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Aug 29, 2016

Cubs lead, Jays are rising in MLB Power Rankings

The Chicago Cubs continue to lead the TSN.ca MLB Power Rankings, ahead of the Boston Red Sox and the rising Toronto Blue Jays.

Kris Bryant

The Chicago Cubs continue to lead the TSN.ca MLB Power Rankings, ahead of the Boston Red Sox and the rising Toronto Blue Jays.

With a roster getting healthy and putting up big numbers in a sweep against Minnesota, the Blue Jays climb from six to three.

Other teams rising this week include the Detroit Tigers, moving from 15 to nine, and the New York Yankees climbing from 17 to 12. On the lower end, the Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim both jump five spots to 23 and 24, respectively.

Going down the ladder this week, Cleveland Indians drop from four to eight, the Seattle Mariners slide from 10 to 16 and the Miami Marlins fall from 13 to 17.

 

 

 

Chicago Cubs

This Week: 1 | Last Week: 1 | Record: 82-47

Team Stats

  • RS
    655
  • RA
    438
  • Diff.
    +217
  • OPS
    .777
  • ERA
    3.12

Stifled by Dodgers pitching in back-to-back losses, and yet that comes with the Cubs posting a 19-6 record in August. Leading the way, Kris Bryant has a 1.209 OPS this month, with 9 HR and 21 RBI in 24 games.

Key Injuries: LF Kyle Schwarber (knee), RHP John Lackey (shoulder)

Boston Red Sox

This Week: 2 | Last Week: 3 | Record: 72-58

Team Stats

  • RS
    704
  • RA
    589
  • Diff.
    +115
  • OPS
    .815
  • ERA
    4.20

The Red Sox have lost four of the past five games, but getting Steven Wright, who has been pitching like an ace (3.18 ERA, 1.21 WHIP in 23 starts), back in the rotation moves them up a slot. It's a tight race in the American League East. 

Key Injuries: LF Andrew Benintendi (knee)

Toronto Blue Jays

This Week: 3 | Last Week: 6 | Record: 74-56

Team Stats

  • RS
    640
  • RA
    538
  • Diff.
    +102
  • OPS
    .769
  • ERA
    3.81

Coming off a sweep of Minnesota, outscoring the Twins 32-21, the Blue Jays are starting to slug like they did last season. They also got a lift this week, with Kevin Pillar and Jose Bautista both returning from the DL.
Key Injuries: None

Washington Nationals

This Week: 4 | Last Week: 2 | Record: 75-55

Team Stats

  • RS
    631
  • RA
    496
  • Diff.
    +135
  • OPS
    .762
  • ERA
    3.49

Six losses in the past eight games leaves the Nationals stumbling a bit, though it doesn't mean a whole lot for their chances in the NL East, where they lead the Marlins by eight games. One small bit of good news is that RF Bryce Harper is having his best month (1.019 OPS) since April. If he stays hot, that would help the Nats down the stretch.
Key Injuries: RHP Stephen Strasburg (elbow), RHP Joe Ross (shoulder)

Texas Rangers

This Week: 5 | Last Week: 5 | Record: 77-54

Team Stats

  • RS
    607
  • RA
    602
  • Diff.
    +5
  • OPS
    .746
  • ERA
    4.30
14-7 in the past 21 games, the Rangers are reaping the rewards of a ridiculous record (29-8) in one-run games. That's the kind of thing that regresses over time, but with a little over a month remaining in the season, there's not enough time for that to catch up with the Rangers by season's end. 
Key Injuries: RHP Colby Lewis (lat), DH Prince Fielder (neck), RF Shin-Soo Choo (forearm), RHP Lucas Harrell (groin)
Los Angeles Dodgers

This Week: 6 | Last Week 8 | Record: 73-57

Team Stats

  • RS
    585
  • RA
    516
  • Diff.
    +69
  • OPS
    .731
  • ERA
    3.74

Even with a lot of injuries to their starting rotation, the Dodgers have won six of eight, with series victories over the Giants and Cubs. At the same time, it's curious that they would upset the apple cart by trading veteran C A.J. Ellis to Philadelphia for veteran C Carlos Ruiz. Undoubtedly, Ruiz has the better bat, but if it comes at the cost of a better relationship with Dodgers pitchers, then that might come back to bite the Dodgers.
Key Injuries:  LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (shoulder), RHP Brandon McCarthy (hip), RHP Alex Wood (elbow), LHP Clayton Kershaw (back), LHP Brett Anderson (hand), LHP Scott Kazmir (neck)

San Francisco Giants

This Week: 7 | Last Week: 7 | Record: 71-59

Team Stats

  • RS
    586
  • RA
    524
  • Diff.
    +62
  • OPS
    .738
  • ERA
    3.73

The Giants have been stumbling in the second half, even when their top four starters (Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, Matt Moore and Jeff Samardzija) have a respectable 3.84 ERA since the All-Star break.

Key Injuries: RHP Matt Cain (back), RHP Jake Peavy (back)

Cleveland Indians

This Week: 8 | Last Week: 4 | Record: 73-56

Team Stats

  • RS
    632
  • RA
    544
  • Diff.
    +88
  • OPS
    .762
  • ERA
    3.84

With five losses in six games, the Indians are leaving a door open for challengers in the AL Central. The Tigers and Royals are 4.5 and 5.5 games back, respectively, but the Tribe's bats have gone cold. Aside from scoring 12 runs in their one win over the past six games, Cleveland managed to score just three runs in their five losses.
Key Injuries: LF Michael Brantley (shoulder), C Yan Gomes (shoulder)

Detroit Tigers

This Week: 9 | Last Week: 15 | Record: 69-61

Team Stats

  • RS
    602
  • RA
    584
  • Diff.
    +18
  • OPS
    .762
  • ERA
    4.22

Had won five straight before suffering back-to-back losses. The emergence of young starting pitchers Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris, who have a combined 2.61 ERA while making a total of 11 starts since the All-Star break.

Key Injuries: RHP Mike Pelfrey (back), RHP Jordan Zimmermann (lat), 3B Nick Castellanos (hand)

Houston Astros

This Week: 10 | Last Week: 11 | Record: 68-62

Team Stats

  • RS
    593
  • RA
    551
  • Diff.
    +42
  • OPS
    .742
  • ERA
    3.99

7-2 in the past nine games, the Astros have moved to within three games of a wild card spot, but there are seven AL teams within 3.5 games of those two playoff berths, so it's a crowded competition.
Key Injuries: 3B Luis Valbuena (hamstring), RHP Lance McCullers (elbow)

Baltimore Orioles

This Week: 11 | Last Week: 9 | Record: 71-59

Team Stats

  • RS
    615
  • RA
    604
  • Diff.
    +11
  • OPS
    .772
  • ERA
    4.48

Baltimore's pitching has been a big enough problem this season that they can hardly afford to have their staff ace hit the DL during the stretch run. With a 13-19 record in the past 32 games, the Orioles are fighting uphill to stay in the playoff picture.
Key Injuries: RHP Chris Tillman (shoulder)

New York Yankees

This Week: 12 | Last Week: 17 | Record: 67-62

Team Stats

  • RS
    552
  • RA
    561
  • Diff.
    -9
  • OPS
    .722
  • ERA
    4.22
Carrying on the tradition of LF Shane Spencer (10 HR, 1.321 OPS in his first 27 games for the Yankees in 1998) and 1B Kevin Maas (21 HR, .902 OPS in 79 games in 1990), Yankees rookie C Gary Sanchez has crushed 11 home runs and has a 1.361 OPS in 22 games since getting called up from Triple-A, where he had 10 home runs and a .807 OPS in 71 games. The Pinstripers are 15-10 in August, surprisingly staying on the edge of the playoff hunt. 
Key Injuries: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (elbow)
St. Louis Cardinals

This Week: 13 | Last Week: 12 | Record: 68-61

Team Stats

  • RS
    641
  • RA
    562
  • Diff.
    +79
  • OPS
    .777
  • ERA
    4.01

The Cardinals are still in a wild card position in the National League, but they've lost back-to-back home series against the Mets and A's, and there are enough significant injuries to pose further problems.

Key Injuries: RHP Lance Lynn (elbow), SS Aledmys Diaz (thumb), RHP Michael Wacha (shoulder), LF Matt Holliday (thumb), RHP Mike Leake (shingles)

New York Mets

This Week: 14 | Last Week: 14 | Record: 66-64

Team Stats

  • RS
    509
  • RA
    507
  • Diff.
    +2
  • OPS
    .722
  • ERA
    3.65

The Mets have won six of eight, but injuries have thinned out the starting rotation significantly.
Key Injuries: RHP Zack Wheeler (elbow), 1B Lucas Duda (back), 3B David Wright (neck), RHP Matt Harvey (shoulder), LHP Steven Matz (shoulder), LHP Jonathon Niese (knee)

Kansas City Royals

This Week: 15 | Last Week: 16 | Record: 68-62

Team Stats

  • RS
    520
  • RA
    538
  • Diff.
    -18
  • OPS
    .712
  • ERA
    4.00

Going 17-4 in the past 21 games has brought the Royals back into the playoff race. Their pitching staff has been sensational in August, posting a 2.54 ERA in 237 innings of work.

Key Injuries: LHP Jason Vargas (elbow), 3B Mike Moustakas (knee), RHP Wade Davis (forearm)

Seattle Mariners

This Week: 16 | Last Week: 10 | Record: 68-62

Team Stats

  • RS
    600
  • RA
    564
  • Diff.
    +36
  • OPS
    .753
  • ERA
    4.01

Losing five of six games puts the Mariners in a tough spot as they try to stay in the playoff mix. One positive development for them has been C Mike Zunino, who has seven home runs and a .902 OPS in 29 games since the All-Star break.
Key Injuries: RHP Nathan Karns (back)

Miami Marlins

This Week: 17 | Last Week: 13 | Record: 67-63

Team Stats

  • RS
    541
  • RA
    530
  • Diff.
    +11
  • OPS
    .730
  • ERA
    3.88

It's not altogether unpredictable that the Marlins are running into offensive troubles, losing back-to-back home series against red-hot Kansas City and - ugh! - San Diego. 

Key Injuries: 1B Justin Bour (ankle), LHP Adam Conley (finger), RF Giancarlo Stanton (groin)

Pittsburgh Pirates

This Week: 18 | Last Week: 16 | Record: 67-61

Team Stats

  • RS
    581
  • RA
    568
  • Diff.
    +13
  • OPS
    .731
  • ERA
    4.06

A four-game sweep of the Brewers keeps the Pirates in the hunt, but if staff ace Gerrit Cole keeps struggling (7.06 ERA, 1.89 WHIP in past four starts) it's going to be really hard to keep the pace.

Key Injuries: 3B Jung-Ho Kang (shoulder)

Chicago White Sox

This Week 19 | Last Week: 19 | Record: 63-66

Team Stats

  • RS
    526
  • RA
    557
  • Diff.
    -31
  • OPS
    .717
  • ERA
    4.03

The White Sox are starting to see some progress out of second-year LHP Carlos Rodon, who has a 2.43 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in six starts since the All-Star break. Combined with Chris Sale and Jose Quintana, that gives the White Sox a formidable trio at the top of the rotation.
Key Injuries: CF Austin Jackson (knee), 2B Brett Lawrie (hamstring), DH Avisail Garcia (knee), RHP Miguel Gonzalez (groin)

Colorado Rockies

This Week: 20 | Last Week: 20 | Record: 62-68

Team Stats

  • RS
    686
  • RA
    674
  • Diff.
    +12
  • OPS
    .794
  • ERA
    4.92

New closer Adam Ottavino has been impressive since getting over Tommy John surgery, allowing one run in 18 2/3 innings (0.48 ERA, 0.80 WHIP). 
Key Injuries: SS Trevor Story (thumb), RHP Tyler Chatwood (back)

Tampa Bay Rays

This Week: 21 | Last Week: 23 | Record: 55-74

Team Stats

  • RS
    541
  • RA
    557
  • Diff.
    -16
  • OPS
    .736
  • ERA
    4.08

SS Brad Miller has quietly put up a monster season, with 25 home runs and a .824 OPS. Make that a monster offensive season; his fielding numbers bring down his overall contribution.
Key Injuries: RHP Alex Cobb (elbow),  LF Nick Franklin (concussion)

Cincinnati Reds

This Week: 22 | Last Week: 21 | Record: 55-74

Team Stats

  • RS
    583
  • RA
    694
  • Diff.
    -111
  • OPS
    .720
  • ERA
    4.96

Reds reliever Michael Lorenzen has been quite good (2.53 ERA, 1.03 WHIP in 32 IP), and he authored one of the most amazing stories of the season.
Key Injuries: RHP Alfredo Simon (shoulder), C Devin Mesoraco (shoulder)

Oakland Athletics

This Week: 23 | Last Week: 28 | Record: 57-73

Team Stats

  • RS
    520
  • RA
    608
  • Diff.
    -88
  • OPS
    .703
  • ERA
    4.51

Hitting a team-leading .303 with an .830 OPS, RF Danny Valencia managed to escape any kind of team discipline for slugging teammate Billy Butler.

Key Injuries: RHP Chris Bassitt (elbow), RHP Henderson Alvarez (shoulder), 2B Jed Lowrie (foot), RHP Jesse Hahn (shoulder), RHP Sonny Gray (forearm), DH Billy Butler (concussion)
 

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

This Week 24 | Last Week 29 | Record: 56-74

Team Stats

  • RS
    576
  • RA
    611
  • Diff.
    -35
  • OPS
    .730
  • ERA
    4.50

Winning four of five provides a brief relief for the Angels, but their team struggles aren't going to help the MVP case for CF Mike Trout. Right or not, voters will not be inclined to side with a player on a last-place team, especially with many other quality contenders.
Key Injuries: LHP Andrew Heaney (forearm), LHP C.J. Wilson (elbow), RHP Garrett Richards (elbow), RHP Huston Street (knee), RHP Cam Bedrosian (finger), 3B Yunel Escobar (concussion)

Milwaukee Brewers

This Week: 25 | Last Week: 24 | Record: 56-74

Team Stats

  • RS
    533
  • RA
    617
  • DIFF
    -84
  • OPS
    .729
  • ERA
    4.30

9-18 in August, the Brewers are struggling but it's not a surprise with a shaky starting pitching staff, aside from injured rookie Junior Guerra, who has a 2.93 ERA in 17 starts.
Key Injuries: RF Domingo Santana (elbow), RHP Junior Guerra (elbow)

Philadelphia Phillies

This Week: 26 | Last Week: 22 | Record: 60-70

Team Stats

  • RS
    489
  • RA
    627
  • Diff.
    -138
  • OPS
    .687
  • ERA
    4.60

The big reason that the Phillies were prepared to move out 36-year-old C Carlos Ruiz, was the emergence of Cameron Rupp, a 27-year-old who has 14 home runs and a .795 OPS in 83 games. 

Key Injuries: RHP Aaron Nola (elbow), RHP Charlie Morton (hamstring), RHP Zach Eflin (knees)

Atlanta Braves

This Week: 26 | Last Week: 30 | Record: 48-83

Team Stats

  • RS
    485
  • RA
    649
  • Diff.
    -164
  • OPS
    .681
  • ERA
    4.59
This may be his destiny, but 1B Freddie Freeman (11 HR, 1.035 OPS in 152 AB) is putting up huge second half numbers on a bad Braves team.
Key Injuries: RHP Williams Perez (shoulder), LF Mallex Smith (thumb), C A.J. Pierzynski (hamstring)
Minnesota Twins

This Week: 28 | Last Week: 26 | Record: 49-81

Team Stats

  • RS
    595
  • RA
    718
  • Diff.
    -123
  • OPS
    .743
  • ERA
    5.12
The Twins have lost 10 straight, allowing 82 runs. Even with an improved offence, they can't outhit those pitching problems.
Key Injuries: LHP Glen Perkins (shoulder), LHP Tom Milone (biceps), RHP Phil Hughes (knee), CF Danny Santana (shoulder)
Arizona Diamondbacks

This Week: 29 | Last Week: 27 | Record: 55-76

Team Stats

  • RS
    600
  • RA
    735
  • Diff.
    -135
  • OPS
    .753
  • ERA
    5.15

It doesn't matter so much for this fading Diamondbacks team, but getting CF A.J. Pollock back in the lineup ought to be a nice lift for the final month.
Key Injuries: RF David Peralta (back), SS Nick Ahmed (hip)

San Diego Padres

This Week: 30 | Last Week: 25 | Record: 55-75

Team Stats

  • RS
    561
  • RA
    626
  • Diff.
    -65
  • OPS
    .697
  • ERA
    4.48

Had lost 10 of 13 before back-to-back wins against Miami. 
Key Injuries: RHP Tyson Ross (shoulder), 2B Cory Spangenberg (quad), CF Jon Jay (forearm)

Scott Cullen can be reached at scott.cullen@bellmedia.ca