Four teams punched their ticket to the 2023 playoffs over the past week, and rightfully so, these four teams sit atop our Power Rankings.
But like many other playoff races, things get pretty busy afterward. It was a close battle for the No. 5 spot – and there was very little difference from the No. 7s to 15th.
Here is a full overview of the rankings:
Biggest jump: It was an eventful second half for Rangers – and that certainly continued last week. After earning a huge four-game sweep of the AL Wild Card Blue Jays in Toronto, the Rangers were then dominated 23-6 in a three-game sweep by the Guardians over the weekend. Still, Texas moved up three spots to No. 7 after going 6-3 over its last nine games and entering this week clinging to the final AL Wild Card spot.
Biggest drop: One game behind the Rangers for that final AL Wild Card spot are the Mariners, who fell four spots to 10th. Seattle is just 2-7 in its last nine games, including being swept at home by the Dodgers this weekend. . The Mariners, however, have a lot of control over their playoff chances, with seven of their last 13 games coming against the rival Rangers.
1) Braves, 96-53 (last week: 1)
The Braves not only clinched their sixth straight National League East title last week, but they did it on the road against their rival Phillies. It’s possible their playoff run could bring them back to Philadelphia — the city in which their 2022 season ended — at some point next month. That wasn’t the only milestone for Atlanta last week, as Matt Olson set a franchise record with his 52nd home run. And although Ronald Acuña Jr. was sidelined due to right calf tightness, his injury is not considered serious.
2) Orioles, 93-56 (last week: 2)
A walk-in sacrifice fly is usually not the best solution exciting way to end a football game, but you wouldn’t have known it watching the Orioles celebrate Cedric Mullins’ game-winning sack against the Rays on Sunday. After all, the win clinched Baltimore’s first playoff berth since 2016. There’s still plenty to play for, as the O’s enter the week just two games ahead of Tampa Bay atop the league. ‘AL East. The division winner will likely take home the top spot in the AL — and the all-important bye that comes with it.
3) Rays, 92-59 (last week: 4)
Even with Sunday’s aforementioned loss to the O’s, the Rays also clinched their 2023 playoff spot thanks to the Rangers’ loss to the Guardians. As Tampa Bay continues to battle Baltimore for the AL East crown, former playoff hero Randy Arozarena appears to be heating up at just the right time. He hit .400 (10-for-25) with three extra-base hits during his six-game hitting streak last week that ended Sunday.
4) Dodgers, 91-57 (last week: 3)
The Dodgers won their 10th NL West title in the last 11 seasons on Saturday, then continued their momentum by completing a sweep of the Mariners on Sunday. Although Clayton Kershaw didn’t make any decisions in the decisive victory, it was fitting that Los Angeles’ three-time Cy Young-winning ace got the start. After 10 days of rest, Kershaw didn’t miss a beat in five scoreless innings as Los Angeles continued to monitor its workload heading into October. Unlike previous years, the Dodgers’ strength this season remains a potent offense led by NL MVP candidate Mookie Betts – but a healthy Kershaw could be the difference in the postseason.
5) Astros, 84-66 (last week: 5)
Last week certainly didn’t go the way the Astros would have liked, with Houston losing two of three to two last-place teams in the Royals and the Athletics. Yet the Astros enter this week 1 1/2 games ahead of the Rangers atop the AL West and 2 1/2 ahead of the Mariners. Framber Valdez, who has a 1.59 ERA over his last nine starts, appears ready for the postseason, while Houston is hoping Justin Verlander’s recent funk — he’s allowed at least five runs in two of his last three starts – is just an incident.
The rest of the field of 30:
6) Brewers (7)
7) Rangers (10)
8) Blue Jays (8)
9) Phillies (9)
10) Sailors (6)
11) Twins (12)
12) Small (11)
13) Back D (13)
14) Reds (15)
15) Marlins (14)
16) Yankees (18)
17) Giants (17)
18) Red Sox (16)
19) Padres (19)
20) Guardians (20)
21) Tigers (24)
22) Dishes (23)
23) Pirates (21)
24) Angels (22)
25) Cardinals (25)
26) Nationals (26)
27) Rockies (28)
28) White Sox (27)
29) Royals (29)
30) A’s (30)
Voters: Will Leitch, Alyson Footer, Anthony Castrovince, Paul Casella, Mark Feinsand, Nathalie Alonso, Mike Petriello, Sarah Langs, Arturo Pardavila, Andrew Simon, David Venn, Sweeny Murti, Doug Gausepohl, Travis Miller