Power Rankings: Huge shakeup since Deadline

August 14th, 2023

It is one thing to make (or not to make) moves at the Trade Deadline, but until games start up again with new rosters and major players in new cities nobody actually knows how it will all play out.

We’ve now had a full 11 days of baseball since our last Power Rankings. As you can see, a lot has changed. We’ve had some dramatic climbers and some precipitous fallers. It was difficult to see much of it coming: Some teams that made a lot of moves have dropped, and some who mostly stayed put have risen. But one thing is clear: Eleven days suddenly feels like a long time. Here’s where everyone stands in this week's rankings.

Biggest Jump: The day of the Trade Deadline, the Mariners lost at home to the Red Sox and traded away closer Paul Sewald -- not exactly the combination that gets everybody excited, particularly when they were sinking in a crowded Wild Card chase. So, of course, they promptly won eight games in a row, including a devastating (for the Angels) four-game sweep in Anaheim -- and are now only 1.5 games out of the final Wild Card spot. That launched them a whopping nine spots in the Power Rankings, all the way up to No. 9.

Biggest Drop: You can understand why the Reds, a team loaded with young talent, would be hesitant to give any of it away at the Deadline, even if they were in the thick of both the Wild Card and the NL Central chase. But it sure looks like they could have used the help this month. They kicked off August with a six-game losing skid (and eight of their first nine) and they’ve fallen into third place in the division. They got some help from the teams around them, though, and are still just a half-game out of the final Wild Card spot.

Power Rankings Top 5:

1) Braves 75-42 (last week: 1)
The Braves briefly looked a little wobbly coming out of the Deadline, losing three straight to the NL Central’s Cubs and Pirates. Fortunately for them, they had an ace in the hole: A series against the flailing Mets. Their doubleheader sweep on Saturday capped a particularly gruesome 34-3 drubbing over the first three games, which feels like the score of a dull Super Bowl. The only real trick for the Braves the rest of the way is remaining motivated and healthy heading into the postseason.

2) Dodgers 71-46 (last week: 6)
Well, well, look who’s back. The Dodgers have been the best team in baseball since the break, going 11-1 and laying waste to competitors. The Dodgers weren’t thought of as one of the most aggressive teams at the Deadline, but their additions have been uniformly excellent, particularly Lance Lynn, who is 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA in his three starts with the Dodgers. Don’t look now, but another week like the one they just had and they’ll be within striking distance of the best-in-the-Majors Braves.

3) Orioles 73-45 (last week: 2)
The Orioles' on-field performance has continued to be business as usual: They just keep winning. Baltimore suffered a crushing loss in the first game of a potential postseason-preview series against the Astros, but they rebounded to keep their streak of sweep-free series intact. It’ll be interesting how they manage the rest of the West Coast trip they’re on, as they're not out of California until Aug. 22 (against the Blue Jays).

4) Rangers 70-48 (last week: 3)
At the deadline, it felt like the Astros were making their move on the Rangers. Houston was just one game back and they’d just traded for Justin Verlander. The Rangers responded by winning their first eight games of August, with much of that success thanks to new additions Max Scherzer and Jordan Montgomery. They now have a little breathing room between them and their in-state rivals … but just a little.

5) Rays 71-49 (last week: 4)
With a six-game homestand against teams with losing records, the Rays surely were expecting to go better than 3-3 this week. They may regret not picking up an extra game or two, because they’re swinging into San Francisco and Anaheim. The big event comes Monday: Tyler Glasnow, after missing a start and having this one pushed back two days, will take the mound for a team that desperately needs its starting pitchers to reverse their injury luck.

  1. Braves (Last week: 1)
  2. Dodgers (6)
  3. Orioles (2)
  4. Rangers (3)
  5. Rays (4)
  6. Astros (5)
  7. Phillies (11)
  8. Blue Jays (8)
  9. Mariners (18)
  10. Brewers (10)
  11. Giants (9)
  12. Cubs (20)
  13. Twins (16)
  14. Red Sox (15)
  15. Yankees (17)
  16. Reds (7)
  17. Marlins (13)
  18. Padres (21)
  19. Diamondbacks (14)
  20. Angels (12)
  21. Guardians (19)
  22. Mets (22)
  23. Tigers (23)
  24. Pirates (24)
  25. Cardinals (26)
  26. Nationals (27)
  27. White Sox (28)
  28. Rockies (25)
  29. Royals (29)
  30. A’s (30)