It still seems we can’t go one day without a game being postponed due to a ball club having a member of the organization test positive for COVID-19. Actually it doesn’t just seem that way… Today will mark the 27th day in a row where at least one game is postponed.
Let’s look at the positive side of things, we still have baseball everyday. Whether it be your favorite team or not, sports are on television. Also, there were a few debuts for some highly anticipated, stand out prospects this weekend. See where your team ranks in ASN’s fourth MLB Power Rankings.
30. Pittsburgh Pirates (5-17) Last week: 30
There is no surprise here that the Pirates remain at the 30 spot in our power rankings. The Pirates were supposed to be a mid-early 20s ranked team all year because of the talent on offense, but this year they have been struggling… a lot. The bulk of their lineup (Gregory Polanco, Josh Bell, Colin Moran, Adam Frazier, and Bryan Reynolds are batting a combined .192 average.
29. Seattle Mariners (9-19) Last week: 29
Seattle is scratching the surface of number 30, but there were a lot of things to take into consideration compared to the Pirates. They have had a very tough schedule so far, and were able to compile a few wins against the Dodgers, Astros, and the Rockies. Pittsburgh has also played six less games.
28. Los Angeles Angels (8-19) Last week: 24
Former Orioles pitcher Dylan Bundy is having a great year for the Halos, but as for the rest of their pitching, not so much… at all. Discluding Bundy from the rotation raises the starters ERA to over 7, not good. Mike Trout is still doing Mike Trout things. He is currently tied for second in home runs with 10. The return of Anthony Rendon has also been a bright spot for the Angels. He’s batting .321, which leads the team, and already has six home runs with 16 RBIs.
27. Detroit Tigers (10-14) Last week: 20
Detroit got off to a surprising 9-5 start, but then went on a nine game skid once they had to face the top teams in the division. How about the game that broke the nine game losing streak, though. Interestingly enough, no only did that win yesterday over the Indians end that losing streak, it also ended a 20-game losing streak dating back to last season. Another huge highlight came from that game as well. Rookie Isaac Paredes, 21, hit his first career home run in GRAND fashion. Earlier in the week, 2018 number one pick Casey Mize out of Auburn University made his debut and threw seven strikeouts.
26. Baltimore Orioles (12-14) Last week: 23
Outfielder Anthony Santander is having himself a career year this season. As it stands now he is tied for second in the MLB with 25 RBIs and has hit nine home runs (tied 3rd in MLB). As of late, the Orioles have dropped seven of their last eight and the struggles for their rotation has stood out over those games. They have given up over seven runs a game during their 1-7 stretch.
25. Texas Rangers (10-15) Last week: 27
The Rangers have one of the bottom tier offenses this year and their pitching has not been able to do enough to carry them to a positive record. Second baseman Nick Solack holds the crown of batting average on the team, only .265. They did move into a new stadium this season that is much harder to get hits in, thus their struggles at the plate.
24. Boston Red Sox (9-18) Last week: 18
The Red Sox have already given up for this season, so embrace the tank. Boston traded what was one of the only bright spots in the bullpen that was having a good year, Brandon Workman, to the Phillies as well as Heath Hembree. They hope newly acquired starter Connor Seabold will make an impact whenever he makes his debut. They also added Nick Pivetta, who is really just another arm for the bullpen. After a long, nine-game losing streak, they are now on three straight wins looking for their 10th win of the year against Baltimore tonight.
23. San Francisco Giants (12-16) Last week: 28
The Giants are in last in the NL West (seventh in the west) and it will probably remain that way. But I wouldn’t call it a down year for the Giants. For them, it is more of a test run for their players because they have virtually no shot of winning the World Series anyway. Late-bloomers Donovan Solano, Austin Slater, Mike Yastrzemski, and Wilmer Flores all are having great seasons. 2019 second overall pick Joey Bart was finally called up for San Fran and has done pretty well in the few games he has played. He’s batting .286 in two games played and got his first RBI last night via a walk with the bases loaded… on a great at-bat by the way.
22. Kansas City Royals (11-15) Last week: 26
KC’s pitching this season has been surprisingly, very good. The 25-year-old pitcher Brad Keller is 3-0 and has yet to give up a run in 17.2 innings. As a team they rank number eight in ERA (3.88). If they want to rise in the rankings they need to pick up the pace at the plate to support the pitchers. To my expectation, I thought their struggles would be due to the other way around with their offense doing well and their pitching not so much, but that is not the case.
21. Miami Marlins (10-9) Last week: 19
The Marlins still have a couple of games to catch up with the rest of the ball clubs from their break due to a few positive COVID-19 tests. They went on a five game losing streak and are 3-8 in their last 11 games. They were still without a few of their key players, including Miguel Rojas, but he returned last night and didn’t disappoint hitting a homerun in his debut. He has only played four games, but look how ridiculous this line is… .643/.688/1.286/1.973.
20. New York Mets (12-14) Last week: 17
Of course. The Mets are the newest team to have games postponed due to positive tests within the organization. Their entire series coming up with the Yankees has been canceled and they will see where they are at on Aug. 25 when they are set to begin another series against the Marlins. But hey, they still rank number one in batting average in the MLB (.268) so good for them.
19. Washington Nationals (9-13) Last week: 14
I had to move the Nationals down another spot after the breaking news that just came out. Steven Straugburgh was placed on the 60-day IL and will get surgery on his right hand to deal with his carpal tunnel issue. Besides their two other all-star starters, Patrick Corbin and Max Scherzer, the pitching has not been great. Juan Soto is going off, though, piggybacking off his scorching hot finish last year. He has seven home runs in only 14 games and is hitting close to .400.
18. Philadelphia Phillies (9-13) Last week: 16
Philly is 4-7 in their last 11 games and their pitching has been struggling. In those 11 games they have given up an average of about 6.4 runs per game, and their offense has not done enough to get over that hump. Bryce Harper, though, is having a great season. Here’s what the sluggers stats are looking like: .338/.471/.676/1.147 with six home runs. They also added two arms to their bullpen, Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree, acquired from the Red Sox.
17. Arizona Diamondbacks (13-14) Last week: 22
The D-Backs had a very good looking last 11 games, not just because they went 7-4, but they played against three top 15 teams in the power rankings. They took two each from the Athletics and Rockies and swept the Padres in a three-game series. Their offense has performed great so far, especially the two Martes who are both batting over .330.
16. St. Louis Cardinals (7-8) Last week: 21
After a mini hiatus due to coronavirus, the Cardinals have looked solid in their return. They are 5-5 in 10 games since their return. Similar to the Marlins, they still have a lot of games to make up to catch up with the rest of the teams. So if the Cardinals thrive in double-headers they could make a push for the playoffs.
15. Colorado Rockies (13-13) Last week: 7
It seems the Rockies lost a bit of their fire last week. They have lost 10 of their last 12 and superstar third baseman Nolan Arenado has been in a bit of a slump. He is batting only .143 in his last seven games with one home run. Charlie Blackmon is still hitting like the baseball is a beach ball. He remains on top of the MLB in average (.417).
14. Milwaukee Brewers (11-13) Last week: 15
Christian Yelich is beginning to pick up the pace after his very slow start. In his last seven games he is batting over .300 with 3 home runs. Along with Yelich, the rest of the Brewers lineup has been struggling quite a bit as well. They rank 27 in both runs scored and batting average.
13. Cincinnati Reds (11-13) Last week: 12
Trevor Bauer has a league high ERA of .68 in 26.1 innings pitched. That’s incredible. Sonny Gray has also been great with a 2.21 ERA in 36.2 innings pitched. As for the offensive side of the ball, Nicholas Castellanos picked up right where he left off. He has nine home runs which is tied for third in the MLB. And how about Jesse Winker having a career year. In his last 15 games he is batting .432 with six home runs. He leads the Reds in batting average on the year as well (.328).
12. Toronto Blue Jays (13-11) Last week: 25
It’s a huge jump for Toronto this week and they deserve it. During last week’s rankings they were battling with the Red Sox to stay out of last place in the AL East. Now, they have jumped the Orioles for third in the AL East (fourth overall in the East). The Blue Jays have just been playing great baseball. The pitching has been great and they have some hot hitters at the plate to help support those pitchers. Bo Bichette is on a tear right now. In his last seven games he is batting .464, has a .964 slugging percentage, and has also jacked four home runs. As a team they rank fifth in total home runs.
11. Atlanta Braves (11-7) Last week: 6
The Braves pitching has struggled a bit ever since Mike Soroka was ruled out for the rest of the year. They are still doing well, though. Especially since the offense has been able to help them out for the most part. They rank six in the MLB in batting average (.258). Max Fried has stepped up in a bigger starting role now that Soroka is gone. He has a 1.32 ERA in 34 innings pitched.
10. Cleveland Indians (16-10) Last week: 9
It is amazing that the Indians can have the worst batting average in the league and make it to the top 10 in the power rankings. Their pitching has just been shutting batter down this season, and it seems that it is coming with ease. They rank second in ERA (2.79) behind the Dodgers. They have done a great job preventing the long ball as well as hits in general. Franmil Reyes has been the center point of the Indians lineup so far this year. If Fransisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez pick it up at the plate, the Indians will be very scary, much like the Dodgers.
Franmil Reyes over the damn bushes. pic.twitter.com/sFfQYSQJUl
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) August 16, 2020
9. Houston Astros (15-10) Last week: 11
Houston was on an eight game win streak before last night when the Padres spoiled it. The most notable wins came against the Rockies in a three game sweep, but besides that the other wins came from the Giants and Mariners. Jose Altuve has still yet to come out of his slump and is still performing quite poorly this season. The Astros bats in general have been more quiet than usual and their pitching has been carrying the load. They are top five in ERA and haven’t been giving up many home runs.
REDDICK CALLED GAME pic.twitter.com/WfMQhvVfrY
— Apollo Media (@ApolloHOU) August 20, 2020
8. Chicago Cubs (16-9) Last week: 3
The Cubs are not in the top 15 in either batting average or home runs hit. And as for pitching, they also could not crack the top 15 in ERA. Chicago has had a pretty light schedule so far, so they have to prove they are able to compete at a high level with the rest of the top tier teams in their division. The big three of Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo, and Kris Bryant are struggling greatly at the plate and need to pick it up soon.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 19, 2020
7. Chicago White Sox (16-11) Last week: 13
In their last six games (six-game win streak) they have a total run differential of 36 runs. They have been destroying teams and mashing home runs. They have the second most dingers in the MLB and are also ranked seventh for ERA. This is one of the better all around teams in the MLB and have a chance at a World Series this year if they keep playing like this.
Eloy Jimenez to Lake Michigan ?
— Sox On 35th (@SoxOn35th) August 22, 2020
6. San Diego Padres (15-12) Last week: 8
The San Diego… or as the great Don Orsillo calls them, the Slam Diego Padres are still the most exciting team to watch in baseball. In the four-game series against the Rangers, they hit a grand slam in each of the four games. This probably will turn out to be one of the craziest series during one of the strangest seasons. Fernando Tatis Jr. was the first to strike in the first game and it came on a 3-0 count, which upset some people. It isn’t the 1900s anymore, you are allowed to swing at a 3-0 pitch. Especially if the outcome is a grand slam.
— MLB (@MLB) August 18, 2020
5. New York Yankees (16-9) Last week: 3
The Bronx Bombers find themselves riddled with injuries once again this year, which is something you don’t want in a shortened season. As mentioned before, their depth is strong, so they have been able to hold their own and still win ball games. Luke Voit has been on a tear as of late. He has nine home runs on the year. Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, DJ LeMahieu, Zack Britton, Gleyber Torres, and James Paxton are all currently on the injured list for the Yanks.
Luke Voit now has 6 HR, 14 RBI’s and a .919 OPS in 19 games this season. The most underrated first baseman in baseball pic.twitter.com/NgIuOadRcW
— Dan Rourke (@DanAlanRourke) August 17, 2020
4. Tampa Bay Rays (17-10) Last week: 10
From down five spots last week, the Rays are now up six and move into the fourth spot on our power rankings. Tampa has won 10 of their last 12 games and the pitching has been holding it down. But, if it wasn’t for the offense supporting just as well they would not have racked up as many wins. They only allowed over 5 runs three times in those 12 games, neither were losses. Brandon Lowe has been a surprise for the Rays. he is not known as much of a power hitter, but he now has nine on the year.
Brandon Lowe – Tampa Bay Rays (9) pic.twitter.com/dK2D3A91wm
— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) August 21, 2020
3. Minnesota Twins (17-10) Last week: 5
Minnesota has the third best ERA in the league and surprisingly enough, Jose Berrios is not the stand out starter. Kenta Maeda and Randy Dobnak have a combined 1.85 ERA in 57 innings pitched. Nelson Cruz is still carrying the load on offense batting .333 with nine home runs. If the other all-stars can pick up the pace at the plate they will be dominant.
Nelson Cruz the ageless wonder
— Starting 9 (@Starting9) August 15, 2020
2. Oakland Athletics (19-8) Last week: 2
The team likely to be only the second to 20 total wins, the Athletics. The pitching has been outstanding for the A’s and also the power bats in the line up. They don’t hit too well for average, but that is not much of a problem when they average two or three home runs a game. Liam Hendriks has been phenomenal as Oakland’s closer. He already has nine saves in 14 outings.
Liam locks it down again!
— Oakland A’s (@Athletics) August 22, 2020
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (20-8) Last week: 1
How about them Dodgers? They’re doing exactly what was expected of them at the beginning of the season, domination. This team is so good that they rank first in both ERA (2.66) and runs scored (156). Put those two together and that is a very scary combination to go up against. They have also outscored their opponents by a total of 70 runs this season… the second place team has a 34 run differential.
Mowing ’em down. pic.twitter.com/0qeVsheoEn
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 22, 2020