2022 MLB Power Rankings Vol. 3: Where does each team sit with one month left?
Multiple teams have changed since we last did these MLB Power Rankings in mid-July.
The Dodgers climbed to the top of the rankings; The Yankees took an August nose-dive; The Orioles continue their quest as the MLB’s favorite team to root for; the San Diego Padres acquired Juan Soto and…have underperformed?
That, among many other storylines, have captured the sport — now, with a month to go, where does each MLB team stand?
Let’s dive into it below!
1. Los Angeles Dodgers, 88-38 (Last MLB Power Rankings spot: 2)
The Dodgers move into the top spot! They have been far-and-away MLB’s best team for two months — going 43-10 since June 28, including 28-8 since the last power rankings. Mookie Betts has played like an MVP; Freddie Freeman has gotten on-base over 40 percent of the time with a 169 wRC+ over this torrid 53-game stretch while Trayce Thompson (Klay’s brother), Trea Turner, Gavin Lux, Will Smith and Justin Turner have all put together worthwhile contributions at the dish, among plenty others. This is not an offense any opposing pitcher would like to see, if they’re cooking, come October.
2. New York Mets, 82-47 (Last ranking: 4)
Despite the recent Subway Series sweep to a frigid Yankees squad, the Mets still are the deserving No. 2 team for these rankings. After a frustrating 6-for-46 stretch, Pete Alonso cracked his cold spell over the weekend. He’s eight for his last 18 with a homer and three RBIs since. Mark Canha has been perhaps the Mets’ best and most clutch hitter in August, and you can’t help but flock over the Jacob deGrom-Max Scherzer tandem at the top of the rotation. The Mets have an easy schedule the rest of the way, which *should* solidify their ranks in the NL East standings.
3. Houston Astros, 82-47 (Last ranking: 3)
The Astros lost two of three to the Orioles over the weekend, which is why they drop to No. 3 on my list. Regardless, they widened their lead over the Yankees for the best record in the AL. They’ve still won 12 of their last 19, 18 of their last 30 and 46 of their last 70. Despite their occasional offensive woes, the Astros still have posted a top-10 offense in August with a top-flight rotation — led by ace Justin Verlander. They’re not going anywhere anytime soon.
4. Atlanta Braves, 79-50 (Last ranking: 5)
Despite a pair of tough losses to the Cardinals this last weekend, the Braves have still won 15 of their last 19 games after getting nearly swept in a five-game series to the Mets in Queens. Vaughn Grisson has cooled off slightly from his torrid start, but all I am wondering now is when Alex Anthopoulous will whip out the check book for a team-friendly contract like it’s done to Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies and, most recently, Michael Harris II. It’s inevitable he’ll get that extension soon, right?
5. New York Yankees, 78-50 (Last ranking: 1)
The Yankees had two uninspiring offensive performances against the Oakland Athletics to cap off its four-game set, ending their much-needed five-game win streak. Nevertheless, their August plateau has been maligned by offensive inconsistency and they will need to get their bats hot in the final stretch to catch Houston. Maybe a September call-up of Oswald Peraza will do the trick?
6. St. Louis Cardinals, 74-54 (Last ranking: 10)
Man, how good has that Jordan Montgomery surprise deadline add looked for St. Louis? It’s looked better by the day; since joining the team, Montgomery has tossed a 1.76 ERA across five starts — including just one earned run in his first 25.1 innings with the Cards. Even though they traded a fan favorite in Harrison Bader, the Cardinals — who are 20-6 over their last 26 games — are certainly getting good return on investment with Montgomery.
7. Philadelphia Phillies, 72-56 (Last ranking: 13)
All should be good for the Phillies since Bryce Harper returned from the injured list on Friday. He went 3-for-12 with two walks and two RBIs in his first three contests. Their lineup, however, sported a 109 wRC+ — tied for the 8th-best in MLB — in his absence, including a 117 wRC+ from July 25-Aug. 25 (fifth-best).
8. Tampa Bay Rays, 70-57 (Last ranking: 7)
The Rays have won 12 of their last 16 and have crept its AL East deficit to 7.5 games, sitting 1.5 games above the Blue Jays for the final wild card spot. Tyler Glasnow might — keyword: might — return sooner rather than later to help bolster their playoff pitching staff if he can be stretched out in time. Shane McClanahan has taken a slight dip in production during the second half, but it still has a formidable staff of Corey Kluber, Drew Rasmussen and Jeffrey Springs around him.
9. Toronto Blue Jays, 68-57 (Last ranking: 12)
I did have Toronto a couple of spots higher before this weekend — when they got swept by the lowly Angels at home, including getting shut out twice. They won seven of their previous eight against mainly Boston and New York but haven’t been able to get out of their own way when they’ve needed to most.
10. San Diego Padres, 70-58 (Last ranking: 6)
The Padres lineup has been underwhelming since acquiring Juan Soto on Aug. 2, scoring just five or more runs just seven of the available 20 games that Soto’s played in. Collectively, they’re 10-13 since Aug. 2; It doesn’t help that Fernando Tatis Jr., who was on the verge of returning at the time, got popped for PED’s. It also doesn’t help that they haven’t been able to build much collective momentum in-part to back-end reliever Josh Hader surrendered 12 runs over his last 2.2 innings. Yikes!
11. Seattle Mariners, 70-58 (Last ranking: 9)
Robbie Ray delivered another gem Sunday to cap off his excellent August, where he sported a 1.64 ERA, 2.82 FIP and an 11.2 K/9 in five starts. Four of those appearances came against the Angels, Nationals and ice-cold Yankees. But hey, wins are wins! The M’s have now won eight of their last 12 and are locked into the second wild card spot, as of right now. As long as their rotation pitches like this, they should be in good shape.
12. Cleveland Guardians, 67-59 (Last ranking: 17)
The Guardians lost three of four to the aforementioned Mariners — including a 4-0 shutout Sunday in-part because of Ray. They have scored just five runs thrice over their last 10 and return home to face the Orioles and the Mariners yet again before their schedule softens up. They have surprised MLB circles throughout this season, though, but can they keep their AL Central lead? Only time will tell.
13. Baltimore Orioles, 67-60 (Last ranking: 16)
I think the Orioles already earned the award for the most rootable team in baseball. Or if they haven’t already, they definitely should. Adley Rutchman might already be the best catcher in MLB and has been outstanding in August, slashing .282/.417/.499 with more walks (21) than strikeouts (15), in addition to eight doubles, three home runs and eight RBIs.
14. Milwaukee Brewers, 67-59 (Last ranking: 8)
At the deadline, Milwaukee dealt Hader to the Padres in a four-player return spearheaded by Taylor Rogers. He was spelled by one bad inning against St. Louis — surrendering four runs in 0.2 innings — but other than that, he’s logged a 0.96 ERA through 9.1 innings and has struck out at least one hitter in each of his 10 appearances thus far. It’s still too soon to tell, but maybe they won the trade?
15. Minnesota Twins, 65-61 (Last ranking: 11)
The Twins swept the Giants over the weekend — outscoring them 20-5 — after a six-game losing streak in which they scored 12 combined runs. The Twins need to continue to pull it together with a month left in the season, sitting three games out of the final Wild Card spot.
16. Chicago White Sox, 63-65 (Last ranking: 18)
There’s good news and bad news, White Sox fans. The bad news? Well you’re team is six games out of a Wild Card spot after lofty preseason expectations. The good news? The MLB season’s almost over. No, seriously, at this point, that’s probably considered good news.
17. Boston Red Sox, 62-66 (Last ranking: 15)
The Red Sox might be sitting in the same boat as the White Sox, though Boston took two of three from the Rays over the weekend. Regardless, Boston all but eliminated themselves from their play over the last two months; they’ve gone 20-35 over their last 55 games. Not great, Bob. It didn’t help that Rafael Devers, its best hitter, had perhaps his worst hitting month of his career (.504 OPS) thru Aug. 28.
18. San Francisco Giants, 61-65 (Last ranking: 14)
San Francisco got rolled over by the Twins to cap off their 8-game road trip, where it went 2-6. Their wild card possibilities have grown dimmer by the day with Milwaukee and San Diego sitting firmly ahead of them with a month left. And their schedule doesn’t get any easier, with upcoming series against the Padres, Phillies, Dodgers and Brewers. They’ll need to turn back the clock to 2021 if they have any hopes of squeaking into the final WC slot, which they’re 7.5 games out of at the time of this publishing.
19. Arizona Diamondbacks, 59-67 (Last ranking: 22)
Believe it or not, Zac Gallen hasn’t surrendered a run over his last 27.1 innings — the second-longest streak in franchise history — and has pitched to a 1.05 ERA (2.10) FIP over his last eight starts. Merrill Kelly, meanwhile, sports a 2.20 ERA in 73.2 frames over his last 11 starts. The rotation outside of the pair hasn’t been great, but it’s encouraging to see their two best arms produce with new pitching coach Brett Strom.
20. Texas Rangers, 58-69 (Last ranking: 20)
Since the Rangers fired manager Chris Woodward on Aug. 15, they have treaded water at 7-6. It’s a lost season, but Nathaniel Lowe is tearing the cover off the ball, while Corey Seager and Adolis Garcia have produced at the plate as well. Martin Perez has also slightly regressed from the start of the season, but still sports a 2.69 ERA and 3.32 FIP in 25 starts this season.
21. Miami Marlins, 55-72 (Last ranking: 19)
Sandy Alcantara, the soon-to-be 27-year-old right-hander, tossed his fourth complete game of the season Saturday — this time against the Dodgers, a start removed from getting shelled by them in Los Angeles — and is a frontrunner for the NL CY Young award. He might not strikeout a ton of batters, but he’s exactly the arm any team would want on the mound every fifth day.
22. Los Angeles Angels, 55-73 (Last ranking: 24)
The Angels swept the Jays in Toronto after losing nine of 10 to the Mariners, Detroit Tigers and the Rays. In nine games since Mike Trout returned from injury, he’s sporting a .955 OPS and has homered four times over the last five games. Ohtani keeps being remarkable from both the mound and at the dish, making the compelling AL MVP race all the more exciting as we wind down to the final stretch. Oh, and the best news? Arte Moreno might be selling the team.
23. Chicago Cubs, 55-73 (Last ranking: 28)
The Cubs’ pitching staff has gotten a little lucky in the second-half of the 2022 MLB season — but it still sports the 8th-best ERA and fifth-best ERA- over that span. Southpaw Justin Steele has been outstanding, sporting a 0.98 ERA, 30.9K%, a 22.4K-BB% and a .636 OPS allowed in that same timeframe — perhaps looking like the Cubs’ ace of the future?
24. Colorado Rockies, 55-74 (Last ranking: 21)
After what looked to be an alarming slump for first-time All-Star C.J. Cron, he seemed to have snapped out of it over the weekend, going 6-for-12 with an RBI against the Mets. He hasn’t been quite what he was in 2021, but Cron has still been arguably the best and most powerful Rockies hitter all season.
25. Cincinnati Reds, 50-76 (Last ranking: 27)
Hunter Greene and Graham Ashcraft are both on the IL while Luis Castillo is…well…in Seattle. Nick Lodolo took a no-hitter into the sixth-inning before getting four-spotted in the sixth inning against the Phillies on Aug. 23, while Mike Minor has been nothing short of a disaster this season. With Brandon Drury and Tommy Pham also with new teams plus both Tyler Stephensen and Joey Votto both on the injured list, the offense has been carried by T.J. Friedl, Jake Fraley and Donovan Solano — formally Donnie Barrels. Chalk it up as another underwhelming season for Cincy. At least the NFL season starts soon?
26. Kansas City Royals, 52-77 (Last ranking: 26)
If you haven’t checked out Brady Singer yet, you probably should eventually. The 26-year-old is sneakily one of the better pitchers in the American League; Singer’s thrown at least six innings in each of his last nine starts and has allowed two or fewer runs in all but two of those outings. Over that span, he’s faced offenses such as the Guardians, Rays, Yankees, Dodgers and White Sox. That’s not the worst competition, either. All in all, he’s been the fastest riser in a rotation that has struggled to develop young, reliable arms over the past several years.
27. Detroit Tigers, 50-78 (Last ranking: 25)
The Tigers have been playing better of late — taking two series against the Angels and Rangers, while splitting two against San Francisco — but have still gone 13-23 in the second-half of 2022. Although it’s nice to see Eduardo Rodriguez — who’s sported a 3.60 ERA in 10 starts, including an 0.82 ERA ERA in 11 innings since returning from the injured list — pick up the rotation, which has been hammered by injuries.
28. Oakland Athletics, 48-81 (Last ranking: 29)
Keep an eye on Shea Langeliers and JP Sears. Langeliers has only played in 12 big league games thus far, but the prospect sports a .734 OPS and has already hit seven extra-base hits and two home runs in 49 plate appearances. Sears, meanwhile, has a 2.53 ERA — albeit a 4.44 FIP — in four starts with Oakland since coming over from the Yankees in the Frankie Montas trade.
29. Pittsburgh Pirates, 48-79 (Last ranking: 23)
The Pirates have been outscored by 46 runs (97-51) over their last 16 games (3-13). I think that speaks for itself.
30. Washington Nationals, 43-85 (Last ranking: 30)
Nothing has changed for the Nats since the trade deadline; they’re still the worst team in MLB with by far the worst run-differential at minus-216. CJ Abrams has still yet to find his footing, but at least they’re getting a decent return on investment for the last-second Soto-trade throw-in, Luke Voit?
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