Sep 15, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli (12) hits a two run home run during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Power Rankings: Week 24

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The Pirates and Athletics surged forward, but everything else remained pretty much status quo.

Here are the rankings for Week 24:

1. Boston Red Sox (92-59)
1                 – The Red Sox swept the Yankees at Fenway over the weekend to inflict serious damage on New York’s playoff hopes.  The bearded juggernaut is 9.5 games up on Tampa in the A.L. East with 11 games remaining.
2. Atlanta Braves (89-60)
2                 – Atlanta has beaten up on Washington, Philadelphia, and Miami this season, but they’ve been mediocre against pretty much everyone else.  It’ll be interesting to see what they’re made of come playoff time.
3. St. Louis Cardinals (87-62)
3                 – The Cardinals are in a tie with Pittsburgh for 1st place in the N.L. Central, and they have an incredibly easy schedule to rest of the way.  10 of their last 13 games are against the Rockies, Brewers and Cubs.  The other 3 are against Washington, who may be out of it by the time that series rolls around on 9/23.
4. Oakland Athletics (88-61)
6                ^ 2 The A’s are on fire.  They’ve won 5 straight and 8 of their last 10 to leave the Rangers in the dust in the race for the A.L. West title (they’re 6.5 games up with 13 games to play).  Oakland is legit.  They’re 5th in the majors in runs scored, and rank 7th or better in the bigs in the 4 major pitching categories.
5. Pittsburgh Pirates (87-62)
9                ^ 4 After a speed bump, the Pirates righted the ship by winning 6 of their last 7 games.  They’re in a 1st place tie with St. Louis in the N.L. Central.
6. Detroit Tigers (86-63)
4                 – 2 The Tigers continue to play well as they drive towards another A.L. Central crown.  Their drop in the rankings is due to impossible to ignore surges by the Pirates and A’s.
7. Los Angeles Dodgers (86-63) 5                 – 2 The Dodgers, who could clinch the A.L. West title by the middle of this week, have lost 3 straight and are 3-7 over their last 10 games.
8. Cincinnati Reds (84-66)

7                 – 1 As has been the case for the majority of the season, the Reds are still in comfortable position as far as the 2nd Wild Card is concerned – they’re 4.5 games up on surging Washington.
9. Texas Rangers (81-67)
8                 – 1 Texas has lost 6 straight to fall out of it in the A.L. West and into a tie with Tampa for the top Wild Card spot.  They’ll look to right the ship when they open a 4 game set in Tampa tonight.
10. Cleveland Indians (81-68) 12              ^ 2 The Indians have won 4 straight games, and find themselves just a half game behind both Texas and Tampa in the race for the A.L. Wild Card spots.
11. Tampa Bay Rays (81-67) 10               – 1 The Rays, who are holding one of the A.L. Wild Card spot (along with Texas) while attempting to fend off Cleveland and a few other teams, will open a 4 game set tonight against the Rangers in Tampa.
12. Baltimore Orioles (79-70)
11               – 1 Chris Davis hit his 50th home run last week for the O’s, who are 2.5 games behind Tampa and Texas for one of the Wild Card spots.  Baltimore will play 3 in Boston this week before opening a huge 4 game set against the Rays in Tampa.
13. Washington Nationals (79-70) 15              ^ 2 Washington had a 6-1 week but remain 4.5 games behind Cincinnati for the 2nd Wild Card with 13 games to play.  Also in need monitoring: Stephen Strasburg‘s forearm.  He recently skipped a start due to discomfort, but the club believes he’s fine.
14. Kansas City Royals (78-71)
13              – 1 The Royals are still alive in the Wild Card race (3.5 games back).  They open an enormous 3 game set against Cleveland tonight in Kansas City.
15. New York Yankees (79-71) 14              – 1 The Yankees were outscored 22-7 while being swept in Boston over the weekend.  They’re now 3 games (4 in the loss column) behind both Tampa and Texas in the A.L. Wild Card race.
16. Arizona Diamondbacks (75-73)
16               – Arizona’s playoff hopes are about to be extinguished.  They have 14 games remaining, and are 8 games behind Cincinnati for the 2nd Wild Card.
17. Los Angeles Angels (72-77)
17               – The Angels stayed hot, going 5-2 last week to make their record even more respectable.  It’s a real shame that this team wasn’t able to put it together sooner.
18. San Francisco Giants (69-81)
24              ^ 6 After spending the majority of the summer playing a putrid brand of baseball, the Giants are finishing strong.  They’ve gone 7-3 over their last 10 games.
19. Toronto Blue Jays (68-81)
18               – 1 With nothing else left to play for, the Blue Jays can help squash the Yankees’ dwindling playoff hopes when they begin a 3 game set at the Rogers Centre tomorrow.
20. Philadelphia Phillies (69-80)
21              ^ 1 The Phillies are worse than their record indicates.  Their -129 run differential is the 2nd worst in baseball.
21. San Diego Padres (68-80)
22              ^ 1 The Padres are 1 game up on the Rockies for last place in the N.L. West.  They can cement a protected 1st round pick by losing more, or avoid finishing in last place by winning more.
22. New York Mets (67-82)
20               – 2 The Mets are likely about to get David Wright (strained hamstring) back for the remainder of the season.  However, the biggest news this week will likely revolve around Matt Harvey and his partially torn UCL.  Harvey was scheduled to meet with Dr. James Andrews this afternoon.
23. Colorado Rockies (68-82) 19               – 4 There have been recent reports that indicate the Rockies are willing to trade both Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki this winter while entering full rebuild mode.
24. Milwaukee Brewers (65-83)
25              ^ 1 If the Brewers play well against the Cubs this week, they’ll probably be able to avoid finishing in last place in the N.L. Central.
25. Seattle Mariners  (66-83)
23               – 2 Seattle has gone 3-7 over their last 10 games, and it’s likely that their season will end in ugly fashion.  10 of their last 13 games are against Detroit, Kansas City, and Oakland.
26. Chicago Cubs (63-86) 26                – 26 year old starting pitcher Travis Wood has had a fantastic year.  In 192 IP, he’s allowed 154 hits, walked 60, and struck out 136.  He has a 3.05 ERA and 1.11 WHIP.
27. Minnesota Twins (64-84)
27                – How bad has Minnesota’s pitching been?  Kevin Correia is leading the team with a 1.41 WHIP.
28. Chicago White Sox (58-91) 28                – The Sox have lost 6 in a row, are almost certain to finish in last place in the A.L. Central, and have an outside shot at finishing with 100 losses.
29. Miami Marlins (55-94)
While Christian Yelich has excelled since his callup, fellow rookie Jake Marisnick has not.  Marisnick is hitting .178 with a .226 OBP in 107 at bats since being promoted from AA.
30. Houston Astros (51-98)

30                – The Astros have allowed 777 runs, the most in baseball.  That total is 69 more than the team that’s allowed the second most (Toronto).
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