• Sat. Apr 1st, 2023

MLB Power Rankings: Aug. 22, 2022

ByCole Theisen

Aug 22, 2022
Luke Maile celebrates with his teammates

Photo courtesy of David Petkiewicz | cleveland.com

A new American League team has made their name as the favorite to win the division while an empire continues to crumble post-All Star break. Here are the 10 best teams in Major League Baseball heading into the final full week of August.

On Deck: Seattle Mariners (66-56, last week: 4-2) (Prev. rank: 9)

The Mariners were on the brink of a perfect weekend with what should’ve been an easy trip up to the Bay Area and they squandered a series to the Oakland Athletics. Let me repeat that — the Oakland Athletics. I want to believe Seattle is a playoff team but a series loss to the lowly A’s isn’t acceptable at this time of the year. They should get two wins against the Washington Nationals in the middle of the week before a massive four-game series at home against the Cleveland Guardians.

10. Baltimore Orioles (63-58, last week: 4-3) (Prev. rank: NR)

Baltimore continues to be the little engine that can and are still in the mix to reach the playoffs. They grabbed two key series wins over AL East foes in the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox but the schedule gets even more difficult with matchups against the Chicago White Sox, Houston Astros and Guardians.

9. Cleveland Guardians (64-56, last week: 3-3) (Prev. rank: 10)

The middling AL Central continues to get worse and worse by the week and now Cleveland has taken advantage of the recent Minnesota Twins’ woes to take a 1.5-game lead in the division. There’s no true gauge of Cleveland so we’ll see how they stand at the start of September after a handful of tough series approaching.

8. New York Yankees (74-48, last week: 2-5) (Prev. rank: 6)

Maybe Aaron Boone’s fiery press conference can turn the Bronx Bombers around but a record of 5-14 in August certainly has fans of the Yankees a little weary about high playoff aspirations. Luckily, the Yankees created such a buffer before the All-Star break that they are still far clear in the AL East despite the slump. They get two at home in a potential World Series preview against cross-borough rivals in the Mets before a pair of series against Oakland and the LA Angels that should get them back on track.

7. Toronto Blue Jays (65-55, last week: 4-3) (Prev. rank: 8)

It’s no secret that the Blue Jays have punched below their weight for most of the season but appear to be turning a new leaf with a massive series win over the Yankees during the weekend. They are clear by 2.5 games in the Wild Card race and have a favorable schedule over the next two weeks.

6. Philadelphia Phillies (66-55, last week: 3-4) (Prev. rank: 7)

Philadelphia was bested by the Mets over the weekend but still control the third NL Wild Card spot by 1.5 games over the Milwaukee Brewers. The good news for the Phillies is that their next 10 games come against the Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates and Arizona Diamondbacks.

5. St. Louis Cardinals (69-51, last week: 6-0) (Prev. rank: 5)

The Cardinals are beginning to open it up in the NL Central as their current seven-game win streak has them five games clear of the Brewers. It helps to have the favorite for the NL MVP in Paul Goldschmidt, who has already tallied over 100 RBI, but how about future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols going on an absolute tear batting .403 since July 10 with eight home runs. He’s only eight away from 700 in his career. Everything is going right for the red birds.

4. Houston Astros (78-45, last week: 3-4) (Prev. rank: 3)

Houston is on cruise control heading to October so there isn’t much to really look at for the ball club as they begin preparations to defend the AL pennant. However, a series loss in the World Series rematch against the Atlanta Braves certainly had people turning their heads.

3. Atlanta Braves (75-48, last week: 5-2) (Prev. rank: 4)

Atlanta did exactly what they needed to do last week with huge series wins against the Mets and the Astros. It’s looking more and more like the Braves can be the ball club with their rotation delivering better performances and their offense continuing to be explosive led by Austin Riley and Dansby Swanson. Atlanta only sits four back of the Mets with just over a month to go in the regular season.

2. New York Mets (79-44, last week: 4-4) (Prev. rank: 2)

The Mets opened the door for Atlanta to get back into the race for the NL East but can quickly end any doubt if they can manage two wins over the Yankees. Their next challenge after that comes in the form of the Los Angeles Dodgers at the end of the month that could decide the race for NL home-field advantage.

1. Los Angeles Dodgers (84-36, last week: 5-2) (Prev. rank: 1)

Like the Astros, the Dodgers are cruising into October. Their main challenges for the remainder of the regular season come in the form of a pivotal home-field advantage series for the postseason against the Mets and what to do with their wildly erratic closer in Craig Kimbrel. Dustin May returned Saturday and pitched an absolute gem to fill in for Walker Buehler, who will miss the rest of the season.