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) /
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(Photo by David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

MLB Power Rankings: Postseason Edition

4. Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves are one of the most exciting young teams in MLB. After the Braves won their first NL East title since 2013 last season, they entered this year with high expectations.

After being eliminated in the NLDS by the Dodgers, the Braves improved on every front in 2019. In the offseason, they signed former MVP Josh Donaldson to a 1-year, $23 million contract. After playing only 16 games in 2018, Donaldson has returned to the slugger he once was. In 2019, he has hit .255/.377/.520 with 37 home runs and 89 RBIs to give the Braves a veteran bat in the middle of the lineup.

On the other corner of the infield, fellow superstar veteran Freddie Freeman has put up another monster season. The four-time All-Star has slashed an impressive .296/.391/.555 to along with 38 home runs and 121 RBIs, both of which are career highs.

While the veterans make a formidable duo in the middle of the lineup, the most valuable Brave hits at the top of the lineup. Ronald Acuña Jr. is only 21-years-old, and he is already considered one of the best in MLB. After winning the 2018 NL Rookie of the Year Award, Acuña continued to show off his 5-tool talent in 2019. He has 41 home runs and 101 RBIs to go along with an NL-leading 37 steals and 127 runs scored. He is looking to become only the fifth member of the 40-40 club, and first since Alfonso Soriano in 2006. Oh, and did I mention he’s only 21?

What keeps the Braves outside the top-3 is their pitching staff. There are a lot of questions surrounding how they will structure their playoff starting rotation since they have no clear ace. The best bet to start game 1 is Dallas Keuchel, who was acquired in June to bolster their rotation. Keuchel has pitched decent, posting a 3.59 ERA in 18 starts. His postseason experience is what will most likely earn him the game 1 nod.

The rest of their postseason rotation is up for debate. While Mike Soroka has had an incredible rookie season and has undoubtedly been their most consistent starter, his struggles pitching at home are a legitimate concern. Mike Foltynewicz, who had an incredible 2018, struggled to replicate his All-Star performance. However, he has been on a tear recently, posting a 0.69 ERA in September. Max Fried and Julio Teheran are also options to pick up postseason starts.

If the Braves pitching can hold up, they have a legitimate chance to chase an NL Pennant. Their offense is electric with Acuña at the top, and their bullpen has been underratedly good despite the struggles of their high-profile deadline acquisitions, Shane Greene and Mark Melancon.