The Pirates, Cardinals, and Dodgers all made roster moves this week. Did it impact their standing in the power rankings though? Also, has the Rays struggles dropped them out of the top 10 altogether? Here are your week 22 power rankings:
#1 Atlanta Braves
This team is very quietly still boasting the best record in baseball and lead the Dodgers by 2 games in the race for home field advantage for the postseason. Many will question the playoff potential of the Braves rotation, but with their bullpen, they might not need their starters to go very deep. By the way: The Braves hold the head to head edge against the Cardinals, Dodgers, Pirates, and Reds in regards to best record.
#2 Los Angeles Dodgers
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Maybe the most surprising aspect of the Dodgers over the past few months has been their bullpen. We knew that they had potential there, but the combination of Paco Rodriguez, Kenley Janse, and J.P. Howell has been outstanding thus far. By the way: Hanley still has more HR and 15 more RBI than Puig in 9 fewer games.
#3 Detroit Tigers
The Tigers offense has surpassed the Red Sox offense and now leads the MLB in practically every offensive category. In more important news, Justin Verlander looked much better in his last start with 7 scoreless innings against the Indians. If he figured something out, that is huge for the Tigers. By the way: Doug Fister only has 2 less quality starts than Max Scherzer.
#4 Boston Red Sox
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The Red Sox have continued to play consistent baseball while the rest of the AL East has absolutely been crumbling and now lead the Rays by what feels like a monstrous 5 games. By the way: John Lackey continues to go underappreciated. When you have an offense as good as the Sox, you just need your starter to give you a chance, which Lackey has done with a team high 17 quality starts.
#5 Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates took a crucial series from the Cardinals over the weekend and now lead the NL Central by 1 game. More importantly, as I wrote a few days ago, the additions of Marlon Byrd and Justin Morneau should pay huge dividends for this team down the stretch. By the way: Charlie Morton has come on strong as of late with 2 ER or less in 6 straight starts.
#6 Oakland Athletics
Don’t look now, but the A’s are getting hot and have worked their way into a 1st place tie with the Texas Rangers. Also, the A’s play the Rangers 5 more times, but don’t play a team with a winning record the rest of the month. By the way: The A’s have won their last 10 games whenever Yoenis Cespedes has at least 1 RBI.
#7 St Louis Cardinals
While the Cardinals have lost 4 out of 5 to the Pirates/Reds, they are still only 1 game out of 1st place in the Central. The good news for the Cardinals is they play their next 6 against the Reds and Pirates, but then play zero playoff contenders the rest of the season. By the way: After a very questionable decision to let Wainwright finish the game against the Braves, Waino has given up 15 runs in 8 innings.
#8 Texas Rangers
Though the Rangers still hold a share of 1st place in the AL West, they have lost 3 of 4 and will face a very tough schedule down the stretch (A’s, Pirates, A’s, Rays, and Royals). By the way: Derek Holland has had a very solid year as the #2 starter behind Darvish, leading the team with 20 quality starts.
#9 Cincinnati Reds
Despite losing 6 out of 10, the Reds still find themselves where they have been seemingly for the entire year, less than 4 games out of first. The Reds have hands down the deepest rotation in the Central, which is why you can’t write them off quite yet. By the way: Brandon Phillips has 99 RBI, which is 32 more than every other NL 2nd basemen.
#10 Tampa Bay Rays
I don’t even have to words to explain what is going on with the Rays right now. The Rays have lost 7 of 8 and now only lead the 2nd wild card spot by 2.5 games. By the way: Evan Longoria is 2 for his last 27 with only 1 RBI.
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