10) MLB Power Rankings: Cleveland Guardians
When the Cleveland Guardians first caught the Twins, it looked like there would be a nice pennant race in the American League Central. Instead, they’ve held their ground. The ultimate underdogs likely to make this year’s postseason, the Guardians look disinterested in handing things over.
There’s still a long road ahead for a team that, frankly, can probably only hope to play spoiler. Maybe a division title actually convinces the front office to do something and give these players more help.
9) MLB Power Rankings: Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays feel like the weakest of the potential American League Wild Card clubs only because they don’t have the same star power. It’s still hard to understand how they have managed to be this good for as long as they have in 2022. They aren’t fading. They’re going to the playoffs.
The Rays may even be able to manipulate their way into getting the best postseason seed possible—whatever that ends up being for them. This is a team to believe in only because explaining what’s so great about them is difficult aside from pointing at the win/loss record.
8) MLB Power Rankings: Seattle Mariners
They’ve marched through the desert since 2001 and can finally see a glass of water in front of them. The Seattle Mariners own the long playoff drought in baseball. It’s going to end with a strong ball club that did more than sneak in.
Big hits and even bigger pitching are what can give the Mariners a chance to go deeper into the postseason than some might expect. The American League playoff picture is pretty evenly matched with the exception of one ball club. The Mariners know them well. They’re ready to face them in the ALCS.
7) MLB Power Rankings: Toronto Blue Jays
Only a hair ahead of the Mariners we find the Toronto Blue Jays in this week’s MLB Power Rankings. When things are this close, the Blue Jays get the extra points for having the superior roster. Everyone expected them to make the postseason while the Mariners weren’t so favored at the start of the season.
Despite the Blue Jays underperforming in some ways this year, they also have some big advantages. Securing the top wild card spot is important because it would give them a unique home field advantage based on vaccination status. It might not be fair but it’s something every postseason team will have to face if the Blue Jays are the opponent.
6) MLB Power Rankings: St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals didn’t fall in this week’s MLB Power Rankings; other teams just passed them. The Cardinals haven’t looked as unstoppable as they did earlier this month. Baseball’s most immovable playoff team with the third spot in the National League East secure, the only concern is that it gets to their head.
What should scare teams about the Cardinals most is that they are getting gets healthy. The Albert Pujols chase to 700 home runs has hardly been a distraction because each dinger adds to their win total. They might be the fourth team in the National League in the eyes of many yet they wield a ton of power.