MLB power rankings: Best teams entering MLB postseason
The 2021 regular season is over and now eight teams are left standing for the MLB playoffs. With the postseason action set to begin, our MLB power rankings focus on the teams still fighting for a World Series title.
Let’s dive into our latest MLB power rankings, examining each team and where they stand amongst their peers in the MLB playoffs.
MLB power rankings: Teams to watch
8. Boston Red Sox (LW: 10)
The Boston Red Sox can be happy about reaching the postseason and knocking the New York Yankees out in the AL Wild Card Game. But with J.D. Martinez hurt, Rafael Devers playing through pain and a weak rotation, Boston stands little shot of winning the ALDS. A strong season ends here for the Red Sox.
7. Atlanta Braves (LW: 14)
Credit to the Atlanta Braves for getting here without Ronald Acuña Jr., which we thought would be impossible. The NL East champions are carried by two outstanding hitters. Freddie Freeman is the 2020 NL MVP, but Austin Riley ( .976 OPS in the second half ) is Atlanta’s new star. If the Braves are going to win the NLDS, they’ll need their sluggers to crush some All-Star pitching.Also Read:
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6. Houston Astros (LW: 5)
The Houston Astros certainly don’t lack postseason experience and that likely makes them the favorites in the ALDS over the White Sox. In the final 30 days of the regular season, the Astros’ lineup posted the third-highest OPS (.821) and its starting rotation (3.94) performed well in the second half. If the Astros make it past Chicago, they can beat anyone in the American League.
5. Chicago White Sox (LW: 9)
When the Chicago White Sox lineup is clicking, there might not be a more dangerous team in MLB. Yasmani Grandal (1.007 OPS), Luis Robert (.990 OPS) and Yoán Moncada (.844 OPS) crushed baseballs in October. What Chicago needs to win the World Series is Eloy Jiménez (.608 OPS), Josê Abreu (.748 OPS) and Craig Kimbrel (5.09 ERA since trade) to live up to their elite talents.Also Read:
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MLB power rankings: World Series favorites
4. Milwaukee Brewers (LW: 4)
The Brewers are more than capable of bringing another championship to Milwaukee. Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta make up the best playoff rotation trio and we’ve seen that lead teams to a World Series title (San Francisco Giants, Washington Nationals). The focus will be on the Brewers’ lineup (.741 OPS in the second half) and whether or not rookie Aaron Ashby can be a hero out of the bullpen.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers (LW: 1)
A 106-win season wasn’t enough to win the division and that puts the Los Angeles Dodgers in a dangerous do-or-die NL Wild Card Game. But Los Angeles survived, thanks to Chris Taylor coming through in the clutch. Revenge is very possible in the NLDS for the Dodgers, but the Max Muncy and Clayton Kershaw injuries push them down the MLB power rankings. If they beat the Giants in the NLDS, then the Dodgers will reclaim the No. 1 spot.
2. Tampa Bay Rays (LW: 3)
The Tampa Bay Rays reached the World Series last year thanks to rookie Randy Arozarena (1.273 OPS, 10 home runs) going on a historic run. While we wouldn’t expect that same power production from Wander Franco, the 20-year-old is capable of pushing this team to another AL pennant. But if the Rays want to win it all, Kevin Cash needs to manage his pitchers perfectly.Also Read:
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1. San Francisco Giants (LW: 2)
The San Francisco Giants must be viewed as the favorite to win the World Series. No one saw this 107-win coming, but the Giants proved all year they are the best team in MLB. San Francisco ended the regular season with the fourth-highest OPS (.769), the second-most home runs (241) and the best bullpen (2.99 ERA). By the end of the MLB postseason, Buster Posey could have four World Series rings.