Rankings (Records as of 8/7)

1. Cincinnati (66-43)

2. NY Yankees (63-45)

3. Washington (66-43)

4. Atlanta (63-46)

5. Texas (63-45)

6. Chi White Sox (60-48)

7. Pittsburgh (62-46)

8. Detroit (59-50)

9. St. Louis (60-49)

10. LA Angels (59-51)

11. San Francisco (59-50)

12. Oakland (58-51)

13. LA Dodgers (59-51)

14. Tampa Bay (56-52)

15. Boston (55-55)

16. Baltimore (58-51)

17. Toronto (53-55)

18. Philadelphia (49-60)

19. NY Mets (53-56)

20. Arizona (55-54)

21. Miami (49-60)

22. Seattle (51-60)

23. Minnesota (48-61)

24. Cleveland (50-59)

25. Kansas City (45-63)

26. Milwaukee (49-59)

27. Chi Cubs (43-64)

28. San Diego (47-64)

29. Colorado (39-68)

30. Houston (36-74)


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