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MLB Power Rankings: Jays, Cardinals best teams entering MLB playoffs

by | Baseball Writer

It's almost here, Toronto.

You've been waiting for another shot ever since Joe Carter hit one of baseball's most famous home runs. After seeing the Pirates and Royals make the postseason in 2013 and 2014, respectively, your beloved Blue Jays now carried the longest postseason drought in the bigs by a whopping eight years.

Now it's over, but the expectations are much higher than a token appearance, eh?

In the penultimate version of the official and immeasurably prestigious CBS Sports Power Rankings by the esteemed, um, me, the Blue Jays sit at the top. And guess what? They have all the tools needed for a deep postseason run.

They score more runs than anyone else by a wide margin, thanks to getting on base more frequently than anyone else and by having the most power. It's not just the home runs, as the Blue Jays lead the majors in doubles. They can run, too, checking in at fifth in the AL in steals.

The problem used to be on the mound, but that's not true anymore. David Price is a proven postseason ace. Back from a torn ACL in the spring, Marcus Stroman is now 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA and looks like a strong number two come October. Filling in the remaining playoff rotation spots from Marco Estrada, Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey makes for a deep rotation.

Led by rookie closer Roberto Osuna, the bullpen has rounded into a good one, too. The group since the All-Star break has a 2.88 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. Even if we took the entire season -- before things were settled at the back end and a few more parts were added via trade -- the Jays rank fifth in the AL in bullpen ERA.

Defensively, they are mostly middle of the road, but if they can get a healthy Troy Tulowitzki back in time for the playoffs, there's no better left side of the infield than a Josh Donaldson-Tulo combo.

In all, this is a very well-rounded team with every element that succeeds in October.

Of course, that doesn't guarantee anything. People have told me that saying the playoffs are a crapshoot is a ìloser's mentality.î I'd agree with this if a player said it, but I'm an analyst and I'm calling it like I see it. The playoffs are a crapshoot. Look no further than last season, when I got zero emails calling me an idiot for not having the Giants one and Royals two in the final regular season power rankings.

We have no idea what's going to happen. Isn't that what makes it awesome? I can't wait.

Please feel free to contact me with comments either on Twitter (@MattSnyderCBS) or via email: matt.snyder@cbs.com. As always, allow me to remind you that if we disagree about something, one of us is either stupid or biased -- maybe both. It's probably not me, either.

Power Rankings
The Blue Jays go into October clicking on all cylinders. (USATSI)


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