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The Times' MLB rankings

Boston Red Sox continue to lead the pack, while the Cardinals move up three spots to No. 2.

September 28, 2013|By Kevin Baxter
  • A Red Sox fan holds up a sign during the game against the Orioles on Friday at Camden Yard in Baltimore.
A Red Sox fan holds up a sign during the game against the Orioles on Friday… (Greg Fiume / Getty Images )

Down the stretch they come. The playoff fields have been determined but who plays whom will be decided this weekend. So Times staff writer Kevin Baxter takes a final look at the 2013 regular season with one game left to play. (Statistics through Friday's game. Last week's rankings in parentheses):

THE WINNERS

1. BOSTON Last two times team won at least 97 games or American League East title, it also won World Series (1)

2. ST. LOUIS Cardinals heading to playoffs for fourth time in five years (5)

3. OAKLAND A's have won only one postseason series since 1992 (2)

4. ATLANTA Fredi Gonzalez averaging National League-best 93 victories in three years as Braves manager (4)

5. DETROIT Miguel Cabrera could be the first most-valuable-player in consecutive years in the AL since Frank Thomas in 1993-94 (3)

6. CLEVELAND Terry Francona made playoffs in first year in Boston, may repeat feat with Indians (9)

7. TAMPA BAY Tampa Bay possibly going to the postseason for fourth time in six seasons (8)

8. PITTSBURGH Pirates reach playoffs and have a winning record for first time since 1992 (7)

9. TEXAS Rangers hoping to avoid second consecutive late-season collapse (15)

10. DODGERS Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke 15-4, 1.73 earned-run average combined since All-Star break (11)

11. CINCINNATI Pete Rose was on the team the last time it made the playoffs in consecutive years (6)

12. KANSAS CITY Royals top AL in victories and ERA since the All-Star break (13)

13. WASHINGTON Nationals are an MLB-best 31-15 in the last seven weeks (10)

14. N.Y. YANKEES Mariano Rivera and Yankees done reach playoffs for only the second time in 19 years (12)

15. BALTIMORE Orioles have consecutive winning years for the first time since 1996-97 (14)

THE LOSERS

16. ANGELS 16 games under .500 on Aug. 21, team rallies for respectable finish (16)

17. ARIZONA Arizona has only 10 more steals than Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury (17)

18. SAN FRANCISCO Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Barry Zito, Ryan Vogelsong are 27-41, 4.79 (20)

19. SAN DIEGO Padres won't have a .300 hitter for the fifth year in row (18)

20. MILWAUKEE 16 games under .500 at Ryan Braun's suspension, team is 32-30 since (24)

21. N.Y. METS David Wright assumes all-time franchise lead in nine offensive categories (23)

22. TORONTO Blue Jays finish season with more than $60 million in salary on the disabled list (22)

23. COLORADO Broncos have outscored the Rockies in September (21)

24. PHILADELPHIA Phillies' worse year since Clinton presidency (19)

25. SEATTLE Moving on up: Astros joining AL West keeps Mariners out of cellar for 4th year in row (25)

THE BIG LOSERS

26. MINNESOTA 94 losses is actually the fewest by Twins in three seasons (26)

27t. CHICAGO CUBS, CHICAGO WHITE SOX Padres parking attendant Robert says these team tie for awful (27/28)

29. MIAMI President fired, reports say team owner making baseball decisions (29)

30. HOUSTON Franchise-record 109 losses are two more than 2012, three more than 2011 (30)

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