MLB Power Rankings: Streaking Yankees skyrocket into top 5

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Welcome to the 11th edition of theScore's MLB Power Rankings.

1. San Francisco Giants

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
84-46 6-4 +147 1 (-)

The best team in baseball continues to fight off stiff competition to hold the NL West lead. San Francisco lost only one series in August, with 11 of its wins coming over the Brewers, Mets, Athletics, and Braves. It's outscored opponents by 30 runs, with Brandon Belt, Kris Bryant, and Mike Yastrzemski combining for 18 homers and 34 RBIs this month.

2. Tampa Bay Rays

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
82-48 9-1 +163 4 (+2)

The reigning AL champs are cementing themselves as the class of the Junior Circuit at a crucial time. They own the best wRC+ in August, led by huge contributions from Brandon Lowe, Mike Zunino, and Randy Arozarena; they've actually scored the second-most runs of any team this season next to the Astros. The pitching has looked a little shakier since losing Tyler Glasnow, but Shane McClanahan is taking strides toward becoming an ace, authoring a 2.76 ERA and 2.96 FIP over his last five starts.

3. Los Angeles Dodgers

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
82-49 7-3 +209 3 (-)

The Dodgers are 19-6 in August and have the best overall run differential in baseball. Walker Buehler and Max Scherzer have been outstanding. The former leads the majors with a 2.02 ERA and is among the NL Cy Young favorites, while the latter is 4-0 with a 1.96 FIP and 12.7 strikeouts per nine innings since joining the Dodgers at the trade deadline.

4. New York Yankees

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
76-54 8-2 +52 14 (+10)

The Yankees took the biggest jump in the rankings thanks to a 13-game winning streak, which matched the major's longest undefeated run in 2021. New York dropped two in a row since, but the club put itself in a good position to make the playoffs, occupying the top wild-card spot in the Junior Circuit. Giancarlo Stanton was a force during the hot stretch, hitting a homer in four straight to cap off the streak.

5. Houston Astros

Richard Rodriguez / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
77-53 7-3 +176 5 (-)

The Astros are back to full strength, and Alex Bregman is hitting over .300 since he returned from the injured list. But Yordan Alvarez has been the major contributor for the Astros of late, belting nine homers and adding 21 RBIs in August. Largely unknown commodities Taylor Jones and Jake Meyers have also played key roles, combining for 16 extra-base hits and 26 RBIs this month.

6. Milwaukee Brewers

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
79-52 5-5 +119 7 (+1)

It's been the same story all year for the Brewers: how far can the pitching carry them? It turns out when they're as good as Corbin Burnes and Devin Williams, you can get pretty far. The starter and reliever combined to allow five earned runs over 39 innings in August, which equates to a 1.15 ERA. They've now lifted their playoff odds to 99.9%, according to FanGraphs, and if Brandon Woodruff, Freddy Peralta, and Josh Hader are on their game, Milwaukee's postseason opponents will have their work cut out for them.

7. Chicago White Sox

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
76-56 5-5 +139 2 (-5)

The White Sox might be the only playoff lock in the AL, but it certainly isn't the right time for them to stumble. Chicago has barely played above .500 in August (15-12) including series losses to the Royals and Twins. Dallas Keuchel has been awful this month (7.43 ERA), while Michael Kopech, Liam Hendriks, and Craig Kimbrel haven't performed well out of the bullpen - 24 combined earned runs in 29 2/3 innings.

8. Atlanta Braves

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
70-59 7-3 +92 14 (+6)

The Braves stormed to the top of the NL East by winning 19 of 25 games this month. Reigning NL MVP Freddie Freeman helped the cause with 10 multi-hit games, while Austin Riley continued his breakout campaign with 21 hits in his last 12 contests for a .914 OPS in 2021. Newcomer Jorge Soler also has four homers with a .379 batting average over his last eight games.

9. Boston Red Sox

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
75-57 6-4 +63 10 (+1)

It's been a roller-coaster month for the Red Sox. They entered August with 84.3% playoff odds before plummeting to 67.5%, and now they head toward September right near 90%. A huge reason they're trending in the right direction is their hitting, which ranks second in the majors over the past month in wRC+. Hunter Renfroe, Bobby Dalbec, and Kyle Schwarber - who boasts an incredible .500 OBP and 1.081 OPS since joining Boston - have been especially impressive.

10. Cincinnati Reds

Emilee Chinn / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
71-61 6-4 +37 11 (+1)

The Reds moved ahead of the Padres into the second wild-card position thanks to a powerful month. Cincinnati leads the NL with 45 August homers, as 12 different players have gone yard this month, with Joey Votto, Jonathan India, Nick Castellanos, and Tyler Naquin all belting six or more.

11. Oakland Athletics

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
72-59 4-6 +61 6 (-5)

The Athletics responded to a six-game losing skid - which dropped them out of a wild-card spot - with two big wins against the Yankees. But Starling Marte will need to continue to be a terror with the bat and his legs if the A's want to play into October. The All-Star outfielder has a .833 OPS with 20 stolen bases in just 28 games since being dealt.

12. San Diego Padres

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
69-62 2-8 +68 9 (-3)

It's been incredibly tough sledding for the Padres, whose playoff odds shrank from 82.2% early in the month to 23%. Nothing is really going right for San Diego, but the bats have fallen particularly flat, ranking 26th in wRC+ in the month. Manny Machado, Tommy Pham, Ha-seong Kim, and deadline acquisition Adam Frazier have been the main culprits, combining to hit five homers with 67 strikeouts.

13. Seattle Mariners

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
70-61 5-5 -60 16 (+3)

The Mariners continue to be a pesky conundrum. Seattle remains in the wild-card hunt despite a minus-60 run differential. The club's bullpen is a big reason for the abnormality, accruing 5.7 WAR, which is third-best in baseball. Marco Gonzales has given the rotation a boost, as the left-hander gave up only five earned runs over five starts in August.

14. Toronto Blue Jays

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
68-61 5-5 +114 8 (-6)

The Blue Jays dropped 11 of 18 games following a sizzling homestand to climb back into the wild-card race. Toronto lost George Springer to a knee injury, though the three-time All-Star appears close to a return. The club's potent bats have also gone cold during the last few weeks, scoring just 27 runs over its last 10 games.

15. St. Louis Cardinals

Justin Berl / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
66-63 5-5 -14 17 (+2)

Adam Wainwright continues to defy Father Time. The veteran, who turns 40 on Monday, owns a 5-1 record in August, has averaged 7.3 innings per start over his last six, and his 1.6 WAR is the most among starters this month. The workhorse has been a big reason why the Cardinals are only 3 1/2 games back of a playoff spot.

16. Cleveland Indians

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
64-64 6-4 -15 19 (+3)

The Indians have seen their playoff chances dwindle to 0% in the second half, but it hasn't been all bad. Triston McKenzie looked sensational over his last four starts, striking out 28 and taking a perfect game into the eighth inning against the Tigers on Aug. 15, while Jose Ramirez continues to make fans applaud with nine homers and 22 RBIs this month.

17. Philadelphia Phillies

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
66-64 5-5 -17 13 (-4)

Bryce Harper's MVP push is in full swing as the Phillies trail the Braves by only 4 1/2 games in the division despite losing 11 of 18, including four to the lowly Diamondbacks. The star outfielder leads the majors with a 1.003 OPS thanks to seven multi-hit games and nine round-trippers this month. Philly would also be in a world of trouble without ace and Cy Young contender Zack Wheeler, who owns a 2.90 ERA with 204 strikeouts over 26 starts.

18. New York Mets

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
63-67 3-7 -28 15 (-3)

Since entering the month in first place, the Mets' playoff odds dwindled to a dismal 2.8%, even drawing the public ire of new owner Steve Cohen, who criticized the team's lack of discipline on Twitter. To make matters worse, the team is taunting its own fans with thumbs-down celebrations. The good news is that Michael Conforto has started turning his season around, hitting .259/.368/.444 with nine extra-base hits this month.

19. Los Angeles Angels

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
64-67 4-6 -64 18 (-1)

Shohei Ohtani recently became the first player in Angels history with 40 home runs and 20 steals in a single season - no, not even Mike Trout has accomplished the feat. The AL MVP front-runner continues to make his team entertaining despite it being 11 games back of postseason contention. Even Orioles fans are getting upset when he gets intentionally walked.

20. Detroit Tigers

Vaughn Ridley / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
62-69 4-6 -62 20 (-)

Miguel Cabrera blasted his 500th career home run, and now the future Hall of Famer has his sights set on 3,000 hits. Cabrera, who said he plans to retire following the 2023 campaign, needs 39 knocks over Detroit's next 31 games to hit the mark this season.

21. Colorado Rockies

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
60-70 6-4 -34 21 (-)

The Rockies are putting the finishing touches on a respectable August, with their hitters ranking 10th in wRC+ and pitchers ranking fifth in FIP. Somewhat troublingly, though, Brendan Rodgers - the presumptive in-house replacement for Trevor Story - hasn't really played a meaningful role as a run producer. The 2015 first-round pick has hit .310/.341/.440 with one homer this month.

22. Kansas City Royals

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
59-71 7-3 -90 26 (+4)

The Royals aren't a good team, but it's almost unbelievable how fun they've been. The renaissance of Salvador Perez continues to be an incredible storyline, with the veteran catcher hitting 12 homers this month, pushing his season tally to 38. Can he catch Johnny Bench's single-season record for a catcher of 45?

23. Chicago Cubs

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
57-75 4-6 -109 22 (-1)

Patrick Wisdom's push for NL Rookie of the Year is on, with the third baseman hitting nine homers in August, making it 25 on the season. The Reds' India, who's played 38 more games and has accrued more WAR than Wisdom, seems to be his only obstacle among hitters.

24. Washington Nationals

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
55-74 4-6 -57 24 (-)

The Nationals have lost nine of their last 14 games, but the future is on display right now with Josiah Gray and Carter Kieboom making the best of their playing time on a rebuilding club. Gray has thrown three straight quality starts, while Kieboom has six multi-hit contests this month. Top prospect Keibert Ruiz is set to make his debut Monday.

25. Minnesota Twins

Jim McIsaac / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
57-73 4-6 -99 25 (-)

Just when it seemed the Twins' season couldn't be more frustrating, the club lost Kenta Maeda for the remainder of the campaign due to an elbow injury that may require Tommy John surgery. Maeda's six wins led the team, which isn't saying much for the bottom-dwelling Twins.

26. Miami Marlins

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
55-76 4-6 -36 23 (-3)

The Marlins have won four of five following an eight-game losing skid that sent the club to the bottom of the NL East. Miami finally saw a glimpse of what former top-pitching prospect Jesus Luzardo can be when he struck out eight over six shutout innings versus the Reds. The young left-hander surrendered 24 earned runs over five starts with the Marlins prior to Sunday's game.

27. Pittsburgh Pirates

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
48-83 6-4 -198 28 (+1)

Gregory Polanco's release felt like the final move to effectively change the guard for the Pirates. The new regime already orchestrated a fire sale over the past few months, and now Polanco - who had an underwhelming career since signing his five-year, $35-million contract - is gone, too.

28. Texas Rangers

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
45-85 3-7 -146 27 (-1)

The Rangers are challenging the Orioles for the worst record in the majors, which is a tough task considering Baltimore recently lost 19 straight games. Texas has won just 14 contests since the beginning of July and hasn't produced a winning month during the entire 2021 campaign.

29. Arizona Diamondbacks

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
44-88 3-7 -180 30 (+1)

The Diamondbacks managed to get out of the last spot in the rankings with a 6-7 stretch, which included a sweep of the Phillies. Zac Gallen's return to form is another small encouraging sign in a lost season for Arizona. The right-hander hasn't given up an earned run in his last two starts to go with 15 strikeouts after missing time this year with multiple injuries.

30. Baltimore Orioles

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
40-89 2-8 -231 29 (-1)

The aforementioned 19-game losing streak pushes the O's back to the bottom. The pitching was truly terrible in August, but the hitters were actually OK. Anthony Santander and Ryan Mountcastle even combined to hit 15 homers, but it's not enough when the pitchers post a 7.63 ERA for a full month.

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MLB Power Rankings: Streaking Yankees skyrocket into top 5
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