MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand 2 Weeks Before 2022 Postseason

Joel ReuterSeptember 21, 2022

MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand 2 Weeks Before 2022 Postseason

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    AP Photo/Chris O'Meara

    The Houston Astros and New York Mets joined the Los Angeles Dodgers in punching their ticket to the 2022 postseason on Monday, leaving nine playoff spots left to be decided over the final two weeks of the regular season.

    Further down the standings, there is also the matter of sorting out the 2023 MLB draft order, which for the first time will be decided by a lottery system rather than simply reverse order of the standings.

    Buckle up for what promises to be an exciting stretch run.

    And 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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    Salvador Pérez (Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)

    30. Oakland Athletics (54-94)

    Previous Rank: 30

    The Athletics have not won a series outright since they took two of three from the Seattle Mariners on Aug. 21, though they did finish a respectable 7-12 against the Houston Astros on the year with a victory on Saturday. Catcher Sean Murphy, left-hander Cole Irvin and slugger Seth Brown are the only players on the active roster with more than 1.5 WAR.


    29. Detroit Tigers (57-91)

    Previous Rank: 26

    The Tigers were already guaranteed a worse record than 2021 heading into last week, and a 1-5 showing against the Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox now has them on track for just the eighth 100-loss season in franchise history. On a positive note, rookie Spencer Torkelson is hitting .280/.379/.460 in 14 games since he was recalled from the minors.


    28. Kansas City Royals (59-89)

    Previous Rank: 27

    A 1-5 showing last week made it four straight series losses for the Royals, but their remaining schedule against the Cleveland Guardians (x6), Seattle Mariners (x3) and Minnesota Twins (x2) still has them well-positioned to play spoiler. Catcher Salvador Pérez is hitting .298/.323/.511 with 11 home runs and 37 RBI in 46 games since the All-Star break.


    27. Washington Nationals (51-97)

    Previous Rank: 28

    Despite the Juan Soto/Josh Bell blockbuster, the Nationals actually have a higher winning percentage since the trade deadline (.372) than they did prior to the Aug. 2 cutoff (.337). Neither of those are good marks by any stretch of the imagination, but it's a surprise nonetheless.


    26. Cincinnati Reds (58-90)

    Previous Rank: 23

    The Reds played a staggering nine games last week with a pair of double-headers and no off days, and they went 2-7 against the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals to fall to 25-38 against NL Central foes on the year. On the bright side, rookie Hunter Greene struck out a career-high 11 batters on Saturday. More on that in a bit...

Nos. 25-21

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    Sandy Alcántara (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

    25. Pittsburgh Pirates (55-93)

    Previous Rank: 29

    The Pirates swept a four-game series against the Cincinnati Reds on the road last week before losing four straight to the New York Mets, but they still have a chance to avoid the NL Central cellar for the first time since 2018. Infielder Rodolfo Castro has an .842 OPS with nine home runs and 17 RBI in 36 games since the All-Star break, and he has moved up to the No. 3 spot in the lineup.


    24. Miami Marlins (61-88)

    Previous Rank: 24

    Workhorse Sandy Alcántara threw his fifth complete game of the season on Sunday, a number that has not been reached by a pitcher in a single season since Corey Kluber and Ervin Santana in 2017. His NL Cy Young candidacy will be the biggest storyline in Miami over the final weeks.


    23. Chicago Cubs (63-85)

    Previous Rank: 25

    A sweep of the New York Mets on the road last week might be the high point of the season for the Cubs. Starters Javier Assad (6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER) and Adrian Sampson (6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER) both turned in quality starts in that series, with Sampson outdueling Jacob deGrom on Tuesday in a 4-1 win.


    22. Texas Rangers (63-84)

    Previous Rank: 22

    The Rangers have already improved on last year's 60-102 finish, and there are plenty of positive takeaways heading into the offseason as they continue to build toward a legitimate contender. Nathaniel Lowe (13 HR), Adolis García (10 HR) and Marcus Semien (10 HR) all have double-digit home runs since the All-Star break, and Corey Seager needs just one more to join them.


    21. Colorado Rockies (64-84)

    Previous Rank: 20

    The Rockies went 3-2 last week on their road trip to Chicago, splitting a quick two-game series with the White Sox before taking two of three from the Cubs at Wrigley Field. This week is their final homestand of the year, and they have played contender-caliber baseball at Coors Field all year.

Nos. 20-16

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    Luis Rengifo (Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

    20. Los Angeles Angels (65-83)

    Previous Rank: 21

    As the Angels wrap up another disappointing season, the emergence of infielder Luis Rengifo has been an exciting takeaway down the stretch. The 25-year-old is hitting .290/.311/.507 with 14 doubles, 10 home runs and 32 RBI in 54 games since the All-Star break. Taking three of four from the Seattle Mariners was the Angels' big spoiler moment.


    19. Arizona Diamondbacks (69-80)

    Previous Rank: 19

    Right-hander Drey Jameson joined a long list of impressive young players to make their mark for the D-backs this season when he tossed seven shutout innings in his MLB debut on Thursday. With only seven players on the active roster over the age of 30, the future is bright in Arizona, even if the 2022 season has not reflected that in the win-loss column.


    18. San Francisco Giants (71-77)

    Previous Rank: 18

    After getting swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend, the Giants will end the year 4-15 against their rivals with a minus-44 run differential. It's going to take a red-hot finish to avoid a losing record just a year after winning 107 games and the NL West title. The changes this offseason will come at the top after general manager Scott Harris took the vacant team president job in the Detroit Tigers organization.


    17. Boston Red Sox (72-75)

    Previous Rank: 16

    Following their current games against the Cincinnati Reds, the Red Sox will play one series each against the other four AL East teams to close out the year. They may not be in a position to contend themselves, but they can still make their mark on the AL wild-card race. Top prospect Triston Casas is 3-for-34 with two home runs and 12 strikeouts in his first 12 big league games.


    16. Minnesota Twins (73-75)

    Previous Rank: 17

    An ugly start to September has sent the Twins sliding down the AL Central standings, and while they did go 4-3 last week, they are still below .500 with five teams ahead of them in the AL wild-card race. Despite breakout seasons from José Miranda, Nick Gordon, Joe Ryan, Griffin Jax and Jhoan Duran, this team appears to be headed for a disappointing finish.

Nos. 15-11

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    George Kirby (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

    15. Baltimore Orioles (76-71)

    Previous Rank: 15

    After going 17-10 in August, the Orioles began the month of September with an 8-9 record through their first 17 games, leaving them clinging to life in the AL wild-card race. They may ultimately come up short in their pursuit of a playoff spot, but it's hard not to be optimistic about what lies ahead. Rookies Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson were both part of this iteration of "Team of the Week" as they continue to prove themselves in the majors.


    14. Chicago White Sox (76-72)

    Previous Rank: 14

    The White Sox improved to 12-5 in September after taking two of three from the Detroit Tigers over the weekend, but will it be too little, too late? Tip of the cap to veteran Elvis Andrus, who is hitting .314/.357/.517 in 126 plate appearances since he was plucked from the scrap heap to fill in at shortstop for the injured Tim Anderson.


    13. Milwaukee Brewers (78-70)

    Previous Rank: 13

    The NL Central race has quickly slipped out of reach for the Brewers, but they can still push their way into a wild-card spot with a strong finish. They finish the season with four games against the Miami Marlins and three against the Arizona Diamondbacks, so if they can put together a strong week, they will be in a good position to make one final late push.


    12. Seattle Mariners (81-66)

    Previous Rank: 8

    The Mariners were dealt a blow when they lost three of four in their recent series against the Los Angeles Angels, but they still entered play on Tuesday with a five-game cushion over the Baltimore Orioles for the third AL wild-card spot. Rookie George Kirby has a 2.03 ERA in 10 starts since the All-Star break as he makes his case for a spot in the potential postseason rotation.


    11. Philadelphia Phillies (80-67)

    Previous Rank: 10

    Fresh off a five-game winning streak, the Phillies lost four in a row last week, including a three-game sweep by the Braves in Atlanta. Ace Zack Wheeler is expected to make his first start since Aug. 20 on Wednesday after dealing with forearm and shoulder inflammation, and deadline pickup Noah Syndergaard will now shift to a multi-inning bullpen role.

Nos. 10-6

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    Bo Bichette (Mark Blinch/Getty Images)

    10. Cleveland Guardians (81-67)

    Previous Rank: 12

    After a 0-4 start to September, the Guardians ripped off an 11-2 stretch of games to seize control of the AL Central race. They wrap up the regular season with nine straight games at home, the final six of which are against an also-ran Kansas City Royals team. The club's first division title since 2018 is well within reach.


    9. Tampa Bay Rays (82-66)

    Previous Rank: 9

    The Rays lost three of five against the Toronto Blue Jays on the road last week but bounced back with a weekend series win over the Texas Rangers. With the second-toughest remaining schedule of any team, according to Tankathon, the road ahead will not be an easy one. Their cushion in the AL wild-card standings will be put to the test.


    8. San Diego Padres (82-66)

    Previous Rank: 11

    The San Diego pitching staff tossed a pair of shutouts last week, and the team went 4-2 overall to stay on the right side of the NL wild-card race. Over his last six appearances, closer Josh Hader has converted four of four save chances with just one earned run and seven strikeouts in six innings. Meanwhile, starter Yu Darvish has rattled off six straight quality starts with a 1.91 ERA in 42.1 innings during that stretch.


    7. Toronto Blue Jays (84-64)

    Previous Rank: 7

    The Blue Jays remain slotted in the No. 7 spot after series wins over the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles last week. In the process, they moved into the top AL wild-card spot to start the week. Shortstop Bo Bichette is hitting .440/.481/.867 with 17 extra-base hits in 18 games in September.


    6. New York Yankees (89-58)

    Previous Rank: 6

    A 3-2 showing on the road against the Boston Red Sox and Milwaukee Brewers last week was enough to keep the Yankees in the No. 6 spot. With Anthony Rizzo back healthy and Luis Severino scheduled to rejoin the rotation on Wednesday, they are getting healthy at the right time, and their hold on the AL East lead is no longer as tenuous as it was a few weeks ago. Slugger Aaron Judge is poised to make some major history this week by setting the new AL single-season home run record. Roger Maris holds the current record with 61 home runs, while Judge sits at 59 entering the week.

Nos. 5-1

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    José Quintana (Justin Berl/Getty Images)

    5. St. Louis Cardinals (87-62)

    Previous Rank: 5

    The Cardinals began a tough eight-game road trip against the San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday, and that will lead into six straight against the Pittsburgh Pirates to close out the regular season. With eight shutout innings on Saturday, left-hander José Quintana has a 2.44 ERA in 48.0 innings over nine starts since he was acquired at the deadline.


    4. Atlanta Braves (93-55)

    Previous Rank: 4

    The Braves improved to 11-4 in September with a weekend series sweep of a contending Philadelphia Phillies team, and the three-game series with the New York Mets that begins on Sept. 30 could decide the NL East race. In the meantime, the Braves will again be without second baseman Ozzie Albies after he suffered a fractured right pinkie finger in his return from a three-month stint on the injured list with a fractured foot.


    3. New York Mets (95-55)—clinched playoff berth

    Previous Rank: 3

    The Mets clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2016 with a victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday, but they still have work to do nailing down their first division title since 2015. They managed to overcome getting swept by the Chicago Cubs last week by returning the favor in a four-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.


    2. Houston Astros (98-51)—clinched AL West title

    Previous Rank: 2

    The Astros have looked like the team to beat in the American League throughout the second half of the season, so it was no surprise they were the first AL team to punch their ticket to October with a victory over the Rays on Monday. Since returning from a hand injury earlier this month, Yordan Álvarez is hitting .370/.460/.833 with seven doubles, six home runs and 14 RBI in 14 games.


    1. Los Angeles Dodgers (103-45)—clinched NL West title

    Previous Rank: 1

    The Dodgers have already clinched a postseason berth and the NL West title, and there's enough of a gap between them and the rest of the National League that the No. 1 seed is all but theirs. That means the biggest thing they'll be playing for the rest of the way is a franchise record for victories, which stands at 106, set in 2019 and 2021.

Complete Rankings

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    Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

    Complete Rankings

    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. San Diego Padres
    9. Tampa Bay Rays
    10. Cleveland Guardians
    11. Philadelphia Phillies
    12. Seattle Mariners
    13. Milwaukee Brewers
    14. Chicago White Sox
    15. Baltimore Orioles
    16. Minnesota Twins
    17. Boston Red Sox
    18. San Francisco Giants
    19. Arizona Diamondbacks
    20. Los Angeles Angels
    21. Colorado Rockies
    22. Texas Rangers
    23. Chicago Cubs
    24. Miami Marlins
    25. Pittsburgh Pirates
    26. Cincinnati Reds
    27. Washington Nationals
    28. Kansas City Royals
    29. Detroit Tigers
    30. Oakland Athletics

Highlight of the Week: Hunter Greene Lights Up the Radar Gun

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    Eric Espada/Getty Images

    It has been an up-and-down rookie season for Cincinnati Reds right-hander Hunter Greene, but his pure stuff on the mound has never been in question.

    The 23-year-old has a 4.97 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 138 strikeouts in 108.2 innings on the year, and he is averaging 98.8 mph with his high-octane fastball.

    He took elite velocity to another level in his return from the injured list on Saturday, throwing a record 47 pitches above 100 mph while racking up 11 strikeouts over six shutout innings against the St. Louis Cardinals.

    Sarah Langs @SlangsOnSports

    <a href="https://t.co/qld1mOHPOH">pic.twitter.com/qld1mOHPOH</a>

    "That’s one of the best starts I’ve ever seen,” Reds manager David Bell told reporters. “He just absolutely dominated, and we’re talking about a first-place team with outstanding hitters up and down the lineup. Left, right, it didn’t matter."

    His fastball can straighten out at times, but when he's on, Greene has the stuff to be as overpowering as any pitcher in the game.

Team of the Week

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    Yordan Álvarez (Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Team of the week stats reflect the seven-day stretch from Sept. 12-18.

    C Adley Rutschman, BAL
    (7-for-19, 2 2B, HR, 4 RBI)

    1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr., TOR
    (11-for-32, 3 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI)

    2B Marcus Semien, TOR
    (13-for-31, 4 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBI)

    3B Gunnar Henderson, BAL
    (8-for-20, 3 2B, 3B, HR, 8 RBI)

    SS Amed Rosario, CLE
    (14-for-38, 3 2B, HR, 10 RBI)

    OF Aaron Judge, NYY
    (11-for-20, 2 2B, 4 HR, 6 RBI)

    OF Yordan Álvarez, HOU
    (13-for-25, 4 2B, 5 HR, 10 RBI)

    OF Ronald Acuña Jr., ATL
    (8-for-24, 3 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI)

    DH Eloy Jiménez, CWS
    (6-for-22, 2 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI)

    SP Joe Ryan, MIN
    (2 GS, 2 W, 14.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 14 K)

    SP Yu Darvish, SD
    (2 GS, 2 W, 14.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 15 K)

    SP Framber Valdez, HOU
    (2 GS, 2 W, 15.0 IP, 2 ER, 0 BB, 15 K)

    SP José Quintana, STL
    (1 GS, ND, 8.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K)

    SP Brandon Woodruff, MIL
    (1 GS, W, 8.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 K)

    RP Emmanuel Clase, CLE
    (4 G, 3/3 SV, 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K)

Award Rankings

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    Aaron Judge (John Fisher/Getty Images)

    AL MVP

    1. Aaron Judge, NYY
    2. Shohei Ohtani, LAA
    3. Yordan Álvarez, HOU
    4. José Ramírez, CLE
    5. Xander Bogaerts, BOS
    6. José Abreu, CWS
    7. José 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. Francisco Lindor, NYM
    7. Austin Riley, ATL
    8. Trea Turner, LAD
    9. J.T. Realmuto, PHI
    10. Edwin Díaz, NYM


    AL Cy Young

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


    NL Cy Young

    1. Sandy Alcántara, MIA
    2. Julio Urías, LAD
    3. Zac Gallen, ARI
    4. Tony Gonsolin, LAD
    5. Max Fried, ATL


    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 MLB.com and Baseball Reference unless otherwise noted.

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