MLB Power Rankings: Red-hot Cubs, Blue Jays leaping forward - Metro US

MLB Power Rankings: Red-hot Cubs, Blue Jays leaping forward

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1. St. Louis Cardinals (85-46 previous No. 1) – After it appeared the Cardinals may be struggling a bit last week, they got things back on track in a hurry by winning three straight and eight of their last 10 games to open a five-game lead in the NL Central.

2. Kansas City Royals (80-50, previous No. 2)– Kansas City has by far the best record in the American League and they have continued to stay hot, winning seven of their last 10 games to now lead the AL Central by an astounding 13 games. Lorenzo Cain’s 6.2 WAR is tied for third in the AL.

3. Pittsburgh Pirates (79-60, previous No. 3)– Although the Pirates likely won’t win the division, they are a lock for the Wild Card, as they have won seven of 10 games. All-Star Mark Melancon leads all of baseball with 43 saves.

4. Chicago Cubs (74-56, previous No. 10)– Even though the Cubs have cooled off of late, they still hold a firm grip on the second NL Wild Card spot. Jake Arrieta has been outstanding of late, as his ERA of 2.11 is second in the National League.

5. Toronto Blue Jays (74-57, previous No. 13)– Toronto has climbed to the top of the AL East standings. Although it’s not a surprise, their second half surge has been something special. Josh Donaldson has driven in 108 runs this year, which are by far the most in the American League.

6. Los Angeles Dodgers (73-57, previous No. 5)– The Dodgers lead the NL West by 4.5 games and appear to be getting back to the postseason. Once they get there the hope will be their pitching can be more dependable than in past years. Zack Grienke and Clayton Kerhsaw have two of the top three ERA’s in the National League.

7. Houston Astros (73-59, previous No. 7)– Winners of seven of their last 10, the Astros have opened up a four-game lead in the AL West. They have also now gone over the plus-100 run differential mark at plus-101, which is the second-best in the American League.

8. New York Mets (73-58, previous No. 12)– Even though the Mets dropped two games over the weekend to the Red Sox, overall they have won eight of 10 and lead the NL East by 6.5 games. They continue to be led by their rotation and most notably Jacob deGrom, as his 2.32 ERA is fourth in the NL.

9. New York Yankees (72-58, previous No. 4)– The Yankees and Blue Jays will be one of the best division races this month, as the two go back-and-forth to see who can take the AL East. New York will need its pitching to rise to the occasion, as that has been its Achilles heel all season.

10. San Francisco Giants (69-62, previous No. 8)– Time is running out for the Giants as they have lost three straight games and with the Cubs and Pirates running away with the Wild Card, it looks like their only chance of getting into the playoffs is by winning the division.

11. Texas Rangers (68-62, previous No. 18)– Winners of seven of their last 10, that has only allowed the Rangers to keep pace in the division and the Wild Card. It’s been a terrific turnaround for the Rangers, as they were one of the worst teams in baseball at the start of the year.

12. Minnesota Twins (67-63, previous No. 11)– The Twins are making a run at the Wild Card as they have won eight of 10 games to get back in the mix. Closer Glen Perkins’ 31 saves are the second-most in the AL.

13. Los Angeles Angels (65-66, previous No. 6)– The Angels are falling apart at the worst time as they have lost four straight and eight of 10 games. They appear likely to miss out on the postseason, which would be a shame as Albert Pujols and Mike Trout are having monster seasons.

14. Washington Nationals (66-64, previous No. 9)– At 6.5 games back, the Nationals need to go on a huge run if they have any shot at making the postseason. With the pitching staff that they have, they are one of the most disappointing teams in all of baseball.

15. Tampa Bay Rays (65-66, previous No. 14)– Tampa Bay is like many teams in the AL clinging onto hope at a Wild Card berth. They will need to go on a winning streak and get some help as the season wraps up. Chris Archer’s 2.78 ERA is fifth in the AL.

16. Cleveland Indians (64-66, previous No. 23)– Cleveland is one of the hottest teams in baseball as they have won six straight and eight of 10, but it might be too little too late as they would have to jump a lot of teams for a Wild Card berth. Jason Kipnis is batting .319, third in the American League.

17. San Diego Padres (64-67, previous No. 20)– San Diego has won two straight games, which has got them to third place in the NL West, but it won’t get them much better than that. They have been out of the playoff race since virtually the All-Star break.

18. Arizona Diamondbacks (63-68, previous No. 19)– Arizona didn’t have virtually any shot at the postseason, but losing seven of 10 basically ended any hope they may have had. Paul Goldschmidt is batting .325, which is third-best in the NL.

19. Baltimore Orioles (63-68, previous No. 15)– Losers of five straight and nine of 10, the Orioles have all but eliminated themselves from the postseason. Manny Machado does have a 6.2 WAR, which is tied for third in the American League.

20. Chicago White Sox (61-68, previous No. 17)– Although the White Sox won’t make the postseason, they have reason to get excited for the future with stars Chris Sale and Jose Abreu.

21. Boston Red Sox (61-70, previous No. 24)– Although the Red Sox have been eliminated from playoff contention since right after the All-Star break, they will look to avoid their second straight last place finish in the AL East.

22. Seattle Mariners (61-71, previous No. 22)– The Mariners made headlines this week as they fired general manager Jack Zduriencik. It wasn’t all that surprising as Seattle should be much better with Felix Hernandez and Nelson Cruz.

23. Detroit Tigers (60-70, previous No. 16)– The Tigers were once leading the AL Central and now they are in last place as they have dropped nine of 10 games. They are in need of a serious rebuild this offseason with many of their core players traded away.

24. Oakland Athletics (58-74, previous No. 25)– Although the A’s have won two straight games they still have the worst record in the AL West. Despite the poor season, Sonny Gray has still been on top of his game. His 2.13 ERA leads the American League.

25. Milwaukee Brewers (55-75, previous No. 27)– The Brewers’ poor season as at least allowed them to get a look at their next wave of talent. They could be a surprise team in 2016.

26. Cincinnati Reds (54-76, previous No. 26)– The Reds can’t get this season over fast enough as they are in last place in the NL Central. It will be interesting to see how they approach this offseason and if they deal away some of their top players in exchange for prospects.

27. Atlanta Braves (54-77, previous No. 21)– Things have got so bad in Atlanta that Jonny Gomes was on the mound in a game over the weekend. He was then traded to Kansas City on Monday as he will play for yet again another playoff team.

28. Colorado Rockies (53-76, previous 28)– The Rockies will be battling with the Phillies and Marlins as no one wants to be the worst team in baseball.

29. Miami Marlins (53-79, previous No. 29)– Miami has dropped seven of 10 and are battling with the Phillies for worst record in the division. Unlike the Phillies, the Marlins have a better chance of turning things around quickly with the players they have.

30. Philadelphia Phillies (52-80, previous No. 30)– The Phillies have by far the worst run differential in baseball at minus-164. They need a lot of help this offseason in getting some new talent.

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