Unlike the NBA and NFL where the Golden State Warriors and New England Patriots have dominated their respective leagues, the MLB is full of parity and the eventual 2019 Champion is far from a lock. The Los Angeles Dodgers find themselves in the thick of title contention once again with the best record in the big leagues, but their previous postseason failures are well documented. Other perennial title favorites like the Red Sox, Yankees, and Astros are all once again premier contenders, but some young teams have hit the ‘boost’ button and catapulted other top teams en route to a potential coveted spot in the Fall Classic.
These PSO Team Rankings are NOT weekly power rankings that can be found on other sites. These aren’t necessarily about ‘what have you done for me lately’, but more about what really matters: Winning the World Series. Here are the top teams that are proving they can do exactly that based on their current regular season record, overall talent, runs scored among other offensive categories (hitting), and runs allowed among other defensive categories (pitching). The grades used reflect the caliber of team in the graphic below.
The Dodgers have been led by Cody Bellinger who is putting up video game type numbers. His slash line is an incredible .354/.452/.711 with 26 HR and 63 RBI. Not only do they have a premier MVP candidate, but also the incredible Hyun-Jin Ryu who is running away with the NL Cy Young as of now. He is currently 9-1 with an untouchable 1.27 era and 0.838 WHIP.
The Yankees have dealt with an unprecedented amount of significant injuries for the beginning of a season, but still found a way to thrive. Their role players like Gio Urshela, Luke Voit, and DJ LeMahieu have been exceeding expectations all season. With their star players starting to come back, the Bronx Bombers will look to make another deep run in October for their 28th Championship in franchise history.
The Astros have been a mainstay in MLB title contention since they fulfilled their destiny in 2017. The ‘Stros could be well on their way to a third consecutive 100 win season. George Springer had a scorching start to the season putting up MVP-like numbers before being sidelined for about a month. Look for his continued success after recently returning from the Injured List.
The Atlanta Braves have established a solid cushion atop the highly-talented NL East. The young core of Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies, and Austin Riley have represented the ‘Baby Braves’ moniker well as sub-23 year olds all raking this season. Veterans like Freddie Freeman, Nick Markakis, Josh Donaldson, and Brian McCann have all put together great years as well, as the Braves look to build on last year’s playoff run with the addition of Dallas Keuchel to strengthen the pitching staff for a deep October appearance.
The most surprising team of the year has been the Minnesota Twins under new manager Rocco Baldelli. After winning just 78 games last year, they are now 25 games above .500. Led by Jorge Polanco & Eddie Rosario offensively, they have gained a big lead over the Indians, who have enjoyed a three-year reign over the division. 25-year-old Jose Berrios is the ace of the pitching staff again after his breakout 2018 season and carries a sub-3.00 ERA.
The defending champions had a “hangover” in the beginning of the season but have gotten back to what made them so great: scoring, scoring, and more scoring. They’re 2nd in the MLB in runs scored over the last two months partly thanks to a huge breakout year from Rafael Devers. They are currently in the thick of the wild card race, but don’t be surprised if they run away with one of those spots by the end of the year with all of their firepower. If they want to repeat as World Champs, they’ll need some reinforcements in the bullpen sans Kimbrel.
The Cubs have a well balanced squad with a lot of familiar faces. Their offense has plenty of power with Anthony Rizzo and Javy Baez leading the way with 19 HR a piece. The lineup has an astounding 5 position players with over 15 home runs. The pitching staff is right outside the top-5 in runs allowed per game as well.
The Rays currently hold the top wild card spot in the always competitive AL East. Offseason acquisition Charlie Morton has been phenomenal this season anchoring their rotation after Tyler Glasnow’s injury. Rookie Brandon Lowe has led their offense with 15 HR and 47 RBI. They will try to prove that they can stick with Boston and NY throughout the rest of the season as they hope to clinch their first playoff appearance in over half a decade.
Reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich continues to dominate for the Brew Crew. He is leading the NL in HR, TB, and SLG % as of June 27th. Their starting pitching still needs help if they want to contend with the Dodgers. Look for them to add some arms at the deadline for another chance to compete for the National League pennant.
The Indians have turned it on in June with big series wins against the Yankees and Twins while also dominating the rest of the weak AL Central. Trevor Bauer has been going deep into games and also ranks in the top five for strikeouts in the Majors. With the Twins continuing to roll, they have some catching up to do if they want to successfully defend their AL Central title.