MLB Power Rankings: The Cardinals Soar
The St. Louis Cardinals are a virtual lock for the MLB Postseason.
As August winds down, the St. Louis Cardinals are solidifying themselves as serious contenders. They are tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the most wins this month by any team in MLB. Albert Pujols and his teammates have also extended their lead from two games to six in the NL Central.
Much of the Cardinals’ success has come with the resurgence of the 42-year-old Pujols. He leads MLB with a 1.361 OPS in August. Teammates Paul Goldschmidt (1.235 OPS) and Nolan Arenado (1.177 OPS) are close behind.
The addition of lefty Jordan Montgomery at the trade deadline has also led to this epic run. In five starts with St. Louis this month, Monty has a posted a 4-0 record with a 1.76 ERA.
What’s more, the Cardinals have one of the easiest schedules remaining. According to ESPN, they are a virtual lock to make the postseason. Currently, they have a 96.6 percent chance of making the playoffs.
Before we see how the rest of the league did, understand that when preparing for the MLB Power Rankings this season, I relied on numbers. I created a spreadsheet using pitcher WAR, batter WAR, team record, and run differential. Teams with the highest combined score are ranked at the top.
Let’s look at this week’s top 10 teams.
2022 MLB Power Rankings
10. Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays have had a good month of August. After a posting a 16-8 record this month, the team is finally being represented in our MLB Power Rankings. This week, they look to cut the Yankees’ division lead, which currently stands at 8 1/2 games.
9. San Diego Padres
Since acquiring Juan Soto, the Padres have underwhelmed. They have posted an 11-12 record and lost Fernando Tatis Jr. for 80 games because he tested positive for a substance banned by MLB’s Joint Drug Agreement.
8. Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays have failed to capitalize on the New York Yankees’ poor play. Still, they have one of the best offenses in baseball, which is keeping them in our Top 10.
7. Philadelphia Phillies
Since firing Joe Girardi, the Phillies have been one of the best teams in baseball. Now that Bryce Harper is back from the Injured List, they look to retain their positioning and ride into the MLB Postseason as a Wild Card.
6. St. Louis Cardinals
With three veterans – Albert Pujols, Yadier Molina, and Adam Wainwright – reunited and a real postseason push happening, the Cardinals are the feel-good story of the year. Look for the Cardinals to ride into October ready to compete for a World Series, their first since 2011.
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The Top Five
5. Atlanta Braves
The No. 3-5 ranked teams are virtually interchangeable. In fact, only 0.027 win-percentage points separates the three. The Braves take the five-spot because they have the lowest hitter fWAR compared to the other two teams and trail the Yankees by 53 runs in run differential.
4. New York Mets
Even though the Mets have more wins than both the Braves and the Yankees, they trail their crosstown rival in hitter fWAR – 27.8 to 23.5 – and 194 to 127 in run differential. For that reason, Queens takes a back seat to the Bronx this week.
3. New York Yankees
The Yankees continue to cash in on the incredible start they had to the season. Despite posting a 21-29 record since July 1, they still have the fifth best record and second best run differential in MLB.
2. Houston Astros
The Astros are the team to beat in the American League. They are one of three teams to have at least 80 wins this season and are just behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in pitcher fWAR. What’s more, they have one of the most favorable schedules moving forward, all but securing their sixth consecutive trip to the MLB Postseason.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
Finally, the Dodgers lead the world in hitter and pitcher fWAR. They have the most wins and the best run differential in baseball. They are the team to beat. For that reason, they retain sole possession of the top spot in our MLB Power Rankings.
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