Happy Labor Day to all. We’re now into the final month of the MLB regular season, and as we move forward, these power rankings will get shorter and easier to get through with about half of the majors realistically out of contention.
1. Houston Astros (89-49) | Last week: 1
Justin Verlander’s third career now hitter (one of six players to accomplish the feat in MLB history) capped a 4-2 week for the Astros as they remain atop the power rankings.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers (89-49) | Last week: 2
The Dodgers could drop a spot after a subpar week, but they remain at the No. 2 spot while in control of home-field advantage in the National League. Max Muncy will miss time with a wrist injury, though.
3. New York Yankees (90-48) | Last week: 3
Two consecutive walk-off wins for the Yankees gave them 5-1 week and helped them become the first team to reach the 90-win mark this season.
4. Atlanta Braves (84-54) | Last week: 4
Atlanta is on a four-game winning streak and will now face the Blue Jays before alternating series against the Nationals and Phillies.
5. Minnesota Twins (84-52) | Last week: 5
The Twins set the major league record for home runs in a season, and they did it before the calendar turned to September. They have a prime opportunity to establish firm control in their division when they face the Indians this weekend.
6. Washington Nationals (77-58) | Last week: 7 (+1)
The Nationals took care of business with a sweep of the Marlins, and they scored at least seven runs in four consecutive games.
7. Tampa Bay Rays (80-58) | Last week: 9 (+2)
The Rays dropped two straight to Houston, but they bounced back to avoid a sweep and then took all three games versus the Indians to jump ahead for the first AL wild card spot.
8. Cleveland Indians (79-58) | Last week: 6 (-2)
The Indians will look to shake off a tough weekend series as they have four games they’ll be favored in while hosting the White Sox.
9. Oakland Athletics (78-58) | Last week: 8 (-1)
The A’s weren’t able to keep their streak against the Yankees alive, but now they’ll return to the Bay to play the Angels and Tigers this week.
10. St. Louis Cardinals (76-60) | Last week: 10
The Cardinals picked up half a game in the NL Central after a 5-2 week, and their 15-5 stretch in the last 20 games is tied for the best in baseball.
11. Chicago Cubs (73-63) | Last week: 11
The Cubs had a solid week of their own with a 4-2 stretch, but they let the Brewers inch closer after dropping two of three against them.
12. Boston Red Sox (74-63) | Last week: 12
A 4-1 week puts Boston in a position to potentially make a move in September, but they’ll need to get past two teams in a crowded American League.
13. Philadelphia Phillies (70-65) | Last week: 14 (+1)
These next three teams could be in any order, but the Phillies get the nod at No. 13 despite coming off a series loss to the Mets.
14. Milwaukee Brewers (70-66) | Last week: 15 (+1)
The Brewers did well to take two games versus the Cubs, but they’ll have a tough task hosting the Astros for two games to start this week.
15. New York Mets (69-67) | Last week: 13 (-2)
The Mets bounced back from a poor start to the week, but they drop a couple of spots in the power rankings after going 2-4.
16. Arizona Diamondbacks (70-67) | Last week: 17 (+1)
Arizona was 5-1 last week and continues to outperform expectations this season, and they have winnable games at Cincinnati and at the Mets this week.
17. San Francisco Giants (66-70) | Last week: 16 (-1)
The Giants were on the opposite end, going 1-5 and putting themselves in a hole in the NL wild card race. It won’t get easy with games versus the Cardinals and Dodgers over the next seven days.
18. Texas Rangers (67-71) | Last week: 18
Coming off a couple of split series last week, the Rangers will look to start September off with a series win over the Yankees to help make some noise atop the AL standings.
19. Los Angeles Angels (65-73) | Last week: 19
Mike Trout set a career high in homers this season and became the youngest player in MLB history to join the 200-200 (homers and stolen bases) club. Despite the Angels’ under-.500 season, he remains the AL MVP frontrunner.
20. San Diego Padres (64-72) | Last week: 20
The Padres are coming off an above-.500 week, and they’ll look to end the season strong with a good September to build some momentum heading into the offseason.
21. Cincinnati Reds (64-73) | Last week: 21
The Reds are coming off two consecutive double headers over the weekend, so their energy level is probably low ahead of this afternoon’s early game against the Phillies.
22. Pittsburgh Pirates (60-77) | Last week: 25 (+3)
The Pirates shook off their cold stretch with a 5-2 week to jump three spots in the power rankings.
23. Chicago White Sox (60-76) | Last week: 22 (-1)
The White Sox went 0-6 against a couple of first place teams, and now they face the Indians for four games.
24. Colorado Rockies (59-79) | Last week: 23 (-1)
Some might have expected the Rockies to take a step back this season, but not many people could have anticipated them being at 20 games below .500 on Labor Day.
25. Seattle Mariners (58-80) | Last week: 24 (-1)
Seattle’s bats woke up with 11 runs in yesterday’s win, and they remain on the road at the Cubs and Astros this week.
26. Toronto Blue Jays (55-83) | Last week: 26
The Jays were able to split a two-game series with the Braves to start last week, and they play Atlanta for two games again to open this week.
27. Kansas City Royals (49-89) | Last week: 28 (+1)
The Royals went 3-4 last week, but the biggest news for the franchise was the sale of the team from David Glass to local businessman John Sherman.
28. Miami Marlins (49-88) | Last week: 27 (-1)
The Marlins had to play eight games last week, and they won just two of them as they inch closer to 90 losses.
29. Baltimore Orioles (45-91) | Last week: 29
The Orioles are 5-5 in their last ten games, but they lost their series with the Royals and remain down at No. 29.
30. Detroit Tigers (40-94) | Last week: 30
The Tigers are well on their way to 100 losses, and they’ll need two wins this week to avoid hitting it by next Monday.