MLB power rankings

By Shawn Ramsey

1 Red Sox 87-58 +3

Just in time for the stretch, the Red Sox take over with the MLB’s best record — scoring an impressive 59 runs last week in six games against the Tigers and Yankees.

2 Dodgers 84-59 -1

The Dodgers lost four in a row, including getting swept over the weekend by the Reds, but can close in on the NL West title with a good series against Arizona this week.

3 Cardinals 83-60 +2

Everyone has heard of Adam Wainwright, but some of the younger arms on the Cardinals pitching staff like Michael Wacha and Joe Kelly have  been lights out this season — giving the Redbirds a final push to a division crown.

4 Braves 86-57 -2

Going into this week, the Braves’ magic number was at nine. With 20 games remaining on their schedule, Atlanta should already be prepping for the postseason.

5 Tigers 82-62 -2

Detroit’s losing record last week against the Red Sox and Royals — which included giving up 36 runs in a span of two games on Wednesday and Friday — is concerning for a team that usually boasts a good pitching staff.

6 Athletics 83-60 +1

With a series win against Texas, along with taking down the Astros last week, Oakland entered the week with a 1.5-game lead over the Rangers in the AL West.

7 Reds 82-63 +4

The Reds are feeling good after sweeping the Dodgers with two-straight walk-off wins last week, leaving Cincinnati with a chance to sneak away with the NL Central title and avoid a one-game wild-card series.

8 Pirates 82-61 -2

The Pirates lost in a row before gaining their 82nd win of the season, which officially gave them their first winning season in two decades.

9 Rangers 81-62 -1

Texas is slumping at the wrong time, salvaging only one win against the A’s and another from the Angels last week. They lost their grip on the AL West in the process.

10 Rays 78-64 -1

The Rays were sitting in the second wild card spot entering the week but will need to play better to hold onto that spot by season’s end.

11 Orioles 77-66 -1

With the power in their lineup, the Orioles often find themselves living and dying by the long ball. Not being able to get hits with runners in scoring position is causing problems.

12 Nationals 74-69

Bryce Harper hasn’t been as impressive during his second season in the majors, but injury problems have played a big role.

13 Indians 77-66 +1

The Indians could have used a sweep against the Mets to help their case for a wild-card berth, but former Cleveland pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka got some revenge Sunday, taking a one-hit shutout into the sixth inning.

14 Yankees 76-68 -1

Derek Jeter re-injured his surgically repaired ankle, which could leave the Yankees without their captain for possibly the rest of the season and make their postseason hopes even slimmer.

15 Royals 75-69

The Royals still have a legitimate shot at a wild-card berth, but they will be challenged — their last 19 games include series against the Tigers, Rangers and Indians.

16 Angels 67-76

It has been a rough season overall, but the Angels are hoping they can carry their late-season surge into next year.

17 Diamondbacks 72-71

Arizona was nearly the victim of a Yusmeiro Petit perfect game Friday night in San Francisco. The same Petit who wasn’t able to cut it on the Diamondbacks’ roster a few seasons back.

18 Phillies 66-77 +3

After three weeks on the job as the interim manager of the Phillies, Ryne Sandberg is making his case to stick around by leading the team to a 13-10 record under his watch.

19 Giants 65-79 -1

Yusmeiro Petit’s near-perfecto Friday night gave Giants fans something to cheer about despite the lost season.

20 Mariners 65-79 -1

Felix Hernandez has been scratched from Wednesday’s start, leaving some worried about their star pitcher. But being out of contention will mean the former Cy Young winner can get extra rest to prepare for next season.

21 Padres 65-77 +1

Huston Street has gone 14 for 14 in save opportunities and has allowed just one earned run in 23 1/3 innings while striking out 22 batters over his past 23 appearances.

22 Blue Jays 67-76 +1

The Blue Jays are experiencing one of their best stretches in an otherwise disappointing season, thanks mainly to the pitching rotation. Too bad it is coming a little too late to matter.

23 Rockies 66-79 -3

Michael Cuddyer, who entered the week with a .328 batting average, is trying to overtake Chris Johnson (.330) of the Braves for the NL batting title.

24 Brewers 62-80 +1

The Brewers’ season was done early after a disastrous month of May. But since the All-Star break, Milwaukee has played near .500 baseball even with the younger players on the current roster.

25 Cubs 61-82 -1

In the final few weeks of the season, the Cubs are set to face Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and St. Louis and could play a big role in how the division is laid out for the postseason.

26 Mets 64-78 +1

The Mets’ favorable schedule for the rest of the final month could put some excitement in an organization that desperately needs something good to root for after losing several stars to injuries.

27 Twins 62-80 -1

Scott Diamond was demoted to Triple-A in August and now will get the chance to have a presence on the big-league level again after going 5-0 with a 2.06 ERA in the minors.

28 Marlins 53-89 +1

Jose Fernandez was nearly unhittable on Friday night against the Nationals. His no-hit bid was ended in the sixth inning, but the 21-year-old still bolstered his case to win the National League Rookie of they Year award.

29 White Sox 58-85 -1

The White Sox finally ended a nine-game losing streak with a win over the Orioles on Sunday; their first in the month of September.

30 Astros 48-96

Starting pitcher Jarred Cosart has probably been the most exciting player on the Astros roster this season. Entering the week, the 23-year-old rookie had posted a 2.13 ERA over nine starts and allowed only three home runs.