Published On: Mon, Aug 29th, 2016

MLB Power Rankings: Blue Jays sweep into No. 4

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The Toronto Blue Jays stayed hot Sunday, completing a sweep of the Minnesota Twins and moving into a season-best fourth in our weekly power rankings.

Other notable risers include the resilient Dodgers (+2), persistent Astros (+4), and surging Yankees, while another trio of playoff hopefuls in Cleveland (-3), Seattle (-3), and Miami (-4) stumbled to this week’s biggest drops.

1. Chicago Cubs

RECORD PYTHAG RECORD PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
82-47 87-42 1 (-)

Buoyed by a 19-6 August, the Cubs are back on pace for 104 wins, thanks in large part to Kris Bryant, who’s hitting .488/.532/1.079 with seven homers and three doubles in his last ten games.

2. Washington Nationals

RECORD PYTHAG RECORD PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
75-55 79-51 2 (-)

Boasting a seemingly insurmountable lead atop the NL East, the Nationals get no sympathy for their scuffling, Stephen Strasburg-less rotation. Over the last two weeks, starters own a combined 5.77 ERA.

3. Texas Rangers

RECORD PYTHAG RECORD PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
77-54 66-65 3 (-)

Already beset by bullpen trouble – their relievers own a 4.76 ERA in August – the Rangers will now be without Jeremy Jeffress indefinitely as MLB investigates his DWI arrest from Friday.

4. Toronto Blue Jays

RECORD PYTHAG RECORD PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
74-56 75-55 5 (+1)

With a pivotal three-game series against the Orioles looming, it’s a good thing the Blue Jays’ bats have woken up, pounding out 44 runs in the last six games.

5. Los Angeles Dodgers

RECORD PYTHAG RECORD PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
73-57 72-58 7 (+2)

Corey Seager continues to bolster his case for NL MVP, Clayton Kershaw appears to be nearing a return, and the first-place Dodgers took two of three from both the Giants and Cubs this week. Things are just fine in LA.


6. Boston Red Sox

RECORD PYTHAG RECORD PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
72-58 76-54 6 (-)

Even with the offense scuffling a bit, upcoming series against the Rays, A’s, and Padres should give the Red Sox a chance to make hay before wrapping up the season with 23 straight against AL East opponents.

7. Cleveland Indians

RECORD PYTHAG RECORD PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
73-56 73-56 4 (-3)

Losers in four of their last five, the Indians have played .500 ball since the beginning of July. The vaunted pitching staff owns a 5.46 ERA and has allowed a brutal 1.63 HR/9 over the last 30 days.

8. San Francisco Giants

RECORD PYTHAG RECORD PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
71-59 72-58 8 (-)

The Giants’ staff has been superb of late, limiting opponents to two runs or fewer in five of the last eight games. Unfortunately, thanks to the offense – that before Sunday’s 13-4 shellacking of the Braves had managed a 55 wRC+ over the past week – the Giants won just three times during that span.

9. St. Louis Cardinals

RECORD PYTHAG RECORD PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
68-61 72-57 9 (-)

Despite losing Matt Holliday, the Cardinals continue to mash toward a wild-card berth. The perennial NL Central powerhouse boasts an .835 OPS with a .226 ISO over the past two weeks.

10. Baltimore Orioles

RECORD PYTHAG RECORD PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
71-59 66-64 10 (-)

With Chris Tillman out due to shoulder bursitis, the Orioles might not get another quality start until mid-September. Related: Baltimore has lost three of four, getting outscored 31-14 over that span.

11. Houston Astros

RECORD PYTHAG RECORD PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
68-62 69-61 15 (+4)

Remember Dallas Keuchel’s struggles? They’re gone. He owns a 3.10 ERA in August, gave up just two runs over seven innings Saturday, and is a big reason why the Astros have caught the Mariners for second place in the AL West.


12. Detroit Tigers

RECORD PYTHAG RECORD PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
69-61 67-63 14 (+2)

A soft week against the Twins and Angels is always fun, and Detroit used it to keep hanging with Cleveland in the AL Central. And don’t look now – another hot week could move the Tigers into a wild-card spot.

13. New York Yankees

RECORD PYTHAG RECORD PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
67-62 64-65 16 (+3)

Those “Baby Bombers” – left for dead as trade-deadline sellers – are now just 3 1/2 games back of a playoff spot, and still alive in the AL East race, too.

14. Seattle Mariners

RECORD PYTHAG RECORD PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
68-62 69-61 11 (-3)

Dropping a series to the lowly White Sox pushed the Mariners down to a tie with the Astros, and made this week’s series against the powerful Rangers that much more critical.

15. Kansas City Royals

RECORD PYTHAG RECORD PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
68-62 63-67 13 (-2)

The majors’ best team in August did a lot of that damage against the Twins, but the Royals have taken series from the Blue Jays, Tigers, Marlins, and Red Sox this month, helping prove the run is no fluke.


16. Miami Marlins

RECORD PYTHAG RECORD PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
67-63 66-64 12 (-4)

Since hit No. 3,000, Ichiro’s produced at a lowly .200/.286/.340 clip – far from what the contending Marlins need out of their replacement for Giancarlo Stanton.

17. Pittsburgh Pirates

RECORD PYTHAG RECORD PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
67-61 65-63 17 (-)

As Pittsburgh tries to keep pace in the wild-card race, the club now has to worry about ace Gerrit Cole, who’s scheduled to see an elbow specialist in Los Angeles. That’s the last thing the Pirates need.

18. New York Mets

RECORD PYTHAG RECORD PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
66-64 65-65 18 (-)

It was a good week for the up-and-down Mets, taking two of three from both St. Louis and Philadelphia. Now the Marlins await, in what could be a season-defining week.

19. Colorado Rockies

RECORD PYTHAG RECORD PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
62-68 66-64 19 (-)

Getting swept by the Brewers likely ended any hopes of “Rocktober Part 2,” though the offense might keep Colorado on the edge of the wild-card race for longer than expected.

20. Chicago White Sox

RECORD PYTHAG RECORD PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
63-66 61-68 20 (-)

A stadium name change didn’t go over that well, but Jose Quintana’s eight-strikeout outing on Saturday probably made the South Side supporters smile.

21. Philadelphia Phillies

RECORD PYTHAG RECORD PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
60-70 50-80 21 (-)

Surely Phillies fans can take solace knowing there’s a good chance this season will be the club’s most successful, record-wise, since 2012.

22. Tampa Bay Rays

RECORD PYTHAG RECORD PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
55-74 63-66 22 (-)

The Rays have been surprisingly solid since the break, playing over .500 and outscoring opponents by 58 runs. It won’t stop the team from finishing last in the East, though, for the first time since 2007.

23. Cincinnati Reds

RECORD PYTHAG RECORD PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
55-74 54-75 23 (-)

Cincinnati is 23-17 since the All-Star break, and unsurprisingly, Joey Votto is a big reason why. The Reds first baseman is hitting a jaw-dropping .431/.529/.686 with seven homers and 10 doubles in the second half.


24. Oakland Athletics

RECORD PYTHAG RECORD PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
57-73 56-74 24 (-)

The Athletics have been far more entertaining off the field, with allegations of spy cameras, financially-motivated lineup decisions, and now clubhouse brawls. These are the A’s of our lives.

25. Los Angeles Angels

RECORD PYTHAG RECORD PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
56-74 61-69 27 (+2)

The Angels have won four of five, inching closer to getting out of last place. Sadly for Mike Trout-for-MVP supporters, however, the club remains on pace for its fewest wins since 1999.

26. San Diego Padres

RECORD PYTHAG RECORD PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
55-75 59-71 25 (-1)

If there’s one stat that sums up the Padres’ struggles this season it’s this: Home to one of the most pitcher-friendly ballparks in baseball, no starter had recorded a complete game until Luis Perdomo’s gem on Sunday.

27. Milwaukee Brewers

RECORD PYTHAG RECORD PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
56-74 56-74 28 (-1)

Somehow, things could still get worse for the Brewers. After suffering a four-game sweep to the Pirates, Milwaukee now begins a 13-game stretch against St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and the Cubs.

28. Arizona Diamondbacks

RECORD PYTHAG RECORD PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
55-76 53-78 26 (-2)

Not that Zack Greinke’s been the problem this year – he hasn’t – but it’s worth noting the D-Backs’ ace is set to finish his first season in Arizona with his fewest WAR, innings pitched, and strikeouts since 2007.

29. Minnesota Twins

RECORD PYTHAG RECORD PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
49-81 54-76 29 (-)

The Twins averaged seven runs over three games in Toronto this weekend, and still got swept. Next year can’t come soon enough.

30. Atlanta Braves

RECORD PYTHAG RECORD PREVIOUS RANK (CHANGE)
48-83 48-83 30 (-)

If the Braves take two of three from the Padres, they’d finish August 13-14 – their most successful month of the season. Hey, baby steps.

*The composite rankings were compiled by theScore MLB editors Jonah Birenbaum, Lucas Casaletto, Simon Sharkey-Gotlieb, and Dan Toman.



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