Where each group stands within the final week of August

The dominance of the Dodgers has continued as we enter the final week of August, with Los Angeles on tempo for 112-plus wins on the season.

Within the battle of New York, the Yankees confirmed indicators of life by sweeping the Mets in a two-game collection, although the Astros nonetheless have a wholesome three-game lead over them for the highest spot within the American League. The Mets, in the meantime, will flip to the division race and try and lock up the title over the surging Braves.

Issues are additionally starting to warmth up in St. Louis, as Albert Pujols tries to succeed in 700 profession dwelling runs, Paul Goldschmidt vies for the elusive Triple Crown title and the Cardinals jockey for a division title for the second time since 2015.

Where do all these high groups stand earlier than the struggle for a postseason berth actually ramps up in September?

Our professional panel has mixed to rank each group in baseball primarily based on a mix of what we have seen to date and what we already knew going into the 162-game marathon that may be a full baseball season. We additionally requested ESPN MLB consultants David Schoenfield, Bradford Doolittle, Jesse Rogers, Joon Lee and Alden Gonzalez to weigh in with an commentary for all 30 groups.

Week 19 | Second-half preview | Preseason rankings

Document: 85-37

Earlier rating: 1

There’s sizzling, after which there’s the present Dodgers. Coming off a 10-1 victory over Corbin Burnes and the Brewers on Tuesday, they put their run-differential at plus-100 for the second half. They’re an astounding 39-9 because the begin of July, have gained 18 of twenty-two video games this month, and their magic quantity to clinch a division title is already simply 19. The Dodgers, with an eight-game lead* the No. 1 seed within the Nationwide League, must go solely 14-25 the remainder of the way in which to safe 100 wins. To tie the regular-season file of 116 wins, set by the 2001 Mariners and the 1906 Cubs, they must go 30-9. Unlikely, however not essentially out of attain for this group. — Alden Gonzalez

Document: 79-45

Earlier rating: 2

Rookie shortstop Jeremy Pena has loved a wonderful debut season within the mixture, however after establishing himself as a Rookie of the 12 months candidate early, Pena has step by step slid behind a number of different rookies. His protection has remained regular, and with Houston that includes a lot offense round him, maybe that is adequate. On the All-Star break, he ranked fourth amongst shortstops with minus-eight defensive runs saved. That determine is now minus-12, and he is nonetheless fourth amongst shortstops. The offense, nonetheless, has fallen off badly behind an over-aggressive method. Pena is hitting simply .224/.259/.366 since June 1. His chase charge for the season ranks within the high 20 amongst 145 certified hitters. It has been an thrilling debut for Pena, however he nonetheless has work left to do. — Bradford Doolittle

Document: 79-46

Earlier rating: 3

The 2-game sweep at Yankee Stadium harm, however of their subsequent 23 video games, 20 of them are towards shedding groups (the exception being three video games at dwelling towards the Dodgers). How about Francisco Lindor within the MVP dialogue? OK, it is powerful to have a look at anybody apart from Goldschmidt proper now, however Lindor is seventh within the NL in WAR. He is missed only one sport and has hit .318 with 9 dwelling runs and 28 RBIs because the starting of July. He is on tempo to drive in 100 runs for the primary time in his profession. Lastly, Jacob deGrom via his first 4 begins has 37 strikeouts, one stroll and .138 common allowed. Alas, the Mets are simply 2-2 in his begins. — David Schoenfield

Document: 77-48

Earlier rating: 5

Have they constructed the Vaughn Grissom statue but at Truist Park? In his first 14 video games, the 21-year-old rookie hit .420/.463/.660 with three dwelling runs, 10 RBIs and 14 runs. The Braves went 12-2 in these video games. He is the thirty first participant within the wild-card period (since 1995) to hit .400 via his first 14 video games (minimal 40 plate appearances) — a listing that features Pujols and Corey Seager, in addition to Jeff Francoeur, who did it for the Braves in 2005 (and plenty of others you have not heard of). It is going to be fascinating to see what the Braves do with Grissom as soon as Ozzie Albies returns. He has began taking batting observe as he returns from his damaged foot. — Schoenfield

Document: 76-48

Earlier rating: 4

There’s hope as soon as once more in New York. The Yankees are inching away from the panic button after successful three straight video games with a victory towards the division-rival Blue Jays and two towards the Subway Sequence-rival Mets. Aaron Choose continued his dwelling run tear towards the Mets, hitting two moon pictures in two video games. Because the Yankees slowly come again to well being with the return of Giancarlo Stanton imminent, Choose will must be a constant pressure within the lineup. — Joon Lee

Document: 71-52

Earlier rating: 6

The Cardinals roared into first place and have not seemed again, extending their lead over the Brewers within the NL Central to 5 video games. Goldschmidt may be the season’s MVP however Pujols’ chase for 700 profession dwelling runs is the story in baseball this month. The 2 gamers shared participant of the week honors because the latter one hit .526 with 4 dwelling runs. St. Louis pitching produced a 1.80 ERA over a seven-day span via Tuesday. Add all of it up and it equals a seven-game win streak. — Jesse Rogers

Document: 66-55

Earlier rating: 9

The Blue Jays are slowly making their manner again into rivalry after weeks of struggling, enjoying properly towards the Yankees and Purple Sox. The offense is beginning to discover some consistency, with pitchers like Ross Stripling stepping up whereas the group moved struggling starter Yusei Kikuchi to the bullpen. If Toronto catches hearth on the proper time, will probably be a pressure to be reckoned with in October. — Lee

Document: 67-55

Earlier rating: 11

Tyler Glasnow could possibly be making a return to Tampa Bay earlier than later as he recovers from Tommy John surgical procedure, making him an addition that might push this deep Rays group into the World Sequence dialog, particularly as gamers like Wander Franco and Manuel Margot come again from the injured listing. The Rays activated Margot, however Franco skilled a setback in his rehab task, leaving Tampa Bay to eagerly await his return to the lineup. — Lee

Document: 68-55

Earlier rating: 8

Rookie Bryson Stott’s total stat line does not impress, however after enjoying sporadically the primary two months of the season (and hitting .123), he is just about been in there day-after-day because the starting of June and has hit .261/.321/.424 since June 1. The previous first-round decide is now the common shortstop after the discharge of Didi Gregorius and is definitely a defensive improve. He appears to be like just like the long-term answer at a place the Phillies had struggled to fill because the finish of the Jimmy Rollins period in 2014. — Schoenfield

Document: 68-57

Earlier rating: 7

Padres gamers acquired what they described as some much-needed readability on Tuesday, when Fernando Tatis Jr. spoke to them about his constructive check for a performance-enhancing substance. The thought was that this would possibly permit the Padres the closure to maneuver on and get in gear. That is the hope, no less than. The lineup, now sure to be with out Tatis for the complete season, has but to click on within the wake of normal supervisor A.J. Preller’s spectacular additions earlier than the commerce deadline. The Padres have scored three runs or much less in eight of their final 9 video games. And now Juan Soto is coping with a again difficulty. — Gonzalez

Document: 67-56

Earlier rating: 10

Because the Mariners battle for the wild card, the offense continues to battle to attain runs. Two keys: Carlos Santana and J.P. Crawford. Santana is beginning to lose some enjoying time, and it appears like one of the best Seattle lineup has Jesse Winker at DH (his left-field protection is completely atrocious) and Sam Haggerty and Dylan Moore platooning in left subject. Crawford had an enormous April, however has an OPS underneath .600 since then and barely drives the ball (one dwelling run in his previous 89 video games). Nonetheless, he is batted fifth or sixth a lot of the time in August, and whereas he takes some walks and places the ball in play, it is in all probability time to maneuver him down within the order. — Schoenfield

Document: 65-56

Earlier rating: 13

Steven Kwan started the season as the latest sensation in baseball after going 10-for-15 over his first 5 large league video games. By the top of the primary week in June, it appeared as if the league had shortly figured Kwan out, as he hit .197 over 36 video games, dropping his season common to .248. However in case you forgot about Kwan, it is time to keep in mind him, as he isn’t simply re-adjusted to the sport’s highest degree. In some ways, he has come to typify the younger Guardians along with his protection and wizardry with the bat. Since that .248 low level, Kwan has hit .323/.385/.413 over 68 video games with robust defensive metrics. Kwan is not prone to catch Seattle’s Julio Rodriguez or Baltimore’s Adley Rutschman within the AL’s Rookie of the 12 months race, however he might have cemented himself as a robust No. 3. — Doolittle

Document: 65-57

Earlier rating: 12

Milwaukee has been in a little bit of a free fall. Shedding two of three to the Cubs over the weekend did not assist issues. The backend of the pen has been shaky whereas the offense continues to wobble as properly. Lefty Eric Lauer is no less than doing his half to maintain the Brewers within the playoff race with a robust month that included a five-inning shutout efficiency towards the Dodgers on Monday. That helped decrease his ERA to 2.16 in August. — Rogers

Document: 62-59

Earlier rating: 14

Because the Twins’ season has slowly unraveled, there was rising scrutiny on an offense that was anticipated to energy a Minnesota return to rivalry. Between accidents and underperformance, the assault has fallen brief, and this has led to a highlight on the so-so season by high-priced acquisition Carlos Correa.

In actuality, this can be a consultant season for Correa, at the same time as we assume that his ceiling in any given season is MVP candidacy. He is struggled with accidents, which is nothing new, however his 125 OPS+ is barely six factors shy of the 131 he put up for the Astros in 2021. His defensive metrics are constructive however down from his Platinum Glove marketing campaign a season in the past, and he is on tempo to put up round 4.4 WAR. Not dangerous, however for $35.1 million, the Twins have been hoping for one thing nearer to that MVP ceiling. — Doolittle

Document: 64-58

Earlier rating: 15

Gunnar Henderson’s arrival in Baltimore seems to be impending because the younger Orioles don’t have anything to lose this 12 months, exceeding all expectations. The group is just some video games out of a playoff spot even after the trades of Trey Mancini and Jorge Lopez on the deadline, leaving Baltimore wanting up at simply the Rays, Mariners and Blue Jays within the wild-card race. Henderson could possibly be the spark that brings Baltimore excessive because it tries to make a push for October. — Lee

Document: 62-61

Earlier rating: 17

In dire want of center infield assist in the wake of Tim Anderson’s harm, the White Sox handed on veterans Gregorius and Andrelton Simmons after they hit the market, however moved shortly to choose up Elvis Andrus when he was set adrift by Oakland. Andrus, who turns 34 this weekend, put up a 97 OPS+ with minus-6 defensive runs saved throughout his remaining season with the Athletics.

One fascinating side of the acquisition is the query of what occurs to Andrus when Anderson returns. He has appeared in 1,877 video games within the subject as a giant leaguer and has by no means appeared at a defensive place apart from shortstop. Nonetheless, with the White Sox clinging to hopes of a spirited end at the same time as core gamers like Anderson, Yasmani Grandal and Michael Kopech hold hitting the injured listing, that is a difficulty supervisor Tony La Russa will fear about later. — Doolittle

Document: 61-61

Earlier rating: 16

The Giants have mainly been treading water this month and nonetheless discover themselves inside cheap distance of the ultimate wild-card spot within the NL. However their playoff odds are down to only 2.9%, and this season cannot be seemed upon as something apart from a disappointment. The query, long run, is whether or not the Giants merely underperformed, or in the event that they regressed to the imply after a 107-win 2021 season that stunned many outsiders. Mike Yastrzemski, particularly, is somebody who warrants shut examination. The 32-year-old outfielder broke out through the COVID-19-shortened season and seemed like a fixture of their subsequent part, however he produced an adjusted OPS of solely 106 final season and is batting solely .211/.310/.377 in 2022. The one certified hitter with a decrease OPS within the second half has been Myles Straw. — Gonzalez

Document: 60-63

Earlier rating: 18

The accidents hold holding this Boston group again, with Enrique Hernandez, Trevor Story and Chris Sale all out. Nathan Eovaldi and Eric Hosmer additionally each hit the injured listing, so Boston’s playoff hopes for the season are fading shortly. Issues have gotten dangerous sufficient that Bobby Dalbec is enjoying shortstop. The vitality is low in Boston proper now, even with out the query of what is going to occur to Xander Bogaerts looming over the way forward for the membership. — Lee

Document: 56-67

Earlier rating: 19

Did the Rangers get a lift from their managerial change? Texas had certainly one of its higher collection wins of the 12 months underneath interim supervisor Tony Beasley when it gained three of 4 on the street in Minnesota over the weekend. Pitching was the secret for the Rangers as they gave up a complete of simply six runs within the collection. That success on the mound helped them to a 5-2 over the previous seven video games whereas compiling a 2.18 ERA. — Rogers

Document: 56-66

Earlier rating: 20

The D-backs are navigating one other forgettable season, however Merrill Kelly and Zac Gallen proceed to be vibrant spots, combining to go 6-0 with a 1.27 ERA, a 0.85 WHIP and a 4.19 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 85 innings because the All-Star break. Gallen and Kelly, the latter of whom pitched six scoreless innings in Wednesday’s loss to the Royals, are each on the books via 2025 and have solidified themselves as stable rotational constructing blocks for the foreseeable future. — Gonzalez

Document: 52-71

Earlier rating: 22

Arte Moreno introduced his plans to doubtlessly promote the group on Tuesday, close to the top of his twentieth 12 months because the Angels’ proprietor. The hope is {that a} contemporary face may right a number of the flaws in Moreno’s possession tenure — particularly, in keeping with varied individuals all through the business who’ve spoken on the topic in recent times: meddling in baseball-operations choices, most notably for high-priced contracts which have backfired; refusing to exceed the luxury-tax threshold; and never inserting sufficient significance on placing the right infrastructure in place to maximise scouting and participant growth.

To his credit score, Moreno’s groups have been at all times throughout the high 10 in payroll. However these aforementioned points are pointed to by many as the rationale the Angels are already near clinching their seventh consecutive shedding season — with no clear path to quick rivalry in sight. — Gonzalez

Document: 54-69

Earlier rating: 24

Not that the disappointing season is supervisor Don Mattingly’s fault, however on condition that his contract is up and that the one successful and playoff season in seven years as supervisor got here within the shortened 2020 season, it is beginning to really feel increasingly possible that the Marlins can have a brand new supervisor for 2023. It is also honest to level out that younger hitters merely have not developed underneath Mattingly, because the offense continues to be an issue (14th within the NL in runs, final in walks, thirteenth in batting common). — Schoenfield

Document: 53-70

Earlier rating: 21

Chicago pitching has been excellent because the All-Star break, compiling the second lowest ERA in baseball behind the mighty Dodgers. Lefty Justin Steele is making a reputation for himself after recording 9 or extra strikeouts in three consecutive dwelling begins — solely the third lefty to ever try this at Wrigley Discipline. The opposite two hurlers? Sandy Koufax and Randy Johnson. Steele has a 3.25 ERA in 23 begins as he is established himself within the league. — Rogers

Document: 54-70

Earlier rating: 23

Rockies first baseman C.J. Cron obtained off to a blistering begin, the kind that earned him an invite to the All-Star Sport. However his bat has noticeably slowed ever since, producing solely a .177/.231/.319 slash line within the second half. Within the midst of that, the Rockies have gone 11-21. They produce other, greater issues, in fact, as Wednesday’s 16-4 loss to the Rangers exemplified. — Gonzalez

Document: 48-73

Earlier rating: 26

Even when Cincinnati will get a superb outing out from a starter, it appears to go dangerous. On Monday, lefty Nick Lodolo took a no-hitter into the sixth inning towards the Phillies solely to surrender 4 runs that inning earlier than being knocked out. The Reds’ 1-0 shutout by Lodolo every week in the past — a sport that did not get away — looks as if a distant reminiscence as their employees compiled a 4.22 ERA since final Wednesday. — Rogers

Document: 50-75

Earlier rating: 25

It hasn’t been that lengthy since prospect hounds would debate about who the centerfielder of the longer term may be for the Braves. Cristian Pache or Drew Waters? Pache was the higher glove, so perhaps he sticks in heart with Waters sliding over to left. Nicely, the reply to Pache or Waters is … neither. Pache was dealt to Oakland over the offseason, Michael Harris II simply signed a $72 million contract to be the Braves’ heart fielder of the current and future, and Waters simply made his large league debut for the Royals.

Waters, picked up midseason for a compensatory draft alternative (No. 35 within the current draft), drove within the successful run towards the White Sox on Monday with a bases-loaded stroll. After posting a .698 for the Braves’ Triple-A group, he boosted that to .940 after the commerce, enjoying for the Royals Triple-A membership in the identical circuit. — Doolittle

Document: 47-76

Earlier rating: 27

The Pirates and Reds are buying and selling turns in final place within the NL Central as Pittsbugh has had points with pitching these days. The Pirates’ employees gave up 23 runs in a weekend collection loss to the Reds. It is no marvel the group ERA ranked twenty seventh over the previous week as each its rotation and bullpen struggled. You understand issues are going dangerous when the Pirates lose 1-10 to Mike Minor of the Reds. In fact, Zach Thompson was on the shedding finish of that sport, dropping him to an virtually equally dangerous mark of 3-10 with a 5.51 ERA. — Rogers

Document: 47-77

Earlier rating: 28

The match between Tigers free-agent prize Javier Baez and Comerica Park seems to be a match made, properly, let’s simply say it isn’t in heaven. Think about this slash line: .262/.300/.467. Baez has accomplished higher, however that is not dangerous, particularly for a shortstop. Sadly, that is simply what Baez has accomplished on the street. At Comerica, Baez has hit a daunting .180/.229/.258 over 210 plate appearances. That is virtually pitcher-hitting territory. Baez’s .486 dwelling OPS is the worst in Tigers dwelling historical past amongst gamers with no less than 200 plate appearances within the Motor Metropolis. Since 2000, when Comerica Park opened, the bottom such determine was the .565 OPS posted by James McCann in 2018. — Doolittle

Document: 45-79

Earlier rating: 29

The search to maintain the Athletics in Oakland appears to be a shedding one as extra studies emerge concerning the possession group’s curiosity in Las Vegas. Billionaire resort magnate Phil Ruffin met with A’s management, and negotiations appear to be gaining steam, with MLB in search of round $275 million to fund a brand new stadium. Final week, the Athletics drew 2,630 followers towards the Marlins. — Lee

Document: 41-83

Earlier rating: 30

A feel-good story for the Nats has been 30-year-old rookie Joey Meneses, who was referred to as up after Josh Bell was traded and has supplied some pop his first three weeks within the majors whereas hitting over .300. Initially signed by the Braves in 2011 out of Mexico, he additionally hung out with the Phillies, Purple Sox and abroad in Japan. He is probably not a constructing block for the longer term, but it surely’s enjoyable watching a man like this reap the benefits of his cup of espresso and, who is aware of, perhaps he’ll get a shot subsequent season if he retains hitting. — Schoenfield