Sox keep stranglehold on top spot

Updated: September 16, 2013, 12:13 PM ET
Week:

ESPN.com

The Boston Red Sox lead the majors in runs scored as they continue to impress with October right around the corner. For the second straight week, they hold on to the No. 1 spot in Week 25 of our Power Rankings.

The Los Angeles Dodgers stay at No. 2 despite having a subpar past week (3-4), while the Atlanta Braves remain in the No. 3 spot although they had a spotty past week (4-3). The Oakland A's, winners of five in a row, rise two spots to No. 4, and the Detroit Tigers drop one spot to No. 5.

This week's voters were Jim Bowden of ESPN Insider, Tim Kurkjian of ESPN The Magazine, David Schoenfield of the SweetSpot Blog Network/ESPN.com and Jayson Stark of ESPN.com. Most of the team comments come courtesy of the fan bloggers on the SweetSpot Blog Network. Which teams do you think should be among baseball's top five? Go ahead and rank them yourself.

Tell us what you think about the Power Rankings. Use the hashtag #ESPNMLBPOWER.

2013 Power Rankings: September 16
RANKTEAM / RECORD TRENDINGCOMMENTS
1
Red Sox
92-59
--

Last Week: 1
With their sweep of the Yankees this past weekend, the Red Sox earned their 92nd win of the year in their 151st game. It's the Red Sox's fewest games to 92 wins since the 1950 team did it in 151 games. -- Hunter Golden, Fire Brand of the AL
2
Dodgers
86-63
--

Last Week: 2
Is finishing strong important? The Dodgers are 3-8 over their past eight games. Carl Crawford (.100), Andre Ethier (.148) and A.J. Ellis (.194) have struggled the most on offense. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
3
Braves
89-60
--

Last Week: 3
The Braves have an opportunity to clinch the NL East early this week when they visit the Nationals. Of course, they'll have to try to find their offense, which went missing somewhere between New York and Philly earlier this month. Perhaps the hangover from losing Jason Heyward finally set in. Good news: J-Hey could be back in a week, and with such a sizable lead they've been able to rest starting pitchers. -- Martin Gandy, Gondeee
4
2
Last Week: 6
A sweep of the Rangers has the A's 6 1/2 games up with 13 to play and all 13 are against teams well out of contention. Even more surprising, they're now ahead of Detroit for the second seed (and thus home-field advantage in the Division Series). -- Jason Wojciechowski, Beaneball
5
Tigers
86-63
1
Last Week: 4
Max Scherzer was denied his bid to become this year's first 20-game winner for the fourth time, despite leaving Sunday's game with a 2-1 lead after seven innings. The Tigers ultimately won, holding their five-game division lead over Cleveland, and the 1990s Buffalo Bills could not be reached for empathy. -- Ryan Callery, Walkoff Woodward
6
1
Last Week: 5
Shelby Miller and Matt Adams came through with big performances as the Cardinals cling to a first-place tie with the Pirates in the National League Central. -- Matt Philip, Fungoes
7
Pirates
87-62
--

Last Week: 7
A 6-1 week, including four one-run wins, reduces their magic number for clinching a playoff berth to six. They have by far the majors' lowest opponent slugging percentage (.342) and OPS (.651). The upcoming final seven games at home will put them near 2.3 million in attendance, the second-highest total in franchise history. -- Diane Firstman, Value Over Replacement Grit
8
Reds
84-66
--

Last Week: 8
The Jekyll and Hyde Reds followed up their best week of the season with four losses in six games to the two worst teams in the division. Cincinnati's chances of winning the division are dropping quickly, and the Reds better keep an eye on that Washington team in the wild-card rearview mirror. -- Chad Dotson, Redleg Nation
9
Rays
81-67
1
Last Week: 10
The Rays kept their head above water last week and now sit tied with the Rangers for the top wild-card spot in the American League. The two teams face off in a four-game series starting Monday at Tropicana Field. -- Tommy Rancel, The Process Report
10
Indians
81-68
2
Last Week: 12
The Indians dropped two of three to the Royals but got back on track to sweep the White Sox and move within a half-game of an AL wild-card spot. Ubaldo Jimenez has quietly become the pitcher the Tribe traded for two seasons ago, winning two games this past week, with a 1.57 ERA over the last 28 days. Nick Swisher homered from both sides of the plate as well in Sunday's game. -- Susan Petrone, It's Pronounced "Lajaway"
11
Rangers
81-67
2
Last Week: 9
After going 20-7 in August, the Rangers are now 2-11 in September. They began the month two games up on the A's in the AL West and seven up in the wild card. They now trail Oakland by 6 1/2 and are just a half-game up on Cleveland. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
12
Yankees
79-71
1
Last Week: 13
A sweep at the hands of Boston could spell the end of the Yankees, except the Rays and Rangers keep stumbling. The Yankees finished 6-13 against the Red Sox, their worst record against Boston since 1973, when they went 4-14 (they were 6-12 in 2011). -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
13
2
Last Week: 15
Bipolar week upcoming for the Nats as they try to make a final playoff push. First, a three-game set against a Braves team that has owned them this year (4-12). If they are still in it after these games, they have four games versus a Marlins team they've dominated (11-4). -- Harper Gordek, Nationals Baseball
14
Orioles
79-70
3
Last Week: 11
A week later and the Orioles are still 2 1/2 games behind the second wild card. Time is quickly running out. -- Jon Shepherd, Camden Depot
15
Royals
78-71
1
Last Week: 14
A mediocre 3-3 week didn't kill their playoff chances, as the wild-card-leading Rangers (0-6) and Rays (2-4) had worse weeks. But K.C. still has to climb over three teams (Indians, Yankees and Orioles) and has only three games left against any of them (three versus the Indians, starting Monday). -- Diane Firstman, Value Over Replacement Grit
16
--

Last Week: 16
After dipping to .500 during a series against the Dodgers, the D-backs locked up a series win against the Rockies by getting a 4-for-4, five-RBI performance by Paul Goldschmidt, who hit his 32nd home run 433 feet to end a 22-game homer drought. -- Ryan P. Morrison, Inside the 'Zona
17
Angels
72-77
--

Last Week: 17
When the season began, Houston's arrival in the AL West was just another reason that the Angels would run the table en route to October. Instead, the Astros won 10 of their 19 matchups against the Halos, who now have an outside chance at a .500 season. -- Hudson Belinsky, Halos Daily
18
3
Last Week: 21
The Phillies are in a race to the bottom. The 10 teams who finish with the worst records will have their first-round draft picks protected when signing free agents who turned down qualifying offers. The 69-80 Phillies trail the 68-81 10th-place Blue Jays by a game. Losing has never looked so good. -- Bill Baer, Crashburn Alley
19
1
Last Week: 18
The Jays are using the final few weeks of the season for auditions, various lineup configurations and extended looks at bullpen arms. It's certainly not where the club wanted to be in mid-September, but at least it is using the time wisely. -- Matthias Koster, Mop-Up Duty
20
Giants
69-81
4
Last Week: 24
Talk about making a strong free-agent drive: Hunter Pence has 19 RBIs in his past six games and now ranks second in the NL in total bases and fifth in offensive WAR. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
21
Rockies
68-82
1
Last Week: 20
After their hot start in April, it seemed like last place would be out of play for the Rockies this year. However, they now sit a game back of the Padres and in last place in the NL West. If they finish last, this season will be considered just as disappointing as last year. -- Logan Burdine, Blake Street Bulletin
22
Padres
68-80
1
Last Week: 23
Bud Black is well-respected as a manager, but he's now 532-589 in seven years managing the Padres. Not all his fault, but this is an organization stuck in the mud, going nowhere. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
23
Mets
67-82
1
Last Week: 22
Since May 30, Dillon Gee has a 2.42 ERA (37 earned runs in 137 innings pitched). He?s pitched six innings or more in 15 straight starts and in 18 of his last 19. Opposing batters are 3-for-their-last-35 (.085) against Gee with runners in scoring position. -- Joe Janish, Mets Today
24
Brewers
65-83
1
Last Week: 25
The Brewers currently own a record of 65-83, and that .439 winning percentage puts the organization on pace to have the worst season since 2004. The 2004 club featured the third-worst offense in the league and had the notorious Wes Obermueller starting 20 games. -- J.P. Breen, Disciples of Uecker
25
6
Last Week: 19
The Mariners rank last in the majors in Defensive Runs Saved at -101 runs, which would be the worst total in the majors in the past five seasons (the 2009 Royals were at -100). Not exactly surprising considering the likes of Michael Morse and Raul Ibanez played regularly in the outfield. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
26
Cubs
63-86
1
Last Week: 27
After rehabbing for much longer than expected, Scott Baker will make his third and final start of the season on Friday before being shut down. The Cubs will then need to make the decision as to his health and value going forward this offseason. -- Joe Aiello, The View From The Bleachers
27
Twins
64-84
1
Last Week: 26
The woeful Twins have lost 16 of their last 20 at Target Field and have been outscored 40-11 in their last five games. Not much of a show for the hometown fans here in September. -- Nick Nelson, Twins Daily
28
--

Last Week: 28
Left-handed batters are hitting .136 with no home runs against Chris Sale in 140 at-bats. Jason Vargas hasn't allowed a homer to a left-handed batter in 144 at-bats -- but lefties are hitting .347 off him. Most since 2000: Scott Schoeneweis didn't allow a homer to a lefty in 196 at-bats in 2001. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
29
Marlins
55-94
--

Last Week: 29
NL Rookie of the Year favorite Jose Fernandez's final 18 starts: 120 IP, 67 hits, 37 walks, 135 strikeouts, 1.50 ERA and four homers allowed. The Marlins are 18-10 in his starts and 37-84 when anyone else starts. -- Diane Firstman, Value Over Replacement Grit
30
Astros
51-98
--

Last Week: 30
On the bright side, the Astros went 19-19 against the Angels and Mariners. But they've gone 6-29 against the A's and Rangers. They need to go 5-8 over their final 13 games to "improve" on last year's 55-107 record. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.