In another week or so, the MLB regular season will be about three-quarters done, and it will be more difficult for any team to make major leaps in the standings—or in the power rankings.
The Cincinnati Reds remain our statistical outlier, as their advanced metrics suggest the team should be better than it is, yet the wins do not come on the field, and the organization just made a bunch of trades at the deadline to define itself as building for 2020.
Ah, the mysteries and travails of maths!
Note: Current records through Sunday, August 4, are included, as well as the previous ranking from last week.
- Los Angeles Dodgers (74-40, 1): With an MLB-best 43-15 record at home, why are the Dodgers going to renovate their stadium? Seems to be doing them just fine this season. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, folks.
- Houston Astros (73-40, 2): Meanwhile, the ‘Stros are 38-12 against the American League West, a division the team is owning right now. That’s the best record any MLB team has this season against its own division foes.
- New York Yankees (72-39, 3): There is not much separating these three top teams right now, so ranking them is like splitting hairs. However, the Yanks are the only of the power trio to have a winning record (10-7) in interleague play. Go figure.
- Tampa Bay Rays (65-48, 6): Tied for the MLB with 35 road wins, the Rays are making a case for a new home stadium, right? Then maybe the Tampa Bay organization wouldn’t always be at the bottom of the payroll rankings.
- Minnesota Twins (69-42, 4): The Twinkies have the best balance in the majors for home and road records, with 21 losses in both categories. Minnesota also has an MLB second-best 45 victories against teams under .500 this year.
- Chicago Cubs (60-51, 5): The dreadful 21-33 road record is what is keeping the Cubbies down this year. Sure, Wrigley is friendly, but Chicago has to be able to play better away from the ivy, right? Yikes.
- Oakland Athletics (64-48, 8): The A’s are a combined 24-8 against the AL Central and the National League as a whole. That is the basis of their entire over-.500 success in 2019.
- Arizona Diamondbacks (56-56, 7): With 14 victories in interleague play, the D’backs are tops in the majors for that category. Arizona also “leads” MLB with a minus-7 luck factor this year, according to baseball-reference.com right now.
- Atlanta Braves (66-47, 10): Three teams are tied for second in the majors with 20 one-run wins this season, and the Braves are one of them. Atlanta also is second in MLB with 10 extra-innings victories in 2019.
- Boston Red Sox (59-55, 9): With a current eight-game losing streak, it’s surprising to see the Red Sox still in our Top 10. Boston is actually under .500 against its own division foes in the AL East this year, too.
- Cincinnati Reds (52-58, 11): One reason the Reds are not living up to their mathematical projection is the .500 record (16-16) they have against other teams playing sub-.500 ball in 2019.
- Washington Nationals (58-53, 12): The Nats are 38-26 against NL East rivals and the entire AL, but they are just 20-27 against the rest of the National League. These kind of splits aren’t good signs for the most-probable October matchups, really.
- Cleveland Indians (66-45, 15): Like Minnesota, this team has been getting fat on bad teams. The Tribe is 50-22 against sub-.500 teams this year, which is incredible. But that’s what happens with the quality of teams in the AL Central.
- St. Louis Cardinals (58-52, 13): Don’t bet on the Cards winning the World Series as they have just a 7-11 interleague record and a 27-29 road record. You just can’t win it all anymore without taking a road game in the championship round.
- Milwaukee Brewers (57-56, 14): The Brewers are just 24-32 away from Miller Park in 2019, and it’s costing them a shot at the playoffs. Their 4-9 record in interleague play hasn’t helped, either, putting Milwaukee right there with St. Louis.
- Texas Rangers (57-54, 17): The 23-13 record against the AL East and the AL Central combined has inflated the Rangers’ record a bit this year. Expect that to rectify itself with the schedule down the stretch.
- New York Mets (55-56, 18): With a 17-9 record since July 1, the Mets are making a push back into the October conversation. But they are just 31-44 against teams with winning records this season.
- Colorado Rockies (52-60, 19): The best chance for a Rox win comes at home (29-27) against teams from the NL Central (10-9) in extra innings (6-5). Otherwise, Colorado just is not a .500 team at all.
- Los Angeles Angels (56-57, 16): An 0-3 start to August, as part of a 2-8 stretch overall currently, is dooming the Halos to another offseason of head scratching and roster re-tooling.
- Philadelphia Phillies (58-53, 20): This may be the most boring team in baseball, considering all the offseason splashes it made. Manager Gabe Kapler is better at overturning challenge calls (60 percent) than he is at winning games (.505 winning percentage).
- San Diego Padres (51-60, 21): One-run interleague games (28-19 combined, including some overlap, of course) are the best shot the Padres have at winning. What are the odds they can ride that formula to October play? Slim and none.
- San Francisco Giants (56-56, 22): The Giants lead the majors with 11 extra-inning wins and 27 one-run wins, respectively. This is why mathematical projections don’t like the team’s chances to finish above .500 this year.
- Pittsburgh Pirates (48-63, 24): How have the Pirates gone 10-4 in interleague so far in 2019? The 20-35 record since June 1 has been an appropriate course correction for a team that just doesn’t have the goods right now.
- Seattle Mariners (47-67, 23): Even the Mariners have a winning record (14-13) against the AL Central, which tells us a lot about about Seattle and the AL Central. However, Seattle also is 7-8 against the AL East, so there’s that to consider as well.
- Toronto Blue Jays (45-69, 26): The Blue Jays have just two interleague victories in 2019, which is the worst mark in MLB. They’ve managed a combined 26-28 record, however, against the AL Central and West divisions.
- Miami Marlins (42-67, 25): The Fish are 11-9 against the NL West, although that’s not saying much considering the division has just one team over .500 right now. But still …
- Chicago White Sox (48-61, 27): How do you know the White Sox aren’t this bad? They have a 23-23 record against AL Central Division rivals. So … they’re the best of the bad bunch in the bundle?
- Kansas City Royals (40-73, 28): The Royals have 22 victories against their AL Central foes, and only 18 against the rest of the majors—including five against the National League.
- Baltimore Orioles (38-73, 29): The best division record the Os have is against the AL East (18-32), surprisingly. Baltimore is 15-31 against both the AL Central and AL West combined. Familiarity helps, evidently.
- Detroit Tigers (32-75, 30): How is that the Tigers have managed just three victories in 22 games against the AL West? That is one ugly record, only slightly more disgusting than Detroit’s 5-15 interleague mark.
Come back every Monday to check out our MLB power rankings!