Sep 20, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Koji Uehara (19) sprays champagne on the fans after they clinched the AL East with a win over the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Power Rankings: Week 25


As the Playoff picture started to come into focus, there were only minor tweaks in the rankings this week.  The next “rankings’ will take their form as a Playoff Prediction piece.

Here are the rankings for Week 25:

RANKING/TEAM/RECORD
LAST WK/CHANGE
THOUGHTS
1. Boston Red Sox (95-62)
1                 – The Red Sox clinched the A.L. East over the weekend, capping their worst to first season.  They’ll be looking to finish strong in order to secure home field advantage throughout the Playoffs (they’re 1.5 games up on Oakland).
2. Oakland Athletics (93-63)
4               ^ 2 The A’s clinched their second straight A.L. West title yesterday, and have an outside shot to overtake Boston for the best record in the A.L.
3. Atlanta Braves (92-63)
2                – 1 Atlanta is trying to fend off the Cardinals in order to secure home field advantage throughout the Playoffs.  They wrap up the season with a 7 game homestand against the Brewers and Phillies.
4. Detroit Tigers (91-65)
6                ^ 2 The Tigers are 5 games up on 2nd place Cleveland in the A.L. Central with 6 games to play.  They can clinch at least a tie in the Division with a win tonight.
5. St. Louis Cardinals (91-65)
3                 – 2 The Cardinals clinched a playoff spot last week, and are 2 games up on both Cincinnati and Pittsburgh for 1st place in the N.L. Central with 6 games remaining.
6. Cincinnati Reds (89-67)
8                ^ 2 Cincinnati had a 5-1 week to pull into a tie with Pittsburgh in the race for the 1st Wild Card in the N.L.  They welcome the Mets to Great American Ballpark tonight in the opener of a 3 game set.
7. Pittsburgh Pirates (89-67) 5                 – 2 The Pirates have gone 4-6 over their last 10 games, but are close to clinching a Playoff berth.  They trail the Cardinals by 2 games in the N.L. Central, but are tied with the Reds for the 1st Wild Card spot.  A Pirates win coupled with a Washington loss would cement Pittsburgh’s 1st Postseason appearance since 1992.
8. Los Angeles Dodgers (90-66)



7                 – 1 The Dodgers, who clinched the N.L. West a few days ago, have gone 7-11 since September 3rd.  They’re 2.5 games behind Atlanta in the race for the best record in the N.L.
9. Tampa Bay Rays (86-69)
11              ^ 2 The Rays, who’ve righted the ship and are currently in possession of the 1st Wild Card in the A.L., will look to complete a 4 game sweep of Baltimore today before heading to New York for a 3 game set against the fading Yankees.
10. Cleveland Indians (86-70) 10                – The beneficiaries of an extremely easy schedule, the Indians have taken control of the 2nd Wild Card in the A.L. They’re 1.5 games up on staggering Texas with 6 games to play.
11. Texas Rangers (84-71) 9                 – 2 The Rangers have gone from comfortably in first place, to comfortably leading the Wild Card, to being on the outside looking in.  Texas trails Cleveland by 1.5 games (one in the loss column) in the race for the 2nd Wild Card spot.
12. Washington Nationals (84-72)
13              ^ 1 Even with their late season surge, the Nationals are on the brink of being eliminated from contention.  They’re 5 games behind Wild Card leading Cincinnati and Pittsburgh with 6 games remaining.
13. Kansas City Royals (82-73) 14              ^ 1 Kansas City will need a minor miracle to make the Playoffs.  They’re 3 games behind Cleveland in the loss column with 7 games to play.
14. Baltimore Orioles (81-74)
12               – 2 The Orioles have lost 4 straight games to fall 4.5 games behind Cleveland for the 2nd Wild Card.  They need to run the table and hope the Indians or Rays collapse.
15. New York Yankees (82-74) 15                – The Yankees honored the retiring Mariano Rivera yesterday at the Stadium, before losing to the Giants to fall 4 games out of the 2nd Wild Card with 6 games to play.
16. Arizona Diamondbacks (79-76)
16                – Arizona has had a solid season, and MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt is one of the main reasons why.  Goldschmidt is hitting .304 with a .405 OBP, 35 homers and 123 RBI’s.
17. Los Angeles Angels (76-79)
17                – The Angels need to go 5-2 to finish with a .500 record.  They’ll be attempting to do it against an Oakland team that’s fighting for the best record in the A.L. and a Texas team that’s fighting for their playoff lives.
18. San Francisco Giants (72-84)
18                – It was reported a few days ago that the Giants are interested in retaining both of their pending high profile free agents, Tim Lincecum and Hunter Pence.  It’s rumored that the Giants are willing to offer Pence a 4 year deal worth $56 million.
19. New York Mets (71-84)
22              ^ 3 The Mets swept the Phillies over the weekend to put themselves in precarious position.  They’re just a half game clear of the Giants for the 11th overall (unprotected) pick in next year’s draft.
20. San Diego Padres (72-83)
21              ^ 1 In the midst of San Diego’s poor year, closer Huston Street has been tremendous.  He’s saved 31 of 32 games, has a 2.52 ERA and 0.97 WHIP.
21. Toronto Blue Jays (71-84)
19               – 2 Shortstop Jose Reyes, who missed roughly half the season with an ankle injury, has yet to hit a triple (one of his trademarks) this season.
22. Colorado Rockies (71-86)
23              ^ 1 After reports leaked that Colorado could be looking to deal both Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, team officials tried to quiet rumors this week by claiming that there was close to a zero chance that both players would be moved.
23. Philadelphia Phillies (71-84) 20               – 3 The Phillies, who were swept by the Mets at home this weekend, announced during the series that they were removing the interim tag from manager Ryne Sandberg.  He was given a 3 year deal that runs through 2016.
24. Milwaukee Brewers (69-86)
24                – Pending free agent Corey Hart, who has missed the entire season after undergoing surgery on his knees, stated this week that he’d be willing to return to Milwaukee on a discount.
25. Seattle Mariners (68-88)
25                – The Mariners will look to extinguish Kansas City’s faint playoff hopes during their 3 game set starting tonight.
26. Chicago Cubs (65-91) 26                – Chicago’s pitching has been middle of the road this year, but their offense has been dreadful.
27. Minnesota Twins (65-90)
27                – Minnesota has been a special brand of bad over the last month and change, going 11-25 since August 15th.
28. Chicago White Sox (61-94) 28                – The Sox have gone 3-7 over their last 10 games, robbing Chris Sale of wins in the process, and likely securing a top 3 draft pick.
29. Miami Marlins (57-99)
29               
The Marlins are last in the majors in runs scored, batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage.
30. Houston Astros (51-105)

30                – The Astros have lost 9 straight games while securing their third straight 100 loss season.  One more loss (or a win by the Marlins) will guarantee Houston the first overall pick in next June’s draft.

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Tags: MLB Power Rankings