For a third consecutive month, the Los Angeles Dodgers sit at the top of the MLB Power Rankings. The Dodgers hold an 11.5 game lead on their nearest pursuers in all of baseball.
Following games of Friday, September 1, the Dodgers ‘Magic Number’ is down to just 13 in order to clinch the NL West Division crown. It will be the franchise’ fifth division title in a row, their seventh in the last decade.
The Washington Nationals have established themselves as the second-best club in the National League. The Nats ‘Magic Number’ is now down to only 14 for their second straight NL East crown, their fourth in the past six seasons.
The defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs have now run off five straight wins to open up a 3.5 game lead in the NL Central. However, the Milwaukee Brewers have won three in a row, and remain tough to shake for the Cubbies.
In the NL Wildcard race, what was once a two-horse race between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies has become a bit more interesting over the last month. The Brew Crew are now just 1.5 games back of the Rockies, with the Cards just four back.
DIVISION LEADERS SOLID IN JUNIOR CIRCUIT
Over in the American League, the Houston Astros continue to hold the best overall record. However, the Cleveland Indians have been on the warpath over the last month. The Tribe have now moved within 2.5 of the Astros in the race for the league’s top overall mark. The Boston Red Sox are just four games out in that race.
The Astros now lead by a dozen games in the AL West. Their ‘Magic Number’ is down to 17 entering Saturday action. The Indians have pulled away to an eight-game cushion in the AL Central. The Bosox currently hold a 5.5 game lead over their historic rivals, the New York Yankees, in the AL East Division.
AL WILD WILDCARD RACE
Just as a month ago, the American League Wildcard race is the most exciting in baseball. There are currently eight teams within 3.5 games of one another in the battle for the two available playoff berths.
The Yankees sit on top of that race, with the Minnesota Twins holding the second berth into Saturday games. Both the Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Angels are just 1.5 games behind the Twins. The Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers are just three games out, while the Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals are only 3.5 games off the pace.
12 OUT, 18 IN RACE FOR POSTSEASON POSITIONS
At this point, I’m prepared to rule a dozen teams out of the race for any type of postseason consideration. But the other 18 clubs are in for a dramatic final few weeks to the regular season. For 10 survivors of the six-month long battle, the drama will continue into October.
With the Dodgers still planted at the top, let’s take a look at where each of the 30 teams of Major League Baseball rank as of this Labor Day Weekend in 2017.