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September 7th, 2023 Week 22: MLB News and Rankings

WEEK 23: MLB News and Rankings

Hey there, fellow fans in our newsletter community! As we gear up for another action-packed week of MLB showdowns, get ready to slide into some seriously entertaining baseball chatter. With the 2023 playoff season on the horizon, we're all about adding a dash of fun to your baseball updates.

Top MLB Slingers

As the 2023 MLB season unfolds, there's still ample time for teams and players to shape their narratives. Despite early setbacks and midseason challenges, the length of the MLB season allows for regrouping and a chance to come back even stronger, evident in our latest Starting Pitcher Power Rankings based on both season-long achievements and recent performances.

  1. Blake Snell, Padres - Leading with a 1.31 ERA in his last 19 starts.
  2. Justin Steele, Cubs - Impressive consistency, maintaining a 2.80 ERA over 26 starts.
  3. Gerrit Cole, Yankees - In the top four for six straight times, aiming for his first Cy Young Award with a 1.83 ERA and a stellar strikeout-to-walk ratio in his recent outings.
  4. Spencer Strider, Braves - Dominating with 121 strikeouts with his slider and 106 with his four-seam fastball.
  5. Kodai Senga, Mets - Stepped up with a 2.48 ERA over his past 10 starts.
  6. Sonny Gray, Twins - A consistent performer with nine straight quality starts and a 2.65 ERA.
  7. Max Scherzer, Rangers - Made his debut in the top 10 with a 2.21 Rangers ERA.
  8. Zack Wheeler, Phillies - An impressive season, potentially a dark horse Cy Young Award contender.
  9. Kyle Bradish, Orioles - Leading the AL with a 3.03 ERA and showing consistency with a 2.28 ERA over his past 14 starts.
  10. Freddy Peralta, Brewers - Transformed his season with a 1.71 ERA over his last seven starts, becoming one of the best pitchers in baseball.

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Week 23 - Power Rankings

  1. Atlanta Braves (90-48) 
  2. Baltimore Orioles (88-51)
  3. LA Dodgers (84-54)
  4. TB Rays (85-55) 
  5. Houston Astros (80-61)
  6. Seattle Mariners (78-61)
  7. Texas Rangers (76-63)
  8. Toronto Blue Jays (77-63)
  9. Philidelphia Phillies (77-62)
  10. Chicago Cubs (76-64) 

Red Hot Astros'. Max vs. Verlander

When Max Scherzer delivered a strikeout pitch to Jose Altuve at the outset of Wednesday's game, some may have thought the Rangers were about to stifle the Astros' explosive offense. It was a crucial task considering Altuve's five home runs in the previous two lopsided victories against the Rangers. However, the Astros' batting prowess extends far beyond their star second baseman, and they proved it by overpowering the struggling Rangers. Even on a night when Altuve failed to make an impact, the Astros unleashed a relentless offensive assault at Globe Life Field.

In the culmination of the Lone Star Series, the Astros left an emphatic mark by completing a dominant sweep of the Rangers. Justin Verlander's seven strong innings and a barrage of five home runs, including a grand slam and a three-run shot by José Abreu, led to a resounding 12-3 victory over the Rangers.

Remaining matchups on the horizon include games against the Padres (3), Athletics (3), Royals (3), Orioles (3), Royals (3), Mariners (3), and Diamondbacks (3). In the latest standings update, the Astros cling to first place in the American League West, holding a one-game advantage over the Mariners, who have the tiebreaker against Houston. Currently positioned as the second-best division leader in the AL, the Astros are on track to skip the Wild Card Series round.

Throughout the three-game series, the Astros demonstrated their dominance by outscoring the Rangers 39-10, outhitting them 50-22, and smashing a franchise-record 16 home runs. This impressive performance includes hitting at least five home runs in three consecutive games, a feat that ties a Major League record.

While the much-anticipated pitcher's duel between Verlander and Max Scherzer, who were both traded from the Mets in July, failed to materialize as expected, Verlander secured career win No. 255 despite an early home run by Marcus Semien, which represented the only earned run he conceded.

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