By: Chris Larson
Welcome to another Week In Review/Top 15 Power Rankings report! Hard to believe that there are only four of these left before the postseason begins. It seems like just yesterday we were gearing up for Spring Training, look towards the regular season making predictions about which teams were going to be in contention at this point of the season and which weren't, and trying to decipher who the favorites for each award are. While some of those predictions have held true, many of them have turned out to be a bust, which just goes to prove why the game is played on the field and not on paper!
Week In Review
Top 15 Power Rankings
1. Houston Astros (89-54) [Ranking Last Week: 3]
2. Boston Red Sox (98-46) [Ranking Last Week: 2]
3. New York Yankees (89-54) [Ranking Last Week: 4]
4. Chicago Cubs (83-59) [Ranking Last Week: 1]
5. Oakland Athletics (87-57) [Ranking Last Week: 5]
6. Milwaukee Brewers (82-62) [Ranking Last Week: 7]
7. Los Angeles Dodgers (78-65) [Ranking Last Week: 6]
8. Colorado Rockies (78-64) [Ranking Last Week: 11]
9. Cleveland Indians (81-62) [Ranking Last Week: 10]
10. Atlanta Braves (79-64) [Ranking Last Week: 8]
11. St. Louis Cardinals (79-64) [Ranking Last Week: 9]
12. Arizona Diamondbacks (76-67) [Ranking Last Week: 12]
13. Philadelphia Phillies (74-68) [Ranking Last Week: 13]
14. Seattle Mariners (79-64) [Ranking Last Week: N/A]
15. Tampa Bay Rays (78-64) [Ranking Last Week: 14]
Summary of Thoughts
The Astros are back in the number one spot after falling out of the Top 5 two weeks ago and ending up in the third spot last week. It's hard to argue with that given the recent run the team has been on (Houston won 7 in a row) before losing out to the Red Sox last night. You could make the argument that the Red Sox still reign the land, but their bullpen is certainly worrisome and something that will need to be monitored over the final weeks and come October. Houston's bullpen gave up the winning run to the Red Sox yesterday evening, but their pen has still been very stable over the course of this season. Rounding out the Top 3 are the New York Yankees who are still among the elite teams in baseball, but still not at the same level as the Houston Astros or the Boston Red Sox. New York should definitely be getting a boost here soon with the return of Aaron Judge.
Outside of those three teams, everything is pretty much in the same order. The Cubs moved down to the number 4 spot and it's based on recent performance. The Cubs have lost a bit of steam this past week, but don't take that as a sign of them being weak. They still are by far the favorites within the National League and it would certainly not be a surprise to see them end up playing deep into October once again, if everything goes according to plan. Finishing the Top 10, the Milwaukee Brewers moved up a spot and the Cleveland Indians also moved up a spot. However, the biggest move up belongs to the Colorado Rockies, who went from the number 11 spot, to the number 8 spot this week. The Rockies have been drawing phenomenal numbers for their games at Coors Field and it's easy to see why they should be included in the Top 10.
Finally, moving to the bottom five teams, the Cardinals moved down two spots because of recent performance, while both the Arizona Diamondbacks and Philadelphia Phillies stay stagnant in the rankings. Arizona has had a really bad stretch as of late and the Phillies haven't really changed the way they've been playing either, since last week's report. In addition, the Seattle Mariners were added to the list, as they still view themselves as a fringe playoff contender, even though in reality, they will likely miss the postseason once again. Lastly, the Tampa Bay Rays round out the Top 15 and it's easy to see why. The Rays have been playing really good baseball, as of late, and it would not be a surprise to see them move up in the rankings next season and potentially, towards contention, once again.
MVPs of the Week
1. Francisco Lindor (Cleveland Indians): 10-for-33 with 5 home runs, 7 RBI, 1 walk, a .303 batting average, and a .343 on-base percentage
2. Shohei Ohtani (Los Angeles Angels): 9-for-19 with 1 double, 1 triple, 4 home runs, 10 RBI, 4 walks, a .474 batting average, and a .565 on-base percentage
3. Reynaldo Lopez (Chicago White Sox): 0.69 ERA over 13.0 IP with 16 strikeouts and a .69 WHIP
4. Andrew Heaney (Los Angeles Angels): 2.77 ERA over 13.0 IP with 17 strikeouts and a .85 WHIP
1. Marcell Ozuna (St. Louis Cardinals): 10-for-26 with 5 home runs, 6 RBI, a .385 batting average, and a .385 on-base percentage
2. Charlie Blackmon (Colorado Rockies): 9-for-25 with 1 double, 3 home runs, 4 RBI, 1 walk, a .360 batting average, and a .407 on-base percentage
3. Robbie Ray (Arizona Diamondbacks): 1.46 ERA over 12.1 IP with 16 strikeouts and a .105 Opponent Batting Average Against
4. John Gant (St. Louis Cardinals): 1.64 ERA over 11.0 IP with a .189 Batting Average Against and a 1.18 WHIP