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2020 MLB Power Rankings



BY KYLE GLASER

Amidst the most challenging circumstances in recent history, Major League Baseball completed a regular season.

It was a season unlike any other. A 60-game schedule. Seven-inning doubleheaders. Extra innings starting with a runner on second base. The designated hitter in both leagues. 

The coronavirus pandemic upended the traditional rules and structures we've all grown accustomed to, both in baseball and the world at large. From the moment camps shut down in March, there was considerable anxiety if a season would be played at all, or if one could be completed safely.

That anxiety was only heightened when COVID-19 outbreaks swept the Marlins and Cardinals clubhouses within days of the season beginning. Prominent players and coaches opted out, while others voiced concern whether playing was the wisest course of action.

But through it all, games were played and larger outbreaks were avoided. The Cardinals and Marlins, miraculously, rebounded to clinch playoff berths. The Padres and Reds ended long postseason droughts. The Dodgers steamrolled everyone as expected, while the Rays assumed supremacy in the AL East.

Now comes a postseason that will also be unlike any other. A 16-team field with a neutral site World Series is just the latest chapter of an unprecedented year for Major League Baseball. Games begin Tuesday starting with the best-of-three Wild Card round, which never existed before this season.

Here are our final power rankings for the 2020 season. All statistics are through Sept. 27. 

30 Matches
See Full List Expand Collapse All Updated on: 9/28/2020
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    Los Angeles Dodgers

    43-17
    Notes:

    The Dodgers, not the Indians, posted the lowest ERA in MLB this year (3.02). Now, they open the wild-card series with their best matchup possible—a three-game set against the punchless Brewers, who finished 26th in the majors in scoring this season.

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  2. 2
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    Tampa Bay Rays

    40-20
    Notes:

    The Rays inserted OF Randy Arozarena into the starting lineup for the first time on Aug. 31. Since then, he’s hit seven home runs in 76 plate appearances and risen to the No. 3 spot in the order, giving the Rays the consistent righthanded thumper they’ve needed to pair with 2B Brandon Lowe.

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  3. 3
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    San Diego Padres

    37-23
    Notes:

    The Padres playoff hopes likely hinge on the health of RHPs Dinelson Lamet (biceps tightness) and Mike Clevinger (elbow impingement). The good news? SS Fernando Tatis Jr. appears to have shaken off his slump, hitting .292 with a pair of monster home runs in the final seven games.

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    Minnesota Twins

    36-24
    Notes:

    The Twins have a prime opportunity to end their postseason misery. They open at home, where they went 24-7 this season, against a below-.500 Astros team that went 9-23 on the road. In short, the Twins are lined up beautifully to advance past the opening round for the first time in their last eight postseason appearances.

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    Oakland Athletics

    36-24
    Notes:

    The late-season addition of 3B Jake Lamb has been a boon for the A’s, with the former all-star hitting four doubles and three home runs in 13 games in place of the injured Matt Chapman.  Now they’re going to need their starters to step up, especially with an opening series against the high-powered White Sox. RHP Chris Bassitt was the A’s only starter to post an ERA under 4.00 this season, with LHPs Jesus Luzardo (4.12) and Sean Manaea (4.50) the next-best.

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    Atlanta Braves

    35-25
    Notes:

    The Braves had the highest OPS in the majors this season (.832) with 1B Freddie Freeman (1.012) and DH Marcell Ozuna (1.067) finishing second and third in MLB, respectively, and OF Ronald Acuna Jr. (.987) finishing ninth. The Braves are going to need every bit of that thunder against the Reds and their stacked starting rotation, especially now that RHP Sonny Gray has returned.

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    Cleveland Indians

    35-25
    Notes:

    The Indians enter the postseason having won 9 of 11 and boasting perhaps both the AL MVP in 3B Jose Ramirez and AL Cy Young Award winner in RHP Shane Bieber. The best part? Their postseason path lines up nicely, beginning with a home series against a Yankees team that struggles mightily to hit on the road.

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    Chicago White Sox

    35-25
    Notes:

    The White Sox are limping into the postseason with 10 losses in their last 13 games. One reason for optimism? OF Luis Robert might be coming around after going 5-for-11 with three runs scored in the final series of the season against the Cubs.

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    Chicago Cubs

    34-26
    Notes:

    3B Kris Bryant (.375, 2 HR) and SS Javier Baez (.308, 2B, HR) began to show signs of life during the Cubs’ season-ending series against the White Sox. They Cubs are going to need both to keep it up against the Marlins’ top three of RHPs Sandy Alcantara, Sixto Sanchez and Pablo Lopez, quietly as formidable a starting trio as any in the National League.

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    New York Yankees

    33-27
    Notes:

    The Yankees dropped 4 of their final 5 games and now face a daunting challenge. They went 11-18 on the road this season and had a .677 OPS away from Yankee Stadium (compared to a .892 OPS at home). Now they play all their postseason games away from home, beginning with a matchup against the American League-best Indians pitching staff.

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    St. Louis Cardinals

    30-28
    Notes:

    He won’t win, but there’s an argument that 1B Paul Goldschmidt was the most valuable player to his team in the National League. With the Cardinals decimated by their COVID-19 outbreak and their offense foundering, Goldschmidt stepped up and hit .304/.417/.466 to keep the offense afloat while C Yadier Molina, SS Paul DeJong and others were sidelined. Without Goldschmidt’s stabilizing presence, the Cardinals likely fall short of the postseason.

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  12. 12
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    Toronto Blue Jays

    32-28
    Notes:

    The thought before the season was if the Blue Jays were going to make the playoffs, it would be on the backs of SS Bo Bichette and 1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Instead, OFs Teoscar Hernandez (16 HR, .919 OPS) and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (11 HR, .882 OPS) were the main drivers of the offense. Combined with Randal Grichuck (12 HR, .793 OPS), the Blue Jays’ long-term outfield outlook now appears as promising as its infield.

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  13. 13
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    Cincinnati Reds

    31-29
    Notes:

    No team enters the playoffs hotter than the Reds, who are 11-3 in their last 14 games and have begun to show signs of life offensively. The Reds averaged five runs per game over the season’s final two weeks, a critical development to support their dominant rotation. OF Shogo Akiyama (.324 AVG), 1B Joey Votto (4 HR, .969 OPS) and 2B Mike Moustakas (4 HR, .887 OPS) have led the way.

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    Houston Astros

    29-31
    Notes:

    The Astros weren’t particularly successful rebutting the notion that their previous offensive success was a product of their sign-stealing. The Astros ranked 14th in the majors in runs scored (279) and 16th in OPS (.720) this year, with 2B Jose Altuve (.216, .607 OPS), SS Carlos Correa (.256, .681) and 1B Yuli Gurriel (.232, .661) all slumping badly.

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    Miami Marlins

    31-29
    Notes:

    The Cinderella Marlins won’t be a pushover in the postseason with RHPs Sandy Alcantara (3-2, 3.00), Sixto Sanchez (3-2, 3.46) and Pablo Lopez (6-4, 3.61) atop the rotation. What’s more, they get a favorable wild-card matchup against the Cubs, who finished 20th in the majors in runs scored and 21st in OPS (.705).

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    San Francisco Giants

    29-31
    Notes:

    Farhan Zaidi was a big part of acquiring under-the-radar players with the Dodgers and appears to have brought the magic touch to San Francisco. OFs Mike Yasztrzemski and OF Alex Dickerson were acquired for marginal prospects and 2B Donovan Solano signed as a minor league free agent. All three have become standouts with the Giants, and as a result the club’s timeline to contention isn’t as far away as it once appeared.

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    Philadelphia Phillies

    28-32
    Notes:

    The Phillies bullpen finished with a 7.04 ERA, blew 13 of 24 save opportunities and allowed a .315 opponent average. It was the worst bullpen performance in 90 years—the 1930 Phillies had an 8.01 ERA—and is the reason why the Phillies find themselves out of the playoffs. Their starters had the 10th-best ERA (4.04) in MLB and the offense was tied with the White Sox for fifth-most runs scored (306). The bullpen, simply, ruined it all.

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    Milwaukee Brewers

    29-31
    Notes:

    The Brewers backed their way into the postseason and were outscored by a larger margin (-17) than the Giants (+2), Phillies (-5) and Nationals (-8), all of whom finished on the outside looking in. Their only chance to advance was to get dominant starts from RHPs Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes in the opening round, but with Burnes (oblique) out, beating the Dodgers will require a miracle.

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    Washington Nationals

    26-34
    Notes:

    Juan Soto became the youngest player to win the National League batting title with a .351 average. What’s more, he also led the majors in both on-base percentage (.490) and slugging percentage (.695). With a World Series ring and a batting title under his belt by 21, the potential career accolades for Soto seem limitless.

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    New York Mets

    26-34
    Notes:

    The Mets finished third with an .807 OPS this season, trailing only the Dodgers and Braves. OFs Dominic Smith, Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo all had excellent seasons, as did 2B Robinson Cano and RHP Edwin Diaz to help make last year’s trade with the Mariners look better. Now comes the task of finding reliable starters behind RHP Jacob deGrom, although LHP David Peterson looks like a good first piece.

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    Los Angeles Angels

    26-34
    Notes:

    Angels starters had a 5.51 ERA this season, 28th in the major leagues. It’s the second year in a row the Angels have finished bottom-three in MLB in ERA. Fixing that will be priority No. 1 for the incoming general manager, whoever it may be, and will be the determining factor if the Angels can get back to the playoffs while OF Mike Trout is still in his prime.

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    Dbacks

    Arizona Diamondbacks

    25-35
    Notes:

    The D-backs went 10-5 to close out the season, but it wasn’t nearly enough to overcome the horrendous 2-18 stretch that preceded it. RHP Zac Gallen is a keeper, but with RHP Luke Weaver (1-9, 6.59) and LHP Madison Bumgarner (0-4, 7.36) struggling, the D-backs are going to have get creative to find pitching with four of their top five pitching prospects yet to pitch above low Class A.

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    Seattle Mariners

    27-33
    Notes:

    The steps forward from OF Kyle Lewis (.262, 11 HR, .800 OPS), LHP Justus Sheffield (4-3, 3.58) and RHP Justin Dunn (4-1, 4.34) were very promising, as was the performance of RHP Yohan Ramirez (2.61 ERA in 16 appearances), a Rule 5 draft pick last winter. Now, the task is to help 1B Evan White and SS J.P. Crawford take similar jumps next year to help the Mariners’ progress.

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    Colorado Rockies

    26-34
    Notes:

    The Phillies got all the attention, but the Rockies bullpen wasn’t much better with a 6.74 ERA and a .303 opponent average. The $106 million spent on RHP Wade Davis, RHP Bryan Shaw and LHP Jake McGee yielded a combined ERA over 5.00 and all three players being released before their contracts were up. Now the Rockies find themselves in the familiar position of needing reliable relief pitchers in the worst way.

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    Kansas City Royals

    26-34
    Notes:

    Having RHP Brady Singer (4-5, 4.06) and LHP Kris Bubic (1-6, 4.32) make the jump to the majors and not be overwhelmed was a hugely positive development for the Royals. Overall, they finished with an 4.30 ERA, 12th-best in MLB. Now they need to do something about an offense that finished with a .309 on-base percentage, tied for fourth-worst in MLB.

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