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Power Rankings

MLB Power Rankings: Week 24

by Drew Silva
Updated On: September 21, 2022, 1:29 am ET

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Welcome to the NBC Sports EDGE MLB Power Rankings, a weekly feature that will run every Tuesday through the end of the 2022 regular season. These rankings are not fantasy-driven in any way, though I do tend to sprinkle in fantasy-relevant nuggets here and there. Who's hot, who's not, who to watch -- that sort of thing. Send any and all complaints to me on Twitter: @drewsilv.

Please believe me when I tell you that I do not hate your team.

1. Los Angeles Dodgers
Record: 102-44
Last Week: 1

Joey Gallo hit an RBI single and a mammoth solo home run as the Dodgers rolled to a 5-2 win over the Diamondbacks on Monday night in Los Angeles. Contributions from all areas of the roster -- that's how you clinch a postseason berth more than three weeks early and register a run differential of +332 through 146 games. That already ranks as the fifth-best best run differential of any MLB team since 1900, and the 2022 National League West champs still have 16 games to add to it.

2. Houston Astros
Record: 97-51
Last Week: 2

Framber Valdez set a new single-season MLB record on Sunday against the A's with his 25th consecutive quality start. Luis Garcia, Hunter Brown, and Hector Neris then combined to shut out the Rays on Monday as the Astros officially clinched another American League West title. On the offensive side, Yordan Alvarez earned AL Player of the Week honors for September 12-18 after going 13-for-25 (.520) with five homers and four doubles in a six-game span. Yeah, this team has a bit of juice.

3. New York Mets
Record: 94-55
Last Week: 3

Max Scherzer (oblique) returned to New York's starting rotation on Monday night against the Brewers and retired all 18 batters he faced across six perfect frames in what was an eventual 6-2 win over the Brewers. Before that, on Sunday versus the Pirates, Jacob deGrom, Seth Lugo, Joely Rodríguez, and Trevor May combined to tie the MLB record for most strikeouts (20) in a nine-inning game. They certainly hear the Braves sniffing, but the Mets remain the top dog in the NL East at the moment.

4. Atlanta Braves
Record: 92-55
Last Week: 4

Still chugging along and putting increased pressure on the Mets, the Braves swept the Phillies over the weekend and earned a fourth straight win on Monday with an easy 5-2 defeat of the Nationals. They are 12-4 in September and 69-28 since the beginning of June. It's a distant memory by now that the defending World Series champs started this season 23-27. Spencer Strider is the truth -- he reached 200 strikeouts on Sunday in exactly 130 innings, quicker than any pitcher in MLB history.

5. New York Yankees
Record: 88-58
Last Week: 6

Aaron Judge belted his 58th and 59th home runs of the season on Sunday as the Yankees rallied for a 12-8 win to avoid a three-game weekend sweep in Milwaukee. Judge is just two bombs away from tying Roger Maris for the all-time single-season AL home run record, and he has a legitimate shot at turning in the first Triple Crown by a Yankees player since Mickey Mantle in 1956. He needs to make up a bit more ground on Luis Arraez and Xander Bogaerts to claim the batting title.

6. St. Louis Cardinals
Record: 87-61
Last Week: 5

There were some rather glaring offensive woes in the final two games of the Cardinals' five-game weekend series against the visiting Reds, but they did ultimately win three of five and are currently up 8 1/2 games on the Brewers for the National League Central title. Up next is a West Coast road trip through San Diego and Los Angeles. Albert Pujols is sitting on 698 career home runs and boasts a .306/.370/.667 batting line across his last 165 plate appearances dating back to July 10.

7. Toronto Blue Jays
Record: 83-64
Last Week: 8

With six straight series wins and an overall 13-5 record so far in September, the Blue Jays have vaulted to the very top of the AL Wild Card standings. They're also technically still alive in the AL East race at 5 1/2 games back of the first-place Yankees, who will be traveling to Toronto for a three-game set next week. Bo Bichette has been right in the thick of this surge, sporting a massive .440/.482/.867 slash line with 17 extra-base hits and 23 RBI in 18 games since the calendar flipped from August.

8. Seattle Mariners
Record: 81-65
Last Week: 7

Logan Gilbert recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts and Carlos Santana slugged a grand slam as the Mariners exploded for a 9-1 over the Angels on Monday to avoid what would have been a brutal four-game sweep. Gilbert now has a 0.78 ERA and 34/5 K/BB ratio through 23 innings (four starts) here in September. Santana, meanwhile, is up to 14 home runs and 36 RBI through 64 games with Seattle after tallying only four homers and 21 RBI across his first 52 games this year with Kansas City.

9. Tampa Bay Rays
Record: 82-65
Last Week: 10

Shane McClanahan will get ball Tuesday in the middle game of Tampa Bay's three-game series against the Astros, coming off his highly encouraging return from a left shoulder impingement last week in Toronto. If the Rays are going to advance past the Wild Card Series, their pitching needs to be firing on all cylinders. Shane Baz (elbow) is done for the year, but Tyler Glasnow (elbow) could be an option soon. He threw two perfect innings with four strikeouts on Sunday at Triple-A Durham.

10. San Diego Padres
Record: 81-66
Last Week: 11

They got shut out in the opener of a four-game weekend set at Arizona, but the Padres bounced back to win the next three by a combined score of 20-4. Juan Soto had his best day since the trade in Sunday's finale, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and a homer as part of a 6-1 victory over the host D-backs. Prior to that outburst, Soto had produced just one extra-base hit in his last 72 plate appearances. Riding newfound momentum, San Diego is a half-game up on the second NL Wild Card spot.

11. Cleveland Guardians
Record: 80-67
Last Week: 13

Despite inconsistent offensive production, the Guardians have won 12 of their last 15 games and hold a four-game lead on first place in the AL Central with only two weeks left to go. They have completely sunk the Twins in the process and can build up a fairly insurmountable lead on the second-place White Sox if they're able to keep it all working in a three-game series this week at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago. It'll be Aaron Civale vs. Dylan Cease in the opener on Tuesday night.

12. Philadelphia Phillies
Record: 80-66
Last Week: 9

Having lost four straight games -- their longest losing streak of the second half, and one away from matching their longest losing streak of the year -- the Phillies are now faced with the tall task of trying to get right this week against the red-hot Blue Jays and Braves. Philly was just swept in Atlanta this past weekend, so some amount of panic is probably valid. Adding to that: Bryce Harper's struggles. He is 8-for-51 (.157) with zero multi-hit games so far in September. Is his thumb still barking?

13. Milwaukee Brewers
Record: 78-69
Last Week: 12

It's safe to say that the NL Central crown is out of the Brewers' reach, but the NL Wild Card standings feature the tightest race on the board here on September 20. Milwaukee won two of three against the Yankees over the weekend and will welcome back Aaron Ashby to face the Mets on Tuesday night. The 24-year-old left-hander had a 2.70 ERA in his first 40 innings this season before struggling to a 5.61 ERA over his next 56 1/3 frames and then hitting the IL due to shoulder inflammation.

14. Chicago White Sox
Record: 76-71
Last Week: 14

After taking two of three at Detroit this weekend, the White Sox are now 13-6 under acting manager Miguel Cairo and have risen to a season-high-matching five games over the .500 mark. They've yet to lose a series since Tony La Russa went on medical leave in late August, and they'll have the opportunity to make up necessary ground on the AL Central-leading Guardians in a three-game set this week on the South Side of Chicago. Cleveland is currently four games up on first place.

15. Baltimore Orioles
Record: 76-70
Last Week: 15

With a record of 8-9 so far in September, and 5-9 in their last 14 games, this magical run from the Os is probably going to fall short of a postseason berth. They are five back of the Mariners for the third AL Wild Card with only about two weeks left to make up all of that ground. Grayson Rodriguez does seem to be on his way, though, even if his MLB debut comes in a relatively meaningless game. Recovered from a lat strain, the 22-year-old top prospect went five scoreless on 72 pitches last Friday at Triple-A Norfolk.

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16. Minnesota Twins
Record: 73-74
Last Week: 16

Including their 11-4 blowout loss to the Guardians on Monday afternoon, the Twins ultimately dropped seven of eight versus Cleveland over the last two weekends combined and now sit a full seven games back of first place in the American League Central standings. With no legitimate path to an AL Wild Card spot either, the competitive portion of the season is essentially over in Minnesota. This franchise hasn't won a playoff game since 2004. A long winter awaits in the Twin Cities.

17. Boston Red Sox
Record: 71-75
Last Week: 17

With his first-inning RBI double in Sunday afternoon's 13-3 rout of the visiting Royals, Xander Bogaerts became just the fourth player in Red Sox history to reach 1,400 career hits before the age of 30. The others: Carl Yastrzemski, Bobby Doerr, and Jim Rice -- all members of the Hall of Fame. The looming question now is what uniform Bogaerts will be wearing when he collects hit No. 1,500. He has three years, $60 million remaining on his current contract with Boston but can opt out come November.

18. San Francisco Giants
Record: 70-77
Last Week: 18

Maybe the Giants can get a discount in their offseason renegotiations with Carlos Rodón for allowing him to skip his scheduled Tuesday start at Coors Field due to what's been labeled as a blister and cracked fingernail. It is a real thing -- he came out after 71 pitches last Wednesday versus the Braves -- but the situation does also help preserve his numbers as he prepares to opt out and become a free agent again. Rodon, who'll instead pitch Friday at Arizona, holds a 2.84 ERA and 11.8 K/9.

19. Arizona Diamondbacks
Record: 68-79
Last Week: 19

Drey Jameson will take the mound for his second career MLB start in the nightcap of Tuesday's doubleheader at Dodger Stadium and aim to prove that his brilliant debut last Thursday against the Padres was no fluke. Jameson held San Diego to two hits and one walk over seven scoreless frames as part of a 4-0 win at Chase Field. The 25-year-old was the 34th overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft out of Ball State University and looks like another promising piece for the D-backs' youth movement.

20. Los Angeles Angels
Record: 64-83
Last Week: 20

As the Angels sputter along to their seventh straight losing season, they at least might be able to knock out Anthony Rendon's lingering five-game suspension from that brawl with the Mariners in June. Rendon was ruled out for the year when he underwent surgery two months ago on his right wrist, but he resumed on-field drills in late August and was recently cleared to take live batting practice. Owed a whopping $154.3 million between 2023-2026, he could be activated for the final week.

21. Texas Rangers
Record: 63-83
Last Week: 21

Nick Solak was officially shut down for the remainder of the season on Sunday because of a fractured right foot, and the 27-year-old might have already played his final game in a Rangers uniform given that he will be a prime non-tender candidate this winter as he reaches arbitration eligibility for the first time. Solak showed such promise when he first arrived in the majors in 2019, but he has struggled to a .246/.317/.354 batting line in 839 plate appearances since the beginning of 2020.

22. Miami Marlins
Record: 61-87
Last Week: 22

Sandy Alcantara seemed to hit a bit of a stall at the beginning of this month, but he shook off any concerns about late-season fatigue in his last turn Sunday against the Nationals, fanning seven batters across a full nine innings in a 3-1 victory for the Marlins. It was his fifth complete game of the season, and he is the first pitcher since 2017 to reach that mark. Alcantara, 27, owns an overall 2.37 ERA in an MLB-high 212 2/3 innings this year as he skates toward the 2022 NL Cy Young Award.

23. Colorado Rockies
Record: 64-83
Last Week: 24

There is growing chatter that the Rockies might call up Ezequiel Tovar at some point before the end of the regular season. The 21-year-old shortstop missed all of July and August because of a severe right groin strain, but he has slashed .320/.385/.547 with 14 home runs and 17 stolen bases in 69 games when healthy this summer between Double-A Hartford and Triple-A Albuquerque. That power and speed skillset, plus the Coors Field Effect, should make Tovar a long-term fantasy stud.

24. Chicago Cubs
Record: 62-85
Last Week: 23

They strung together four straight victories against the Mets and Rockies to open last week's slate, but the Cubs are back on a losing streak after dropping the final two games of their three-game weekend series with Colorado and then falling 10-3 to the Marlins on Monday. Frank Schwindel burst onto the scene in Chicago in the second half last year, batting .342/.389/.613 in his final 56 games. He was released on Sunday with just a .635 OPS through 75 games played in 2022.

25. Kansas City Royals
Record: 58-89
Last Week: 25

Another week, another gem from Brady Singer. The 26-year-old right-hander delivered six scoreless innings in a 9-0 victory on Saturday against the Red Sox, helping the Royals to their only win across a pair of three-game series at Minnesota and Boston. Singer is now showing a 3.07 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 136/32 K/BB ratio through 140 2/3 total innings this season with Kansas City. He's posted a 2.04 ERA and 73/19 K/BB ratio in his last 75 innings (12 starts) dating back to July 13.

26. Cincinnati Reds
Record: 58-89
Last Week: 26

It came in a late 1-0 loss to the Cardinals on Saturday night, but Hunter Greene turned in his finest performance of the season in his return from a right shoulder strain, tallying 11 strikeouts with only four hits allowed -- and zero walks -- over six scoreless frames. The hard-throwing 23-year-old right-hander has worked to a 2.15 ERA and 40/8 K/BB ratio across his last five major league starts covering 29 1/3 innings. He and Nick Lodolo can be cornerstones for the Reds' sweeping rebuild.

27. Detroit Tigers
Record: 56-91
Last Week: 27

Detroit's front office officially entered into a new era on Monday with the hiring of Scott Harris as the club's next president of baseball operations. He succeeds Al Avila, who was fired in early August amid what has been a devastating season relative to the springtime buzz that the Tigers might be poised to take a big step forward. Harris, 36, has risen from assistant general manager of the Cubs to the general manager of the Giants to now the lead decision-maker in Detroit within just four years.

28. Pittsburgh Pirates
Record: 55-92
Last Week: 28

Oneil Cruz hit a three-run homer off Jacob deGrom on Sunday as he continues to round into not only one of the most entertaining young players in the sport but also one of the most impactful. The 23-year-old has a .961 OPS through 69 plate appearances in September and a .932 OPS over his last 101 plate appearances going back to August 22. His overall slugging percentage is .468, which would be the best SLG from any Pirates shortstop since Arky Vaughn was chasing MVPs in the 1930s.

29. Oakland Athletics
Record: 53-94
Last Week: 29

Remember when this A's franchise, via the now-legendary book Moneyball by Michael Lewis, shined a light on the importance of on-base percentage? Welp. With only about two weeks left to go in the 2022 regular season, Oakland currently ranks dead-last in OBP among all 30 major league teams with a combined mark of just .280. At a sample size of more than 5,300 plate appearances. It would be the lowest on-base percentage from any MLB club since the 1965 Mets finished at .277.

30. Washington Nationals
Record: 51-96
Last Week: 30

Washington almost pulled off its first series sweep of the year this weekend against the Marlins before running into Sandy Alcantara on Sunday. Then came a 5-2 loss to the Braves on Monday, and the Nats are again at a season-worst 45 games under .500. Don't tell Joey Meneses to pack it in, though. The late-blooming 30-year-old rookie singled in each of his four at-bats Monday versus Atlanta and has 54 hits through his first 41 major league games. He's batting .325 with a .904 OPS.