2012 MLB Power Rankings (9/22)

September 22, 2012

It’s been almost a month since my last Power Rankings update, but with only a handful of games left in the regular season, I thought it would be good to post a fresh edition before the playoffs begin. The last week and a half of the season should be tremendously exciting thanks to the battle for the second wild card spot in both leagues.

Here is the latest, and final, MLB Power Rankings for the 2012 season. The number in parenthesis after the team name is where that team was ranked in the previous Power Rankings.

1. Cincinnati Reds (2)- The Reds have the second best record in baseball, but are the first team to clinch a division title. That is enough to earn them the top spot here.

2. Washington Nationals (1)- Washington, not Cincinnati, was actually the first team to clinch a spot in the playoffs. However, they haven’t quite clinched the NL East yet. Assuming a total collapse does not happen, the Nationals will be able to call themselves division champs by next week.

3. Baltimore Orioles (13)- The Orioles aren’t in sole possession of first place in the AL East, but have been on a tear as of late, especially in extra-inning games. Baltimore is just one extra-inning victory away from tying the 1949 Cleveland Indians for the most consecutive in one season. That would just be a nice statistic to Buck Showalter’s team if they also make the playoffs.

4. San Francisco Giants (5)- Melky Cabrera won’t be eligible for the NL batting title, but there could be worse news for Giants fans. San Francisco left the struggling Dodgers in the dust down the stretch, and are safely in the playoff mix at this point.

5. New York Yankees (4)- The Yankees lead the AL East, but couldn’t have imagined at the beginning of the season who would be right on their tail. Even considering the Yankees’ current seven-game winning streak, the division crown should come down to the final days of the season.

6. Texas Rangers (3)

7. Chicago White Sox (7)- The White Sox are quietly taking care of business, staying just ahead of Detroit in the AL Central. Since it appears that neither team will be able to make the playoffs as a wild card participant, Chicago will need to keep its foot on the pedal until the final day of the season. Ending the year with a seven-game homestand will help.

8. Atlanta Braves (6)- Atlanta can’t possibly fall apart two years in a row, can they? The Braves can almost limp into the playoffs and still make it…all they need to do is not fall down completely.

9. Oakland Athletics (12)- Along with Baltimore, Oakland has been the feel good story of the year in Major League Baseball. However, those hoping for a renaissance of the Moneyball-era A’s should look elsewhere; this team is not like the one described in last year’s blockbuster movie.

10. St. Louis Cardinals (10)

11. Los Angeles Angels (15)

12. Detroit Tigers (11)- Detroit is thinking one thing right now: catch the White Sox. The chances of the Tigers stealing a wild card spot are slim, so Cabrera & Co. will have to make the playoffs the old fashioned way.

13. Milwaukee Brewers (19)

14. Tampa Bay Rays (8)

15. Los Angeles Dodgers (9)- Unfortunately for fans in Los Angeles, it appears that the Dodgers ran out of steam a little too early. However, the organization made it clear that it is willing to spend money to put a quality product on the field, so expect this team to make noise again next season.

16. Philadelphia Phillies (20)

17. Arizona Diamondbacks (14)

18. Pittsburgh Pirates (16)

19. San Diego Padres (21)

20. Seattle Mariners (17)

21. New York Mets (23)

22. Boston Red Sox (18)

23. Kansas City Royals (22)

24. Miami Marlins (25)

25. Toronto Blue Jays (24)

26. Cleveland Indians (26)

27. Minnesota Twins (28)

28. Chicago Cubs (29)

29. Colorado Rockies (27)

30. Houston Astros (30)

– K. Becks

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