MLB Power Rankings: Yankees enter final week on high note as three playoff races hang in the balance


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MLB Power Rankings: Yankees enter final week on high note as three playoff races hang in the balance
2 min read
MLB Power Rankings: Yankees enter final week on high note as three playoff races hang in the balance
CBS Sports

The 2021 Major League Baseball season now has just seven days of action left. Maybe. The AL wild card race is so crowded, it might have to go to a one-game playoff next Monday. Heck, the NL East might even have to do that as well. Perhaps the West as well? Dare we dream? 

Let's take a quick look at the three races we have left to monitor before the real fun starts in October. 

National League West

The Giants have 102 wins and could still end up in the Wild Card Game. The Dodgers have 100 wins and right now are headed that way. Unfortunately, they don't play each other this coming week. The Giants have three home games each against the Diamondbacks and Padres. The Dodgers are also at home with three against the Padres and Brewers. Given that, I'm not sure there's an advantage either way, other than for the team with a two-game lead. 

National League East

The Phillies have won nine of their last 12 games, pushing the Braves into a series where things could turn on their head. The two teams square off for a three-game series starting Tuesday in Atlanta. The Braves' lead right now is 2 1/2 games. The Phillies then have a possibly soft landing with three games against the Marlins to close it out. The Braves' final three games come against the Mets, who have pretty good talent and would love nothing more than to play spoiler. There's potential here. Also of note: The Braves have a game against the Rockies that was rained out and wasn't made up. If it does end up mattering (meaning if this race ends next Sunday with one team having a half-game lead), they'll have to play that game after the regular season was supposed to be over. Keep your eyes on this one. 

American League wild card

This, however, is the most juicy due to the involvement of four teams playing for two spots. The Yankees currently have a one-game lead over the Red Sox for the top spot with the Blue Jays just one game back of the second spot. The Mariners are only two back, too. They have the longest playoff drought in baseball, as they haven't been to the postseason since 2001. They'll play three games each against the A's and Angels at home. They also, of course, need help. Will that come at least a little from the Yankees-Blue Jays series? They'll play three in Toronto starting Tuesday. The Yankees then close with three at home against the Rays, while the Jays get three against the Orioles at home. The Red Sox hit the road, but against two bad teams in the Orioles and Nationals. We'll focus on the Yankees-Jays and then scoreboard watch here. 

I should point out the Athletics are only three games back, but with two teams in the way it's hard to see everything breaking for them. They play three at Seattle and three at Houston. 

That pesky week will be over before we know it and with it goes the 162-game regular season. It has been a pleasure and it's going to produce an outstanding postseason. 

 
1
Giants
The Rockies are 44-25 at home against every other team. Against the Giants, they are 2-7. This Giants team, man. -- 102-54
2
Dodgers
The gambling total for Dodgers wins this season back in the spring was 103.5. It looks like they are going to go over and still not win the division. Amazing. -- 100-56
3
Rays
The Rays are now tied with their 2008 AL pennant-winning team for the most wins in a season in franchise history. 1 97-59
4
Brewers
NL Central titles since the start of the 2018 season: Cubs 1, Cardinals 1, Brewers 2. 1 94-62
5
Astros
Alex Bregman homered on Sunday and the Astros are surely hoping he starts to get really hot in time for the playoffs. The MVP runner up in 2019 is slugging a career-worst .436. -- 91-65
6
Cardinals
Sweet 16, eh? Pretty ridiculous run for the Cardinals right now. 4 87-69
7
Yankees
Man, what a crazy series by Giancarlo Stanton. It was a nice illustration of how dangerous the Yankees can be. 4 89-67
8
Blue Jays
When George Springer hits his next home run, the Blue Jays will have seven players with 20-plus homers. That's tied for the second most ever, after the 2019 Twins, who had eight. 2 87-69
9
Red Sox
Rough weekend, but they only have to deal with two bad teams the rest of the way. They should be fine. 2 88-68
10
White Sox
I couldn't believe this factoid when I heard it. This is the first time in franchise history the White Sox have made the postseason in back-to-back years. 2 88-68
11
Mariners
It doesn't feel like they can pull it off, but I'd sure love to see them make the Wild Card Game. I have a soft spot for tortured fan bases. 1 86-70
12
Braves
The Braves are only 37-37 at home. I wonder how often teams have finished with a losing home record and still won the division? Because that seems possible right now. 1 83-72
13
Athletics
The Starling Marte situation is fascinating. He's going to lead the majors in stolen bases but neither league. 4 85-71
14
Phillies
It all comes down to this. Do the Phillies have what it takes to topple the Braves and then not lay an egg in Miami? -- 81-75
15
Reds
The wild-card spot was right there for the taking. The Reds didn't take care of business enough against bad teams. And the Cardinals then grabbed it and ran away with it. 1 81-75
16
Padres
They haven't been under .500 all season. Not even a single day in early April. They were once 18 games over .500 (in mid-August!). They head to the final week evened up at 78-78. 1 78-78
17
Indians
Through 65 games, Aaron Civale had 10 wins. He has just one win since. He was hurt for a bit, yes, but it still sounds remarkable. He has made five starts since. -- 76-79
18
Angels
Maybe Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon can all stay healthy *next* year? 1 74-82
19
Royals
No primary catcher has ever led the American League in RBI. Salvador Perez leads the American League in RBI. 3 71-84
20
Tigers
I don't think they can pull it off, but if the Tigers win out, they'll finish over .500. Even having this conversation is amazing. Their over/under was 68 and they started 9-24. -- 75-80
21
Mets
HUGE offseason coming. Steve Cohen really needs to hit a home run here in reconstructing the front office and have them ready to fire right when they can. 3 73-82
22
Rockies
Awful timing: Trevor Story is still having the second-worst offensive season of his career -- the only not-great one since 2017 -- here in his contract year. 1 71-84
23
Twins
From Sept. 5 - Sept. 23, Nick Gordon hit .381/.435/.690 with four doubles and three homers in 42 at-bats. The former first rounder has talent. 2 69-87
24
Cubs
The Cubs could conceivably add something like $100 million to the payroll this coming offseason. Jed Hoyer said he expects to be very active. Keep those eyes open. There's no way the Ricketts family wants to go back to half-empty Wrigley Field now that they've sunk all that money into it. 1 67-89
25
Nationals
Juan Soto is going to lead the majors in batting average, on-base percentage and OPS+ for the second straight year. He's 22. Maybe they are waiting for the new CBA, but the longer the Nats go without a monster extension, the more they are playing with fire. 1 64-92
26
Marlins
Bryan De La Cruz really might be a keeper. He's now played in 51 games and has hit .314/.376/.463. He generally improved on a yearly basis in the minors, too. Kim Ng got him for Yimi Garcia from the Astros on July 28. 2 64-91
27
Pirates
"They play the Pirates nine more times" was a prominent talking point about the Reds' playoff chances earlier this month. The Pirates have so far won three of the five games they've played and the Reds are effectively done now. Kudos to the Pirates for refusing to lay down. -- 58-97
28
Rangers
Jon Daniels led the Rangers to the best competitive window in franchise history, there's no question about that. But it's now been five straight losing seasons, with last-place finishes in three of the last four years and they are going to lose 100 games for the first time since 1973. And they don't look close to a turn around. I wonder how secure his job is. -- 57-99
29
Diamondbacks
The Diamondbacks were somewhat competent for a stretch. From July 6 through Aug. 26, they were 21-22. They've gone right back in the tank, though, as they are now 6-21 since then. -- 50-106
30
Orioles
From 1955-2017, there was one Orioles season with at least 100 losses. They've now lost 100 games in three straight full seasons. By design. Is this really the only way to build a winner? It can't be. It just can't. -- 50-106
MLB Power Rankings: Yankees enter final week on high note as three playoff races hang in the balance
MLB Power Rankings: Yankees enter final week on high note as three playoff races hang in the balance
MLB Power Rankings: Yankees enter final week on high note as three playoff races hang in the balance
MLB Power Rankings: Yankees enter final week on high note as three playoff races hang in the balance
MLB Power Rankings: Yankees enter final week on high note as three playoff races hang in the balance
MLB Power Rankings: Yankees enter final week on high note as three playoff races hang in the balance
  • MLB Power Rankings: Yankees enter final week on high note as three playoff races hang in the balance
  • MLB Power Rankings: Yankees enter final week on high note as three playoff races hang in the balance
  • MLB Power Rankings: Yankees enter final week on high note as three playoff races hang in the balance
  • MLB Power Rankings: Yankees enter final week on high note as three playoff races hang in the balance
  • MLB Power Rankings: Yankees enter final week on high note as three playoff races hang in the balance
  • MLB Power Rankings: Yankees enter final week on high note as three playoff races hang in the balance
  • MLB Power Rankings: Yankees enter final week on high note as three playoff races hang in the balance
  • MLB Power Rankings: Yankees enter final week on high note as three playoff races hang in the balance
  • MLB Power Rankings: Yankees enter final week on high note as three playoff races hang in the balance
  • MLB Power Rankings: Yankees enter final week on high note as three playoff races hang in the balance