Wander Franco
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

We have entered the final month of the 2021 season. 

Tab Bamford

Welcome to September, where dreams are realized and dashed just as quickly. The Mets continue to be a debacle and the Yankees are rolling toward a playoff berth. Baseball is always interesting in New York!

But the question remains: who is our No. 1 team in this week’s updated power rankings? Some teams are streaking and others are sliding the wrong direction. Is there a change at the top of our list?

Let’s jump into this week’s MLB Power Rankings.

1. Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays make the climb to the top spot this week on the back of Wander Franco’s incredible on-base streak. Reminder for fans of other AL East teams: he doesn’t turn 21 until March of next year.

2. Los Angeles Dodgers

Now the National League West division-leading Dodgers, LA moved into first place on Wednesday night and might not look back. They’ve been able to ignore the Trevor Bauer gong show and continue dominating.

3. Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers, like the White Sox, have had it on cruise control for more than a month because their division sucks. To their credit, the Brewers have continued to dominate with arguably the best rotation in the game.

4. San Francisco Giants

A .500 week from the Giants cost them the top spot in the division. If they can’t battle back and win the division, they could face a tough test in the National League wild card game.

5. Chicago White Sox

Their magic number in the division was effectively zero when the Indians traded Cesar Hernandez to them. They’re now playing for playoff positioning; if the season ended today, they would get the Astros in the first round.

6. Houston Astros

As they integrate Alex Bregman back into the lineup, Houston will look to extend their lead on Oakland in the AL West. Their lineup has been dangerous all season even with injuries to key players.

7. New York Yankees

A tough stretch of games ending their long win streak brought them back to the pack in the AL wild card race. Gerrit Cole is pitching incredibly well. Will he face Chris Sale and the Red Sox in the wild card game? We’d pay to watch that!

8. Boston Red Sox

Sale’s return from the injured list has been a huge help, but COVID is running through their roster right now. It will be interesting to watch how the Red Sox stay in the wild card race with so many players missing.

9. Seattle Mariners

The M’s are now only 1.5 games back of Oakland in the AL West and have been playing well since the trade deadline. Will their young roster catch the A’s in time to make the wild card race an issue?

10. Oakland A’s

The A’s are 3-7 in their last ten, which has opened the door for Seattle to make the division race interesting and cost them valuable ground in the AL wild card race. Can they right the ship before playoff hopes are gone?

11. Atlanta Braves

Atlanta is still on top of the National League East, but a rough series against the Yankees has allowed the Phillies to hang around. They did serious work at the trade deadline, bringing in an entirely new outfield. But Austin Riley has been the hero in their lineup this season.

12. Toronto Blue Jays

The Jays are trying to sneak up on the Red Sox and Yankees but August wasn’t nearly as kind as they would have hoped. They have an uphill climb in front of them now, and their young players will gain valuable pennant race experience with a tough schedule.

13. Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies have won six straight, taking advantage of Washington the last few days. They’ve been able to close the gap with Atlanta for the division lead. Can they overcome the loss of Rhys Hoskins and win the division?

14. Cincinnati Reds

The Reds jumped into the wild card conversation, but a sub-.500 week has hurt their control of a playoff spot. Their September schedule lines up for a good chance of making the postseason, however.

15. Cleveland Guardians

The Tribe is 7-3 in their last 10 and their young players have been better since returning from various injuries. They continue to produce elite pitching every year. It’s sad they couldn’t afford to keep Francisco Lindor long-term.

16. St. Louis Cardinals

The acquisition of Nolan Arenado was supposed to make them a bona fide threat in the National League. That hasn’t happened. But they’re close enough to Cincinnati that they could make the playoff race interesting in the season’s final month.

17. San Diego Padres

There was a time they were a lock for the playoffs. In fact, before the season started they were thought of as the only team in the NL that would push the Dodgers for the top spot. But injuries and inconsistent play have crushed them since the start of July.

18. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

They still have Shohei Ohtani, who is putting together a season we’ve never seen before. But the losses of Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon have been enormous.

19. Detroit Tigers

Their young pitching is really fun to watch, and they have a few bats in their lineup that are hard to throw against. This has been a building year in Detroit around the celebration of Miguel Cabrera reaching 500 career home runs.

20. New York Mets

What will go wrong next? They win a game, their star player and big trade deadline addition get called out by the team president and hear it from the fans for their actions and then the acting GM gets a DWI charge? Heck of a week for the Mess (intentional typo).

21. Chicago Cubs

The Cubs are .500 in their last 10 games and some of the young players they have called up to replace franchise heroes have performed well. Patrick Wisdom should be in the NL Rookie of the Year conversation.

22. Kansas City Royals

Salvador Perez is putting together what might go down as the finest offensive season for a catcher in the history of the game. Unfortunately, not much else has gone right for the Royals this season.

23. Colorado Rockies

Colorado didn’t sell at the deadline and should have; they’re going to lose Trevor Story to free agency this winter. Their front office has been a mess since the relationship with Arenado went sour. Can they get it together and build around some of their good young players?

24. Miami Marlins

They’ll celebrate their owner, Derek Jeter, being inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame next week. When their young pitching arrives, they’ll be dangerous. And Jazz Chisholm is a fun player to watch.

25. Minnesota Twins

A massive disappointment this year, the Twins are limping to the finish line. They haven’t been able to put together any sustained quality play this year and their awful record reflects that.

26. Washington Nationals

The Nationals released Starlin Castro on Thursday and made some personnel decisions in the organization based on employee vaccination status. Those are your important news items for the Nationals, winners of two in their last ten.

27. Pittsburgh Pirates

Wednesday was the 50th anniversary of the Pirates starting the first all-minority lineup in MLB history. It feels like it’s been 50 years since the Pirates were good, too.

28. Baltimore Orioles

We’re giving the Orioles a bump out of the cellar because Cedric Mullins is a stud. They’re terrible right now, but the future is coming in a big way.

29. Texas Rangers

They have deep pockets, which is good because they don’t have much at the big league level worth paying. This could be a big winter for the Rangers.

30. Arizona Diamondbacks

They’re stuck in last place in our power rankings because… well, someone had to be last. The tanking is strong in the desert.