The Yankees have had their struggles lately (to say the least), but they helped themselves over the weekend when they eliminated the team that is probably their biggest threat in the AL East Division.
The Yankees’ second-half spiral allowed the Rays and, to a lesser extent, the Blue Jays to close what not long ago was a heavy double-digit deficit in the divisional race. If the Rays had swept the series this weekend in the Bronx, they would have been only 1 1/2 games behind the shocked Yankees – a scenario unthinkable even a few weeks ago.
But the Yankees took two out of three to widen the gap to 5½ games ahead of the Rays, and they are six ahead of the Blue Jays. It’s not a comfortable lead, but the Yankees’ season streak with the Rays is now over and they only have three games left with the Blue Jays. They have 21 games left and 12 are against teams under .500. If the Yankees are looking for some good news heading into the home stretch, schedule strength could be it.
Biggest Leap: The White Sox jumped three spots, going from 16 to 13. Including a Sunday loss at Oakland, Chicago has won nine of 13 games under interim manager Miguel Cairo, scoring more than six points per game while hitting 21 homers during this streak.
Biggest drop: The Brewers (14-16) and Orioles (12-14) both fell two spots. Baltimore opened a homestand last week losing three of four to Toronto before losing two of three to the Red Sox.
1) Dodgers (96-43; last week: 1)
DraftKings World Series odds: 3.6-1
Los Angeles has essentially clinched a playoff berth – there are a bunch of tie-breaker scenarios preventing it from being officially official – and is on the verge of winning the NL West division, which should happen soon. . The Dodgers’ magic number fell to 2 to clinch their ninth NL West title in the past 10 seasons. It could happen as early as Tuesday. The Dodgers, who are on 112-game winning streak this season, have a +310 point differential — more than 100 points more than the Yankees, who are second at +206.
2) Astros (90-50; last week: 2)
DraftKings World Series odds: 4.25-1
The Astros won their 90th game in their 140th game of the season Sunday with a fight against the Angels. That’s the second-fewest games needed to reach 90 wins in franchise history. Only the 2019 team (90 wins in 139 games) did it faster. Additionally, Houston is MLB’s best 35-11 against left-handed starters this season.
3) Braves (87-53; last week: 3)
DraftKings World Series odds: 8-1
The Braves lost a savage to the Mariners on Sunday to drop 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Mets in Eastern Newfoundland. Atlanta was on a hot streak before losing the last two games to Seattle — they had won eight in a row, and since Aug. 9 they are 23-7. This is the best stretch in the major leagues during this block of time.
4) Mets (89-52; last week: 4)
DraftKings World Series odds: 5-1
The Mets welcomed an easy and well-deserved victory Sunday when they beat the Marlins, 9-3. In the last two games of the series in Miami, the Mets outscored their opponent 20-6. Individually, Francisco Lindor is one homer away from tying Asdrúbal Cabrera (23 in 2016) for the most home runs in a single season by a Mets shortstop. Lindor already has the most RBIs by a Mets shortstop in history with 91.
5) Cardinals (83-58; last week: 5)
DraftKings World Series odds: 22-1
There’s so much going on in St. Louis these days. The Cardinals are running away with the NL Central – they are eight games ahead of the Brewers – and Albert Pujols is threatening to hit the 700 home run threshold before calling it a career. He passed Alex Rodriguez on Sunday with No. 697, and if he can get three more (the Cardinals have 21 games left in the regular season), he’ll join Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth as the only players in the league. history of MLB. hit 700 homers.
The rest of the field of 30:
Voters: Alyson Footer, Anthony Castrovince, Paul Casella, Mark Feinsand, Nathalie Alonso, Mike Petriello, Sarah Langs, Andrew Simon, David Venn, Brett Blueweiss
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