I am pleased to announce a new feature to Overtime, the weekly MLB Power Rankings. Power Rankings as a concept have been around for a long time, but they always provide an interesting look at the world of sports and allow fans to evaluate all 30 teams at once.
The Power Rankings should come out at the beginning of each week.
30. Minnesota Twins
Not much has gone right for the Twinkies this year, as their bats have gone silent and their already-suspect pitching has been injury-prone. At least the Twins can look forward to a high pick in next year’s MLB Draft.
29. Atlanta Braves
The Braves’ .347 winning percentage is only mildly better than the Twins’ .320 figure. The Braves have some attractive trade pieces in Julio Teheran and Arodys Vizcaino that could be moved at the deadline.
28. Cincinnati Reds
The last remaining team with a sub-.400 winning percentage, the Reds have had a miserable year. Some of their veteran bats could fetch a hot return at the deadline, though.
27. Tampa Bay Rays
Some picked the Rays as a sneaky Wild Card sleeper, but instead Tampa Bay has crashed and burned in the month of June; they are currently riding an 11-game losing streak and have fallen out of contention.
26. Philadelphia Phillies
Remember when the Phils were among the top of these lists in the early going? The bottom has fallen out in Philly, where the youngsters have crashed back to Earth and the veterans look like toast.
25. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Times are tough for the Halos, who are missing some of their top pitchers to injury and aren’t getting much out of their lineup save for Mike Trout, Kole Calhoun, and Albert Pujols. They’ve gone 3-7 in their last 10 contests.
24. Oakland Athletics
The A’s were not expected to be much of a contender, and in that aspect they’ve lived up to expectations. Danny Valencia and Stephen Vogt are having great seasons, but they don’t have a supporting cast.
23. San Diego Padres
The Friars accepted their fate when they dealt ace James Shields to the White Sox; it is safe to say that A.J. Preller’s experiment has failed and the Padres are back to cellar-dwellers.
22. Colorado Rockies
While the Rockies have a better winning percentage than some of the teams ahead of them on this list, the Rockies have stumbled lately. Their pitching has seen better days.
21. Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers are by no means a contender, but they have been significantly better than expected. Still, a recent poor stretch (4-6 in their last 10) has seen the Brewers fall back a bit.
20. Detroit Tigers
The Tigers’ offense is ferocious as always, but their pitching simply isn’t good enough for the Tigers to be better than a .500 team. Still, they only sit 2.5 games out of the Wild Card.
19. Seattle Mariners
The M’s have fallen from a fast start back to the .500 mark. While Robinson Cano, Leonys Martin, and Nelson Cruz are doing their thing offensively, the Mariners’ pitching staff is walking wounded and losing games.
18. Chicago White Sox
One of four American League teams stuck exactly at the .500 mark, the ChiSox have fallen off from their superb start. But with Chris Sale on the mound and a slugging lineup, the White Sox aren’t cooked yet.
17. Arizona Diamondbacks
The D-Backs are going to be an interesting team to watch down the stretch. They had a terrible start, but are getting healthy and have won 7 of their last 10 games.
16. New York Yankees
The Bronx Bombers had a chance to pull away this past week thanks to a light schedule, but instead they find themselves back at .500 again. However, they are one shrewd trade deadline away from closing the gap.
15. Pittsburgh Pirates
Many are surprised to see the Buccos performing as poorly as they have been, but the ship is beginning to right itself, as they have won 3 games in a row.
14. Miami Marlins
It is a shock to see the Marlins still hanging around in a playoff spot this late into the season, but the honeymoon could be ending soon, as the Marlins don’t have the depth required for such a run.
13. Houston Astros
My original pick to represent the AL in the World Series, the Astros are finally playing up to their potential. They have gone 8-2 in their last 10 games and have the playoffs in their sights.
12. Kansas City Royals
The defending World Series Champions, the Royals have been mediocre this year, but they typically are in the regular season before turning it up in October. Expect the Royals to get it going soon.
11. St. Louis Cardinals
The Redbirds won the most games in the MLB last year, but are only 4 games over .500 this season. Their battle for a playoff spot with the Dodgers and Pirates will be tight to the very end.
10. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers have started to pull away, going 6-4 over their last 10 games. Clayton Kershaw cannot do it all by himself though, meaning an active trade deadline is likely in the Dodgers’ future.
9. Toronto Blue Jays
The Jays have the roster of a playoff team, but they haven’t had that same fire that they had last year. Having Jose Bautista on the DL isn’t helping things either.
8. New York Mets
Similarly to the Blue Jays, the Mets haven’t been quite as good as they should be. However, they remain a playoff team and a World Series threat with their young pitching.
7. Washington Nationals
Dusty Baker has done an admirable job with the Nats, who have been underachievers in the past. The stretch run will be crucial for Washington in the jam-packed NL playoff push.
6. Boston Red Sox
Past offseason spending sprees have failed for the BoSox, but this year’s is looking mighty good right now in David Ortiz’s final season. The Red Sox have a complete team.
5. Baltimore Orioles
The Orioles are the Giants of the American League: only making the playoffs on even-numbered years. 2016 is an even year, and the O’s look better than ever.
4. Cleveland Indians
I guess I was wrong on the Indians, who I picked to be an 85-win, third-place finisher. They have instead won 9 consecutive wins and finally look like the real deal.
3. Texas Rangers
The Rangers have surged to the MLB’s best record, but they are missing too many pitchers to be in the top spot right now. Still, they are the AL’s most dangerous team and have gone 8-2 in their last 10.
2. San Francisco Giants
The Giants have dominated all year long, thanks to Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey leading the way. They remain a true World Series contender.
1. Chicago Cubs
The Cubs are still the most complete team in the bigs despite not owning the best record anymore. The World Series favorites look unstoppable.