Red Sox finish regular season on top

Updated: September 30, 2013, 12:04 PM ET
Week:

ESPN.com

The Boston Red Sox, who closed out the regular season tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for the best record in baseball, hold on to the top spot (for the fourth consecutive week) in the final week of our Power Rankings. The Cardinals rise four spots to take over the No. 2 spot.

The Detroit Tigers remain in the No. 3 position for the second straight week, while the Atlanta Braves (No. 4) and Los Angeles Dodgers (No. 5) flip-flop spots from a week ago to round out the top five.

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 30
RANKTEAM / RECORD TRENDINGCOMMENTS
1
Red Sox
97-65
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Last Week: 1
The Red Sox finished with 97 wins, their highest total since 2007. They finished the season first in run differential, but most importantly, they were able to secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The road to the World Series goes through Fenway. -- Hunter Golden, Fire Brand of the AL
2
4
Last Week: 6
The Cardinals closed out the regular season in style, winning their final six games to secure home-field advantage throughout the National League playoffs as they finished with the best record in the NL. -- Matt Philip, Fungoes
3
Tigers
93-69
--

Last Week: 3
Whether you see the recent limp of Detroit's offense as a bad omen or exaggerated fodder for the anxiety-prone fan, you should find common ground for optimism in a pitching staff that's so deep it has fans and pundits alike suggesting with all sincerity that, arguably, one of the best pitchers on the planet (Justin Verlander) not toe the rubber until Game 3 of the ALDS. -- Ryan Callery, Walkoff Woodward
4
Braves
96-66
1
Last Week: 5
October will begin with a big challenge for the Braves' strikeout-prone lineup as they face the Dodgers' swing-and-miss starting pitching staff. Will the Braves' three-run home run approach work, or will they whiff their way out of the first round? They have a tough task ahead of them if they are to win their first postseason series since 2001. -- Martin Gandy, Gondeee
5
Dodgers
92-70
1
Last Week: 4
Clayton Kershaw's 1.83 ERA was the first sub-2.00 ERA by a starter since Roger Clemens in 2005 and the lowest since Pedro Martinez's 1.74 mark in 2000. His ERA+ of 194 was a hair better than Sandy Koufax's career-best 190 in 1966. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
6
4
Last Week: 2
The A's roll into the playoffs a bit banged up, but the team is hopeful that Yoenis Cespedes, at least, will be ready to go come Friday. -- Jason Wojciechowski, Beaneball
7
Pirates
94-68
--

Last Week: 7
The Pirates took care of business, sweeping the Reds in Cincinnati to ensure home field for the wild-card game on Tuesday. Francisco Liriano (8-1, 1.47 ERA at home, but 0-3, 3.70 against the Reds in 2013) will get the start. Pirates pitchers allowed an MLB-fewest 101 homers. -- Diane Firstman, Value Over Replacement Grit
8
Indians
92-70
2
Last Week: 10
The Indians ended the regular season in style, winning their last 10 games to secure home-field advantage in the AL wild-card game. Ubaldo Jimenez struck out 13 in Game 162, tying a career best. Tribe fans are cautiously celebrating their team's first postseason appearance since 2007. -- Susan Petrone, It's Pronounced "Lajaway"
9
Reds
90-72
1
Last Week: 8
The Reds finished the season by losing five in a row and getting swept by the Pirates. If the Reds don't beat Pittsburgh in the wild-card game on Tuesday, expect manager Dusty Baker's seat to get very warm indeed. -- Chad Dotson, Redleg Nation
10
Rays
91-71
1
Last Week: 9
The Rays finished the scheduled portion of the regular season with a record of 91-71, marking the fourth consecutive season they have won at least 90 games. As it turns out, they'll need every one of those wins plus one more if they want to officially qualify for the postseason. -- Tommy Rancel, The Process Report
11
Rangers
91-71
--

Last Week: 11
The Rangers won their final seven games to sneak into the wild-card tiebreaker game against the Rays. They finished 32-6 against the Astros and Angels. Martin Perez will start against Tampa and he's 7-2 with a 3.05 ERA in 11 starts since July 31. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
12
--

Last Week: 12
The Nationals finished the season on a 32-16 run and got redemptive second halves from Denard Span and Dan Haren. But the first 114 games count, too. -- Harper Gordek, Nationals Baseball
13
Royals
86-76
1
Last Week: 14
Managed to go 86-76 despite hitting only 110 homers, 33 fewer than any other AL team. Their 3.45 team ERA was the best in the league, as was the 2.57 compiled by their relievers. The last time Kansas City led the AL in ERA? 1986. -- Diane Firstman, Value Over Replacement Grit
14
Orioles
85-77
1
Last Week: 15
The Orioles go out into the offseason with a win on the final day of the regular season and the realization that this team has a strong base of talent. The 2012 season was not a fluke. It is now up to Dan Duquette to figure out how to squeeze five to 10 more wins out of this squad. -- Jon Shepherd, Camden Depot
15
Yankees
85-77
2
Last Week: 13
In the end, the Yankees finished with their worst record since going 76-86 in 1992. That year, Derek Jeter hit .210 in his first taste of pro ball, Andy Pettitte went 10-4 with a 2.20 ERA for Greensboro and Mariano Rivera had a 2.28 ERA in 10 starts for Fort Lauderdale ... and was left unprotected in the expansion draft that offseason. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
16
1
Last Week: 17
The D-backs' regular season is the longest ever; 80 extra innings ranks second all-time, and the team ahead of them, the 1918 Washington Senators (82), played a shorter schedule. The D-backs were also strikingly average this year, finishing at .500 while ranking 14th in the majors in ERA and 14th in fWAR for position players. Next up: sorting out playing time at SS, 3B, LF and CF. -- Ryan P. Morrison, Inside the 'Zona
17
Angels
78-84
1
Last Week: 16
The Angels' final week was sort of a microcosm of their 2013 season. The bullpen was horrendous, the starting pitching was inconsistent and the offense came and went. The Angels will make drastic changes this offseason, and we'll soon find out if this team has its sights set on 2014, or is more concerned with sustainable long-term success. -- Hudson Belinsky, Halos Daily
18
1
Last Week: 19
An unmitigated disaster, the Jays' star-studded roster finished 23 games back in the AL East. To top things off, one of the youngsters dealt away last offseason, Henderson Álvarez, threw a no-hitter on the final day of the season. -- Matthias Koster, Mop-Up Duty
19
Padres
76-86
1
Last Week: 18
Jedd Gyorko led the team with just 63 RBIs, although the Padres actually hit more home runs than the playoff-bound Dodgers and Cardinals. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
20
Giants
76-86
--

Last Week: 20
The Giants won five of their final seven to finish outside of the bottom 10, meaning they probably won't be in the market for any big free agents other than re-signing Hunter Pence (which they already did) and Tim Lincecum (we'll see). BTW, Barry Zito on the road: 0-9, 9.23 ERA, .393 average allowed. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
21
Brewers
74-88
3
Last Week: 24
Things got a little interesting over the weekend when the Brewers won enough games to slide out of the top 10 picks for next year's draft, meaning their first-round pick is no longer protected. That has many Brewers fans panicking that another Kyle Lohse-type move could transpire this winter. -- J.P. Breen, Disciples of Uecker
22
Rockies
74-88
--

Last Week: 22
Despite a 10-game improvement over 2012, this season still has to be considered a disappointment for the Rockies. Their pitching improved dramatically, but offensively, they put up the second-lowest run total in franchise history despite having three starters on the NL All-Star team and the NL batting champion. -- Logan Burdine, Blake Street Bulletin
23
Mets
74-88
--

Last Week: 23
The Mets finished with the same record this season as they did last year. Like the decision to retain Terry Collins as manager. -- ESPN.com
24
3
Last Week: 21
The horrendous 2013 season has mercifully ended and now several offseason decision processes are set to begin. That starts with evaluating 2013 Arizona Fall Leaguers Kelly Dugan and Aaron Altherr to see if they warrant a 40-man roster spot to protect them from Rule 5 consideration. -- Eric Longenhagen, Crashburn Alley
25
--

Last Week: 25
The Mariners have tried pitching and defense with no hitting, and this year they tried power and bad defense with two good pitchers. Neither worked. They finished second in the majors in home runs, but just 12th in the AL in runs scored and 29th in Defensive Runs Saved. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
26
Cubs
66-96
--

Last Week: 26
After two years of rebuilding and player development regression by both Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo, it may be time to part ways with Dale Sveum. -- Joe Aiello, The View From The Bleachers
27
Twins
66-96
--

Last Week: 27
After ushering the Indians into the playoffs with a season-ending sweep at Target Field, the Twins finished 2013 with a 66-96 record that was identical to their 2012 mark. Tough to see much progress here. -- Nick Nelson, Twins Daily
28
--

Last Week: 28
On the bright side, the White Sox won once on the final weekend to avoid 100 losses. On the not-so-bright side, this roster is pretty much a mess outside of Chris Sale and Jose Quintana. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot
29
Marlins
62-100
--

Last Week: 29
Henderson Alvarez tossed a no-hitter Sunday, but it wasn't a winner until Giancarlo Stanton scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth. It's the fifth no-hitter in franchise history. Miami scored a mere 513 runs in 2013, 85 fewer than the next-worst team (White Sox). -- Diane Firstman, Value Over Replacement Grit
30
Astros
51-111
--

Last Week: 30
Finished with 15 straight losses, the first team to lose that many in a row since the 2011 Mariners lost 17 in a row in July, and the longest season-ending streak since the 1899 Cleveland Spiders lost 16 in a row. That team finished 20-134 and folded after the season. So at least the Astros were better than the 1899 Spiders. -- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot

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