MLB Power Rankings: Chicago Cubs on the rise, Yankees in free fall - Metro US

MLB Power Rankings: Chicago Cubs on the rise, Yankees in free fall

Can the Cubs continue to put pressure on the Pirates and Cardinals in the NL Central?
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1. St. Louis Cardinals (71-40, previous No. 1) – Another week and another week at the top of the rankings for the Cardinals. They have won seven of their last 10 and hold a firm grip on the NL Central. Their plus-121 run differential is the best in the NL.

2. Kansas City Royals (67-44, previous No. 2)– The Royals are picking a good time to play some of their best baseball of the year. Winners of four straight they lead the AL Central by a remarkable 12 games and seem likely to be the favorites to come out of the AL as of now.

3. Pittsburgh Pirates (65-44, previous No. 3)– Winners of four straight, although the Pirates didn’t gain any ground in the division, they now have opened up a 3.5 game lead in the NL Wild Card. Pittsburgh will go as far as their pitching can take them.

4. Chicago Cubs (62-48, previous No. 10)– Chicago has won four straight and nine of its last 10 games, but the bad thing is they are in the best division in baseball as they are behind both the Cardinals and Pirates. If they were in any other division besides the AL Central they would be in first place.

5. Los Angeles Dodgers (62-50, previous No. 5)– The Dodgers have lost four straight and now only lead the Giants by 2.5 games in the NL West. ClaytonKershawand ZackGreinkehave an ERA of 2.12, while the rest of the Dodgers’ staff has an ERA of 4.25. They need the other pitchers to step up.

6. New York Yankees (61-49, previous No. 4)– The Yankees have fallen back a but as they have lost six of their last 10 to now only hold a 1.5-game lead over the Blue Jays in the AL East. Mark Teixeria continues his strong season at the plate, but the powerful offense needs to get better pitching performances.

7. Toronto Blue Jays (61-52, previous No. 13)– Toronto is the hottest team in baseball as it has won eight straight games and nine of its last 10 games to jump to second place in the AL East. The Blue Jays’ plus-129 run differential is the best in baseball and by the way they approached the trade deadline, it’s clear they are all in.

8. Houston Astros (61-52, previous No. 7)– The up-and-down season continues for the Astros as currently they have lost seven of ten games, but fortunately still lead the AL West by one game. With how active they were at the trade deadline anything less than a division title will be a disappointment.

9. New York Mets (60-52, previous No. 12)– The Mets have a 2.5 game lead over the Nationals in the NL East. Jacob deGrom continues his very impressive season, bursting onto the scene as one of the best starters in the NL with a 2.13 ERA, second-best in the NL.

10. Los Angeles Angels (59-52, previous No. 6)– The Angels have been unable to take advantage of the recent fall of the Astros as they still are a game out of first place. Mike Trout continues to be the best player in baseball as his 7.1 WAR is the best in the American League.

11. San Francisco Giants (59-52, previous No. 8)– Thanks to the Dodgers’ recent skid, the Giants have climbed back to just 2.5 games out of first place in the NL West. Buster Posey has had a monster second half, as he’s raised his average to .332, which is third in the National League.

12. Washington Nationals (58-53, previous No. 9)– The Nationals and Mets are going back-and-forth in the NL East and both are led by their pitching. It would seem with the rotation the Nationals have, if they can pull it together they will have the edge. Bryce Harper’s 7.2 WAR is the best in baseball.

13. Baltimore Orioles (57-54, previous No. 15)– Baltimore hasn’t played bad recently, it’s just the Blue Jays are the hottest team in the game so they have leap-frogged them for second place in the AL East. With the Yankees and Blue Jays ahead of them, the Orioles’ sights likely have shifted towards the Wild Card.

14. Tampa Bay Rays (56-56, previous No. 14)– At .500, the Rays are in fourth place in the AL East, but just 3.5 games back in the Wild Card. With a starting rotation as good as the Rays have, anything can happen in September.

15. Texas Rangers (55-55, previous No. 18)– Despite being .500, the Rangers are still in the hunt for both the AL West and the Wild Card. With the moves they made at the trade deadline they are in a position to go on a roll at any point.

16. Minnesota Twins (55-56, previous No. 11)– What a bad time for a losing streak. The Twins have lost eight of their last 10 games and now are 12 games out in the division and four out in the Wild Card. They need to turn things around in a hurry.

17. Arizona Diamondbacks (55-56, previous No. 19)– It’s a shame Paul Goldschmidt has to play for a team that isn’t in the playoff hunt as currently he’s batting .338 with 81 RBIs, both the best in the National League.

18. Detroit Tigers (54-58 previous No. 16)– This wasn’t the way the season was supposed to go for the Tigers. There was a lot of promise leading into the year, but they spent the trade deadline dealing away top talent and now they sit four games below .500 and are 13.5 games out in the AL Central.

19. San Diego Padres (53-60, previous No. 20)– Things aren’t going so well in San Diego as they have lost seven of their last 10 games and are now 9.5 games out in the NL West. The big question now is who will be their manager next year?

20. Chicago White Sox (52-58, previous No. 17)– There was a time just a few weeks ago that it looked like the White Sox would have a shot at making the playoffs, but now losers of seven of their last 10 games they are seemingly out of any chance at the postseason.

21. Seattle Mariners (52-61, previous No. 22)– It’s been a disappointing year in Seattle as there was hope they would be able to challenge the Angels for the division crown, but because of poor pitching and lack of timely hitting they are in second-to-last place in the AL West.

22. Cleveland Indians (51-59, previous No. 23)– Even though the Indians are in last place in the AL Central, Jason Kipnis leads the American League in hitting as he is batting at a .326 clip.

23. Atlanta Braves (51-61, previous No. 21)– The Braves are out of the NL East race and also don’t seem to be in a position to win next year. It will be a big offseason for Atlanta as they will need to be active in improving their team.

24. Oakland Athletics (51-62, previous No. 25)– Oakland has won three straight games, but it is too little too late as the A’s have had a very disappointing season. With Sonny Gray leading the rotation, Oakland should be back in contention next year.

25. Boston Red Sox (50-62, previous No. 24)– Summing up the Red Sox’ season was closer Koji Uehara being lost for the season after suffering a fractured wrist on a line drive in Friday’s win. The ironic thing was he shouldn’t have even been in the game in the first place, but the bullpen made the game interesting with a five-run lead and needed Uehara to come in and close the door.

26. Cincinnati Reds (49-61, previous No. 26)– Cincinnati has lost seven of its last 10 games and now are a remarkable 21.5 games out in the NL Central. There will be plenty of calls made to the Reds this offseason as they have a few talented players teams will be after.

27. Milwaukee Brewers (48-65, previous No. 27)– It’s been a season to forget for the Brewers as they cannot wait to reset for 2016.

28. Colorado Rockies (47-63, previous No. 28)– The Rockies are the worst team in a poor NL West as their minus-70 run differential is the second-to-worst mark in the National League.

29. Philadelphia Phillies (45-68, previous No. 30)– No longer are the Phillies the worst team in baseball, or the worst team in their division as they have won six of 10 to dig themselves out of the basement of the NL East, although their minus-133 run differential is the worst in baseball.

30. Miami Marlins (44-68, previous No. 29)– After losing eight of their last 10 games, the Marlins are officially the worst team in baseball — certainly not something they thought possible at the start of the season.

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