MLB Power Rankings: Where Is Your Favorite Team After the All-Star Break?

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 16, 2012

MLB Power Rankings: Where Is Your Favorite Team After the All-Star Break?

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    The All-Star break has come and gone, and that means the MLB trade market will really heat up, as we are just two weeks from the July 31 trade deadline.

    Because of the MLB All-Star Game, it was a shortened week, with each team playing just three games, yet there was still a good amount of movement in this week's rankings as teams welcomed back key injured players and looked to get off to hot starts in the second half.

    Here are this week's MLB power rankings. Be sure to check back here each Monday morning for an updated look at where your favorite team stands.

     

    *Note: Rosters taken from MLBDepthCharts.com.

30. Houston Astros (33-56, Previous: 30)

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    Current Lineup

    CF Jordan Schafer
    2B Jose Altuve
    3B Scott Moore
    LF J.D. Martinez
    1B Chris Johnson
    RF Brian Bogusevic
    C Chris Snyder
    SS Marwin Gonzalez
    Pitcher 

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Wandy Rodriguez
    SP Lucas Harrell
    SP J.A. Happ
    SP Jordan Lyles
    SP Bud Norris
    CL Brett Myers

     

    Last Week's Record: 0-3

     

    Second-Half Outlook

    The Astros have already sold off Carlos Lee and will likely look to do the same with Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers before the deadline as they continue to evaluate their talent and rebuild the roster.

    Shortstop Jed Lowrie had his breakout year temporarily sidetracked when he hit the DL on Sunday with an ankle injury, but he looks to be a part of the team's future plans.

29. Colorado Rockies (34-54, Previous: 29)

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    Current Lineup

    CF Dexter Fowler
    2B Marco Scutaro
    LF Carlos Gonzalez
    1B Michael Cuddyer
    RF Tyler Colvin
    C Ramon Hernandez
    3B Jordan Pacheco
    SS Josh Rutledge
    Pitcher

     

    Current Rotation 

    SP Christian Friedrich
    SP Jeff Francis
    SP Drew Pomeranz
    SP Jeremy Guthrie
    CL Rafael Betancourt

     

    Last Week's Record: 1-2

     

    Second-Half Outlook

    It's been a trying season for the Rockies so far, as poor starting pitching and an injury to Troy Tulowitzki have left them among the league's worst.

    Offseason acquisition Tyler Colvin (.299 BA, 13 HR, 40 RBI) has been a bright spot, and the organization's No. 10 prospect, Josh Rutledge, made his MLB debut on Friday, going 2-for-2 with a double and a pair of RBI. 

28. Minnesota Twins (36-52, Previous: 24)

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    Current Lineup

    CF Denard Span
    RF Ben Revere
    C Joe Mauer
    LF Josh Willingham
    1B Justin Morneau
    3B Trevor Plouffe
    DH Ryan Doumit
    SS Brian Dozier
    2B Jamey Carroll

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Francisco Liriano
    SP Cole De Vries
    SP Brian Duensing
    SP Scott Diamond
    SP Samuel Deduno 
    CL Matt Capps

     

    Last Week's Record: 0-3

     

    Second-Half Outlook

    The Twins are a franchise that, for all intents and purposes, should begin looking to rebuild, but with a payroll of nearly $100 million, they really can't.

    Their offense has been decent, with a healthy Joe Mauer and the added pop of Josh Willingham and Trevor Plouffe, but their pitching is a serious anchor at this point.

27. Seattle Mariners (37-53, Previous: 26)

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    Current Lineup

    2B Dustin Ackley
    RF Ichiro Suzuki
    CF Michael Saunders
    DH Jesus Montero
    3B Kyle Seager
    LF Casper Wells
    1B Justin Smoak
    C Miguel Olivo
    SS Brendan Ryan

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Felix Hernandez
    SP Jason Vargas
    SP Kevin Millwood
    SP Hisashi Iwakuma
    SP TBD
    CL Tom Wilhelmsen

     

    Last Week's Record: 1-2

     

    Second-Half Outlook

    The Mariners have holes up and down their roster, but there is reason for optimism, as they have a terrific farm system with a number of high-end prospects who are moving ever closer to the majors.

    Look for Kevin Millwood and Brandon League to be moved at the deadline and for top pitching prospect Danny Hultzen to make his debut at some point.

26. San Diego Padres (36-54, Previous: 28)

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    Current Lineup

    RF Will Venable
    2B Alexi Amarista
    3B Chase Headley
    LF Carlos Quentin
    C Yasmani Grandal
    1B Yonder Alonso
    CF Cameron Maybin
    SS Everth Cabrera
    Pitcher

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Edinson Volquez
    SP Clayton Richard
    SP Jason Marquis
    SP Kip Wells
    SP Ross Ohlendorf
    CL Huston Street

     

    Last Week's Record: 2-1

     

    Second-Half Outlook

    The Padres have one of the deadline's top trade chips in outfielder Carlos Quentin and could also look to move closer Huston Street and third baseman Chase Headley, who would also net a significant return.

    They're a work in progress, but with a solid farm system, the Padres have a lot of hope for the not-too-distant future.

25. Chicago Cubs (36-52, Previous: 27)

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    Current Lineup 

    CF David DeJesus
    SS Starlin Castro
    1B Anthony Rizzo
    LF Alfonso Soriano
    RF Bryan LaHair
    C Geovany Soto
    2B Darwin Barney
    3B Luis Valbuena
    Pitcher

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Ryan Dempster
    SP Matt Garza
    SP Jeff Samardzija
    SP Paul Maholm
    SP Travis Wood
    CL Carlos Marmol

     

    Last Week's Record: 3-0

     

    Second-Half Outlook

    It will be an interesting next couple weeks for the Cubs, as they are expected to be as active as anyone at the deadline.

    Starter Ryan Dempster (MLB-best 1.86 ERA) may well have thrown his last pitch as a Cub in a win on Saturday, and he should net a solid return.

    For Cubs fans, the second half will be a chance to see what some of the young talent can do in extended playing time.

24. Kansas City Royals (38-49, Previous: 23)

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    Current Lineup

    LF Alex Gordon
    2B Chris Getz
    1B Eric Hosmer
    DH Billy Butler
    3B Mike Moustakas
    RF Jeff Francoeur
    CF Lorenzo Cain
    C Salvador Perez
    SS Alcides Escobar 

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Bruce Chen
    SP Luke Hochevar
    SP Luis Mendoza
    SP Jonathan Sanchez
    SP Everett Teaford
    CL Jonathan Broxton

     

    Last Week's Record: 1-2

     

    Second-Half Outlook

    The Royals have been somewhat of a disappointment this season, due in large part to a poor starting rotation, but they still have a fantastic core of young hitters, who should at least make them watchable for the rest of the season.

    Top prospect Wil Myers should be called up sooner rather than later, and pitching prospect Jake Odorizzi should be as well.

23. Philadelphia Phillies (39-51, Previous: 25)

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    Current Lineup

    SS Jimmy Rollins
    CF Shane Victorino
    2B Chase Utley
    1B Ryan Howard
    C Carlos Ruiz
    RF Hunter Pence
    LF Juan Pierre
    3B Placido Polanco
    Pitcher 

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Cliff Lee
    SP Cole Hamels
    SP Joe Blanton
    SP Kyle Kendrick
    SP Vance Worley
    CL Jonathan Papelbon

     

    Last Week's Record: 2-1

     

    Second-Half Outlook

    The Phillies lineup is finally at full strength after spending much of the season without Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. Ace Roy Halladay will rejoin the rotation on Tuesday, but it could be too late, as the team is 14 games out in the NL East.

    Philadelphia could opt to sell at the deadline, with trade chips Cole Hamels and Shane Victorino likely being able to bring big prospect hauls.

22. Miami Marlins (42-46, Previous: 22)

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    Current Lineup

    SS Jose Reyes
    2B Omar Infante
    1B Carlos Lee
    LF Logan Morrison
    3B Hanley Ramirez
    RF Justin Ruggiano
    CF Emilio Bonifacio
    C John Buck
    Pitcher

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Josh Johnson
    SP Mark Buehrle
    SP Ricky Nolasco
    SP Carlos Zambrano
    SP Anibal Sanchez
    CL Heath Bell

     

    Last Week's Record: 1-2

     

    Second-Half Outlook

    Hopes were high for the Marlins entering this season after a winter that saw them acquire Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell.

    They have shown flashes of putting it all together, as they were in first place on June 3 and had a 31-23 record.

    But the Fish have gone 11-23 since, and they will need to make a serious push if they hope to make a playoff run this year.

21. Arizona Diamondbacks (42-46, Previous: 20)

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    Current Lineup

    SS Stephen Drew
    2B Aaron Hill
    RF Justin Upton
    LF Jason Kubel
    1B Paul Goldschmidt
    C Miguel Montero 
    CF Chris Young
    3B Ryan Roberts
    Pitcher

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Ian Kennedy
    SP Trevor Cahill
    SP Wade Miley
    SP Trevor Bauer
    SP Joe Saunders
    CL J.J. Putz

     

    Last Week's Record: 0-3

     

    Second-Half Outlook

    After a surprise NL West title in 2011, the Diamondbacks have been a bit of a letdown this season due in large part to the fact that stars such as Justin Upton, Miguel Montero and Chris Young have struggled.

    Whether or not the D-Backs decide to move Upton will be the biggest story surrounding the team for the next few weeks.

20. Milwaukee Brewers (42-46, Previous: 21)

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    Current Lineup

    RF Norichika Aoki
    CF Nyjer Morgan
    LF Ryan Braun
    3B Aramis Ramirez
    1B Corey Hart
    2B Rickie Weeks
    C Martin Maldonado
    SS Cesar Izturis 
    Pitcher

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Yovani Gallardo
    SP Zack Greinke
    SP Randy Wolf
    SP Michael Fiers
    SP Marco Estrada
    CL John Axford

     

    Last Week's Record: 2-1

     

    Second-Half Outlook

    The Brewers have struggled this season without Prince Fielder, and they could wind up selling this year at the deadline.

    If they do, free-agent-to-be Zack Greinke ranks as one of the best trade chips on the market, and the return for him could help the team get things back on track sooner rather than later.

19. Toronto Blue Jays (45-44, Previous: 19)

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    Current Lineup

    3B Brett Lawrie
    CF Colby Rasmus
    RF Jose Bautista
    1B Edwin Encarnacion
    DH Adam Lind
    SS Yunel Escobar
    LF Rajai Davis 
    2B Kelly Johnson
    C J.P. Arencibia

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Ricky Romero
    SP Aaron Laffey
    SP Carlos Villanueva
    SP Henderson Alvarez
    SP Brett Cecil
    CL Casey Janssen

     

    Last Week's Record: 2-1

     

    Second-Half Outlook

    Toronto has been hit hard by the injury bug, particularly in its starting rotation, and as a result, it has fallen behind the rest of the pack in the AL East.

    The Blue Jays recently extended breakout slugger Edwin Encarnacion (.293 BA, 25 HR, 61 RBI) and could look to add a pitcher who is controllable beyond this season at the deadline despite their record.

18. Boston Red Sox (45-44, Previous: 18)

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    Current Lineup

    CF Jacoby Ellsbury
    LF Daniel Nava
    DH David Ortiz
    1B Adrian Gonzalez 
    3B Will Middlebrooks
    C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
    RF Ryan Sweeney
    SS Mike Aviles  
    2B Pedro Ciriaco  

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Josh Beckett
    SP Jon Lester
    SP Felix Doubront
    SP Franklin Morales
    SP Aaron Cook
    CL Alfredo Aceves

     

    Last Week's Record: 2-1

     

    Second-Half Outlook

    The Red Sox already got a huge boost with the return of Jacoby Ellsbury, and Carl Crawford will make his season debut on Monday.

    If the team can add a starter and stay healthy, it could make a second-half push and claim a playoff spot.

17. Cleveland Indians (45-43, Previous: 15)

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    Current Lineup

    RF Shin-Soo Choo
    SS Asdrubal Cabrera
    2B Jason Kipnis
    DH Travis Hafner
    C Carlos Santana
    CF Michael Brantley
    1B Casey Kotchman
    LF Johnny Damon
    3B Jack Hannahan

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Justin Masterson
    SP Ubaldo Jimenez
    SP Derek Lowe
    SP Josh Tomlin
    SP Zach McAllister
    CL Chris Perez

     

    Last Week's Record: 1-2

     

    Second-Half Outlook

    Despite a pitching staff that has the second-worst team ERA in the AL (4.52), the Indians have played decent baseball to this point.

    They could stand to upgrade several positions in their lineup and in their rotation, but after pulling off the big deal for Ubaldo Jimenez last year, they may not have the pieces make a deal.

16. Tampa Bay Rays (46-43, Previous: 14)

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    Current Lineup

    LF Desmond Jennings
    1B Carlos Pena
    RF Ben Zobrist
    CF B.J. Upton
    DH Luke Scott
    3B Jeff Keppinger
    2B Sean Rodriguez
    C Jose Molina
    SS Elliot Johnson

     

    Current Rotation

    SP David Price
    SP James Shields
    SP Alex Cobb
    SP Matt Moore
    SP Jeremy Hellickson
    CL Fernando Rodney

     

    Last Week's Record: 1-2

     

    Second-Half Outlook

    Offensive ineptitude has left the Rays looking more like a pretender than a contender, and with Evan Longoria not expected back until sometime in August, things aren't likely to get much better.

    That could be reason enough for the team to move James Shields, and it could look to add a big league-ready bat in the deal.

15. Oakland Athletics (46-43, Previous: 17)

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    Current Lineup

    CF Coco Crisp
    2B Jemile Weeks
    RF Josh Reddick
    LF Yoenis Cespedes
    DH Seth Smith
    1B Brandon Moss
    3B Brandon Inge
    C Kurt Suzuki
    SS Cliff Pennington 

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Bartolo Colon
    SP A.J. Griffin
    SP Tom Milone
    SP Jarrod Parker
    SP Travis Blackley
    CL Ryan Cook

     

    Last Week's Record: 3-0

     

    Second-Half Outlook

    The A's have been surprisingly good this season, backed by a terrific pitching staff that has an AL-best 3.38 ERA. They've won nine of 10 games, but still aren't likely to be buyers at the deadline.

    However, they have already gotten a boost from slugging prospect Chris Carter (5 HR, 9 RBI), who has played in just nine games and could get more help from the farm.

14. Baltimore Orioles (46-42, Previous: 13)

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    Current Lineup

    RF Nick Markakis
    SS J.J. Hardy
    DH Jim Thome
    CF Adam Jones 
    C Matt Wieters
    LF Chris Davis
    1B Mark Reynolds
    3B Wilson Betemit
    2B Robert Andino

     

    Current Rotation 

    SP Wei-Yin Chen
    SP Miguel Gonzalez
    SP Chris Tillman
    SP Zach Britton
    SP TBD (likely Tommy Hunter)
    CL Jim Johnson 

     

    Last Week's Record: 1-2

     

    Second-Half Outlook

    The Orioles have been one of the biggest surprises of 2012, but questions remain in their starting rotation, and things only got worse when ace Jason Hammel hit the DL following knee surgery on Sunday.

    The team will be a player for a veteran arm at the deadline, and the O's have the offense to make a serious run if they can bolster their staff.

13. Detroit Tigers (46-43, Previous: 16)

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    Current Lineup

    CF Austin Jackson
    LF Quintin Berry
    3B Miguel Cabrera
    1B Prince Fielder
    DH Delmon Young
    RF Brennan Boesch
    SS Jhonny Peralta
    C Alex Avila
    2B Ramon Santiago

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Justin Verlander
    SP Doug Fister
    SP Max Scherzer
    SP Rick Porcello
    SP Jacob Turner
    CL Jose Valverde

     

    Last Week's Record: 2-1

     

    Second-Half Outlook

    Detroit's pitching has held the Tigers back from being the team that many expected them to be so far this season, and they will likely look to acquire an arm before the deadline passes.

    If the the Tigers can add a proven veteran starter and someone from the trio of Doug Fister, Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello can step up, they can still make a playoff run.

12. Los Angeles Dodgers (48-42, Previous: 12)

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    Current Lineup

    LF Bobby Abreu
    2B Mark Ellis
    CF Matt Kemp
    RF Andre Ethier
    1B James Loney
    C A.J. Ellis
    3B Juan Uribe
    SS Luis Cruz
    Pitcher

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Clayton Kershaw
    SP Aaron Harang
    SP Chad Billingsley
    SP Chris Capuano
    SP Nathan Eovaldi
    CL Kenley Jansen

     

    Last Week's Record: 1-2

     

    Second-Half Outlook

    With the return of Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, the Dodgers will look to return to their early-season form in which they ranked among the best teams in the league.

    They look prepared to deal for one of the market's top arms and could also look to upgrade at third base as they push toward the postseason.

11. St. Louis Cardinals (46-43, Previous: 10)

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    Current Lineup

    SS Rafael Furcal
    CF John Jay
    LF Matt Holliday
    RF Carlos Beltran
    1B Lance Berkman
    C Yadier Molina
    3B David Freese
    2B Daniel Descalso
    Pitcher

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Kyle Lohse
    SP Adam Wainwright
    SP Lance Lynn
    SP Jake Westbrook
    SP Joe Kelly
    CL Jason Motte

     

    Last Week's Record: 0-3

     

    Second-Half Outlook

    Injuries have been an issue on and off all season for the Cardinals, and their lineup is finally healthy with the return of Lance Berkman on Sunday.

    They're still in the market for a starting pitcher, as Chris Carpenter is out for the season and Jaime Garcia is injured as well, but as of now, they look to be in a good position to battle the Reds and Pirates in the NL Central.

10. New York Mets (46-43, Previous: 7)

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    Current Lineup

    SS Ruben Tejada
    2B Daniel Murphy
    3B David Wright
    1B Ike Davis
    RF Lucas Duda
    LF Kirk Nieuwenhuis
    CF Andres Torres
    C Josh Thole
    Pitcher

     

    Current Rotation

    SP R.A. Dickey
    SP Johan Santana
    SP Jon Niese
    SP Chris Young
    SP TBD
    CL Bobby Parnell

     

    Last Week's Record: 0-3

     

    Second-Half Outlook

    The Mets have been one of the surprise teams of 2012, led by a resurgent David Wright and a breakthrough season from R.A. Dickey.

    After losing Dillon Gee, the team could look to add another starter at the deadline, or they could opt to call up top prospect Matt Harvey as they look to make a postseason push.

9. Pittsburgh Pirates (49-39, Previous: 5)

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    Current Lineup

    LF Drew Sutton
    2B Neil Walker
    CF Andrew McCutchen
    RF Garrett Jones
    1B Casey McGehee
    3B Pedro Alvarez
    C Rod Barajas
    SS Clint Barmes
    Pitcher

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Erik Bedard
    SP James McDonald
    SP A.J. Burnett
    SP Kevin Correia
    SP Jeff Karstens
    CL Joel Hanrahan

     

    Last Week's Record: 1-2

     

    Second-Half Outlook

    The Pirates will look to avoid a second-half collapse this season, and in order to do that, they will likely need to add something offensively to back MVP candidate Andrew McCutchen.

    If they can land an impact bat and their pitching can stay healthy, the Pirates could make a run at the postseason.

    If nothing else, it looks like they could be on their way to a record over .500.

8. Chicago White Sox (49-39, Previous: 6)

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    Current Lineup

    CF Alejandro De Aza
    3B Kevin Youkilis
    DH Adam Dunn
    1B Paul Konerko
    RF Alex Rios
    C A.J. Pierzynski
    LF Dayan Viciedo
    SS Alexei Ramirez
    2B Gordon Beckham 

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Jake Peavy
    SP Gavin Floyd
    SP Chris Sale
    SP Jose Quintana
    SP Phil Humber (will be activated Tuesday)
    CL Addison Reed

     

    Last Week's Record: 2-1

     

    Second-Half Outlook

    The White Sox have been the class of the AL Central so far, and they already filled their biggest need when they traded for Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis, who has a .295 BA with three home runs and 15 RBI since joining the club.

    If the team can stay healthy and guys like Alex Rios and Adam Dunn can continue resurgent seasons, the White Sox have the look of a playoff club.

7. Atlanta Braves (49-39, Previous: 11)

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    Current Lineup

    CF Michael Bourn
    LF Martin Prado
    RF Jason Heyward
    3B Chipper Jones
    1B Freddie Freeman
    C Brian McCann
    2B Dan Uggla
    SS Paul Janish
    Pitcher

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Tim Hudson
    SP Tommy Hanson
    SP Mike Minor
    SP Jair Jurrjens
    SP Ben Sheets
    CL Craig Kimbrel

     

    Last Week's Record: 3-0

     

    Second-Half Outlook

    The Braves continue to keep things close in the NL East and look to be in good shape to at least capture a wild-card spot moving forward.

    The pitching staff has been suspect at times, but could get a boost from Ben Sheets, who threw six shutout innings of two-hit ball in his first appearance in nearly two years, and the team could also look to add a starter via trade.

6. San Francisco Giants (49-40, Previous: 9)

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    Current Lineup 

    RF Gregor Blanco
    2B Ryan Theriot
    LF Melky Cabrera
    C Buster Posey
    CF Angel Pagan
    3B Pablo Sandoval
    1B Brandon Belt
    SS Brandon Crawford
    Pitcher

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Tim Lincecum
    SP Madison Bumgarner
    SP Matt Cain
    SP Barry Zito
    SP Ryan Vogelsong
    CL Santiago Casilla

     

    Last Week's Record: 3-0

     

    Second-Half Outlook

    The Giants are backed by a vastly improved offense thanks to the return of Buster Posey and the addition of a trio of new outfielders, including MVP candidate Melky Cabrera.

    Their pitching staff has been terrific once again despite the struggles of Tim Lincecum, and he looked fantastic on Saturday, throwing eight shutout innings and striking out 11.

    If he can return to form, the Giants have to be among the NL favorites.

5. Los Angeles Angels (49-40, Previous: 4)

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    Current Lineup

    CF Mike Trout
    RF Torii Hunter
    1B Albert Pujols
    DH Kendrys Morales
    LF Mark Trumbo
    3B Alberto Callaspo
    2B Howie Kendrick
    SS Erick Aybar
    C Bobby Wilson

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Jered Weaver
    SP Ervin Santana
    SP C.J. Wilson
    SP Jerome Williams
    SP Garrett Richards
    CL Ernesto Frieri

     

    Last Week's Record: 1-2

     

    Second-Half Outlook

    After a slow start, there was no hotter team heading into the All-Star break than the Angels, and while they may not catch the Rangers in the AL West, they certainly look like a playoff team.

    Getting Dan Haren back and potentially adding a starter will shore things up, and continued brilliance from Mike Trout could end in an MVP.

4. Cincinnati Reds (50-38, Previous: 8)

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    Current Lineup

    SS Zack Cozart
    CF Drew Stubbs
    1B Joey Votto
    2B Brandon Phillips
    RF Jay Bruce
    LF Ryan Ludwick
    3B Scott Rolen
    C Ryan Hanigan
    Pitcher

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Johnny Cueto
    SP Mat Latos
    SP Bronson Arroyo
    SP Homer Bailey
    SP Mike Leake
    CL Aroldis Chapman

     

    Last Week's Record: 3-0

     

    Second-Half Outlook

    With an improved pitching staff and one of the best three-four-five trios in all of baseball, the Reds are right in the thick of things in the NL Central this year as they look to return to the postseason following a disappointing 2011 season.

    They need to do a better job getting on base ahead of their sluggers, though, if they want to be legitimate title contenders.

3. Washington Nationals (51-35, Previous: 3)

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    Current Lineup

    LF Steve Lombardozzi
    CF Bryce Harper
    3B Ryan Zimmerman
    RF Michael Morse
    1B Adam LaRoche
    SS Ian Desmond
    2B Danny Espinosa
    C Jesus Flores
    Pitcher

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Stephen Strasburg
    SP Gio Gonzalez
    SP Jordan Zimmermann
    SP Edwin Jackson
    SP Ross Detwiler
    CL Tyler Clippard

     

    Last Week's Record: 2-1

     

    Second-Half Outlook

    The Nationals have emerged as legitimate contenders far sooner than most expected, and they have room to improve on a terrific first half. Sluggers Michael Morse and Ryan Zimmerman brought little to the team offensively in the first half and have the potential to bump the team to the next level with productive second halves.

2. Texas Rangers (54-35, Previous: 2)

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    Current Lineup

    2B Ian Kinsler
    SS Elvis Andrus
    LF Josh Hamilton
    3B Adrian Beltre
    1B Michael Young
    RF Nelson Cruz
    DH David Murphy
    C Mike Napoli
    CF Craig Gentry

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Derek Holland
    SP Yu Darvish
    SP Matt Harrison
    SP Roy Oswalt
    SP Colby Lewis (will be activated Wednesday)
    CL Joe Nathan 

     

    Last Week's Record: 2-1

     

    Second-Half Outlook

    Entering the season, the Rangers were the team to beat, and despite not holding the top spot this week, they are still the team to beat in my opinion.

    Their pitching staff is finally getting healthy, and they could make an impact move at the deadline to make a great team even better.

1. New York Yankees (54-34, Previous: 1)

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    Current Lineup

    SS Derek Jeter
    CF Curtis Granderson
    3B Alex Rodriguez
    2B Robinson Cano
    1B Mark Teixeira
    RF Nick Swisher
    LF Raul Ibanez
    DH Eric Chavez
    C Russell Martin

     

    Current Rotation

    SP CC Sabathia (will be activated Tuesday)
    SP Hiroki Kuroda
    SP Freddy Garcia
    SP Ivan Nova
    SP Phil Hughes
    CL Rafael Soriano

     

    Last Week's Record: 2-1

     

    Second-Half Outlook

    Despite a suspect starting rotation, the Yankees entered the All-Star break with the best record in baseball, and they will look to improve at the deadline as they push for a title run.

    Getting CC Sabathia back this Tuesday will be huge as well, as they need their ace healthy.