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Los Angeles Dodgers
Power Ranking: 1st (last week 1st)
World Series Odds: +350
The Dodgers stay relatively stagnant overall, as they remain atop our Power Rankings and drop from +360 to +350 to win the World Series. Having the top seed essentially locked up in the National League, the Dodgers will earn the first-round bye and then face the winner of the series between the first and second-best NL Wild Card teams. If the season ended today, that would be the Braves and Phillies. The Dodgers have completed both series against these teams and went 4-2 against the Braves and 3-4 against the Phillies.
The Dodgers will see three teams this week, as they wrap up their four-game series against the Marlins Monday night, then they’ll visit the Mets for three, followed by hosting the Padres for three. They'll have a very favorable schedule the rest of September, most of which will be against the National League West. They've completely dominated their division, going a remarkable 35-12, good for a winning percentage of .744. As of this writing, the Dodgers are only 12 games away from hitting the century mark in wins, a feat that should be accomplished in a matter of weeks. If you haven’t made a play on this team yet, you still have time at a solid number.
New York Mets
Power Ranking: 2nd (last week: 3rd)
World Series Odds: +550
The Mets move up a spot this week after going 4-3 against the Phillies, Yankees, and Rockies. After dropping both games to the short, two-game series against their New York counterparts in the AL, the Mets took three out of four against the Rox at home. The stellar pitching from both Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom continues to carry this pitching staff. Through the month of August, these two have combined for 70 innings pitched and carry a 2.44 ERA with 11.5 K/9, 1.1 BB/9, and 0.51 HR/9. These two also stranded 73.5% of the men that reached against them. This, in my and many others' opinions, continues to be the biggest hurdle to overcome for any team in the playoffs when the time comes.
The biggest factor for the Mets moving forward will be where they end up in the seeding. Once owning a double-digit lead in the NL East, the Mets now have just a three-game lead over the Braves. Should they fall out of the division lead, they would have the best NL Wild Card record by a wide margin. Of course, avoiding the Wild Card round is huge, so the Mets will have something to play for the remainder of the season. Should the Mets slide out of the division lead, they would currently be aligned to play the Padres. Despite their recent struggles, the Padres still boast a very loaded roster and would be a tough draw for any team that has to play them. I do like the Mets a lot this season, but things could get a bit dicey should they fall out of that division lead. When the Mets and Padres squared off earlier this season, the Mets went 2-4, and that was before all the big trades happened.
New York Yankees
Power Ranking: 5th (last week 5th)
World Series Odds: +450
It was only a matter of time before the Yankees were able to get back on track, and things are looking up. Going 5-2 on the week was a huge win for the team, despite, oddly enough, the two losses coming back-to-back against the Athletics. This, after winning five straight against the Blue Jays, Mets, and the first two games of the four-game series with the A’s. Nonetheless, they averaged 4.4 runs per game over the past week, which is nearly double what they were doing over the course of the month. I know -- a low bar to clear.
The return of Giancarlo Stanton is a huge addition to this Yankees lineup. As we talked about last week, the lack of pitching to Aaron Judge really sent a ripple effect through the rest of the lineup. Now, teams are forced to pitch to Judge again. Well, the immediate results haven’t reflected that, with Judge going 1-for-13 since Stanton's return, but it will most certainly align once again.
My biggest concern for the Yankees moving forward remains with the pitching. I fear the Jordan Montgomery trade will haunt this club, as they just lost Nestor Cortes to the injured list with a left groin strain. Clarke Schmidt has been recalled to take the spot in the rotation and immediately struggled in his first start against the Athletics. He was tagged for four runs on eight hits through just 4 1/3 innings. Luis Severino is scheduled to make a Minor League start later in the week, so these could be the reinforcements the Yankees need. Nonetheless, this rotation is looking a bit thin for my liking right now.
Tampa Bay Rays
Power Ranking: 8th (last week 12th)
World Series Odds: +3500
What if I told you the team that made one of the biggest jumps in our Power Rankings is a team I like to MISS the playoffs altogether? Yup, that’s where I’m at currently with the Rays. It seems ridiculous when you consider they currently own the top spot amongst the Wild Card teams by a half-game. However, I think there could be a method to this madness and we’re going to talk about it.
You can bet the Rays to make the playoffs and miss the playoffs on DraftKings Sportsbook. Currently, the YES is at -370 while the NO is +290. I really think the value is on the no and it’s the upcoming schedule for the Rays that has caught my eye. They have one of the toughest remaining schedules in all of baseball, with the combined winning percentage of their opponents at .545. With 35 games remaining, the Rays will play the Astros, Yankees, Blue Jays, and Guardians a combined 24 times. That’s 68% of their remaining schedule. The rest of the games include the Marlins for two, the Rangers for three, and the Red Sox for six. The Rays are only 32-33 against teams above .500 and 28-34 overall on the road, where 19 of their games (54%) take place.
On the other end, some of the teams in contention for a Wild Card spot, like the Twins and White Sox, have some of the easiest schedules remaining. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that the AL Central has two playoff teams when the season concludes. For as bad as the Twins and White Sox have played lately, they’re still in the hunt. The Twins are three games back while the White Sox are six. The Twins are the more likely of the two, but the White Sox could also benefit from the soft schedule. Against teams under .500, which the Twins will see in 24 of their remaining 36 games, they’ve gone 41-27.
Something to consider as the calendar is about to turn to September.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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