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MLB Power Rankings: Fade No. 1 Braves in ATS Picks

Reds Sizzle, Mets Flop on Run Line

The division races aren’t quite as compelling as they were just a few weeks ago with all the division leaders up by at least three games. When it comes to the MLB odds, the Texas Rangers lead the way with a 61.2 winning percentage when listed as the home favorite.

The Atlanta Braves are just four games over .500 against the spread in 2023. That hasn’t stopped them from returning to the top of the MLB Power Rankings after a week at No. 2.

MLB Power Rankings: Fade No. 1 Braves in ATS Picks
Max Fried #54 of the Atlanta Braves pitches in the first inning - Georgia. Michael Zarrilli/Getty Images/afp

When looking at MLB picks, the Cincinnati Reds are 75-45 against the run line, the best record in the majors. Baltimore is right behind at 74-45. The New York Mets now have the worst run-line total in the majors at 47-72.

When looking at MLB predictions, the Atlanta Braves have moved to +350 in the odds to win the World Series. The Los Angeles Dodgers (+450), the Houston Astros (+650) Texas (+700) and Baltimore (+950) are starting to win over those who bet online.

Here is a look at the MLB power rankings as playoff races kick into high gear.

Power Rankings

1. Atlanta Braves: It was a brief stay at No. 2 for the Atlanta Braves as they moved back into the top position in the weekly power rankings.

The Braves have scored 25 more runs in August than any other team in the majors and the pitching staff welcomed Max Fried back after a lengthy stay on the injured list. This is not a team with many weaknesses. Second baseman Ozzie Albies did land on the injured list so that is not great news.

2. Baltimore Orioles: Even with hitters coming in and out of the lineup due to injury, the Orioles continue to pile up the wins. Outfielders Cedric Mullins and Austin Hays recently returned to action and now Aaron Hicks was activated off the injured list so there doesn’t seem to be any stopping the Orioles

The addition of Jack Flaherty helped to shore up a problem area and that was the starting rotation as Baltimore looks to make some noise in the playoffs.

3. Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers are rolling right now with eight wins in a row and 12 victories in the last 13 games as they continue to pull away from the San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League West.

The MLB betting lines list Freddie Freeman as the No. 2 choice in the National League Most Valuable Player race. He has plenty of help as the Dodgers have overcome a series of injuries to its pitching staff.

4. Texas Rangers: Some wondered whether acquiring pitcher Max Scherzer from the New York Mets was a wise decision with Scherzer on the tail end of a remarkable career. Well, Scherzer is 3-0 since joining the Rangers.

Texas continues to lead the majors in runs scored and in the splits with runners in scoring position. The Rangers top the majors with 41 home wins as they continue to hold off defending World Series champion Houston in the American League West race.

5. Tampa Bay Rays: The situation surrounding All-Star shortstop Wander Franco is rather troubling and the Rays will be without ace pitcher Shane McClanahan – likely for the rest of the season – so the depth continues to be tested.

Yandy Diaz is back leading the way on offense after a slow start in August as Tampa Bay still has a comfortable lead in the race for the top wild-card spot in the American League.

6. Toronto Blue Jays: With shortstop Bo Bichette on the injured list, the last thing the Blue Jays need is for third baseman Matt Chapman to be dealing with an injury of his own. Pitcher Alek Manoah’s return to the rotation did not last for long so there are some concerns north of the border.

Despite the absence of some key players, Toronto is finding ways to win with the Blue Jays very much in the postseason picture in the American League.

7. Houston Astros: Jose Altuve is warming up for another deep playoff run. However, first baseman Jose Abreu landed on the injured list.

Houston was active at the trade deadline as the acquisition of pitcher Justin Verlander is already paying off. Houston is struggling to catch up to Texas in the AL West, but is in good shape to return to the postseason.

8. Milwaukee Brewers: Pittsburgh and Cincinnati had their chances to take control in the National League Central Division. It is MIlwaukee’s race to lose now as the Brewers have a 3½-game lead in the division.

The return of Brandon Woodruff takes some of the pressure off Corbin Burnes. The offense has been aided by the production of a host of unproven MLB hitters.

9. Chicago Cubs: The struggling pitching staff is expected to get Marcus Stroman back this week. Even with an ERA near 5.00, Chicago is 19-10 since the MLB All-Star Game as the Cubs have hit their way into playoff contention.

The starting pitching duo of Stroman and Justin Steele will make the Cubs a very dangerous team come playoff time.

10. San Francisco Giants: The Giants are stumbling a bit with a 3-7 record over the last 10 games. The struggles on the road are holding the Giants back.

The Giants are batting .210 in the month of August and if that continues, San Francisco’s slide down the MLB power rankings won’t stop.

11. Minnesota Twins: Minnesota’s pitching numbers aren’t close to what they were earlier in the season. However, having one of the top group of starters is what has pushed Minnesota into the lead in a mediocre AL Central. Seeing shortstop Carlos Correa dealing with a heel injury is not a positive sign.

12. Seattle Mariners: Watch out for the Mariners. The hitting still tends to come and go, but the Mariners have the third-best team ERA in the majors since the MLB All-Star Game. George Kirby is among the players listed by the sportsbook in the American League Cy Young Award race and Logan Gilbert has joined him as a 10-game winner.

13. Cincinnati Reds: Some of the promising youngsters are learning about the peaks and valleys in the majors as Cincinnati is 12-17 over the last 29 games.

This is not going to be a fun team to see if Cincinnati makes the playoffs and now the Reds are slated to get fireballing starting pitcher Hunter Greene back.

14. Philadelphia Phillies: The defending NL champions have inched over the .500 mark on the road and have taken over the top wild-card spot in the National League. They won’t be catching the Braves in the NL East, but can still be a team to fear come playoff time.

15. Boston Red Sox: Boston is lurking around as a team capable of getting into the playoff race. The return of pitchers Chris Sale and Garrett Whitlock will help as Boston is only three games behind Toronto right now despite a 14-13 record over the last 27 games. Infielder Trevor Story’s return gives the lineup another big bat.

16. Miami Marlins: The focus has turned from Luis Arraez and his bid to hit .400 to Miami’s bid to post a winning record in a 162-game season for the first time since 2009. Sandy Alcantara is starting to somewhat resemble the player who won the NL Cy Young Award in 2022, but he needs some help.

17. Arizona Diamondbacks: Arizona is trending in the wrong direction as a 2-8 mark over the last 10 games put the Diamondbacks a game under .500. They have some work to do to get back into playoff contention as Rookie of the Year favorite Corbin Carroll has come down to earth and the lack of pitching depth is costly for Arizona.

18. Cleveland Guardians: Cleveland has managed to stay afloat even with pitcher Shane Bieber and first baseman Josh Naylor missing time. Young arms Gavin Williams and Tanner Bibee both have ERAs under 2.00 in August.

19. New York Yankees: The Las Vegas odds have pitcher Gerrit Cole as one of the front-runners in the American League Cy Young Award race. However, the Yankees are just 3-5 in the last eight games started by Cole. Having first baseman Anthony Rizzo on the injury list is another problem for the team that came into the season as the favorite to win the American League East title.

20. Washington Nationals: Washington has four walk-off victories at home while going 7-3 in the last 10 games. The Nationals are threatening to move out of last place in the National League East. Ildemaro Vargas, who has five extra-base hits and 10 RBIs in his last 11 games, has been a pleasant surprise.

21. Los Angeles Angels: Was holding onto Shohei Ohtani the right decision after all? Injuries have limited the impact of the players recently acquired to help the Angels make a playoff push and it looks like Los Angeles will miss the postseason yet again.

22. San Diego Padres: The Padres continue to be quite the underachieving group. If not for pitcher Blake Snell, the Padres might be fighting to avoid the worst record in the National League.

23. Detroit Tigers: The Tigers are starting to see their young hitters realize their potential with outfielders Riley Greene and Kerry Carpenter leading the way. The pitching staff has had some bumpy times, however.

24. Pittsburgh Pirates: Having Bryan Reynolds back makes this a much more dangerous team. The former All-Star outfielder has five home runs and a .333 batting average over the last 14 games.

25. New York Mets: If the Mets aren’t careful, they will find themselves in last place in the NL East. Pete Alonso has five home runs and nine walks in the last 14 games. He needs some help from the young hitters in the lineup.

26: St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals have won two games in a row and move into a tie with Pittsburgh, so perhaps St. Louis will move out of the National League Central Division cellar.

27. Chicago White Sox: The lasting image of this season for the White Sox will probably be shortstop Tim Anderson being knocked to the ground by Jose Ramirez of the Cleveland Guardians.

28. Colorado Rockies: Colorado just got veteran infielder Charlie Blackmon back on the field. Will that help the Rockies show some signs of life the rest of the way?

29. Kansas City Royals: Makiel Garcia is riding a 16-game hitting streak while Bobby Witt Jr. has been one of the best hitters in baseball since the MLB All-Star Game, so better times might be coming in Kansas City.

30. Oakland Athletics: Oakland is only 38 games out of first place in the American League West Division. The good news is that rookie infielder Zach Gelof (.348 average, five home runs in the last 12 games) looks like the real deal.

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