The Washington Nationals are back at the bottom in this week’s MLB Power Rankings. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
This week’s MLB Power Rankings further separate the teams in playoff contention from those with no postseason chance.
August is nearly over and the MLB Power Rankings is far less about feel and much more about where teams actually are in the standings. There is less road for certain clubs to pull themselves together and actually make a run. While there are some good playoff races left, the number of teams with practical chances of making the postseason has slimmed down.
As we wrap up August, more teams have fallen by the wayside, and apparently didn’t have a miracle planned for 2022. Their spot in the MLB Power Rankings continues to slip as they get closer to the bottom than the top.
With a few World Series contenders swapping places this week and some others falling into the latter half, where do the 30 MLB teams rank with only a few miles of season left?
30) MLB Power Rankings: Washington Nationals
The Washington Nationals must really want to finish in last place. It’s fair enough. Doing so in the past helped them draft Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg. While not a great strategy in Major League Baseball, we all know the deal in Washington.
This is a season of the continued rebuild with a more realistic push toward tearing it all down. The Juan Soto trade made sure of it. The Nationals are debuting some of their young players and seeing what the roster could look like next season. At least they have some intention even if it means losing.
29) MLB Power Rankings: Pittsburgh Pirates
Finally, the awful Pittsburgh Pirates run-differential of -197 is catching up with them. They’ve been one of the worst teams in this statistic all year but somehow managed to have a better record than others. There’s a reason why we don’t pass judgments on teams too quickly. The MLB season is a long one.
The Pirates get the second-place loser award this week. They are also giving young players like Oneil Cruz a chance to play. Unfortunately, this is a team we have seen underperform for a good portion of the last three decades. Is this just an off-year or the continuation of a process that never seems to work?
28) MLB Power Rankings: Oakland Athletics
Don’t be fooled into thinking the Oakland Athletics are any better than the Nationals or Pirates. They’re actually right there with them. This week, however, they move ahead simply because the other two are just a little worse right now.
Things aren’t looking up for Oakland in the coming years. So much uncertainty about the franchise and few young stars give little hope for much of a future. The Athletics could even be on the move yet again. This nomad baseball organization needs to get out of Oakland. Will any city take them?
27) MLB Power Rankings: Detroit Tigers
The Detroit Tigers continue to do what they did all year. They rarely score runs and have wasted what was actually a well-built bullpen.
The Tigers are ahead in their rebuilding process compared to some other teams. They were able to debut a couple of younger players this season with mixed results. The pain of this season can go away quickly as long as their adventures next season don’t turn out as poorly as they have this year. Keep your chin up, Tigers fans. It can’t get much worse.
26) MLB Power Rankings: Cincinnati Reds
As bad as the Cincinnati Reds have been, they were able to restock the farm system and give a lot of innings to young players like Hunter Greene. Soon they could look like they did about a decade or so ago with lots of young players.
For now, it’s about trying things out. See if they can stumble onto something special or if a player belongs in a particular role. They lost the 2022 season in April. Take advantage of the team they have left on the schedule to discover a few things about what they have for 2023.