MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand with 1 Month to Go

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 31, 2021

MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand with 1 Month to Go

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    Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

    Can anyone catch the San Francisco Giants?

    With a month to go in the 2021 MLB season, the NL West leaders have now been perched atop our weekly power rankings for eight straight weeks.

    The Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays have been right alongside them in the top tier of teams during that same stretch, and a 13-game winning streak had vaulted the New York Yankees into that conversation as well.

    Meanwhile, there is some equally compelling jockeying for position in the middle of the pack, where fringe contenders have hit a crucial stretch in their seasons.

    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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    Yoshi Tsutsugo
    Yoshi TsutsugoJustin K. Aller/Getty Images

    30. Baltimore Orioles (40-90)

    Previous Rank: 30

    A 19-game losing streak mercifully ended for the Orioles on Wednesday with a 10-6 win over the Los Angeles Angels. They followed that up with another victory on Thursday to pick up their first series win since late July, but this remains baseball's worst team. Young slugger Ryan Mountcastle, 24, has been one of the few bright spots lately, hitting .349/.386/.762 with 12 extra-base hits in August.

                                

    29. Texas Rangers (46-85)

    Previous Rank: 29

    The Rangers were 8-18 in August and 10-30 since the All-Star break entering play Monday, and they dropped two of three to Cleveland and the Houston Astros last week. Second baseman Nick Solak is hitting .379/.419/.552 with four multi-hit games in seven contests since Aug. 21 after being recalled from Triple-A, and he still has a chance to be a significant long-term piece.

                     

    28. Arizona Diamondbacks (44-89)

    Previous Rank: 27

    After going 3-7 on their latest road trip, the D-backs are now 17-52 away from Chase Field this season. Dropping two of three to the Pittsburgh Pirates last week once again drops them to the bottom of the pack among National League teams, and there's a tough road ahead with 25 games remaining against teams with winning records.

                

    27. Pittsburgh Pirates (48-83)

    Previous Rank: 28

    The Pirates have quietly gone 6-4 in their last 10 games, and with nine games left against the Cincinnati Reds, they have a chance to impact the NL Wild Card race if they keep playing well. Outfielder Yoshi Tsutsugo is hitting .333/.387/1.037 with five home runs and 11 RBI in 13 games since he was plucked from the scrapheap on Aug. 16 after getting released by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

                         

    26. Washington Nationals (55-75)

    Previous Rank: 25

    The Nationals lost two of three against the Miami Marlins and New York Mets last week to close out a 3-6 road trip, and they are limping to the finish line in a disappointing season. Since replacing Brad Hand in the closer's role, Kyle Finnegan has converted five of six save chances with a 0.82 ERA in 12 appearances.

Nos. 25-21

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    Antonio Senzatela
    Antonio SenzatelaKatelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

    25. Chicago Cubs (57-75)

    Previous Rank: 24

    The Cubs scored 42 runs in six games last week, but the pitching staff surrendered 49 runs. With a 13-1 loss to the crosstown Chicago White Sox on Sunday, they fell to 6-20 in August, though they did pick up a series win over the Colorado Rockies earlier in the week. Slugger Patrick Wisdom hit five home runs last week, and he has a 139 OPS+ with 25 long balls on the year.

                  

    24. Miami Marlins (55-76)

    Previous Rank: 26

    The Marlins failed to build on last year's trip to the postseason, but they are good enough to play spoiler down the stretch. They did just that last week by taking two of three from the Cincinnati Reds, and they could still shake things up in the NL East race. Catcher Jorge Alfaro is hitting .305/.321/.439 with 17 RBI in 24 games in August.

                     

    23. Minnesota Twins (58-73)

    Previous Rank: 23

    With a 13-12 record in August entering play Monday, the Twins are making some late noise. They took two of three from a good Milwaukee Brewers team over the weekend, and while this season is a wash, they can use the final month to build toward next year. Third baseman Josh Donaldson quietly has a 134 OPS+ with 20 home runs and 2.5 WAR this season.

                       

    22. Colorado Rockies (60-71)

    Previous Rank: 22

    The Rockies took two of three on the road against the Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend, wrapping up the series victory behind seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball from Antonio Senzatela on Sunday. The 26-year-old has been fantastic of late, posting a 2.93 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in five August starts, and under team control through 2023, he could be a valuable trade chip this offseason.

              

    21. Detroit Tigers (62-70)

    Previous Rank: 20

    The Tigers clawed to within three games of a .500 record and were briefly in second place in the AL Central standings on Aug. 12, but they've gone just 5-9 in their last 14 games. One of the under-the-radar bright spots for this team has been left-hander Gregory Soto, who has a 3.21 ERA and 10.8 K/9 with 16 saves in 17 chances.

Nos. 20-16

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    Brandon Marsh
    Brandon MarshG Fiume/Getty Images

    20. Kansas City Royals (59-71)

    Previous Rank: 21

    The Royals are 10-4 with a plus-20 run differential in their last 14 games, winning three of four series during that stretch. That includes a 7-3 road trip that concluded with them taking three of four from the Seattle Mariners over the weekend. With homers in five straight games, Salvador Perez is second in the majors with 38 long balls.

           

    19. Los Angeles Angels (65-67)

    Previous Rank: 19

    With Dylan Bundy and Reid Detmers both landing on the injured list last week, where Alex Cobb and Patrick Sandoval already reside, the Angels are carrying three starters and 12 relievers on their active roster entering play Monday. Rookie Brandon Marsh is hitting .322/.385/.460 in 96 plate appearances this month, making his case for a permanent spot in the outfield.

                        

    18. New York Mets (63-67)

    Previous Rank: 18

    The Mets are 5-1 against the Washington Nationals and 3-18 against everyone else this month, and with the fans and players at odds, the final month of the season is shaping up to be a disaster. With Atlanta playing well, New York's postseason hopes have all but evaporated, and a big offseason awaits for a club that didn't come close to expectations.

                  

    17. Cleveland (64-64)

    Previous Rank: 17

    It was clear that Cleveland was content being a fringe contender when Francisco Lindor was traded and no significant additions were made during the offseason, and that's exactly where they find themselves hovering around. 500 entering September. The emergence of guys like Amed Rosario and Cal Quantrill has been a positive takeaway, but will they make the necessary moves to contend again?

               

    16. San Diego Padres (70-62)

    Previous Rank: 13

    This is the lowest the Padres have been ranked at any point this season, and with a 3-13 record in their last 16 games entering play Monday, there is no end in sight to their recent slide. The fact that 19 of their final 31 games will be played on the road is less than ideal for a team that has gone 28-33 away from Petco Park.

Nos. 15-11

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    Marco Gonzales
    Marco GonzalesSteph Chambers/Getty Images

    15. St. Louis Cardinals (67-63)

    Previous Rank: 16

    An 8-1 stretch earlier this month moved the Cardinals over the .500 mark and back into the wild-card picture, but they've been treading water ever since with a 5-7 record. They're now rapidly running out of time to make their contention move. A big stretch of upcoming games against the Reds, Brewers, Dodgers and Reds again will likely make or break their season.

           

    14. Toronto Blue Jays (69-61)

    Previous Rank: 15

    The Blue Jays have not posted a losing record in any month this season. While they haven't had any prolonged cold stretches, they have also not gotten hot enough to make a serious climb up the AL East standings. With seven strong innings and a season-high 14 strikeouts last time out, Robbie Ray is improving his AL Cy Young case with each passing start.

           

    13. Philadelphia Phillies (67-64)

    Previous Rank: 14

    Since winning eight in a row to begin the month of August, the Phillies have gone 7-11 and dropped from two games up to 4.5 games back in the NL East standings entering play Monday. First baseman Rhys Hoskins is out for the rest of the year following abdominal surgery, and right-hander Zach Eflin could also be shelved for the remainder of 2021.

             

    12. Seattle Mariners (70-62)

    Previous Rank: 12

    The Mariners took two games from the Athletics in Oakland to begin last week, but they then dropped three of four against the Royals at home. A resurgent New York Yankees team has muddied their playoff hopes, and they'll need to overtake Oakland and one of the Red Sox or Yankees to eke out a playoff berth. Even if this isn't the year that they snap their postseason drought, the Mariners are trending in the right direction.

           

    11. Oakland Athletics (72-59)

    Previous Rank: 10

    Also on the outside looking in for a wild-card berth, the Athletics are playing some of their worst baseball of the season right now with a 5-11 record in their last 16 games. The Houston Astros have opened up some distance in the AL West standings, leaving Oakland to battle for a wild-card spot. Road trips to Detroit and Toronto await this week as they look to turn the tide.

Nos. 10-6

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    Yasmani Grandal
    Yasmani GrandalRon Vesely/Getty Images

    10. Cincinnati Reds (71-62)

    Previous Rank: 9

    The Reds enter the week clinging to a narrow lead in the NL wild-card standings. Left fielder Jesse Winker is ramping back up, but he's still a few weeks from returning from an intercostal strain. In his absence, Max Schrock has started seeing time in left field, and he went 2-for-3 on Saturday in his third game back from Triple-A. With that said, relief pitching remains the X-factor for this team.

           

    9. Boston Red Sox (75-58)

    Previous Rank: 11

    The Red Sox went 5-2 with series wins over Minnesota and Cleveland last week, but their rough patch earlier this month has left them eight games back in the AL East standings. They now appear reliant on claiming a wild-card spot to make the playoffs, and they have a tough stretch coming up with seven of their next 10 games against the Tampa Bay Rays.

           

    8. Atlanta Braves (70-60)

    Previous Rank: 8

    The Braves entered last week riding a nine-game winning streak. While they dropped both games of a quick two-game series with the New York Yankees, they rebounded to take two of three from the San Francisco Giants. With a 3.43 ERA in August, the pitching staff has been a major strength, and the bullpen has rounded into form behind Tyler Matzek, Luke Jackson, A.J. Minter and newcomer Richard Rodriguez.

             

    7. Chicago White Sox (76-56)

    Previous Rank: 7

    The White Sox split a four-game series with the Blue Jays and took two of three from the rival Cubs over the weekend. With a 10-game lead over Cleveland in the AL Central standings, they can coast down the stretch. Catcher Yasmani Grandal went 4-for-6 with two home runs in his return from the injured list on Friday, and he homered again Sunday.

           

    6. Houston Astros (78-53)

    Previous Rank: 6

    With three straight series wins, the Astros' lead has begun to swell in the AL West standings. The offense is potent, the starting rotation has been a strength all season, and the bullpen is rounding into form thanks to the additions of Kendall Graveman and Yimi Garcia at the deadline. Houston is a serious contender, and its AL West lead could continue to grow in the coming weeks.

Nos. 5-1

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    Logan Webb
    Logan WebbThearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    5. Milwaukee Brewers (80-52)

    Previous Rank: 4

    A series loss to the Twins over the weekend drops the Brewers a spot in this week's rankings, but this remains one of baseball's top-tier teams and a serious title contender. Josh Hader (9 G, 6/6 SV, 0.00 ERA), Devin Williams (13 G, 3/3 SV, 5 HLD, 0.00 ERA) and Brad Boxberger (13 G, 1/1 SV, 6 HLD, 0.73 ERA) have been a lockdown trio at the back of the bullpen in August, and those three are going to shorten games in October.

           

    4. New York Yankees (76-55)

    Previous Rank: 5

    The Yankees won 13 straight before consecutive losses to the Oakland Athletics over the weekend, and they now occupy the top AL wild-card spot. Aaron Judge (1.039 OPS, 8 HR, 24 RBI) and Giancarlo Stanton (1.030 OPS, 8 HR, 21 RBI) have rarely been healthy and productive at the same time during their Yankees tenure, but they are carrying the offense in August.

           

    3. Tampa Bay Rays (83-48)

    Previous Rank: 3

    Despite a red-hot stretch from the Yankees, the Rays still have a comfortable lead in the AL East standings thanks to a 19-6 record of their own in August. The pitching staff remains a strength even with a six-man rotation and an ever-shuffling group of relievers, and the offense leads the majors with 256 runs scored since the All-Star break.

             

    2. Los Angeles Dodgers (83-49)

    Previous Rank: 2

    The Dodgers won nine in a row earlier this month and have a 19-6 record with a plus-57 run differential in August. Walker Buehler, Max Scherzer and Julio Urias are all pitching at an extremely high level right now, which has helped ease some of the pressure of being without several other top arms. The Giants have yet to blink in the NL West race, but the Dodgers are ready to pounce if they do.

           

    1. San Francisco Giants (84-47)

    Previous Rank: 1

    Despite dropping two of three to the Atlanta Braves over the weekend, the Giants still had a 4-2 record last week to maintain a 2.5-game lead in the NL West race. With seven scoreless innings on Saturday, Logan Webb has now turned in seven straight quality starts, posting a 1.42 ERA and 0.92 WHIP during that span. Does he start Game 2 of a playoff series?

Complete Rankings

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    Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

    Complete Rankings

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

Highlight of the Week: Salvador Perez Hits Grand Slams in Back-to-Back Games

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    Kansas City Royals star Salvador Perez is in the midst of a career year.

    The 31-year-old is hitting .277/.315/.544 for a 127 OPS+ with 38 home runs and 94 RBI, putting him well on his way to only the eighth 40-homer season in MLB history from a catcher.

    He boosted that long ball total significantly with six home runs last week, two of which were grand slams in back-to-back games against the Seattle Mariners.

    "It’s incredible to watch every night," teammate Kris Bubic told reporters. "He’s doing something that’s monumental every night. He’s that type of player, and he’s built for those moments."

    His second blast on Friday made him just the 25th player in MLB history to hit a grand slam in consecutive games, according to Anne Rogers of MLB.com.

    If he stays hot down the stretch, he could finish with one of the most impressive stat lines we've ever seen from a backstop.

Team of the Week

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    Tommy Edman
    Tommy EdmanJustin K. Aller/Getty Images

    C Salvador Perez, KC
    (10-for-28, 6 HR, 14 RBI)

    1B Jose Abreu, CWS
    (11-for-28, 3 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI)

    2B Tommy Edman, STL
    (12-for-26, 3 2B, 2 HR, 10 RBI)

    3B Josh Donaldson, MIN
    (9-for-21, 2 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI)

    SS Edmundo Sosa, STL
    (8-for-15, 2B, 2 3B, HR, 7 RBI)

    OF Luis Robert, CWS
    (11-for-25, 2 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI)

    OF Aaron Judge, NYY
    (12-for-25, 3 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI)

    OF Bryce Harper, PHI
    (10-for-21, 5 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI)

    DH Giancarlo Stanton, NYY
    (8-for-23, 2B, 4 HR, 6 RBI)

    SP Joe Musgrove, SD
    (1 GS, W, 9.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K)

    SP Antonio Senzatela, COL
    (2 GS, W, ND, 13.0 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 11 K)

    SP Dylan Cease, CWS
    (2 GS, 2 W, 13.0 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 18 K)

    SP Robbie Ray, TOR
    (1 GS, ND, 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 14 K)

    SP Max Scherzer, LAD
    (1 GS, W, 7.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K)

    RP Andrew Kittredge, TB
    (2 G, 2/2 SV, 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K)

Award Rankings

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    Robbie Ray
    Robbie RayMark Blinch/Getty Images

    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. Salvador Perez, KC
    9. Jose Ramirez, CLE
    10. Rafael Devers, BOS

          

    NL MVP

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

         

    AL Cy Young

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

              

    NL Cy Young

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