2019 MLB Power Rankings: Postseason Edition

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 01: Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros celebrates after throwing a no hitter at the end of the ninth inning during a MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 01, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 01: Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros celebrates after throwing a no hitter at the end of the ninth inning during a MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 01, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 11
Next
Nationals: Anthony Rendon, always the Bridesmaid, never the MVP
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – AUGUST 02: Anthony Rendon #6 of the Washington Nationals celebrates after the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 02, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Nationals won 3-0. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

MLB Power Rankings: Postseason Edition

10. Washington Nationals

After missing the playoffs in 2018 after three NL East Titles in the last four years, many thought the Washington Nationals were due for a decline. They failed to live up to their astronomically high expectations and they were considered one of the biggest disappointments in MLB history. With their former homegrown MVP Bryce Harper leaving to the rival Phillies, things looked like they could get worse.

However, Mike Rizzo and the Nationals front office thought otherwise. They made the first big splash in the offseason, signing starting pitcher Patrick Corbin to a six-year, $140 million contract on December 7. They quietly loaded their roster with valuable veterans like Aníbal Sanchez, Brian Dozer, and Kurt Suzuki to go along with their young core consisting of Juan Soto, Trea Turner, and Victor Robles.

Thus, the Nationals began the 2019 season with low expectations, but an excited fan base. This time, the Nationals did not disappoint. They finished the first half of play with a 47-42 record, which was enough to give them a half-game lead atop the crowded Wild Card standings. They continued to remain in the Wild Card hunt throughout the season. They managed to survive threats from the surging second-half Mets and Diamondbacks to come out on top of the Wild Card race.

Their offense, while catalyzed by their young core, has been anchored by superstar third baseman Anthony Rendon. After proving he deserves to be in the conversation among the league’s best all-around third baseman the past two seasons, Rendon reached a whole new level in 2019. In his first All-Star season, Rendon has produced a .325/.412/.608 slash line after an incredible second half that has given him a legitimate case for the NL MVP. He also leads the league in RBIs with 124 and ranks in the top-5 of almost every offensive category.

Their starting pitching staff has also been scary good. Max Scherzer, who has won three Cy Young Awards since 2013, has produced yet another dominant season. Although his innings are slightly down, he leads the league with a 2.37 FIP and 7.28 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Stephen Strasburg has put together one of his best years, posting a 3.37 ERA while leading the NL in wins (17) and innings pitched (203). And of course, Patrick Corbin has stellar as well, with a 3.05 ERA and 233 K’s. The Nationals have three aces in their playoff rotation, so no one in their right minds should count them out in October.