MLB Power Rankings: White Sox surging, Astros breaking down

Welcome to the fifth and final edition of RunSportBet’s MLB Power Rankings for the 2020 regular season. Here, our editors rank each team with less than two weeks to go before playoffs.

1. Los Angeles Dodgers

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
33-15 5-5 +98 1 (-)

The Dodgers remain the best team in baseball but, for the first time this season, they look beatable. The bullpen is struggling at the wrong time, as Blake Treinen and Kenley Jansen have combined to allow 13 runs on 17 hits (three home runs) over their last 11 1/3 innings. The front office opted not to upgrade at the trade deadline, so help will have to come from within.

2. San Diego Padres

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
32-17 9-1 +83 4 (+2)

The Padres secured their first winning season in a decade last weekend and will soon put an official end to their 14-year playoff drought. Deadline acquisitions Mike Clevinger and Austin Nola have lived up to the hype, while Fernando Tatis Jr. seems to get better on a daily basis. It’s going to be so much fun watching this team storm through October.

3. Chicago White Sox

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
31-16 9-1 +79 5 (+2)

It’s been a wonderful year for the White Sox, who are on the verge of a postseason berth for the first time since 2008. Perhaps nobody is savoring the success more than Jose Abreu, who’s been a rock for the franchise amid some painful seasons. Now that he’s finally playing for a contender, Abreu’s morphed into a legitimate MVP candidate with a remarkable 2020 campaign.

4. Tampa Bay Rays

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
30-17 5-5 +40 2 (-2)

The Rays were the first American League team to win 30 games despite losing some of their best pitchers – particularly their elite relievers – to injury this season. Though Brandon Lowe has cooled off, Willy Adames is proving he’s not just a glove-first shortstop. By wRC+, Adames ranks behind only Tim Anderson, Trea Turner, Tatis, and Corey Seager among qualified shortstops.

Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty

5. Oakland Athletics

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
30-18 6-4 +56 3 (-2)

Oakland will have to chase a World Series title without star third baseman Matt Chapman, who was lost to a season-ending hip injury over the weekend. He’s the heartbeat of the Athletics, and winning it all without him is going to prove rather difficult, especially with the likes of Marcus Semien (.671 OPS) and Khris Davis (two home runs) struggling.

6. Minnesota Twins

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
30-19 7-3 +46 8 (+2)

Josh Donaldson is bringing rain to the Twin Cities since returning from a calf injury earlier this month. He owns an .844 OPS, and it feels like he’s only getting started as the playoffs draw closer. That’s huge for the Twins, who are still chasing the White Sox for the AL Central title.

7. Atlanta Braves

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
28-20 5-5 +44 9 (+2)

Braves hitters have mashed 35 homers so far in September; that includes nine from Adam Duvall and six each from Ronald Acuna Jr., Freddie Freeman, and Marcell Ozuna. Comparatively, the Arizona Diamondbacks have hit 39 homers all year. Preventing runs is what’s holding this team back, though. With breakout ace Max Fried sidelined due to injury, all eyes turn to veteran left-hander Cole Hamels, who’s slated to return this week.

8. Cleveland Indians

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
26-21 3-7 +31 6 (-2)

Cleveland traded away Clevinger and still maintains what is likely the best starting staff in baseball. Shane Bieber is putting the finishing touches on a Cy Young campaign and should also receive MVP consideration, while Zach Plesac, Carlos Carrasco, and Aaron Civale continue to dominate behind him. The lineup could still use some extra punch, though, and it isn’t coming from Josh Naylor. He’s slashing .147/.194/.147 with no extra-base hits in 11 games since joining the team.

9. Chicago Cubs

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
28-20 5-5 +29 11 (+2)

Alec Mills was an unexpected hero Sunday by throwing the 16th no-hitter in franchise history to help further cement the Cubs’ lead atop the NL Central. The club faces tough matchups against the Indians, Twins, and White Sox to wrap up the season, though, so there isn’t room to breathe just yet.

10. New York Yankees

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
26-21 5-5 +26 7 (-3)

The Yankees looked in danger of falling out of the postseason hunt when they dropped to .500 at the hands of the division-rival Toronto Blue Jays. But New York has since gone on a five-game winning streak and is set to welcome back both Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge. Gerrit Cole is fresh off of his first start without giving up a home run and has allowed just one earned run on six hits and three walks while striking out 19 in his 13 innings pitched since the beginning of September.

Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty

11. Toronto Blue Jays

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
26-20 6-4 +8 12 (+1)

Toronto enters the final stretch in second place in the AL East and is boosted by the returns of Bo Bichette and Ken Giles. Though the postseason is nearly assured barring a cataclysmic collapse, the Blue Jays will get to test their mettle against a suddenly surging Yankees team seven more times before the regular season concludes.

12. Houston Astros

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
23-24 2-8 +5 10 (-2)

Houston is in danger of dropping out of the playoff hunt after falling below .500 with Sunday night’s loss to the Dodgers. The Astros are 4-10 in September, but six games against the lowly Texas Rangers, three against the Diamondbacks, and another trio against the Seattle Mariners could be enough to secure their spot in the postseason.

13. Miami Marlins

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
24-21 7-3 -22 17 (+4)

Somehow, the Marlins continue to make fools of their opponents. With a minus-22 run differential, they are by far the worst team to currently occupy a playoff spot in either league. It seems, though, with such little runway left, Miami will squeak into the postseason, and calling up rookie right-hander Sixto Sanchez has paid huge dividends toward manifesting this Cinderella season. Sanchez has authored a 1.69 ERA, striking out 29 and walking over his first five career starts.

14. St. Louis Cardinals

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
21-21 4-6 +26 13 (-1)

The Cardinals hold a playoff spot and have games in hand due to their COVID-19 outbreak. St. Louis still has four more makeup doubleheaders down the stretch, and those contests will end up deciding whether it crashes the postseason party. Cardinals pitchers have managed a 3.87 ERA in September – the seventh-best mark in the majors – but there are serious concerns about whether the group can hold up with such a compact schedule.

15. Cincinnati Reds

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
23-26 6-4 -19 16 (+1)

The Reds have fallen in the playoff race despite a dynamite starting rotation, and Sonny Gray’s injury will hurt their attempt to make a final push for the eighth seed. It’s a disappointment for a team that spent lavishly over the winter and may lose ace Trevor Bauer this offseason, but if Cincinnati can squeak into the playoffs, it has a roster capable of making noise.

16. Philadelphia Phillies

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
23-23 4-6 -2 14 (-2)

A seven-game series against the Marlins should have been huge for the Phillies, who are looking to prove they’re a legitimate postseason threat. Instead, Miami took five of those affairs and Philadelphia is now 1 1/2 games back of the second-place division rival. Rhys Hoskins is on the injured list, J.T. Realmuto is sidelined for at least a couple games, and Zack Wheeler suffered a freak fingernail injury. The Phillies may have to settle for seventh place – at best – once the playoffs roll around.

17. San Francisco Giants

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
23-24 5-5 -3 19 (+2)

It seemed for some time that the Giants were putting together a Cinderella campaign led by Mike Yastrzemski. However, it’ll take some finesse down the stretch. The seventh- and eighth-seeds in the league are still very much up for grabs, and though the lineup is solid (it ranks seventh in the majors by wRC+), the club’s hopes fall on the shoulders of Kevin Gausman, Drew Smyly, Johnny Cueto, and any number of other starting pitchers to keep things close enough for the offense to do its thing.

18. Colorado Rockies

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
21-25 4-6 -48 15 (-3)

At 4-6 in September, the Rockies desperately need to find a groove during the final two weeks to overcome their improbable (15%) playoff odds. The good news is they wrap up their schedule with eight games against the Giants and D-Backs, against whom they’ve gone 8-4 this year. The bad news is Nolan Arenado is dealing with a shoulder injury.

Mark Brown / Getty Images Sport / Getty

19. New York Mets

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
21-26 5-5 +4 18 (-1)

The Mets are hanging by a thread after dropping two of three against Toronto over the weekend. New York leads the majors with a 123 wRC+ and is third with an .817 OPS. Though some of the malaise can be chalked up to bad luck, the rotation shoulders the bulk of the blame. If not for Jacob deGrom (1.67 ERA in nine starts), things would look much bleaker.

20. Milwaukee Brewers

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
21-25 4-6 -33 21 (+1)

Corbin Burnes has quietly put together a masterful season for the Brewers, sporting a sparkling 1.99 ERA and 0.90 WHIP over nine appearances. His brilliance might be overshadowed by Milwaukee’s inability to hit this year, though (even Christian Yelich has struggled to find his MVP form), and that’s what’s likely to doom the team’s playoff push.

21. Los Angeles Angels

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
20-28 7-3 -25 26 (+5)

Anthony Rendon has come as advertised (.289/.433/.510 with eight homers), Mike Trout remains unstoppable, and Dylan Bundy has been a surprise Cy Young candidate. And yet, the Angels are on the brink of missing the playoffs for the sixth straight year. Albert Pujols tied Willie Mays for fifth all time in home runs over the weekend, so there’s cause for some celebration, but a trip to the playoffs would certainly taste sweeter.

22. Seattle Mariners

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
22-26 6-4 -44 28 (+6)

Don’t look now, but the Mariners are only 1 1/2 games back of the Astros for second place in the AL West and – by virtue of this year’s playoff format – the No. 6 seed. It’s still very unlikely they’ll snap the longest active postseason drought in major North American sports, but this is 2020. Can we really count them out in a year like this?

23. Baltimore Orioles

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
21-26 5-5 -5 23 (-)

It was a heck of a run while it lasted. Fresh off of a 14-1 drubbing of the Braves, it’s still not good news overall for the Orioles, who have a 0.5% chance of making the playoffs, according to FanGraphs. The wheels seemed to fall off when breakout outfielder Anthony Santander went down with an injury. Austin Hays rejoined the team over the weekend, so we’ll see if he and Ryan Mountcastle have enough pop to carry Baltimore to an improbable finish.

24. Kansas City Royals

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
20-28 6-4 -21 25 (+1)

Brady Singer, who flirted with a no-hitter against the Indians last week, continues to show incredible progression at the major-league level. Among pitchers with at least 100 batted-ball events this year, Singer ranks ninth in suppressing barrels by both Barrels/PA and Barrels/BBE. By the former, he’s just ahead of NL Cy Young front-runner Trevor Bauer, and, by the latter, he’s ahead of White Sox ace Lucas Giolito. That’s some impressive company for the rookie.

Maddie Meyer / Getty Images Sport / Getty

25. Washington Nationals

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
17-28 5-5 -21 22 (-3)

Talk about a World Series hangover. Losing Stephen Strasburg to injury hasn’t helped, but neither has a relatively human Max Scherzer. “Mad Max” owns a pedestrian 4.04 ERA and 1.40 WHIP, both of which would be his worst marks since 2011.

26. Detroit Tigers

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
20-26 3-7 -58 20 (-6)

Though hopes of a surprise postseason berth have dwindled thanks to a 3-7 run, Tigers fans finally got a real glimpse of why the future is bright from rookie Casey Mize’s most recent outing. He carried a no-hitter into the sixth and struck out five over 5 1/3 innings.

27. Arizona Diamondbacks

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
17-31 3-7 -49 24 (-3)

The D-Backs have been an absolute disaster this season. After adding Starling Marte (who they since traded to the Marlins) and Madison Bumgarner, this team had its sights on October. They’ve hit the fewest home runs in the majors and have the third-lowest OBP (.303). However, Arizona has what looks like a potential frontline starter in Zac Gallen (9.90 K/9, 3.15 ERA), so it’s not all bad.

28. Boston Red Sox

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
17-31 5-5 -72 27 (-1)

This season could not have gone worse for the Red Sox. Boston’s 6.12 ERA is the worst in baseball, and though the offense has been more middling than truly bad, it hasn’t been enough to make up for the porous pitching staff. Still, Alex Verdugo continues to impress (.311/.369/.506) and rookie Bobby Dalbec has mashed six homers in 12 games. With money to spend and Chris Sale returning, the Red Sox could be back on the right path as soon as next year.

29. Texas Rangers

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
17-30 4-6 -73 30 (+1)

It’s actually a shame the Rangers haven’t been able to have fans in attendance for their inaugural season at Globe Life Field, because the club is somehow 13-13 at home despite a dismal 17-30 record. Collectively, the team’s position players have accrued an astounding minus-2.1 WAR, according to FanGraphs. That stands as the 11th-worst WAR total by an offense since integration.

30. Pittsburgh Pirates

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
14-32 3-7 -80 29 (-1)

Another miserable season in Pittsburgh got a small ray of sunshine when top prospect Ke’Bryan Hayes finally got the call. Hayes has looked at home so far, posting a .994 OPS with 11 hits and five runs scored in his first nine games. At least Pirates fans will be able to enjoy his development down the stretch.