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Fresh MLB Power Rankings: Surging Athletics Sweep Yankees, Move into Top 10

Joel ReuterFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 4, 2017

Fresh MLB Power Rankings: Surging Athletics Sweep Yankees, Move into Top 10

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    The trade deadline is fast approaching, and so far it has been an unusually quiet year for trades. That is likely to change in the days to come, though, as more teams than ever are looking to buy with two wild-card spots up for grabs.

    It was an interesting week at the top, as the White Sox and Mets plummeted, while the Reds, Tigers and Pirates continued to climb. The story of the week (and really of the second half), however, is the Oakland A's, as they closed the week with a sweep of the Yankees, a team with a payroll nearly three times their own.

    So 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 (34-62, Previous: 30)

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    Current Lineup

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

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Wandy Rodriguez
    SP Lucas Harrell
    SP Jordan Lyles
    SP Bud Norris
    SP Dallas Keuchel
    CL Francisco Cordero

     

    Last Week's Record: 1-6

     

    Team Outlook

    The Astros pulled off a massive 10-player trade with the Blue Jays, with J.A. Happ and Brandon Lyon heading to Toronto for some solid prospects, outfielder Ben Francisco and closer Francisco Cordero (h/t ESPN.com).

    They also unloaded closer Brett Myers, shipping him to the White Sox for a pair of minor leaguers and a player to be named (h/t ESPN.com). They still have one major trade chip in Wandy Rodriguez, and they will have officially dealt all of their veteran pieces over the past three years in their commitment to rebuilding.

29. Colorado Rockies (36-58, 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 Jonathan Sanchez
    CL Rafael Betancourt

     

    Last Week's Record: 2-4

     

    Team Outlook

    The Rockies and Royals swapped disappointing starters, with Jeremy Guthrie going to Kansas City for Jonathan Sanchez. Both are free agents at the end of the year, so it was little more than a change of scenery move between struggling teams.

    There is some reason for excitement in Colorado despite the team's struggles, as the outfield trio of Carlos Gonzalez (.974 OPS, 19 HR, 66 RBI), Dexter Fowler (.910 OPS, 12 HR, 39 RBI) and Tyler Colvin (.910 OPS, 13 HR, 41 RBI) has been among the best in all of baseball.

28. Chicago Cubs (38-56, Previous: 25)

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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: 2-4

     

    Team Outlook

    As of Sunday, the fire sale had yet to begin in Chicago, but with Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, Alfonso Soriano, Bryan LaHair, Paul Maholm, Reed Johnson and Jeff Baker all drawing some level of interest, it is seemingly only a matter of time.

    Meanwhile, looking to the future, Anthony Rizzo (.329 BA, 4 HR, 10 RBI) has looked great through 21 games and shown flashes of being the middle-of-the-order slugger the Cubs hope he'll be for years to come.

27. Kansas City Royals (40-54, Previous: 24)

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    Current Lineup

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

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Bruce Chen
    SP Luke Hochevar
    SP Luis Mendoza
    SP Will Smith
    SP Jeremy Guthrie
    CL Jonathan Broxton

     

    Last Week's Record: 2-5

     

    Team Outlook

    The season has been a disappointing one for the Royals, and while the team has been reluctant to sell, they have a big decision to make regarding closer Jonathan Broxton, who is one of the more sought-after arms in the market (h/t Danny Knobler, CBSSports.com).

    Once the deadline passes and we move into August, expect to see top prospects Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi called up as they will get an opportunity to play their way into a significant role next season.

26. Minnesota Twins (40-55, Previous: 28)

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    Current Lineup

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

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Francisco Liriano
    SP Cole De Vries
    SP Scott Diamond
    SP Samuel Deduno 
    SP Nick Blackburn
    CL Glen Perkins

     

    Last Week's Record: 4-3

     

    Team Outlook

    The Twins will need to decide soon if they are going to trade left-hander Francisco Liriano, who has turned things around in a big way since an early-season demotion to the bullpen. Liriano has gone 3-4 with a 2.84 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 63.1 innings of work over his last 10 starts.

    Moving forward, the team needs to find some answers in the starting rotation. Their offense has been good enough to win this season, but their AL-worst 4.88 team ERA has kept that from happening.

25. Seattle Mariners (42-55, Previous: 27)

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    Current Lineup

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

     

    Current Rotation

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

     

    Last Week's Record: 5-2

     

    Team Outlook

    The Mariners offense has been nothing short of awful this season, as they have only one player with an OPS over .800 (John Jaso, .861). The evaluation period should begin shortly, as they'll start to take a long look at some of their young talent.

    As for trade chips, pitchers Jason Vargas and Kevin Millwood could both be on the move, potentially opening up a rotation spot for top prospect Danny Hultzen down the stretch.

24. Philadelphia Phillies (42-54, Previous: 23)

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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 Roy Halladay
    SP Cliff Lee
    SP Cole Hamels
    SP Joe Blanton
    SP Vance Worley
    CL Jonathan Papelbon

     

    Last Week's Record: 3-3

     

    Team Outlook

    With Roy Halladay back, the Phillies are at full strength for the first time all season, but it will be too little too late. They dug far too big of a hole early on.

    It remains to be seen if Cole Hamels will be dealt, as the team is ready to offer him a six-year, $130 million extension (h/t SI.com). However, Shane Victorino is almost certainly on his way out, as he is set to hit free agency at season's end and has struggled through a down season.

23. San Diego Padres (41-56, Previous: 26)

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    Current Lineup

    RF Will Venable
    2B Logan Forsythe
    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: 5-2

     

    Team Outlook

    The Padres have opted to hold onto some of their most appealing trade chips. They signed outfielder Carlos Quentin to a three-year, $30 million extension (h/t C. Trent Rosecrans, CBSSports.com) and are looking to re-up with closer Huston Street as well (h/t Scott Miller, CBSSports.com).

    With a strong farm system and a solid group of young players already making an impact, the Padres appear to be looking to turn things around sooner rather than later in the rebuilding process. That could be due in part to improved play of late, as they've gone 14-7 in their last 21 games.

22. Miami Marlins (44-51, Previous: 22)

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    Current Lineup

    SS Jose Reyes
    CF Emilio Bonifacio
    1B Carlos Lee
    LF Logan Morrison
    3B Hanley Ramirez
    RF Greg Dobbs
    2B Omar Infante
    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: 2-5

     

    Team Outlook

    For a team that entered the season with playoff aspirations after an expensive offseason, it has been a tough year for the Marlins. As a result, they could be sellers in the days to come and are reportedly willing to listen to offers for anyone (h/t Buster Olney, ESPN.com).

    Starter Anibal Sanchez and second baseman Omar Infante look like the most likely players to be moved. The Marlins will look to bolster their farm system while remaining in a position to make a run at the postseason next year.

21. Milwaukee Brewers (44-50, Previous: 20)

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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 Francisco Rodriguez

     

    Last Week's Record: 2-4

     

    Team Outlook

    A sweep at the hands of the Reds this weekend could be the final push the Brewers need to be sellers at the deadline, and there is no question Zack Greinke is their most intriguing trade chip.

    The team has reportedly offered Greinke an extension in the neighborhood of $100 million, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports, and Greinke confirmed that that was the case. If he declines their offer, there is no shortage of teams interested, and even as a rental player he could net a big return.

20. Cleveland Indians (47-48, Previous: 17)

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    Current Lineup

    RF Shin-Soo Choo
    SS Asdrubal Cabrera
    2B Jason Kipnis
    CF Michael Brantley
    DH Travis Hafner
    C Carlos Santana
    LF Johnny Damon
    1B Casey Kotchman
    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: 2-5

     

    Team Outlook

    While they are still only 4.5 games out of first in the AL Central, the Indians are sliding fast, having lost four straight and going 4-9 in their last 13 games.

    With the Tigers finally playing up to their potential and the White Sox solid all season, the Indians have their work cut out for them if they hope to make a postseason push. Adding a right-handed bat to a lineup that features seven left-handed hitters and two switch-hitters would be a step in the right direction.

19. Boston Red Sox (48-48, Previous: 18)

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    Current Lineup

    CF Jacoby Ellsbury
    LF Carl Crawford
    2B Dustin Pedroia
    1B Adrian Gonzalez 
    RF Cody Ross
    C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
    3B Will Middlebrooks
    DH Daniel Nava
    SS Mike Aviles  

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Josh Beckett
    SP Jon Lester
    SP Felix Doubront
    SP Aaron Cook
    SP Clay Buchholz
    CL Alfredo Aceves

     

    Last Week's Record: 3-4

     

    Team Outlook

    Just as the Red Sox were getting back to full strength with the returns of Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford, Dustin Pedroia and Clay Buchholz, slugger David Ortiz was lost to an Achilles tendon injury.

    Big picture, though, is pitching has been their biggest issue and they remain in the market for a starter as the deadline approaches. They're currently in last place in the AL East, but they could make some late-season noise if they are able to bolster their pitching staff.

18. Arizona Diamondbacks (47-48, Previous: 21)

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    Current Lineup

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

     

    Current Rotation

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

     

    Last Week's Record: 5-2

     

    Team Outlook

    A solid week has kept the Diamondbacks in the playoff picture, and they could look to make up even more ground this coming week as they take on the lowly Rockies and sliding Mets.

    You can't say enough about what Jason Kubel (.300 BA, 21 HR, 71 RBI) has meant to the team this year, as he and Aaron Hill (.308 BA, 13 HR, 45 RBI) have carried the offense. Now they will look for 23-year-old Ryan Wheeler to make an impact at third base after he posted a .351 BA, 15 HR, 90 RBI line at Triple-A.

17. Toronto Blue Jays (48-47, Previous: 19)

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    Current Lineup

    RF Anthony Gose
    3B Brett Lawrie
    CF Colby Rasmus
    1B Edwin Encarnacion
    DH Adam Lind
    SS Yunel Escobar
    2B Kelly Johnson
    LF Travis Snider
    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: 3-3

     

    Team Outlook

    For all that has been made of the Blue Jays' decimated starting rotation, Aaron Laffey and Carlos Villanueva have stepped in and done a fantastic job. The duo has gone a combined 5-1 with a 2.53 ERA and reached the sixth inning in seven of nine starts.

    Former top prospect Travis Snider (.325 BA, 13 HR, 57 RBI in minors) has been called up in what could be his last chance to prove himself. Snider, now 24, was in the majors as a 20-year-old and looked to be a future star.

16. Tampa Bay Rays (49-47, Previous: 16)

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    Current Lineup

    CF B.J. Upton
    1B Carlos Pena
    2B Ben Zobrist
    RF Matt Joyce
    3B Jeff Keppinger
    DH Hideki Matsui
    LF Desmond Jennings
    C Jose Molina
    SS Sean Rodriguez

     

    Current Rotation

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

     

    Last Week's Record: 3-4

     

    Team Outlook

    Getting back Matt Joyce (.277 BA, 11 HR, 35 RBI) is a big addition for the offensively challenged Rays, but now Luke Scott is on the DL and has been replaced by Hideki Matsui (.147 BA, 2 HR, 7 RBI).

    The team has a big decision to make regarding James Shields, as he represents one of the best arms on the market if he is made available, and with two option years he has the team control that teams covet. Moving him could help the team shore up their middle infield or catcher situations in the short term.

15. New York Mets (47-48, Previous: 10)

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    Current Lineup

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

     

    Current Rotation

    SP R.A. Dickey
    SP Jon Niese
    SP Chris Young
    SP Jeremy Hefner
    SP TBD
    CL Bobby Parnell

     

    Last Week's Record: 1-5

     

    Team Outlook

    The slide that many Mets fans had feared appears to be in full effect, as they are 1-9 in their last 10 games and have fallen 8.5 games behind the Nationals in the NL East. 

    Making matters worse, a sprained ankle has landed Johan Santana on the DL, and ineffective veteran Miguel Batista was designated for assignment on Sunday (h/t C. Trent Rosecrans, CBSSports.com). That could open the door for top prospect Matt Harvey to make his debut, and if he can pitch well and the team can make a move (or three) to upgrade their bullpen, they still have a shot.

14. Chicago White Sox (50-45, Previous: 8)

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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 Chris Sale
    SP Jose Quintana
    SP Phil Humber
    SP Gavin Floyd
    CL Addison Reed

     

    Last Week's Record: 1-6

     

    Team Outlook

    The White Sox have dropped five straight, as they were swept and subsequently passed for first place in the AL Central by the Tigers to close out the week.

    They'll get starter Gavin Floyd back on Monday, and they traded for Astros closer Brett Myers to bolster their bullpen, so they're still in a good position. Things are shaping up for a good battle between the Tigers and White Sox over the final two months.

13. Baltimore Orioles (51-44, Previous: 14)

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    Current Lineup

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

     

    Current Rotation 

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

     

    Last Week's Record: 5-2

     

    Team Outlook

    The Orioles have managed to right the ship after a rough patch leading up to the All-Star break, as their starting rotation has looked better sans Brian Matusz and Jake Arrieta.

    Despite that, they will still likely try to add a low-cost starter at the deadline, as they look to claim one of the two wild-card spots and make the postseason for the first time since 1997.

12. Los Angeles Dodgers (52-44, Previous: 12)

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    Current Lineup

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

     

    Current Rotation

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

     

    Last Week's Record: 4-2

     

    Team Outlook

    The Dodgers have yet to make the splash that many expected them to at the deadline, but there is still time. With Chad Billingsley hitting the DL with shoulder soreness, the team has more reason than ever to add a starting pitcher.

    The left side of their infield, currently made up of Luis Cruz and Adam Kennedy, could also be upgraded, as the team also looks to bolster its lineup alongside star outfielders Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. Expect the silence in Los Angeles to be broken in the days ahead.

11. St. Louis Cardinals (50-45, Previous: 11)

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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 Skip Schumaker
    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: 4-2

     

    Team Outlook

    With the Cardinals' improved starting pitching of late and positive signs from Jaime Garcia on the comeback trail, the team is not as set on adding a starter at the deadline as they were a few weeks ago (h/t Derrick Goold, stltoday.com).

    The team has dealt with significant injuries all season and always found someone to step up. With the entire offense healthy and their rotation close to being as healthy as it's going to get, they find themselves in a good position heading into August.

10. Oakland Athletics (51-44, Previous: 15)

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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 Brandon Hicks

     

    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: 5-1

     

    Team Outlook

    The A's closed out their week with a four-game sweep of the Yankees in the latest David versus Goliath matchup of the payroll spectrum.

    There is no hotter team in all of baseball right now than the A's, as they have gone 14-2 in their last 16 games to pull within six games of the Rangers despite an MLB-worst .228 team batting average, as pitching and timely hitting have carried them to this point. Can they keep it up?

9. Atlanta Braves (52-43, Previous: 7)

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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: 3-4

     

    Team Outlook

    The Braves have looked like geniuses for taking a chance on Ben Sheets so far, as he has not allowed a run over 12 innings through his first two starts. Still, with the struggles of Mike Minor and Jair Jurrjens, the team could look to add a starter.

    Shortstop is also an area of concern, as the duo of Tyler Pastornicky and newly acquired Paul Janish provide little in the way of offensive production. However, there is not much on the market, so they will likely just have to wait until Andrelton Simmons is back.

8. San Francisco Giants (53-42, Previous: 6)

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    Current Lineup 

    RF Gregor Blanco
    2B Ryan Theriot
    LF Melky Cabrera
    C Buster Posey
    3B Pablo Sandoval
    CF Angel Pagan
    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: 4-2

     

    Team Outlook

    The Giants remain the class of the NL West, thanks in large part to an improved offense to back their phenomenal pitching staff.

    Tim Lincecum has looked like his old self of late, allowing two runs over 15 innings in his past two starts. If he can return to form, their rotation has four front-line guys.

    However, closer now looks like an area of concern, as Santiago Casilla has blown four saves in seven chances since July 1 and has a 6.00 ERA on the month.

7. Detroit Tigers (52-44, Previous: 13)

25 of 31

    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: 6-1

     

    Team Outlook

    The Tigers are finally putting it all together, as they have gone 13-2 in their last 15 games. With a sweep of the White Sox, they have moved into first place in the AL Central.

    The pitching staff behind Justin Verlander has begun to round into form (led by a healthy Doug Fister), as they are finally backing the team's potent offense. There is still a hole at second base and the team could look to add a starter, but they are finally looking like the team everyone expected them to be as we close out July.

6. Pittsburgh Pirates (54-40, Previous: 9)

26 of 31

    Current Lineup

    LF Alex Presley
    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: 5-1

     

    Team Outlook

    The Pirates offense has slowly rounded into form around MVP candidate Andrew McCutchen (.372 BA, 22 HR, 66 RBI, 14 SB), but glaring holes remain at shortstop and catcher.

    The starting pitching has not been quite as good as it was early on. The team could look to add a starter, but they still look like legitimate contenders here in late July. 

5. Los Angeles Angels (52-44, Previous: 5)

27 of 31

    Current Lineup

    CF Mike Trout
    RF Torii Hunter
    1B Albert Pujols
    LF Mark Trumbo
    DH Kendrys Morales
    3B Alberto Callaspo
    2B Howie Kendrick
    SS Erick Aybar (Jean Segura if Aybar goes on DL)
    C Bobby Wilson

     

    Current Rotation

    SP Jered Weaver
    SP Ervin Santana
    SP C.J. Wilson
    SP Dan Haren
    SP Garrett Richards
    CL Ernesto Frieri

     

    Last Week's Record: 3-4

     

    Team Outlook

    The Angels faced as tough a slate of games as anyone this past week, as they dropped three of four to the Tigers before taking two of three from the division rival Rangers to close out the week.

    Shortstop Erick Aybar could be headed for a DL stint, and he would be replaced by top prospect Jean Segura. On the flip side, catcher Chris Iannetta is on the comeback trail, and Dan Haren rejoined the rotation on Sunday.

4. Texas Rangers (56-38, Previous: 2)

28 of 31

    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
    CL Joe Nathan 

     

    Last Week's Record: 2-3

     

    Team Outlook

    The Rangers have looked beatable of late, going 6-9 in in their last 15 games and dropping a series to the rival Angels to close out this past week.

    Starters Roy Oswalt and Colby Lewis could both be headed to the DL, as injuries to the pitching staff continue to be a sore spot (h/t Blair Angulo, ESPN.com). That should only ramp up the team's effort to land a starter or two at the deadline, as they look to regain the dominant form they showed earlier this season. 

3. Cincinnati Reds (55-40, Previous: 4)

29 of 31

    Current Lineup

    SS Zack Cozart
    CF Drew Stubbs
    2B Brandon Phillips
    RF Jay Bruce
    LF Ryan Ludwick
    3B Scott Rolen
    1B Todd Frazier
    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: 5-2

     

    Team Outlook

    After struggling to stay in first place all season, the Reds have looked dominant of late, winning 11 of 13, yet they still hold only a half-game lead over the Pirates in the NL Central.

    The search continues for someone who can get on base in the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in the lineup, but the team continues to win despite their top-of-the-order struggles and being without Joey Votto as he makes his way back from knee surgery.

2. Washington Nationals (55-39, Previous: 3)

30 of 31

    Current Lineup

    2B Steve Lombardozzi
    RF Bryce Harper
    3B Ryan Zimmerman
    LF Michael Morse
    1B Adam LaRoche
    SS Danny Espinosa
    CF Roger Bernadina
    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: 4-4

     

    Team Outlook

    The Nationals got closer Drew Storen back this past week, although he will remain in a setup role for the time being. However, they lost shortstop Ian Desmond to a torn oblique muscle that could keep him sidelined for an extended period of time (h/t ESPN.com).

    The team could potentially add a starter at the deadline, as they look to make what is already a fantastic rotation even better and provide some depth to aid with Stephen Strasburg's innings count situation.

1. New York Yankees (57-38, Previous: 1)

31 of 31

    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
    SP Hiroki Kuroda
    SP Freddy Garcia
    SP Ivan Nova
    SP Phil Hughes
    CL Rafael Soriano

     

    Last Week's Record: 3-4

     

    Team Outlook

    With the improved performance of Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes, along with the continued solid pitching of CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda, the Yankees have a solid one through four in their rotation.

    They'll likely continue to search for a replacement for Freddy Garcia on the trade market and possibly a left fielder, but they are in as good a position as anyone entering the season's most important months.

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