THIRD TIME’S THE CHARM: Texas is back on top of the Power Rankings here and hoping a third consecutive trip to the World Series finally gets it done. Photo courtesy Rick Yeatts/Getty Images

Here we go. We only have two weeks and some change left in this season and the pennant races are ON. We’re not QUITE to the point where the teams currently seated to make the playoffs will automatically be the top teams, but being in playoff contention will DEFINITELY play a factor.

After all, isn’t having the best chance to win it all what these power rankings are all about?

I could get into the jibber jabber about the recent news that helped shape these rankings, but you’re a baseball fan and you already KNOW what’s going on. So enough of this, let’s get into it.

MLB POWER RANKINGS – SEPTEMBER 17TH

1. Texas Rangers | 87-59 (47-27 Home, 40-32 Road) [Change From Last Ranking: + 1]
To compare, the Yankees are 20 games above .500. Texas is 20 games above .500 just at home alone.

2. Washington Nationals | 89-57 (44-27 Home, 45-30 Road) [- 1]
Losing this recent series to Atlanta isn’t huge, per say, but it’s enough to bump them off the top line.

3. Cincinnati Reds | 88-59 (47-28 Home, 41-31 Road) [± 0]
Stellar record, for sure. But, again, an terrible strength of schedule. The playoffs will be the real test.

4. New York Yankees | 83-63 (43-29 Home, 40-34 Road) [± 0]
Same old story: not the best record, but the A.L. East is bound to keep you from that goal.

5. San Francisco Giants | 83-63 (40-31 Home, 43-32 Road) [+ 1]
They had the pitching and bought the offense. This is a pennant-race strategy that’s near perfect.

6. Atlanta Braves | 84-63 (43-32 Home, 41-31 Road) [- 1]
Make no mistake: their series this weekend was a must-win just to stay in the divisional race.

7. Oakland Athletics | 84-62 (44-31 Home, 40-31 Road) [+ 1]
Look for the ‘Moneyball’ sequel in theaters sometime in 2021. These guys are for real.

8. Baltimore Orioles | 82-64 (42-32 Home, 40-32 Road) [- 1]
They lost the battle of the Cinderella’s this weekend and drop down below Oakland accordingly.

9. St. Louis Cardinals | 77-70 (43-29 Home, 34-41 Road) [+ 2]
One of the most fascinating teams of 2012. If Carpenter comes back strong for October, look out.

10. Chicago White Sox | 79-66 (42-31 Home, 37-35 Road) [+ 4]
There’s room for one  in October out of the Central. Right now it’s Chicago. Can they hold on?

11. Los Angeles Angels | 80-67 (40-32 Home, 40-35 Road) [+ 4]
Good record, check. Tough schedule, check. Playoff berth, uncheck. This might be the odd man out.

12. Detroit Tigers | 77-68 (43-28 Home, 34-40 Road) [+ 1]
This team is too, too good to miss the playoffs, but the gods of baseball may not care.

13. Los Angeles Dodgers | 76-71 (40-35 Home, 36-36 Road) [- 3]
Is there a talent curse in LA? Ever since the mega trade they’ve looked more the part of the Angels.

14. Tampa Bay Rays | 78-68 (39-32 Home, 39-36 Road) [- 5]
Stop yelling at the umps, Mr. Madden. It’s not their fault your team appears to be falling apart.

15. Philadelphia Phillies | 73-74 (37-37 Home, 36-37 Road) [+ 2]
Where the hell was this team three months ago? I bet they’d love to have Hunter Pence back.

16. Milwaukee Brewers | 74-72 (46-29 Home, 28-43 Road) [+ 4]
They’ve woken up in time to make the wild card race close. Now if they could only win on the road.

17. Pittsburgh Pirates | 73-72 (42-30 Home, 31-42 Road) [- 5]
Technically, they’re still in the wild card race, but does anyone really have faith in them? Not really.

18. Arizona Diamondbacks | 72-74 (36-36 Home, 36-38 Road) [± 0]
For a team so close to the playoff conversation, they sure don’t come across as threatening.

19. Seattle Mariners | 70-77 (36-36 Home, 34-41 Road) [± 0]
This is a mediocre team that can play up as a decent team from time to time. That’s all.

20. New York Mets | 66-80 (30-41 Home, 36-39 Road) [- 4]
Somewhere, deep down inside, didn’t we all know the way they played early on wouldn’t last?

21. Toronto Blue Jays | 66-79 (36-38 Home, 30-41 Road) [+ 2]
They needed to stay fully healthy to have even a shot this year. Obviously, that didn’t happen.

22. San Diego Padres | 71-76 (40-35 Home, 31-41 Road) [+ 2]
Spent the first half of 2012 eliminating October hopes, now they’re ruining their draft stock?

23. Kansas City Royals | 66-80 (32-40 Home, 34-40 Road) [- 1]
Unlike many teams down here, the Royals already have talented youth in place to compete.

24. Boston Red Sox | 66-81 (33-43 Home, 33-38 Road) [- 3]
Worst Boston team ever, huh, Bobby? That’s fine, we didn’t want to root for you anyways.

25. Miami Marlins | 65-82 (34-38 Home, 31-44 Road) [± 0]
After ‘The Franchise’ ended, pretty much everyone officially stopped watching this team.

26. Minnesota Twins | 60-87 (29-46 Home, 31-41 Road) [± 0]
I’m putting them ahead of Cleveland on here because the Indians are just that bad.

27. Chicago Cubs | 58-88 (36-35 Home, 22-53 Road) [+ 2]
Getting a little hot here, eh? Congrats, it’ll bump you up a few spots for now.

28. Cleveland Indians | 61-86 (33-39 Home, 28-47 Road) [± 0]
Where the hell is rock bottom for this team? If anyone pretends to know they are lying.

29. Colorado Rockies | 58-87 (31-44 Home, 27-43 Road) [- 2]
It’s been a tough year for the Rockies. Hey, remember that guy Tulowitzki? He may return.

30. Houston Astros | 48-99 (32-43 Home, 16-56 Road) [± 0]
When I’m bored late at night, I think about the AAA teams that could beat these guys.

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NOTE: This story was originally published on SportsHead. To read this article and others click here.
When Bryan isn’t writing he is on Twitter! Make sure you follow him @bclienesch for MLB updates and other shenanigans!

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