Power Rankings: Who has edge for September stretch?

August 29th, 2022

This week’s Power Rankings feature some big shifts with clubs in the American League East, with the team making the largest gain on the list and the team seeing the biggest drop both emerging from that division. As the calendar flips to September and postseason races heat up, it’ll be very interesting to see how the Power Rankings change from here on out.

On to this week’s rankings:

Biggest jump: The Rays made the biggest gain this week, jumping four spots from our last poll to land at No. 8. Tampa Bay, decimated by injuries for much of the season, won five of seven games on the week, and in a stretch of 17 games in 17 days, the Rays won 12. In just over two weeks, they went from fourth in the AL East to second, and are now occupying the top AL Wild Card spot.

Biggest drop: With the Rays surging, the Jays are falling, dropping four spots over last week’s survey, to No. 11. Toronto opened the week with a three-game sweep of the Red Sox, but ended it with a sweep at the hands of the Angels. In the process, the Blue Jays lost 1 1/2 games in the standings to Tampa Bay, and are clinging to the third AL Wild Card spot by 1 1/2 games over the Orioles.

Power Rankings Top 5:

1) Dodgers (88-38; last week: 1)
DraftKings odds to win World Series: 3.5-1

The beat goes on for the best team in baseball as the Dodgers reached 50 games over .500 over the past week. For context, there are three teams that haven’t won 50 games on the season -- the A’s, Nationals and Pirates. The week began with a loss to the Brewers, but Los Angeles won four of its next five. The Dodgers are on pace for 113 wins, still on target to challenge the modern record of 116, set by the 2001 Mariners.

2) Mets (82-47; last week: 3)
DraftKings odds to win World Series: 5.5-1

It was a 3-3 week for the Mets, who leapfrogged the Astros for the No. 2 spot. A pair of Subway Series losses to the Yankees opened the week on a sour note, but the Mets bounced back to take three of four from the Rockies at Citi Field over the weekend. Sunday’s game was very nearly a victory as well, but New York’s bats went silent against Germán Márquez and couldn't provide any run support for a strong start by Max Scherzer (seven innings, one run on four hits with one walk and 11 strikeouts) in a 1-0 loss.

3) Astros (82-47; last week: 2)
DraftKings odds to win World Series: 4.25-1

A very promising start to the week, with a sweep of the Twins to open a six-game homestand, didn’t carry over into Houston’s series against Baltimore at Minute Maid Park over the weekend, with the Orioles taking two of three. The Astros mustered only four runs over the entire series, a trend that they’ll need to swiftly reverse as they hit the road for two against the Rangers and three against the Angels. They might have to make do without ace Justin Verlander, who came out of Sunday’s game with right calf tightness.

4) Braves (79-50; last week: 4)
DraftKings odds to win World Series: 9-1

In a thriller on Sunday Night Baseball, the Braves lost to the Cardinals, 6-3, despite a big go-ahead homer by Dansby Swanson in the seventh inning. Atlanta had a chance to shrink the gap with the National League East-leading Mets, who lost earlier in the day, but the Braves will enter the new week three games back. Still, the defending World Series champs had a 4-2 week and are 56-23 since the beginning of June. They have their sights set on winning their fifth consecutive division title.

5) Yankees (78-50; last week: 5)
DraftKings odds to win World Series: 4.5-1

Things were going so well to begin the last week for the Bronx Bombers -- they had won five straight games, including a two-game sweep of the Mets, and some wondered whether the Yankees’ August struggles were in the rearview mirror. But then a pair of disappointing losses to the A’s in Oakland, including on Sunday, when New York was held to one run, popped that balloon. It won’t get any easier as the Yanks continue a long road trip through Anaheim and St. Petersburg, where they’ll play the suddenly hot Rays.

The rest of the field of 30:

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

Voters: Alyson Footer, Anthony Castrovince, Paul Casella, Mark Feinsand, Andrew Simon, Nathalie Alonso, Sarah Langs, Douglas Gausepohl