Braves remain atop Power Rankings; Orioles, Rays close
The Orioles will be tested by surging Astros
Not much has changed on this week’s Our Esquina’s Power Ranking. The Braves continue to dominate as the first team to reach 70 wins.
The Braves are led by Matt Olson and Ronald Acuña Jr., who is on the quest to become the fifth player to have a 40-40 season. He has a league-leading 53 stolen bases along with 25 home runs.
Olson is on a home run frenzy. He has homered seven times in the last 10 games. His 39 home runs are one less than Shohei Ohtani. The Braves have constructed an all-around team ready to complete in the playoffs.
No. 2 Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore beat the Blue Jays and the Mets in dominant fashion. The Orioles outscored Toronto 20-8 and New York 19-6. It’s been a full team effort for the first place O’s as much of their offense has been a mixture of everyone contributing.
Anthony Santander leads the team in home runs with 20 and RBIs with 63. Austin Hays’ .287 batting average ranks first on his club. Jorge Mateo has 25 stolen bases, and Adley Rutschman’s 111 hits are the most among his teammates.
The Orioles have reached 70 wins, and this has been done without the best player early on Cedric Mullins.
No. 3. Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays, who dominated the Power Rankings early in the season, are trying to regain the top spot in the AL East. They had a good week, winning consecutive series against the Yankees and the Tigers,
Tampa Bay is 6-4 in their last 10 games and are atop of the Wild Card standings. With Baltimore’s four-game win streak the Rays are trying to stay close in the division race.
Two-run home runs by Wander Franco and Yandy Diaz were able to secure the series win in Detroit and stay only three games back from first place.
No. 4. Texas Rangers
A six-game win streak has the Rangers fourth in the Power Rankings. Texas swept both the White Sox and the Marlins at home to increase its divisional lead to 2 ½ games.
After a stint on the injured list, Rangers slugger Corey Seager did not miss a beat.
Since coming back on Aug. 2, Seager has hit three home runs in four games. He’s contributed six RBIs and has a .348 batting average.
The Rangers added Max Scherzer to bolster their team. He contributed mightily, throwing six innings, while giving up seven hits, three runs and striking out nine.
With Seager back, the Rangers are a hard team to beat.
No. 5. Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Dodgers continue to hold firm the NL West with a four-game advantage. The Dodgers were nearly perfect last week. They swept Oakland in a three-game set. Then they traveled to San Diego and took two out of three.
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The Dodgers were led by newly acquired righthander Lance Lynn, who showcased an excellent pitching performance. He threw six innings while surrendering four hits, one earned run and dishing out six strikeouts.
Lynn gave a great first impression to his new club.
The Dodgers still have one more game against San Diego and two against Arizona. These games are crucial as they try to create separation in the NL West.
No. 6. Houston Astros
The Astros remained in sixth for the third straight week. They had a good week as they swept the Guardians and split the series against the Yankees in New York.
Valdez was extraordinary as he faced the minimum, while striking out six and only allowing one walk. On the night the Astros had signed Verlander, Valdez reminded the Houston hopefuls that he is still the ace.
Verlander made his return to the Astros against the Yankees in the Bronx. While Verlander did all he could to align Houston for the win, the offense did not.
Verlander pitched seven innings, while allowing seven hits and two runs with four strikeouts. The Astros are 2 ½ games behind the first-place Rangers. They have two tough matchups against the Orioles and the Angels.
No. 7. Blue Jays, No. 8. Phillies, No. 9. Brewers, No. 10 Giants
After a brief hiccup against the Orioles, Toronto swept the Red Sox to get back on track. They hold the last spot in the Wild Card. The Phillies are working their way back to the top. They have won their way atop of the Wild Card standings.
The first-place Brewers and the Giants sum up this week’s Power Rankings.
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