MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand with 6 Weeks Remaining

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 17, 2021

MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand with 6 Weeks Remaining

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    Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

    With six weeks to go in the 2021 MLB season, there were still 17 teams within 6.5 games of a postseason spot entering play on Monday.

    With such a wide field of contenders, there's more room for shuffling in our weekly power rankings than normal this late in the year.

    Who's ready for a wild stretch run?

    If a team is winning, it will climb the rankings. 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.

              

    Statistics and analysis reflect action through Sunday's games. Records include Monday's results. Check out last week's power rankings here.

Nos. 30-26

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    Kolby Allard
    Kolby AllardAlika Jenner/Getty Images

    30. Baltimore Orioles (38-79)

    Previous Rank: 28

    With a 1-12 start to the month of August, the Orioles are making a strong late push for the No. 1 pick in the 2022 draft. The pitching staff has allowed nine or more runs seven times during their four straight series losses, and they were outscored 30-5 during a three-game sweep against the Boston Red Sox over the weekend.

           

    29. Arizona Diamondbacks (38-81)

    Previous Rank: 30

    Rookie Tyler Gilbert provided one of the few bright spots for the D-backs in 2021 when he tossed the eighth no-hitter of the season against the San Diego Padres on Saturday. That came on the heels of a 12-3 victory on Thursday and a walk-off win on Friday for the club's first series win since finishing off a sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 21.

           

    28. Pittsburgh Pirates (42-77)

    Previous Rank: 27

    The Pirates are 2-12 with a minus-41 run differential to open August, and it's shaping up to be a grueling final two months of the season. Bryan Reynolds is now hitting .309/.391/.536 with 26 doubles, 21 home runs and 71 RBI after another strong week at the plate. Can he finish in the top 10 in NL MVP voting despite playing for a last-place team?

             

    27. Texas Rangers (42-76)

    Previous Rank: 29

    A weekend series win over the Oakland Athletics is enough to move the Rangers up a few spots in the rankings, and left-hander Kolby Allard logged his third straight quality start on Sunday. The 24-year-old has a 4.88 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and a 79-to-18 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 94 innings, making a solid case to join Dane Dunning as a long-term rotation piece.

           

    26. Washington Nationals (50-68)

    Previous Rank: 26

    The Nationals are 2-13 since their trade deadline fire sale, and when outfielder Lane Thomas made his Nationals debut on Sunday after coming over from the St. Louis Cardinals in the Jon Lester deal, he became the 54th different player to suit up for the team this year. Through it all, Juan Soto is quietly hitting .302/.437/.506 with 19 home runs, 63 RBI and an NL-leading 88 walks.

Nos. 25-21

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    Frank Schwindel
    Frank SchwindelIcon Sportswire/Getty Images

    25. Chicago Cubs (52-69)

    Previous Rank: 25

    The Cubs entered play on Monday riding an 11-game losing streak, including three straight series sweeps. It's not going to get any better down the stretch for what is essentially a Triple-A roster, but it's an important step toward turning the page. Tip of the cap to Frank Schwindel, who is hitting .370/.408/.739 with four home runs and 13 RBI since taking over as the starting first baseman.

           

    24. Kansas City Royals (50-67)

    Previous Rank: 22

    With a series loss to the New York Yankees and a three-game sweep at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals, the Royals have slipped to the bottom of the AL Central standings. Sorting out how Daniel Lynch, Brady Singer, Kris Bubic and Carlos Hernandez fit into the 2022 rotation plans will be a focal point the rest of the way as they employ a six-man rotation.

            

    23. Colorado Rockies (53-66)

    Previous Rank: 21

    The Rockies went 1-5 last week against the Houston Astros and San Francisco Giants to fall to a staggeringly awful 14-45 away from Coors Field. The flip side of that is a 38-21 record at home, and they'll look to keep that trend going this week as they welcome the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks to their high-altitude home.

             

    22. Miami Marlins (51-68)

    Previous Rank: 23

    Fresh off a series sweep of the Cubs, the Marlins have officially climbed out of the NL East cellar for the first time since the middle of June. Outfielder Lewis Brinson finally seems to be living up to the hype that once made him one of baseball's top prospects. The 27-year-old is hitting .365/.411/.692 with five doubles, four home runs and 17 RBI in 14 games in August.

           

    21. Minnesota Twins (53-66)

    Previous Rank: 24

    The Twins were as impressive as any team in baseball last week, picking up series wins over the Chicago White Sox and Tampa Bay Rays. The unheralded trio of Griffin Jax (6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 10 K), Bailey Ober (5.1 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 6 K) and Charlie Barnes (5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 K) gave the starting rotation a much-needed boost.

Nos. 20-16

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    Triston McKenzie
    Triston McKenzieRon Schwane/Getty Images

    20. Detroit Tigers (58-62)

    Previous Rank: 20

    The Tigers had a chance to move into second in the AL Central standings following a three-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles, but they dropped two of three to the team they're chasing in Cleveland to stay in third for the time being. Left-hander Tarik Skubal has thrown 11 shutout innings over his last two starts, and he now has a 4.10 ERA with 127 strikeouts in 116.1 innings on the year.

            

    19. Cleveland (57-60)

    Previous Rank: 19

    It's been a disappointing season in Cleveland, but there have been some positive takeaways of late, specifically on the pitching side of things. Triston McKenzie took a perfect game into the eighth inning on Sunday for his third straight quality start, while Cal Quantrill has a 2.09 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in 47.1 innings since the beginning of July.

            

    18. Los Angeles Angels (59-61)

    Previous Rank: 17

    The Angels have a shot at their first winning record since 2015, which is not exactly what they had in mind when the season began, but it is still an accomplishment. While Anthony Rendon is officially done for the year after undergoing hip surgery, there's still hope that Mike Trout will return this year, as the front office has no plans of shutting him down.

             

    17. New York Mets (59-59)

    Previous Rank: 16

    After a 1-7 start to August, the Mets seemed to be rebuilding some momentum with a three-game sweep of the Washington Nationals last week, but the Los Angeles Dodgers quickly threw water on that fire by doling out a sweep of their own over the weekend. After months atop the NL East standings, this has quickly devolved into a third-place team.

           

    16. Philadelphia Phillies (61-57)

    Previous Rank: 12

    The Phillies surged into last week riding an eight-game winning streak, but series losses to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds at home were a step backward. Veteran left-hander Matt Moore tossed six shutout innings in a win over the Reds on Saturday, and he can be a real X-factor in the starting rotation if he builds off that impressive outing.

Nos. 15-11

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    Dansby Swanson
    Dansby SwansonGreg Fiume/Getty Images

    15. St. Louis Cardinals (61-56)

    Previous Rank: 18

    With a 9-4 record and plus-20 run differential in August, the Cardinals have quietly climbed back into the NL wild-card picture. Veteran right-hander Adam Wainwright is 4-0 with a 1.95 ERA and 0.81 WHIP in his last five starts, and he needed just 88 pitches to toss a two-hit shutout against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday.

           

    14. Toronto Blue Jays (63-54)

    Previous Rank: 13

    The Blue Jays play 11 of their next 15 games against the Nationals, Tigers and Orioles, with a four-game series at home against the Chicago White Sox sandwiched in the middle. After a 3-4 showing last week, this will be their best chance to build some momentum before 16 of their final 30 games against postseason contenders.

            

    13. Seattle Mariners (63-56)

    Previous Rank: 15

    After taking two of three from the Blue Jays over the weekend in an important battle of playoff hopefuls, the Mariners are now 5.5 games back with two teams to pass for the second AL wild-card spot. The offense ranks 24th in the majors with a .691 OPS in August, so they'll need to pick things up at the plate if they want to get over the hump.

             

    12. Atlanta Braves (63-56)

    Previous Rank: 14

    The Braves claimed the outright NL East division lead for the first time all year with a 6-5 victory over the Nationals on Sunday. They are now 11-3 with a plus-29 run differential since the trade deadline, and deadline-day pickups Jorge Soler, Adam Duvall and Richard Rodriguez have all been key contributors. Meanwhile, shortstop Dansby Swanson is hitting .385/.411/.673 with four home runs and 13 RBI in August.

           

    11. Cincinnati Reds (65-55)

    Previous Rank: 11

    Despite a weekend series win over the Phillies, the Reds' chances of overtaking the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central race are growing slimmer by the day, but they're still in the thick of the wild-card race. Rookie right-hander Vladimir Gutierrez recorded his fourth straight quality start on Thursday, and he now has a 3.95 ERA in 14 starts since debuting at the end of May.

Nos. 10-6

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    Chris Sale
    Chris SaleBoston Globe/Getty Images

    10. San Diego Padres (67-54)

    Previous Rank: 7

    It took an 8-2 victory on Sunday for the Padres to avoid being swept by the last-place Arizona Diamondbacks, and they were desperate enough for pitching help to scoop Jake Arrieta off the scrapheap after he was cut loose by the Cubs. The return of Fernando Tatis Jr. as an outfielder should provide a spark, but this team has been playing sub-.500 baseball since the start of July.

           

    9. New York Yankees (66-52)

    Previous Rank: 10

    The Yankees picked up series wins over the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox last week to improve to 10-4 with a plus-21 run differential in August. If they can weather the storm of their current COVID outbreak that has a number of key players sidelined, momentum is on their side in a wide-open AL East battle.

          

    8. Boston Red Sox (69-51)

    Previous Rank: 9

    With a 20-run outburst on Wednesday and a 16-2 victory on Saturday as part of a three-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles, the Red Sox offense is clicking right now. Ace Chris Sale made his long-awaited return from Tommy John surgery on Saturday with five innings of six-hit, two-run ball, and he might be baseball's biggest X-factor down the stretch.

             

    7. Chicago White Sox (69-50)

    Previous Rank: 4

    After losing two of three to the Yankees last week, the White Sox are now 16-21 against teams with a winning record. They also have a 14-15 record since the All-Star break, and while they should have no problem coasting to an AL Central title, this team is trending in the wrong direction right now.

         

    6. Oakland Athletics (68-51)

    Previous Rank: 8

    The Athletics rattled off a seven-game winning streak before dropping two of three to the Texas Rangers on the road over the weekend. With a 12-4 record in their last 16 games entering play on Monday, they had trimmed Houston's lead in the AL West from six games to 2.5 games. Center fielder Starling Marte is hitting .382/.417/.529 with 11 steals and 12 runs scored in 15 games since he was acquired from Miami.

Nos. 5-1

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    Logan Webb
    Logan WebbJeff Chiu/Associated Press

    5. Houston Astros (70-48)

    Previous Rank: 6

    A once-potent Astros offense is averaging 4.2 runs per game in August, has scored three or fewer runs in seven of 12 games and has been shut out three times. The fact that they've gone 6-6 during that span speaks to the stability of their pitching staff, and they went 4-1 last week with series wins over the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Angels.

           

    4. Tampa Bay Rays (72-47)

    Previous Rank: 3

    The Rays went 6-3 on their recent nine-game road trip, tacking on to their AL East lead. Shortstop Wander Franco is quietly up to a 109 OPS+ with six doubles, three triples, six home runs and 24 RBI in 41 games after homering twice last week, and he is capable of carrying the offense if he gets hot down the stretch.

            

    3. Milwaukee Brewers (72-47)

    Previous Rank: 5

    With a 19-8 record and plus-67 run differential since the All-Star break and winners of six of their last seven series, the Brewers are rolling right now. The three-headed monster of Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta is going to be lethal in October, and they are starting to pull away in the NL Central with an eight-game lead entering play on Monday.

             

    2. Los Angeles Dodgers (73-46)

    Previous Rank: 2

    After sweeping the New York Mets over the weekend, the Dodgers were winners of seven of eight games, but they did not make up any ground on the San Francisco Giants in the NL West standings during that stretch. With Julio Urias hitting the injured list last week with a calf contusion, a starting pitching situation that had already been stretched thin gets even thinner.

           

    1. San Francisco Giants (77-42)

    Previous Rank: 1

    The Giants have won six consecutive series after a 5-1 week against the Diamondbacks and Rockies, and they're now 19-10 with a plus-28 differential since the All-Star break. Young right-hander Logan Webb has quietly posted a 1.53 ERA and 0.89 WHIP in his last 10 starts while allowing two or fewer earned runs every time out during that stretch.

Complete Rankings

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    Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

    Complete Rankings

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

Highlight of the Week: An Unlikely No-Hitter from Tyler Gilbert

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    Tyler Gilbert was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the minor league portion of the 2020 Rule 5 draft, and he began the season as little more than organizational depth.

    The 27-year-old made his MLB debut on Aug. 3 with a scoreless inning of relief, and after two more scoreless appearances out of the bullpen, he found himself toeing the rubber against the San Diego Padres for his first career start on Saturday.

    History would be made nine innings and zero hits later.

    Gilbert needed just 102 pitches to toss the eighth no-hitter of the 2021 record, setting a record for the most no-nos in a single season.

    He is also just the fourth pitcher in MLB history to throw a no-hitter in his first MLB start, joining Theodore Breitenstein (1891), Bumpus Jones (1892) and Bobo Holloman (1953).

    "It was weird," Gilbert told reporters. "I wasn't nervous at all, and I felt like I should have been. I don't know why, but I kept just going out there and doing my thing. I was really nervous before the game leading up to the game, but after the three-pitch eighth inning, I was like, 'OK, this is going to happen.' But, no, I just kind of stayed levelheaded and then kept making pitches."

    Congrats, Tyler!

Team of the Week

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    Teoscar Hernandez
    Teoscar HernandezMarcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    C Mike Zunino, TB
    (7-for-15, 2B, 4 HR, 6 RBI)

    1B Frank Schwindel, CHC
    (9-for-24, 4 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI)

    2B Josh Rojas, ARI
    (10-for-21, 3 2B, 3B, HR, 4 RBI)

    3B Nolan Arenado, STL
    (7-for-23, 2 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI)

    SS Dansby Swanson, ATL
    (10-for-23, 4 HR, 11 RBI)

    OF Teoscar Hernandez, TOR
    (14-for-28, 2 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI)

    OF Aaron Judge, NYY
    (10-for-24, 2 2B, 3 HR, 11 RBI)

    OF Eloy Jimenez, CWS
    (10-for-24, 3 HR, 10 RBI)

    DH J.D. Martinez, BOS
    (7-for-19, 2 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI)

    SP Tyler Gilbert, ARI
    (1 GS, W, 9.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K)

    SP Adam Wainwright, STL
    (1 GS, W, 9.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K)

    SP Triston McKenzie, CLE
    (2 GS, W, ND, 14.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 16 K)

    SP Corbin Burnes, MIL
    (1 GS, W, 8.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 15 K)

    SP J.A. Happ, STL
    (2 GS, 2 W, 11.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 7 K)

    RP Alex Colome, MIN
    (3 G, W, 2/2 SV, 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K)

Award Rankings

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    Walker Buehler
    Walker BuehlerAlex Gallardo/Associated Press

    If the season ended today, this is what my MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year ballots would look like:

          

    AL MVP

    1. Shohei Ohtani, LAA
    2. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., TOR
    3. Rafael Devers, BOS
    4. Aaron Judge, NYY
    5. Matt Olson, OAK
    6. Cedric Mullins, BAL
    7. Carlos Correa, HOU
    8. Marcus Semien, TOR
    9. Xander Bogaerts, BOS
    10. Jose Ramirez, CLE

          

    NL MVP

    1. Fernando Tatis Jr., SD
    2. Max Muncy, LAD
    3. Bryce Harper, PHI
    4. Buster Posey, SF
    5. Trea Turner, LAD
    6. Juan Soto, WAS
    7. Freddie Freeman, ATL
    8. Jesse Winker, CIN
    9. Bryan Reynolds, PIT
    10. Brandon Crawford, SF

         

    AL Cy Young

    1. Lance Lynn, CWS
    2. Carlos Rodon, CWS
    3. Robbie Ray, TOR
    4. Gerrit Cole, NYY
    5. Chris Bassitt, OAK

              

    NL Cy Young

    1. Walker Buehler, LAD
    2. Brandon Woodruff, MIL
    3. Zack Wheeler, PHI
    4. Corbin Burnes, MIL
    5. Freddy Peralta, MIL

          

    AL Rookie of the Year

    1. Randy Arozarena, TB
    2. Adolis Garcia, TEX
    3. Casey Mize, DET

            

    NL Rookie of the Year

    1. Trevor Rogers, MIA
    2. Jonathan India, CIN
    3. Patrick Wisdom, CHC

            

    Stats courtesy of MLB.com and Baseball Reference unless otherwise noted.

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