MLB Power Rankings 2021: AL, NL playoff spots up for grabs


The final week of the regular season is here, and a lot remains unsettled with October around the corner.Entering Monday, three division titles are for grabs. While the Astros are close to clinching the AL West, the NL East and West divisions could go down to this weekend.The Giants enter Monday with a two-game lead on the Dodgers in the NL West. Their magic number is five for the division crown.The Braves lead the Phillies by 2 1/2 games in the NL East entering a high-stakes head-to-head series in Atlanta beginning Tuesday.The NL West race obviously carries major implications in the wild-card picture. The second-place club will host the do-or-die matchup, likely against the Cardinals.Whoever finishes second in the NL East will miss out on October entirely.In the AL, the Yankees and Red Sox enter Monday holding the top wild card spots, but the Blue Jays are narrowly on the outside looking in. The Mariners have a fighting chance as well.The postseason promises to be exciting, as will be the race to get there.Here's how all 30 teams stack up in the MLB Power Rankings in the final week before the playoffs.

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Last week: 29

Arizona is 6-16 amid a tough September schedule against playoffs teams. They’ve fallen into a tie with the Orioles for the worst record in baseball — and the top pick in the 2022 MLB Draft. They face the Giants and Rockies to end the season.


Last week: 30

Baltimore’s 9-16 record this month is slightly better than Arizona, although the Orioles have the tougher remaining schedule. After hosting the Red Sox, they travel to Toronto for a series that could have playoff implications for the Jays.


Last week: 28

The Rangers are headed for their first 100-loss season since 1973 and third since their inaugural 1972 season in Texas. If they lose their remaining six games, they’ll match that ’73 season for most losses since moving to Texas.


Last week: 27

Pittsburgh could be headed for its first 100-loss season since finishing 57-105 in 2010. There’s only been two seasons in MLB history (2002, 2019) with four 100-loss teams. They face the Reds and Cubs this week.


Last week: 25

This could turn out to be the Marlins’ best month of 2021; they’re 9-13 entering Monday. They went 13-14 in May (their most wins in a month this season) and have seven games left (Mets, Phillies).


Last week: 26

Washington will miss the playoffs for a second straight season but could play spoiler this weekend. They host the Red Sox to end the season, and Boston enters the week with a one-game lead for the AL’s second wild-card spot.


Last week: 23

Short of a 6-0 week, the Cubs will finish with 90 losses for the first time since 2013 (96). They’ll be active in free agency this winter as they rebuild their roster for 2022. Only three players (Jason Heyward, Kyle Hendricks, Willson Contreras) are signed to guaranteed contracts for next season.


Last week: 24

When healthy, Byron Buxton has been one of the best players in baseball this season. He’s slashing .290/.344/.605 in 55 games with 16 home runs, tied for a career high in 85 fewer games. 


Last week: 22

It’ll come down to Shohei Ohtani and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., but Salvador Pérez deserves some love from AL MVP voters. The Kansas City backstop leads MLB in RBIs (117) and is tied for first in home runs (46) with Guerrero. Can he reach 50 this week?


Last week: 21

Three games against the Nationals at Coors Field this week likely will be Trevor Story’s final home games with the Rockies. The shortstop is set to enter free agency this offseason.


Last week: 18

The Mets are 17-34 since ending July with a five-game lead in the NL East, an epic collapse that extends their postseason drought to five seasons. Javy Báez has been a bright spot since coming over in a trade with the Cubs, at least, and has interest in staying in Queens. 


Last week: 20

Shohei Ohtani’s AL MVP résumé: 23 starts, 3.18 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 156 strikeouts in 130 1/3 innings; .258/.371/.595, 45 home runs and 98 RBIs. That’s…pretty good. 


Last week: 19

The Tigers need one win over their final seven games to finish above .500 since the All-Star break. They could finish at or above .500 this season for the first time since 2016.


Last week: 17

The last two starts haven’t gone as well, but Triston McKenzie has looked good since July for what will be a loaded Cleveland rotation in 2022. In 13 starts, he’s posted a 3.91 ERA with nine quality starts. 


Last week: 16

San Diego officially is eliminated from playoff contention, a disastrous collapse for a team that held a seven-game lead in the NL Wild Card race in July. They’re 17-31 since August and in danger of finishing the season under .500. 


Last week: 15

The Reds left the door open and the Cardinals snatched the NL’s second wild-card spot. Cincinnati is 10-13 in September, winning one of eight series. 


Last week: 14

Philadelphia opens a three-game set in Atlanta on Tuesday trailing the Braves by 2 1/2 games in the NL East. If they come out of that with the division lead, a favorable series awaits in Miami this weekend. 



Last week: 9

If only they didn’t get swept by the Mariners. Oakland swept Houston after that four-game series vs. Seattle and stands three games back of a wild-card spot. Short of a major surprise, the A’s will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2017. 


Last week: 12

Seattle hasn’t made the playoffs since 2001. They’ve at least given themselves a shot to end the drought entering the final week. The Mariners are two games back of a wild-card spot, with work to do to jump the Blue Jays and Red Sox.


Last week: 13

Atlanta has led the division since mid-August and could wrap things up with a sweep of Philadelphia this week. Their magic number is five. Otherwise, the NL East will go down to this weekend.  


Last week: 6

Let’s. Get. Weird. Toronto enters the week on the outside looking in at the wild-card race, trailing Boston by a game and New York by two. They could dramatically shake things up in a three-game series vs. the Yankees starting Tuesday. 


Last week: 8

The Yankees sweeping the Red Sox added intrigue to the AL wild-card race, but Boston’s schedule is set up nicely the rest of the way. Their final six games are on the road against the Orioles and Nationals — who are last in the AL and NL East.



Last week: 7

Carlos Rodón’s health is something to watch this week as the White Sox head towards a likely ALDS matchup with the Astros. He exited his last start with shoulder soreness and will test it out in a final outing this week heading into October. 


Last week: 11

The Yankees face a challenging final week, with three games at the Blue Jays and three vs. the Rays. New York enters the final stretch with a one-game lead on Boston for the top wild-card spot. Toronto is two games back. 


Last week: 10

So much for sneaking into the playoffs. St. Louis is bulldozing its way into October behind a franchise-record 16-game winning streak. They’re headed to California for the NL Wild Card game against either the Dodgers or Giants. 


Last week: 5

Houston’s magic number to clinch the AL West is two. They’ve lost four straight games entering series against the Rays and A’s, a key stretch as they look to hold off the White Sox for the AL’s No. 2 seed. 


Last week: 4

The Brewers wrapped up their second NL Central title in four seasons over the weekend. They’ve made the playoffs in four straight seasons — as many playoff berths they had from 1970 (their inaugural season in Milwaukee) through 2017. 


Last week: 3

With the AL’s No. 1 seed nearly locked up, the Rays will finish the season with six playoff-esque games at the Astros and Yankees as both look to lock up playoff spots. Tampa Bay needs one win to set a new franchise record. 


Last week: 2

The Dodgers certainly will have earned the NL West crown if they’re able to leapfrog the Giants, who they trail by two games, this week. After three games against the Padres, they host the NL Central champion Brewers to end the season. 


Last week: 1

The Giants have led the NL West for all but one day since May 31. They could officially clinch the division this week, with six games at home against the Diamondbacks and Padres. With two more wins, they'll set a franchise record for most since moving to San Francisco. 

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