By: Chris Larson
Welcome to the final Week In Review/Top 15 Power Rankings report for August! Amazing to think that we are gearing up for the final month of the regular season and there are plenty of pennant/postseason races to monitor especially in the NL. Plus, we get to see some pretty exciting young talent get called up come this coming Saturday, September 1st. It's always fun to watch some of those young prospects get their shot at the big league level and start to prove themselves to the big league club. Who knows which one, might have enough impact on their team, that their team is able to clinch a postseason berth either!
Week In Review
Top 15 Power Rankings
1. Boston Red Sox (90-42) [Ranking Last Week: 1]
2. New York Yankees (83-47) [Ranking Last Week: 2]
3. Houston Astros (80-50) [Ranking Last Week: 11]
4. Oakland Athletics (79-52) [Ranking Last Week: 3]
5. Chicago Cubs (76-53) [Ranking Last Week: 6]
6. St. Louis Cardinals (73-58) [Ranking Last Week: 4]
7. Cleveland Indians (74-56) [Ranking Last Week: 5]
8. Arizona Diamondbacks (72-58) [Ranking Last Week: 8]
9. Colorado Rockies (71-59) [Ranking Last Week: 7]
10. Atlanta Braves (73-57) [Ranking Last Week: 9]
11. Milwaukee Brewers (73-59) [Ranking Last Week: 12]
12. Los Angeles Dodgers (70-61) [Ranking Last Week: 13]
13. Philadelphia Phillies (70-60) [Ranking Last Week: 10]
14. Seattle Mariners (74-57) [Ranking Last Week: 14]
15. Tampa Bay Rays (70-61) [Ranking Last Week: N/A]
Summary of Thoughts
This is one of those weeks where it was super difficult to try and rank the teams, especially the Top 10, simply because of how each one is performing at the moment and the fact that there is talent to like on each big league club. Since ties aren't allowed in these rankings, I went ahead and did my best at trying to put fair rankings to each team. The Top 3 are back to what they were for every other report so far this year, with the exception of last week, when the Houston Astros were performing badly. Still, the Astros have the best run differential in all of baseball and are a serious threat still regardless of how they might have performed at other points throughout the month of August. Of course, the Boston Red Sox are still the top dog because they have the best record in all of baseball and while the Yankees have cooled off a bit from where they were earlier this season, they also still remain a serious threat.
Furthermore, it's difficult to put a team, such as the Oakland A's, in front of the St. Louis Cardinals because of the run the Cardinals have been on as of late, but it all comes down to the talent on the big league roster and how teams have performed so far this year. Technically, it's not right that the Cardinals moved down in the rankings because of recent performance, but it also wouldn't be right to move the A's down because they also continue to show that they are here to stay and have been on quite a run as of late. Beyond that, it was difficult to put the Chicago Cubs fifth because of how they have played as of late, but with the strength of the teams in front of them, that is where they ended up falling in the rankings. Rounding out the Top 10, were the Cleveland Indians, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, and Atlanta Braves - all teams who deserve to be ranked in the Top 10. Again, you could make a case that the Rockies should be higher than 7th on the ranking list, but it's difficult to do that with how many strong teams there are, at the moment.
Moving to the 11-15 spots now, the Brewers and Dodgers just fell outside of the Top 10 category. Again, it came down to recent performance and trying to fit them within the Top 10, would have been extremely difficult so that is why they fell into the 11th and 12th spots. The team that has likely had the biggest fall from last week to this week is the Philadelphia Phillies. Philly hasn't played well as of late and have continued to show hot and cold streaks, like every team does throughout the long 162-game season. Due to that and the factors mentioned above, the 13th spot was probably the most fitting ranking for them. Rounding out the list are the Seattle Mariners and yes, the Tampa Bay Rays. Tampa Bay never seems to get recognition for anything, but since they're amidst a 8-game win streak, they had to be included in the Top 15. Things might not end with the Rays in the postseason this year, but the future is extremely bright and chalk full of young talent.
MVPs of the Week
1. Kendrys Morales (Toronto Blue Jays): 11-for-23 with 7 home runs, 12 RBI, 1 walk, a .478 batting average, and a .500 on-base percentage
2. Matt Chapman (Oakland Athletics): 11-for-31 with 3 doubles, 3 home runs, 5 RBI, 3 walks, a .355 batting average, and a .412 on-base percentage
3. Mike Fiers (Oakland Athletics): 0.71 ERA over 12.2 IP with 15 Strikeouts and a 0.71 WHIP
4. Lucas Giolito (Chicago White Sox): 2.77 ERA over 13.0 IP with a .170 Opponent Batting Average Against and a 0.85 WHIP
1. Javier Baez (Chicago Cubs): 11-for-26 with 1 double, 3 home runs, 8 RBI, 2 walks, a .423 batting average, and a .464 on-base percentage
2. Anthony Rizzo (Chicago Cubs): 9-for-21 with 3 doubles, 3 home runs, 6 RBI, 4 walks, a .429 batting average, and a .500 on-base percentage
3. Kevin Gausman (Atlanta Braves): 0.00 ERA over 13.0 IP with a .116 Opponent Batting Average Against and 10 Strikeouts
4. Zach Wheeler (New York Mets): 0.64 ERA over 14.0 IP with 14 Strikeouts and a 1.07 WHIP