King’s Ranks: MLB Power Rankings 8/3/21

Matthew King

That was one of if not the wildest trade deadline in MLB history. Teams were absolutely gutted and guys synonymous with their clubs were shipped out. Other teams refused to rebuild and are going to let some players go without anything in return for reasons I can’t seem to figure out. There were winners and losers but the fans really won this year. It was non-stop action for the full week right up until the deadline hit. Now the focus shifts to October. Can any of these teams on the outside make a run and sneak in? Will the power houses out West be able to fend off some sneaky good teams? It will be very fun to watch over the next two months. But before that starts, let’s see where everyone stands after the Trade Deadline.

1. San Francisco Giants (67-39) +1

There is no question that the Giants deserve to be the top team in these rankings after last week. They took two out of three from both the Dodgers and Astros. They also added a big bat in Kris Bryant and a good bullpen arm in Tony Watson. They have no margin for error anymore. They have a stacked Dodgers right behind them. No more slip ups if they want to win the division.

2. Los Angeles Dodgers (64-43) +3

I hate super teams. You can’t convince me that’s not what the Dodgers are. I also can’t hold that against them. They are already very good and just got even better. Walker Buehler, Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urias and Danny Duffy are just a few names on this pitching staff. They are absolutely loaded and now anything less than a repeat as World Series Champions will be a letdown.

3. Houston Astros (64-42) -2

The Astros were looking invincible until losing two of three in San Francisco. They got a lock down closer in Kendall Graveman to kick off the week and strengthened the bullpen with Yimi Garcia, Phil Maton and Rafael Montero joining the ranks as well. Plus, they took two of three from Seattle to show they are still the team to beat in the West. Houston is looking to silence the critics this year.

4. Tampa Bay Rays (64-43) —

Sweeping Boston gave the Rays the top spot in the AL East and some very good momentum. They did trade away Diego Castillo to Seattle which weakens the bullpen a little bit but they always seem to win their trades. They have some winnable games this week with Seattle and Baltimore to try to pad their new division lead.

5. Milwaukee Brewers (64-43) +3

Milwaukee made a couple more moves last week with the most noticeable being the addition of Eduardo Escobar. They are going to be a problem for any team in a postseason series. The offense is hot right now and that’s without Christian Yelich. To beat the Dodgers or Giants, they need him to be a big presence in that lineup.

6. Chicago White Sox (62-44) —

I feel like I am always writing the same thing about the White Sox but in different words. Uncrowned division champs, injury problems, team to beat in the AL when healthy. I still believe that is the case but they haven’t been healthy all year. There is no need to rush guys back with the division all but locked up. These guys need to play for October.

7. Boston Red Sox (63-44) -4

The Red Sox were swept by Tampa Bay over the weekend and that knocked them out of first place in the division. They did trade for an injured Kyle Schwarber to add to their offensive potency. They didn’t trade for any rotation help which could end up being costly. Their hopes for a division title rest on the left arm of Chris Sale.

8. San Diego Padres (61-47) -1

It looked like Max Scherzer was going to be on his way to San Diego. Hours later, he was a Dodger. That is an absolute punch to the gut of Padres fans. I think they are going to come up short of the division with the great moves made by San Francisco and Los Angeles. If Blake Snell doesn’t figure it out, they could end up slipping out of the Wild Card as well.

9. Oakland A’s (60-47) +2

Oakland didn’t make a major splash at the deadline, but did add some nice pieces. Starling Marte, Josh Harrison and Yan Gomes can help spark the offense and Andrew Chafin can help the bullpen. I don’t think they can catch Houston and they have a lot of teams right on their heels. The Wild Card race in the American League is going to be a blast to watch over these next two months.

10. Toronto Blue Jays (54-49) +3

First, it was fantastic to see the Blue Jays back in Rogers Centre in Toronto. They will be tough to beat at home for the remainder of the season. Did they give up too much though for Jose Berrios? I don’t believe so. They got a solid and proven starter and they have an opportunity both this year and next to make a serious run. I think that trade was a win-win for both Toronto and Minnesota.

11. New York Mets (55-50) -2

The Mets now have two of the most exciting middle infielders in the sport after trading for Javy Baez last week. The news surrounding Jacob deGrom isn’t promising as he is likely out until September. The rotation was expected to only get stronger after the deadline but the opposite has occurred. Taijuan Walker has struggled out of the break and Carlos Carrasco is still getting a feel for the game back. Marcus Stroman needs to step up for his squad.

12. New York Yankees (56-49) +2

Well the Yankees flexed their buying power making some of the biggest splashes during the week. They started with acquiring Joey Gallo from Texas and followed it up with adding Anthony Rizzo from Chicago. They added some rotation help with Andrew Heaney from the Angels but is that enough? They have plenty of offense but do they have enough pitching to catch Tampa Bay, Boston or Oakland? Only time will tell.

13. Cincinnati Reds (56-50) -1

The Reds added some bullpen help early in the week and then sat back and watched chaos ensue. It was a tough call to drop them a spot, but the Nick Castellanos injury hurts. They are right in the thick of it in the NL Wild Card however and have made it a race. It is a very easy schedule in August so the time is now for the Reds to make their move.

14. Seattle Mariners (57-50) -4

This week was a gut punch for the Mariners. After an incredible comeback win over the first place Astros, they traded their superstar closer Kendall Graveman to Houston. Fans and the team were not pleased at this move and the aura surrounding the team was very different as they lost the series to Houston and lost two of three to the Rangers with both of those losses coming on walkoff home runs by Jonah Heim. They were able to acquire Tyler Anderson and Diego Castillo, but they need to find that spark again travelling to Tampa Bay and the Bronx this week.

15. St. Louis Cardinals (53-52) +4

The Cardinals were pretty quiet last week which was expected. They added a couple veteran lefties in Jon Lester and J.A. Happ to help this rotation out down the stretch. At the end of the day, this season will go down as a season to help the continuity of this team. The Cardinals are still a solid team that will be even better in 2022.

16. Philadelphia Phillies (53-53) -1

I think the Phillies have the best chance to catch the Mets in the NL East. With that being said, I don’t think it happens and trading away a very good prospect in Spencer Howard for Kyle Gibson and Ian Kennedy seems like a questionable move. They have seven division games this week with four against Washington and three with New York. That is a big opportunity to make up some ground.

17. Atlanta Braves (52-54) +1

For a team that is missing their best player in Ronald Acuna Jr., the Braves were pretty aggressive buyers. They hauled in Jorge Soler, Eddie Rosario and Clint Frazier. They also strengthened the bullpen with the addition of Richard Rodriguez. Atlanta is still going for it which is bold considering they have alternated wins and losses so far in the second half.

18. Cleveland Indians (52-51) -1

Losing two of three in Chicago over the weekend showed that Cleveland is still a step below the White Sox. They shipped out a few guys including Eddie Rosario, Cesar Hernandez and Jordan Luplow but got a very speedy outfielder in Myles Straw from Houston. With the injuries sustained by their rotation, it has actually been a pretty good season in Cleveland.

19. Los Angeles Angels (52-54) -3

Well the Angels are once again a mediocre team with a couple of once in a generation talents. Granted Mike Trout has been hurt but they weren’t showing much promise when he was healthy. They didn’t sell a lot, but they were clearly sellers. They are going to play a big role in deciding who gets the second Wild Card spot and who wins the AL West. Any season where you have Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani on your roster and miss the playoffs is a failure.

20. Detroit Tigers (51-57) +1

I thought the Tigers would make a couple more moves but I don’t disagree at all with how they handled the deadline. They are playing well enough to maybe reach .500 by the end of the season. We also got to see a Miguel Cabrera flashback with the power last week. He is now just three home runs short of 500 for his career. One of the greatest hitters of this generation of baseball.

21. Washington Nationals (49-57) +1

One of the biggest sellers this last week was Washington. Just a year and a half removed from winning a World Series, they hit the reset button. Sending Scherzer and Turner to the Dodgers and Kyle Schwarber to Boston was just the tip of the iceberg. They have their franchise player in Juan Soto which is a great start in a rebuild. This could be more of a retooling than a rebuild.

22. Colorado Rockies (46-60) +1

This might be the most baffling team in baseball right now. They have a poor farm system and a team that is very far away from contention. Yet they don’t want to trade away players to replenish the farm system. Trevor Story isn’t going to resign and I don’t think Jon Gray will either. The Rockies were by far the biggest loser at the deadline for simply refusing to sell.

23. Chicago Cubs (51-56) -3

This week had to be heartbreaking for Cubs fans. The core of the team that ended the long World Series drought were all shipped out. Looking at the Cubs lineup without Rizzo, Bryant, or Baez is just weird. They are officially in all out rebuild mode. Opportunities are there for the young guys and it’s time to see what they can do. Don’t be surprised though to see one of those guys that were traded to head back to the Windy City in the offseason.

24. Miami Marlins (45-61) —

The Marlins have so much young starting pitching that they could use an arm or two to go get some offense. Getting Jesus Luzardo from Oakland for Starling Marte was a great trade for Miami. They got a pitcher that has proven to be effective at the Major League level. In three years or so, this team could be miserable to score runs against.

25. Kansas City Royals (45-59) —

The Royals made a couple of moves at the deadline shipping out Danny Duffy and a still underappreciated Jorge Soler. They got a nice series win over the White Sox and kept Whit Merrifield which gave fans a reason to celebrate. In the AL Central they could finish anywhere from 2nd to last but it is going to be another year of missing the playoffs this season.

26. Minnesota Twins (44-62) —

And the Twins seem to officially be in a weird rebuild mode. It doesn’t sound promising that they will be able to extend Byron Buxton. They also sent Jose Berrios up north to Toronto but got a massive return in that trade. No matter who they get or what they do for the remainder of the season, this team is by far the biggest disappointment in baseball in 2021.

27. Pittsburgh Pirates (40-66) —

The Pirates did exactly what we anticipated heading into the deadline. They followed up the Adam Frazier trade with sending Richard Rodriguez to Atlanta and Tyler Anderson to Seattle. They gave up only rental pieces so they didn’t get a lot back but all in all not bad moves for Pittsburgh. Also Rodolfo Castro had a historic week becoming the first player to ever homer for his first five major league hits. 

28. Baltimore Orioles (38-67) —

The Orioles are actually one of the hottest teams in baseball right now coming off another nice week. They split a couple of series with other young teams in Miami and Detroit. The schedule gets a bit tougher with the Yankees and Rays this week. Also they stood their ground at the deadline meaning they hope to bring back Mancini and like the pieces they have and those that are on their way.

29. Texas Rangers (39-67) —

Back to back games with a walkoff home run for Jonah Heim highlighted a not so fun week for Ranger fans. They did take two of three from a contender in the Mariners but also were big sellers. Joey Gallo was the biggest name sent packing as he headed to New York. They also traded Kyle Gibson and Ian Kennedy to Philadelphia but got a very nice return in that trade highlighted by pitcher Spencer Howard.

30. Arizona Diamondbacks (33-74) —

It is not even in question who will finish with the worst record this season. The Diamondbacks will lose 100 games. They did get Ketel Marte back in their lineup but for a team with a record as bad as theirs, they didn’t sell much at the deadline. They are in a very tough place with no pieces to sell which makes it extremely tough to rebuild the farm system.

 

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