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MLB Power Rankings: Glee for the Braves, American horror story for the Yankees

Fansided 8/22/2022 Tim Boyle
© Provided by Fansided

This week's MLB Power Rankings include some fans filled with glee while others checking if they're living through an American horror story.

The final full week of August baseball begins today. The MLB Power Rankings might not have had an entire shake up but a couple of the best teams definitely dropped off while some climbed closer to the top.

Late August is the finale of the dog days of summer. Kids go back to school soon. Air conditioners get taken out of the window. The sun sets a little sooner and we dread having to spend an entire afternoon picking up fall leaves.

The baseball season has plenty of games left for teams to make up ground or come tumbling down like those leaves in our backyards. In this week's MLB Power Rankings, some of the best are filled with glee while others are an obvious American horror story in the works.

30) MLB Power Rankings: Oakland Athletics

The Oakland Athletics get the privilege of being behind everyone else in this week's MLB Power Rankings. It's difficult to be critical of the players when it's clear many of them don't belong in the major leagues. Cole Irvin leads the team in innings pitched. Nobody has more plate appearances than catcher Sean Murphy whose greatest gift is his glove.

The Athletics are having a rough 2022 season and the future is so incredibly unknown that it makes sense why the fans don't even bother showing up for a game. Sports fans in Oakland are fully invested in the Golden State Warriors in the NBA. They don't even have the Raiders anymore to cleanse them of the Athletics.

29) MLB Power Rankings: Washington Nationals

This week, the Washington Nationals crawl on their elbows out from last place in the MLB Power Rankings. Rejoice. You've won something.

The Nationals aren't much better than the Athletics but at least they have some semblance of a plan in place. They have their own uncertainty with ownership. However, the fans do know they're staying put in D.C. That and not completely falling off the face of the earth after trading Juan Soto help move them up to 29.

28) MLB Power Rankings: Detroit Tigers

The American League Central race should have had four teams in it right now. Someone forgot to tell the Detroit Tigers they were meant to compete in it. A lot of the fault lies with the offense that probably won't have a single player even reach 20 home runs. Dingers aren't everything but with no other way to score runs, the Tigers have given their fans very little to cheer about.

Several of the team's pitchers, including Tarik Skubal, are now out for the season. It's like the final week of your senior year of high school and no shot at improving your grades. The Tigers laid an egg this year. In what should have been a nice change for the organization, they came up so short we have to wonder if they ever even heard the race began.

27) MLB Power Rankings: Cincinnati Reds

The Cincinnati Reds look much different today than they did a month ago. We can thank the trade deadline for that. They were wisely active and managed to turn the page on what's next for this ball club.

The 2022 season was lost early on for them. Now is their chance to sample what's in store for next year. While a couple of other losing ball clubs may have bought in that they could pull off a magic trick or should hold onto veterans, the Reds depleting everything they could. Good for them. It was the move to make.

26) MLB Power Rankings: Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates are finally beginning to have a record that fits in best with their horrible run-differential. Another lost year for this team, at least some young players are getting their feet wet.

A big story for the Pirates in the offseason might be a possible Bryan Reynolds trade. As much as he'd fit in and be a necessary player to keep around, unloading this talented center fielder for multiple pieces might be the far wiser move. Until then, try to win some games. PNC Park is much better-looking when the home team has a chance at victory.

25) MLB Power Rankings: Kansas City Royals

It seems like every week in the MLB Power Rankings one of the biggest battles is for the number 25 spot. Pick whichever team you want for this glorious placement. This week, it's the Kansas City Royals who get the nod.

What can be said about the Royals that hasn't already been said about the teams behind them? All but forgotten, the one saving grace is they can point and laugh at the Tigers.

24) MLB Power Rankings: Colorado Rockies

Nobody will ever believe you when you say the 2022 Colorado Rockies were relevant at one point. It's impossible to take it. If you've been keeping a journal, you can look back at those early days of the season when there was an outside chance they could compete.

For Colorado, it was the usual fall for the pitching staff that gave them no hope of winning. The bats haven't been bad. The starting rotation and many of the relievers have been atrocious. It's part of the dirty job of being employed by the Rockies. Where are Dante Bichette and Vinny Castilla when you need them?

23) MLB Power Rankings: Miami Marlins

The Miami Marlins are, yet again, just kind of there. Sandy Alcantara is an incredibly bright spot. It's too bad he can't pitch every game. Even if there was a potion to make it happen, you better believe ownership wouldn't spend to make it happen.

Everything that could go wrong for Miami has this year. They're working through some major injuries right now but that's not the cause of their demise. They were already a weak club only now they might sink a little further down.

22) MLB Power Rankings: Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs are actually a little more fun these days. Maybe it's the new faces or the acceptance that this year isn't going to turn out well. Whatever it is, getting to see Christopher Morel and Franmil Reyes play regularly isn't so bad.

The Cubs are still a bad team but they've reached the final stage of grief. Spoil a few seasons of teams hoping they can make it to the postseason or at least punish some old foes. Have a goal and a direction. It's something the Cubs didn't have for most of 2022.

21) MLB Power Rankings: Los Angeles Angels

Something's rotten in the state of the California. It's not the property taxes. It's the Los Angeles Angels. So much promise at the top of the roster and some fine contributions from lesser players have made for a frustrating campaign out in Orange County.

Even as Shohei Ohtani does things not seen since Tungsten Arm O'Doyle, it's a season going nowhere. They need to do something differently. Otherwise, Mike Trout might even be more unrecognizable to the average person despite his talent.

20) MLB Power Rankings: Texas Rangers

Chris Woodward and Jon Daniels lost their jobs with the Texas Rangers. Was it really their fault? The team, while vastly improved, didn't have a playoff feel to it even on Opening Day.

This is an organization in need of repair. The beautiful ballpark they play in has gone to waste since opening. The fans deserve some winning. Hopefully, for their sake, the Rangers don't just stop at big and splashy moves. They need relevant and smart ones, too.

19) MLB Power Rankings: Arizona Diamondbacks

A nice rotation and a decent bullpen were blown by the Arizona Diamondbacks offense. This was never meant to be a season of competing so there should be no tears shed about their low spot in the MLB Power Rankings.

Arizona does appear to have a plan. They have a strong farm system and some young players already contributing. Keep your fingers crossed out in the desert things work out for the best.

18) MLB Power Rankings: Boston Red Sox

No fans must be more frustrated this year than the ones who root for the Boston Red Sox. Down. Up. Down again. Make up your mind. They seem to have finally decided that it's going to be a down year. Don't be surprised if they give the fans one final run before the season concludes.

A big focus of this Red Sox season has been the future. They have a lot of free agents and an opt-out in Xander Bogaerts' contract. One could even say the injury to Chris Sale was a big enough distraction to take them down. It was a weird year in Boston for sure. Blame whoever or whatever you want. The 2022 Red Sox are forgettable.

17) MLB Power Rankings: San Francisco Giants

A new quintessential .500 team in Major League Baseball, the San Francisco Giants define mediocrity. They have an okay roster. That's it. Mathematically, they can make a run. Realistically, they're going to fall further behind.

The coming offseason could signal a change in San Francisco as they call up a couple of promising prospects but also potentially spend big in free agency. They shocked everyone in 2021 with how well they played. This year, they seemed to fool themselves into thinking it could happen again.

16) MLB Power Rankings: Baltimore Orioles

The Baltimore Orioles continue to find wins even though they were trade deadline sellers. The team doesn't have one particular attribute that makes them good but a roster full of guys with double-digit home runs definitely helps.

These Orioles players have set themselves up incredibly well to have a huge offseason. Free agent signings, trades, and maybe even a couple more promotions could all be in store for one of baseball's best stories of 2022. Good baseball has returned to Baltimore. Next year, it should be even better.

15) MLB Power Rankings: Chicago White Sox

In spite of Tony La Russa, the Chicago White Sox have hung around. If there's one club many counted out that could have a strong finish and earn themselves a division title, it's them.

As flawed as they are, the team does have Eloy Jimenez back and hitting which is huge for them. Health has been a problem for them throughout the year both on offense and for the pitching staff. If they can keep the IL as empty as possible and players like Lance Lynn and Lucas Giolito figure it out, Chicago can be one of the more dangerous teams in the postseason.

14) MLB Power Rankings: Minnesota Twins

It would be fair to drop the Minnesota Twins even further in the MLB Power Rankings this week. They're not the same team they were even a few weeks ago despite a strong showing at the trade deadline.

Although they routinely found themselves as the weakest division leader in baseball, losing their lead in the division and even getting passed hurts them immensely. The problem could lie with the pitching staff that no longer looks ready to face the best teams. Minus a superior offense, we can expect a couple of dramatic weeks in September as they attempt to claw back to the top.

13) MLB Power Rankings: Milwaukee Brewers

What are they doing? The Milwaukee Brewers had a questionable trade deadline strategy that seems to have backfired in a big way. They've slipped out from the division lead and may now need to settle for a wild card spot. The problem with that is they will have to rely on too many other teams to crash.

Frankly, the Brewers never did seem quite ready to earn their playoff spot. The offense has been unspectacular. The pitching staff, which carried them to October last year, isn't the same. The Brewers will need a nice late run but even then it might be a quick one-and-done series for them.

12) MLB Power Rankings: Tampa Bay Rays

Something about this year's Tampa Bay Rays doesn't seem right. While definitely still in the race for a wild card spot, the unorthodox strategy of winning games has had its ups and downs this year. Pitchers Shane McLanahan and Drew Rasmussen look solid but the bats rely too heavily on timely hitting.

Nothing about this year's Rays squad feels destined for the World Series. They can be a pain to some clubs down the stretch and even into the postseason. But the best clubs have a bottle of pain relievers by the bedside to get them through any pesky, annoying side effects the Rays may cause.

11) MLB Power Rankings: San Diego Padres

If you've ever swung a baseball bat so hard you fell out of your shoes, you know how the San Diego Padres are feeling. They are a completely different team after the trade deadline with additions of Juan Soto, Josh Bell, Brandon Drury, and Josh Hader leading the way. The batters they landed haven't been spectacular. The closer they added in a deal with the Brewers has been beyond bad.

Things aren't looking so hot for the Padres right now. The Fernando Tatis Jr. suspension was something they could have overcome. Instead, it may have been an unneeded distraction. They should still be able to earn themselves a playoff spot but boy is there reason to doubt them.

10) MLB Power Rankings: Cleveland Guardians

The Cleveland Guardians didn't make much of an attempt to build themselves up in the offseason nor did they have major trade deadline moves. Playing against logic, they appear to have momentum going their way in the American League Central race.

Jose Ramirez has been his usual impressive self but the Guardians are getting plenty of help from two infielders they acquired for Francisco Lindor; Andres Gimenez and Amed Rosario. With a good yet somewhat shallow rotation, a young closer they can trust in, and a few other good pieces to help them win, the Guardians are a good pick to win the division if only because the other contenders are falling.

9) MLB Power Rankings: Toronto Blue Jays

The trade deadline was a little bit of a letdown for the Toronto Blue Jays. Luckily, they had all of the tools needed to make a run. Additions of Whit Merrifield and others could pay off down the line. Lately, it's mainstays like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ensuring they go far.

If there is a doubt anyone should have left in the Blue Jays it's the rotation. Can Alek Manoah continue his successful regular season into October? The Blue Jays can overcome any questions about their pitching staff by out-slugging the opponent. They should be good. Go seal a wild card.

8) MLB Power Rankings: Philadelphia Phillies

The Philadelphia Phillies have fluctuated in the MLB Power Rankings plenty this season. The change they needed was in the manager's seat. Firing Joe Girardi kicked off a much better summer for a team short on the defensive fundamentals but spectacular in other ways.

The Phillies are known for swatting home runs yet that's not what could help them go far. They actually have a good bullpen. Their starting rotation is right there with everyone else in a short series. Don't get fooled into thinking this is the same old Phillies club from previous years. Plus, with Bryce Harper on the way back, expect them to do even more damage in the final weeks.

7) MLB Power Rankings: Seattle Mariners

It's hard to believe we're in late August and the Seattle Mariners are looking as impressive as they do. Some unexpectedly good years at the plate and a pitching staff that can compete with anyone is the reason why they should be looked at with such high regard.

There isn't one singular player carrying the Mariners although the addition of Luis Castillo at the trade deadline could be remembered as the needed spark. The Mariners never had a realistic shot at a division title this year. Thank goodness they have three wild card spots to choose from.

6) MLB Power Rankings: New York Yankees

What happened to the New York Yankees? They're looking less strong these days. Someone should check in on them and see if everything is all right.

Fortunately, the Yankees built up a strong enough lead in the American League East that they don't need to worry about missing the playoffs entirely. They're good, just not World Series-favorite good. They've fallen, been cracked, and now we wait to see how much yolk spills out.

5) MLB Power Rankings: St. Louis Cardinals

Yep, the St. Louis Cardinals move ahead of the Yankees in the MLB Power Rankings. It has only a little to do with Jordan Montgomery. Things are just going right for St. Louis.

The Cardinals managed to catch the Brewers in the standings and seem to have an infinitely greater chance than they do of winning it. They appeared lined up to face off against the third wild card team to begin the postseason. The path to the World Series isn't so difficult.

4) MLB Power Rankings: Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves know better than anyone else what it takes to win a championship. They just did it last year. With a young core in place and some big recent victories against two of the three teams ahead of them in the MLB Power Rankings this week, things are looking pretty good in Atlanta.

The Braves have proven they can be a streaky club which both works for and against a team late in the season. Given their experience and strong mix of power and pitching, fans shouldn't worry in the least bit.

3) MLB Power Rankings: New York Mets

The only way the New York Mets are winning a championship this year is if their pitching is as good as advertised. While they've suffered a few recent injuries, Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer are fully healthy. It's those two who will need to carry this club.

The Mets might not have the most dominating roster. But with a manager who knows what he's doing and some fantastic role players, they are very dangerous. Consistency is what has kept the Mets near the top of the MLB Power Rankings all year. Nothing seems to suggest they'll fall off.

2) MLB Power Rankings: Houston Astros

The American League is lonely at the top. Without a doubt, it's the Houston Astros who should be the favorite. While the National League has a few teams that could be sneaky good and knock some of the best off the pedestal, it's only the Yankees who have a chance at the Astros. However, with the history between the two, it's far more likely we see Houston come away victorious.

What isn't there to like about the Astros? They have everything needed for a championship recipe. Although the offense could use a little improvements and some might feel more secure with a more tested rotation, this is a deep ball club that can beat their opponent in a variety of ways.

1) MLB Power Rankings: Los Angeles Dodgers

Put it in ink. Etch it in stone. Seal it up. Nobody is catching the Los Angeles Dodgers this year. They'll have plenty to prove in the postseason. This is a team that has recently been dominant in the first 162 games that count but not always so in the playoffs.

The Dodgers are easily the best-rounded team in baseball. They have pitching. They have hitting. They have stars stepping up. There are plenty of guys people outside of Los Angeles have never heard of making them an absolute monster. The Dodgers could go winless for the rest of the year and still finish with an above .500 record. Get used to seeing a lot of Dodger Stadium in October. Home field is theirs.

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