The final stretch of the regular season that marks September is just around the corner and the fights for the division titles, the right to start at home in the postseason and, of course, the fight for the Wild Cards in each league – now with three positions available for the first time – they are lighting up.
Against that background, this week’s Power Rankings have five well-known teams in the top five, though the balance of power continues to shift in the American League. The gap is widening between two giants on the AL, while a rally in the AL Central continues for a team that made the biggest jump compared to last week.
the biggest jump: The Guardians climbed into the Top 10, settling at No. 9 this week, which is a four-spot rise from last week’s rankings. Cleveland fell to 3-3 for the week before the final game of its series against the division rival White Sox was rained out, but the Guardians have won 10 of the past 14 games to bypass the Twins and own from the top of the American League Central.
The biggest drop: The Padres’ slide in the rankings continued this week, as San Diego dropped five spots, from sixth to 11th. A 2-1 victory over the Nationals at Petco Park on Sunday capped a 3-4 week for the Friars, whose aspirations were through the roof after the acquisition via trade of Dominican star Juan José Soto, before he will face some serious adversity due to the 80-game suspension of shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr.
The Top 5 of the Power Rankings:
1) Dodgers (84-36; last week: 1)
What can be said about the Dodgers that hasn’t already been said? Despite losing ace Walker Buehler for the rest of the season and having several key bullpen arms sidelined for most of the year, Los Angeles just keeps winning at a rate that could lead to a modern-era record. As far as wins are concerned. After sweeping the Marlins to finish the week with a 5-2 record, the Dodgers are on pace for 113 wins. The modern-era record is 116, set by the 2001 Mariners.
2) Astros (78-45; last week: 2)
Despite a 3-4 week that culminated in a series loss to the Braves in a World Series rematch, Houston continues its steady path into October with the best pitching staff in the American League as far as ERA refers (3.08) and second-best offense based on wRC+ (115). Combine that with the vast postseason experience on the roster, and things look pretty good for the Astros with September just around the corner.
3) Mets (79-44; last week: 3)
It was an inauspicious start to the week for the Mets as they lost three of four games to their closest challengers in the NL East standings, the Braves. But the week ended on a positive note thanks to a tremendous night under Mark Canha’s stunt in a comeback victory over the Phillies on Sunday as New York took three of four against the Phillies in Philadelphia. The Mets trailed 4-0 in the second inning, then trailed 7-4 in the fifth and 8-7 in the ninth before a three-run inning propelled New York to victory.
4) Braves (75-48; last week: 5)
The Braves took two of three against the Astros over the weekend, capping a 5-2 week that began with three wins in four against their rival and NL East leader, the Mets. . In all, the defending World Series champions have won 11 of 13 games to snap at the Queens team, catapulted by the big debut of Vaughn Grissom and a combined 1.76 earned run average among starters Max Fried, Kyle Wright , Charlie Morton and Spencer Strider last week.
5) Yankees (74-48; last week: 4)
The Yankees got that much-needed 4-2 victory over the Blue Jays in the Bronx on Sunday, thanks to Andrew Benintendi’s first home run in pinstripes. The win came after New York lost five of six games during the week. Considered the best team in baseball a few weeks ago and sitting at the top of this list in previous weeks, the Bronx Bombers have won just 5 of 19 games this month, with their offensive woes prompting manager Aaron Boone to hit the table as a sign. of frustration during the press conference after the match on Saturday.
6. Cardinals (last week: 7)
Voters: Alyson Footer, Anthony Castrovince, Paul Casella, Mark Feinsand, Nathalie Alonso, Mike Petriello, Sarah Langs, David Venn, Douglas Gausepohl
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Power Rankings: A team is what to talk about in the American