All 10 postseason berths have been finalized, and the playoffs begin tomorrow night for Major League Baseball’s 2019 World Series championship. The Los Angeles Dodgers will be aiming for a third straight National League pennant, something that has not been done since the 1940s, while the Houston Astros will be looking to add a second MLB title in three seasons.
Can any other teams derail this rematch of the 2017 World Series? Only time will tell. In the meantime, our final rankings highlight the best player on each team this season, according to Wins-Above-Replacement value. There are some surprises here.
That’s a wrap. See you in April!
Note: Final records through Sunday, September 29, are included, as well as the previous ranking from last week.
- Los Angeles Dodgers (106-56, 2): Right fielder Cody Bellinger hit 47 home runs, drove in 115 runs, stole 15 bases, and hit .305 to finish with 9.0 WAR this season, easily the tops on the team. First baseman Max Muncy was second with 5.7 WAR.
- Houston Astros (107-55, 1): Despite a stunning trio of starting pitchers, third baseman Alex Bregman is the team MVP in Houston. His 8.4 WAR was built upon 41 HRs, 112 RBI, a .296 average, and some pretty good glove work. SP Justin Verlander was second on the team with 7.8 WAR in 2019.
- New York Yankees (103-59, 3): On a team of oft-injured stars this year, it was second baseman DJ LeMahieu who led the team in games played (145) and WAR (6.0). His .327 average, 26 HRs, and 102 RBI helped a lot, too.
- Washington Nationals (93-69, 7): SP Stephen Strasburg has been around for a decade now, and he had perhaps his best all-around season at age 30. With 18 wins and 251 strikeouts, his 6.5 WAR led the Nats to the postseason once again.
- Oakland Athletics (97-65, 4): Shortstop Marcus Semien finally had the season everyone in Oakland knew he was going to produce someday. His 8.1 WAR was built upon 33 HRs, 92 RBI, 10 SBs, and some very good defense.
- Minnesota Twins (101-61, 5): On a true team like the Twins, it’s SS Jorge Polanco leading the way with just 5.7 WAR. His season featured 22 HRs, 79 RBI, a .295 average, and good defense. Eleven players hit 10-plus homers on this team.
- St. Louis Cardinals (91-71, 9): SP Jack Flaherty won just 11 times this year, but his team-best 6.0 WAR featured a 2.75 ERA, 231 Ks, and a 0.968 WHIP. He is just 23 years old, so the Cards may have an ace for the next handful of seasons.
- Tampa Bay Rays (96-66, 6): SP Charlie Morton is 35 years old, and he led the Rays with 5.0 WAR in 2019. With 16 wins and 240 Ks, Tampa Bay has a true ace atop its rotation, which can help a team go a long ways in October.
- Atlanta Braves (97-65, 8): He’s back, officially. 3B Josh Donaldson took a one-year deal with the Braves, and it paid off for both parties with 6.1 WAR. The one-time MVP hit 37 HRs and walked 100 times, to go along with his always-stellar glove.
- Chicago Cubs (84-78, 11): His season was cut short by injury, but SS Javier Báez didn’t disappoint with 4.8 WAR. He hit 29 HRs, drove in 85 runs, stole 11 bases, and even played third base on occasion when the Cubbies needed him to do so.
- Cleveland Indians (93-69, 10): It’s rough to win 93 games and miss October, but SP Shane Bieber gave it his all with 4.9 WAR in 2019. He was the only Cleveland starter to get more than 24 starts this year, posting 15 wins and 259 Ks, too.
- Boston Red Sox (84-78, 12): RF Mookie Betts won’t win another MVP award, but he was the Sox MVP with 6.8 WAR. He hit 29 HRs, drove in 80 runs, and stole 16 bases, all while hitting .295 and playing hurt for a lot of the season.
- New York Mets (86-76, 13): SP Jacob deGrom posted a whopping 7.9 WAR to easily lead the team. He won just 11 times, but his 2.43 ERA and 255 Ks went a long way to helping the Mets contend for the wild-card slots late in the year.
- Milwaukee Brewers (89-73, 14): The Brew Crew goes into October without RF Christian Yelich and his 7.1 WAR. They will miss his 44 HRs, 97 RBI, and 30 SBs in Tuesday’s wild-card matchup at Washington.
- Arizona Diamondbacks (85-77, 15): Centerfielder Ketel Marte and his 6.9 WAR helped the D’backs stay competitive for most of the season. His .329 average, 32 HRs, 92 RBI, and 10 SBs provided all-around game for Arizona in 2019.
- Cincinnati Reds (75-87, 17): In another rebound season for a nearly forgotten veteran, SP Sonny Gray put up 5.6 WAR for the Reds. His 2.87 ERA and 205 Ks netted him just 11 victories, but it was good enough to be the best on this team.
- Philadelphia Phillies (81-81, 16): One of the Phillies’ offseason acquisitions led the team with 4.4 WAR, and it was catcher J.T. Realmuto, who hit 25 HRs and drove in 83 runs. RF Bryce Harper was second on the team with 4.2 WAR, incidentally.
- Colorado Rockies (71-91, 22): With 6.4 WAR, SS Trevor Story was a star for the Rox this season. The 35 HRs, 85 RBI, 23 SBs, and .294 average tell his tale. 3B Nolan Arenado was second on the team with 5.7 WAR, as both players did pretty well.
- Los Angeles Angels (72-90, 19): He missed 28 games this year, but CF Mike Trout still compiled 8.3 WAR for the Halos. His 45 HRs, 104 RBI, and 110 walks did the usual trick for his organization, although L.A. missed the postseason yet again.
- San Francisco Giants (77-85, 18): With just 2.9 WAR, SP Jeff Samardzija “led” the Giants this year. He posted 11 wins, a 3.52 ERA, and 140 Ks in the process, showing just how talent-bereft a Top 5 payroll can be these days in MLB if spent poorly.
- San Diego Padres (70-92, 21): In just 84 games played, SS Fernando Tatís, Jr. is just what this team needed, as his 4.2 WAR led the Pads. With 22 HRs, 53 RBI, 16 SBs, and a .317 average, the future is bright in San Diego.
- Texas Rangers (78-84, 20): Two SPs tied for the team lead in WAR with 7.6 each. Lance Lynn and Mike Minor combined for 30 victories and 446 Ks this year, while starting 65 of the team’s 162 contests. That’s a dynamic duo!
- Seattle Mariners (68-94, 23): SP Marco Gonzales notched 3.4 WAR in 2019, thanks to 16 wins and 203 innings pitched. His 16-13 record and 3.99 ERA for a team this bad is quite impressive, all things considered.
- Toronto Blue Jays (67-95, 24): The organization traded SP Marcus Stroman away after just 21 starts, but that was enough to notch 3.2 WAR and “lead” the team. His 2.96 ERA in those starts was easily the best mark on the team in 2019.
- Pittsburgh Pirates (69-93, 26): Leftfielder Bryan Reynolds paced the Bucs with 3.9 WAR, much to the chagrin of the Giants, who traded him away for basically nothing. He hit .314 this year in 134 games for Pittsburgh.
- Chicago White Sox (72-89, 25): SP Lucas Giolito had a good season (5.6 WAR) for a bad team. Despite finishing on the disabled list, the 24-year-old hurler won 14 games while ringing up 228 Ks in 2019.
- Miami Marlins (57-105, 27): 3B Brian Anderson also ended up on the DL, but he led the Fish with 3.8 WAR, anyway. He hit 20 HRs and drove in 66 runs for a team that scored just 615 runs this year.
- Kansas City Royals (59-103, 28): 2B Whit Merrifield was a nice surprise for the Royals in 2019 with 4.0 WAR. He hit 16 HRs, drove in 74 runs, stole 20 bases, and hit .302 for the team. At age 30, he is in his prime still, perhaps, for a few more years.
- Baltimore Orioles (54-108, 29): SP John Means posted 4.6 WAR in his rookie season, which is impressive on a squad this terrible. He somehow posted a 12-11 record with a 3.60 ERA, while registering 121 Ks, too.
- Detroit Tigers (47-114, 30): The best player on the worst team in MLB is SP Matthew Boyd, whose 238 Ks helped him reach 3.5 WAR in 2019. His nine wins were the best on the team, and his 12 losses were the fewest of any SP in Detroit.
Come back most Mondays to check out our MLB power rankings!