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Orioles Continue to Defy Odds at No. 2 in MLB Power Rankings

Four Teams Have Clinched Playoff Spots

The Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays joined the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers as teams to clinch playoff spots. Those making MLB bets coming into the season were not believers in the Orioles. It is a different story right now with Baltimore having the best record in the American League.

There wasn’t much change at the top of the MLB Power Rankings as the top teams are focusing on the postseason.

Orioles Continue to Defy Odds at No. 2 in MLB Power Rankings
DJ Stewart #29 of the New York Mets-Adam Hunger/Getty Images/AFP

Those making MLB predictions are still watching the American League East and West races closely as well as the wild-card battles in both leagues.

The Cincinnati Reds have a two-game lead on the Baltimore Orioles for the best record when it comes to the run-line total as both teams are favorites among those who make MLB picks. The Kansas City Royals continue to have the worst run-line record in the majors.

When looking at our MLB odds, the Atlanta Braves moved from +300 to +275 in the World Series odds. The Los Angeles Dodgers aren’t far behind at +450 with defending World Series champion Houston having the best odds (+550) among American League teams.

Here is a look at the MLB power rankings with more teams on the verge of being eliminated from playoff consideration.

Power Rankings

1. Atlanta Braves: The last thing the Braves need right now is to have outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr., who is listed by the sportsbook as the front-runner to win the National League Most Valuable Player award, sidelined with a calf issue. The good news is that Atlanta has already clinched the National League East Division title and has some breathing room in the race for the top seed in the playoffs in the National League.

Getting pitcher Kyle Wright going should be the first order of business for a Braves team that has been dealing with injuries to the pitching staff all season long.

2. Baltimore Orioles: Just when Tampa Bay threatened to move by Baltimore in the American League East race, the Orioles responded with back-to-back wins to clinch the franchise’s first playoff appearance since 2016 – much to the surprise of those taking part in betting online.

It doesn’t get much easier as the Orioles open a series with defending World Series champion Houston on Monday.

3. Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers won the National League West Division for the 10th time in the last 11 seasons. The question is whether the Dodgers can make up 4½ games and move past Atlanta for the top spot in the National League playoff bracket.

The trade for Lance Lynn is looking better with each passing day considering the starting pitchers that are going to be unavailable for the Dodgers in the postseason.

When looking at the MLB predictions, the Dodgers have the best run-line total in the NL West despite a so-so 38-33 mark at home.

4. Tampa Bay Rays: Tampa Bay’s recent surge had the Rays tied for first in the AL East for a day before Baltimore regained control of the race. Even without pitchers Shane McClanahan and Drew Rasmussen, this will not be a fun team to play in the playoffs.

Tampa Bay is only hitting .234 in the month of September and that is a concern.

5. Houston Astros: Houston leads the majors with a .277 batting average and OPS of .850 in September as the Astros are finally healthy. Kyle Tucker has authored one of the quietest 100-RBI seasons in recent memory.

The pitching is a bit of a concern as the Astros look to hold onto the lead in the AL West.

6. Milwaukee Brewers: Despite the fifth-best run differential in the National League, the Brewers are closing in on a division title. Pitcher Freddy Peralta has been lights-out since the MLB All-Star Game and the Brewers figure to go as far as their pitching takes them.

Having a healthy Christian Yelich for the playoffs is a must for this team that will be listed by the sportsbook as the underdogs against the other two division champions in the postseason.

7. Toronto Blue Jays: Toronto picked the perfect time to figure things out. A three-game winning streak combined with three losses in a row by both the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners put Toronto into the No. 2 wild-card spot.

A .183 batting average in the last seven games is a cause for concern for the Blue Jays.

8. Arizona Diamondbacks: The Diamondbacks are one of the better stories in baseball as the MLB odds priced Arizona at +12500 to win the World Series coming into the season. It is a little concerning that starting pitchers Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly have respective ERAs of 4.58 and 5.12 in September.

Arizona has a huge series with the San Francisco Giants starting on Tuesday.

9. Chicago Cubs: The five-game losing streak has the Cubs falling a couple of spots in the MLB Power Rankings and a 2-8 record over the last 10 games has Chicago among the teams fighting for a playoff spot.

Pitcher Justin Steele and top hitter Cody Bellinger have been outstanding, but they need some help.

10. Texas Rangers: One can only wonder if infielder Corey Seager would be the American League Most Valuable Player front-runner had he not missed more than 40 games.

The Rangers still have their sights set on the American League West Division title. Injuries to pitcher Max Scherzer and outfielder Adolis Garcia make that more challenging.

11. Seattle Mariners: Seattle is just 3-7 over the last 10 games so it is getting to be now or never for the Mariners.

Seattle is 36-24 since the MLB All-Star Game and much of that can be traced to having the second-best team ERA in the American League during that time.

12. Philadelphia Phillies: The defending NL champions can make a statement one way or the other as a series with the NL East champion Atlanta Braves begins on Monday.

A 42-44 record on the road has held the Phillies back a bit this season.

13. Minnesota Twins: The pitching seems to be peaking at the perfect time, led by starters Sonny Gray, Joe Ryan and Pablo Lopez, while relievers Jhoan Duran, Kody Funderburk and Caleb Thielbar have combined to toss 16 scoreless innings in September.

14. Miami Marlins: Top home run hitter Jorge Soler is back for the Marlins and now Miami anxiously awaits the return of reigning Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara. Miami surprised those making MLB score predictions by outscoring Atlanta 36-13 while sweeping the team with the best record in the majors.

15. San Francisco Giants: The Giants have struggled on the road and that is a problem with the next six games coming away from home and against teams ahead of them in the National League West standings.

16. Cincinnati Reds: The Reds have an MLB-leading 92-59 record against the run line. However, the rookie-laden Reds still have some work to do to complete a surprising run into the postseason.

17. Detroit Tigers: If only Detroit could have figured out a way to improve on a 32-43 record at home, they might be vying for a playoff spot. This is a franchise trending in the right direction with plenty of former high draft picks making an impact.

18. Cleveland Guardians: Terry Francona’s run as an MLB manager is hitting its stretch run. The Guardians have won three straight games, but time is running out for them to catch Minnesota in the AL Central race.

19. New York Yankees: The Yankees have climbed out of the American League East Division cellar after winning six of their last eight games. Still, after reaching the American League Championship Series in 2022, there will be no playoff run in 2023.

20. San Diego Padres: San Diego is starting to look like the team that was being touted as a team to watch in the National League. However, the star-studded roster won’t be enough to get San Diego into the playoffs.

21. Boston Red Sox: Already without outfielder Jarren Duran, now star rookie Triston Casas landed on the injured list as the Red Sox play things out in a disappointing 2023 season.

22. Pittsburgh Pirates: At least Pittsburgh won one of the three games against the New York Yankees as they celebrated the life and the legacy of the late great Roberto Clemente.

23. New York Mets: The Mets have managed to stay ahead of Washington in the National League East standings. That was about all this team has accomplished during a nightmarish season.

24: St. Louis Cardinals: Outfielder Tyler O’Neill is the latest hitter to land on the injured list as St. Louis appears headed to a last-place finish in the NL Central Division.

25. Washington Nationals: Washington has lost seven of 10 games and only one National League team has a worse run-differential mark.

26. Los Angeles Angels: Shohei Ohtani’s remarkable 2023 season is over as he was shut down as the injuries began to pile up. Once again a team with Ohtani and Mike Trout will miss the playoffs.

27. Colorado Rockies: Colorado is 5-5 over the last 10 games but the Rockies are already eliminated from playoff contention thanks to a National League-worst -210 run differential.

28. Chicago White Sox: The best thing about the White Sox is that the 2023 season is coming to an end. Only the presence of Kansas City will keep Chicago out of the AL Central cellar.

29. Kansas City Royals: A 20-55 record on the road is just part of the problem. Shortstop Bobby Witt and pitcher Brady Singer are building blocks, but they need some help.

30. Oakland Athletics: Oakland has dropped four straight games and now has 103 losses this season despite a decent mark against the run line total.

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