MLB power rankings: Flailing San Diego Padres' postseason hopes slipping away with brutal schedule ahead

·4 min read

On July 1, the San Diego Padres had a six-game lead for the National League's second wild-card spot and were just 2 ½ games back in the NL West, locked in a three-way battle with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants.

Less than two months later, the Padres are completely out of the division race (13 GB) and find themselves on the outside looking in on the postseason picture, now trailing the Cincinnati Reds by a game for the NL's second wild-card.

San Diego hasn't played the Giants or Dodgers – baseball's two best teams entering Monday – since the end of June but couldn't capitalize, losing 11 of 16 games against the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Padres get a crack at the Dodgers this week at Petco Park, but won't have much room for error the rest of the way. San Diego finishes the season on a brutal stretch that includes 10 against the Giants and six against the Dodgers.

Here's how USA TODAY Sports' seven-person panel voted this week:

Manny Machado reacts after flying out against the Rockies.
Manny Machado reacts after flying out against the Rockies.

Rank (movement from last week)

1. San Francisco Giants (–)

2. Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Max Scherzer's first four starts with LA: 2.11 ERA, 31 K in 21.1 IP.

3. Tampa Bay Rays (–)

  • Brandon Lowe has a .983 OPS in 35 games since the All-Star break.

4. Houston Astros (–)

  • Astros don't play second-place Oakland until Sept. 24.

5. Milwaukee Brewers (–)

6. New York Yankees (+4)

  • Red-hot Yanks start tough nine-game road trip at Braves, Athletics and Angels.

7.Chicago White Sox (–)

  • Jose Abreu was MLB's first player to reach 90 RBI in 2021.

8. Oakland Athletics (-2)

  • Oakland is without ace Chris Bassitt after the All-Star was in the face by a line drive.

9. Atlanta Braves (+3)

  • Richard Rodriguez posted a 0.82 ERA in first 11 games for Atlanta.

10. Cincinnati Reds (+1)

11. Boston Red Sox (-3)

  • Chris Sale pitched five scoreless innings in his second start of the year.

12. San Diego Padres (-3)

  • Yu Darvish expected back off the injured list this week.

13. Toronto Blue Jays (–)

  • Lefty Steven Matz (3.94 ERA in 22 starts) has been reliable in the rotation.

14. Seattle Mariners (+1)

  • Ty France hitting .358 with seven home runs in 34 games since All-Star break.

15. St. Louis Cardinals (+1)

  • Jack Flaherty hits the ground running (2 ER in 12 innings) after two months on the shelf.

16. Philadelphia Phillies (-2)

  • Getting swept in Arizona while Braves surged may have cost Phillies the NL East.

17. New York Mets (–)

18. Los Angeles Angels (–)

19. Cleveland (+1)

20. Detroit Tigers (-1)

21. Colorado Rockies (–)

  • C.J. Cron has a 1.106 OPS at home with hit 17 of his 21 homers at Coors Field.

22. Minnesota Twins (–)

  • Mitch Garver having a nice bounce-back year with 13 homers in 178 at-bats.

23. Kansas City Royals (+2)

  • Ervin Santana has a 0.87 ERA in eight August appearances.

24. Miami Marlins (-1)

  • Bryan De La Cruz starts MLB career with 23 hits in 72 at-bats (.319).

25. Washington Nationals (-1)

  • Josiah Gray had a 2.86 ERA in first five starts after Max Scherzer/Trea Turner deal.

26. Chicago Cubs (–)

  • Taken off waivers, Frank Schwindel is mashing: .359/.414/.672, 15 RBI in 18 games.

27. Pittsburgh Pirates (–)

  • Lost 15 of 19 games to start August, giving up 107 runs.

28. Texas Rangers (–)

  • Rookie Dane Dunning has a 3.44 ERA over his last 11 starts.

29. Arizona Diamondbacks (+1)

  • Zac Gallen tosses seven shutout innings with nine strikeouts in Denver.

30. Baltimore Orioles (-1)

  • Will take a big September, but Cedric Mullins has a shot at the 30-30 club.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MLB power rankings: Padres flailing in NL wild-card standings