Welcome to the August 16th edition of the Half Street High Heat Power Rankings. Every Tuesday from now until the end of the season, HSHH contributors will submit their individual Top 15 MLB Power Rankings to be averaged out for an official HSHH Power Ranking. Below in parenthesis next to each HSHH contributor’s name you can see what each individual ranked that particular team that week. Also included are some of the thoughts on the teams ranked for each of these contributors. Do you agree with our rankings? Which HSHH contributor got it right and which HSHH contributor got it wrong?
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (80-34)
Last Week Record: 4-1
Last Week Ranking: 1
Monty (1): They went 4-1 last week and continue to play well. They are the clear best team in baseball, but unfortunately as we all know, that doesn’t guarantee a trophy in October.
Nick (1): Historical greatness over their past 162 games. It’s unreal how consistently amazing they are (at least in the regular season). Losing Walker Buehler officially for the rest of the season hurts. They’ll need a declining Clayton Kershaw to turn back the clock.
Danny (1): They’re the best team in baseball and just reeled off 12 straight wins before losing on Sunday. They have a 16 game lead over the Padres, who are a very good team. For comparison, the Yankees have a 15.5 game lead over the last place Boston Red Sox.
Tyler (1): Best team in baseball and it’s not even close. Even with losing Buehler for the year they won’t miss a beat. Wagon. If they don’t win the World Series people need to be fired.
Ryan (1): Best team in baseball and approaching historically good when you break down the season they’re having.
2. New York Mets (75-41)
Last Week Record: 5-1
Last Week Ranking: 2
Monty (2): They went 5-1 last week including a big series win over the red hot Phillies, so it’s hard to drop them after a week like that. They’re a really good team, especially now that deGrom is back.
Nick (2): This team is built to last. Unfortunately it wouldn’t surprise me if they win the pennant.
Danny (2): I don’t need to keep talking about Scherzer and deGrom every week, do I? Eh, why not. They took two of three from the Phillies over the weekend. The only game they lost was a 2-1 game where Max Scherzer went 7 innings and gave up 1 run. They’re not just good. They’re one of the three best teams in baseball.
Tyler (2): They just keep rolling and keep winning series against contenders. Scary rotation and their offense just keeps getting it done despite a more old school approach without a lot of power. People keep waiting on the LOLMets collapse but it just hasn’t happened and doesn’t look like it will at this point. Serious October threat.
Ryan (2): Gave up 1 ER in a huge series against the Phillies. They’re hot and this pitching staff is unreal and can matchup against anyone because of it.
3. Houston Astros (75-42)
Last Week Record: 5-1
Last Week Ranking: 3
Monty (3): The Astros went 5-1 last week over the Rangers and Athletics. They lead the AL standings and have 2 big series this week on the road at the Chicago White Sox and the Atlanta Braves.
Nick (4): One could argue I should have the Astros higher, and that’s fair, but I think this is the end of the top tier and 2-4 are interchangeable. The Astros are unquestionably the team to beat in the AL.
Danny (3): They’ve all but wrapped up the AL West with a 13 game lead over Seattle. The only question is whether the Yankees keep fading or if there will be a race for home field advantage in the AL. Right now, the Astros hold a 2.5 game lead over the Yankees.
Tyler (3): The best team in the AL that just keeps on winning. Would not be shocked at all to see them win the pennant for the 4th time in 6 seasons.
Ryan (3): Every year they slowly pull away in the AL and are doing it again.
4. Atlanta Braves (71-46)
Last Week Record: 6-0
Last Week Ranking: 5
Monty (4): After a disappointing 5 game series in Queens, the Braves rebounded to go 6-0 last week at Fenway and Marlins Park.
Nick (3): Another team that’s built to last, and even more so with all their young core locked up to crazy team friendly deals for the next 7+ years. They’re getting better as the year goes on, just like last season.
Danny (4): They’ve won 6 straight and have a huge four-game series starting tonight against the Mets. If they want to have a shot at the division, they have to split at the very least. They face Scherzer and then deGrom on Wednesday and Thursday, so they need to win the first two.
Tyler (4): After a rough series against the Mets they turned it back around with a sweep of the Marlins and taking the first game against the Mets in Atlanta. They’ve won 7 straight and are looking scary again.
Ryan (4): An undefeated week now got a real test against the Mets.
5. St. Louis Cardinals (63-51)
Last Week Record: 3-3
Last Week Ranking: 7
Monty (5): They lost a series they shouldn’t have in Colorado, but they bounced back to take a crucial series from the Brewers, who were only a half game back of the Cardinals at the beginning of the series.
Nick (6): Up one spot from last week for me, this is another team that knows how to turn on the jets at the right time and is starting to get better and better.
Danny (5): They went 3-3 last week, but 24 of their next 27 games come against teams below .500. They should be able to get hot and stay hot.
Tyler (7): Also 7-3 in their last 10, Cardinals just made a statement against the Brewers and are looking pretty solid. Albert Pujols has been raking at the ripe age of 42 along with the rest of their lineup. That Cardinals black magic is flowing through his veins once again.
6. New York Yankees (72-44)
Last Week Record: 2-4
Last Week Ranking: 4
Monty (6): The Yankees lost both of their series last week against the Mariners and Red Sox. They are now 8-16 since the All Star Break. Concerning to say the least.
Nick (5): The biggest frauds on the diamond. Can’t wait to see them crash and burn in a glorious blaze.
Danny (6): They still have a 10 game lead in the division, but there was a point where people were wondering if this team could win 116+ games. They’re not even the best team in baseball now. Their pitching staff is overworked and their lineup aside from Judge and Rizzo just isn’t very good.
Tyler (5): Still a great team but are 2-8 in their last 10 and sliding pretty hard. The winning pace they were at in the first half just wasn’t sustainable. Again, still the 2nd best team in the top-heavy AL but it’s obvious at this point that the Astros clear.
Ryan (8): They were carried by overperforming pitching and Aaron Judge. Now, Judge is cooling down and the pitching staff is entering uncharted territory for innings pitched, they just aren’t good.
7. San Diego Padres (65-53)
Last Week Record: 4-2
Last Week Ranking: 8
Monty (7): It wasn’t always pretty at times but the Padres won both of their series last week and Juan Soto and Manny Machado are red hot. There will be no Tatis this season, but the Padres have more than enough firepower to get the job done.
Nick (8): Nothing says a get right series like a 3 game set against the Nationals. We’ll see if it sparks something going forward.
Danny (8): They went 4-2 last week after taking series from the Giants and Nationals. Losing Tatis for the season is a blow, but they added enough pop to the lineup at the deadline to scare a pitching staff.
Tyler (8): They just won a series against the Nats (congrats) and have another one coming up that’ll pad them some wins again, but were just shut out for the third time in their last 8 games. This team just isn’t moving me like they should after adding Soto, Bell, Drury, and Hader, and now Tatis is done until 2023. I think if they make it to October they’ll be an early exit.
8. Philadelphia Phillies (64-51)
Last Week Record: 3-3
Last Week Ranking: 9
Monty (8): The Phillies had to face Sandy Alcantara, Max Scherzer, and Jacob deGrom in a 4-day span. They actually went 2-1 in those games but unfortunately lost the series finale to Miami and the series finale to Chris Bassitt and the Mets as well to go 3-3 last week.
Nick (11): I know they’re doing well at the moment, but I’ve seen enough of this franchise to know they’re fraudulent. Just waiting for the collapse.
Danny (7): They lost 2 of 3 to the Mets over the weekend, but it was a well played series overall. They have a pretty soft schedule moving forward and the Brewers just aren’t playing well right now which puts them in good position to hold onto the final wildcard spot in the NL.
Tyler (6): They just lost a series to the Mets but are 7-3 in their last 10 and are still getting it done without Bryce Harper. This unfortunately is looking a lot like the year the Phils will break their Octoberless streak.
Ryan (6): A gauntlet of a week with what pitchers they faced and beat Sandy without 3 top hitters.
9. Toronto Blue Jays (61-53)
Last Week Record: 1-4
Last Week Ranking: 6
Monty (10): They’re too talented to be ranked #10, but they went 1-4 last week to the Orioles and Guardians.
Nick (7): Still betting on the talent, but this team really needs to figure it out.
Danny (9): After a 1-4 week, they’re barely hanging onto the top wild card spot in the AL. This team is too good to not make the playoffs, but after losing 4 of 5 to playoff contenders, you have to wonder…
Tyler (9): Like the Padres, this team is good but should be better than they are with the amount of sheer talent on the roster. They’re sliding a bit, only winning 3 of their last 10.
Ryan (13): A bad week and 3-7 in last 10 only reason they’re not higher.
10. Cleveland Guardians (62-54)
Last Week Record: 5-1
Last Week Ranking: 15
Monty (9): The Guardians had their six game winning streak snapped by the Blue Jays on Saturday, but they still took 2 of 3 from the top Wild Card team in the American League. The pitching continues to be elite and makes them the favorite for a surprising AL Central title.
Nick (12): I think the most forgotten team in baseball, the pitching factory is on fire as this team is bound for October in a weak division.
Danny (10): I trashed the Guardians last week and then they proceeded to go 5-1 last week. They now lead the AL Central by 2.5 games over both the Twins and White Sox. Their pitching will carry them, but I’ll never understand why they did nothing at the deadline.
Tyler (11): They just won 8 of their last 10 games to take the lead in the AL Central by 2.5. Again, do not sleep on this team. They’re solid. Not on the level of the Astros or Yankees, but they’re solid.
11. Seattle Mariners (63-54)
Last Week Record: 3-3
Last Week Ranking: 10
Monty (11): They take two of three from the Yankees and then turn around and drop an easy series to the Rangers. With J-Rod back in the lineup, you would’ve expected better from them.
Nick (9): Their pitching has to carry them. Their lineup is questionable, but they have the tools to be a playoff team.
Danny (13): They’re stumbling along a bit right now, but play their next 8 against sub-.500 teams (5 of the 8 against the Athletics and Nats). They should be able to win 6-7 of those games.
Tyler (10): A solid, young team with good pitching but I don’t know if they’re here *just* yet. Again, if they make October they’ll be a quick exit, but regardless Ms fans should be excited for this year and beyond.
Ryan (10): .500 ball in last 10, but made a statement beating the Yankees even though the Yanks are tumbling.
12. Tampa Bay Rays (61-53)
Last Week Record: 2-3
Last Week Ranking: 12
Monty (12): They were swept by a struggling Brewers team midweek in a short series, but won a crucial home series against the Orioles to reclaim a 1.5 game lead in the Wild Card race.
Nick (10): A staple. They could be the six seed and win the AL pennant. Don’t let the record fool you.
Danny (11): They had a rough start to the week, but rebounded nicely by taking 2 of 3 from the surging Orioles. The schedule softens a bit over the next week and a half, so they’ll need to take advantage.
Tyler (12): Again, pretty mediocre record on paper but their pitching can match up with anyone. 3 outs away from the first perfect game in over a decade the other night. It’s a matter of whether their lineup has an on or off night that determines how far they’ll go.
Ryan (11): Big series win against Baltimore, haven’t said that in some time.
13. Milwaukee Brewers (61-53)
Last Week Record: 3-2
Last Week Ranking: 13
Monty (14): They swept the Rays at home mid-week, but then lost the big series to the Cardinals over the weekend, leaving them 1.5 games back in both the NL Central and NL Wild Card race.
Nick (13): An overhyped Cleveland Guardians. Good enough to make the playoffs, not good enough to make some noise.
Danny (12): They opened the week by taking a two game set against the Rays and then proceeded to lose 2 of 3 to the Cardinals. They play 7 of their next 10 against the Dodgers. It’s do or die time.
Tyler (13): the NL version of the Rays. Great pitching but the lineup is extremely hit or miss, no pun intended. The Cardinals are clearly the better team in the NL Central.
14. Baltimore Orioles (60-55)
Last Week Record: 3-3
Last Week Ranking: 14
Monty (13): They took 2 from the Blue Jays before a rain postponement, then lost a makeup game at Fenway to the Red Sox. After beating the Rays on Friday night, they were in the third Wild Card spot. Unfortunately they dropped the last two of the series and now sit 1.5 games back.
Nick (14): I don’t know if they have the push in them to make it to October, but they’re fun to watch and their closer has the best entrance in all of baseball.
Danny (14): They went 3-3 last week. They’re not going away and they’re fun to watch. What’s not to like? There aren’t a ton of soft spots left in their schedule, but they’ve been hanging with the Rays and Blue Jays lately anyways, so that might not matter.
Tyler (14): I still think they ultimately miss October, but they’ve been a fun story and will be here for the long run in 2023 and beyond.
Ryan (12): America’s Team.
15. Chicago White Sox (60-56)
Last Week Record: 4-3
Last Week Ranking: Unranked
Danny (15): After the Twins went 1-4 last week, I had to go with the White Sox here, who are 13-10 since the break and have pulled even with the Twins. The Twins won the deadline, but the Guardians and White Sox don’t care. The AL Central should be the best division race down the stretch.
Tyler (15): They’ve picked it up a bit and I still think this team is more talented than the Twins despite being below them in the standings. But it’s hard not to be disappointed at 59-56 with Tony LaDUI still assuming managerial duties.
Ryan (15): 3 straight wins, 6-4 in last 10 gets them in the top 15 over the Twins.