Skip to content

MLB Power Rankings: How things look entering final stretch

Julian Catalfo / theScore

Welcome to the eighth and final edition of theScore's MLB Power Rankings for the 2023 regular season. The last edition ran Sept. 4.

1. Atlanta Braves

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change)
96-53 5-5 +219 1 (-)

The Braves' run of NL East dominance continues after they clinched a division crown for the sixth consecutive season. General manager Alex Anthopoulos deserves huge credit for not allowing the departure of Freddie Freeman to hurt the team. His trade for Matt Olson was brilliant, with the slugger setting the franchise record for home runs in his second season in Atlanta. The Braves are certainly the team to beat in October.

2. Los Angeles Dodgers

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change)
91-57 7-3 +185 2 (-)

The Dodgers claimed their 10th NL West title in 11 years, but there are serious questions around their starting pitching heading into the postseason. Los Angeles' starters rank 19th in ERA in September and Walker Buehler is not walking through that door. Clayton Kershaw has thrown just 26 innings since Aug. 10, while Lance Lynn has a 7.71 ERA this month. The Dodgers will hope rookies Gavin Stone, Bobby Miller, and Ryan Pepiot can deliver under the bright lights.

3. Baltimore Orioles

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change)
93-56 5-5 +122 3 (-)

Break out the Dong Bong. The Orioles are postseason-bound for the first time since 2016, and it feels like this club is only getting started. Baltimore takes a two-game lead over the Rays for the AL East crown into the final two weeks of the season and also holds the tiebreaker. The franchise has won the division just once (2014) in the last 25 seasons.

4. Tampa Bay Rays

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change)
92-59 7-3 +196 4 (-)

Tampa Bay's bullpen is peaking at the right time. Rays relievers own an MLB-best 1.36 ERA in September and have struck out 82 across 59 2/3 innings. Colin Poche, Jake Diekman, Kevin Kelly, Shawn Armstrong, and Robert Stephenson have yet to allow an earned run over a combined 35 2/3 innings this month. Meanwhile, closer Pete Fairbanks has 21 strikeouts and one walk over 9 2/3 innings.

Stacy Revere / Getty Images Sport / Getty

5. Milwaukee Brewers

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change)
84-65 7-3 +55 8 (+3)

The Brewers really nailed the trade deadline. Veteran acquisitions Mark Canha and Carlos Santana have been excellent for the club. Canha has four home runs, 18 RBIs, and a team-leading 1.046 OPS in 24 games over the last month, while Santana has four homers, 13 RBIs, and a .875 OPS in 23 games in that same time. Milwaukee looks poised to win a second division title in three years.

6. Philadelphia Phillies

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change)
81-68 4-6 +72 6 (-)

Philadelphia looks postseason-bound and, if things go well in the wild-card round, is on a collision course with the Braves in the NLDS. But in order to get there, the club really needs its rotation to get it together. Aaron Nola has a 8.56 ERA over his last three starts. Taijuan Walker has a 7.27 ERA over his last three starts. Zack Wheeler served up six runs over seven innings in his last outing against the Braves. Even an offense as loaded as the Phillies might not be enough to overcome those pitching results.

7. Houston Astros

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change)
84-66 5-5 +123 7 (-)

The Astros are lucky they won't face the A's or Royals should they reach the postseason. During a time when Houston should have been stretching its lead in the AL West, the reigning champs shockingly dropped four of six games to the MLB bottom-feeders last week. The team's starting pitching has really struggled of late, as Framber Valdez is the only starter with an ERA under 5.40 in September.

8. Texas Rangers

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change)
82-67 6-4 +151 9 (+1)

Texas hammered Toronto in a four-game sweep and followed that up by getting swept in a three-game set with Cleveland. Still, Corey Seager has been absolutely incredible this year. The Rangers shortstop is slashing .337/.399/.651 with 31 homers and 41 doubles despite being limited to 106 games. Now that he's a qualified hitter, he's second in the majors with a 1.050 OPS.

9. Toronto Blue Jays

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change)
83-67 6-4 +60 11 (+2)

The roller-coaster ride continues in Toronto. After a deflating four-game home sweep at the hands of the Rangers, the Blue Jays rebounded against the Red Sox. There is just no figuring this team out. Blue Jays fans need to buckle up, embrace the chaos, and hope the Blue Jays can do enough to squeeze into the postseason when it's all said and done. It won't be easy, as Toronto has the hardest schedule remaining of any AL team.

Ron Schwane / Getty Images Sport / Getty

10. Minnesota Twins

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change)
79-71 6-4 +90 12 (+2)

Is Royce Lewis the greatest grand-slam hitter of all time? The 24-year-old blasted his fourth grand slam of the season Friday to set the Twins' single-season record despite appearing in just 54 games. In 12 career plate appearances with the bases loaded, he's hitting .546/.583/2.220 and has made as many outs in that situation as hit grand slams.

11. Seattle Mariners

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change)
81-68 3-7 +92 5 (-6)

The Mariners have fallen back a bit after a scintillating August helped them climb back into the postseason picture. The recent performance of right-hander George Kirby is a reason for some concern. Kirby owns a 6.46 ERA in September and has allowed at least three runs in each of his last five starts. Seattle controls its own fate with 10 of its final 13 games against either the Rangers or Astros.

12. Arizona Diamondbacks

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change)
79-72 6-4 -26 14 (+2)

The Diamondbacks sent a message, taking a pair of series from the Cubs over the past two weeks. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Tommy Pham have both produced at the plate of late. However, the D-Backs need Corbin Carroll and Christian Walker to do the same. Carroll has posted a .610 OPS over the last two weeks, while Walker has just one extra-base hit and a .400 OPS over that time.

13. Chicago Cubs

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change)
78-72 2-8 +86 10 (-3)

The Cubs have struggled of late, losing both series to the Diamondbacks in a crucial matchup of NL wild-card contenders. One bright spot has been the recent performance of outfielder Seiya Suzuki. The 29-year-old is hitting .354 with five home runs and 17 RBIs over his last 17 games. A strong finish for Suzuki could go a long way to helping ensure the Cubs emerge from a crowded pack to secure a postseason berth.

14. Cincinnati Reds

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change)
78-73 5-5 -42 16 (+2)

After getting shelled in his first two starts following a return from injury, Reds right-hander Hunter Greene has settled in nicely of late. Greene has allowed just three earned runs in his last three starts, racking up 21 strikeouts in 12 innings over that span. With rookie Andrew Abbott struggling, Greene's re-emergence has come at a very opportune time for Reds manager David Bell.

Sarah Stier / Getty Images Sport / Getty

15. New York Yankees

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change)
76-74 6-4 -13 17 (+2)

Gerrit Cole looks to finally be closing in on his first Cy Young after finishing runner-up in 2021 and 2019. The right-hander owns a 1.50 ERA across three starts this month and leads the AL in ERA and innings pitched, while sitting third in both WHIP and strikeouts. The Yankees have had just one Cy Young winner (Rogers Clemens in 2001) since 1979.

16. Miami Marlins

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change)
78-72 6-4 -37 18 (+2)

The Marlins need to figure out a way to navigate the absence of reigning NL Cy Young winner Sandy Alcántara as he deals with a UCL sprain. Left-hander Braxton Garrett has been effective of late, posting a 0.93 ERA over his last two starts. The Marlins need Eury Pérez and Jesús Luzardo to step up and help anchor the rotation if Miami is going to sneak into the postseason.

17. San Francisco Giants

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change)
76-74 6-4 -14 15 (-2)

The Giants swept a three-game series with the Rockies earlier this month only to drop three of four in Colorado over the weekend. San Francisco squandered a huge opportunity to grab a hold of that final wild card and has made things plenty difficult over the next two weeks. The schedule doesn't get any easier, as the Giants finish with the Diamondbacks (two games), Dodgers (seven), and Padres (three).

18. Boston Red Sox

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change)
74-76 2-8 +11 13 (-5)

The Red Sox are crawling to the finish line. Chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom was fired after four seasons and the club is flirting with consecutive last-place finishes in the AL East for the first time since 2014-15. Boston's offense has essentially disappeared of late, with the team going 22-for-132 (.167) with runners in scoring position over the last 12 games, and an excruciating 6-for-71 (.084) over its last six.

19. San Diego Padres

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change)
72-78 6-4 +77 20 (+1)

Manny Machado had a lot to say about why the Padres were so disappointing this season, but the finger should be pointed at him. After finishing runner-up for the NL MVP last season, Machado is hitting .251/.315/.456 across 131 games. His .771 OPS is on pace to be his worst mark since 2014 with the Orioles.

Christian Petersen / Getty Images Sport / Getty

20. Cleveland Guardians

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change)
72-78 5-5 -15 19 (-1)

It might be time for Guardians fans to savor what could be the last few weeks of manager Terry Francona's storied career. Francona has dropped hints that he may be heading off into retirement at the end of the season. The three-time manager of the year owns the record for most wins in franchise history and has led Cleveland to the postseason six times since taking over in 2013.

21. New York Mets

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change)
69-80 5-5 -18 21 (-)

The impressive performance of rookie right-hander Kodai Senga has been somewhat lost in the shuffle of the Mets' disappointing campaign. Senga has a strong case for Rookie of the Year and could receive downballot NL Cy Young votes as well. The 30-year-old is 4-2 with a 2.47 ERA and 78 strikeouts over 65 2/3 innings since the All-Star break.

22. Detroit Tigers

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change)
70-79 7-3 -96 25 (+3)

The Tigers can all of a sudden pitch. After spending the bulk of the season ranked in the bottom third of the majors in most pitching categories, Detroit ranks second in ERA (2.80) and opponent batting average (.198), while sitting third in WHIP (1.05) in September. Two big reasons for the turnaround are Reese Olson (1.37 ERA in three starts this month) and Tarik Skubal (1.42 ERA in four starts).

23. St. Louis Cardinals

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change)
66-83 5-5 -78 26 (+3)

Willson Contreras is putting together a strong ending to what has at times been a turbulent first season in St. Louis. After being publicly shamed for his defensive abilities, Contreras has caught a team-leading 95 games and is putting together another solid season with the bat. He ranks fourth in the majors with a 1.226 OPS in September and is tied with Paul Goldschmidt for the club lead with a .822 OPS on the season.

24. Pittsburgh Pirates

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change)
70-80 5-5 -91 24 (-)

The future is looking bright in Pittsburgh. The Pirates are loaded with homegrown talent on both sides of the ball and positioned for the most wins in a season since 2018. The biggest offseason question will be the recovery of shortstop Oneil Cruz. The Pirates decided to shut him down after his recovery from a fractured ankle plateaued in September. Pittsburgh needs a healthy and productive Cruz if it hopes to take another step forward in 2024.

Loren Elliott / Major League Baseball / Getty

25. Los Angeles Angels

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change)
68-82 4-6 -84 23 (-2)

Mike Trout is on the IL, Anthony Rendon needed a fifth opinion to determine he had a fractured tibia, and Shohei Ohtani has been shut down for the season. It's been another disaster in Anaheim as the club is set to finish with a losing record for an eighth straight season and will head into what looks to be a transformational offseason. There's a chance the Trout-Ohtani tandem finishes without ever having a winning season.

26. Washington Nationals

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change)
66-84 3-7 -137 22 (-4)

The most important news to come in Washington this season is that Mike Rizzo will be sticking around to see the rebuild through. The architect of the 2019 World Series winner signed an extension and will have the opportunity to keep building up a young and talented roster. Hopefully the team figures things out with Stephen Strasburg's retirement and gives him the send-off he deserves.

27. Colorado Rockies

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change)
56-93 5-5 -210 28 (+1)

Colorado is playing out a fifth straight losing season, and its .376 winning percentage is the worst mark in franchise history. The Rockies, who have the fifth-most difficult schedule to finish the year, will need to go 7-6 down the stretch to avoid setting a new single-season team record for losses. Remember when Dick Monfort said in January that a .500 record was in the cards?

28. Chicago White Sox

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change)
57-93 3-7 -176 27 (-1)

It's hard to comprehend how awful Tim Anderson's season has been. Coming off back-to-back All-Star seasons, he's hit just one home run over 114 games, while slashing .245/.287/.300. Anderson's .301 batting average last season is higher than his SLG this season. It will be interesting to see if Chicago picks up his $14-million team option for 2024 or goes in a different direction.

29. Kansas City Royals

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change)
48-102 4-6 -186 30 (+1)

Bobby Witt Jr. announced his arrival as one of the game's brightest young stars. Witt is flirting with a 30-homer, 50-stolen base season, while making tremendous strides defensively. The 23-year-old improved his outs above average from the second percentile in 2022 to the 98th percentile this season.

30. Oakland Athletics

Record Last 10 RD Previous rank (change)
46-103 4-6 -316 29 (-1)

JP Sears is putting together a nice finish to his first full season. The left-hander owns a 1.59 ERA over 17 innings this month in starts against the Angels, Blue Jays and Astros. Sears has only struck out nine batters over those three outings, but it will be nice to finish this season with momentum heading into 2024.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox