MLB Power Ranking: Where All 30 Teams Stand 1 Week Before 2022 Postseason

Joel ReuterSeptember 28, 2022

MLB Power Ranking: Where All 30 Teams Stand 1 Week Before 2022 Postseason

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    ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 25: The Cleveland Guardians celebrate after they defeated the Texas Rangers 10-4 and clinched the American League Central Division at Globe Life Field on September 25, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
    Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

    One week remains in the 2022 MLB regular season, and there are still five postseason spots up for grabs as teams battle to join the Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Guardians, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals in the playoffs.

    There are four teams vying for three wild-card spots in the American League and three teams in the running to join the Atlanta Braves in the National League wild-card race, while the NL East title is also still up in the air between the Braves and Mets.

    Further down the standings, non-contenders are getting a closer look at some of their young talent while looking ahead to the 2023 season.

    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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    OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 25: Conner Capel #72 of the Oakland Athletics hits a three-run home run against the New York Mets in the bottom of the ninth inning at RingCentral Coliseum on September 25, 2022 in Oakland, California. The Mets won the game 13-4. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
    Conner Capel (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

    30. Washington Nationals (53-101)

    Previous Rank: 27

    The Nationals became the first team to lose 100 games in 2022 when they were shut out by the Atlanta Braves on Monday, and it marks the first time since 2009 that the franchise has reached triple-digit losses. The emergence of Joey Meneses has been the biggest positive takeaway since the trade deadline. The 30-year-old rookie is hitting .326/.363/.579 with 12 doubles and 12 home runs in 204 plate appearances.


    29. Pittsburgh Pirates (58-97)

    Previous Rank: 25

    The Pirates made an intriguing under-the-radar move Sunday when they claimed Miguel Andújar off waivers from the New York Yankees. The 27-year-old went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored as the starting DH and No. 3 hitter in his Pirates debut Monday, and with club control through the 2024 season, he'll have a chance to earn a role on next year's team.


    28. Oakland Athletics (56-98)

    Previous Rank: 30

    The A's managed to play spoiler last week when they took two of three from the Seattle Mariners, but they are still well on their way to the club's first 100-loss season since 1979. Outfielder Conner Capel has gone 9-for-18 with a triple and two home runs since he was claimed off waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals on Sept. 9, so he'll be one to watch down the stretch.


    27. Cincinnati Reds (60-95)

    Previous Rank: 26

    With TJ Friedl, Spencer Steer, Mike Siani, Stuart Fairchild and Jose Barrero all seeing regular playing time in the starting lineup, and the trio of Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo and Graham Ashcraft chewing up innings in the rotation, the Reds are using the final weeks of the season to get a long look at their young talent. Can they avoid finishing in the NL Central cellar for the first time since 2018?


    26. Detroit Tigers (61-92)

    Previous Rank: 29

    The Tigers went 5-1 last week, including a three-game sweep on the road against the Chicago White Sox, and there are more spoiler opportunities to come with series against the Minnesota Twins and Seattle Mariners to close out the year. How will the new front office approach things this offseason after the old regime spent big last winter?

Nos. 25-21

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    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 23: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins in the fifth inning of the game at Target Field on September 23, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Angels defeated the Twins 4-2. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
    Shohei Ohtani (David Berding/Getty Images)

    25. Miami Marlins (64-90)

    Previous Rank: 24

    The Marlins have not won more than two games in a row since July 5. There is a ton of work to do in building out a viable offense to back one of the league's best young starting rotations. Outfielder Bryan De La Cruz is hitting .388/.436/.735 with five doubles and four home runs in 55 plate appearances in September, and he could still be a big piece of the future. Manager Don Mattingly announced over the weekend he will not be back next season.


    24. Kansas City Royals (63-91)

    Previous Rank: 28

    Strong rookie seasons from Bobby Witt Jr. (595 PA, 105 OPS+, 57 XBH, 28 SB), MJ Melendez (493 PA, 100 OPS+, 38 XBH) and Vinnie Pasquantino (258 PA, 131 OPS+, 19 XBH) give the Royals a sturdy offensive foundation to build around, and that makes it a bit easier to look beyond a disappointing season from a win-loss perspective. This is a team on the rise.


    23. Colorado Rockies (65-89)

    Previous Rank: 21

    The Rockies wrapped up their slate of home games last week, finishing 41-40 on the year at Coors Field. If only all of their games were played at altitude. Outfielder Sean Bouchard is hitting .333 with a .512 on-base percentage and more walks (12) than strikeouts (11) in 43 plate appearances in September, and he could be auditioning for a starting role in 2023.


    22. Texas Rangers (66-87)

    Previous Rank: 22

    The Rangers have already improved on last year's 60-102 finish, albeit not by as wide a margin as some were expecting after they shelled out $500 million to add Corey Seager and Marcus Semien in free agency. The pieces are in place for this group to take a significant step forward in 2023 with a few more impact additions.


    21. Los Angeles Angels (68-86)

    Previous Rank: 20

    The Angels improved to 6-4 in their last three series after taking two of three on the road against the Minnesota Twins over the weekend, but it's far too little, too late to close out another wildly disappointing season. Can the front office build a viable rotation around the trio of Shohei Ohtani, Patrick Sandoval and Reid Detmers?

Nos. 20-16

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    PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 25: Arizona Diamondbacks Right-Handed Pitcher Drey Jameson (58) gets the start on the mound during a baseball game between the San Francisco Giants and the Arizona Diamondbacks on September 25, 2022, at Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ. (Photo by Zac BonDurant/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Drey Jameson (Zac BonDurant/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    20. Chicago Cubs (68-86)

    Previous Rank: 23

    The Cubs went 5-2 on their recent road trip against the Miami Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates, and they have been playing .500 baseball since the beginning of August. Right-hander Hayden Wesneski—the return piece in the Scott Effross trade with the New York Yankees—has a 2.45 ERA, 0.82 WHIP and a 24-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 22 innings since making his MLB debut.


    19. Boston Red Sox (73-81)

    Previous Rank: 17

    Since going 20-6 in June and looking like a bona fide contender, the Red Sox have gone 29-48 with a minus-108 run differential and been one of the worst teams in baseball. The franchise is coming to a crossroads with Xander Bogaerts likely to opt out and Nathan Eovaldi, J.D. Martinez, Tommy Pham, Michael Wacha and Rich Hill all headed for free agency.


    18. Arizona Diamondbacks (71-84)

    Previous Rank: 19

    The D-backs have a tough final stretch with road series against the Houston Astros, San Francisco Giants and Milwaukee Brewers, but they have already taken a drastic step forward after going 52-110 in 2021. The emergence of Drey Jameson has been the most positive September takeaway, as he's gone 2-0 with a 0.98 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 17 strikeouts in 18.1 innings over his first three MLB starts.


    17. Minnesota Twins (75-79)

    Previous Rank: 16

    The Twins have gone 2-9 over their last three series against the Cleveland Guardians, Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Angels, effectively squashing their playoff hopes when they held a share of the AL Central lead as recently as Sept. 4. Injuries have undoubtedly played a role, and there were 18 players on the MLB injured list entering play Tuesday, including star Byron Buxton who is out for the rest of the year.


    16. Chicago White Sox (76-78)

    Previous Rank: 14

    An 0-6 showing at home last week against the Cleveland Guardians and Detroit Tigers might be the final blow for a White Sox team that has been next-level disappointing this year. Ace Dylan Cease is scheduled for his final start of the season Saturday against the San Diego Padres, and he will look to make one final case in the AL Cy Young race.

Nos. 15-11

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 08: J.T. Realmuto #10 of the Philadelphia Phillies looks on against the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park on September 8, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Marlins defeated the Phillies 6-5. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
    J.T. Realmuto (Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

    15. San Francisco Giants (76-78)

    Previous Rank: 18

    The Giants went 6-1 on the road against the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks last week, and they still have an outside shot at finishing with a winning record, even if they have fallen short of last year's success. The starting rotation's 3.72 ERA ranks eighth in the majors and tops among teams with a losing record.


    14. Baltimore Orioles (80-74)

    Previous Rank: 15

    The Orioles made a statement last week when they split a four-game series with the AL-favorite Houston Astros behind brilliant starts from Dean Kremer (9.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 6 K) and Kyle Bradish (8.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 10 K). They still face long odds to claim the third and final wild-card spot, but it's impossible to frame this season as anything but a success a year after they lost 110 games.


    13. Seattle Mariners (83-70)

    Previous Rank: 12

    Since opening the month of September on a seven-game winning streak, the Mariners have gone 7-11 over their last 18 games entering play Tuesday. Can they hold on to edge out the upstart Baltimore Orioles for the third and final AL wild-card spot? If they can, their starting rotation that ranks sixth in the majors with a 3.69 ERA has a chance to be a major weapon in October. Playing without Julio Rodríguez who is sidelined with a back strain won't make things any easier.


    12. Milwaukee Brewers (82-72)

    Previous Rank: 13

    The Brewers close out their regular-season slate at home, which is good news since they went just 40-41 on the road this year. Even after taking three of four against the Cincinnati Reds over the weekend, they are still chasing the Philadelphia Phillies for the final wild-card spot. The middle infield of Kolten Wong and Willy Adames has been leading the way offensively in September, along with sluggers Hunter Renfroe and Rowdy Tellez.


    11. Philadelphia Phillies (83-70)

    Previous Rank: 11

    Searching for their first playoff berth since 2011, the Phillies split last week against the Toronto Blue Jays and Atlanta Braves to maintain the narrowest of margins over the Milwaukee Brewers in the wild-card race. Don't sleep on catcher J.T. Realmuto as a down-ballot NL MVP candidate, as he's hitting .316/.380/.610 with 13 home runs and 44 RBI in 52 games since the All-Star break.

Nos. 10-6

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    DENVER, COLORADO - SEPTEMBER 24: Starting pitcher Yu Darvish #11 of the San Diego Padres throws against the Colorado Rockies in the first inning at Coors Field on September 24, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
    Yu Darvish (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

    10. Tampa Bay Rays (85-69)

    Previous Rank: 9

    The Rays went 2-5 last week against the Houston Astros and Toronto Blue Jays, scoring just four total runs in their five losses. Third baseman Yandy Díaz has been sidelined since Sept. 19 while dealing with shoulder soreness, and rookie Jonathan Aranda is batting leadoff in his absence. They close out their regular-season schedule on the road against the Cleveland Guardians, Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox.


    9. Toronto Blue Jays (87-68)

    Previous Rank: 7

    Despite splitting with the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays last week, the Blue Jays remain slotted in the No. 1 AL wild-card spot. Young ace Alek Manoah has rattled off seven straight quality starts, twirling seven shutout innings against the Rays on Saturday, and he is poised to anchor the postseason rotation alongside Kevin Gausman.


    8. St. Louis Cardinals (90-65)

    Previous Rank: 5

    Albert Pujols provided the highlight of the week and one of the most memorable moments of the year Friday when he joined the 700-HR club with a two-homer game. Despite series losses to the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers last week, the Cardinals clinched the NL Central title on Tuesday with a win over the Brewers.


    7. San Diego Padres (86-68)

    Previous Rank: 8

    The Padres upped their standing in the NL wild-card race with series wins over the St. Louis Cardinals and Colorado Rockies last week, improving to 7-2 in their last nine games in the process. Yu Darvish has pitched at least six innings in 27 of his 29 starts this year, and with another quality start last week, he is now 16-7 with a 3.05 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 191 strikeouts in 188.2 innings.


    6. Cleveland Guardians (86-68)

    Previous Rank: 10

    The Guardians are 18-3 in their last 21 games entering play Tuesday, and during that hot streak, they have gone from tied atop the AL Central to a comfortable cushion over the disappointing Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins. Not bad for the youngest team in the majors this year, and one that was just two games above .500 at the All-Star break.

Nos. 5-1

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    NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 24: Gleyber Torres #25 of the New York Yankees reacts after hitting a solo home run during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on September 24, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
    Gleyber Torres (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

    5. Atlanta Braves (97-58)

    Previous Rank: 4

    The NL East division race could boil down to the three-game series between the Braves and New York Mets this weekend. Meanwhile, the battle rages on between Michael Harris II (411 PA, .305/.345/.532, 48 XBH, 20 SB, 5.2 WAR) and Spencer Strider (31 G, 20 GS, 11-5, 2.67 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 202 K, 131.2 IP, 4.0 WAR) for NL Rookie of the Year honors.


    4. New York Yankees (95-59)

    Previous Rank: 6

    After going 6-0 last week, the Yankees improved to 15-7 with a plus-32 run differential in September entering play Tuesday. An inconsistent month of August is now comfortably in the rearview mirror, and they again join the ranks of baseball's elite. Second baseman Gleyber Torres is hitting .317/.394/.598 with six home runs and 20 RBI in 21 games this month.


    3. New York Mets (97-58)

    Previous Rank: 3

    The Mets claimed series wins over the Milwaukee Brewers and Oakland Athletics last week, maintaining the narrowest of leads over the Atlanta Braves in the NL East race in the process. With two more quality starts last week, Max Scherzer is now 11-4 with a 2.13 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and 169 strikeouts in 139.2 innings, and his ninth top-five finish in Cy Young voting could be forthcoming.


    2. Houston Astros (102-53)

    Previous Rank: 2

    The Astros went 5-2 on the road against the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles last week to join the Los Angeles Dodgers as the only teams with 50-plus road wins on the season. The dynamic six-man rotation of Justin Verlander, Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier, Jose Urquidy, Lance McCullers Jr. and Luis Garcia presents manager Dusty Baker with a unique problem when it comes to sorting out a postseason staff.


    1. Los Angeles Dodgers (106-48)

    Previous Rank: 1

    The Dodgers have already clinched the best record in the National League, and they have not lost a series since dropping two of three against the New York Mets at the beginning of September. With Walker Buehler, Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May on the injured list, someone needs to step forward as the No. 4 starter in October behind Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urias and Tyler Anderson.

Complete Rankings

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    LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 21: Mookie Betts #50 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates his solo homerun with Freddie Freeman #5, to trail the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-1, during the fourth inning at Dodger Stadium on September 21, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Complete Rankings

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

Highlight of the Week: Albert Pujols Joins 700-HR Club

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    LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 23:  Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals watches his 700th career homerun with Will Smith #16 of the Los Angeles Dodgers, a three run homerun to take a 5-0 lead, during the fourth inning at Dodger Stadium on September 23, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Albert Pujols hit just six home runs during the first half of the season, and coming out of the All-Star break, he needed 15 long balls over the St. Louis Cardinals' final 68 games to become the fourth player in MLB history to reach 700.

    It seemed like an unreachable milestone for a 42-year-old, part-time player in the twilight of his career, but the future Hall of Famer has found the fountain of youth during the second half, batting .315/.375/.678 in 160 plate appearances.

    He entered Friday's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers sitting on 698 home runs, and he moved one closer with a third-inning shot off starter Andrew Heaney. While we have seen plenty of players over the years get stuck one short of a milestone and start pressing as a result, Pujols wasted zero time getting No. 700, homering again the following inning off reliever Phil Bickford.

    "This is what he's known for—doing big things in big moments—and I told the club afterward during our toast is he's helping us win and his whole thing before coming back and signing was, 'I can help you win a championship.'" manager Oli Marmol told reporters. "This is pretty special to be a part of this 700th home run as he's helping us win. And for him to do it in this Cardinals uniform makes it more special."

    Pujols will go down as arguably the greatest right-handed hitter in MLB history.

Team of the Week

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    OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 25: Max Scherzer #21 of the New York Mets pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the bottom of the first inning at RingCentral Coliseum on September 25, 2022 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
    Max Scherzer (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

    Team of the week stats reflect the seven-day stretch from Sept. 19-25.

    C J.T. Realmuto, PHI
    (10-for-24, 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI)

    1B Pete Alonso, NYM
    (8-for-24, 2 2B, 4 HR, 13 RBI)

    2B Gleyber Torres, NYY
    (8-for-20, 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI)

    3B Manny Machado, SD
    (8-for-22, 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI)

    SS Francisco Lindor, NYM
    (11-for-25, 2 2B, 3B, HR, 9 RBI)

    OF Steven Kwan, CLE
    (14-for-32, 2 3B, 2 HR, 10 RBI)

    OF Bryan Reynolds, PIT
    (11-for-22, 2 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI)

    OF Teoscar Hernández, TOR
    (9-for-24, 4 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI)

    DH Albert Pujols, STL
    (7-for-19, 2 HR, 5 RBI)

    SP Max Scherzer, NYM
    (2 GS, 2 W, 12.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 16 K)

    SP Dean Kremer, BAL
    (1 GS, W, 9.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K)

    SP Kyle Bradish, BAL
    (1 GS, W, 8.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 10 K)

    SP Tyler Alexander, DET
    (2 GS, W, ND, 13.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 9 K)

    SP Blake Snell, SD
    (1 GS, W, 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 13 K)

    RP Scott Barlow, KC
    (4 G, 3/3 SV, 4.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K)

Award Rankings

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    NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 24:  Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees stands on the on deck circle during the game against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on September 24, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The New York Yankees defeated the Boston Red Sox 7-5. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Aaron Judge (Elsa/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. Jose Altuve, HOU
    7. Julio Rodríguez, SEA
    8. Andrés Giménez, CLE
    9. Justin Verlander, HOU
    10. José Abreu, CWS


    NL MVP

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


    AL Cy Young

    1. Justin Verlander, HOU
    2. Dylan Cease, CWS
    3. Alek Manoah, TOR
    4. Shohei Ohtani, LAA
    5. Framber Valdez, HOU


    NL Cy Young

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