MLB Power Rankings 2022: Yankees keep Astros at bay

If the postseason started today, four out of five teams from the American League East would be there.

For now, let’s assume the Yankees run away with the division, which seems likely given their 13-game lead over the second-placed Red Sox. That leaves Boston, Toronto and Tampa Bay as the top three in the AL wild card, with the Guardians just a touch behind the Rays.

There are seven teams in the AL with winning records, with four being from one division.

Keep an eye on the Guardians heading into the All-Star break. All of their games will be against teams behind them at AL Central: two in Detroit, three in Kansas City, four at home against the White Sox, and four against the Tigers. The only division opponent they won’t play before the break is the first-place Twins.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the latest Power Rankings.

Biggest jump: The Brewers made it up six places, from 14th to 8th. By Sunday’s game — the 81st of the season in Milwaukee — the Brewers were second in the NL with 113 homers while their pitchers were third in the Strikeout rate ranked (24.9%) and fourth in ERA (3.76).

Biggest drop: The Giants fell six spots, from 9th to 15th. San Francisco has lost 11 of its last 14 games.

1. Yankees (58-22; 1 last week)
DraftKings World Series odds: 4-1
The Yankees have overtaken their opponents 133-70 (+63), the largest difference in the majors. They also remain on track to surpass the major league season win record of 116, held by the Mariners in 2001 and the Cubs in 1906. The Yankees are on pace for 117 wins.

2. Astros (52-27; 2)
DraftKings World Series odds: 5.5-1
The Astros didn’t just survive their toughest stretch of the season — they wiped it out. In nine straight games against only the Yankees and Mets — who were #1 and #2 on our power rankings for much of the season — the Astros won seven of those. They beat the Mets four times and never fell behind in those four games. And now it gets easier — Houston is in a 26-of-28 stretch against under-.500 teams. The Astros started this segment of their schedule with a win over the Angels.

3. Dodgers (50-29; 4)
DraftKings World Series odds: 4-1
The Dodgers aren’t as dominant as the two teams before them, having only gone 16-15 with the Rockies in the final months of games leading up to Monday’s opener. But the offense, which had been averaging 4.2 runs per game during that stretch, received a boost with the return of Mookie Betts from the IL. And after taking three out of four from the Padres over the weekend, the Dodgers are in for a slightly easier week — three with the Rockies and four with the Cubs.

4. Mets (50-30; 3)
DraftKings World Series odds: 7.5-1
The Mets have an opportunity to pull away from the second-placed Braves in the coming weeks before the All-Star break. Following their run with the Reds, the Mets will host the Marlins four-for-one before a three-game set with the Braves in Atlanta. Then they travel to Chicago to play four against the Cubs. As of Monday, the Mets had won 24 of 35 games against under-.500 teams.

5. Padres (47-35; 5)
DraftKings World Series odds: 16-1
The Padres also have planning on their side as they near the All-Star break. All remaining 13 games will be played against under-.500 teams, with 11 playing division rivals (two against Seattle, four against San Francisco, four in Colorado, and three against Arizona). San Diego entered the halfway point of the season with a 47-34 mark, somewhat remarkable considering the Padres have been without Fernando Tatis Jr. all year.

The rest of the field 30

6. Brave (6)
7. Red Socks (8)
8. Brewer (14)
9. Blue Jay (7)
10. Cardinals (11)
11. Rays (13)
12. Twins (12)
13. Guardian (10)
14.Phillies (15)
15. Giants (9)
16. White Socks (18)
17. Sailors (16)
18. Marlin (19)
19. Rangers (17)
20. Angel (20)
21. Orioles (21)
22. D-Back (22)
23. Rockies (23)
24. Boys (26)
25. Pirates (24)
26. Tigers (25)
27. Red (27)
28. Kings (29)
29. Nationals (28)
30. Ace (30)

Voters: Alyson Footer, Anthony Castrovince, Paul Casella, Mark Feinsand, Nathalie Alonso, Doug Gausepohl, Mike Petriello, Sarah Langs, Andrew Simon, David Venn, Brett Blueweiss.