The field of eight for the 2019 MLB postseason is set. Before the divisional rounds begin, it makes sense to get a lay of the land. To see how each team stacks up, consider Pinstripe Alley’s MLB Postseason Power Rankings. We’ll provide updates after each round.
- Houston Astros (107-55) - Houston enters the postseason as the heavy favorites to win it all. They carry baseball’s best offense (125 wRC+) and third-best pitching staff (82 ERA-). A.J. Hinch has an overpowering rotation at his disposal, fronted by a pair of super-aces in Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole. Opposing pitchers will have a difficult time navigating a lineup featuring the likes of Yordan Alvarez, George Springer, and MVP-candidate Alex Bregman. The Astros have the best chance to storm through October with machine-like efficiency.
- New York Yankees (103-59) - A limp to the finish appears to have lowered the Bombers’ stock in most rankings, but the Yankees remain a frightening force ahead of the playoffs. Aaron Boone led a a squad of “next men up” to 103 wins, but he now has close to a fully-healthy team at his disposable. The lineup managed a 117 wRC+ despite the injury outbreak, and now has the likes of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez, and Edwin Encarnacion ready. While the clubs 94 ERA- is a touch better than average, Boone can get creative with the pitching staff a la the 2018 Brewers. They have as good a shot as anyone.
- Los Angeles Dodgers (106-56) - Dave Roberts’ team appears to have the inside-track to a third-consecutive National League pennant. A dynamic pitching staff (81 ERA-) and strong, deep lineup (111 wRC+) puts them in an envious position. While the team caught fire down the stretch, rattling off seven-straight wins to close out the regular season, the Yankees remained a pace ahead of them all year long, including in the head-to-head matchup.
- Minnesota Twins (101-61) - The Twins represent one of the more difficult teams to accurately peg. Evaluators and fans seem to either give them too much or too little credit. The Bomba Squad knocks the cover off the ball, tallying a 116 wRC+ with 307 home runs in the regular season. Their pitching staff, while owners of a shiny 90 ERA-, might have run out of gas. Michael Pineda will miss the postseason due to a prohibited-substance suspension, while Martin Perez and Kyle Gibson have rough stretch runs lingering overhead.
- Tampa Bay Rays (96-66) - I’m higher on the Rays than most, namely because they have a stellar pitching staff (83 ERA-). Their offense is slightly above average (102 wRC+), but now they have a healthy Yandy Diaz and Austin Meadows in the mix. Add in the likes of Charlie Morton, Tyler Glasnow, and Blake Snell? Look out.
- Atlanta Braves (97-65) - The Braves coasted to their second-consecutive NL East title in 2019. Ronald Acuna Jr. fell just short of going 40-40, but he still had an impressive campaign. Ditto Ozzie Albies. The Braves’ pitching staff, however, has been shaky at times, especially at the back of the bullpen.
- Washington Nationals (93-69) - The Nats pulled off one of the more thrilling comebacks in recent memory on Tuesday night. Juan Soto delivered the game-winning hit, and he has been tremendous, hitting to a 142 wRC+. Anthony Rendon (152 wRC+) continues to play at an MVP-caliber level, top. If the Nationals make a run in the playoffs, though, it will likely be on the backs of their starting pitchers. Dave Martinez used Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg in the Wild Card Game, but Patrick Corbin remains fresh to open the NLDS.
- St. Louis Cardinals (91-71) - The Cards improbably captured the NL Central title despite a below-average offense (95 wRC+). Their pitching has been quite good, but will that make up for their lack of thump? Then again, there’s also Cardinals Devil Magic.
Disagree with this list? Make your own in the comments section below!