Guardians dash, Yankees mash, Pirates crash

MLB Power Rankings

The Pittsburgh Pirates have taken over last place in the MLB Power Rankings. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

It’s unbelievable. This is the start of the final full week of Major League Baseball. The MLB Power Rankings won’t change much between now and the time the postseason begins. However, we do see some flipping within the top few clubs and should continue to see a few changes until the very end.

Teams are continuing to clinch as others are mathematically eliminated. Do we have any late surges left or an extra collapse to follow?

This week’s MLB Power Rankings highlight those who have secured a playoff spot. Even if the overall record might be less than some wild card clubs, it’s a good feeling to have your division locked up. Let’s give those teams some bonus points.

30) MLB Power Rankings: Pittsburgh Pirates

If we’re awarding bonus teams to some clubs, we need to take them away from others. The Pittsburgh Pirates are making a late season charge to become the worst team of 2022. Is there a first overall draft pick they’re desperately seeking?

The Pirates somehow managed to stay closer to around 23-26 for a good portion of the year despite a poor run differential. Their lack of experience and a few extra injuries late in the year have dragged them closer to the bottom where they may actually finish record-wise.

29) MLB Power Rankings: Washington Nationals

In other sports the Washington Nationals might tank a little harder. Baseball is different. The draft is too much of a crapshoot to really care much about the first or second pick in most years. The Nationals may still finish with the league’s worst record. Even if they don’t, they have more to be confident in than the Pirates.

Washington is on a path. Whether it’s good or bad has yet to be determined. At least their farm system is stocked with some good players. Some are already in the major leagues. It’ll be a while before the Nationals are competitive again. On the plus side, they do seem to have a plan.

28) MLB Power Rankings: Oakland Athletics

The Oakland Athletics have a plan, too. It’s to spend as little as possible and maybe in a few years start to win more games. It has been a miserable year for the team and probably the players, too. The front office made no effort to keep many of its core members with trades in the offseason and at the trade deadline to ensure they’d finish near or at the bottom.

There is far too much uncertainty with the Athletics to feel confident in anything they do. Even after releasing Elvis Andrus, he somehow managed to play good baseball again as soon as he joined the Chicago White Sox. It could be that losing is simply contagious in Oakland right now.

27) MLB Power Rankings: Detroit Tigers

The winner of this year’s award for the team that should have taken a step forward but instead fell back goes to the Detroit Tigers. Their lack of power was impressive. The Javier Baez signing might turn into an even bigger mess than it already is. Can any of these young hitters develop into actual major leaguers?

Let’s give Detroit a mulligan for this year. They’ve been bad for a while and experiencing such a rough 2022 is nothing new for the fans. It’s just unfortunate that Miguel Cabrera’s final year could end with such heavy tears. As Albert Pujols gets to shine with a contender like the St. Louis Cardinals, Cabrera could be riding off as a member of a very bad baseball team.

26) MLB Power Rankings: Cincinnati Reds

At least the Cincinnati Reds made some wise trade deadline moves. Rather than put false belief that they could bounce back next year and be very good, they traded everyone away that they could. It’s not what fans had hoped. It’s all of the positivity they will get.

This is a season about growth from the youngsters, pain with the veterans, and even more pain from all of the injuries they suffered. The Reds were never built to make it to the postseason. If not for such a horrendous start, maybe they could have won 75 games.

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