It’s that time for another edition of National League Power Rankings. With the trade deadline fully in place, teams are making their push to be one of the eight to get a birth into the playoffs. There is a lot to get to so let’s dive right in and break down all 15 teams.
15. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates have a huge hill to climb and the shortened season may too much of a hindrance on making a desperate push to get into the postseason. Third baseman Colin Moran is putting together a decent campaign as he has gone deep six times while hitting a respectable .259 with a .531 SLG.
14. Washington Nationals
It pains me to put the Nats so far back but we can’t ignore the fact that 2019 World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg is sitting out the remainder of the season with an injury. The Nats are getting fantastic production from slugger Juan Soto (.368 with 9 HRs as of Saturday) and shortstop Trea Turner (.583 SLG, 23 Runs, and a fantastic K rate of just 13.2%). With the pedigree in place established last year, it will be interesting to see if Dave Martinez can rally the troops to regain the magic of 2019.
13. New York Mets
The Metropolitans are managing to tread water decently despite the pitching staff being decimated by the injury bug. The Mets head into Saturday with the Majors second-best batting average of .269. They also rank ninth in SLG with a mark of .444.
12. Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies were first to make noise in the trade market, as they bolstered their bullpen by acquiring Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree from the Red Sox. This was a great move by the organization as they look to improve on the inflated ERA. The Phillies have plenty of talent one through nine. If the pitching can follow the trajectory of the offense the Phillies will be tough to handle going forward.
11. Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers remain relevant with solid pitching firmly in place (4.54 ERA/ .3.98xFIP). KBO standout Josh Lindblom is striking out batters at a high rate (36k/25.2inn) but will need to get his ERA back to respectability as it currently stands at 6.31. The usually steady and reliable Christian Yelich is clearing fences at a decent clip (8 HRs) but is still just hitting 202.
10. Cincinnati Reds
The Reds still bolster one the better pitching rotations in the majors with Trevor Bauer (3-2, 2.13ERA), Sonny Gray (5-1, 1.94ERA), Luis Castillo (45k/ 32.1IP) all proving their worth. Reds relievers rank 22nd in ERA at 5.17, room for improvement here will be needed. As for the bats, Joey Votto will look to wiggle his way out of an 0-for-18 slide which led to a three-game rest. All toll the Reds are hitting just .219(28th) on the season.
9. Arizona Diamondbacks
Arizona’s big offseason acquisition, Madison Bumgarner hasn’t lived up to expectations as he has struggled mightily, striking out just 6.75 batters per nine innings. He has yet to record a victory in four starts and is pitching to an inflated 9.35 ERA. Diamondback hitters are hitting a respectable .241 with a .371 SLG.
8. Colorado Rockies
The Rockies lineup is one of the most feared in the league with Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon having excellent seasons. Always a big concern is Rockie pitching, this year’s numbers suggest that it is still as they rank in the bottom half of the league with a 4.74 ERA and a 4.66xFIP.
7. Miami Marlins
The Marlins continue to impress by getting the most out of their mostly youthful roster. Standouts to date include; Jesus Aguilar(20RBI), Jonathan Villar (9 SB, .264 .AVG), 21-year-old, Sixto Sanchez (1-0, 2.25 ERA), Pablo Lopez (3-2, 2.10 ERA). Relievers Brandon Kintzler, and Brad Boxberger have also been reliable as both have pitched to ERAs under 3.00.
6. St. Louis Cardinals
The Cards have managed to play relatively well as they are hanging around the .500 mark. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt has raised his level of play in the early going with an excellent slash line of .329/.469/ .500. The combination of Adam Wainwright, Dakota Hudson, and Jack Flaherty have combined to go 4-2 with all three keeping their ERAs at 3.35 or better.
5. San Francisco Giants
The Giants are still playing above expectations, therefore we have to give them props. A great stretch of seven consecutive victories from August 18th until August 25th has them fully in play for a potential playoff birth. The Giants have scored a total of 163 runs (4.79/game), sixth-best in the majors. It will be interesting to see if they are buyers in the trade market to perhaps bolster their pitching staff. All toll the Giants are ranked 23rd in team ERA at 5.10.
4. Atlanta Braves
Atlanta continues to be amongst the powerhouse NL clubs despite premier starter Mike Soroka being lost for the season. Max Fried has put together an impressive 5-0 campaign with a 1.35 ERA and has cemented himself as the staff’s ace. Freddie Freeman keeps doing Freddie Freeman-like things (306/417/559) while Marcel Ozuna leads the team in homers with eight.
3. San Diego Padres
It appears all the pieces are mostly in place for the Friars to compete in the NL. Fernando Tatis and Manny Machado remain the focal points of the lineup while veteran leader Eric Hosmer continues to be a solid influence on and off the field. Where the Padres have room for improvement is on the mound. They are 16th in the Bigs with a 4.57 ERA.
2. Chicago Cubs
Plenty of pop in the Cubs order as they rank 10th in the majors with 45 homers. The .225 average has a little to be desired, but they are getting on base at a respectable clip of .329. Cubs pitching is only middle of the pack at a 4.58 ERA. Despite the less than stellar team numbers across the board you still have to give them respect as they have won 19 of 33 games.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
The regular season darlings are churning right along like they normally do. Mookie Betts has been as good as advertised and Cody Bellinger is just starting to get things going. Always a big part of the equation to success in Dodger land has been lights out pitching, the second-best ERA of 2.78 suggests that all systems are go once again.
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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images