For the first time since the April 24 release, the Yankees were not in the top five of this week’s strength rankings — and that opened up a place for another franchise.
The Cardinals, for the first time since the same April rankings, jumped to fifth with their number recently increasing to dominate NL Central. But these two clubs are far from the only movers in this week’s power rankings.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the full list below.
Biggest jump: Despite having a lot of movement up and down the rankings, no team jumped more than two positions. The Rays went from No. 8 to No. 6 as they continued their late push in AL East, while a pair of fellow AL Wild Card competitors — The Mariners (No. 10 to No. 8) and Blue Jays (No. 11 to No. 9) — advanced. Also two centers each. The Angels, despite being out of the post-season competition, went from 23rd to 21st after taking a 3-3 lead against the AL’s two top teams (the Yankees and Astros) following the Blue Jays’ sweep in Toronto.
biggest drop: Although the Phillies still held the last spot on the NL Wild Card, they dropped four places from No. 7 to No. 11 after a rough ride on the West Coast. They began their six-game wild ride by losing a pair of games to the linebacker D — with a combined score of 25-10, no less — before defeating Arizona, 18-2, at the end of the series. However, that escape did not carry over to San Francisco, where the Phillies were overrun by the Giants and outsmarted them 23-8 in the process. Philadelphia is 1-6 over its past seven games, all against teams under .500, but it has a chance to correct the ship by nine games in a row against the Marlins and the Nationals.
1) Dodgers (92-42, last week: 1)
Although the Dodgers started last week by dropping two of three to the Mets, they bounced back to take two of three of the Padres – and still hold a 5 1/2 lead in the Astros for the best record in the Majors. Even with Walker Buehler out of the season and Tony Gonsolin (2.10 ERA) in IL for 15 days, Los Angeles still has some decent rotation options in Kershaw (2.59 ERA), Tyler Anderson (2.68), Julio Urías (2.29) and Andrew Henny (2.94). ).
2) Astros (87-48, last week: 3)
Lance McCullers Jr. continues. Putting in a good show since making his season debut on August 13th, he posted a 2.08 ERA through four starts. It could provide a major boost to starting the spin that leads AL in ERA. Justin Verlander is on his way back by the end of the month. Throw in a Bullpen leading the main characters in the ERA, and the Astros — who are sailing toward the home field advantage in the AL — have a staff that can transport them into the depths of post-season.
3) Braves (84-51, last week: 4)
The Braves are headed to the West Coast swing this week after being pulled inside one game of the NL East-Leading Mets. Atlanta closed out last week with five-way wins over Colorado and Miami, while outperforming them all 23-5. Austin Riley is only one person behind Kyle Schwarber in the NL chase, while Max Fried (2.48 ERA, 4th in the NL) pushes the NL Cy Young award and leads Kyle Wright (17-5, 2.85 ERA) major in wins.
4) Mets (85-50, last week: 2)
The Mets’ week started with such promise. They took two out of three of the top MLB Dodgers, including another great outing from Jacob Degrom which culminated with Edwin Diaz taking the win after Live performance electrical input From Timmy liking. However, some of that momentum was lost when the Mets followed suit by dropping two out of three to last place from the Nationals. Max Scherzer came off Saturday’s start early with left-sided fatigue, but is confident it won’t be a problem going forward.
5) Cardinals (79-56, last week: 6)
Only the Dodgers have rated better than the Cardinals since the All-Star break. Even with Monday’s loss, St. Louis are 29-12 in the second half, including 17-5 in their last 22 games. Paul Goldschmidt remains a strong contender for the NL MVP award – and his closest challenger is likely to be his teammate Nolan Arenado.
Rest of field 30:
Voters: Alison Vouter, Anthony Castrovins, Paul Casella, Mark Finsand, Natalie Alonso, Mike Petrillo, Sarah Lang, Andrew Simon, David Fein, Brett Blows