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MLB Power Rankings for Sept. 22

(Through Thursday’s games. Most recent in parentheses)

1. Boston Red Sox. Will win close to 100 after many picked them to lose close to 100. (2)

2. Atlanta Braves. Note for October: Entered weekend with MLB-best 52-22 mark at home. (1)

3. Oakland Athletics. Major props: Took care of Rangers head to head. (5)

4. St. Louis Cardinals. Winning NL Central is huge difference to postseason hopes. (6)

5. Detroit Tigers. How deep into October do they go if Verlander remains mediocre? (7)

6. Los Angeles Dodgers. Quite a ride from 12 games under in late June to first to clinch. (3)

7. Pittsburgh Pirates. Glad to see Padres get out of town. (4)

8. Cincinnati Reds. Riding Hamilton’s fleet feet, got the job done in Houston (8)

9. Texas Rangers. Split in Tampa helped stem September slide. (9)

10. Tampa Bay Rays. Drew just under 50,000 combined for four-game showdown with Rangers. Disgrace. Put ‘em in Montreal. (10)

11. Cleveland Indians. Have stayed in race thanks to 10 walk-off wins. (12)

12. Washington Nationals. A welcome diversion for grieving neighbors at Navy Yard. (13)

13. Baltimore Orioles. Brady Anderson on hand to give Davis props for franchise-record 51st HR. (15)

14. Kansas City Royals. All-around success: First winning MLB season since ‘03 and Omaha won Triple-A title. (14)

15. New York Yankees. Big buzz in Big Apple: Does Metallica show up today to play “Enter Sandman” live at Mariano’s farewell ceremony? (11)

16. Arizona Diamondbacks. Agitated by Dodgers’ post-clinch frolic in RF pool at Chase Field. (16)

17. Los Angeles Angels. A 19-7 run keeps an unlikely .500 finish in play. (17)

18. San Diego Padres. Cashner falls one batter of shy of first no-no in franchise’s 45 seasons. (22)

19. Philadelphia Phillies. Utley finishing strong. (18)

20. San Francisco Giants. Six-day roadie to NYC to meet Mets, Yankees. Lucky beat writers. (23)

21. Toronto Blue Jays. Redmond was solid minor-league pickup helping in the bigs. (19)

22. Colorado Rockies. Coors Field impact on stats will keep retiring Helton out of Hall of Fame. (20)

23. New York Mets. Harvey will try to throw, rehab to avoid elbow surgery. (24)

24. Milwaukee Brewers. Parking lot bratwursts are all they’re good for this year. (26)

25. Seattle Mariners. Mourning death of 85-year-old owner Yamauchi, retired Nintendo chair. (21)

26. Minnesota Twins. Twinkies have turned Stinkies. (25)

27. Chicago Cubs. Upcoming Sabres trip deep dish pizza dilemma ... (27)

28. Chicago White Sox. Lou Malnati’s or Giordano’s? (28)

29. Miami Marlins. Sounds like Loria wresting control from baseball folks, with predictable results. (29)

30. Houston Astros. No 100-loss seasons in first 49 years. Enduring third straight. (30)