MLB Power Rankings: Astros make statement as defending champs move back into top five


No player has ever had 30 home runs and 60 stolen bases in the same season before Ronald Acuña Jr. this season and he’s up to 35 and 64. Might he go for 40 and 75? — 93-49

The Orioles only have to go 10-10 the rest of the way to finish with 100 wins. This franchise hasn’t seen a 100-win season since the year *before* a player named Cal Ripken Jr. debuted. 1 90-52

Despite having lost Shane McClanahan, Jeffrey Springs and Drew Rasmussen, the Rays still have a playoff ace. Tyler Glasnow has a 2.30 ERA in his last 12 starts. He’s struck out 101 against 15 walks in 74 1/3 innings in that span. 1 88-56

Thanks to injuries, the Julio Urías domestic violence administrative leave and other issues like whatever is going on with Clayton Kershaw (old age? dead arm?), the playoff rotation right now looks pretty awful for a team that might win 100 games. 2 87-55

The Astros have the easiest remaining schedule among AL teams, a slate that includes six games against the Royals and three against the A’s. 1 82-62

Blue Jays
Are the Jays putting it together at the right time? They’ve now won nine of their last 12 games. Of course, they’ve played the Nationals, Rockies, A’s and Royals. 4 80-63

After looking like world-beaters for a long stretch, the Mariners have now lost six of eight. The good news is there’s still time to get hot again and they remain in playoff position anyway. 2 79-64

For whatever reason (hint: There’s no reason other than haphazard circumstance), Corbin Burnes has now alternated good and bad outings his last seven starts. It’s been either at least six innings with two or fewer runs allowed or no more than six innings with at least four runs allowed. His latest was eight no-hit innings in the Bronx. Next time out, he faces the Nationals at home. Time to break the streak, I’d guess. 1 79-63

That’s now back-to-back stinkers for Seranthony Domínguez. He has a 4.25 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, four losses and eight blown saves on the season. It’s a huge concern at this point for the defending NL champs. 1 78-64

In his previous 30 games heading into Saturday, Dansby Swanson hit .174/.266/.257. He then went 2 for 5 on Saturday and Sunday was 3 for 4 with a home run. He’s a streaky hitter who gets scorching hot at times, so keep your eyes on him down the stretch. 1 77-67

Prior to September, Carlos Correa had 20 multi-hit games out of 120. In just nine September games so far, he’s collected at least two hits four times. — 75-68

Only 12 times in history has a player ever reached 25 homers and 50 stolen bases in the same season. None of them were rookies. D-Backs rookie Corbin Carroll has 24 homers and 47 steals. 2 75-69

Things are going swimmingly for the Marlins! (Sorry). The Marlins have won eight of 10 here as they push for the playoffs. They haven’t made the postseason in a full season since 2003. 4 74-69

They desperately needed that series win against the hapless A’s. Will it snap them out of this season-altering funk? We’ll find out quickly. The Rangers visit the Blue Jays for a four-game series starting Monday that could well decide the last AL wild-card team. 2 78-64

The only team with a winning record left on the Reds’ schedule is the Twins and those three games are in Cincy. That is to say that the Reds have a real chance to make an unexpected playoff run. They need to take care of business against inferior teams. 1 74-71

Red Sox
Even if they aren’t eliminated officially from the playoffs, we can safely cross the Red Sox off the list now. Through Monday they were 4.5 games out but they are now seven back with 19 to play. 3 73-70

From around the middle of July through getting swept in Wrigley, the Giants were one of the worst teams in baseball. The stretch probably ruined their season. They came home and swept the Rockies, though. Was that the beginning of a season-saving turn around or just beating up on a terrible team? 2 73-70

Jasson Domínguez became the youngest player to ever hit homers in four of his first seven games and then tore his UCL. What a bummer to get that quick tease before the hammer fell. The good news is he’s only 20 years old and there’s plenty of time for him to make good on his promise as a big leaguer. 1 71-72

Blake Snell leads the majors in walks. There has been exactly one Cy Young winner who led the majors in walks. Hall of Famer Early Winn pulled it off in 1959. 1 67-77

Anthony Rendon is doing baseball activities again, apparently. It’s a shame he had to interrupt his season-long vacation to do some actual work. 4 67-77

We might be looking at the final few weeks of Terry Francona’s managerial career. If so, what a ride it’s been and that ride will officially come to an end in Cooperstown. 3 68-76

There have only been six Pirates pitchers ever to reach 200 strikeouts in a season (Ed Morris twice, Bob Veale four times, Oliver Perez, A.J. Burnett, Francisco Liriano and Gerrit Cole). Mitch Keller has 191 strikeouts this season. And, yes, Immaculate Grid players, file this one away. 1 66-77

Too bad the schedule was changed. The Tigers are now 30-16 against fellow AL Central teams and 36-61 outside the division. 2 66-77

Francisco Lindor has 26 homers and 26 steals. Mets 30-30 players: David Wright (2007), Darryl Strawberry (1987) and Howard Johnson (1987, 1989, 1991). 2 65-77

“Where has this been all season?” St. Louis must be asking. The Cardinals just took two of three from each the Braves and Reds. 1 63-80

Jacob Young started the season playing for the Wilmington Blue Rocks in High-A. He’s now hitting over .300 in The Show. Dreams do come true! 1 64-79

White Sox
Luis Robert has 35 homers and 17 stolen bases. No White Sox player has ever hit 40 homers while stealing 20 bases. Can he make it? It could be very close. — 55-88

Since it’s September, I might as well reveal this now: Every single year in the Power Rankings comments, I have one team that is a total thorn in my side. Most teams, I already have a team comment in mind once I sit down to write these. Other times, I just need to stare at the team’s Baseball-Reference page for a minute or two before I figure out what I want to say. And there always seems to be one team that takes way too long while I can’t, for the life of me, figure out anything even remotely interesting to say. The Rockies are the champions of this category this season. Congrats, 2023 Rockies. You’ve finally won something. — 51-91

The A’s have been far too competent since June 5. They were 12-50 then. They’ve gone 32-49 since. They’re still going to blow by 100 losses, but it’s not headed toward the 120-plus it looked like for a while. — 44-99

A team started 12-50 and wasn’t the first to 100 losses. What an embarrassing season, Royals. It’s going to get worse, too. The franchise record for losses in a season is 106. This team is capable of losing at least 12 more. Maybe 15? — 44-100

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