MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand as Playoff Races Heat Up

Joel ReuterSeptember 14, 2022

MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand as Playoff Races Heat Up

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    PHOENIX, ARIZONA - SEPTEMBER 12:  Mookie Betts #50 of the Los Angeles Dodgers high fives Justin Turner #10 and Cody Bellinger #35 after hitting a three-run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the ninth inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on September 12, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Dodgers defeated the Diamondbacks 6-0.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The Los Angeles Dodgers punched their ticket to the 2022 MLB postseason Monday, and in the coming weeks 11 other team will join them.

    Entering Tuesday, there were 14 teams within 5.5 games of a playoff spot, so three viable contenders will be on the outside looking. That said, there is still plenty of time left to jostle for position over the final few weeks.

    Just remember, if a team is winning, it will climb. If a team is losing, a slide is inevitable. The beauty of this exercise is that it's a fluid process, and things will continue to change.

    Note: Statistics and analysis reflect action through Monday's games. Records include Tuesday's results.

Nos. 30-26

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    DETROIT, MI - MAY 31:  Joey Wentz #43 of the Detroit Tigers pitches in game two of a doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park on May 31, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Twins 4-0.  (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
    Joey Wentz (Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

    30. Oakland Athletics (51-91)

    Previous Rank: 29

    The A's lost five in a row and nine of 10 before a 10-3 victory over the White Sox on Sunday. Only once since their move to Oakland have they lost 100 games—all the way back in 1979—but they are on pace for 103 losses.

    29. Pittsburgh Pirates (54-88)

    Previous Rank: 30

    The Pirates avoided getting swept by the Mets and Cardinals last week, though they finished just 2-4. Rookie shortstop Oneil Cruz is hitting .368/.385/.763 with seven extra-base hits in 39 plate appearances in September and has a 44.2 percent hard-hit rate this season.

    28. Washington Nationals (49-93)

    Previous Rank: 28

    The Nats strung together arguably their best stretch of the season when they took two of three from the Mets and split a four-game series with the Cardinals, but they wrapped up their road trip by getting swept by the Phillies. Left fielder-center fielder Lane Thomas is hitting .311/.364/.503 in 176 plate appearances since the All-Star break.

    27. Kansas City Royals (57-85)

    Previous Rank: 25

    The Royals will play 15 of their final 21 games on the road, and their 23 road wins are more than only the Rockies' 21. Veteran Zack Greinke has found the fountain of youth with a 1.61 ERA in 22.1 innings over his last four starts.

    26. Detroit Tigers (54-88)

    Previous Rank: 27

    The Tigers moved up a spot after winning a series at the Royals. Twenty-four-year-old left-hander Joey Wentz made his first MLB appearance since May on Friday, tossing 6.2 scoreless innings. The former Atlanta prospect should get a long look down the stretch.

Nos. 25-21

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    ARLINGTON, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 09: Josh Jung #6 of the Texas Rangers bats in the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Globe Life Field on September 09, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
    Josh Jung (Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

    25. Chicago Cubs (60-82)

    Previous Rank: 23

    The Cubs have suffered six straight series losses after dropping two of three to each of the Reds and Giants at home, though they have only been swept once during that stretch. Justin Steele's trip to the injured list with a strained lower back has robbed the North Siders of one of their few positives since the All-Star break.

    24. Miami Marlins (58-84)

    Previous Rank: 24

    The biggest storyline for the Fish down the stretch will be whether Sandy Alcantara can hold on as the National League Cy Young Award favorite. The 27-year-old has a 6.08 ERA in his last four starts, and his ERA has climbed from 1.92 to 2.43 during that stretch. That has opened the door for Julio Urías, Tony Gonsolin, Max Scherzer, Zac Gallen and Max Fried.

    23. Cincinnati Reds (56-85)

    Previous Rank: 26

    The Reds may not be contenders, but there have been promising signs for the future during the second half, including Nick Lodolo. The rookie left-hander set career highs in innings (eight) and strikeouts (11) his last time out and now has a 3.78 ERA with 102 strikeouts in 81 frames.

    22. Texas Rangers (62-80)

    Previous Rank: 21

    Marcus Semien, Corey Seager, Nathaniel Lowe, Adolis García and Jonah Heim give the Rangers a solid offensive core to build around, and top prospect Josh Jung will build his case to join that group after making his MLB debut Friday. He went 5-for-20 with two doubles, two home runs and three RBI in his first five games.

    21. Los Angeles Angels (61-81)

    Previous Rank: 20

    In another disappointing year, Angels fans at least have reason to cheer of late. Mike Trout has a shot at the third 40-homer season of his career thanks to an impressive run of seven straight games with a long ball. He missed more than a month with a back injury but has 5.3 WAR in 100 games.

Nos. 20-16

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    PHOENIX, ARIZONA - SEPTEMBER 01: Jake McCarthy #30 of the Arizona Diamondbacks gets ready in the batters box against the Milwaukee Brewers at Chase Field on September 01, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
    Jake McCarthy (Norm Hall/Getty Images)

    20. Colorado Rockies (61-81)

    Previous Rank: 22

    The Rockies continued to play like a playoff team at Coors Field. With series wins over the Brewers and Diamondbacks, they improved to 40-34 at home. They will play 14 of their final 21 games on the road.

    19. Arizona Diamondbacks (66-75)

    Previous Rank: 17

    Series losses to the Padres and Rockies last week cooled off the D-backs, who had climbed the rankings in recent weeks. Rookie outfielder Jake McCarthy was moved into the No. 3 spot in the lineup and is hitting .304/.364/.480 with 25 extra-base hits and 17 steals in 277 plate appearances.

    18. San Francisco Giants (68-74)

    Previous Rank: 19

    The Giants need to go 14-7 over their final 21 games to finish with a winning record just a year after winning the National League West and setting a franchise record with 107 victories. They don't have much to play for, but their three-game series at the Padres to close the season will give them a chance to be a spoiler in the NL wild-card race.

    17. Minnesota Twins (70-70)

    Previous Rank: 14

    The Twins fell to third in the American League Central for the first time since April following Friday night's loss against Cleveland, and they suffered series losses to the Yankees and Guardians last week. They still have six games against the White Sox and five more with Cleveland, but momentum is not on their side.

    16. Boston Red Sox (69-73)

    Previous Rank: 16

    The Red Sox won five in a row before getting swept by the Rays, but they bounced back with a road series win over the Orioles, and a winning record is within reach. Versatile veteran Enrique Hernández will be back next year after signing a one-year, $10 million extension last Tuesday.

Nos. 15-11

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    CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 17: Cleveland Guardians right fielder Oscar Gonzalez (39) celebrates after hitting a double to drive in a run during the eighth inning of the Major League Baseball game between the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Guardians on August 17, 2022, at Progressive Field in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Oscar Gonzalez (Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    15. Baltimore Orioles (74-67)

    Previous Rank: 11

    With series losses to the Blue Jays and Red Sox at home last week, the Orioles' playoff hopes took a major hit. However, it has been a wildly successful season for a team most expected to still be several years from relevance. Even with Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson in the majors, there is more high-end talent on the way.

    14. Chicago White Sox (73-69)

    Previous Rank: 18

    With four straight series wins, the White Sox have found new life in the AL Central. They are back above .500 and only three games behind the Guardians. With a relatively easy remaining schedule, a third straight playoff berth is there for the taking.

    13. Milwaukee Brewers (76-66)

    Previous Rank: 15

    With the Cardinals eight games up in the National League Central, the Brewers' best hope to reach the postseason appears to be the wild-card race, though they are on the outside looking in. The rotation has been stretched thin with Freddy Peralta, Eric Lauer and Aaron Ashby on the injured list.

    12. Cleveland Guardians (75-65)

    Previous Rank: 13

    After losing four in a row to begin the month, the Guardians are 6-1 in their last seven. Rookie right fielder Oscar Gonzalez is swinging a hot bat once again, as the 24-year-old has a 123 OPS+ with 31 extra-base hits and 1.6 WAR in 68 games.

    11. San Diego Padres (78-64)

    Previous Rank: 9

    Despite dropping two of three over the weekend to the Dodgers, the Padres are still third in the National League wild-card race. After traveling to take on the Mariners and Diamondbacks this week, they will play just three more games on the road.

Nos. 10-6

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    SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 10: George Kirby #68 of the Seattle Mariners pitches during the third inning against the Atlanta Braves at T-Mobile Park on September 10, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
    George Kirby (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

    10. Philadelphia Phillies (79-62)

    Previous Rank: 12

    The Phillies are 56-33 since Joe Girardi was fired June 3. It's the third-best record in the NL during that time behind the Dodgers' 63-26 and Braves' 62-27. Deadline pickup Edmundo Sosa has four multihit performances in his last six games and could play his way into a bigger role.

    9. Tampa Bay Rays (79-62)

    Previous Rank: 6

    The Rays entered Tuesday riding a three-game losing streak, all on the road against American League East foes in the Yankees and Jays. The one-two punch of Drew Rasmussen (24 GS, 2.57 ERA, 122.2 IP) and Jeffrey Springs (28 G, 20 GS, 2.54 ERA, 109.2 IP) deserves far more attention than it has received.

    8. Seattle Mariners (79-62)

    Previous Rank: 7

    The Mariners won seven straight before dropping two of three to the White Sox, but they recovered with an impressive series win against Atlanta, capping it with a walk-off victory Sunday. Rookie George Kirby threw six three-hit innings against the Braves on Saturday and has a 2.98 ERA with a 115-to-14 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 111.2 innings.

    7. Toronto Blue Jays (80-62)

    Previous Rank: 10

    The Blue Jays are 9-2 in September following a big win over the Rays on Monday, and shortstop Bo Bichette is the hottest hitter in baseball. The 24-year-old has a line of .332/.374/.608 in 195 plate appearances since the All-Star break and has gone 24-for-47 with 14 extra-base hits and 21 RBI in 11 games in September.

    6. New York Yankees (86-56)

    Previous Rank: 8

    The Yankees finally showed signs of life, going 5-2 at home against the Twins and Rays. With two more home runs last week, Aaron Judge upped his total to 55. The American League MVP front-runner is on pace for 63 homers as he chases Roger Maris' franchise and AL record of 61.

Nos. 5-1

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    MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 11: Eduardo Escobar #10 of the New York Mets hits a home run during the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins at loanDepot park on September 11, 2022 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Bryan Cereijo/Getty Images)
    Eduardo Escobar (Bryan Cereijo/Getty Images)

    5. St. Louis Cardinals (83-59)

    Previous Rank: 2

    Not all 4-3 weeks are created equal, and losing three games against the Nationals and Pirates was enough for the Cardinals to drop three spots. With Dylan Carlson on the injured list because of a sprained thumb, top prospect Alec Burleson was promoted from Triple-A last Wednesday.

    4. Atlanta Braves (88-54)

    Previous Rank: 3

    After briefly moving into first place in the National League East on Friday, the Braves lost the next two games of their three-game series with the Mariners. They will close the season with intradivision games against the Phillies (seven), Nationals (six), Mets (three) and Marlins (three) once they wrap up their series with the Giants.

    3. New York Mets (89-54)

    Previous Rank: 5

    A weekend series win at the Marlins helped the Mets regain their lead in the NL East, but it's shaping up to be a battle to the finish line with Atlanta. A hot streak from Eduardo Escobar has been a welcome sight given his struggles this season.

    2. Houston Astros (92-50)

    Previous Rank: 4

    The Astros have won four straight series and are in position to be the second team to clinch a playoff spot with an 11.5-game lead in the American League West. Ace Justin Verlander (calf) is on track to return from the injured list this weekend against Oakland.

    1. Los Angeles Dodgers (98-43)

    Previous Rank: 1

    The Dodgers became the first team to clinch a playoff spot Monday—though they had celebrated the day prior after MLB made a miscalculation. With series wins over the Giants and Padres and a victory over the Diamondbacks on Monday, L.A. improved to 37-13 since the All-Star break.

Complete Rankings

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    SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 11: Freddie Freeman #5 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates as he scores during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres September 11, 2022 at Petco Park in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
    Freddie Freeman (Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

    1. Los Angeles Dodgers
    2. Houston Astros
    3. New York Mets
    4. Atlanta Braves
    5. St. Louis Cardinals
    6. New York Yankees
    7. Toronto Blue Jays
    8. Seattle Mariners
    9. Tampa Bay Rays
    10. Philadelphia Phillies
    11. San Diego Padres
    12. Cleveland Guardians
    13. Milwaukee Brewers
    14. Chicago White Sox
    15. Baltimore Orioles
    16. Boston Red Sox
    17. Minnesota Twins
    18. San Francisco Giants
    19. Arizona Diamondbacks
    20. Colorado Rockies
    21. Los Angeles Angels
    22. Texas Rangers
    23. Cincinnati Reds
    24. Miami Marlins
    25. Chicago Cubs
    26. Detroit Tigers
    27. Kansas City Royals
    28. Washington Nationals
    29. Pittsburgh Pirates
    30. Oakland Athletics

Highlight of the Week: Mike Trout Homers in 7 Straight Games

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    CLEVELAND, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 12: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels hits a two-run homer during the fifth inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field on September 12, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
    Mike Trout (Jason Miller/Getty Images)

    It's been a tough season for the Angels, and perennial MVP candidate Mike Trout has not been immune to those issues, missing significant time with a chronic back condition.

    He once again looks like the best player on the planet, however, swinging a hot bat here in September.

    With a homer off Cleveland starter Konnor Pilkington on Monday, he stretched his streak with a long ball to seven straight games.

    "I feel like I've just been getting good pitches to hit, and I'm putting good swings on them and they're going out," Trout told reporters. "It felt good. I'm going up there ready to hit, and whatever happens, happens."

    Since returning from the injured list Aug. 19, he has a 1.114 OPS with 11 home runs in 21 games.

Team of the Week

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    BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 05:  Bo Bichette #11 of the Toronto Blue Jays takes a swing during game one of a doubleheader baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 5, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
    Bo Bichette (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

    Team of the week stats reflect the seven-day stretch from Sept. 5-11.

    C Eric Haase, DET
    (9-for-20, 3 2B, 3 HR, 4 RBI)

    1B Freddie Freeman, LAD
    (12-for-22, 2 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI)

    2B Luis Rengifo, LAA
    (10-for-26, 2 2B, 3B, RBI)

    3B Eduardo Escobar, NYM
    (13-for-25, 2B, 3 HR, 5 RBI)

    SS Bo Bichette, TOR
    (16-for-32, 4 2B, 3B, 5 HR, 13 RBI, 11 R)

    OF Mike Trout, LAA
    (9-for-20, 2 2B, 5 HR, 8 RBI)

    OF Aaron Judge, NYY
    (11-for-24, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 8 BB, 4 IBB)

    OF Oscar Gonzalez, CLE
    (10-for-25, 4 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI)

    DH Eloy Jiménez, CWS
    (13-for-28, 2 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI)

    SP Lance Lynn, CWS
    (2 GS, 2 W, 13.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 16 K)

    SP Shane Bieber, CLE
    (2 GS, 2 W, 14.1 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 14 K)

    SP Mitch Keller, PIT
    (2 GS, W, ND, 13.0 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 8 K)

    SP Corbin Burnes, MIL
    (GS, W, 8.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 14 K)

    SP Alek Manoah, TOR
    (GS, W, 8.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K)

    RP Camilo Doval, SF
    (3 G, 3/3 SV, 3.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K)

Award Rankings

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    SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 11: Michael Harris II #23 of the Atlanta Braves celebrates his home run during the eighth inning against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on September 11, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
    Michael Harris II (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

    AL MVP

    1. Aaron Judge, NYY
    2. Shohei Ohtani, LAA
    3. Yordan Alvarez, HOU
    4. José Ramírez, CLE
    5. Xander Bogaerts, BOS
    6. José Abreu, CWS
    7. Jose Altuve, HOU
    8. Julio Rodríguez, SEA
    9. Justin Verlander, HOU
    10. Andrés Giménez, CLE

    NL MVP

    1. Paul Goldschmidt, STL
    2. Freddie Freeman, LAD
    3. Nolan Arenado, STL
    4. Manny Machado, SD
    5. Mookie Betts, LAD
    6. Austin Riley, ATL
    7. Trea Turner, LAD
    8. Francisco Lindor, NYM
    9. J.T. Realmuto, PHI
    10. Edwin Díaz, NYM

    AL Cy Young

    1. Justin Verlander, HOU
    2. Dylan Cease, CWS
    3. Shane McClanahan, TB
    4. Alek Manoah, TOR
    5. Framber Valdez, HOU

    NL Cy Young

    1. Sandy Alcantara, MIA
    2. Julio Urías, LAD
    3. Zac Gallen, ARI
    4. Tony Gonsolin, LAD
    5. Max Scherzer, NYM

    AL Rookie of the Year

    1. Julio Rodríguez, SEA
    2. Adley Rutschman, BAL
    3. Steven Kwan, CLE

    NL Rookie of the Year

    1. Michael Harris II, ATL
    2. Spencer Strider, ATL
    3. Jake McCarthy, ARI

    Stats courtesy of and Baseball Reference unless otherwise noted.


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