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2020 MLB Power Rankings


Believe it or not, the final days of the season are upon us.

With nine days remaining in the regular season, 20 of the 30 teams are within two games of a playoff spot. The Dodgers, Rays and White Sox have already clinched postseason berths, and the Twins, A's, Padres and Cubs are just days away from doing the same.

The American League field appears largely set, but the National League field is wide open at the bottom. The Phillies currently have a 1/2 game lead for the No. 8 spot in the NL, with the Cardinals, Mets. Brewers and Rockies all within two games of them.

Here is the top priority for every team over these final days of the season. For some, it's about putting them in the best position for October. For others, it's about looking farther into the future.

30 Matches
See Full List Expand Collapse All Updated on: 9/18/2020
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    Los Angeles Dodgers


    Line up the pitching: The Dodgers will be the heavy favorite to win the World Series as long as they use their starters wisely. With Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw set to be their top two postseason starters, lining Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin and Julio Urias up optimally as starters—not as followers with a reliever starting—will make or break their World Series dreams.

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    Chicago White Sox


    Earn the hardware: The White Sox have already clinched their first playoff berth since 2008. The final days are for 1B Jose Abreu and SS Tim Anderson to strengthen their AL MVP cases and OF Luis Robert to close the gap with Kyle Lewis in the AL Rookie of the Year race.

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    San Diego Padres


    Get everyone back: The Padres are already a dangerous team. If 1B Eric Hosmer and OF Tommy Pham can come back fully healthy and up to speed in time for the postseason, they’ll be even more dangerous.

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    Tampa Bay Rays


    Stay healthy: The Rays overcame an incredible amount of injuries to their pitching staff to make the playoffs for the second straight season. Ensuring LHP Blake Snell, RHP Tyler Glasnow and the rest of their starters stay healthy through the end of the season is priority No. 1.

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    Oakland Athletics


    Heat up the bats: An elite bullpen helps mitigate some of the A’s rotation concerns. More pressing is the offense. The A’s rank seventh in the AL in runs scored and ninth in OPS and are now without 3B Matt Chapman for the rest of the season. 1B Matt Olson (.190, .751 OPS) and SS Marcus Semien (.229, .700) rounding into form would go a long way to brightening their postseason outlook.

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    Minnesota Twins


    Catch the leader: The Twins dropped three of four against the White Sox to fall three games behind in the AL Central. The odds of catching Chicago are slim, but if they can handle a three-game series at the Cubs, they finish with five straight games at home—where they are 21-5.

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    Atlanta Braves


    Figure out No. 4: LHPs Max Fried and Cole Hamels are back from the injured list and rookie RHP Ian Anderson has been a standout. But with no off days, the Braves are going to need a No. 4 starter if they want to go very far. Figuring out who that fourth starter is will be critical in these final nine days.

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    New York Yankees


    Fix the road blues: The Yankees, and specifically their offense, are a completely different team at home (20-7) than on the road (8-14). With seven straight road games coming up, it’s a prime opportunity for them to figure out a winning formula away from Yankee Stadium to prepare for neutral-site playoff games.

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    Chicago Cubs


    Warm the B’s up: SS Javier Baez and 3B Kris Bryant are two of baseball’s best players when they’re at their best, but they haven’t been all season. Baez is batting .211 with a .627 OPS. Bryant is at .205 with a .609 OPS. If they can catch fire here in the final week-plus, it would greatly enhance the Cubs’ playoff outlook.

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    Cleveland Indians


    Stay out of 8th: The Indians have had success (4-2) this season against the AL-best White Sox, but a matchup with either Oakland or Tampa Bay and their weaker offenses—who also haven’t seen their pitching this year—is a much more favorable matchup for the Tribe. Keeping the No. 7-seed, as they currently have, makes them more likely to open against one of those two.

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    Houston Astros


    Ride the pitching: RHPs Jose Urquidy and Lance McCullers delivered back-to-back dominant seven-inning starts, an encouraging development after both missed time this year. If those two are at full strength, they align very nicely with RHP Zack Greinke, rookie Cristian Javier, lefthander Framber Valdez and the possible return of Justin Verlander to give Houston a formidable group of starters.

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    Toronto Blue Jays


    Regroup: The Blue Jays simply got thumped by the Yankees, losing by a combined score of 43-15 and surrendering 19 home runs over three games. They don’t have time to mope, with just a 1 ½ game lead over the Astros for the seventh playoff spot in the AL. They’ll have two chances to strengthen their position today, hosting a doubleheader against the Phillies.

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    St. Louis Cardinals


    Find the offense: 1B Paul Goldschmidt (.913 OPS) and DH Brad Miller (.887) are doing their part, but they need help. The Cardinals have scored just 12 runs in their last six games. With 14 games to go over the final 10 days, they need others to step up in order to give their pitchers some breathing room with a big workload looming.

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    San Francisco Giants


    Protect their house: The Giants are 16-9 at home this season compared to 9-15 on the road. With 8 of their final 11 games at Oracle Park—and their only road trip across the Bay to Oakland—they’ll make the playoffs as long as they keep playing like they have been at home.

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    Philadelphia Phillies


    Hold on tight: RHP Jake Arrieta (hamstring) and 1B Rhys Hoskins (elbow) are likely done for the regular season, but both have a chance to return in the postseason if the Phillies can get in. They’re already without C J.T. Realmuto (hip), RHP Spencer Howard (shoulder) and OF Jay Bruce (quad) and are 3-7 in their last 10 games, but they’d be in the playoffs if the season ended today.

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    Cincinnati Reds


    Keep it going: The Reds have won 7 of 9 to vault into the playoff picture. With their final nine games coming against the White Sox, Twins and suddenly-explosive Brewers, they’re going to need their excellent rotation (3.70 starter’s ERA, sixth-best in MLB) to be at its best.

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    Miami Marlins


    Take care of this weekend: The Marlins have four home games against the struggling Nationals this weekend. It’s critical they win those games, because they finish with seven straight against the Braves and Yankees. How they fare against Washington this weekend may very well determine if they make the postseason or not.

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    Milwaukee Brewers


    Get Yelich on track: The Brewers had outbursts of 18 and 19 runs in the last 10 days, but they also had six games scoring either 0, 1 or 2 runs. They’re still in playoff contention even with Yelich, their best player, yet to get going offensively. If he can get hot, the Brewers offense suddenly becomes a lot more consistent and makes them a likely playoff team.

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    New York Mets


    Keep banging: Believe it or not, the Mets are still very much in the NL playoff picture—they are just 1 ½ games behind the Phillies for the eighth and final spot. Without much fanfare, the Mets have the second-highest OPS (.822) in MLB this year and have scored 46 runs in their last seven games. With RHP Jacob deGrom hurt and the rest of their rotation a major liability, it’s up to the Mets’ offense to keep their playoff dreams alive.

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    Colorado Rockies


    Survive home: The Rockies, amazingly, are also just two games out of the final NL playoff spot. They have three more home games against the Dodgers, but then they finish with eight straight games on the road—where they have been significantly better this season. If they can avoid getting swept by the Dodgers, they’ll give themselves a chance away from Coors Field next week.

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    Baltimore Orioles


    Keep Means rolling: LHP John Means has delivered back-to-back starts of six innings and run one allowed, against the high-powered Yankees and Mets offenses, no less. As the O’s rebuild moves forward, having Means perform at a high level will be critical to give their rotation an anchor.

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    Los Angeles Angels


    Find the future: Stars and scrubs continues to be a losing formula for the Angels, making it critical they find a worthy supporting cast for OF Mike Trout and 3B Anthony Rendon. 1B Jared Walsh has already stepped up, and now it’s time to see if any of the other youngsters on the team will too.

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    Washington Nationals


    Groom the youngsters: INFs Howie Kendrick, Asdrubal Cabrera and Josh Harrison are all free agents after this season. 2B Luis Garcia and 3B Carter Kieboom have each shown flashes in their rookie seasons—Garcia more than Kieboom—and now’s the time to keep getting them ready for larger roles next year.

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    Seattle Mariners


    Maintain the progress: OF Kyle Lewis, RHP Justin Dunn, LHP Justus Sheffield and UTIL Dylan Moore all made significant improvements from their major league debuts last year. Ensuring they and 1B Evan White finish strong will put them in favorable position for 2021 with many of their top prospects in line to debut next year.

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    Kansas City Royals


    Get the pick: The Royals have a promising foundation of young pitching, but their offensive outlook remains poor for both the short term and long term. Four of the top six college prospects for the 2021 draft are position players, as are seven of the top eight high school prospects. Getting in position to draft the best of them is the best thing for the franchise right now.

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