SportsTips’ MLB Power Rankings 2021: Week 20

SportsTips’ MLB Power Rankings 2021: Week 20
Wed 18th August 2021

With just six weeks remaining of the regular season, there has been plenty of movement in the MLB standings, as well as SportsTips’ MLB Power Rankings and also FanDuel’s World Series odds heading into Week 20 of the 2021 MLB season!

Here’s where all 30 MLB teams stand after 19 weeks of baseball:

1. San Francisco Giants

World Series Championship Odds: +800
Current Record: 77-42
Previous Rankings: 1

A 6-1 week has seen the Giants maintain their four game lead over anyone else in the majors, which, more importantly, is the Dodgers. The race for the NL West is hotly contested between San Francisco and Los Angeles, but the Giants are doing enough to keep ahead of their rivals. 

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2. Los Angeles Dodgers

World Series Championship Odds: +340
Current Record: 73-46
Previous Rankings: 2

There is going to be a time when the Dodgers will have to make way for some division leaders at the top of the standings, but they had a 6-1 week and are a top two team in baseball. They still have plenty of time to make up the four games they need to in order to overtake however they only face the Giants in one more series this season, and it is in San Francisco.

3. Milwaukee Brewers

World Series Championship Odds: +900
Current Record: 72-47
Previous Rankings: 4

A 14-4 loss to the Pirates was somewhat worrying, however Milwaukee still went 6-1 during the week and have an eight-game cushion on top of the NL Central. Their +113 run differential is third best in the National League, behind the two above teams. This is all behind their world class bullpen, which ranks 2nd for ERA, 2nd for runs allowed and 3rd for home runs allowed. 

4. Tampa Bay Rays

World Series Championship Odds: +950
Current Record: 72-47
Previous Rankings: 3

A 4-3 week isn’t exactly what you want from a division leader, and that is even more true when you look at how the losses occurred. Two of them were to the 53-66 Twins, losing that series 1-2, and the other loss was a massive 8-20 thumping at the hands of the Red Sox, who are four games behind them in the AL East. Given they still comfortably hold the lead in their division, there is plenty of time and this inconsistent form won’t be good enough for them to hold on down the stretch.

5. Houston Astros

World Series Championship Odds: +480
Current Record: 70-48
Previous Rankings: 9

While we reacted massively to Houston’s disastrous week last week, dropping the AL West leaders to 9th in our MLB Power Rankings, their class returned them to form and have seen them rise to a more comfortable position. A 3-2 week saw them outscore their opponents 23-7, however they hold just a 2.5 game lead over the A’s and need to keep their winning ways going. 

6. Oakland Athletics

World Series Championship Odds: +2500
Current Record: 68-51
Previous Rankings: 6

Oakland is right on the heels of Houston, in the standings and in our MLB Power Rankings. Just 2.5 games behind the Astros in the AL West, whilst also narrowly maintaining their hold on a wild card slot has the A’s in a good spot, however six weeks is a long time in baseball. Especially with a tough week coming up, facing the White Sox and Giants. 

7. New York Yankees

World Series Championship Odds: +1600
Current Record: 66-52
Previous Rankings: 10

Here they come. The pre-season favourites for the World Series are beginning to get healthy and are making their push up the standings. While they are three wins behind the Red Sox, they only have one more loss and face their rivals at home to start the week. These three games could easily shape the AL East standings at the end of the season and New York seems to be in the right sort of form to get the job done.

8. Boston Red Sox

World Series Championship Odds: +2500
Current Record: 69-51
Previous Rankings: 7

Boston seemed to have found their swagger a bit last week. While they lost 1-2 to the Rays, they actually outscored them by one run, thanks to a massive 20-8 victory in the second game. They then swept the Orioles to keep their narrow lead over a wild card slot in the American League but the Yankees, who they face in New York to start the week, are right behind them. 

9. Atlanta Braves

World Series Championship Odds: +2200
Current Record: 63-56
Previous Rankings: 14

Atlanta’s 5-1 week saw them claim sole ownership of top spot in the NL East, but now they have to hold that lead. Whether it be the Braves, Phillies or Mets, no one seems to actually want the division title but Atlanta’s play looked extremely promising. The fact that they beat the in-form Reds 2-1 was the highlight of the week and now have six games against the Marlins and Orioles to consolidate their position. 

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10. Chicago White Sox

World Series Championship Odds: +600
Current Record: 69-50
Previous Rankings: 5

While their lead on the AL Central seems to keep getting bigger, that isn’t because the White Sox are playing well. Their 2-4 may be overlooked because they still hold an 11 game lead in the division and are a lock to make the postseason. In saying that, they have the second worst record of all division leaders and will be tested again this week, facing the A’s and Rays, with the latter being on the road. 

11. Cincinnati Reds

World Series Championship Odds: +5000
Current Record: 65-55
Previous Rankings: 13

It was a tough week for the Reds, who lost a standalone game to the lowly Indians and then dropped a further two in Atlanta. They did redeem themselves with a 2-1 series win in Philadelphia and find themselves as the one of the more in-form teams fighting for the last National League wild card slot, which includes the Phillies, who they just beat.

12. Philadelphia Phillies

World Series Championship Odds: +3300
Current Record: 61-57
Previous Rankings: 7

After skyrocketing up the MLB Power Rankings last week, Philadelphia threw their NL East lead away and have been shifted down the charts accordingly. Facing the Dodgers and Reds was always going to be tough, but only managing to steal two from six games, which were all at home, is a worrying sign. They now fall behind Atlanta in the standings and will be playing catch up or the rest of the season.

13. San Diego Padres

World Series Championship Odds: +2100
Current Record: 67-54
Previous Rankings: 10

Three teams, the Padres, Blue Jays and Mariners, were all in contention for this slot and while they may have had the worst week of the three, San Diego gets in ahead of them in the rankings. They remain above the other two for multiple reasons, with one being that Fernando Tatis Jr returned to the line up and scored three runs off four hits from five at-bats, and helped them turn things around after dropping three straight to Arizona. They also have a two game lead in the race for the last NL wild card slot, which should help them down the stretch. 

14. Seattle Mariners

World Series Championship Odds: +35000
Current Record: 63-56
Previous Rankings: 15

The Mariners 4-2 week has them just 4.5 games back from the wild card race in the American League. Their 2-1 series win over the Blue Jays, who are also in the wild card race, was massive for their chances of sneaking in, but it may be too little too late.

15. Toronto Blue Jays

World Series Championship Odds: +2100
Current Record: 63-54
Previous Rankings: 8

The Blue Jays have had their chances, but ultimately have made their own bed. While they have had it tough, not playing a home game in Toronto until just weeks ago, they have had plenty of opportunities to get enough wins, especially in the inconsistent AL East, but haven’t delivered. They still rank first for OPS and second for runs scored, but their bullpen hasn’t backed them up enough.

16. St Louis Cardinals

World Series Championship Odds: +20000
Current Record: 61-56
Previous Rankings: 19

Being the only team not to lose last week, going a perfect 6-0, saw the Cardinals breathe life into their season. They now sit just four games back from the last NL wild card slot and are more in-form than the two above them, the Reds and Padres. However, they only played the Pirates and Royals, whilst having the Brewers waiting for them at the start of this week – a real litmus test of where they are at as a ball club.

17. New York Mets

World Series Championship Odds: +4500
Current Record: 59-59
Previous Rankings: 12

While the Mets may have swept the Nationals to start the week, that isn’t anything to write home about. They then got swept by the Dodgers, at home, and now face the Giants, in San Francisco, before meeting up with the Dodgers again, this time in LA. It is a brutal stretch for the Mets and will likely be their undoing in their quest for the NL East crown. 

18. Minnesota Twins

World Series Championship Odds: Off the charts
Current Record: 53-66
Previous Rankings: 22

This is an incredible run that the Twins are going on! After beating the Astros 3-1, the Twins faced the White Sox and Rays last week and went 5-1. They swept Chicago before beating Tampa 2-1, including a 12-0 thumping in the second game. This is exceptional form heading in to the last portion of the season and with matchups against the Indians and Yankees waiting ahead this week, you can only imagine what the giant killers could do next. 

19. Los Angeles Angels

World Series Championship Odds: +60000
Current Record: 59-61
Previous Rankings: 17

While they have been wildly inconsistent, for the first time since 2015, the Angels have a chance to finish the season at 0.500 or better. Going 3-4 last week isn’t all that bad considering they faced the Blue Jays and Astros, leaving positive signs for their last six weeks. 

20. Cleveland Indians

World Series Championship Odds: +60000
Current Record: 57-60
Previous Rankings: 18

The Indians had a weird week, beating the in-form Reds, before being demoralised at home by the A’s, before beating the Tigers, who were coming off a sweep. While they are second in the division, there is no hope of them making the postseason and they now just have to start blooding some of their young players. 

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21. Detroit Tigers

World Series Championship Odds: +60000
Current Record: 58-62
Previous Rankings: 21

The Tigers had a tough week to judge. While they had a better week than the Indians, who are above them in the rankings, they actually lost to Cleveland 1-2, including a 0-11 smashing in the decider on Sunday. For that reason, it can’t be justified having them above the Indians, despite having a better week, however they are still better than the rest of the teams that lie below. 

22. Kansas City Royals

World Series Championship Odds: Off the charts
Current Record: 50-67
Previous Rankings: 20

While they managed to steal a game off the Yankees, the Royals got swept by the Cardinals to finish the week going just 1-5. With Minnesota’s exceptional play of late, Kansas City now finds themselves on the bottom of the AL Central. In saying that, they have the best record of all teams on the bottom of their division and could do something weird against the Astros and Cubs this week.

23. Miami Marlins

World Series Championship Odds: Off the charts
Current Record: 51-68
Previous Rankings: 26

A 4-2 week is enough for Miami to move ahead of Colorado yet again, however they really shouldn’t be. They lost to the Padres 1-2, before going on to sweep the lowly Cubs. That doesn’t say much about how they are going, given how poor Chicago has been lately. Their bullpen, which used to be top five in the league, has given up 5+ runs in six of their last nine games, which is a terrible way to be trending at this stage of the season.

24. Colorado Rockies

World Series Championship Odds: Off the charts
Current Record: 53-66
Previous Rankings: 23

After a fantastic week 18, the Rockies were humbled by much better opponents. They lost a two game series to the Astros, being outscored 1-10, before going 1-3 against the Giants, being outscored 18-10. Luckily, they get six home games this week, playing the struggling Padres and Diamondbacks, hoping they can salvage some results in their favour. 

25. Arizona Diamondbacks

World Series Championship Odds: Off the charts
Current Record: 38-81
Previous Rankings: 28

When looking at the bottom six teams in the league, there is really not a lot to be inspired about. However, a 3-3 week from the Diamondbacks is the pick of the bunch. They managed to steal a game off the Giants before defeating the Padres 2-1, which included a no-hitter from Tyler Gilbert, in his first career start. That is one of the stories of the season and something Arizona should be very proud of. 

26. Texas Rangers

World Series Championship Odds: Off the charts
Current Record: 42-76
Previous Rankings: 30

Another team with a 3-3 week rising up the MLB Power Rankings, as the Rangers get to their highest mark for almost the entire season. A tight 1-2 series loss in Seattle was actually a positive for Texas, who then went on to beat the A’s at home, 2-1. That is a massive scalp for a team that should really be trying to lose. 

27. Washington Nationals

World Series Championship Odds: Off the charts
Current Record: 50-68
Previous Rankings: 24

Six tough divisional matchups saw the Nationals go 0-6, however they remain ahead of the rest due to how tough their schedule was. Both the Braves and Mets are formidable opponents and while a winless week is never good, it is still better than what the teams below dished up.

28. Pittsburgh Pirates

World Series Championship Odds: Off the charts
Current Record: 42-77
Previous Rankings: 27

The Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Brewers 14-4. That is extremely impressive considering how well Milwaukee has been playing lately. The issue is, that was their only win for the week, losing their other five games and only managing to score more than one run in one of those five losses. And for their troubles, they now start the week facing the Dodgers, in LA. 

29. Chicago Cubs

World Series Championship Odds: Off the charts
Current Record: 52-69
Previous Rankings: 25

The Cubs had another terrible week, failing to register a win and being outscored 24-60 across seven games. They are bottom five for both ERA and OPS over the last 30 days, highlighting their lack of ability on both sides of the ball. 

30. Baltimore Orioles

World Series Championship Odds: Off the charts
Current Record: 38-79
Previous Rankings: 29

A 0-6 week added to their current 11 game losing streak, and you honestly can’t see a win in the near future for the Orioles. They have played dreadfully over this period and now have a four game series in Tampa to start the week. This could get ugly. 

*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel 

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Tim is a keen follower of all American sports, in particular the NBA and NFL. He has followed both sports for over a decade and would happily sit down and watch every game, regardless of who is playing! No matter the sport, whether it be NFL and NBA or even MLB, NHL, UFC and all sports, Tim covers it from every angle, staying in the loop to bring you the most up-to-date information and the best picks and predictions on the market.