Sep 1, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Alex Wood (58) throws a pitch against the Miami Marlins in the first inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Power Rankings: Week 22

There was a change at the top, as the Braves overtook the Tigers, but everything else remained pretty much status quo.

Here are the rankings for Week 22:

1. Atlanta Braves (84-53)
2                ^ 1 The Braves, who are 15 games up on the Nationals in the putrid N.L. East, have a legitimate chance to clinch the division in the next 10 days or so.
2. Detroit Tigers (81-57)
1                – 1 The A.L. Central leading Tigers have the best run differential in baseball (+168), are 1st in the majors in runs, average, OBP, and SLG, and are in the top 10 in the majors in the 4 major pitching categories (ERA, quality starts, WHIP, and BAA).
3. Boston Red Sox (82-57)
4               ^ 1 Eight days ago, the Sox were just a game up on the Rays for 1st place in the A.L. East.  Now? The 2nd place Rays are 5.5 games back.
4. Los Angeles Dodgers (82-55)
6               ^ 2 The Dodgers, winners of 5 straight, just keep on rolling.  Some cold water was thrown on them last night, though, when Yasiel Puig injured his knee.
5. Pittsburgh Pirates (80-57)
5                – The first place (!) Pirates need 2 more wins to notch their first winning season since 1992.  The next step? Securing a playoff berth.
6. St. Louis Cardinals (79-58)
3                – 3 The Cardinals lost to the 3rd place Reds in Cincinnati last night in the first game of a four game set.
7. Texas Rangers (79-58) 7                 – Despite continuing to play very solid ball, the Rangers have been caught by the red hot Athletics for 1st place in the A.L. West.
8. Oakland Athletics (79-58)

10             ^ 2 The A’s have gone 7-1 over their last 8 games to tie Texas for 1st place in the A.L. West.
9. Cincinnati Reds (77-61)
9                 – The Reds beat the Cardinals last night in the first game of a huge 4 game set at Great American Ballpark.  Cincinnati is just 3.5 games behind 1st place Pittsburgh (while continuing to hold a comfortable lead in the Wild Card race).
10. Tampa Bay Rays (75-61) 8                – 2 Losers of 5 straight and 8 of their last 10, the Rays (2 games up in the battle for the 2nd Wild Card) are in danger of falling out of playoff position.
11. Baltimore Orioles (73-63) 11               – The Orioles are right where they were at this point last week: 2 games out of the 2nd Wild Card spot.  They also traded for the struggling Mike Morse a few days ago.
12. New York Yankees (73-64)
13             ^ 1 Despite having a run differential of +3, the Yankees are still in the playoff hunt (2.5 games behind the Rays for the 2nd Wild Card).  After 2 more games against the White Sox, their schedule gets tough.  They’ll play 4 at home against Boston before hitting the road for an 10 game trip to Baltimore, Boston, and Toronto.
13. Kansas City Royals (71-66) 15             ^ 2 The Royals, 6-2 over their last 8 games, are heading in a different direction than the division rival Indians.  They’re 4.5 games behind the Rays for the 2nd Wild Card.
14. Cleveland Indians (72-65)
12             – 2 The Indians have gone 1-6 over their last 7 games to fall 3.5 games behind the Rays for the 2nd Wild Card.
15. Arizona Diamondbacks (69-67) 14             – 1 After losing 4 of 5 to San Diego, San Francisco, and Toronto, Arizona’s playoff hopes are hanging by a thread (they’re 7 games behind the Reds for the 2nd Wild Card).
16. Washington Nationals (69-68)
16              – The Nationals had won 8 of 9 and were creeping into the Playoff discussion before they promptly lost 3 of 4.  Washington is 7.5 games behind the Reds for the 2nd Wild Card.
17. Los Angeles Angels (64-72)
18            ^ 1 The disappointing Angels have gone 9-1 over their last 10 games, making their record a bit more respectable.
18. Colorado Rockies (65-74)
17             – 1 The oft injured Troy Tulowitzki is hurt again.  This time, he’s being kept out of the lineup due to leg soreness.
19. New York Mets (62-74)
19              – The potential loss of Matt Harvey for the 2014 season rocked the Mets’ World last week. Still, the undermanned Mets (they’re without Harvey, Jenrry Mejia, Jeremy Hefner, David Wright, and Bobby Parnell) have played at a better than .500 clip since the middle of June.
20. Toronto Blue Jays (63-75)
23             ^ 3 R.A. Dickey has gotten things together a bit after a disastrous first 4 months of the season.  He’s lowered his ERA from 4.86 to 4.30 over the last month and change.
21. Philadelphia Phillies (63-75)
22             ^ 1 Philadelphia has the 2nd worst run differential (-116) in baseball.  They only team they’re ahead of? Houston.
22. Seattle Mariners (62-75)
20              – 2 The previously untouchable Felix Hernandez was clobbered by the Rangers 6 days ago, giving up 9 runs (8 earned) on 11 hits in 3 innings.  He was then removed from yesterday’s start in the 6th inning with a cramp in his lower back.
23. San Francisco Giants (61-76) 24             ^ 1 In the middle of the carnage that has been the Giants’ 2013 campaign, starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner has been fantastic.  He has a 2.91 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and has struck out 168 batters in 176.1 IP.
24. San Diego Padres (61-76)
21             – 3 How bad has San Diego’s offense been? Will Venable leads the team in RBI’s with 49.
25. Minnesota Twins (60-76)
25              – After nearly 11 seasons with the team, the Twins shipped former MVP Justin Morneau to the Pirates a few days ago.
26. Chicago Cubs (58-79) 27            ^ 1 He’s had a few rough starts since being acquired from Baltimore, but Jake Arrieta has been solid for the Cubs.  He has a 3.77 ERA since the trade.
27. Milwaukee Brewers (59-78)
26             – 1 Carlos Gomez, who’s among the league leaders in WAR, had a dreadful August at the plate, hitting just .197 with a .301 OBP.
28. Chicago White Sox (56-80) 28              – The Sox, losers of 4 straight, will look to play the role of spoiler this week.  Their next 6 games are against the Yankees and Orioles.
29. Miami Marlins (51-85)
29              –
The Marlins are a near lock to finish in last place in the N.L. East, but at least phenom Jose Fernandez has continued to motor along toward a potential Rookie of the Year award.
30. Houston Astros (45-92)

30              – If you’re going to completely tank a season, you might as go all the way in your effort.  Houston has certainly done that.  They have just one player on their roster who’s making over a million dollars (Erik Bedard).
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