MLB Power Rankings: Week 23

Sep 6, 2013; Bronx, NY, USA;Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia (15) celebrates with teammate Boston Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli (12) as he arrives at home after his game tying grand slam in the 7th inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox took over the top spot, the Pirates took a tumble, and both the Reds and Cardinals made a surge.

Here are the rankings for Week 23:

RANKING/TEAM/RECORD
LAST WK/CHANGE
THOUGHTS
1. Boston Red Sox (87-58)
3               ^ 2 The Red Sox had a 5-1 week to open up a 7.5 game lead in the A.L. East on 2nd place Tampa Bay.
2. Atlanta Braves (85-57)
1                – 1 After opening an insurmountable lead in the N.L. East, the Braves have eased off the pedal a bit.  They’re currently leading the Dodgers by 2 games in the race for the best record in the National League.
3. St. Louis Cardinals (83-60)
6               ^ 3 The Cardinals swept the Pirates over the weekend to take a 1.5 game lead in the N.L. Central.  Strangely, the Cards won’t play any more regular season games against either Pittsburgh or Cincinnati (who are in a 2nd place tie behind them).
4. Detroit Tigers (82-61)
2                – 2 The Tigers have a 5.5 game lead over the Indians for 1st place in the N.L. Central, and close the season with an incredibly easy schedule.  16 of their remaining 19 games are against the White Sox, Mariners, Twins, and Marlins.
5. Los Angeles Dodgers (83-59)
4                – 1 They’ve lost 4 in a row, but the 1st place Dodgers nevertheless hold an enormous 11 game lead over the Diamondbacks with just 20 games to play.
6. Oakland Athletics (83-60)
8               ^ 2 The A’s have gone 8-2 over their last 10 games while opening up a 1.5 game lead over the Rangers for 1st place in the A.L. West.
7. Cincinnati Reds (82-62) 9               ^ 2 The Reds have gone 5-1 over their last 6 games to pull even with 2nd place Pittsburgh.  The N.L. Central is almost impossibly tight: 1st place St. Louis has a 1.5 game lead over both the Reds and Pirates, who are tied.
 

 

8. Texas Rangers (81-61)



7                – 1 6 days ago, the Rangers were tied with the A’s for 1st place in the A.L. East. Now, they’re in 2nd place, 1.5 games back.
9. Pittsburgh Pirates (81-61)
5                – 4 After clinching their first non-losing season in over 2 decades, the Pirates were swept out of 1st place over the weekend by the Cardinals and into a tie for the 1st Wild Card spot with the Reds.
10. Tampa Bay Rays (78-64) 10               – The Rays have gone 3-7 over their last 10 to fall out of it in the A.L. East race.  The question now, is whether or not they can hold off the 4 teams who are nipping at their heels in the race for the 2nd Wild Card.

11. Baltimore Orioles (76-66) 11               – The Orioles, who are 2 games behind the Rays for the 2nd Wild Card, welcome the Yankees to Camden Yards tonight in the opener of a 4 game set.
12. Cleveland Indians (76-66)
14              ^ 2 Cleveland has gone 4-1 over their last 5 to pull within 2 games of the Rays for the 2nd Wild Card.
13. Kansas City Royals (75-68) 13               – The Royals have gone 6-4 over their last 10 to pull within 3.5 games of the Rays for the 2nd Wild Card.  They play 6 of their next 9 games against Cleveland, who they’ll need to hurdle over in order to reach the playoffs.
14. New York Yankees (76-67)
12              – 2 The Yankees have a negative run differential (-2), and lost 3 of 4 to Boston over the weekend, but remain just 2.5 games behind Tampa Bay for the 2nd Wild Card.
15. Washington Nationals (73-69) 16             ^ 1 Washington, playing lately without Bryce Harper, are watching their playoff hopes vanish despite their improved play.  The Nats are 8 games behind the Reds and Pirates for the coveted Wild Card spots.
16. Arizona Diamondbacks (72-70)
15              – 1 The Diamondbacks, 4-6 over their last 10, are 11 games back of the 1st place Dodgers in the N.L. West and are just about out of it as far as the Wild Card is concerned (they’re 9 games behind Cincinnati & Pittsburgh).
17. Los Angeles Angels (67-75)
17               – The Angels have picked it up a bit lately, but Josh Hamilton remains a mess.  The 32 year old, who signed an enormous free agent deal over the winter, is hitting .237 with a .298 OBP.  He has an OPS of .715, has hit 19 homers, and driven in just 62 runs.
18. Toronto Blue Jays (67-76)
20             ^ 2 The Blue Jays, who have gone 8-2 over their last 10, have woken up too late as far as the postseason is concerned.  However, a strong finish could give them hope going into 2014.
19. Colorado Rockies (66-78)
18              – 1 The Rockies have lost 3 in a row, and 4 of their last 5, to fall into a 3rd place tie with the Padres in the N.L. West.
20. New York Mets (64-77)
19              – 1 The severely undermanned Mets continue to fight – they just finished a 4-5 road trip against 3 teams (Atlanta, Washington, & Cleveland) who are battling for the postseason.
21. Philadelphia Phillies (66-77)
21               – Philadelphia has the 2nd worst run differential (-117) in baseball.  Lately, there have been rumors that interim manager Ryne Sandberg may not have his interim tag removed.
22. San Diego Padres (65-77)
24              ^ 2 The Padres have won 3 games in a row and 6 of their last 10, to pull into a tie with Colorado for 3rd place in the N.L. West.
23. Seattle Mariners (65-78) 22              – 1 Felix Hernandez, who last pitched on September 2nd, will have his next start delayed due to back stiffness.
24. San Francisco Giants (64-79)
23              – 1 Yusmeiro Petit, who has thrown roughly 40 innings in the majors over the last 4 seasons, was 1 out away from a perfect game this weekend until a single broke it up.
25. Milwaukee Brewers (62-80)
27             ^ 2 The Brewers will look to play the role of spoiler over the next few weeks: 9 of their next 13 games are against the Cardinals and Reds.
26. Chicago Cubs (60-82) 26              – After being released, Theo Epstein snatched up his former closer Daniel Bard, who the Cubs hope can return to form next season.
27. Minnesota Twins (61-80)
25             – 2 The Twins, who are playing without the concussed Joe Mauer, have lost 4 games in a row.
28. Chicago White Sox (57-85) 28              – The White Sox are 1-9 over their last 10 games, and are again threatening to slip behind the Marlins for the 2nd worst record in baseball – and better draft position.
29. Miami Marlins (53-88)
29              –
Jose Fernandez, one of the only bright spots of Miami’s season, will make 1 more start this season before reaching his innings limit.
30. Houston Astros (47-96)

30              – The Astros, who have long since been eliminated from the playoffs, are 36 games worse than 1st place Oakland.

Topics: MLB Power Rankings

Want more from Rising Apple?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix. Enter your email and stay in the know.