MLB Power Rankings Post Trade Deadline

The storyline approaching the MLB trade deadline was Madison Bumgarner, but a different ace in the NL West stole the spotlight. The Arizona Diamondbacks decided to send Zack Greinke to one of the best pitching staffs in baseball, the Houston Astros. Several other teams made moves so let us recap them in the updated power rankings.

Zack Greinke (via USA News Hub)

Postseason Locks


1. Houston Astros (73-40)

The Astros added another right-hander with a sub-three earned run average to join Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander in the front of their rotation. They also added Aaron Sanchez, a once highly touted prospect with electric stuff, from Toronto in hopes that he just needs a change in scenery. The Astros did what they have done in years past, bolster an already elite roster at the deadline and secure the AL West crown in the second half.

2. Los Angeles Dodgers (75-40)

The 18-game lead the Dodgers have in the NL West is the largest division lead in the major leagues and there are no signs of it shrinking. The Dodgers own the most wins and best team ERA in baseball while NL MVP candidate Cody Bellinger is proving that his rookie season was no fluke. All cylinders are firing right now in Los Angeles, as it looks more and more like a rematch of the 2017 World Series is on its way.

3. New York Yankees (73-39)

Power, power and some more power. That has been the Yankees recipe thus far this season. We all heard manager Aaron Boone proclaim that his “guys are savages in that box” and let's face it, he was just being honest. What the Yankees lack on defense, they make up for at the plate. While Giancarlo Stanton has missed all but 9 games, it is been names like Luke Voit, DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres carrying the load and providing depth to maybe the deepest line up in the American League.

4. Minnesota Twins (70-42)

The fountain of youth has been found and it is located in downtown Minneapolis. 39-year-old Nelson Cruz leads one of baseball’s best stories and most powerful line ups with a league-leading 211 home runs, .500 slugging percentage, and .837 OPS. With Mitch Garver’s home run Wednesday against the Marlins, they are now starting four players with 20 or more homers(Garver, Rosario, Kepler, Cruz). To put in perspective, the Twins have eight hitters that would be leading the San Francisco Giants in home runs.

5. Cleveland Indians (66-46)

In a three-team trade including the Cincinnati Reds and the San Diego Padres, the Cleveland Indians acquired Yasiel Puig and 23-year-old power-hitting phenom Franmil Reyes. Reyes and Puig add a combined 49 home runs to an Indians line up that has been middle of the road. Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, and Shane Bieber have headed the pitching staff that has been the backbone of their success so far this year. Their success will continue to be vital as they just traded away their strikeout leader in Trevor Bauer.

6. Tampa Bay Rays (65-49)

Not the Astros. Not the Indians. The Tampa Bay Rays lead the American League in ERA. While Blake Snell has taken a sizeable step back from his 2018 Cy Young campaign, Charlie Morton and Yonny Chirinos have picked up the slack. 24-year-old Austin Meadows is approaching stardom as he leads the team in almost every major offensive category while the rest of the line up has been nothing to write home about. Year in and year out we see pitching defeat good hitting in October and until that changes, the Rays should not be neglected.

7. Atlanta Braves (66-48)

Atlanta baseball is back and is not going anywhere. The Braves have dominated the NL East with a balance of youth on the mound as well as at the plate. Last year Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna Jr. got Braves fans excited for the future, but Mike Soroka is proving that the future may be right now. His 2.37 ERA is second in the NL, and he looks to be improving throughout the year after giving up just ten earned runs in July.


Contenders


8. Oakland A’s (64-49)

Practically the same hungry A’s line up that was left disappointed in 2018 is back, and they have not forgotten the way last year ended. While Billy Beane was quiet at the trade deadline, his A’s team has entered the second half embarking on a familiar mission. While Khris Davis has struggled to be his usual self, Matt Chapman and Matt Olson have been stellar in the middle of their line up. Unfortunately, they will have to battle their way through the Wild Card game because the AL West title will stay in Houston.

9. Chicago Cubs (61-51)

While we may have grown accustomed to the Cubs leading the NL Central, this time it may be a product of their competition. The Cubs would not even be second in multiple other divisions. While their race with the Cardinals should be exciting down the stretch, the promising names in their starting rotation simply have not lived up to the hype. None of their front four pitchers are averaging more than five and a half innings per outing. That could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back come September.

10. Washington Nationals (59-53)

While the NL East looked to be a two-horse race, a nice month of July has surged the Nationals into the Wild Card hunt. Since June 25th, the Nationals are 22-13 and are neck and neck with the Phillies for sole possession of second in the East. Anthony Rendon has taken it upon himself to make up for the departure of Bryce Harper in the Nationals line up. If it was not for Yellich and Bellinger having historic seasons, Rendon would be the front runner for NL MVP.

11. Philadelphia Phillies (59-53)

We are far enough into the regular season that we can finally say that the hype around the Phillies did not come to fruition. Bryce Harper has not been a major disappointment, but his numbers are rather pedestrian. Their offense is not as advertised, and their starters have taken a step back across the board.

12. St. Louis Cardinals (58-53)

The Cardinals have been able to give their top-10 pitching staff just enough run support to keep pace with the Cubs in the NL Central. However, it is possible the Cardinals record makes them look much better than they are. The Cardinals team OPS of .723 is good for 23rd in the MLB. This mark falls below the two worst teams in their division, the Reds and the Pirates. As more and more stressful innings are logged on the St. Louis pitching staff it is likely that run support simply will not be enough.


The Outside Looking In


13. Boston Red Sox (60-55)

The defending champs have lost seven in a row. Unfortunately, a log jam in the Wild Card hunt will keep them out of the playoffs.

14. San Francisco Giants (56-57)

July was hot across the world, but it was unusually hot in San Francisco. One of the hottest teams in baseball is nipping at the heals of the Brewers in the Wild Card race.

15. Milwaukee Brewers (58-56)

Christian Yellich may repeat as MVP, but it most likely will not be enough to overcome their pitching woes. Still, the weakness of the NL Central has kept the Brewers hanging.

16. Texas Rangers (58-54)

Just like an old Texas western, "there ain't enough room in the AL." The depth of the American League and the strength of the AL West have all but eliminated the hopes of the Rangers even in early August.


Is there tanking in baseball?


17. New York Mets (57-56)

18. Los Angeles Angels (56-58)

19. Arizona Diamondbacks (56-57)

20. Colorado Rockies (52-60)

21. Cincinnati Reds (53-58)

22. San Diego Padres (51-60)

23. Seattle Mariners (47-67)

24. Toronto Blue Jays (46-69)

25. Chicago White Sox (50-61)

26. Pittsburgh Pirates (48-64)

27. Miami Marlins (42-69)

28. Kansas City Royals (40-74)

29. Baltimore Orioles (38-74)

30. Detroit Tigers (32-77)


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