Welcome to the latest edition of the MLB Power Rankings. We've reached the point of the season where things start to get fun when divisional races get tight.
Currently, the Los Angeles Dodgers are the most dominant team in baseball. Despite Tuesday's 5-4 loss to the Brewers, the Dodgers have won eight of their last 10 games and are barrelling towards a record lead in the division. In addition, our offensive radius gives them a rating of .646, which is suitable for about a .40 gap between L.A. and the second-best offense. That's the most significant gap we've seen since the rankings began.
The other story in baseball also comes at the top: the stumbling New York Yankees.
The only reason they haven't been surpassed in our rankings by the Houston Astros is that Dusty Baker's club is also in a bit of a slump. The Yankees have lost eight of their last 10, and their offense has been atrocious, scoring just one run in their previous three outings.
Should Yankees fans be concerned? Maybe, but their offense has been historically great at times, so I'm not quite right to tap the panic button.
Following last week's rankings, let's take a look at this fresh batch to see where all 32 teams stand:
MLB Power Rankings: Week of August 17
|Rank||Team (Radius)||Last Week's Rank||Record||World Series odds|
|1||Los Angeles Dodgers (.690)||1||80-35||+370|
|2||New York Yankees (.639)||2||72-45||+450|
|3||Houston Astros (.630)||3||75-43||+450|
|4||New York Mets (.601)||4||75-42||+500|
|5||Atlanta Braves (.601)||5||72-46||+1,000|
|6||Philadelphia Phillies (.559)||6||65-52||+3,500|
|7||St. Louis Cardinals (.537)||8||64-51||+3,000|
|8||San Diego Padres (.526)||10||65-54||+1,700|
|9||Toronto Blue Jays (.526)||7||61-54||+1,700|
|10||Milwaukee Brewers (.519)||11||62-53||+3,000|
|11||Minnesota Twins (.517)||9||61-55||+8,000|
|12||Tampa Bay Rays (.510)||13||62-53||+4,000|
|13||Seattle Mariners (.508)||12||64-54||+3,000|
|14||San Francisco Giants (.503)||14||59-57||+25,000|
|15||Cleveland Guardians (.501)||17||62-55||+7,000|
|16||Baltimore Orioles (.498)||15||61-55||+17,000|
|17||Chicago White Sox (.491)||16||61-56||+3,500|
|18||Boston Red Sox (.480)||18||58-59||+20,000|
|19||Texas Rangers (.470)||19||52-64||+200,000|
|20||Los Angeles Angels (.454)||21||51-66||+200,000|
|21||Arizona Diamondbacks (.453)||22||53-63||+200,000|
|22||Miami Marlins (.450)||20||52-65||+200,000|
|23||Chicago Cubs (.422)||23||49-67||+200,000|
|24||Colorado Rockies (.402)||24||51-67||+200,000|
|25||Cincinnati Reds (.397)||25||46-70||+200,000|
|26||Kansas City Royals (.396)||26||48-71||+200,000|
|27||Detroit Tigers (.361)||27||45-74||+200,000|
|28||Pittsburgh Pirates (.358)||28||45-71||+200,000|
|29||Oakland Athletics (.356)||29||42-75||+200,000|
|30||Washington Nationals (.344)||30||39-80||+200,000|
San Diego Padres (8)
Surprised to see the Padres here? You should be, as the Friars haven't been impressive lately. They've won just four of their last six games and haven't looked right since the monster deal for Juan Soto, Josh Bell, and Brandon Drury went down. However, with those struggles comes opportunity and value.
The Padres moved up two spots this week for multiple reasons, the main one being the weight of those acquisitions. What's holding back the Padres right now is just some poor batting luck. Over the last two weeks, they've had one of the highest differentials of actual slugging percentage to expected slugging percentage. Nevertheless, we're not expecting the Padres to struggle for much longer.
Cleveland Guardians (15)
Can the Guardians sneak up and win one of the most competitive divisions in baseball? It seems possible. Over the past few weeks, the Guardians have been as hot as anyone in baseball. They've won seven of their last 10 outings and currently hold a one-game lead in a division that seemingly changes by the day.
I still see the Twins as the eventual winner of the AL Central because of their bats. Still, Cleveland remains a legitimate threat. What makes the Guardians unique is, as a pitching staff, they've produced a better slugging percentage and a batting average against than the Twins.
However, the expected average in both categories is much bigger than the Twins, hence the gap in our Power Rankings.
Toronto Blue Jays (9)
The Jays may be the most frustrating team in baseball. There are a lot of offensive numbers out there that would suggest there's not a ton of difference between them and the New York Yankees. However, you're going to struggle at various points throughout the season, and Toronto is going through that right now. Unfortunately for the Blue Jays, they don't have the cushion in the stands that the Yankees have afforded themselves.
Beyond losing eight of their last 10, what's keeping the Jays down in our Power Rankings shouldn't surprise anyone: It's the pitching.
They've ranked below league average as a staff throughout our Power Rankings, with Yusei Kikuchi and Jose Berrios both struggling immensely. In his first season with the Blue Jays, Kikuchi has been a disaster with an ERA over 5.00. Meanwhile, Berrios currently has the worst HR/9 rate in the entire American League.
"His issues, for me, get right back to fastball location. He's just leaving too many balls in the middle of the plate."— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) August 15, 2022
Buck Martinez joined @SNJeffBlair and Kevin Barker on @FAN590 to share his thoughts on José Berríos' up-and-down season: pic.twitter.com/0c3oWsksPL
Because of their lack of rotation depth, I'm starting to have my doubts about whether they can withstand that and still make the playoffs.
Miami Marlins (22)
I think I'm good at speaking about the Miami Marlins for the rest of the season. They dropped for the third consecutive week in baseball and remained the most uninteresting team in the majors beyond ace Sandy Alcantara. There was a time when many thought the Marlins could be a sneaky team to make a playoff run, but those times are long gone.
Offensively, the Marlins rank just 27th in runs, with an ugly team slash line of .235/.298/.669.
Power Rankings methodology
Chris Hatfield's MLB Power Rankings are based heavily on the Pythagorean Theorem, pioneered by Bill James.
This process estimates the percentage of games a team should win and, therefore, where they fall in line in the MLB hierarchy. After that, he adds some secret sauce to develop a team's "radius," which includes a formula comprised of a team's collective expected ERA, run value, and wOBA, among other items.
This process not only attempts to show you how one formula views the landscape, but also which team has the best value to win the World Series vs. oddsmakers' expectations.
Through various sims, he finds the implied probability of one team achieving postseason success to help readers like yourself cash tickets. Just as importantly, Chris’ MLB Power Rankings are not a subjective list — and do not reflect odds between two teams in a given matchup.