Welcome to the 12th and final edition of theScore’s MLB Power Rankings for the 2018 season.

1. Houston Astros

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
89-54 7-3 3 (+2)

Alex Bregman is the team’s MVP, but it’s Tyler White who deserves a little extra recognition amid the Astros’ recent hot stretch. He wasn’t supposed to be a major component of this team but his .301/.381/.609 slash line through 49 games has forced manager A.J. Hinch’s hand. Houston’s depth is terrifying and a big reason why the Astros had won seven straight before Sunday’s loss.

2. Boston Red Sox

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
98-46 6-4 1 (-1)

J.D. Martinez became the second player in the majors to hit 40 homers in 2018 – and the fourth to reach the mark in his first season with the Red Sox – with his colossal blast over the Green Monster on Sunday. With David Price healthy and Chris Sale returning, Boston’s about to reach full strength, much to the chagrin of its rivals.

3. New York Yankees

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
89-54 5-5 2 (-1)

The Yankees have kept on rolling despite their various injuries. Home field for the AL wild-card game is now within reach, and they’re still close enough to Boston that they can make the AL East leaders sweat a bit.

4. Oakland Athletics

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
87-57 7-3 5 (+1)

The Athletics have gone from surprise wild-card hopeful to legitimate contender. Collectively, the club is batting .266/.342/.480 over the last 30 days, as Khris Davis had nine homers, jumping into the league lead, while Matt Chapman and Stephen Piscotty combined to hit 15 during that span.

5. Chicago Cubs

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
83-59 5-5 4 (-1)

Theo Epstein and Co. earned their paychecks this summer. Midseason acquisitions Cole Hamels (1.42 ERA) and Daniel Murphy (.303, 4 HRs) turned out to be exactly what the Cubs needed to get back into the NL Central driver’s seat. Expect both to pay even more dividends come October.

6. Cleveland Indians

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
81-62 5-5 7 (+1)

With the division essentially locked up, the Indians will welcome Josh Donaldson from the disabled list this week. However, that means shifting Jason Kipnis into center field, which is suboptimal for a team with Fall Classic aspirations.

7. Milwaukee Brewers

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
82-62 8-2 13 (+6)

After slipping to 13th in our last power rankings, the Brewers now hold a relatively firm grasp on the first wild-card spot, and with a series coming up at Wrigley Field, they have a legitimate shot at overtaking the Cubs for the division lead.

8. Colorado Rockies

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
78-64 6-4 9 (+1)

Trevor Story should quietly earn a handful of MVP votes when the season ends. With 25 stolen bases, he could join Jose Ramirez in the 30-30 club – something no player had accomplished since 2012.

9. Atlanta Braves

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
79-64 5-5 10 (+1)

Atlanta has managed to keep its distance from the Phillies in the NL East, and one reason for that has been the performance of Kevin Gausman, who’s gone 4-2 with a 2.32 ERA over seven starts since joining the Braves at the deadline.

10. St. Louis Cardinals

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
79-64 5-5 8 (-2)

The Cardinals’ incredible midseason turnaround hit a bit of a snag over the weekend when they suffered consecutive walk-off losses to the Tigers. They are still in a playoff position, but several teams are breathing down their necks.

11. Los Angeles Dodgers

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
78-65 6-4 12 (+1)

No Kenley Jansen, no problem. The Dodgers closer was forced to skip the weekend series against the Rockies in Denver, but L.A. still managed to win two of three to trim the NL West gap to a half-game.

12. Arizona Diamondbacks

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
76-67 3-7 6 (-6)

Brad Boxberger’s latest ninth-inning meltdown is indicative of Arizona’s bullpen struggles. Since the beginning of August, Boxberger (5.40), Archie Bradley (6.59), and Andrew Chafin (6.00) all have ERAs unbecoming of a normally shut-down relief corps.

13. Tampa Bay Rays

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
78-64 8-2 15 (+2)

The hottest team in baseball is only 7 1/2 games out of a wild-card spot, and while that may be too steep a hill to climb with the Athletics continuing to slug their way to victory, it’s been a remarkable turnaround for the bargain-basement Rays.

14. Philadelphia Phillies

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
74-68 4-6 14 (-)

The schedule isn’t doing the Phillies any favors: in the last week of the season, they have to face the division-leading Braves twice while also traveling to Colorado over the final 11 games.

15. Seattle Mariners

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
79-64 5-5 11 (-4)

The Mariners narrowly escaped falling behind the Rays in the AL wild-card standings thanks to Mitch Haniger’s remarkable diving catch for the final out against the Yankees on Sunday. But the offense has struggled throughout the second half of the season with a paltry 91 wRC+.

16. Pittsburgh Pirates

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
71-71 7-3 17 (+1)

The Chris Archer trade hasn’t quite worked out for the Pirates, who have fallen to the periphery of the wild-card race after going all-in at the deadline. Gregory Polanco’s season-ending injury might be the final blow to their fading hopes.

17. Los Angeles Angels

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
71-72 7-3 18 (+1)

The Angels have a franchise-defining offseason ahead. Mike Trout’s future will continue to be a hot topic, and if Shohei Ohtani ever wants to pitch again, he’ll need to undergo Tommy John surgery, which means missing all of 2019.

18. Washington Nationals

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
71-72 4-6 16 (-2)

The Nationals are looking ahead to 2019, and unlike previous years when ownership blamed former skipper Dusty Baker, it appears there is support for manager Dave Martinez, who will reportedly stick around as the team potentially prepares for life without Bryce Harper.

19. Minnesota Twins

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
65-77 3-7 19 (-)

After the Twins became the first team to acknowledge that service time was the reason they were keeping a player in the minors, fans have very few reasons, if any, to show up to Target Field down the stretch.

20. Toronto Blue Jays

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
65-78 5-5 21 (+1)

Rowdy Tellez made his first week in the bigs one to remember. He became only the second AL rookie since 1936 – joining Joe DiMaggio – to hit six or more doubles over a three-game span. Though he went hitless on Sunday, Tellez is slashing .444/.474/.944 with a home run and six doubles in five games since his call-up.

21. San Francisco Giants

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
68-76 1-9 20 (-1)

Things have gone sideways in San Francisco, to the point that even Madison Bumgarner was lit up for six earned runs this week. It’s just been that kind of year for the Giants.

22. New York Mets

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
65-77 7-3 23 (+1)

This Mets team may be mostly unwatchable, but Jacob deGrom takes the mound every five days and that’s at least worth tuning in for.

23. Texas Rangers

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
61-82 3-7 22 (-1)

While the end of the season is supposed to be a time for basement-dwelling teams to showcase young talent, it’s 39-year-old Adrian Beltre who’s been the Rangers’ most valuable player over the last 30 days. He’s swatted five homers to go along with an .884 OPS over that time.

24. Cincinnati Reds

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
61-83 4-6 24 (-)

The once-promising Homer Bailey is 1-14 in 20 starts with a 6.09 ERA this season. On the bright side, Luis Castillo has been sharp in the second half, posting a 3.20 ERA and 10.6 K/9.

25. San Diego Padres

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
57-88 5-5 28 (+3)

The arrival of Francisco Mejia has given Padres fans a glimpse of the future, and it looks promising. He may not be a finished product behind the dish, but the catcher’s bat certainly looks big-league ready.

26. Detroit Tigers

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
59-84 6-4 25 (-1)

Matt Boyd emerged as a legitimate starter this year and Nicholas Castellanos posted his best season at the dish. With Miggy potentially coming back, there’s still reason for Tigers fans to show up to Comerica Park, but the rebuild is on.

27. Miami Marlins

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
56-86 3-7 27 (-)

Don’t look now, but Lewis Brinson may be turning a corner. He’s batting .423 with a home run, two doubles, four RBIs, and a wRC+ of 187 in seven games. It’s a small sample size but is a positive development for a player expected to be the cornerstone of a rebuild in South Florida.

28. Chicago White Sox

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
56-87 3-7 26 (-2)

The White Sox were dealt a huge blow when star pitching prospect Michael Kopech tore his UCL. He’s expected to be out until 2020. Maybe Eloy Jimenez will be in the majors by then.

29. Kansas City Royals

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
47-95 6-4 29 (-)

Jorge Lopez, acquired in July in the Mike Moustakas trade, produced the highlight of an otherwise forgettable Royals season on Friday when he took a perfect game into the ninth inning against the Twins.

30. Baltimore Orioles

RECORD LAST 10 PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
41-102 2-8 30 (-)

As baseball’s first 100-loss team this year, the Orioles can find solace in the fact that their midseason fire sale yielded nine players who are now listed among the team’s top 30 prospects.

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)

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