MLB power rankings

Series sweep of Rangers puts A's in prime position for season's home stretch.

By Shawn Ramsey

1 Red Sox 92-59

Entering the week needing eight wins to reach a 100, the Red Sox are feeling good about themselves. They just swept the Yankees over the weekend to possibly keep New York out of the playoffs.

2 Dodgers 86-64

The Dodgers are hoping they didn’t peak too soon. Their record in September has been mostly lackluster compared to their dominance right after the All-Star break.

3 Athletics 88-62 +3

A sweep in Texas is just what the Athletics needed. They are now sitting with a comfortable lead over the reeling Rangers.

4 Cardinals 87-63 -1

Matt Carpenter is excelling for the Cardinals in his first full season as a starter. The second baseman is leading the league in hits (183), runs scored (116), and doubles (50).

5 Braves 89-60 -1

The Braves have been alone in first place for the last 161 days as the team continues to roll quietly into the playoffs, where it hopes to make some noise.

6 Tigers 87-63 -1

While his 20th win of the season continues to elude him, Max Scherzer’s 12-strikeout no-decision Sunday gave the righty his seventh game this season with at least 10 Ks.

7 Pirates 87-63 +1

Pittsburgh fans rejoice! Your team finally has a winning season for the first time in two decades. And the Pirates don’t look to be stopping there -- they have a World Series title on their minds.

8 Rays 82-67 +2

With the division title out of reach, the Rays are hoping to cling to one of the wild-card spots in what will be a crowded race to the playoffs in the American League.

9 Reds 85-66 -2

The Reds dropped two of three to the two worst teams in the NL Central (Brewers and Cubs) making, Cincinnati's division-title hopes even slimmer.

10 Indians 81-69 +3

Cleveland is just a half-game behind Texas and Tampa Bay for a wild-card spot. And with those two playing each other this week, the Indians are in prime position to move up in the race.

11 Nationals 79-70 +1

Washington is getting hot at just the right time. The Nationals have a chance to knock off one of the two NL Central teams in the wild-card race if they continue to play at a high level.

12 Orioles 79-70 -1

The Orioles will need to avoid weeks like the last one if they want to take one of the wild-card positions in the American League.

13 Rangers 81-68 -4

After an 0-6 home stand, the Rangers are now sitting back of the Athletics in the division. Sure they have the wild-card lead, but how long will that last with this type of slump?

14 Royals 79-71 +1

The Royals are set to face the Indians in a critical three-game series that could make or break their chance to grab one of the two wild-card spots in the American League.

15 Yankees 79-71 -1

Getting swept by the Red Sox will always sting for the Yankees, but when it could cost them a spot in the playoffs, that makes it hurt much worse.

16 Angels 73-77

The signings of Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton are appearing to be a bust so far, but at least the Angels have a star in young outfielder Mike Trout. He scored his 104th run and stole his 33rd base on Sunday.

17 Diamondbacks 76-73

Paul Goldschmidt continues to lead Arizona offensively this season -- going 4-for-4 Sunday with a five-RBI day against the Rockies.

18 Giants 69-81 +1

Even though he won’t be helping his team win another pennant, Hunter Pence has been having a historically great September with nine home runs, 25 RBI and a .421 average entering the week.

19 Phillies 70-80 -1

The Phillies were officially eliminated from playoff contention Saturday, making it two consecutive years Philadelphia has missed the postseason.

20 Padres 69-80 +1

Will Venable stole his 20th base of the season Sunday against the Braves, making the Padres outfielder only the eighth in team history to have a 20-homer, 20-steal season.

21 Brewers 66-83 +3

Aramis Ramirez is having the worst season of his career for the Brewers, but he has been bothered most of the season by a knee injury. It's a lost season in Milwaukee.

22 Rockies 69-82 +1

After 17 years with the Rockies, Todd Helton has made the decision to retire at the end of the season, ending a very successful career for the Colorado first baseman.

23 Mariners 66-84 -3

The Mariners sent shortstop Brendan Ryan to the Yankees, and while he wasn’t known for having much a bat, his defense will be missed on a Seattle team ranking near the bottom defensively.

24 Blue Jays 68-81 -2

While the Blue Jays hoped they would be in the thick of a pennant race at this point of the season, Toronto is getting a chance to take a look at some other talent that might help the club in the future.

25 Cubs 63-87

Anthony Rizzo may look like he is having a bad season if you go by his batting average, but the Cubs first baseman isn’t doing so bad when you consider his 22 homers and 72 walks entering the week.

26 Mets 67-82

Matt Harvey will get the results of his second opinion this week on his injured right elbow as the young All-Star pitcher is hoping to avoid Tommy John surgery that would end his 2014 season.

27 Twins 64-85

Ron Gardenhire has had a successful tenure as the manager for the Twins since his hiring in 2002, but his era might be coming to an end after Minnesota’s disappointing season.

28 Marlins 55-95

Jose Fernandez made news last week for admiring his first career home run a little too long against the Braves, but when the Marlins have hit so few home runs, why not take some time to enjoy the rarity?

29 White Sox 59-91

So much for playing the spoiler for opposing teams vying for a playoff spot. The White Sox dropped two of three against the Tigers and were swept in four games by Cleveland.

30 Astros 51-99

With four series remaining in the season -- all against teams in contention -- the Astros’ young players will get a chance to see what a playoff environment looks like despite being far from qualifying for the postseason.

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