Friday, August 19, 2022

MLB Power Rankings: Second half starts with a new No. 1 and four teams eyeing 100 wins

MLB Power Rankings: Second half starts with a new No. 1 and four teams eyeing 100 wins

The All-Star break is in the rear-view mirror, and the second half starts with a new team atop the rankings

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LOS ANGELES – The All-Star break is over. It’s time to start looking ahead at the latter portion of the 2022 Major League Baseball regular season. And when I look at the top of the heap, I take notice that there are currently four teams on pace to win 100-plus games. 

  • The Yankees are playing at a 113-win pace. 
  • The Dodgers are on pace to win 108. 
  • The Astros are winning at a clip that would get them to 105 wins. 
  • The Mets are on pace to win 101. And they have the fourth-best record. Remarkable. 

If we toss out 2020 — it would be very difficult to win 100 games in a 60-game season — MLB is currently on a run of four straight seasons with at least three 100-win teams. Before 2017, it had only happened five times. This season looks like it’ll be five in a row. Again, it’s remarkable. 

Should four teams get there, it would tie the 2019 season for the most ever (the Astros, Dodgers, Yankees and Twins did it that year before the Nationals won the World Series). I’m not sure it’s possible to get five there and set a new record, but for what it’s worth, the Braves are on pace to win 97 games. 

Unfortunately, the run of multiple 100-win teams is very likely a byproduct of extreme tanking — with so many teams believing you have to absolutely bottom out for around five years in order to build a good team. For now, let’s just stay positive and brush that aside, because seeing these huge win totals is still a fun point of discussion. 

Biggest Movers

Rk

Teams

 

Chg

Rcrd

1

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Dodgers

They’ve won 15 of 17 and have started to put their division away. Unfortunately, we have three division races that are already over. 1 60-30
2

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Yankees

They had lost five of seven, even dropping a series to the Reds, before outscoring the Red Sox by 24 in a pair of weekend wins. Still, I had to demote them after that terrible stretch. They’ve actually gone 6-7 in their last 13 and the Dodgers just look better right now. 1 64-28
3

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Astros

The ‘Stros lost three of their last five and dropped a home series to the pitiful A’s. The good news is the AL West is still likely over, though they’ll have to deal with the Mariners seven times before the end of this month. It would behoove them to start playing better. 59-32
4

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Mets

Taking two of three in July from a team that nearly ran you down isn’t anything like a “statement series,” but I do think it was important for them to win it. Now let’s just hope the Jacob deGrom setback was minor. 1 58-35
5

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Braves

Will they be able to pull off the top two finishers in NL Rookie of the Year voting (Michael Harris and Spencer Strider)? I think they’d be there right now. 1 56-38
6

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Rays

They’ve won 11 of their last 13 games, if we eliminate that weird, seemingly out-of-place sweep by the Reds. Regardless, the Rays are playing good ball right now and outliers happen. 5 51-41
7

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Mariners

Look at these freaking guys! Ty France told me he feels like they are simply playing to their ability. Are they *this* good? 5 51-42
8

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Blue Jays

The firing of Charlie Montoyo was obviously eye wash, but the Jays have now won five of six. There’s a bunch of talent here. They just need to play better. 5 50-43
9

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Red Sox

They hit the break as losers of six of their last seven games — and the won win came in extras. 3 48-45
10

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Padres

They’ve gone 11-18 since June 16, but they got off to such a great start they’re fine. They might think about playing better baseball at some point. Just saying it might help. 52-42
11

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Cardinals

Only a half-game back and, I think, clearly the better team of the two NL Central contenders. And Paul Goldschmidt might win MVP. 3 50-44
12

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Giants

In the first half, the Giants had four winning streaks of at least five games but also had three losing streaks of at least five games. I have come to realize trying to figure them out is fruitless. 3 48-43
13

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Brewers

Is Josh Hader broken? Seems like it. If he can’t get fixed, this team looks an awful lot different. 6 50-43
14

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Twins

So many teams that have been around the top 10 in these rankings sputtered into the break. The Twins lost seven of their last 10. 6 50-44
15

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Phillies

They’ve gone 12-8 since Bryce Harper’s injury. If they keep that up, it would be a huge win for them. Also, some idiot who does MLB Power Rankings on CBS Sports said they were buried the night Harper went down, so he would likely be eating his words and that’s always popular. 6 49-43
16

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Orioles

Only 3 1/2 games out of a wild card spot right now. Amazing. Who had Brandon Hyde as an AL Manager of the Year candidate to start the year? No, you didn’t. Liar. 46-46
17

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White Sox

After all the injuries and turmoil, the White Sox are just three games out of first place. They remain my pick to win the AL Central. 46-46
18

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Guardians

We’re gonna find out a lot about this team right out of the break. They have an 11-game road trip to Chicago (AL), Boston and Tampa Bay. 46-44
19

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Rockies

Are the Home Rockies back? I think they’re back. They’ve won 12 of their last 15 games in Coors Field. Gamblers take note. 2 43-50
20

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Marlins

Max Meyer was roughed up on his debut — it happens — but he’s potentially a frontline starter. Another one. The Marlins already have Sandy Alcantara and Pablo Lopez. They’ve gotta be able to build a winner around the rotation’s upside, right? 1 43-48
21

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Rangers

Tough to get a feel here. They were 17-10 in May, but otherwise have been pretty bad. They are a contender if they have another hot month, but that isn’t likely in the cards. 1 41-49
22

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Diamondbacks

Be honest: Had you heard of Joe Mantiply before the All-Star Game? He’s worthy of some more attention. He has 38 strikeouts and only two walks in 36 2/3 innings this year. 40-52
23

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Pirates

It’ll take time for Oneil Cruz to acclimate to the daily grind in the majors. His upside is off the charts, but right now he’s hitting .204 with a .240 on-base percentage and 38 strikeouts in 98 at-bats. Of course, he could’ve started the learning curve on Opening Day, but the Pirates just had to manipulate his service time. Sigh. 39-54
24

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Angels

Embarrassing. 39-53
25

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Reds

Remember that 3-22 start? The Reds are nearly .500 since then. Of course, they’re about to trade Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle and more. Just like their owner’s son said, though, Reds fans: Where you gonna go? 2 34-57
26

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Tigers

They won six in a row … and then lost eight of their last nine before the break. 1 37-55
27

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Royals

Dayton Moore seemed pretty mad at Whit Merrifield’s comments (essentially saying he’d get the vaccine if he played for a contender in order to go to Toronto, but he’s not on one so he didn’t want to get it). Wonder if there’s any trade value left? Because it’s Moore’s fault he didn’t deal him years ago. 1 36-56
28

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Cubs

They lost nine in a row before the win on Sunday. And they’ll probably trade their two All-Stars here in the next few weeks. Other than that, everything is great. 2 35-57
29

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Athletics

How low-rent are the A’s owners? Go find the story of how Paul Blackburn got to the All-Star Game. 32-61
30

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Nationals

They’ve lost 15 of 17 and now are dealing with Juan Soto trade rumors. Flags fly forever, though! That 2019 World Series title wasn’t that long ago. 31-63

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