Final Power Rankings heading into postseason

October 6th, 2022

The 2022 regular season has come to a close, but before the postseason gets underway on Friday, it’s time to take one last spin through the Power Rankings.

With the 12 postseason clubs leading the way, here’s a look at where our voters rank all 30 teams at the conclusion of the regular season.

The postseason qualifiers

1. Dodgers (111-51, last week: 1)
Los Angeles took home its ninth National League West title in the past 10 years while winning a franchise-record 111 games. The 111 wins were not only the most in the club’s storied history, but only three teams have won more games in a single season: the 2001 Mariners (116), 1906 Cubs (116) and 1998 Yankees (114). The Dodgers received a bye to the NL Division Series and will take on the winner of the Wild Card Series between the Padres and Mets.

2. Astros (106-56, 2)
The Astros claimed their fifth American League West title in the past six seasons, with the lone exception coming in the 60-game 2020 campaign. Houston was the only 100-win team in the AL this season as it ran away with the No. 1 seed. Next up in the AL Division Series, the Astros will face the winner of the Wild Card Series between the Mariners and Blue Jays.

3. Braves (101-51, 4)
Though Atlanta led the NL East for only nine days this season, they found themselves sitting atop the division once the dust settled. The Braves snatched away the title from the Mets -- a club that led the way for 175 days -- with a resounding sweep last weekend in Atlanta, beating Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer and Chris Bassitt in consecutive games. After going 25-27 in the season's first two months, the Braves went an MLB-best 78-34 after June 1. Next up, the Braves will face the winner of the Wild Card Series between the Phillies and Cardinals.

4. Yankees (99-63, 5)
The Yanks bounced back from a disastrous August (10-18) by going 20-11 down the stretch -- an impressive mark even without the added pressure surrounding Aaron Judge’s record chase. Judge, of course, ultimately surpassed Roger Maris’ AL record by hitting his 62nd homer of the season on Tuesday night in Texas. With the record chase behind them, the Yankees now await the winner of the Rays-Guardians matchup in the AL Wild Card Series.

5. Mets (101-51, 3)
It’s hard to be disappointed in a 101-win campaign, but letting the NL East lead slip away was certainly an unfortunate way for the Mets to end an otherwise dominant season. Needing only one win in Atlanta last weekend to remain in control of the division, New York instead was swept in a three-game series despite rolling out its three best pitchers. The Mets will need to rebound quickly as they prepare to host an NL Wild Card Series matchup with the Padres.

6. Cardinals (93-69, 6)
This is St. Louis' fourth consecutive postseason berth, though the Cards have been eliminated in the Wild Card round in each of the last two seasons. They'll look to avoid a similar fate in this weekend's NL Wild Card Series showdown against the Phillies in St. Louis.

7. Blue Jays (92-70, 7)
Along with the Blue Jays having one of the most exciting young players in the game in Vladimir Guerrero Jr., a pair of breakout stars will serve as batterymates Friday in Game 1 of their Wild Card Series against the Mariners. Alek Manoah, who had a 2.24 ERA in 31 starts this season, gets the call in Toronto with Alejandro Kirk, who made his first career All-Star appearance this season, behind the plate.

8. Guardians (92-70, 8)
Cleveland seized control of the AL Central with a dominant September in which it went 21-8, including 7-2 against the White Sox and Twins. The Guardians will roll out Shane Bieber (2.88 ERA) and Triston McKenzie (2.96 ERA) for the first two games of their AL Wild Card Series against the Rays at Progressive Field.

9. Mariners (90-72, 10)
The drought is finally over in Seattle, as the Mariners are heading to the postseason for the first time since 2001. Just as exciting perhaps is the fact that 21-year-old phenom Julio Rodríguez returned to the lineup this week, indicating he’ll be ready to go in the club’s Wild Card Series showdown in Toronto against the Blue Jays. The amount of young talent in that series alone makes it must-watch baseball.

10. Padres (89-73, 11)
An up-and-down season for the Padres resulted in an NL Wild Card berth that will send them to Citi Field for a best-of-three series against the Mets. They’ll have their hands full against New York co-aces Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom, but San Diego figures to counter with some postseason-tested starters of their own in Yu Darvish and Blake Snell.

11. Rays (86-76, 9)
Tampa Bay is headed to the postseason for a fourth straight season, matching its total from the franchise’s first 21 seasons combined. Shane McClanahan, who finished with a 2.54 ERA and 194 strikeouts in 166 1/3 innings, gets the ball in Game 1 on Friday opposite Guardians ace Shane Bieber in what could turn into a classic postseason pitchers' duel.

12. Phillies (87-75, 12)
The Phils are back in the postseason for the first time since 2011, but they’ll need to beat the Cardinals in a best-of-three NL Wild Card Series in St. Louis in order to host a postseason game. Philadelphia will turn to Zack Wheeler (0.60 ERA in three starts since returning from the IL on Sept. 21) in Game 1 and Aaron Nola (2.36 ERA since Sept. 1) in Game 2.

The rest of the field of 30:

  1. Orioles (14)
  2. Brewers (13)
  3. Giants (17)
  4. White Sox (15)
  5. Twins  (16)
  6. Red Sox (18)
  7. D-backs (19)
  8. Cubs (22)
  9. Angels (20)
  10. Marlins (24)
  11. Rockies (23)
  12. Rangers (21)
  13. Tigers (27)
  14. Reds (25)
  15. Royals (26)
  16. Pirates (28)
  17. A's (29)
  18. Nationals (30)

Voters: Alyson Footer, Anthony Castrovince, Paul Casella, Mark Feinsand, Nathalie Alonso, Mike Petriello, Sarah Langs, David Venn, Douglas Gausepohl