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2021 MLB Midseason Power Rankings



By Kyle Glaser

The stretch run is here.

With baseball set to return this weekend following the all-star break, here is the seventh installment of our annual power rankings, headlined by the Dodgers, Astros and Giants.

30 Matches
See Full List Expand Collapse All Updated on: 7/16/2021
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    Los Angeles Dodgers

    56-36
    Notes:

    Yes the Dodgers are in second place in their own division, but they own the best run differential in the majors (+142) and have beaten the Giants in six of nine matchups this season. They have a prime chance to pull back into first place with seven games against the Giants in the next 13 days.

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    Houston Astros

    55-36
    Notes:

    Ducking the All-Star Game wasn’t a good look for some of the Astros’ most prominent players, but there is no denying their talent. The Astros have the highest-scoring offense in the majors, and their last series against the Yankees showed no deficit is too big to overcome.

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    San Francisco Giants

    57-32
    Notes:

    Everyone keeps waiting for the Giants to tail off, and they just keep winning. C Buster Posey’s thumb injury is something to keep an eye on, but Joey Bart’s bounceback performance in Triple-A is a good indicator he can hold things over if Posey’s injury lingers for any reason.

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    Chicago White Sox

    54-35
    Notes:

    The White Sox lost OF Eloy Jimenez, OF Luis Robert and 2B Nick Madrigal to injury and still find themselves with the highest winning percentage in the American League. Whatever criticisms have been leveled at Tony La Russa—fair or not—he is doing what he was hired to do: win.

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    Boston Red Sox

    55-36
    Notes:

    The Red Sox will be one of the most fascinating teams to watch at the trade deadline. They are in first place, they have some very clear holes to fill (first base, center field, starting rotation) and they aren’t fully committed to going all-in. OF Jarren Duran’s promotion may improve their center field outlook, but more is needed to really pull away in the AL East.

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    Tampa Bay Rays

    53-37
    Notes:

    It’s going to take more than just internal callups for the Rays to improve their offense. SS Wander Franco is 8-for-61 to start his career and is going through the early struggles that all players go through. With an offense that ranks tied for 25th in batting average (.230) and 16th in OPS (.712), the Rays are going to have to trade from their prospect depth to get impact, veteran bats if they’re serious about contending.

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    San Diego Padres

    53-40
    Notes:

    The Padres limped into the all-star break with RHP Yu Darvish, LHP Blake Snell and RHP Dinelson Lamet all on the injured list and LHP Ryan Weathers out until at least early August with a foot injury. While they’ve been connected to Rangers OF Joey Gallo in trade rumors, their biggest need is starters who can log innings and get them through the season.

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    Milwaukee Brewers

    53-39
    Notes:

    With the Cardinals and Cubs in a tailspin, the NL Central is the Brewers’ division to lose. With a three-game series against the second-place Reds followed by 11 of their next 14 games against teams with losing records, the Brewers have a chance to put the division away by mid-August if they come out of the all-star break hot.

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    Oakland Athletics

    52-40
    Notes:

    Without much fanfare, the A’s rotation has been one of baseball’s best this season. LHP Sean Manaea (6-6, 3.19) and RHP Chris Bassitt (10-2, 3.28) were known commodities, but LHP Cole Irvin (6-8, 3.65) and RHP James Kaprielian (4-3, 2.90) have been pleasant surprises and given the A’s a deeper rotation than all but few in the American League. Entering Friday, A’s starters have the third-lowest ERA in the AL behind only the Astros and White Sox.

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    Toronto Blue Jays

    45-42
    Notes:

    OF George Springer is arguably a bigger addition than anyone who could be added at the deadline. He’s still rounding into form (.194, 5 HR in 20 games), but once he does, the fearsome Blue Jays offense will be significantly more dangerous than it already is.

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    New York Mets

    47-40
    Notes:

    SS Francisco Lindor may finally be heating up, and not a moment too soon. The $341 million man has hit .277/.375/.494 in his last 25 games. If he can keep it up, the Mets offense might finally resemble the juggernaut it was expected to be at the start of the season with Lindor hitting and OFs Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo healthy and back in the lineup.

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    Cincinnati Reds

    48-42
    Notes:

    Every time it looks like the Reds are falling off, they find a way to rebound and put themselves back in the playoff race. One particularly promising development: RHP Luis Castillo has a 2.11 ERA in his last nine starts after his miserable beginning of the season.

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    New York Yankees

    46-43
    Notes:

    Give the Yankees credit for cleaning up their baserunning. After leading the majors with 31 outs made on the bases through June 14, they’ve made only four outs on the bases in the last month and no longer lead the majors (The A’s now have 36, one more than the Yankees).

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    Cleveland Indians

    45-42
    Notes:

    The Indians built their reputation on pitching development, but they have yet to unlock success in any of their young starters this season. With RHP Triston McKenzie (1-3, 5.47), LHP Sam Hentges (1-4, 8.23), LHP Logan Allen (1-5, 9.13), RHP Eli Morgan (1-3, 8.44), RHP J.C. Mejia (1-4, 7.42) and RHP Cal Quantrill (6.88 ERA in eight starts) all flopping in the rotation, the Indians need injured RHPs Shane Bieber (shoulder) and Aaron Civale (finger) to get healthy quickly to have a postseason shot.

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    Seattle Mariners

    48-43
    Notes:

    Somehow, someway, the Mariners just keep winning. The Mariners entered the break having won seven of their last 11 games and, amazingly, are only 3 ½ games out of a wild card spot in the American League. While they certainly won’t trade prospects to go for it this season, their performance does provide hope that a turnaround may be sooner than originally thought.

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    Philadelphia Phillies

    44-44
    Notes:

    Through all their ups and downs this season, the Phillies remain only 3 ½ games back of first place in the NL East and have a winnable stretch upcoming with 19 of their next 21 games all against teams with losing records. Getting RHPs Aaron Nola and Connor Brogdon, LHP Bailey Falter and 3B Alec Bohm back from the Covid-19 injured list as soon as possible is imperative.

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    Los Angeles Angels

    45-44
    Notes:

    Given the Angels lost Mike Trout to injury, have the third-worst rotation ERA in the American League and have been playing players out of position all season, it’s remarkable they have a winning record. They’ve gone 27-22 since Trout went down with his calf injury, largely due to the heroics of RHP/DH Shohei Ohtani and 1B Jared Walsh, and now find themselves in position to make a run with Trout’s return on the horizon.

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    Atlanta Braves

    44-45
    Notes:

    The bad news just keeps coming for the Braves. RHP Ian Anderson had his shoulder examined during the all-star break and results of the examination aren’t yet known. On the heels of OF Ronald Acuña’s season-ending knee injury, the Braves can ill-afford to lose another key member of the team. Their first 18 games out of the break all come against teams with .500 or better records.

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    Chicago Cubs

    44-46
    Notes:

    The teardown is coming. The Cubs’ 2-13 skid heading into the all-star break means 1B Anthony Rizzo, 3B/OF Kris Bryant, SS Javier Baez and RHP Craig Kimbrel and many more accomplished veterans will all hit the trade block in the leadup to the deadline. OF Joc Pederson was already sent to the Braves on Thursday for prospect 1B Bryce Ball, and all signs point to this being the end of an era on Chicago’s North Side.

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    Washington Nationals

    42-47
    Notes:

    The Nationals’ surge has cooled after losing nine of 11 heading into the all-star break. The Nats’ rise began when OF Kyle Schwarber got red-hot, and now that he’s out with a significant hamstring strain, someone else is going to have to step up to get the Nationals back on the winning track. One candidate is 1B Josh Bell, who has hit .301/.366/.524 since May 13.

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    St. Louis Cardinals

    44-46
    Notes:

    A lot of the focus has understandably been on the Cardinals' pitching after they lost RHPs Jack Flaherty, Miles Mikolas and Carlos Martinez to injury this season, but their offense hasn’t helped matters. Even after adding 3B Nolan Arenado in a lopsided trade last offseason, the Cardinals rank 27th in the majors in runs scored and 26th in batting average (.230) and OPS (.681). The offensive declines of SS Paul DeJong (.185, .672 OPS) and 2B Tommy Edman (.299 OBP) have been particularly troublesome and need to be figured out.

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    Miami Marlins

    39-50
    Notes:

    The Marlins figure to be very popular for teams looking to bulk up their bullpen. The Marlins already moved RHP Adam Cimber in a deal with the Blue Jays and still have LHP Richard Bleier (2.43 ERA), RHP Dylan Floro (3.00 ERA) and RHP Yimi Garcia (3.44 ERA, 13 SV) to offer clubs seeking relief help. One under-the-radar position player who should interest teams: OF/1B Garrett Cooper, who has hit .284/.359/.465 since becoming a regular in 2019 and has three years of team control remaining.

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    Minnesota Twins

    39-50
    Notes:

    The Twins won six of eight heading into the all-star break, but it’s too late to prevent the selloff likely to come. Even if they don’t move RHP Jose Berrios, they have plenty of veteran starters and relievers to offer teams in RHPs Kenta Maeda, Michael Pineda, Hansel Robles and Tyler Duffey and LHP Taylor Rogers.

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    Colorado Rockies

    40-51
    Notes:

    In an otherwise forgettable season, the solid showing from longtime top prospect Brendan Rodgers (.261/.333/.433) has been an encouraging development for the Rockies’ future outlook. Now the challenge is to help him play shortstop so Garrett Hampson can be the everyday second baseman. Hampson, a natural middle infielder, has hit .294/.330/.471 when he’s playing second base compared to .222/.283/.363 when he’s playing out of position in center field.

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    Detroit Tigers

    40-51
    Notes:

    OF Akil Baddoo looked like he was flaming out after a torrid start, like many Rule 5 picks before him, and fell to a .195/.232/.494 slash line on May 8. Since then, he’s been one of baseball’s hottest hitters. Baddoo has hit .316/.414/.444 in his last 45 games dating back to that day and given the Tigers a position player to build with. Now, the task is filling in the pieces around him.

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