It’s mid-August, and still changes keep occurring in the wild world that is Major League Baseball. Same for our 2017 August Week 3 Power Rankings. Suddenly, the other team from Los Angeles, the Angels, are in line for a Wildcard Game berth. Can you believe it? After an entire season of underperforming that the Angels are on the cusp of making it to the postseason?
That’s how crazy MLB’s been in 2017. It might get wilder. There’s a full 6-weeks left in the 2017 MLB Regular Season. The final games take place on Oct. 1. From there, we jump right into the MLB Wildcard Games and then into the MLB Divisional Playoffs.
2017 August Week 3 Power Rankings
In MLB, because every team almost plays a game every day, a lot can change in 6 weeks. See below for an update on the teams in the best position to make the postseason.
Following is our Top 10 2017 MLB 2017 August Week 3 power rankings.
American League – Top 5
1. Houston Astros 72-46
Houston continues to show that it’s got some major issues to deal with. The Stros do not look strong. They’ve got 6 weeks to turn it around. I’m not so sure they can. It was so bad last week that Houston lost 5 out of 6 games. They dropped 6 out of 7 counting Monday’s loss.
The worst part is who the Astros lost too. 2 of the 3 losses were to the Texas Rangers. Houston lost 3 games to the Chicago White Sox. The Chicago White Sox are a team the Stros should dominate.
2. Boston Red Sox 67-51
Boston lost 3 to 7 to the Cleveland Indians on Monday, August 14. The Red Sox figured to take a step back after winning 4 of 5 games. The best part about the 4 of 5 stretch is that the Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays twice, and they beat the New York Yankees twice. That’s 2 AL East rivals that Boston put a beat down on last week.
Because Boston swept the Chicago White Sox in 4 games the week before, the Red Sox have won 8 of their last 10 games. That makes them one of the hottest squads in MLB.
3. Cleveland Indians 64-52
After losing 4 out of 5, the Tribe came back strong last week. They’re riding a 5-game winning streak counting Monday’s victory over the Red Sox. Cleveland knocked the Red Sox out of the playoffs last season.
The win over Boston was a one off. It had to have made Cleveland feel good, though. Starting this Tuesday, the Tribe battles Minnesota in a 3-game set. The Twins, along with the Kansas City Royals, are now 5 games behind Cleveland in the AL Central.
The Tribe’s looking good heading into the final 6 weeks.
4. New York Yankees 62-55
After this past week performances, the Yankees have fallen 4.5 games behind the Red Sox. New York appears to have trouble winning 2 games of a 3-game series. They only beat Boston once last week. Worst than that? The Yankees lost twice to the Toronto Blue Jays in a 3-game series.
Sonny Gray’s pitched well in 2 games as a Yankee. Unfortunately, the Yankees’ bullpen, which is supposed to be a strength, let Sonny down in both of the games. The Yankees offense also let him down in both games. NYY lost Sonny’s first start in pinstripes 1 to 5. They lost Sonny’s second start 0 to 4. Gray gave up 2 earned runs in both.
5. L.A. Angels 61-58
The Halos are 10 and 3 in the month of August. They’ve got a legitimate shot at winning the final Wildcard spot. Heck, they could overtake the Yankees for the 4-seed. What’s the cause for the turnaround?
First, Mike Trout is healthy. Trout’s on a tear. Second, pitcher Parker Bridwell hasn’t stumbled that often. Bridwell has a 2.88 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP, and a terrific 7 and 1 record.
National League – Top 5
1. Los Angeles Dodgers 83-34
The Dodgers, because they’re the Dodgers, had a so-so week when going 4 and 2. They beat the Diamondbacks in 2 out of 3. They beat the Padres in 2 out of 3. LAD is still the class of MLB. Like I’ve written many times, though, that doesn’t guarantee a World Series win.
The Dodgers could hit a cold streak at the plate in the playoffs. It’s happened to great teams before. Not only that, but Yu Darvish took a step back in his second start with L.A. The Dodgers beat the D’Backs 8 to 6, but Yu left after the 5th inning. He had already allowed 2 earned runs off 5 hits.
2. Washington Nationals 70-46
The good news for the Nats is that Bryce Harper’s knee injury looked way worse than it was. He’s got a deep knee bruise. No ligament damage. Also, Stephen Strasburg struck out 5 in a rehab start. Stras looked good on the mound.
The key in the playoffs should be how far Washington’s starters can go. If the Nats starters, especially Scherzer, Gonzalez, and Strasburg, can go 7 to 8, the Nationals should have a shot versus the Dodgers juggernaut.
3. Chicago Cubs 62-55
Isn’t this always the case? The NL Central Division is going to come down to the Chicago Cubs versus the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals are only 1.5 games behind their traditional MLB rival. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo are hitting well.
But, prized acquisition Jose Quintana has fallen back to earth. After winning his first 2 games in a Cubs uniform, Quintana has gone 1-2-1 in his last 4 as a member of the Cubbies. The one win was in a game where he left after the 5th inning. The Cubs demolished Cincinnati 15 to 5.
It was 2 to 2 until the 4th innings. That’s when Chicago blew the game open with 5 runs. What I’m getting at is that Quintana didn’t really factor in the win even though he picked up the W.
4. Colorado Rockies 66-52
The Rockies didn’t have a great week. Colorado went 1 and 1 against the Cleveland Indians. They lost 1 to 4 to Cleveland to start the week. Then, they beat the Tribe 3 to 2. After the 2-game set versus Cleveland, the Rockies fell apart against a team they shouldn’t have had so much trouble against, the Miami Marlins.
The Rockies lost all 3 games in the series versus Miami. 6-3, 4-3, and 5-3 were the scores. It’s apparent that unless Kyle Freeland gets over the groin strain that sent him to the DL after .1 innings pitched on August 4, Colorado’s not beating Arizona in the NL Wildcard Game.
Freeland is easily the Rockies best starter. They need Freeland to move on in the playoffs after the wildcard battle with AZ. Heck, with 6 weeks left, Colorado could be shut out of the playoffs unless another starter steps it up.
5. Arizona Diamondbacks 66-52
Although the Arizona Diamondbacks went 2 and 4 last week, not all was negative. There are silver linings for both of the 2 wins.
First, the D’Backs beat the Dodgers 6 to 3. In that game, Jake Lamb hit a grand slam against Tony Watson, one of the relievers that Arizona picked up before the trade deadline. Watson laid it up for Lamb, who had been hitting .143 versus lefties like Watson.
Second, AZ beat the Chicago Cubs 6 to 2. Starter Patrick Corbin shut down Chicago’s offense. Corbin threw a stellar game. He pitched 6.2 innings. He allowed 0 earned runs off 2 hits. Corbin’s been hot in 6 out of his last 7 starts.
The only game where Corbin didn’t throw well was against the Cubs on August 1. He gave up 7 earned runs off 10 hits. He only pitched 3 innings. The fact that he adjusted so well on August 12 versus the Cubbies after pitching so badly on August 1 is a sign his form should remain solid for the rest of the season.
The D’Backs could really use a strong Patrick Corbin going into the MLB Playoffs. Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray can’t do it alone. If Corbin improves, which he’s shown the ability to do based on his last start, the D’Backs could be a force in the postseason.