The trade deadline proved to be a major splash for some teams (LA/NY), while others have waived the white flag and are waiting until next year. A week after dropping 5 spots down in the rankings, the Red Sox made the largest jump this week by moving up 4 spots. Colorado and New York both moved down 2 spots this week, while the LA Angels jumped into the top 15 for the first time. Let’s take a look at this week’s top 15 teams in the Power Rankings…(Current FanGraphs playoff percentages listed after record).
1. LA Dodgers (79-32) (100%) Last Week: 1 – After making the biggest noise at the trade deadline, the Dodgers continued their hot streak. LA has won 44 of their last 51 games. Yu Darvish dazzled in his debut on Friday, striking out 10 and allowing only 3 hits over 7 scoreless innings against the Mets. The duo of Kershaw/Darvish will be scary good once Kershaw comes off the DL.
2. Houston Astros (71-40) (100%) Last Week: 2 – The Astros got a much needed series win against the Blue Jays over the weekend. The Astros will hope the 4 run 9th inning comeback on Sunday will lead to more success after a mediocre 2nd half so far.
3. Washington Nationals (65-44) (100%) Last Week: 3 – After taking 2 out of 3 from the Cubs over the weekend, Washington looks to be right on path. Once Strasburg and Scherzer get over their injuries, the rotation will be ready to roll.
4. Cleveland Indians (59-50) (97%) Last Week: 4 – Carlos Carrasco looked to be on the right track until an Abraham Almonte blunder opened the flood gates for the Yankees on Sunday. A 4-game series split with the Yankees over the weekend saw 2 pitchers shine, Kluber and Salazar, as the tough month of August gets underway. Jason Kipnis needs to heat up at the top of the order to get the Indians rolling.
5. Boston Red Sox (63-49) (97%) Last Week: 9 – After a comeback win against the Indians on Tuesday (possibly the game of the year), the Red Sox have rolled to 6 W’s in a row. After a lackluster week before, the Red Sox proved again why they are on top of the AL East. Chris Sale will look to have a rebound start against the Rays Tuesday (7ER in 5 IP last start).
6. Arizona Diamondbacks (63-48) (88%) Last Week: 7 – After a 3-3 record last week, the Diamondbacks have back-to-back home showdowns against the Dodgers and Cubs this week. With one of the best home records in baseball (36-18), we’ll see if the D-Backs can match up against the 2 division leaders.
7. NY Yankees (59-51) (75%) Last Week: 5 – Gary Sanchez was benched due to his poor performance in the field and Aaron Judge is still looking for his hot bat. Winning 2 in Cleveland over the weekend could prove to revive the Yankees offense. Luis Severino looked fantastic on Sunday while striking out 9 in 6.2 innings. Pairing Severino with Sonny Gray looks to be a great 1-2 punch.
8. Colorado Rockies (60-46) (87%) Last Week: 6 – The Rockies are sitting atop the NL Wild Card for now, while their bullpen continues to shut teams down. They should not have any trouble locking up one of the 2 Wild Card spots, but they need more production from their starting rotation, as their team ERA of 4.68 ranks 23rd in the league.
9. Chicago Cubs (58-52) (90%) Last Week: 8 – Wilson Contreras continues to lead the 2nd half charge for the Cubs. He is hitting .346 with 10 homers since the All-Star break (5 in his last 4 games). Milwaukee is still hanging around, but Kyle Kendricks and Jake Arrieta are starting to throw the ball better at the top of the rotation.
10. Tampa Bay Rays (58-55) (34%) Last Week: 12 – The Rays took 3 out of 4 from the Astros early in the week. Lucas Duda has proven early that he was a great addition to the lineup, hitting 3 homers in his last 4 games. If the Rays can figure out their bullpen woes, they seem well prepared to battle for a playoff position.
11. Kansas City Royals (57-53) (41%) Last Week: 10 – Sitting atop of the AL Wild Card and trailing the Indians by 2.5 games, the Royals dropped 4 out of 6 last week. Catcher Salvador Perez was placed on the 10-day DL after straining an intercostal muscle in his chest. He shouldn’t be out long, but now is not the time to lose a core player to injury.
12. Milwaukee Brewers (59-54) (12%) Last Week: 11 – After winning 4 of their last 6, the Brewers continue to hang around. They currently sit half a game back of the Cubs and start a 4-game series with the Twins tonight. The resurgence of their starting rotation looks to help push them over the edge.
13. Seattle Mariners (57-56) (22%) Last Week: 13 – Seattle continues to hang around. The Mariners made a trade for the Athletics lone All-Star, Yonder Alonso, last week and are only 1.5 games out of a Wild Card spot. After winning 6 of their last 9, they are now a game above .500 on the season.
14. St. Louis Cardinals (55-56) (16%) Last Week: 14 – Adam Wainwright returned from the DL and had a rough outing, but the return is a welcomed site. Lance Lynn has been brilliant in his last 6 starts, accumulating 4 wins and dropping his ERA from 3.87 down to 3.12. They are still lurking while being just 3.5 games out of first behind Chicago and Milwaukee.
15. LA Angels (55-57) (10%) Last Week: NR – Happy Birthday to Mike Trout as he turns 26. The Angels cracked the top 15 this week as they sit 3 games out of the AL Wild Card’s final spot. Trout is currently on a 9-game hitting streak and has brought his season average up to .343, which would be good enough for 2nd in the AL if he qualified.
How’d we do with our rankings this week? Let us know your thoughts in the comments…