Forget complaints about whether the second wild card cheapens the playoff system -- maybe we should ask if the inclusion of the AL Central does.
The division-leading White Sox are mired in a five-game losing streak (three at the Angels, two at the Royals) while the Tigers, who trail by one game, were swept in a doubleheader by the Twins on Sunday. The two clubs fell to Nos. 13 and 14, respectively, in this week's Power Rankings behind three teams (Brewers, Angels and Rays) who, if the playoffs started today, wouldn't even qualify.
After all, neither Chicago nor Detroit has a record that's good enough to lead either league's second wild-card race. Similarly, neither club would rank any higher than fourth in either the AL East or AL West, despite the unbalanced schedule's allowance of intra-divisional games that ought to have pumped up their win totals.
Otherwise, it was a mostly quiet week in the top half of the rankings, save for the Brewers' continued ascent and the Athletics' stumble while playing tough road series in Detroit and New York. Maybe the biggest news: There's a new No. 30, as the Rockies' nine-game losing streak has sunk them below the Astros.
NOTES: All stats are updated through Sunday, Sept. 23.
MLB Power Rankings