Each week during the season Athlon Sports looks at the best and worst baseball teams and players in the league. Here's our MLB Power Rankings and Players of the Week for September 17, 2012.
1. Nationals — Every game remaining is against a team in the race.
2. Reds — Huge offensive slump in September.
3. Rangers — Lost just one series at home in the second half.
4. Braves — Took the fight to the Nats over the weekend.
5. Giants — Will have advantage in most postseason pitching matchups.
6. A’s — Seven games left with division-leading Rangers.
7. Yankees — Bronx Bombers hanging on for dear life.
8. Orioles — Face losing teams for the next 13 games.
9. Angels — Streaky Angels hot once again, but may be too late.
10. Rays — Tampa Bay’s offense doesn’t scare anyone.
11. White Sox — Lost 11 of 16 before sweeping Twins in Minnesota.
12. Cardinals — Chris Carpenter set to pitch on Friday.
13. Dodgers — Couldn’t overtake Redbirds in four-game set.
14. Tigers — Max Scherzer leads AL with eight wins in second half.
15. Brewers — Brew Crew creeping into the wild card discussion.
16. Phillies — Wishing they had Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino back?
17. Pirates — Struggling to finish the season at .500.
18. Padres — Won 19 of their last 25.
19. Diamondbacks — Young pitching staff gaining valuable experience.
20. Mariners — Have 18 chances left to play spoiler.
21. Blue Jays — 11 games remaing with Yankees and Orioles combined.
22. Royals — Youngsters have scored the most runs in AL in September.
23. Mets — Trying to get R.A. Dickey to 20 wins, Cy Young award.
24. Marlins — Jose Reyes leads team in singles, doubles, triples since break.
25. Red Sox — Only team in either league without a shutout since the break.
26. Indians — 5.24 second half ERA is worst in majors.
27. Cubs — Alfonso Soriano earns third 100-RBI season of his career.
28. Twins — Samuel Deduno best pitcher over last two months.
29. Rockies — Rookie Wilin Rosario leads team with 24 homers.
30. Astros — Haven’t lost 100 games — yet.
AL Player of the Week
Miguel Cabrera, Detroit—In his pursuit of the triple crown, Cabrera bashed Chicago and Cleveland pitching last week with a .407 average and 1.243 OPS. He had at least one run and one RBI in six of the seven games, finishing with seven of each. The triple crown is possible, but it will take a power surge from Cabrera. He’s one point ahead of Mike Trout in batting average, tied with Josh Hamilton with 123 RBIs, and trails Hamilton by four home runs with three players in between.
AL Pitcher of the Week
Jarrod Parker, Oakland—The 23-year-old righthander won both starts last week against teams fighting for a playoff spot. He defeated the Angels on the road and the Orioles at home. Parker, drafted No. 9 overall by Arizona in 2007, was acquired from the Diamondbacks in a deal that included Trevor Cahill moving to Arizona. In 14 innings last week, Parker allowed 11 hits, three walks and struck out seven.
NL Player of the Week
Jimmy Rollins, Philadelphia—Buster Posey continued his assault on the NL MVP award with another strong week at the plate, but Rollins was even better. Doing what a leadoff hitter should, Rollins reached base at a .471 clip and led the majors with nine runs. He stole five bases without being caught and batted .393. He also hit three homers.
NL Pitcher of the Week
Wily Peralta, Milwaukee—The Brewers have climbed back into the wild card race, ending the week just 2.5 games out. Peralta, who has made just three major league starts, has given a lift to Milwaukee’s rotation. The Brewers won both of his starts last week, defeating the Braves and Mets. Peralta tossed eight shutout innings in the win over New York on Sunday, allowing just two hits and one walk.