MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand with 5 Weeks Remaining

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 24, 2021

MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand with 5 Weeks Remaining

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    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    The final month of the 2021 MLB season is in sight.

    In just five short weeks, the playoff field will be set, and we'll be gearing up for another thrilling postseason, but there's a lot that still needs to be decided between now and then.

    The Cincinnati Reds and Atlanta Braves are both newcomers in our top 10 this week, while the Boston Red Sox and San Diego Padres continued their recent slides down the rankings with another poor week.

    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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    Daulton Varsho
    Daulton VarshoDustin Bradford/Getty Images

    30. Baltimore Orioles (38-85)

    Previous Rank: 30

    Stumbling through an 18-game losing streak, the Orioles are struggling to the point that think pieces are now being written about whether MLB has a tanking problem with the O's used as the leading example. They have been outscored by a staggering 142 runs during their current skid, and their 7.78 ERA in August speaks to just how bad the pitching staff has been.

           

    29. Texas Rangers (43-81)

    Previous Rank: 27

    The Rangers have not won consecutive games since Aug. 2, and after landing four more players on the injured list last week, they have now used 50 different guys on the year. Rookie outfielder Adolis Garcia has struggled since the All-Star break, but he had a three-hit game on Sunday. He'll need a late push to stay atop the AL Rookie of the Year race.

           

    28. Pittsburgh Pirates (45-80)

    Previous Rank: 28

    The Pirates took two of three from the St. Louis Cardinals over the weekend for their first series win since the end of July, but they were shut out for the fifth time this month on Sunday in a 3-0 loss. Reliever David Bednar has been an under-the-radar bright spot with a 2.49 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 11.0 K/9, and he earned his first career save on Saturday.

             

    27. Arizona Diamondbacks (42-84)

    Previous Rank: 29

    The D-backs swept a three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies last week as part of a 6-1 stretch, but dropped two of three to the Colorado Rockies on the road over the weekend. Versatile catcher/outfielder Daulton Varsho is hitting .342/.444/.724 with seven home runs and 17 RBI since the All-Star break.

           

    26. Miami Marlins (51-74)

    Previous Rank: 22

    With a seven-game losing streak last week, the Marlins slipped to the NL East cellar once again after three brief days in fourth place. Expect the trio of Jesus Sanchez, Lewis Brinson and Bryan De La Cruz to get a long look in the outfield down the stretch as they try to sort out their 2022 roster plans.

Nos. 25-21

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    Kyle Freeland
    Kyle FreelandDustin Bradford/Getty Images

    25. Washington Nationals (53-70)

    Previous Rank: 26

    The Nationals are 5-15 since blowing up their roster at the trade deadline, and it figures to be more of the same the rest of the way. Outfielder Lane Thomas, who was acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in the Jon Lester trade, has gone 9-for-15 with three extra-base hits and five walks in his first 20 plate appearances with the team.

           

    24. Chicago Cubs (55-72)

    Previous Rank: 25

    The Cubs snapped a 12-game losing streak with a victory over the Cincinnati Reds last Monday, and they beat them again the following day to secure their first series win since the middle of July when they took two of three from the D-backs. With another strong series, Ian Happ is now a .342/.447/.784 hitter with 13 home runs in 34 career games at Great American Ball Park.

           

    23. Minnesota Twins (54-70)

    Previous Rank: 21

    Playing their best baseball of the season entering last week, the Twins picked up a fourth straight series win by taking two of three from Cleveland. However, their momentum was halted when they were swept by the New York Yankees over the weekend. Infielder Jorge Polanco is hitting .321/.370/.612 with 10 home runs since the break.

             

    22. Colorado Rockies (57-68)

    Previous Rank: 23

    With a sweep of the San Diego Padres and a series win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Rockies entered the week with an 11-8 record and a plus-14 run differential in August. Left-hander Kyle Freeland has a 2.53 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 61 strikeouts in 64 innings over his past 11 starts, and it's easy to forget he's not all that far removed from finishing fourth in NL Cy Young voting in 2018.

           

    21. Kansas City Royals (56-68)

    Previous Rank: 24

    It was a stellar week for the Royals who took three of four from the Houston Astros at home and then swept the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field over the weekend. This team is good enough to be a thorn in the side of contenders the rest of the way. Second baseman Nicky Lopez is hitting .318/.359/.427 with eight extra-base hits and 10 steals in 31 games since the All-Star break.

Nos. 20-16

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    Amed Rosario
    Amed RosarioMary DeCicco/Getty Images

    20. Detroit Tigers (60-66)

    Previous Rank: 20

    The Tigers picked up a series win over the Toronto Blue Jays last week, and Miguel Cabrera provided one of the biggest highlights of the year on Sunday when he hit his 500th career home run. They lost two games on Cleveland in the hunt for second in the AL Central standings, and the two teams don't play each other again head-to-head this year.

          

    19. Los Angeles Angels (62-64)

    Previous Rank: 18

    The Angels have spent much of the summer treading water while superstar Mike Trout watched from the sidelines, and while they continue to hover around the .500 mark, they are rapidly running out of time to make a move in the wild-card hunt. They entered the week 8.5 games back with four teams to pass for the second spot.

           

    18. New York Mets (61-63)

    Previous Rank: 17

    Aside from a three-game sweep of the Washington Nationals, the month of August has been an unmitigated disaster for the Mets. They have a brutal 3-15 record in their other 18 games, and they are now third in the NL East standings with a seven-game deficit in the wild-card race entering play on Monday. Shortstop Javier Baez returned to action on Sunday, and he'll look to provide a spark.

           

    17. Cleveland (61-61)

    Previous Rank: 19

    After completing a three-game sweep of the Angels on Sunday Night Baseball, Cleveland is once again back to .500 and eyeing a winning record for the first time since Aug. 2. Shortstop Amed Rosario is hitting a rock solid .289/.330/.422 with a 103 OPS+ and 36 extra-base hits as he looks to cement himself as the long-term guy at the position.

           

    16. St. Louis Cardinals (63-60)

    Previous Rank: 15

    Despite strong starts from Adam Wainwright, Miles Mikolas, Jack Flaherty and J.A. Happ last week, the Cardinals suffered series losses to the Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates to fall to 24-25 against the rest of the NL Central on the year. Can they hold on long enough to climb back into the playoff race?

Nos. 15-11

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    Robbie Ray
    Robbie RayRichard Lautens/Getty Images

    15. Toronto Blue Jays (65-58)

    Previous Rank: 14

    The Blue Jays are 2-7 in their past nine games, including series losses to the Washington Nationals and Detroit Tigers last week. The offense has gone quiet during that stretch, averaging just 3.8 runs per game and topping five runs just twice. Left-hander Robbie Ray struck out 11 and allowed just one run in eight innings against the Tigers on Friday, and he now has a 2.79 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 178 strikeouts in 145.1 innings as he builds his AL Cy Young case.

           

    14. Philadelphia Phillies (63-61)

    Previous Rank: 16

    The Phillies climbed to the top of the NL East standings on the strength of an eight-game winning streak to begin the month, but they've gone just 4-8 since to fall back to second. With just eight of their final 38 games against teams with a winning record, this team is still far from out of it, but they need to pick up the pace.

          

    13. San Diego Padres (68-58)

    Previous Rank: 10

    With a 2-9 record in their past 11 games, the Padres are in a complete free fall right now. The search for answers behind Joe Musgrove, Blake Snell and Ryan Weathers in the starting rotation continues with scrapheap signing Jake Arrieta quickly landing on the injured list himself with a strained hamstring. The Los Angeles Dodgers await for a big three-game series starting Tuesday.

           

    12. Seattle Mariners (68-58)

    Previous Rank: 13

    The Mariners dropped two of three in a big weekend series with the division rival Houston Astros, and they were outscored 27-4 in their two losses. However, thanks to a three-game sweep of the Texas Rangers, they still finished the week with a winning record. Drew Steckenrider (44 G, 5 SV, 4 HLD, 1.99 ERA) and Paul Sewald (41 G, 6 SV, 10 HLD, 2.57 ERA) might be the most underrated bullpen duo in baseball.

            

    11. Boston Red Sox (71-55)

    Previous Rank: 8

    The Red Sox are 7-13 in their past 20 games, and their high-powered offense managed just five runs in a three-game sweep against the rival New York Yankees. They slipped below second in the AL East standings for the first time since April 6 on Wednesday. Deadline newcomers Hansel Robles (9 G, 5.40 ERA) and Austin Davis (9 G, 4.32 ERA) have not bolstered the pitching staff as hoped, while Martin Perez and Garrett Richards have both been relegated to the bullpen.

Nos. 10-6

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    Jake Meyers
    Jake MeyersBob Levey/Getty Images

    10. Oakland Athletics (70-56)

    Previous Rank: 6

    The Athletics have stumbled to a 3-8 record in their past 11 games. Right-hander Chris Bassitt landed on the injured list with facial fractures after he was hit with a line drive on Tuesday, and it's possible he could miss the remainder of the season. That's a huge blow to Oakland's staff.

          

    9. Cincinnati Reds (69-57)

    Previous Rank: 11

    With a four-game sweep of the Miami Marlins over the weekend, the Reds officially passed the reeling San Diego Padres for the No. 2 NL wild-card spot. A healthy Michael Lorenzen has given the pitching staff a huge boost. The 29-year-old has tallied three saves and three holds while tossing 10.1 scoreless innings in nine appearances out of the bullpen in August.

           

    8. Atlanta Braves (68-57)

    Previous Rank: 12

    The Braves are 17-3 since the trade deadline, including a 9-0 road trip that included sweeps of the Washington Nationals, Miami Marlins and Baltimore Orioles. Top-tier competition? Not exactly, but it's still an impressive showing that has helped them build a five-game lead in the NL East. Left-hander Max Fried threw the team's first complete-game shutout of the season on Friday.

             

    7. Chicago White Sox (72-54)

    Previous Rank: 7

    Last week, the White Sox had a chance to prove they can beat good teams, and they came away with a 4-3 record against the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays. Unfortunately, the week ended with a 9-0 loss to Chris Archer and a handful of relievers, clinching a series defeat for the South Siders. This team can coast to an AL Central title, but can they flip the switch when it matters?

            

    6. Houston Astros (73-52)

    Previous Rank: 5

    The Astros were just 9-10 in August entering play on Monday, and they were swept by the Kansas City Royals last week, but this is still the team to beat in the AL West. Rookie Jake Meyers is hitting .341/.375/.614 with three doubles, three home runs and 11 RBI in 15 games since debuting on Aug. 1, and he has staked claim to the everyday center field job in the process.

Nos. 5-1

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    Logan Webb
    Logan WebbThearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    5. New York Yankees (73-52)

    Previous Rank: 9

    The Yankees have the best record in baseball in August at 17-4, and they have leapfrogged a struggling Boston Red Sox team in the AL East standings after a three-game sweep last week. The contributions of Nestor Cortes, Luis Gil and Jameson Taillon have given the starting rotation a huge in-house boost, and momentum is on their side right now.

           

    4. Milwaukee Brewers (76-49)

    Previous Rank: 3

    The Brewers now have four straight series wins after taking two of three from the St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals last week, and they have been in complete control of the NL Central race for the past two months. The pitching staff has a 3.45 ERA with 10 saves in 14 opportunities in August, and hard-throwing Aaron Ashby could be a major X-factor in a multi-inning role.

          

    3. Tampa Bay Rays (77-48)

    Previous Rank: 4

    With a 6-1 record last week, the Rays maintained their hold on the AL East lead and improved to 14-6 with a plus-39 run differential in August. Rookie phenom Wander Franco is quietly up to a .266/.329/.447 line with a 120 OPS+ and 1.9 WAR in 47 games, and he went 10-for-24 with three multi-hit games last week. He could make a Randy Arozarena-type impact during this year's playoff push.

             

    2. Los Angeles Dodgers (78-47)

    Previous Rank: 2

    The Dodgers went all-in at the deadline to acquire Max Scherzer and Trea Turner, and they've gone 16-4 with a plus-57 run differential since pulling the trigger on that blockbuster deal. The pitching staff has an MLB-best 2.29 ERA in August, while the offense has logged 5.3 runs per game. They are still looking up at the San Francisco Giants in the NL West standings, but this team is rolling right now.

           

    1. San Francisco Giants (80-44)

    Previous Rank: 1

    It was business as usual for the Giants last week as they took two of three from the New York Mets and Oakland Athletics to become the first team in the majors to reach 80 wins this season. Fans outside of San Francisco might not realize how good Logan Webb has been this year, and he added to his resume Sunday with six innings of five-hit, one-run ball to lower his ERA to 2.84 in 98.1 innings.

Complete Rankings

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    Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

    Complete Rankings

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

Highlight of the Week: Miggy Joins the 500 HR Club

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    With a solo home run off Toronto Blue Jays left-hander Steven Matz on Sunday, Miguel Cabrera became the 28th member of the 500 home run club, and the first Venezuelan-born player to join that exclusive fraternity.

    "It's something special for my country, for my family, to be able to do this,'' Cabrera told reporters. "I'm really happy."

    The future Hall of Famer launched No. 499 on Aug. 11, then went eight games without a long ball before going deep in his third at-bat of the game against Matz.

    The 3,000-hit milestone is next for Cabrera, who sits at 2,955 for his career.

    As for the next member of the 500-homer club, it might be a while.

    Nelson Cruz (443) is the only other active player with more than 400, and at 41 years old, another 57 homers is no guarantee.

    New York Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton (332) has a chance if he can stay healthy, while Mike Trout (310) and Bryce Harper (255) both look like decent bets with youth on their side.

Team of the Week

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    Adam Wainwright
    Adam WainwrightGene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    C Riley Adams, WAS
    (7-for-14, 3 2B, HR, 4 RBI)

    1B Freddie Freeman, ATL
    (12-for-26, 3 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 5 RBI)

    2B Brandon Lowe, TB
    (9-for-26, 4 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI)

    3B Jose Ramirez, CLE
    (8-for-27, 3 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI)

    SS Amed Rosario, CLE
    (13-for-27, 3 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI)

    OF Tyler Naquin, CIN
    (13-for-26, 3 2B, 3B, 4 HR, 5 RBI)

    OF Nick Castellanos, CIN
    (10-for-27, 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI)

    OF Andrew Benintendi, KC
    (12-for-27, 4 2B, HR, 4 RBI)

    DH Luke Voit, NYY
    (10-for-21, 3 2B, 2 HR, 11 RBI)

    SP Max Fried, ATL
    (1 GS, W, 9.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K)

    SP Adam Wainwright, STL
    (2 GS, W, L, 14.0 IP, 11 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 13 K)

    SP Zac Gallen, ARI
    (1 GS, ND, 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K)

    SP Gerrit Cole, NYY
    (2 GS, 2 W, 11.2 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 15 K)

    SP Robbie Ray, TOR
    (1 GS, W, 8.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 11 K)

    RP Josh Hader, MIL
    (4 G, W, 3/3 SV, 3.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K)

Award Rankings

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    Shohei Ohtani
    Shohei OhtaniTony Dejak/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. Aaron Judge, NYY
    4. Matt Olson, OAK
    5. Cedric Mullins, BAL
    6. Carlos Correa, HOU
    7. Marcus Semien, TOR
    8. Xander Bogaerts, BOS
    9. Jose Ramirez, CLE
    10. Salvador Perez, KC

          

    NL MVP

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

         

    AL Cy Young

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

              

    NL Cy Young

    1. Walker Buehler, LAD
    2. Corbin Burnes, MIL
    3. Zack Wheeler, PHI
    4. Brandon Woodruff, MIL
    5. Adam Wainwright, STL

          

    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. Vladimir Gutierrez, CIN

            

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

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