With about one week left before we hit the post-season, it is time for us to make our top ten power ranking going into the playoffs. It by far has been one of the craziest seasons but it is still baseball. Even without the crowds the excitement and quality of play have not diminished. This should be one of the most exciting playoffs if only because we are ready for it now. Time to decide the champ and here are my top ten.
10- Houston Astros Record: 27-26
It is everyone’s favorite post-season team. Okay, I know not really but I put the Astros over the Reds for one reason. I feel they are just better. Shortstop Carlos Correa leads in bWAR and is having one heck of a defensive year, that makes that infield solid. Zack Greinke and Cristian Javier have been nothing but steady and should bold well for the postseason. The loss of Justin Verlander may be a huge loss for them, but the team seems to still have a little something. When it comes to the postseason all it takes is a run, something they can do. But I would not put them higher than 10 and do not see them getting far.
9- Chicago Cubs Record: 31-22
This was a tough choice to go with Cubs at nine or the Braves. The Cubs have had the best ERA in baseball for the month of September. That right there should have moved them up a notch. But they also have a tendency to show no offense. Yu Darvish, The right-hander is in the Cy Young race at 7-2 with a 1.86 ERA and 79 K’s in 63 innings. He is their prized gem on the mound but with no real bats how far can they go?
8- Atlanta Braves Record: 31-22
When we talk Atlanta we must talk Freddie Freeman. The First baseman has been getting a lot of attention as an MVP candidate. Since Aug. 6th, he’s hit .401 with 10 homers, 39 RBIs, and 33 runs scored in 37 games. He’s posted a 1.255 OPS in that span. If those numbers don’t impress you I don’t know what would. The Braves are in the first place by three games over the second-place Marlins and look to wrap up another NL East title. The Braves are set to take on the Marins in a four-game series this week. So a big week for both teams and a possible title.
7- Minnesota Twins Record: 33-22
Nelson Cruz, who turned 40 this year is on pace to have his best OPS+ of his career. One can say that even as a designated hitter he has put this team on his shoulders. But heading into the playoffs it seems there is just one thing that most have on their minds when it comes to the Twins. Can they beat the Yankees in the playoffs? That has not been the easiest thing in the past and let’s face it to go far in this playoffs they will have to do just that, Beat the Yankees.
6- NY Yankees Record: 31-22
first baseman Luke Voit is having one of those seasons to remember. He has a league-leading 21 home runs with 49 RBI’s. He could be on some minds as an MVP candidate. To be honest though it has been a crazy year for the Yankees. They started off so hot, looking like a contender. Then they go on a 5-15 stretch were they looked like a minor league team. Their latest stint has them at 10-1. Go figure. The key for them may be which team shows up. Could this be the year that the Twins get by the Yankees? Their top guy on the hill, Gerrit Cole, is 6-3 with a 3.00 ERA but does have a tendency to give up a dinger or two.
5- Oakland Athletics Record: 33-20
If there is one big strong point for the Athletics it has to be their bullpen. closer Liam Hendriks, who is 3-0 with 13 saves, a 1.23 ERA, and a 32-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio leads the way. The A’s have a sort of wildcard as well that might help. So far since being picked up to replace Matt Chapman, Jake Lamb has given them a sort of shot in the arm. We know he won’t replace the injured Capman but his productivity, .368/.400/.789, and he’s struck out in just 15.8 percent of his plate appearances, has been great. I know a very small sample but it is not like he is some guy off the couch. He has done some things in the league and may just be the piece that helps the A’s move on.
4- Chicago White Sox Record: 34-19
I might have had an urge to even put the White Sox up to the third spot but for the fact, they have not been in the post-season since around oh 2008. But hey since your here might as well take the whole thing right? Having a guy in Jose Abreu that led all American League position players in bWAR and RBIs is a nice advantage. Oh, I’m not forgetting about the play of Luis Robert, Eloy Jimenez, and Tim Anderson who have all been the catalyst for this team. Here is a toast to the long shot and welcome back to the postseason White Sox.
3- San Diego Padres Record: 34-20
Okay so was it just as long since the Padres visited post-season as well? It may well have been but there is a reason I gave the nod to San Diego. They possess two of the leading candidates for MVP in Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado. On the mound, they have a guy that has been lights out in Dinelson Lamet. With his 89 Ks on the year which leads the NL, he will try and get them to a title. With all being said this should be a great time finally to be a Padres fan as this is the best they have been in a long while.
2- Tampa Bay Rays Record: 35-19
The Rays who have been a dominant force in the AL this year posting a 17-9 at home and 19-9 on the road. for the Rays, it has been a team effort for them as they have many great players and great team chemistry. Brandon Lowe has been the team’s best hitter, leading the Rays in home runs, runs, and RBIs. On the mound, they have a guy by the name of Tyler Glasnow who has been throwing fire lately. Friday he was clocked at 100 and 101 respectively. He seems like he has a bit to still master as he does not have all the tricks yet but the fire sometime can be every bit as effective. The Rays are ready for this post-season run and if they play like they can and have and stick to the business they could be the one to beat for sure, best of the AL.
1- Los Angeles Dodgers Record: 38-16
For me, this is semantics as the Dodgers and Rays are the two best teams. So saying number one or two, well I believe they will get the chance to play for it. Mookie Betts has taken his talents to LA and has put that offense on his back. He has been a force and could be the odds on favorite to take the NL MVP. Then of course they have Clayton Kershaw and his 6-2 record and 2.15 ERA. We all know how this man performs and can even get better in the post-season. Again, as with the Rays, the Dodgers are a complete team and that is why they are on top. This should be a great post-season and I expect to see them play the Rays for the right to say they are the number one.
Final post-season Analysis
For many there is nothing and I mean nothing that is better than the MLB post-season. The atmosphere, which may be off a bit this year, to the energy that is played with. This should be no different as I expect it to be electric with big hits and great play in the field. As I stated I do expect the Dodgers and Rays to play for the World Series but the road to get there should be as good as any other year. Just Take me back to the ballpark and soon, please.