Power Rankings: Did the Deadline shake up the hierarchy?

August 4th, 2022

Now that the Trade Deadline -- one of the wackiest, zaniest, action-packed Deadlines we’ve seen in recent times -- is behind us, it’s time to take a look at where teams landed in our first Power Rankings of August.

There wasn’t a ton of movement from our last pre-Deadline rankings, frankly. Most of the good teams made at least one trade to improve, and in most cases, they made two or three (or more) deals with an eye on October.

But not all trades are equal. The Padres overhauled their roster in ways we’ve never seen before in baseball, and now have three of baseball’s most effective hitters in their lineup, all clumped together. Consider this -- since the start of 2020, Juan Soto (13.5, 1st), Manny Machado (12.2, 7th) and Fernando Tatis Jr. (9.4, 21st) all rank in the top 21 among position players in WAR.

And they may not even be the best trio in their division. The Dodgers’ Trea Turner, Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman all rank in the top eight in WAR.

The division itself is still lopsided -- the red-hot Dodgers have had a double-digit lead for quite some time -- but if there’s one takeaway from the Trade Deadline, it’s that which team from the NL West will last longer in October is a lot less certain.

Biggest jump: The Blue Jays jumped five spots, from 12 to 7. Toronto has won 12 of 16 games under interim skipper John Schneider, and prior to their loss to the Rays on Wednesday they were scoring an MLB-best 6.5 runs per game.

Biggest drop: The Giants dropped four spots, from 14 to 18. They lost seven straight coming out of the All-Star break, including a four-game sweep at the hands of the first-place Dodgers.

Power Rankings Top 5:

1) Yankees (70-36; last time: 1)
DraftKings World Series odds: 3.9-1
With an eye on October, the Yankees strengthened their pitching by acquiring starting pitcher Frankie Montas and two relievers prior to the Deadline. Now they have to hope that Gerrit Cole’s recent struggles are a blip, and not a trend. Cole yielded six runs in a loss to the Mariners on Wednesday, raising his ERA to 4.97 over his past six starts. There’s time to figure it out, though -- with a double-digit lead in the AL East, conceding the division to the Blue Jays or Rays seems like a long-shot.

2) Dodgers (71-33; last time: 2)
DraftKings World Series odds: 3.9-1
The Dodgers were relatively quiet at the Deadline, but to be fair, how much tweaking did they need? Heading into Wednesday’s game with the Giants, they had won 25 of 30 dating back to June 29, and during that stretch, they ranked second in the Majors in ERA (2.94) and runs scored (175).

3) Astros (68-38; last time: 3)
DraftKings World Series odds: 4.75-1
Trey Mancini is a good fit for Houston for many reasons, one being that he is a right-handed pull hitter who is likely to benefit from Minute Maid Park’s Crawford Boxes. According to Statcast, Mancini’s homer total would have been nearly double what it actually is, had he played all his games at Houston’s home ballpark. Mancini, who – surprise! – hit a homer into those same Crawford Boxes on Wednesday in his first game since being acquired by the Astros at the Deadline, had 10 homers at the time of the trade. Adjusted for ballpark considerations, that number would have been 21.

4) Padres (61-46; last time: 6)
DraftKings World Series odds: 11-1
The Padres inched up two spots since our last Power Rankings -- was that enough? San Diego’s industry-busting Trade Deadline stole the show on Tuesday, and now the focus shifts to the immediate future. The Padres and Dodgers play each other 12 more times this season, beginning Friday with a three-game set in Los Angeles.

5) Mets (66-38; last time: 4)
DraftKings World Series odds: 6.5-1
The Mets have lost just one series since the start of July, when they dropped two of three to San Diego right after the All-Star break. Entering Wednesday’s game -- a win over the Nats that saw Chris Bassitt toss seven scoreless innings -- Mets starting pitchers had a 1.95 ERA over 21 games, dating back to July 7. That was one run better than the next best rotation in that span -- St. Louis, with a 3.01 ERA.

The rest of the field of 30:

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

Voters: Alyson Footer, Anthony Castrovince, Paul Casella, Mark Feinsand, Nathalie Alonso, Mike Petriello, Sarah Langs, Andrew Simon, David Venn, Brett Blueweiss