Power Rankings: Where the last teams stand

This browser does not support the video element.

We’re less than a week into this, but we can all agree on one thing: it’s been a wild, wild (card) ride so far.

Postseason schedule

Eight teams are out, and eight are still standing, with some pleasant surprises sprinkled in. Today, we rank the best of the best in our first Postseason Power Rankings of 2020. Let’s dive in:

1) Dodgers

They’ve been our No. 1 team all year, and they did nothing to change our minds after sweeping the Brewers in the National League Wild Card Series. Now we get an NL Division Series a lot of us were hoping for: an all-SoCal showdown between the experienced Dodgers and upstart Padres. Scheduling allows clubs to reset their rotations, and that’s very good news for Los Angeles, which will likely start with Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw before handing it over to some combination of Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May and Julio Urías. Here’s one more thing the Dodgers have going for them: a stunning lack of injuries compared to most of the postseason pool.

This browser does not support the video element.

2) Rays

As expected, the Rays’ steady experience was enough to topple the exciting yet unpredictable Blue Jays in the American League Wild Card Series. Now, it’s time to really dig in, and what a doozy of an AL Division Series this could be. The Rays and Yankees know each other well, and it’ll be up to Tampa Bay to keep its opponent guessing at the plate. The Rays’ key weapon never changes over time: It’s always about the pitching. They ended the regular season with the second-lowest ERA in baseball, behind the Indians, and, despite a barrage of injuries, their bullpen is still top notch. Nick Anderson was the best reliever in baseball, posting a 0.55 ERA over 19 appearances.

This browser does not support the video element.

3) Yankees

The Yankees’ greatest weapon is power, and they showed it during their romp over the Indians in the AL Wild Card Series. The Bombers are the lower seed in this series -- the Rays won the AL East -- but forgive us if we decline to identify the Yanks as underdogs. Please. They have Gerrit Cole, and their lineup is relentless and among the most patient in the game, which can lead to shorter outings for the opposing pitcher. The Yankees also haven’t won the World Series in 11 years. Maybe it’s time?

This browser does not support the video element.

4) A's

The A’s win in the AL Wild Card Series over the plucky White Sox ended a nine-game losing streak in winner-take-all playoff games. Now, Oakland will direct its full attention to another long-term goal: knocking out its AL West rivals, the Astros, in the Division Series. This best-of-five set could provide high drama between two clubs that know each other all too well, and this may be the year for the A’s to come out on top. Oakland went 7-3 vs. Houston this year, and it has one of the best bullpens, posting an MLB-best 2.72 ERA in the regular season.

This browser does not support the video element.

5) Braves

If there were any questions about the strength of the Braves’ pitching staff heading into the postseason, it left few unanswered following 22 straight scoreless innings against the Reds in an NL Wild Card Series sweep. For all of Atlanta's postseason appearances, the club actually hasn’t advanced past the first round since 2001, so this is in some ways already a win. The Braves are stronger than they were during the regular season now that Max Fried is fully healthy and back in the rotation, and the bullpen appears sturdy, with Shane Greene and Chris Martin serving as reliable setup men for closer Mark Melancon. Will Smith could be a big factor in high-leverage opportunities as well.

This browser does not support the video element.

6) Padres

Yes, the Padres are the underdog to the powerful Dodgers, and they still don’t know if their two best pitchers -- Dinelson Lamet and Mike Clevinger -- will be available in the next round. But let’s not dwell on what the Padres are missing, and let's instead focus on what makes them so delightful: their potent lineup led by the electric Fernando Tatis Jr. and a bullpen that somehow pieced together a win through a one-reliever-per-inning ratio in their clincher over the Cardinals in the NL Wild Card Series. Fun fact: the nickname “Slam Diego” emerged after the Padres set an MLB record with a grand slam in four games in a row earlier this season. Where did that streak start? In Arlington, where they’ll play the Dodgers in the NL Division Series.

7) Marlins

Marlins fans, don’t fret that your team isn’t ranked higher. Your players probably prefer it that way. The underdog role suits them well -- heck, they’ve even embraced the nickname “Bottom Feeders,” bestowed on them by a frustrated Philadelphia TV analyst after the Phillies lost to the Marlins on Opening Day. You may not have heard of a lot of Miami’s players, and they’ll likely embrace that cloak of anonymity -- it’s worked well for them so far, hasn’t it? The Marlins' rebuild has been going on for quite some time, and while their emergence into the postseason may be a tad surprising, don’t disregard Don Mattingly’s club. This team is one to watch.

This browser does not support the video element.

8) Astros

The Astros were able to pull off tandem-style pitching in the AL Wild Card Series vs. the Twins, the reluctant owners of the longest modern-day postseason losing streak amongst all four major American sports. Now comes the hard part: finding more length from the starting pitchers and consistent innings from an inexperienced bullpen, against an A’s team that knows them well and probably can’t be tricked. Houston is missing many key components from its past playoff teams, but it does have reliable pieces, such as Zack Greinke, Lance McCullers Jr. and Ryan Pressly in the ‘pen. The lineup is the Astros’ strength, and we’ll soon find out if it’s enough to win.

This browser does not support the video element.

More from MLB.com