There are four energy rankings left to head within the 2023 season, and whereas certain groups — such because the Braves — private cemented their role within the standings and on our record, many golf equipment live in flux.

That is very merely for the four groups vying for the closing wild-card disclose within the Nationwide League — the Diamondbacks, Reds, Marlins and Giants. They’ve endured to transfer spherical and swap places within the wild-card standings, as all four are internal a pair games of every and every various — and all boast harmful skedaddle differentials.

Which of them has the wait on — and who will stable a postseason berth?

Our expert panel has blended to sinister every group in baseball in response to a mix of what now we private seen to this level and what we already knew going into the 162-game marathon that might perchance even be a paunchy baseball season. We additionally asked ESPN MLB experts David Schoenfield, Bradford Doolittle, Jesse Rogers and Alden Gonzalez to weigh in with an commentary for all 30 groups.

Week 22 | Second-half preview | Preseason rankings

1. Atlanta Braves

Fable: 90-forty eight

Old ranking: 1

The Braves took three of 4 from the Dodgers with Ronald Acuna Jr. making an MVP assertion in his head-to-head matchup against Mookie Betts by homering in every of the major three games — all Atlanta victories. His home skedaddle on Saturday used to be a 121.2-mph blast to center area, the hardest-hit home skedaddle of 2023 and handiest the fourth homer of the Statcast technology clocked at 120 mph. The others came from Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Think. Acuna grew to alter into the major participant ever with 30 home runs and 60 stolen bases, leads the NL in runs, stolen bases and entire bases and is tied for first in hits and on-spoiled percentage. — Schoenfield

2. Baltimore Orioles

Fable: 88-51

Old ranking: 3

Because the Orioles prepare for a seemingly — or even seemingly — postseason with out huge title closer Felix Bautista, they private got been gathering and probing various bullpen configurations. Laborious-throwing lefty D.L. Hall, developed as a starter, used to be mature in relief-to-relief outings and had a put opportunity against the Angels, which he didn’t transform. His plus-stuff plays up within the aim and his preliminary strikeout charges were dominant. Alas, the repeat has no longer been.

Within the period in-between, Shintaro Fujinami came out of the bullpen throwing triple digits and earned the put against the Angels after the Orioles went ahead in additional innings. Baltimore additionally reacquired Jorge Lopez, and whereas Yennier Cano is the Bautista change — and a merely one — his ascension to the ninth inning scrambles a high-leverage image that supervisor Brandon Hyde will want to form out over the following couple of weeks whereas attempting to nail down the American League East crown. It be a area. — Doolittle

3. Los Angeles Dodgers

Fable: 84-54

Old ranking: 2

Right here’s a neighborhood that carries significance a ways beyond sports, but we’ll stick with the baseball portion for the unprejudiced of those Energy Rankings: The Dodgers doubtlessly might perchance also no longer verify Julio Urias again this season, within the wake of him being arrested on felony home violence costs Sunday night time. They’ve already lost Dustin May possibly also and Tony Gonsolin for the year, and Clayton Kershaw is pitching thru shoulder woes, which resulted in diminished skedaddle exact thru his Tuesday originate from Miami. The Dodgers are cruising against their tenth division title in 11 years and might perchance peaceful reach 100 wins for the third straight season. But they private got a prime starting-pitching area heading into October. And Walker Buehler is possibly no longer stretched out ample to back much. — Gonzalez

4. Tampa Bay Rays

Fable: 85-55

Old ranking: 4

Reports emerged final week that the pink-hot Rays were going with Taylor Partitions as their major shortstop for the rest of the campaign, with Osleivis Basabe entering into extra of a utility purpose. Partitions has extra of a huge league song file than Basabe, and as a minimal, Tampa Bay can rely on elite defense from Partitions.

Over his first 134 games as a huge league shortstop, Partitions posted plus-23 defensive runs saved, which is a Gold Glove trajectory. His offense lags effectively within the relief of his glove, but he does private strengths. Namely, he walks (65 free passes per 162 games in his occupation) and steals bases (20 thefts per 162 games). Peaceable, he’s a occupation sub-.200 hitter and any offense he generates will want to be viewed as gravy. Fortunately, with the Rays’ offense rolling as it has, they can manage to pay for to head all-in with Partitions’ glove at shortstop and with Basabe peaceful spherical, they can pinch hit for Partitions in a key disclose. — Doolittle

5. Houston Astros

Fable: 80-61

Old ranking: 6

The Astros started their a really worthy series at Texas by clubbing the Rangers into submission, scoring 27 runs over two games. Whereas now we private change into accustomed to this form of offensive outburst by the Astros over the years, this barrage used to be indispensable no longer merely since it came in a huge series against a rival, but since it took area on the boulevard and on the heels of a apartment sweep by the palms of the Yankees. This continues a head-scratching, season-long constructing of Houston hitting loads better away from Minute Maid Park. Houston had scored virtually 100 extra runs away from home, along with boulevard-home splits of 113-78 home runs and .794-.734 OPS. That doubtlessly doesn’t point out that the Astros will private to peaceful angle to play on the boulevard as much as possible in October, but it is a ways a constructing value noting. — Doolittle

6. Seattle Mariners

Fable: 78-61

Old ranking: 5

The ten-game boulevard outing to Recent York, Cincinnati and Tampa Bay started off disastrously with series losses to the Mets and Reds. All straight away, the pitching workers is calling fatigued. Bryan Woo’s skedaddle used to be draw down in his originate against the Reds and given his huge platoon splits (lefties private hammered him), the Mariners might perchance want to be conscious of an opener in his next game (they devise no longer in actual fact private any merely various starting alternate strategies). Woo is draw past his season high in innings in both college or final year within the minors. Bryce Miller’s strikeout rate has plummeted over the final month. Nearer Andres Munoz used to be AL Reliever of the Month in August but has struggling in September. Justin Topa blew a 6-3 lead on Tuesday. Can the workers manufacture it thru September with out collapsing? — Schoenfield

7. Texas Rangers

Fable: 76-63

Old ranking: 7

Nathan Eovaldi’s return from damage used to be nothing brief of a catastrophe. He lasted merely 1⅓ innings Tuesday against the Astros, giving up four runs on 5 hits including two home runs. The formerly dominant Dane Dunning didn’t fare loads better in reduction because the Rangers are all straight away in jeopardy of missing the playoffs. Their pitching workers desires to correct the ship after a brutal week — they ranked final in ERA over the final seven days and will want Eovaldi to lock in as soon as possible. The Blue Jays, Mariners and Crimson Sox all continue to exist their schedule — including Seattle seven cases ahead of the head of the season. These head-to-head matchups will seemingly pick the Rangers’ destiny in October, which seemed cherish a lock for loads of the season. That is no longer the case. — Rogers

8. Toronto Blue Jays

Fable: 77-63

Old ranking: 10

The Blue Jays’ role group is beat up correct now. Bo Bichette, Matt Chapman and Danny Jansen private all landed on the injured record, whereas Brandon Belt is going thru a balky relief. The timing is no longer only, but on the area Toronto has been ready to tread water. On account of that and a concurrent crumple by the Rangers, the Blue Jays managed to transfer relief into playoff role the day after Labor Day. We highlighted the enhance provided by Davis Schneider final week, however the Blue Jays private gotten key production from but any other unsung change since then. This time, or no longer it is Spencer Horwitz, a 25-year-frail lefty hitting DH/first baseman. Over his first seven games, Horwitz homered, drove in four runs and posted a .961 OPS. — Doolittle

9. Milwaukee Brewers

Fable: 77-62

Old ranking: 9

Brandon Woodruff appears to be like to be the whole draw relief and gripping for October. He threw seven shutout innings Tuesday within the Brewers’ gain over Pittsburgh. In 5 of his six starts since returning from his damage, Woodruff has given up two or fewer runs. He has 25 strikeouts in his past three outings alone, additional proof his stuff is rounding into invent. His fastball skedaddle is already within the head 20% within the league and or no longer it is peaceful hiking. Milwaukee’s playoff hopes rely on him, along with Freddy Peralta and Corbin Burnes, because the group’s offense has been inconsistent. — Rogers

10. Philadelphia Phillies

Fable: 77-62

Old ranking: 8

Trea Turner headed off on paternity poke away riding a 15-game hitting scramble in which he hit .358, slugged 10 home runs and scored 19 runs. Going relief to that standing ovation he bought in early August, Turner has hit .362/.395/.767 with 12 home runs in 28 games. That pushed his OPS+ over league reasonable to 106 and whereas that is peaceful effectively beneath the 139 mark he posted from 2020 to 2022, he has as a minimal rescued his season from those melancholy first four months. A hot Turner heading into the postseason bodes effectively for but any other deep skedaddle for the Phillies. — Schoenfield

11. Chicago Cubs

Fable: 76-64

Old ranking: 11

Justin Steele’s Cy Young philosophize took but any other step forward as he pitched a gem on Labor Day, shutting out the Giants over eight innings. He’s 16-3 with a 2.55 ERA, doing it largely with a four-seam fastball and slider. His skill to work both facet of the plate and change the hunt for level for opposing hitters has been nothing brief of exquisite. Steele’s 2023 resume doesn’t feature the strikeout totals Spencer Strider is striking up, but he has kept the ball within the park loads better. Steele leads the league in home runs per nine innings (0.7) to boot to ERA+ (177). That might perchance also give him the brink over Strider and Blake Snell. — Rogers

12. Minnesota Twins

Fable: 73-67

Old ranking: 13

Since now we private identified so constantly this season that the Twins private didn’t attach a hammerlock on an AL Central division that has been begging for anyone to take administration, we doubtlessly ought to highlight that the Twins now seem to private attach a hammerlock on the AL Central. This has took area largely as a result of an offensive outburst in two series apiece against Texas and Cleveland. Over an 11-game stretch origin Aug. 24, the Twins averaged 6.9 runs per game, second-handiest within the majors exact thru that span. Tuesday’s 8-3 gain over Cleveland pushed the Twins’ lead over the Guardians to seven games, their largest margin of the season. Minnesota lastly appears to be like cherish a lock for an October invite. — Doolittle

13. Boston Crimson Sox

Fable: 72-68

Old ranking: 15

Boston’s tepid draw to the change time restrict has no longer carried out much to inspire a hasty create. The Crimson Sox private hovered spherical .500 with their submit-time restrict play as their postseason probabilities private collapsed from spherical one-in-5 to about one-in-50. The pitching has been a huge number even though the efficiency of rookie Brayan Bello has held up and Chris Sale has flashed dominance at cases. James Paxton and Kutter Crawford private fallen off. And that is merely the rotation. The bullpen ERA for the rationale that time restrict is one among the worst within the majors. Patience within the Crimson Sox’s ongoing passive draw is no doubt rising thin. — Doolittle

14. Arizona Diamondbacks

Fable: 72-68

Old ranking: 12

The D-backs private a in actual fact well-known stretch bobbing up, with nine of their next 13 games coming against both the Cubs or the Giants, two groups joining them amid the crowded NL wild-card area. However the D-backs want to concern about getting correct themselves. They followed a disappointing 8-16 month of July with a 12-15 August and private spoil up their first six games of September. Since the All-Necessary particular person spoil, they sinister Twenty first within the majors in runs per game and twenty sixth in ERA. That is a moderately long stretch of time to be beneath reasonable. But all that issues is the following 3½ weeks. — Gonzalez

15. Cincinnati Reds

Fable: 73-69

Old ranking: 16

The additions of Harrison Bader and Hunter Renfroe provided immediate dividends as Renfroe walked off the Cubs over the weekend. Cincinnati might perchance even private additionally mature the pitchers who were placed on waivers, but Cleveland grabbed them as an different. That left the Reds with one likelihood to manufacture the postseason: by slugging their draw there. But as merely as their young hitters were this season, they’ve slumped within the second half. Cincinnati ranks within the backside 5 of the majors in OPS for the rationale that All-Necessary particular person spoil. Its on-spoiled percentage has hovered spherical .300 exact thru that time-frame. After taking half within the Mariners this week, the Reds private a gentle-weight schedule the rest of the draw in which. If the offense picks up, they peaceful private a shot at the postseason. — Rogers

16. Miami Marlins

Fable: 72-67

Old ranking: 17

The Marlins regarded ineffective within the wild-card skedaddle except they swept four games from the Nationals. The offense, which had scored merely 17 runs within the old 10 games, burst out with 31 against Washington whereas hitting .321 with eight home runs. Luis Arraez went 10-for-18, Bryan De La Cruz had a four-hit game, Jesus Sanchez had seven hits and Jazz Chisholm Jr. had six. They did it with out Jorge Soler, who neglected your whole series ahead of returning in Tuesday’s gain over the Dodgers. Of the four groups combating for the closing wild-card disclose, the Marlins private the hardest closing schedule, including the upcoming boulevard outing to Philadelphia and Milwaukee. — Schoenfield

17. San Francisco Giants

Fable: 70-70

Old ranking: 14

Logan Webb produced but any other quality originate against the Cubs on Monday, getting charged with three earned runs in 6⅔ innings. However the Giants’ offense didn’t form much of anything in pink meat up of him, and so he used to be tagged with the loss. It used to be an all-too-familiar scenario. Webb has the bottom skedaddle-pink meat up reasonable within the major leagues, and the Giants’ most modern struggles on offense are costing them a first-rate opportunity to reach ground in a crowded wild-card area. From Aug. 5 thru Monday’s game, the Giants navigated a 28-game stretch whereby they slashed a paltry .219/.293/.327 as a bunch, gathering handiest 20 home runs. — Gonzalez

18. Recent York Yankees

Fable: 70-69

Old ranking: 19

When all is alleged and carried out, the Yankees don’t seem to be going to get credit score for much of anything in response to their 2023 efficiency. But that it is possible you’ll as a minimal convey this much: These on the area because the season reached the Labor Day flip private no longer thrown within the towel. With the Yankees selling a bunch of young avid gamers for the rest of the season, the head consequence has been one which steadily happens with golf equipment that struggle thru an in-season teardown: The youth, energy and motivation of the replacements makes the group better. The Yankees regarded dispirited per week within the past but after they swept the Astros on the boulevard and Jasson Dominguez made a sturdy early impact, Recent York’s string of .500 seasons might perchance but live intact. — Doolittle

19. San Diego Padres

Fable: 66-75

Old ranking: 18

Within the wake of Shohei Ohtani’s torn UCL — no longer to level out the possible for Julio Urias facing his second home violence-associated suspension by the league — Snell stands because the most coveted starting pitcher within the upcoming free agent class. And he has picked a ideal time to be at his handiest. Snell is 12-9 with a prime league-leading 2.50 ERA heading into his twenty ninth originate of the season Friday, inserting out 201 batters in 155 innings. No one has issued extra walks or served up extra wild pitches than Snell, but no one has allowed a lower opponents’ slugging percentage, both. The Padres are operating out of time to manufacture a closing playoff push — especially with Joe Musgrove and Yu Darvish on the IL — but Snell is trending against his second Cy Young. — Gonzalez

20. Cleveland Guardians

Fable: 67-73

Old ranking: 20

Most definitely needing a sweep of the three-game series against the Twins to private a raffle at the AL Central title, Cleveland lost the opener 20-6. Backup catcher David Fry ended up pitching the closing four innings, giving up 10 hits, 7 runs and 3 home runs. He grew to alter into the major merely role participant to pitch four innings in a game since Jose Oquendo of the Cardinals on May possibly also 14, 1988. Tuesday didn’t poke loads better, as Trevor Stephan gave up 5 runs within the eighth inning in an 8-3 loss — dropping the Guardians seven games within the relief of the Twins. — Schoenfield

21. Los Angeles Angels

Fable: 64-76

Old ranking: 22

Shohei Ohtani’s agent, Nez Balelo of CAA, addressed the media from his area-level suite at Angel Stadium on Monday afternoon, emphasizing that Ohtani plans to continue to be a two-draw participant. Within the period in-between, Ohtani himself took a uncommon opportunity for out of doors batting declare and pains up tweaking his correct indirect, prompting him to be a slack scratch from Monday’s lineup and additionally take a seat out Tuesday’s game. Earlier than then, Ohtani had conducted in every game since May possibly also 2.

But Angels supervisor Phil Nevin acknowledged Ohtani steer clear off a stress and is no longer anticipated to head on the IL. He’ll defend taking half in, as a minimal except he decides the following draw of action for his UCL hunch. The Angels are out of contention and the AL MVP award has on the whole been locked up, but Ohtani doesn’t want to waste. “This guy loves the game,” Balelo acknowledged. — Gonzalez

22. Recent York Mets

Fable: 64-75

Old ranking: 23

The Mets called up high prospect Ronny Mauricio and he went 6-for-15 (.400) in his first four games. His first occupation hit Friday used to be a 117-mph double to correct area. With Francisco Lindor entrenched at shortstop, Mauricio started at second spoiled all four games, even though supervisor Buck Showalter acknowledged he would use Mauricio at various positions (he additionally conducted some left area at Syracuse). Tuesday’s lineup featured novices Francisco Alvarez, Brett Baty, Heed Vientos and Mauricio all starting collectively for the major time — and so all of them had hits in an 11-5 victory over the Nationals. — Schoenfield

23. Detroit Tigers

Fable: 63-76

Old ranking: 24

The Tigers placed Riley Greene on the IL as a result of inflammation in his elbow, an damage suffered on a highlight reel obtain that, if it proves to be the final we verify of Greene in 2023, is a moderately nice exclamation level on an spectacular second season for the 22-year-frail. In nearly the true identical collection of plate appearances as his rookie season, he has upped his OPS+ from 97 to 116 whereas making improvements to in all three gash categories. His homer rate bigger than doubled even as his line pressure rate improved markedly. Merely attach, Greene hit the ball more sturdy extra steadily. He peaceful has work to create to polish off his strike zone indicators, but any doubt that might perchance even private existed about whether or no longer he’s a cornerstone participant for the Tigers has been erased. — Doolittle

24. Washington Nationals

Fable: 63-77

Old ranking: 21

CJ Abrams’ season has form of flown below the radar, in half because he bought off to a unhurried originate, but his energy is starting to create — he’s as much as 15 home runs and 40 stolen bases (and has been caught merely three cases). There’s peaceful room for growth, especially in his swing decisions that lead to a high poke rate and low stroll rate. He has additionally struggled huge time against lefties, hitting merely .173 with a .255 OBP, but that is no longer necessarily abnormal for a young left-handed hitter (especially given his lack of knowledge within the minors). It appears to be like cherish the bat will eventually play with endured maturity. We are going to additionally verify if he stays at shortstop long-time-frame. Statcast metrics don’t seem to be keen on his differ, striking him shut to the backside of all shortstops, even though DRS has him above reasonable. — Schoenfield

25. Pittsburgh Pirates

Fable: 65-75

Old ranking: 25

It has been a lost season for Oneil Cruz, but when he can get relief onto the area for even just a few games after recovering from ankle surgical arrangement, it could most likely also situation him up for 2024. Cruz has been a missing ingredient for Pittsburgh all year as his replacements have not exactly long gone off. Pittsburgh ranks 14th within the NL in WAR at shortstop as merely one among two groups with a harmful score. If wholesome, the 2024 left-facet pairing of Cruz and Ke’Bryan Hayes will seemingly be an offensive and defensive force for the Pirates. That is the possible colorful disclose. Their pitching workers peaceful desires work. — Rogers

26. St. Louis Cardinals

Fable: 61-78

Old ranking: 26

The Cardinals might perchance also very effectively be taking half in out the string, but Jordan Walker is peaceful getting after it. He went 12-for-19 in his final 5 games with four home runs. Walker has had his share of usaand downs, but his rookie numbers are going to glimpse moderately merely. He has an OPS over 1.100 since mid-August, and he’s one motive St. Louis doesn’t want a paunchy-on rebuild. If the Cardinals focus all their efforts on the mound this offseason, there is a raffle they’re going to seemingly be relief within the playoff skedaddle in 2024. They usually are not a ways off from being merely again, but that is handiest within the occasion that they address the starting workers in a prime draw. — Rogers

27. Chicago White Sox

Fable: 54-86

Old ranking: 27

Merely if you happen to belief issues might perchance not get worse for the White Sox, they did. A apartment sweep to the Tigers used to be sinful ample but a Labor Day beatdown by the palms of the lowly Royals used to be in actual fact embarrassing. Manager Pedro Grifol appears to be like to be protected, but some might perchance also seek information from why all in favour of the catastrophe this season has been. His benching of newcomer Korey Lee — after the rookie might perchance not song a popup he hit — used to be puzzling. It feels cherish Grifol wants a create-over first impact, but those handiest draw as soon as. Within the period in-between, Jesse Scholtens’ philosophize for a rotation disclose in 2024 took a hit after he gave up nine hits in 3⅔ innings to Kansas Metropolis on Monday. — Rogers

28. Colorado Rockies

Fable: 51-88

Old ranking: 28

Kris Bryant told reporters no longer too long within the past that he’s hopeful he’ll return from his fractured left index finger by the originate of the Rockies’ homestand next week, which aspects matchups against his two frail groups, the Cubs and Giants. The Rockies private long been out of contention, for certain, and are peaceful trending against their first 100-loss season in franchise history. But getting relief ahead of the head of the year will absolute self perception be precious for Bryant. By Monday, he’s going to private conducted in handiest 107 of the Rockies’ 304 games since signing a seven-year, $182 million contract in March of 2022. He’s slashing handiest .251/.338/.379 in 65 games this season. — Gonzalez

29. Kansas Metropolis Royals

Fable: 44-97

Old ranking: 29

As Cole Ragans continues to roll along, Zack Greinke does no longer. The long skedaddle Hall of Famer dropped to 1-14 with a 5.34 ERA. He hasn’t reached 80 pitches in any of his past seven starts, as supervisor Matt Quatraro affords him shorter and shorter hooks. Simplest 12 various pitchers private received merely one game with as a minimal 14 losses — and four of those did it within the 1800s. It has took area two various cases this century, however, as Homer Bailey went 1-14 with the Reds in 2018 and Adam Bernero went 1-14 with the Rockies and Tigers in 2003. — Schoenfield

30. Oakland Athletics

Fable: 43-97

Old ranking: 30

Amid a year of wrong disappointment — each and every on the area of play and, for certain, beyond it — a rookie second baseman has provided a glimmer of hope for the group’s future, wherever it could most likely stay. Zack Gelof, the group’s second-spherical decide in 2021, slashed .275/.335/.533 with 10 home runs and 10 stolen bases thru his first 200 plate appearances within the major leagues. He’s the glorious member of the A’s with each and every double-digit home runs and steals, even though he has been up handiest for the rationale that center of July. The sample size is peaceful quite runt, but Gelof has shown to be a extra developed hitter than many anticipated. — Gonzalez