It’s Friday the 13th. What could go wrong?
The Field of Dreams Game was a lovely celebration of a terrific movie and two teams with October dreams. But it counts as only one game in the standings for both the Yankees and White Sox.
We’re now into mid-August and the playoff races are heating up. For the two teams in New York, the trends are in opposite directions.
Let’s jump into our weekly update of ESNY’s Power Rankings. Any surprises? Let us know!
1. San Francisco Giants
The Giants now hold a four-game lead on the rest of baseball for the best overall record. They continue winning games and have enjoyed consistency that other teams, including the Dodgers, have not. It’s been an impressive season in San Francisco.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers
They’re chasing the Giants, but placing Mookie Betts on the IL earlier this week doesn’t help. Trea Turner has brought new energy to their lineup.
3. Tampa Bay Rays
Tampa continues to have a strong hold on the top spot in the American League East. The separation they’ve been able to create, coupled with the Red Sox slide, has kept them well above the wild card conversation.
Couldn't write a better script. pic.twitter.com/D3I6yyzDPW
— MLB (@MLB) August 13, 2021
4. Chicago White Sox
Lance Lynn is your favorite to win the American League Cy Young Award this year. Chicago just got Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert back from injury, making their lineup as potent as any. They’re a dangerous team with good, deep pitching.
5. Houston Astros
Houston and Oakland are battling for the top spot in the AL West, but the Astros appear to be ready for a run. They’ll get Alex Bregman and Yuli Gurriel back in their lineup, helping make their lineup deeper.
6. Milwaukee Brewers
Josh Hader is back from the COVID list and the Brewers enjoyed a trip to Chicago’s North Side this week, beating up what’s left of the Cubs. They’re as much a playoff lock as the White Sox because of their terrible division.
7. Oakland A’s
A strong week for Oakland has them right back on the heels of the Astros. Starling Marte has been a terrific addition to their lineup. They’re going to make the wild card chase a tricky one for the Yankees and Blue Jays.
8. San Diego Padres
Even without Fernando Tatis Jr, the Padres have been able to be an interesting team in the wild card race. With the Giants continuing their strong play, who’s ready for a potential Padres-Dodgers wild card matchup in the National League?
9. Toronto Blue Jays
The return to Toronto has been a huge bounce for the young Blue Jays, who have won eight of their last 10 and look like they’re ready to make life hell for the Yankees and Red Sox.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) August 11, 2021
10. New York Yankees
Thursday night’s comeback was amazing… until Tim Anderson walked it off. This Yankees team has played tough while battling through injuries and distractions. And Anthony Rizzo joining the COVID list was a tough blow as the Yankees were starting to put it together. They need to get healthy and stay hot to keep up with Toronto.
11. Boston Red Sox
They still lead both the Yankees and Blue Jays in the standings, but that won’t last long if they don’t get it back on track soon. The return of Chris Sale to the rotation should provide an emotional lift to a team that needs one.
12. Seattle Mariners
Seattle is a team nobody wants to play right now. Their young players are getting comfortable in the big leagues and their future looks bright. The playoffs might not happen this year but look out if you’re in the AL West.
13. Philadelphia Phillies
Philly sprinted past the Mets this week and have taken over first place in the NL East. Bryce Harper is making a case for MVP honors and their pitching has found a good groove.
14. Atlanta Braves
The Braves are chasing the Phillies, not letting them get too comfortable in first place. Ozzie Albies continues to be a fun player to watch in their lineup and they should get some pitching help back from the IL soon.
15. Cincinnati Reds
The Reds were active at the deadline, bringing in a few pieces to help their bullpen. But they haven’t been able to make much of a dent in Milwaukee’s division lead or the wild card because the three teams in California are so good.
16. Detroit Tigers
Miguel Cabrera’s chase of 500 home runs have been fun to watch. The young arms in Detroit are coming of age this season; once Spencer Torkelson gets ready for prime time, the Tigers will be a tough match-up for teams in the American League.
17. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Shohei Ohtani is probably going to win the AL MVP this year, and rightfully so. He’s been a revelation with the bat and his arm has lived up to the hype. Their youth movement has started to pay dividends. Now if they can just get Mike Trout healthy…
18. St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals have been a huge disappointment this year after making the big trade for Nolan Arenado before the season. Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina defy their ages but the rest of the pitching staff needs help.
Tonight’s game has been postponed due to rain. It will be made up as the first game of a single admission doubleheader tomorrow, Thursday, August 12 beginning at 12:10 p.m. Game two will begin approximately 30-40 minutes after the conclusion of game one. https://t.co/MXZDsA79KD
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 12, 2021
19. New York Mets
No good news yet on Jacob deGrom and now both Javier Baez and Francisco Lindor are hurt. The offense has been tough to watch for the last two months. Can they find a spark and get back in the playoff race?
20. Cleveland Guardians
It’s been a hard year in Cleveland since the Lindor trade. But, once Lindor was gone, their expectations weren’t nearly as high as the Twins’ hopes for this season.
21. Colorado Rockies
The Rockies are 6-4 in their last 10 and the players they surprisingly kept at the deadline have been… interesting. Some of the young players they have integrated into their lineup have been good as the year has gone on as well.
22. Minnesota Twins
After trading their ace to Toronto at the deadline and Nelson Cruz to Tampa earlier, the Twins officially put the 2021 season in the books. But they have rallied to win six of their last 10. They need to figure out what the future holds for Byron Buxton, however.
23. Miami Marlins
The record doesn’t reflect it, but the Marlins are building something that could become dangerous eventually. Sandy Alcantara bounced back from a brutal start to look good in his last appearance. Their minus-17 run differential is the best in the bottom half of our power rankings.
24. Kansas City Royals
The Royals gave the Yankees more than perhaps some expected. Their lineup still has some proud veterans in it and Salvador Perez is having perhaps his best season. They have a ton of young pitching coming in the future.
25. Washington Nationals
They still have Juan Soto.
26. Chicago Cubs
Remember when they were a playoff contender… two months ago? The Cubs have won less than 25 percent of their games since throwing a combined no-hitter and DFA’d Jake Arrieta on Thursday. It’s ugly for the Cubs right now.
27. Baltimore Orioles
Chris Davis retired on Thursday, which should help the O’s financially. His contract didn’t work out at all and his body failed him at the end. But the future is bright in Baltimore. Cedric Mullins is a fun player to watch.
28. Texas Rangers
They did what they were supposed to – sell everything of value – at the deadline. The Rangers have deep pockets and could be big spenders this winter with a deep free agent class.
29. Arizona Diamondbacks
They have the worst record in baseball, but they have won more games in their last ten (two) than the team that owns dead last in this week’s power rankings. So they’ve got that going for them… which is nice.
30. Pittsburgh Pirates
Beautiful stadium. The Roberto Clemente statue is gorgeous. The bridge beyond the outfield is spectacular. The team on the field sucks.