MLB News: MLB Postseason Power Rankings As Of 9/27/14
September 27, 2014
The Line: See the Latest Odds
With the MLB regular season all but wrapped up and the playoffs set to begin, let’s power rank the remaining teams left making a run for a World Series title. Here is how each baseball team stacks up heading into the postseason.
1. Baltimore Orioles - Never would I have thought that I’d say the Baltimore Orioles were the best team in all of baseball heading into the playoffs. However, the Orioles are Top 10 in both runs scored and team ERA, providing a balanced attack that has kept them consistent for most of the season. A lot of the teams in the playoffs have experienced some shaky droughts at one point or another. The O’s have a bunch of no-name pitchers who get the job done and a solid 1-2 punch in Nelson Cruz and Adam Jones who can put up runs in a hurry. Things could change in no time, but the Orioles are the best team in the MLB.
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2. Detroit Tigers - The Detroit Tigers have an ERA of nearly 4.00, which usually is a recipe for an early exit in October. However, the Tigers are full of veteran pitchers in Max Scherzer, David Price, Justin Verlander and Rick Porcello, guys who have been here before and are more than capable of going the distance if needed. At that point, regular season numbers are thrown out of the window. Of course, the Tigers also have the best offense in baseball led by Miguel Cabrera, Torii Hunter and a few others who can change things with one swing of the bat. The Tigers are an explosive and scary team.
3. Los Angeles Angels - The Los Angeles Angels have scored more runs than any team in baseball and have possibly the scariest lineup with Albert Pujols, Mike Trout and Howie Kendrick. The Angels can easily put up double-digit runs if they’re in their groove and seeing the pitcher well. The Angels pitching has been a hit or miss throughout the year, but they are hoping Matt Shoemaker returns, and they have vets such as Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson. The Angels are nearly unbeatable when everything is clicking.
4. Washington Nationals - The Washington Nationals have the best ERA in all of baseball at 3.07. There’s no doubt that the Nationals can win the World Series based off of their dominant pitching. The only issue I have with Washington is an up-and-down offense that sometimes forgets to show up. Jayson Werth, Adam LaRoche, Ian Desmond and others have carried the Nationals offensively but when those guys aren’t getting the job done, this team can really struggle putting runs on the board. Still, you can’t ignore the Nats pitching.
5. Los Angeles Dodgers - Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. Do I really need to say anymore about the Los Angeles Dodgers? The Dodgers have two pitchers who can provide two wins in a series and even pitch on short rest if needed to get the job done. Not to mention a batting order that has all-stars at nearly every position including Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Kemp, Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig. The Dodgers are a serious threat to any team they face the rest of the way.
6. Pittsburgh Pirates - Nobody would have ever thought the Pittsburgh Pirates would even be a playoff team with their horrible start to the season. However, the Pirates have held their opponents to three or less runs in 14 of their last 16 games. All of a sudden the Pirates are playing lights out baseball and are hoping that the momentum can carry them to a deep postseason run. We know the Pirates pitching is solid and when you have an offense led by Andrew McCutchen, anything can happen.
7. Oakland Athletics - If it wasn’t for a horrible second half, the Oakland Athletics would be a lot higher on this list. Still, even with the struggles, the Athletics are still a top five team in both runs scored and team ERA. The Athletics have one of the more noticeable starting pitching rotations led by big names Jon Lester, Jeff Samardzija and Sonny Gray, a staff that was put together to do big time damage this time of year. If the A’s can lick some of their late wounds, they shouldn’t be slept on by anybody.
8. San Francisco Giants - Experience can play a big factor in the postseason and not too many teams have the San Francisco Giants beat in that department. The last two times the Giants made the playoffs, they walked away with the hardware. Now, guys such as Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey and Tim Lincecum are a little wiser and can use that experience to get them over the hump this time around. A team that knows what it takes to get the job done is always dangerous.
9. Kansas City Royals - The Kansas City Royals are a scary team simply because nobody expected them to be here in the first place. The Royals are playing with house money and the fan base is going to be jacked up with this being their first playoff appearance in ages. But the Royals aren’t a team that’s just satisfied with making it to the playoffs, as veterans Omar Infante, James Shields and Jeremy Guthrie aren’t sure if they’ll ever have an opportunity like this again. The Royals may not have the most household names, but they play together as a team and are starting to believe they can continue this magic ride.
10. St. Louis Cardinals - The St. Louis Cardinals always have a chance for a deep postseason run when a pitching staff includes John Lackey, Lance Lynn and Adam Wainwright. There’s no issues at all with the Cardinals pitching. However, the Cards are ranked 23rd in the league in runs scored and have gone long stretches where they’ve scored three or less runs. That puts a ton of pressure on the pitching staff and frankly isn’t going to be good enough to win a series. If the Cardinals can spark their offense and put some big boy numbers on the board, they’ll have a chance. Until then, I just don’t see it.
Seattle Mariners - Unless the Seattle Mariners win out and get some crazy help from the Oakland Athletics, they’ll be eliminated from playoff contention this weekend.